Thursday, March 29, 2007


I went to bed early last night with a headache. At the time I turned out the lights and pulled up the covers, the whole left side of my face was still completely numb from my dental work. I slept very poorly, getting up four times during the night. The headache continued to worsen, and as the anesthetic wore off, my tooth and jaw started to hurt as well. I assumed that was normal, since I’d just had a filling. I continued to dose myself with ibuprofen (because of the headache), although eventually the headache got so bad that it triggered a true migraine in the middle of the night, and I had to take one of my special prescription migraine pills ($20 apiece).

After that, the headache subsided. But even as that pain went away, the pain in my tooth, jaw, and now cheek grew steadily worse. This morning when I got up for good and looked in the mirror, I saw why. My left cheek is visibly swollen, and a faint blue-gray spot the size of a nickel is emerging.

When my dentist gives the anesthetic injection before drilling a tooth, he always grabs my cheek and tugs, to distract me from the needle. But he’s never left an actual bruise before! He was just really rough about it this time. Maybe he was distracted watching Oprah (see previous post).

And as for the tooth he worked on, it is now very sore and sensitive, and I keep getting little shocky bursts from it. I don’t doubt that he saw a cavity that needed to be filled, but I never felt anything. I had absolutely no toothache or discomfort leading up to this filling. And now the only thing distracting me from the new pain in that tooth is the greater pain in my bruised cheek.

So I’m going to continue to pop ibuprofen through the day in the hopes that I can get the swelling down. Still, I wonder if anyone at work will ask who hit me? And if so, will I try to make up some silly story about an escaped kangaroo rampaging through the grocery store, or will I just say, “My dentist beat me up.”

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