The reason for my disappearance earlier in the week was toothache. Have not had it since I was in my twenties and had problems with a wisdom tooth and I had forgotten just how horrid it was. It is not a pain you can isolate or ignore, it is right there in your head with its throbbing and aching. I had discovered a wobbly tooth at the back right hand side. My dentist had told me last year that it should come out as it was no use to anybody but as it was OK at the time I said, if it was all the same to him, I would like to hang onto it as long as I could. Not unreasonable I thought but he wrote a rather snappy note about it on my file apparently which came to light the other day. 'Patient wishes to keep tooth' he had written with a row of exclamation marks. I did not see him this time and the dentist I did see said that he though my wanting to keep my tooth was a pretty understandable thing to want to do. .....
When I booked an appointment the toothache was minimal but after three days when I was due to go it was getting pretty bad and by the time Friday came I was quite looking forward to having it taken out. Got into the car and off I set to Ipswich. I registered with the same dentist I used to take my mother to as it made sense at the time and I have never changed to one in Colchester as it only takes me about 25 mins door to door. Not last Friday though. Stuck in a vast tail back as I approached a big roundabout on the outskirts of the town. Used to be busy but the traffic moved round and all flowed nicely. Then they upgraded it and bunged in three sets of traffic lights. Result - chaos. Inched forward, head pounding, jaw throbbing, in pain, windows open as I sweltered. Made the appointment by the skin of my teeth (an apposite expression in the circs) and ushered into the consulting room. As I had never met this particular dentist before I thought I had better let him know that I loathe the dentist and tend to hyperventilate when in the chair. Our conversation went something like this:
"Just thought I should let you know that I loathe the dentist"
"Now how can you say that when you don't know me?"
"Well I just loathe the dentist"
"No you shouldn't say that, what you should say is 'you loathe coming to the dentist'. You can't possibly loathe me because you don't know me and I am rather a nice person'
"Well I suppose that is what I really mean, yes you are right"
"Good, I am glad you said that" says he wielding what looked like a rather large pair of pliers
"Yes so am I as you seem to be in the seat of power at the moment" says I with visions of Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier running through my mind.
Anyway, he was lovely and the tooth was plucked out in a moment. Worst part was the injection and said that this was going to sting and be painful as he had to inject into the swollen gum. Managed not to ricochet off the ceiling by dint of clinging onto the arms of the chair until my knuckles were white and then it was all done. He then warned me that it would be more painful for about another ten minutes and then the pain would start to recede. I went downstairs and collapsed in a chair in reception while I waited for my nerves to settle, the pain to lessen and my hands to stop shaking. Going to the dentist always leaves me a gibbering wreck.
Drove home and on the advice of friends, ate bowlfuls of ice cream and then went to bed and woke up the next morning feel drained, shaky and awful. It seemed I had a bit of an infection as well so decided I was going to do nothing and as the Test Match was on and I was able to recline on the sofa and watch us stuff the Aussies, and that helped my recovery enormously.
So thus endeth the Tale of the Tooth and glad I am to feel better as tomorrow I am going up to London to the Proms and will be seeing and hearing a concert performance of Die Walkure with Bryn Terfel as Wotan and that is going to be simply wonderful and marvellous.The gaping hole in the back right hand side of my mouth will all be forgotten.
Staying overnight with my family and Wednesday with my divine grandchildren. Back Thursday.