December was feeling rather hectic anyway, what with writing up grades and comments for the end of Trimester I, plus a project that got dumped on the department heads' lap with a due date of Dec. 15. But then, just to spice things up, I had to go and develop serious pain in a tooth that's caused me problems for years (including a traumatic experience getting a partial crown several years ago), all of which culminated in my getting the tooth pulled last week.
Well, I say "culminated," but of course there's the recovery process. It was a pretty grim tooth extraction -- an inaccessible area, since it's the last tooth on the upper left side, plus a tooth that was decaying from the inside but had a really strong root, making it incredibly difficult for the dental surgeon to get anything to grasp onto as he struggled heroically to get the damned thing out. So it's only to be expected that the recovery hasn't been a piece of cake. I taught the last three days of the week holding an ice pack against my jaw, but at last it's feeling better. But now I'm having this disturbing experience of occasionally having mucus drip out of the hole in my mouth, which I think means that perhaps the sinus was affected when the tooth was pulled. I'm not supposed to blow my nose for a few weeks, and I took a course of antibiotics, and I have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon in January, so in the meantime I'm trying not to worry about it, even though the hypochondriac part of my brain keeps spinning out terrible fantasies about what might happen.
The sweet part of all of this is that "the tooth fairy" left a dollar under my pillow, although poor D. has since then been made aware (not by me!) that the tooth fairy's rates have increased substantially. But I found it an adorable ending to an otherwise grim day.
The other good news is that, because it's the far back tooth, I'm not going to need to get an implant, which would have cost around $5,000! My dentist told me that I probably wouldn't miss the tooth at all, and I think that's going to be the case.
So it was a decidedly unpleasant week, but I'm glad that it's almost over now. 2013 was not a great year all the way around, and it seems fitting somehow to be ending it with this tooth extraction -- out with the sick and painful!