The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth (Mostly)

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My long-awaited trip to visit my best friend in Germany is upon me. The light is near, but the end of the tunnel has been filled with potholes. Just when I’m trying to get things done and get ahead a bit so I can fly off on Thursday with nothing hanging over my head, things start to unravel.

It all started last Thursday, when one of my top front teeth started to hurt a bit when I bit down. It was almost as if my teeth had realigned themselves and just weren’t hitting right.

On Friday, my tooth felt better, but the area between my upper lip and my nose was beginning to hurt, as if I was getting a painful pimple: One that doesn’t show, but hurts like the dickens. Or was it the beginning of a cold sore? Nope. Didn’t look like a cold sore. Must be an ingrown pimple.

It sure was cold Friday evening. So cold that I curled up under my down-filled blankie. Still cold, I asked my husband to bring me another down-filled blankie. And tuck the double layer of blankies around my shoulders, please.

Wait a minute. We’re not behind on the utility bills. We have central heat. It shouldn’t have been that cold. Could I…? I popped the thermometer in my mouth. Yep. I was running a fever. It wasn’t cold—I had the chills.

On Saturday, I still had the chills and fever. On top of that, my blood glucose wasn’t going up like it was “supposed” to, it was going down. (Too much “exercise” from all the shaking?) Thank goodness I have a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that lets me know when my glucose is dropping, sounds alarms when I get below a certain number—and even lets me know if I’m about to go low.

On Sunday, my CGM crapped out. Oh, great. Just when I need it, it comes up with an alarm out of the blue and asks “Did you remove sensor?” When you do change sensors, it takes 10 hours before it begins to give you readings. If I had started it back up when it crapped out, I would have had to calibrate it in the middle of the night (no, thanks).

On the plus side, my temperature was down—not back to normal, but down. However, the area between my upper lip and nose appeared to be very tight, swollen, and even more tender, if that was possible. Oddly, however, nothing looked amiss and there were no “hot spots.”

On Monday morning, I took a look at my gums after brushing my teeth—and called my dentist.

“I think I have an abscess,” I said. Sho nuff. Right there where that top front tooth had bothered me. I got a peroxide flush-out, a prescription for antibiotics, orders to get it filled “right now and take your first one immediately,” and an appointment to start a root canal on Wednesday morning. Oh, joy. That would be the day before I fly off to visit with my best friend for the first time in two years.

On top of that, antibiotics frequently lead to a yeast infection, so I now need to ask my doctor for prescriptions for drugs to take care of that in case it crops up while I’m overseas.

Now, at the last minute, I have to plan for extra drugs and figure out what I’m going to take to eat. Will I be able to handle my favorite (brie on a multigrain baguette and an apple), or should I play it safe with a peanut butter sandwich and a banana? (I took my own meals even before airlines stopped serving meals. I know what I’m eating so I can get my insulin dose right and I can eat when I want to.)

To further complicate matters, my husband is taking me to Indianapolis on Wednesday for a birthday dinner out and a night at a hotel, so I would have to make the decision a day early. That would be Wednesday—the day of my root canal.

Can I chance finding something at the airport on Wednesday morning? Will the food places have lunch/dinner items out at 9 AM?

Oh! Did I tell you the Indianapolis airport (the one where my trip originates) is opening its new terminal on Wednesday? The day before I fly out?

I’ll give ’em one day to get all the bugs worked out. In the meantime, I’m thinking about taking something bigger than my backpack on board with me, to include a change of clothes and a nightshirt in case my checked luggage gets rerouted. Again.

At least it will be a low-key vacation. My friend has been in charge of a major fundraiser (Monday was the last day) and is exhausted. She says all she wants is “just a friend to sit with and laugh…and nap.” I think I can handle that.

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