Will this be forever?

Has stopped being at all funny, or even interesting.  My tongue is covered in one long blister where I can’t keep from chewing on it.  Can’t swallow thanks to throat swollen again; don’t know if it’s lymph nodes fighting infection or something as yet unknown.  Can’t close teeth without shooting pain.  It’s been like this since June.  I can handle my coursework, and I can handle my teaching load, and I can even handle keeping a part time job, but I can’t keep up unless my baseline is healthy.  Baseline has been “omnipresent low-level pain” for months. Tired of painkillers and antibiotics and nothing helping.

Have no idea where to go from here, short of just pulling the tooth.  Don’t even know if that would solve the problem.  Sick of being sick.

Wisdom teeth: the diet plan.

Ugh.  I feel bad even talking about this, given that I have a friend in EDA.  But it’s weighing on my mind (oh gawd accidental pun) and so I wanted to blather some about summer’s weight loss and exercise plan, derailed then salvaged in the worst way possible.  Please be forewarned.

An old improv friend/student of mine just got married.  She studied nutrition in undergrad, and her hubby runs a fitness blog.  Their wedding pictures were stunning–nay, chiseled–and I felt the great and terrible envy of “I want to look like that.”  I’d also signed up for my hometown gym for the summer, and I’d just started getting into a good groove of classes and workouts when the first round of teeth stuff hit (the month of abcess leading up to the root canal).  I gained a bunch of weight on the antibiotics, as I had to take them with food, which meant force-feeding myself an extra meal a day I did not want.  I stopped going to the gym entirely, partly due to the mouth pain, and partly to let my body heal.

Then the wisdom teeth came out, and I was on a liquid diet for two weeks.  Yo-yoed a bit in the third week, but then had a chipmunk relapse.  Woke up with a swollen face and ended up back at the doctor’s office yesterday getting a pus-filled socket popped.  Now I’m back off alcohol, caffeine and solid foods, in the hope of giving my mouth a leg up on healing.

The upshot?  I’m down to 112, from a high of 128.  And I really want to keep that number on the scale, even though I know numbers on the scale don’t matter, even though I lost weight in the least healthy way possible–by enforced starvation. It was a genuinely miserable few weeks.  I don’t LIKE not eating.

The question becomes, how important is this to me, really?  I’m going to start back up at the gym in IL (barring future health issues…if the infected pocket doesn’t heal, I may need another surgery).  I’d like to start eating healthily instead of meagerly.  I’m about to be back in Chi-town with a gorgeous boy eager to go on shishi dates, a gorgeous boy who actually eats and has found my whole prolonged illness gastronomically trying. And he wants to cook for me and with me, so it’s an opportunity to change both our habits for the better.

We’ll see.  I know weight shouldn’t matter, but I do want to be healthy, inasmuch as that’s possible within the constraints of my sedentary desk life.  I keep entertaining veganism and dietary supplements, and I have friends who swear by them (including the aforementioned newlywed), but I also like my parents’ more low-key pescatarianism.  So many paths, and I have no idea where to begin, especially given that I’m a picky eater on a shoestring budget with miserable health patterns.

Moral: Feeding self is hard, I say.  And weight is fraught.

Life is standing right in my !@#$ing way.

So many awesome, ambitious plans for the summer, derailed by my mouth.  I keep trying to write, but the best I’ve been able to manage is reading.  I’m working a billion more hours than I’d hoped to pay for the mouth.  I’m in pretty much constant pain, even after the root canal.  Wisdom tooth extraction scheduled for this week, but I can’t get the crown put on until I go back to Chicago–the wisdom teeth are in the way of the crown, and it takes a month for the crown to be made before they can place it.  So it’s going to be another two months of this, with dental work overlapping the first weeks of school.  I’m so frustrated and angry I keep bursting into tears.  Thousands of dollars and so.  Much.  Time.  My insurance only covers a few doctors in the entire state of AZ (at least I’m sort’ve covered; I shouldn’t complain…I could be uninsured), so best of all, I get to drive an hour and a half each way to my extraction appointment.  And Rhin’s in town, and this was supposed to be our writing vacation for the novel, and now?  Now she’s driving me to the oral surgeon, because that’s what friends do, apparently.  I feel lame, and broke, and pretty well beaten down.  Nevermind that school starts in three weeks, and I somehow need to finish a book (the impossible Giza) and a magazine for my editing job before I leave town.  And revise my syllabus for composition.  And read for the lit class I’m TAing.  And my boyfriend is moving with me, and I was all set up to have money and emotional support saved up so I could be of some help to him, and…yeah.  Life got in the way.

Dental hell, part I’ve lost count.

This summer, I had a tooth filled.  The long story involves my childhood dentist versus my new dentist (the one covered by my insurance), an allergic reaction causing my face to swell up, new dentist threatening to pull my tooth entirely (“a wisdom tooth might grow in; you could get lucky”), and over a month now of serious nerve pain.  I’m having dreams of pulling out all my teeth, then leaping around joyfully as a gummy twenty-something.  My mouth aches so badly.

It also feels like a social class slide, moving from los padres’ decent insurance to my own (worse) AZ insurance, and now on to the (epically bad) limited insurance my current university provides.  I’m grateful to have anything at this point, but I do wish I could afford real health care, something better than the dental equivalent of a dude with a rusty pair of pliers.  It’s looking like, after already spending a small fortune on the original filling, even under insurance, I’m going to need to go back and spend a much larger fortune digging out the filling and replacing it with a root canal so that the exposed nerve ending giving me hell with STFU.  And, insult to injury, I’ll probably end up at the same awful dentist who effed up the tooth in the first place.

Whine, whine, owwwww.