I have been battling an abscess in my tooth for some time now, and it has recently decided to get worse.
My upper jaw started hurting about a month ago, which was referred pain from an abscess in a tooth in my lower jaw. My regular dentist, who is the most awesome dentist in the world if anyone needs a referral, drilled into it to release the pressure and left a hole to allow for draining. I got some antibiotics and thought I was on my way to being pain free.
A few days later, the tooth he drilled had started really aching. It was pretty awful, but mostly just bad because I am allergic to codeine and all codone based drugs (vicodin, percocet, tylox, oxycodone) etc. These are generally prescribed for tooth pains and other minor problems that are too painful for regular tylenol/advil/naproxen. I am a tough cookie, so I just did it with advil. Needless to say I was back at the dentist and getting drilled further. There was a huge release in pressure and we assumed the abscess was on its merry way to drainage.
I had an appointment a few weeks later to get the hole filled in, to finish the root canal off, and to make all things well in my mouth, but like an idiot I missed it (I had been confused about the timing). That was June 23rd. My dentist's receptionist informed me that the next appointment was available for July 14th :( so I said I'd wait since I haven't had any pain.
This past thursday rolls around (that's the 1st of July for those who are curious about timing), and Van and I head off for camping even though my tooth has been aching just a bit. By the time we get to Eric's cabin (4 hours away) it is throbbing, but it's also 1:00 AM and we aren't about to drive back home. At 6:00 AM after 2.5 hours of sleep the pain is unbearable. Van drives me home, only to find that no dentist is open on the friday before July 4th weekend. I am sad, but more so in pain.
It has gotten so bad at this point that I am vomitting from pain so Van takes me to the hospital. They offer me no relief, saying the only medication they can offer is codeine and Ultram (a narcotic that I was heavily addicted to previously, and refused to take again). The second I mentioned a problem with drug habits the doctor stopped offering me pain killers, as if I would come in and say that I was formerly addicted so that I could get more drugs. He gave me a shot of lidocain (which did nothing for the pain) and sent me on my way.
My Mom finds a doctor who will prescribe me hydromorphone (Dilaudin) which is a morphine based narcotic. My jaw has started to swells severly at this point. Finally I get the pain killers and some relief after about an hour on them.
Monday rolls around and I go back to my dentist, he drills more to make sure the abscess is open and sends me down the hall to an oral surgeon. They tell me that my jaw is too swollen to do surgery, but they do cut a hole in my gum and insert a drain to relieve pressure, which was excruciating. The worst part was that the local anesthetic made my tongue unbelievably itchy to a point where it became painful.
Tomorrow morning I go back to get the drain removed, next Tuesday I get my root canal closed, and sometime after that I get the real surgery that will make the abscess go away forever. I have at least a week and a half of pain ahead of me, and I don't know if I can handle much more. :(