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Going to War--a Tooth Story

I've been in a war for the last ten days--a war with a tooth.

Image: StockSnap from Pixabay

The war started when I bit down on a crunchy almond. Instant pain shot up from my upper left back molar. Ugh! Without warning, my helpful, friendly tooth had now become my relentless enemy.

Two days later I went to the dentist for a filling, but not for that tooth. When I told my dentist what had happened, she focused on my enemy. One x-ray and a number of poking and prodding minutes later (including the painful "cold" or odontotest), she told me the prognosis: a cracked tooth. Solution: extraction.

The problem was, she couldn't extract the tooth for another eight days. Double ugh!

So, for eight days, my tooth taunted me, my mouth, jaw, and head the battleground. Eight days of belligerent, angry shouts and screams to cold air, cold water, morsels of food. A Goliath in my mouth (though I was thankful this was for only 10 days and nights and not 40).

After ten days, my David (my dentist is a petite, compassionate yet determined, young woman) went to war. I numbly "stood" by, complied with her requests, and listened, for that was all I could do.

My enemy was NOT to go quietly. Oh no! It had dug down deep, the roots curled in claws on the killing field of my jawbone. The simple capture became a test of my general's tenacity. And tenacious she was.

Twisting. Pushing. Pulling. Crunching. Breaking. More twisting, pushing, pulling, crunching.

"Your tooth is out," the general's assistant said, one hour and three broken pieces later.

"Do you want to see it?" the general asked.

"Yes." (I'm just curious that way.)

"Here it is." She opened her gloved hand. There it lay, dead in her palm. Three nasty pieces. The metal helmet still attached, the body blood-stained, the limbs clawed and grotesque. My fight with this enemy was over.

After last-minute instructions on how to care for the bloody, pain-lingering battleground of my mouth, I returned home. After war, home is the best place to be.

Perhaps you've been in this war too, though I hope for your sake, you haven't. It's not a war I wish on anyone.

I've read this book to my grandchildren many times.

And yet, I am thankful. I am thankful for a caring dentist whose office is only seven minutes from our house; I'm thankful for pain meds that do offer comfort; I'm thankful for a country that has good dentists and efficient pharmacies that carry pain meds; I'm thankful for a sterile dentists' office that has all the necessary amenities to do their job well; I'm thankful for an understanding husband who is helpful and happy to eat leftovers; I'm thankful for only ten days of pain; I'm thankful for a place to return to called home.

I was in a war for the last ten days--a war with a tooth.


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