Last week I had one of those classic teeth falling out dreams, which I never have. The weird part was that my molar and bottom left wisdom tooth (the only one I've had extracted) came out attached to a jawbone made of tightly packed potting soil. It seemed so real because I could even smell the fresh dirt.
Though pretty good facsimiles, these are not my real front teeth.
Yesterday, Sunday, they looked like this. Yes, I'm wearing the same sweater again.
Saturday was no better. Probably worse.
Friday night was a horror–only click if enjoy the grotesque.
That's when I managed to fall off a curb and land face first in the street. I didn't think I'd landed that hard and wasn't in serious pain. It wasn't until I felt like I had ice chips in my mouth that knew I was in trouble. Initially, I thought both front teeth were goners. It looks less bad in retrospect.
My nightmare came true: a trip to Woodhull, the hospital I've always wanted to avoid if ever in an accident. This fear developed as soon as I moved to NYC when it seemed like the nearest hospital. It's the nearest hospital again. I did get to ride in an ambulance. I also got time-shamed by the Filipino nurse who told me I was out too late. Sorry, but 1am on a Friday is perfectly within the realm of normal behavior and it wasn't my fault that it took until 3am to be seen. And I all was given was Ibuprofen, probably as punishment. They wanted to xray my knee because it was obviously bloody (think twice about thin tights in icy weather) but it seemed fine and still is. What's killing now but didn't hurt at the time is my lower back. Once I stand up, I stuck that way, and once down I'm in pain and it's an effort to stand.
At least I didn't die while being ignored in the waiting room.
What's bad about Friday night is that dentists aren't open until Monday. I used to always get UTIs on weekends too. Saturday I found an open dentist in Park Slope while racially profiling–I'm sorry, but there was no way I was going back to Bushwick and Woodhull, or to the clinic downtown Brooklyn with all one-star Yelp ratings–and hit the jackpot even though they didn't take my insurance (and the dentists who would, couldn't run my info because they couldn't call the insurance company on Saturdays as if we are still operating in an office hours world bereft of the internet) because it was one of those places with espresso machines and massage chairs. Supposedly, they'll even pump in fresh bread and cookie scents as soothing aromatherapy. I just got a consult and xrays and learned about bonding. Everyone seems to know what that is. I did not. I came home and had a drugstore.com package waiting for me. It contained white strips, which are now a laughable waste of money.
Now I do because that was what was done today. Though my teeth look a zillion times better, I'm fixating on how much I don't like my right tooth. It just seems too long and un-straight. My real front teeth were shorter. I never realized I even cared about my teeth and now I'm tooth dysmorphic.
My face also looks much improved. I'm kind of shocked that my nose was unscathed and that I have so few bruises. The one upside to the initial swell was that the sunken under eye thing I hate was plump again. Blue and yellow, but not sunken. And thankfully, my lip feeling is coming back and the leathery feeling is disapating. They've been puffy and numb (not due to the anesthesia) reminding me of how mouths look on face transplant recipients.
I'm also thankful for friends with extra hydrocodone pills and muscle relaxers. And now I'm falling asleep watching one of the worst shows on TV, The Following, while waiting for The Blacklist because I'm old and watch TV in real time. Two falls in less than two weeks makes me worry for the future. Next time you just know it's going to be my hip.