The next 12 hours – Tuesday 8 November 8am to Tuesday 8 November 8pm
I got to the dental clinic just after 9:30am.
I asked at reception how soon I could see a dentist, please.
They checked, and said that the earliest they could fit me in was 4pm.
Without hesitation, I said that would be fine, thank you.
I got a neat little printout to confirm my appointment, and left.
4pm, just over six hours away.
I could go home, do some work, maybe even be able to nap and come back into the clinic…
…or I could walk to a busy drop-in centre that my employer had less than 10 minutes away, hope that I could find an empty desk there, and work up until 4pm or so.
I had food at home, and at that moment not even one dollar on me, but at that moment the idea of any meals before 4pm was very unappealing. As well, at the drop-in centre I would still have unlimited access to water…and maybe even some soft drink I’d perhaps left there in one of the fridges from when I’d spent a lot of time there during the first half of the year.
Having access to a bed was also a very good reason to return home – but I’d waste an hour walking home and later having to come back into the CBD; being able to nap seemed like a remote possibility anyway; and worst of all I’d be isolated with my aching and irritated self.
Finally, maybe going to the drop-in centre and having nothing else to work to focus on would be the best way to take my mind off of my aching mouth.
I headed off to the drop-in centre.
There were no work-desks available at the drop-in centre, but previously I’d used a table in one of the kitchen areas that was next to a powerpoint. It was empty, so I set up base there.
As well, I found that in one of the fridges that from a few months ago I still had a full one-litre bottle of chilled water, and about half of a 1.25-litre bottle of Pepsi Max.
The Pepsi Max had gone a little flat, but it would certainly do.
Also, I checked online banking via my iPhone yet again, and although my pay still wasn’t in yet it could still appear at any time within the next hour, or two, or three, I hoped.
I got to work. Fortunately, it was the type of bulk straight-forward formatting that my OCD self finds relaxing and rewarding, and it took my mind off of my pain for the next couple of hours.
Just after noon, I started getting very sleepy.
I kept on working for a few minutes more in the hope that it would wake me up, but my eyes kept on closing while my head kept on nodding up and down.
I stopped working, just sat there and closed my eyes. Some rest was better than none.
Every so often – or so it felt – I’d snap back awake, but I told myself to relax, closed my eyes and rested again.
After several rounds of this, I opened my eyes, felt a little better and wondered how long I’d dozed off for…
The clock on my notebook told me that not even 10 minutes had gone by.
I sighed, silently cursed my pain (especially as two colleagues were having a very involved and important-sounding discussion at a nearby table), and went back to work.
At around 1pm, my pain flared up again and not even my work could distract me from it.
I decided to go for a walk and some window-shopping – and if my pay did come in and I was hungry, I could treat myself to lunch.
I went outside. It was stinking hot but otherwise a good day for walking around some of the CBD…
…except that the pain alternated between a dull ache and feeling like someone had stabbed an ice-pick into my jaw and was giving it a fucking good twist.
For the next hour or so, I walked and window-shopped and tried to ignore my pain as much as I could, which was only about half the time.
I checked online banking two more times. Still no pay – but fortunately, I still wasn’t hungry at all.
Just after 2pm the pain finally went away, so I returned to the drop-in centre, got back to work, and hoped that time would fly past for the next two hours or so.
Fortunately, it did until just after 3:30pm when I packed up and left for the dental centre.
A good thing about getting to the dental centre by 3:45pm was that it gave me enough time to complete some paperwork that a receptionist handed me.
A not-so-good thing, though, was noticing for the first time the sign sitting on the reception counter that said it would be “appreciated” if all visitors could settle their bills at completion of their appointments.
I checked online banking yet again. Still nothing.
A few minutes later, my name was called and I went off to have my problem resolved.
First, my big $1000 filling from late last year was pressing against a nerve-end, and so it was removed and replaced with a much smaller filling that also contained antibiotics.
Second, the nerve-end had died and withered, which meant that I had root-canal to look forward to in the future – but that wouldn’t be until after 22 July 2012, when my health fund would be able to cover it.
Third, I had to come back early next week for another check-up.
Fourth, the dentist who repaired my mouth recommended that from now on I should floss once a day, and advised that if the pain returned I could blunt it with non-prescription extra-strength painkillers available from any chemist.
Finally, she handed me my bill to be settled at reception. Thanks to being in the health fund, it would only cost me about a third of what I’d be paying elsewhere…
…but had my pay arrived yet?
A few minutes later out at reception, with not long to go until 5pm, I handed over my bill and checked online banking.
At long last, my pay had arrived.
As well, reception had EFTPOS.
I settled my bill and left.
The bottom-right part of my face blissfully felt like it wasn’t there.
And it was my weekly movie-night with a friend, whom I was due to meet in an hour for dinner.
Life was good once again.
I went to an ATM and got some cash, which felt like winning a lottery.
Next, I went to a supermarket and got some snack fud and drink for the movie. I didn’t know if I’d even be able to eat and drink it yet, especially as I still hadn’t dinner, but it never hurts to be prepared – and if not tonight, I could eat and drink it some other time.
After that, I went to the cinema and was able to get to get tickets for myself and my friend to the session we wanted for In Time, which looked so-so – but at least my friend and I would be seeing it in a VMAX session with big comfortable seats and not being squeezed in with strangers.
Last but not least, I went to the bar where my friend and I mostly have dinner on movie nights. I got myself a jug of diet cola and a jug of chilled water, settled in at our usual table and relaxed while I waited for my friend to arrive.
A moment later, I realised that in all that post-dental centre excitement of getting back into my regular Tuesday-night routine, I had forgotten to buy some extra-strength painkillers from a chemist.
The bottom-right part of face was still wonderfully numb, however, and the dentist had told me that it would take a few hours to wear off.
I mentally shrugged, hoped that I would be okay and returned to enjoying my diet cola and water.
Life was getting better.
Soon, my friend arrived.
We ordered dinner, and as my dentist had recommended I used the left side of my mouth to eat my steak with mashed potato, steamed vegetables and garlic bread. Apart from a sudden but brief flash of pain when a steamed vegetable brushed the side of my repaired tooth, it was a wonderful and reinvigorating meal indeed.
A couple of relaxing hours passed, and after 8pm we left to go to the cinema.
Life was getting even better.
But my longest day still had another six hours to go…
And until next time, stay well and take care 🙂
Just in from WordPress Stats: