What can postpone an excited boy from picking up his psychiatric service dog that he has been ever so patiently waiting for almost one year? A tortilla chip. I was sitting on my couch enjoying a fine Mexican dish, as I often do…just minding my business. This may seem like a harmless and enjoyable act, and for me it has produced fullness and enjoyment 100s of times. Actually, more close to 1000s of times, lets just be honest here… I fucking love Mexican food. This time however, everything changed (cue the suspense). As I was downing some chips and salsa I felt instant pain. One of these mother-fuckers just stabbed me in the gum! I paused briefly and moved my tongue over the area to clear any remnants of the murdered chip and thought everything was in the clear. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I ate said chip on Thursday. By Friday I had massive gum swelling/redness, chills, and discomfort. Friday night I noticed two little pimple resembling areas on my upper gumline.Hard to see here from the swelling.
I feel like I know all of you now that I’m letting you inside of my mouth. So intimate. Anyway, these pimple looking things can’t be good I thought so I began hot salt water oral rinses with a vengeance. I swished so damn hard that sometimes the water spewed out of my mouth all over my mirror and almost my nose. By Saturday morning the situation was only becoming worse. I now could not touch the outside of my jaw without producing quite a bit of discomfort inside my mouth. So I did what most people do…I consulted a professional. Google.
Well according to Google I quite possibly could’ve had a gingival (the spell check for this word is suggesting the change from gingival to vaginal, just for laughs I shared this fact) abscess. The images and symptoms were quite convincing. I immediately assumed this was my ailment. Saturday night my jaw was swollen as were lymph nodes under my jaw and neck on the right side (same side as the injury). I started taking antibiotics that night and consulted with one of my Doc friends. She told me that the lymph node involvement means that I did have an infection and it could possibly be spreading. Did you know that you can die from a dental abscess or can end up with gnarly drains coming out of your neck? Now I know that to be the worst case scenario and happens to people who wait to seek treatment. That is usually me, but not when it comes to my oral health. I take great pride in my teefers and always get a good report from the dentist. FF about me, my dental sealant that was put on when I was a little dude is still on so I’ve not had a cavity as of yet. Sealant normally lasts only a few years. My dentist did me a solid. Sunday night I started feeling pretty damn awful to be frank and when I turned my head I could feel discomfort in my neck lymph nodes. My trip to Tennessee to pick up Ace was to have begun on that Sunday morning and I was to stay there through Wednesday for some more training. The next time I was to come home, Ace would be with me. But it didn’t go as planned. I decided to wait until today so that I wouldn’t be stranded somewhere without the ability to see a dentist. Further increasing my chances of needing a root canal or tooth extraction if I indeed did have an abscess. I’ve never had a root canal. I hear they’re not pleasant so I would like to keep it that way. I woke up this AM and made an emergency appointment with my dentist (why do ER dentists not exist…or do they?) and I just got back. The diagnosis? I do not have a dental abscess but instead I have two oral wounds from the battle with the tortilla chip. I did find out I have an oral condition/disease called maxillary (top gumline) torus. When he first told me this the dental instruments were in my mouth, the ones he used to stick the sharp edge into the two wounds…he’s as evil as the tortilla, and I heard something completely different:
Me:“Tortuga like in Pirates of the Caribbean?”
Doc: “No Christopher, Tori”
Me: “I have maximum Tori…who is Tori?”
Doc: “Again no (removes said instruments from mouth), well in your case it’s beginning to be multiple so it’s Torus”
Me: “Ohhhhh Torus (as though I knew what he was talking about – I didn’t)”
Why do dentist love to talk to you while instruments are in your mouth? Never could understand the logic here. Also, I don’t understand why the instruments being in my mouth affected my hearing.
So now you’re wondering what maxillary torus is aren’t you? It means my bone is starting to protrude little hills at the top of my gumline that will make me more prone to said injuries from tortilla chips in the future. Apparently it’s a rare condition but my dentist also happens to have the same and he showed me what my torus will look like when I am in my late 50’s (his age). Treatment for my tortilla wound? Continue the antibiotic and oral rinses since I do have an infection which is related to my weakened immune system from the cancer. Advice? “You need to give yourself a break, you have cancer and things are going to happen. You’re not going to die anytime soon.” Insert Eeyore stance/gait. My anxiety can really make my mind run wild and this unnecessary appointment made me extremely apologetic to the staff for getting me in for an “emergency” that turned out to be nothing. Speaking of anxiety, it has been really running wild lately. My moods have been middle of the spectrum but the anxiety is at the deep end most days lately. My psychologist told me my GAF score last week and I wished I hadn’t asked because it has really affected me. Previously I had been high 80s and this time she scored me much lower than that (not good). Oh whale, I keep expecting myself to magically be “okay” but I do need to give myself a break like the dentist suggested. Ha, how ironic that a dentist gave me that advice.
You know what I did after I left the office? I went and got myself Mexican take out that included these bad boys.
Obviously I’m not letting that one evil tortilla chip stop me from living life. That’s what my mental illness is for and without a doubt leaves no room for aversion to living life for a tortilla chip.
Have you ever been injured by a tortilla chip? Did you conquer and go back to devouring said chips? Completely unrelated, have you ever lost a whole t-shirt? I know how many t-shirts I have of each color and I did laundry last week and lost a whole plain white shirt. Who loses a shirt? I lost a whole shirt, my GAF sucked, a tortilla stabbed me, missed picking up my dog, and my brain was bad. Rough week but here’s to Monday and right now I have one thing going for me, a belly full of food. So full in fact, that I am just not going to stress over the fact that my group members in my most tedious course have not interacted with me since 12/28/16 re: key tasks oh and apparently I cannot spell possesses …ever. I always have to spell check said word.