There’s a joke about this guy with a loose tooth. He goes to the dentist, the dentist wiggles the tooth, and it pops out. Out of surprise, the guy swallows it and the tooth gets stuck in his throat. The dentist says, “I can’t touch that now, you need to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. So he makes an appointment.
The ENT goes in with a laparoscope. “Ah, there it is!” But as he goes to snag the tooth, he dislodges it and slips down the guy’s throat into his stomach. The ENT says, “I can’t touch that now, you need a surgeon.” So the guy makes another appointment.
On the day of the surgery, the surgeon takes an X-ray to establish where, exactly, the tooth is. Afterward, he says to the guy, “I have good news, and I have bad news.”
“What’s the good news?”
“The good news is that the tooth has passed from your stomach and is now lodged in your duodenum.”
“That’s good? What’s the bad news?”
“I can’t touch it now, you need to see a proctologist.” So, he made an appointment.
At the proctologist’s office, bent over the table, pants around his ankles, the guy is surprised by the proctologist’s fingers. “Oh, my god!” says the proctologist.
“There’s a tooth up there!”
“You should see a dentist!”
My last couple of years with a punchline. Only headaches instead of a tooth. It started with back and forth between me and my dentist:
“My jaw hurts like a toothache and I get headaches!”
“I don’t see anything on your X-rays. Maybe your sinuses?”
Then my GP. “My dentist says maybe this jaw pain/headache is caused by my sinuses.” He sticks a lighted doohickey up there. “There’s no sign of infection.” You need to go see an ENT.”
Then the ENT after X-rays and a CAT scan. “There’s nothing there I can see, but your sinuses are weird. Maybe a sinoplasty?”
Sincerely, you have not lived until you’ve had a doctor shove a novocaine needle up your nose into your sinus cavity, then break all the tiny bones therein with a saline-filled balloon catheter. The sound is exquisite.
I felt a great disturbance in the face as if the millions of people all cracked their knuckles at once.
So, my semi-annual sinus infections/headaches stopped, as did the jaw pain for the most part. So, yay. But not the regular, wake up with one pounding in your temples and across the top of my head headaches. So, boo.
Now, as a computer guy, I’m trained to believe that only ONE THING goes wrong at a time. It’s a reasonable expectation with computers. With humans, not so much.
When you experience regular headaches, people stop believing you really have a headache and thing you’re just a whiny bitch who wants to nap all the time, or doesn’t want to go out, or doesn’t want to mow the lawn, or whatever.
The same is true for anyone with a chronic illness that doesn’t, you know, put a huge scarlet A on your chest so you can tell they’re sick. Depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Krohn’s, whatever. Cut us some slack. We can look good, yet feel bad. True story.
Anyway. I accept that I’ve fixed most of the problem and chalk up one in the win column. Until…I break a tooth.
Back to the dentist.
One root canal and crown later, I break another tooth. Hi-ho, hi-ho, back to the dentist I go.
“Huh, that’s weird.” He asks, “Do you grind your teeth at night?”
“I don’t know. I’m usually asleep.” [That is honest and for true what I said. I’m that much of a smartass. 🏆 ]
So, add a mouthguard to the assortment of health-related gear I have to schlep around with me when I travel.
But, hey, wait a minute! Can’t grinding your teeth at night cause almost daily headaches at the temples and across the top of the head? Eureka! If I stop grinding my teeth, maybe I’ll get rid of these stupid headaches, too!
Back to the dentist. “What’s the cure for bruxism?” [Bruxism = the fancy word that makes your insurance pay for another visit to the dentist.]
“There isn’t one.” Everyone’s favorite answer. “Not directly. If you can figure out why you’re grinding your teeth, you can maybe stop it.” So, the main causes of night time gnashing are threefold:
- Anxiety and stress [✔✔✔✔✔]
- Dental Issues [in the clear, here at least]
- Other medical conditions [ two being sleep apnea ✔ or a side-effect from antidepressants ✔]
So, all I have to do is eliminate all my anxiety and stress, so I can stop taking my antidepressants and find a cure for sleep apnea. Whee! I’m on it!
Over the past year and a half, I’ve been meditating in an attempt to moderate my response to stress, but fuck have you looked at the world lately? I’m surprised any one, anywhere has teeth left in their mouth.
Then I stumbled across a weird thing in one of my regular yet random sessions Googling for an easier cure, and I happened across an article in Glamour fucking magazine about a woman who got Botox injections in her masseter muscles to slim her jawline and wound up curing her teeth grinding. After all the verkackte science journals and medical studies I’ve read trying to find an answer, it’s fucking Glamour magazine to the rescue?! Whatever. I’ll take it.
So, I message my doctor. “What are your thoughts on Botox for Bruxism, aside from the fact that it’s a bitching band name?”
“I have no problem with it, but recommend you go through your dentist.”
So, I text my dentist [I paid off his mortgage with three root canals and crowns, I get to text him whenever I want.] “What are your thoughts on Botox for Bruxism, aside from the fact that it’s a bitching band name?”
“I recently had a patient who’s had it done, and I’m a believer now.”
“Can I make an appointment? I know [a local dentist who made the news for visiting Mar a Lago to sell an idea on dentistry for the VA to the president] offers it, but I’d rather not.”
“Oh, we don’t do it. Insurance doesn’t cover it.”
“I’ll send you the contact information for a woman who does the masseter Botox. Tell her you’re a patient of mine.”
What? An actual potential solution to a problem that’s been plaguing my ass for years? No fucking way! Long story short, I have an appointment with an “Aesthetician” who is a nurse who gives the shots so people can reshape their jaw lines so they don’t look like DeNiro playing Robert Mueller on Saturday Night Live.
I think I’ve also, accidentally, unlocked a super-secret power gayness level for having an Aesthetician give me Botox. It might be how we get to control hurricanes and such. I’ll let you know what happens after the shots Tuesday. Alex Jones and the batshit crazy 700 Club preacher dude better batten their hatches if it works. 🌀🌪🌩.
Happy Pride Month, y’all.