After all those serious talks and tests and drugs over the years tooth ache stills floors me like nothing else did. This evening I was waiting at a traffic light and cried I was so fucking scared.
The friendly dentist - as gently as he possibly could - had just tried to fix another one of these ongoing gum inflammations with some of his magic, drilled and sanded away a tiny spot of decay. The next couple of days will be a bit rough, he said.
I am 55 years old and have only 24 teeth left in my mouth. Four were sacrificed for beauty when I was a kid (my mother loved orthodontics) and another four got lost in the great dentist disaster of 2007 and today I have been told that maybe, maybe not, another one is at risk. This one could definitely be collateral damage. The drugs keep me alive but I pay for it with my teeth.
(Now, I am a dental hygiene fanatic. Always have been one. If there is anything I am really proud of as a brainwashing mother it's the fact that my child has almost perfect teeth.)
I have been told that my liver could pack up within years, that my kidneys are at risk, that without the drugs my hearing could go in an instant, my eyes, my heart, my lungs, all the parts of my body supplied by small blood vessels - basically everything apart from maybe nails and hair. Serious, but, well, yawn.
But tooth ache makes me weep like a lost child. And so I sit in the car with my tears running down my sore red cheeks when someone knocks on the side window, makes a sad clown face, a funny clown face, blows me a kiss and runs off. And I notice that the radio is on.