Prepare yourself, guys, this is gonna be somewhat of a long story.
Okay, let's start from the beginning. In December last year, before Christmas, I remember going to Subway with my mum and for some strange reason my tooth started to play up. It began to ache and the twangs lasted for a few days at the most. I told my parents this and they said it will go away and probably the reason why I had the pain was because I might have brushed my teeth too hard and/or I must have caught the gum. And ever since this year began I've had on and off problems - trust me, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Everything seemed fine until April or May as that's when for around a week or a bit longer I suffered badly. I had really agonising toothache (which was the same tooth that gave me trouble before Christmas) and not only that, but my gums ached and also the right underside of my jaw ached like hell. It was so painful and uncomfortable. There were many nights in which I couldn't get to sleep, and no matter how hard I tried to distract myself from the pain by watching a DVD or trying to rest, the pain proved too much for me to bear. It was that bad that I felt like crying from how much my jaw/tooth hurt - in fact I actually whimpered. Normally the pain came on strong during the night time and it gave me headaches. I tossed and turned in bed pretty much all the time and I was careful not to sleep on my right hand side, which was sometimes difficult for me as normally I sleep on my right side.
I had to take Panadol tablets that dissolve in the water to relieve the ache and I had to gurgle a glass of warm salt water for four to five times every day. I admit there were times in which when I had to gurgle and rinse my mouth with salt water my lower gum (on the right) stung a bit. But eventually it got better and it was no longer stinging so much. My mum recommended the warm salt water method to me - at first when I first heard about it I was a little cautious but when mum shown me what to do it was pretty much simple. So yeah, my family told me that my wisdom teeth could be growing.
I have heard of wisdom teeth before, but I didn't know exactly what they were until I done a bit of research online. It turns out that they are the teeth that start to emerge when we reach adulthood - the average age range is 18 to early twenties. We have two sets of wisdom teeth (the third molar) and they are normally found on the bottom and top, therefore we have four wisdom teeth in total. I heard that when a wisdom tooth is growing it can cause agonising pain and discomfort in the jaw due to the fact that the tooth is piercing through the gums and it can cause havoc with the nerves. There's a reason why most people have their wisdom teeth taken out due to the pain factor.
Just out of interest I was exploring my mouth with my fingers to check out my teeth and to my surprise I had two teeth (on each side - the right and the left) breaking through the gums in the upper corners of my mouth. Turns out they were my wisdom teeth like my parents told me. I was kinda happy/relieved to find out what was going on, however what I couldn't understand is if both teeth were growing on both sides of my upper jaw, then why on earth was a different tooth along with the right hand side of my lower jaw was aching like hell? That didn't make sense to me because surely I would have pain and discomfort in both sides of my upper jaw. I knew something wasn't right.
My mum told me that when I was teething as a toddler around two or three teeth was growing at the same time. I guess I haven't changed much then. The thing is I think on my lower left hand side I have what I assume to be is a wisdom tooth. It's strange because I don't remember having pain when it was growing through, nor do I remember how old I must have got it. So, with the two new upper teeth at the back that means I have a total of three wisdom teeth. When it comes to the lower right hand side there's still a gap and I can feel no bumps there when I place my finger on that area. I'm an odd person, that's all I can say because I have three instead of four.
Back to the lower jaw/tooth ache part my mum reckoned the tooth was sensitive. I remember one day I was eating pizza and because of how hot the food was, that part of my jaw started to ache despite the fact I was careful not to chew using the right hand side of my mouth. Mind you, throughout this year I haven't really been chewing/eating anything on the right hand side due to how on and off the pain is. You can say that I'm being overly careful- I rather be safe than sorry.
Because I haven't been to the dentist in bloody ages - the last time I went to one I must have been a teenager, which is something I'm a bit embarrassed about - I decided to take even more care with my teeth. Ever since my wisdom teeth/jaw pain fiasco I've been brushing my teeth twice (once during the morning and the other before I go to bed) and not only that, but I've changed my toothpaste (the one I'm using is for sensitive teeth) and I've been buying mouthwash that protects my gums. The mouthwash is something like £5.70 in leading supermarkets, but it does the trick and it lasts for two weeks with me when I use it twice a day. You see, the toothpaste mum and dad uses isn't that good for me; it's just a normal toothpaste and I don't care for it really.
I thought the worse was over - nope, it wasn't. I went to a local music festival with my mum in early June (this was when I first started my work experience in Learn Direct) and I had candy floss there. Later on that night my tooth was kinda playing up. Mum told me if it kept on playing up then I would have to arrange to see a dentist, which is something I agreed with. The pain went away and it didn't return until two weeks ago. On Monday 29th July, the same day when I started that Employability course, by the afternoon I was feeling really tired. Not only that, but you know when you have the start of a cold and your system is down and you know something is up? That's exactly how I felt. I wanted nothing than to sleep and I kept on saying to mum I think I must be coming down with something. Anyway I went to bed at a reasonable time that night.
A few hours later (this was early morning) I awoke to a dull throbbing ache in my lower gum/tooth. I couldn't get back to sleep and I felt hot and then cold (and vice versa). On Tuesday (the next day) I went into work and I told Toby, Emma and Diane about the pain I was in. Luckily they were understanding about my situation and they insisted that if I wasn't feeling well then I should go home. I told them I see how I'll go and if it gets any worse, I'll go home. In the end things didn't get better and then I finished work a few hours early. Because my dad gave me the money the night before so I could get Mortal Kombat X, as soon as I got home my mum and I went over to Asdas in which I got the game. To be honest while we were in the supermarket I felt like shit. I felt weak, I wasn't feeling too well and to top it off I had a bad headache. I got home and I took a Panadol for my headache/toothache and then I spent a few hours upstairs on my room just relaxing by either playing the new game I bought and watching stuff on youtube. Also, I had a good few hours sleep too.
A few hours before I went to bed I took another Panadol, and I was feeling fine. However when it was time for bed, it was then things turned for the worse. For some reason my headache returned and I felt there was something heavy pressing onto my chest. I felt really sick, so you can imagine that I wanted to physically be sick. And the worse thing is I couldn't get to sleep at all - it was like my body was refusing to cooperate and even though it begged for rest/sleep I was extremely restless and exhausted at the same time. I was having one of my panic attacks sadly enough.
I think what kinda triggers these attacks is if I'm physically/mentally exhausted - that's when I feel really stressed out and the rational part of my mind goes out of the window. When I'm in that state I panic really easy and it takes a long time and a lot for me to calm myself down. And you know what shit me up the most? I found a small lump on the lower right hand side of my jaw - it just suddenly appeared there and a haunting sense of dread filled me as I read online that a lump could be a sign of mouth cancer or throat cancer. Generally I thought the worse, and that didn't help matters for me. Five or six times I woke my parents up because I was panicking and obviously I couldn't sleep. I watched my Red vs Blue DVD to distract myself, but I was only paying half attention to it. To be honest I was annoying and because of that, my parents' patience was tested that night. By 5am mum eventually came out of her room, had a talk with me to calm me down because by this time I was literally crying/hysterical, and my head was really killing me. Luckily I managed to fall asleep - I only slept for an hour until Tigger woke me up by meowing and climbing onto/hanging from my closed door on the outside of my room.
As a peace offering for the amount of trouble I caused my parents I fed the cats and also I made them breakfast. My antics kinda made dad be sick and he wasn't feeling well either. I felt okay but overall I still felt tired. I phoned up work and I explained to Toby I wouldn't be in due to how much of a rough night I had. Mum phoned up 111 (National Health Service non-emergency number) and described the symptoms I had (including the toothache) to the woman. I had the chance to talk to her and I told her I hadn't been to the dentist for a long time so she gave me two numbers to two local dentists that won't have me on the waiting list for a few weeks to be seen.
I phoned the first dentist and they said they couldn't see me that day (Wednesday) and they can only fit me in two days time. So I tried the second one, and it turns out I had to fill in a form online and they won't be taking any new patients until next month - that wasn't good for me as I wanted some relief as I didn't want to spend another few weeks of me suffering from toothache and my being ill. Anyway I phoned up the first dentist again and I arranged an appointment with them for Friday (the end of the week) as that was the best solution for me. Because I had the day off work that day I still had to go to the Job Centre to see my adviser, Assumpta.
My family took me there and while dad waited in the car my mum came in the Job Centre with me, all because she wanted to thank Assumpta for everything she has done in finding me work experience with Learn Direct. My mum doesn't normally sing their praises there because most of the people who work at the Job Centre are useless wankers who looks down their nose at you for not having a damned job. Believe me, I've met a few advisers who done that to me. Because of the lack of sleep I had I listened to Assumpta talk on and on about stuff (although I did smile and laugh a few times where she complimented me on my excellent work at Learn Direct) and to be honest I was like a zombie in which I was half asleep/half awake and my headache developed into a tension headache - the throbbing was at the back of my head, and I've had these headaches before a long time ago.
After my appointment, my dad said that in order to cheer me up he would take us to the Eva Heart pub in Chadwell Heath so he can treat us all to a delicious fry up breakfast. At first I was fine with it, but as we made a pit stop at home in order for me to take some Panadol it was then I felt really worse and I felt as if I wanted to throw up. Let's just cut a long story short and say that I had a panic attack in public as I felt something was seriously wrong with me as my headache wouldn't go away. I ended up wasting dad's money as well as the breakfast he paid for, which kinda pissed off mum and dad, and I had also shown them up in their words. The thing is I had cereal and tea that morning and I was perfectly fine, but I couldn't eat a fry up a few hours later. You have no idea how guilty and bad I felt - all because I felt there was something seriously wrong with me. My parents told me there was nothing wrong with me, and they would be the first to take me to a hospital without a shadow of a doubt if they suspected I was seriously ill.
We went home and what helped me calm down was feeling the cold air on my skin (mum had the top windows wide open) and I was taking deep breathes into a small paper bag. After a while I managed to relax and I actually laid down on the couch and fell into a blissful sleep that lasted four or five hours at the most. By the time I woke up my headache was gone and I felt refreshed/better. Not only that, but I fancied something to eat so I went out and bought myself a portion of chips with Pepsi. Originally I was going to buy myself a chicken burger and chips but I felt that wouldn't be wise - I wanted something plain and simple now that I had my appetite back. On Wednesday night I had no pains at all and I managed to sleep well before going into work the following day.
When Friday came around, I had a half day at work as my dentist appointment was at 1pm. Luckily the dentist wasn't that far away (about a 10-15 minute walk from my house) and my mum came along with me. Let me just say that it wasn't what I expected it to be. It didn't look like a proper dentist surgery at all. When you come through the entrance of this house you're automatically in the hall passage - to the left (and it's literally on top of the front door) the receptionist is sitting behind a small desk. There's no computer, she only uses an appointment book and a pencil. She doesn't look professional from the clothes she's wearing as she's wearing jeans, a pair of trainers and a top which has the dentist logo on it. Oh, and to the left is the dentist surgery room, and up ahead in a small section to the right there's a tiny waiting area for the patients.
Anyway I gave the receptionist my name along with the appointment time. What kinda made me alert was the fact she said my name wasn't on the list for that day. It turns out that my appointment wasn't at 1pm it was for 4pm - funnily enough she said it was 2pm when I originally spoke to her on the phone on Wednesday morning. It turns out they have weird opening times as they open at something like half 2 in the afternoon or something like that. She told me to come back there a few hours later and in the meantime she gave me a form so I could fill in and bring it back with me that day. Let me just tell you that my mum wasn't impressed with the receptionist when that happened and she didn't like the layout of the "surgery" as well. I decided to brush that off as I wanted to find out what was happening with my tooth/teeth.
I seen a female dentist by the name of Doctor Chowdury (she's of Asian heritage) and from the moment I met her it was like she was cold and unfeeling in her attitude. There was a stern aura around her and I seriously didn't feel welcome in her presence. She wouldn't even smile at me or try and break the ice with me - when I'm in the company of people like that, that's when I become nervous and I feel like I have to tread on eggshells around them so I won't be a burden to them. I don't know how to cope with cold and "unfriendly" people - it makes me feel anxious socially.
She asked me the typical questions and I answered them as much as I could. Weird thing is when I shown her the toothpaste and mouthwash I'm currently using, she seemed dismissive and claimed they were fine. Hell, she wasn't interested in my wisdom teeth when I told her how much pain I was in while they were growing through a few months ago. She did inspect the tooth that was giving me hell and it turns out that I have a hole in my tooth and she prescribed me antibiotics (in a syrup form as I can't take tablets) that I should take three times a day for a whole week.
She assured me that within a couple of days the pain will disappear completely (and thankfully, it did and also it made the swelling in my jaw to go as well). Also I had to take an x-ray of the tooth to see the depth of the hole, so there was I holding a big circular pad in place with my index finger while trying my best to not gag on it and resisting the urge to swallow the spit that was building up in my mouth. And I was made an appointment to come back in a weeks time to see the results of my x-ray.
So earlier on today I went back. All this week I convinced myself that it was nothing more than a cavity and all I had to get was a filling. Boy, was I wrong! It turns out that the hole in my tooth is really deep - in fact it's touching the nerve. So overall it turns out I have two options - I have to be referred to Whitechapel Hospital so I could have root canal treatment (since she can't do it herself) or I have my tooth taken out for good (bearing in mind this is one of my molar teeth.)
Chowdury explained to me how the root canal treatment can be so delicate and that not most of the time the procedure will work so I might have pain for the rest of my life. What really got me worrying is when she said that along with the fact she explained to me if I opted to have that treatment that my Job Seeker's Allowance won't cover it and that I have to pay for it. She said that the hospital specialist will charge me a £60 consultation fee to have a look at my tooth and the cost of the treatment will vary, costing a few hundred pounds at the most. I am not made out of money due to the fact my only income support is receiving money for every two weeks when I sign on at the Job Centre. And you want to know the funny part? They know that I'm unemployed and I'm claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, so yeah I was really concerned about the expenses of the treatment and if I was to go through with it, how the hell would I get that kind of money from.
Overall, I wasn't happy with the experience. Not only did I have my gums and teeth sucked and prodded with various instruments and having my mouth cleaned out with that vacuum and water spray thing (which was a bit uncomfortable) I had to have another x-ray, only this time it was far different from the first one I had around a week ago. It's a small circular thing but it has a dam that was placed in between the side of my tongue and my bottom tooth, and I had to bite down on it.
Honest to God, the amount of trouble I had trying to do it right and bite down on the damn thing. It's not easy for me personally because I have a small mouth/throat and when she shoved it into my mouth and position it correctly on my tooth/teeth when I attempted to bite down on the dam/barrier thing my tongue somehow managed to push it out of place every single fucking time
And when that happened all the time, the bitch didn't show any understanding or sympathy for me when I was struggling. In fact she spoke to me as if I was a child, telling me sternly "Bite down please and don't push it with your tongue!"
Believe me, the more she was giving me a lecture about it the more stressed out/upset I became. She was putting pressure on me and because I couldn't do it properly I felt like I was doing something wrong. And the hard-nosed cow didn't offer me any reassuring words whatsoever or make light of the situation and telling me advice in order to relax. At one point I feebly said to her, "I'm trying my best here." to which she seemed to have ignored what I said. After a few attempts I managed to do it. I thought it was done, but the left hand side of my jaw had to be done and I couldn't do it again. She sighed deeply, and said out loud to me, "I can't do this!" and she gave up afterwards, making me feel so insignificantly small.
It's certainly not my fault that my mouth/throat/whatever is not big enough. I can't help it as that's the way I am. However she doesn't seem to comprehend that and she made me feel like shit in the process
She booked an appointment for me to come in next week on Friday as I have to think about the root canal option or the tooth extraction option. When I came out of the dentist I honestly felt worried, upset and angry.
I do not want to go back and visit Chowdury again. I refuse to simply because I find her cold/stern attitude a right turn-off and I don't think their so-called surgery is professional. In fact she can shove her stern matron act up her arse and continue on acting like she wears frosty knickers. I'm sorry, but I'm not putting up with her lecturing me like a fucking child all because I can't correctly perform the task she wanted me to do. I can't stand people like that - they're not human, they're unfeeling monsters/robots.
Oh, and Ms Frosty Knickers doesn't know what the hell she was talking about. I found out from a friend on Facebook that root canal is seen as a necessary treatment and that it should be exempted for those on Job Seekers Allowance. It turns out the treatment is £51.30 and I can get a refund by filling in a HC2 form. Natalya (that's the name of my friend) gave me a link to explain the cost and whatnot, which is www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1786.aspx…
The good news is that during me and my mum's trip to Chadwell Heath we have found a really professional dentist where the staff are proper there. They gave me a form to fill in and as soon as I bring in the form with me next week they can register me asap and I can get an appointment. One of the treatments they do is root canal, so maybe they will offer me some helpful advice instead of the bullshit Chowdury told me.
In a way I'm pleased to have got myself sorted out by going to a dentist (albeit not a very good one in my opinion) as it explains the recent troubles I've had along with the on and off problems I've faced so far this year. It's a shame that the dentist I visited as a child doesn't have my records on file as I would have went back to them. The whole lesson is I should take better care of myself and go see a dentist on a regular basis.
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