Sunday, January 31, 2016

Like I Know

My mouth is weird, man. Has been for over a month. (Possibly over a lifetime, if you ask my parents.)

One weekday before the Christmas weekend, I woke up and all of my teeth felt loose. My gums felt like Play-Doh, and my teeth felt as though they were shifting and might fall out. It was not a pleasant feeling.

The next day my teeth felt more secure. My bite was a bit different, and I had some on-and-off nerve pain in a front tooth for about an hour, but that was it.

Then the headaches started.

Let me rewind a bit, though. These past eight months haven't been easy, both emotionally -- although that's getting better -- and physically. To quote Snoop Dogg, if it ain't one thing, it's a motherfucking 'nother. Relationship stress, work stress...that pairing is like bleach and ammonia.

In early October of last year, I broke my rib (at least one). I was drunk, got the spins, and fell into a bus stop bench. The American judge gave me an 8.7. Not my finest hour.

That shit took nine or ten weeks to heal. I never visited a hospital. Want to know if you have a broken rib? No need to see a doctor; the pain will let you know. And by no means is this me endorsing not seeking medical treatment. Quite the opposite. You should seek help if you're injured or sick. I'm a complete dumbass, and I continue to be one. I wish there were a vaccination for idiocy.

Just as my rib was feeling pretty much copacetic, I pulled my lower back while -- ironically, because I had resolved to exercise regularly as soon as I felt physically sound -- trying to pick up a 20 Kg box of dumbbells and hurrying out from my apartment elevator. Always lift with your legs, dummy.

While not as painful as having a broken rib, that shit fucking hurts*. It was another setback in my goal to not be a kvetching invalid.

And then this shit with my mouth. The headaches got more intense, day by day. My teeth seemed to be, ostensibly, shifting in my mouth hour by hour. I had a twenty-four-seven headache that on the pain scale ranged between 2 and ithinkmyentireheadisgoingtoexplode.

Two weeks ago, over dinner with two of my best friends, it was emphasized to me that teeth don't just move around in your mouth, especially hourly. Of course they don't. That's what it felt like, but obviously that wasn't the problem.

This might be the problem.

I reaffirmed two things about my personality during this stretch: 1) I'm a stupid, scared moron who probably won't seek medical attention unless I'm under threat of imminent death, and 2) you could explain to me one hundred times how the U.S. armed forces branches of the Navy and the Marine Corps are different, and still will never get it.

Good news is that I haven't had a headache for two straight days.

Bad news is that I haven't been able to close my mouth in three days. I can make my lips touch so that I don't look like an extra in Deliverance, but my jaw is, to use a British expression, wonky. And the muscle under my tongue cramps up occasionally.

I'll see a doc or a dentist if it gets worse. Or maybe not.

Because part of me -- the part above my shoulders -- enjoys a good mystery.

* My apologies for the colorful language, but if you've ever had a broken rib or a pulled back muscle, you may be able to empathize with my descriptive fucking curse words.

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