Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bad Dates and Toothache

Sounds like a comic novel, or perhaps a cautionary tale told by a dentist, but my day has been all about bad dates and toothache. Last November, my dentist extracted several teeth. One root refused to budge and was left, with the proviso that if it started to 'bother' me, I would have to go to hospital to have it removed. I had some nasty pains for a few months, but slowly, things got better. Until yesterday, when the kraken finally awoke ...

My toothache increased over the course of the morning. We had a session with a consultant for our twin sons, who are being investigated for a whole range of behavioural problems, and emerged with a diagnosis of ADHD for both, and a formal diagnosis of autism for one, whose previous unsatisfactory diagnosis had been of 'autistic tendencies'. It has taken us five long years to get him that full diagnosis, so that was the big plus of the day, and means he will now be entitled to specialist help at school.

They will now be able to start medication for ADHD. However, there's more to come for the other son, whose diagnosis will take more time, and may be more complicated, as he has a range of other symptoms.

So that was my morning. Toothache cranking up gradually. I acquired some ibuprofen and some paracetamol with caffeine, and started alternating them for maximum pain relief.

I got on a train and headed off to London for my poetry gig at the Poetry Cafe.

My first stop was the National Portrait Gallery, as I wanted to see the original Elizabethan portraits I'd only seen in books so far, in connection with the Tudor historical I'm writing.

Next I went to Foyles, flicked through Robin Robertson's new book, The Wrecking Light - and felt a little disappointed, because it read too similarly to his previous book, Swithering (which I very much admired), and if you ain't pushing ahead with every new book, you're just treading water, and we've surely got too many poets doing that at the moment - and then I spent some time over a coffee there, doing some revisions to my current ms.

Naturally, once I've forked out for RR's new book and had a chance to read through it at leisure, I may feel differently. Don't forget the nagging toothache.

After a quick meal in Chinatown, I trolled off to the Poetry Cafe for my gig, and was somewhat taken aback to find a small group of enthusiasts playing what appeared to be Israeli folk music in the basement there. 'No poetry tonight,' said the cheery lady behind the counter. 'You must have got the wrong date.'

My toothache now throbbing like the devil, I sloped back to Euston for the long train journey home, unable to believe how stupid I had been. Bemused and not a little annoyed, I paid up for the WiFi Hotspot internet service so I could check which date I had been given. But no, there in my Inbox was an email from the organiser, sent only this morning, apologising for the lateness of her warning and letting me know that she'd got the date wrong. The correct day is NEXT Wednesday.

I think this must be an abscess that's developed under the root left in by the dentist last November. The pain is now simply excruciating. I can barely think of anything else, it's so bad. I'm maxed-out on painkillers, and am dreaming of large whiskies, and maybe a mallet with which to knock myself out. Under such circumstances, not feeling in a very forgiving mood is perhaps understandable.

9 comments:

Steven Waling said...

I sympathise with the toothache problems - I'm just taking anti-biotics for an abcess myself and will have to have another tooth out soon.

Hope it goes away soon...

P Nolan said...

My sympathies to you. Don't forget the application of clove oil : http://bit.ly/oPJlJ (although I'd imagine you'll need the painkillers too).

BarbaraS said...

Aw no! What a bugger of a day to put in Jane - and yet it reads quite rationally, which is hard to do when you've got that amount of pain - I hope you get it seen to very quick. The root-sherds tend to rise to the surface of the gum and erupt there - I do hope that it's not an abscess

Jane Holland said...

Thanks for the sympathies, folks!

Barbara, pain does seem to make me more lucid than usual. It removes extraneous brain paraphernalia and leaves only The Facts.

The pain is less impossible to handle today. Maybe that's because I'm managing it better, or maybe because it's sunny and the endorphins are kicking in. Or maybe it was a temporary flare-up and will now subside. Seeing the dentist tomorrow.

Ms Baroque said...

Whisky. Swish your mouth out.

Jane Holland said...

I can't stand whisky without dry ginger, that's the problem. And with dry ginger, it kinda defeats the purpose ...

But if I'm desperate enough!

Ms Baroque said...

Hey, and by the way, Jane - let me just say here in public, below all the strings of acronyms and so on, that your kids are GREAT. You have totally class kids. They're fabulous.

Jane Holland said...

Thank you kindly. I think they're great too. Whether or not their teachers would agree is another matter though. I guess that when you have 30 kids to muster, having one seven year old who constantly asks unanswerable questions about quantum physics or the existence of God or, worse still, who refuses to stop talking at all (even under the threat of detention), that must be a severe trial.

I've learnt to block it out - when too busy to answer, or in the bathroom! - or to answer as best I can, or refer the child to his father, or the internet, or a book, but then, when it's your own offspring, you try to make the time. When it's someone else's child, it must be rather hellish to be constantly interrupted by a linear-thinking genius with potential Asperger's, or have to calm an autistic child who's suddenly taken against his socks or his lunch box for no reason, or who has no idea what you just told him to do, even though he appeared to be listening intently.

Great TV programme the other night about autistic kids putting on a show. Some of them were dead ringers for our two. Though the boys found it very uncomfortable to sit through. One got up and stormed upstairs halfway through, and had to be coaxed back down. Important for them to know they're not 'alone' in their problems though. Autistic children often have a very strong and biting sense of isolation, even in a big family like ours, so the programme obviously challenged that view of themselves and made them uncomfortable. Which I think is A Good Thing.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Shit, what a day. Emapathy & sympathy in abundance to you, girl. N x