Hold my beer and watch this

002012107-1So I think I found the dumbest possible way to end up in the ER, guys, for serious.

Friday afternoon I found myself craving both corn chips and queso and potato chips and French onion dip at the same time.  I texted my wife and requested that she obtain at least one of those two pairs of things on her way home from work.  My wife, being wonderful, came home with both sets.

“OM NOM NOM,” I replied, and I had me some corn chips and some queso.  And a piece of chip promptly got stuck in one of my wisdom smilebones.  While this was an unwelcome development, it wasn’t the end of the world or anything.  I dislodged it after probably less than a minute, had a few more chips, then decided it was a touch more hurty than such things usually are and discontinued my chip-eating.

The next morning my goddamn jaw still hurt.  Still hurt a lot, actually; quite a bit more than it had the night before, and with a touch of dizziness and lightheadedness (are those the same thing?) to boot.  I went to work anyway, of course, because driving when you’re dizzy is what you do when you’ve already made one stupid mistake in the last couple of days.  I did not last at work, however, as the pain intensified and I decided after about an hour that spending all day 1) on my feet and 2) talking to people was not what I wanted to do.  So I left work early and came home.

I spent the whole day fighting with myself about whether I was going to urgent care or not– it was Saturday, after all, so a regular doctor was out of the question– and finally decided I needed to go around dinnertime.  By that point I was assuming I had some sort of quick-onset jaw infection.  It wasn’t the first time that this had happened to me and the pain felt pretty familiar from the last time .  So, fine: off to urgent care, where they’ll give me a scrip for an antibiotic and probably some sort of painkiller and then I’m home free.

Hah.  First of all, there was only one urgent care center anywhere near me that was still open.  Second, they refused to treat me, since jaw pain is “dental-adjacent” and as the lady behind the desk very apologetically explained, they were administratively banned from dealing with anything “dental-adjacent.”

Here is a list of dental urgent care centers.  They are all closed on weekends.  Which violates my understanding of the meaning of the phrase “urgent care,” but whatfuckinever I don’t have the energy for this fight right now.

I contemplate the idea of being in this much pain until Monday and have to fight off tears in public, because shit’s getting worse.

“Do I have any options here?”

“The ER.”

No.  I’m not going to the goddamn ER for jaw pain that I created by eating corn chips.  The ER is where you go when you get shot, or when you’re so sick that you literally don’t know what else to do.  I need a simple goddamn antibiotic and a pain pill.  There’s seriously nobody who can do that for me?

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I went home.   I told my wife what had happened.  And she pointed out that my options were basically 1) Go to the ER now, or 2) go to the ER at 3:00 in the fucking morning once I entirely lost the ability to handle my shit.

Which is the story of how I spent my Saturday night– part of it, at least– in the emergency room, apologizing to nurses for wasting their (very efficient, it must be said) time.  And I left (quickly!) with an antibiotic and instructions to see a dentist ASAP for a tooth that the doctor thought miiiiight be cracked and a scrip for a much stronger painkiller than I’d expected, and instructions that if at all possible I wasn’t to drive while on it and that it therefore would be best to not go to work the next day either.

Which is why it took until 8:30 tonight for me to write about any of this, because I’ve kinda been in a bit of a haze.

Because of corn chips.

The end.

IDIOTIC POSTSCRIPT:  Despite all this I am literally at this very second considering finishing off the queso.  I might have to use a spoon, though.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

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