Chapter 2 } A $3000 Hydro Pole and an Abscess

{ Chapter 2 – Excerpt #1}

A $3000 Hydro-Pole and an Abscess

“The tears were running down my face and I could still hardly speak a clear sentence. And then he did the unthinkable. He put his knee up on my shoulder and pulled hard on my tooth with whatever tool he had.”

Alex did end up flipping that tacky Porsche quite quickly. He didn’t however; return the money I loaned him in the same manner. He said he still needed it for the Porsche. The one he had picked me up in. I told him as long as when each month comes he pays me what I need to pay rent, for my groceries and bills. He said, “No Problem.” He stuck around for a week or two. I returned to my classes at Queens. Aside from being on my crutches for my right leg, I thought I was doing pretty ok. It was a nuisance getting around a big campus on which I’m sure anyone who’s had the experience would share. I didn’t have wheels, so I walked everywhere. The old buildings don’t have escalators or elevators so I had to go up flights of stairs. It’s also next to impossible to carry a knapsack full of books when you’re on crutches. This it turns, would  be the least of my concerns.

In the middle of the car accident mess, I had just had braces put on. Yup. 21 in University with braces. Nice. I was not a happy camper. I’m not even sure where the idea came from. My mother insisted I have braces. My teeth weren’t that bad. I was so worried. First official time away from home and boy crazy. “No one’s going to like me. I’m going to look like a kid with braces on in University. Nobody has braces in University!” I love how our teenage minds can be all-inclusive sometimes! Turns out, yes it was a nuisance, but I found out later that the guys actually dug the braces because I looked like a 16 year old. Nice.

Two weeks after the accident I was scheduled to have 4 teeth removed from my mouth. The four teeth just a couple over from my front on both sides. Now I want you to remember what my orthodontist said next. “We’ll remove these and you will still have plenty of room for your wisdom teeth to come in.”
I went to the dental specialist’s office in Kingston. Alex was still with me so he came with me for support and to drive me home after. The dentist froze my mouth. Great, I need to go through this again? At least the needles weren’t going through my face. I asked how long it would take. “Less then ½ hour per tooth. We’ll just do 2 today though and then you can come back for the other two.” he told me.

“And I won’t feel a thing doc?” I asked.

“Nope. Not a thing. I do this everyday. You’ll be fine.”

His words would soon be eaten. The dentist proceeded to try to remove one of my teeth. I could feel my head been yanked on, but it wasn’t really painful. It was ok that it wasn’t too painful, after-all my mouth was frozen. What was uncomfortable was having to provide a counter force to the dentist trying to yank a tooth out of my mouth. It’s not exactly relaxing. One cannot really let go. Kind of like when you get your haircut. You don’t just ‘let’ the hair stylist pull our head along with them pulling the hair up to cut it, you provide a counter force by keeping your head still.  I was getting tired of doing that for the dentist. A ½ hour had come and past. Still no tooth. Of course, I couldn’t really talk because my mouth was frozen. I attempted to, but I just sounded like a dribbling unrecognizable drunk person. Great. I can’t even ask this guy what’s taking so long I was thinking to myself. Tears began to seep gingerly from my eyes. My neck was killing me from pulling back against him. I motioned them to my neck. They put something behind my neck for more support. 45 minutes past. Still no tooth. I was getting frustrated. Why weren’t my teeth coming out? He kept going back and forth to other patient’s in-between this as well. There were maybe five little dental areas separated by a half wall that did not go to the ceiling so you could hear each person the side of you. He seemed to be getting frustrated although I know he was trying to act like everything was ok and it was no big thing. I think the freezing started to ware off because my mouth was getting sore and so was my neck. No doubt. He kept shouting over the various cubicles,

“Diane, Can you get me this other tool?”

They tried a new tool. Nothing. My teeth were not budging.  He yelled again across the cubicles,

“Lets try this tool. It’s got to work. Can you get me this tool please?”

He was getting more and more frustrated. As was I. The tears were running down my face and I could still hardly speak a clear sentence. And then he did the unthinkable. He put his knee up on my shoulder pulled hard on my tooth with whatever tool he had.

I screamed out loud from the back of my throat. He yanked again. I yelled again. I heard a child in the waiting room outside scream in response. Then I heard the per kid say, “Mommy, I’m scared. I don’t want to go in there!” Then he started to ball. The dental hygienists looked at one another wide-eyed. I would find out later from Alex who was waiting for me in the waiting room that the whole waiting room had jumped up when I screamed and all looked at each other no doubt wondering what was going on.

“More freezing.” The dentist told his dental assistant.

They gave me more freezing. Holy shit already can my mouth having any more freezing already?

“I’m sorry Katherine. I am not sure why this is taking so long. You’ve got stubborn teeth.”

The dentist finally got one tooth out. He then proceeded to take the next. He then told me that because it was taking so long he did not want to put me through this again so he was going to go ahead and take the other remaining two teeth totaling four. Gee Thanks. What do you want me to say here in the chair when I can’t speak because my mouth is so frozen? They never gave me laughing gas. I found out about that later. They could have given me that to help you know? I sat in the chair until it was all over. My neck had pulled against the force of his hands and his shoulders and I swear he had is boot on my shoulder at one point for a total of 4 hours. When it was all over he disappeared and came back with x-rays and a satisfied looking grin on his face.

“I know why it took so long Katherine. I hadn’t looked at these since you were booked. The x-rays your Orthodontist had sent over from Ottawa. Your teeth. Katherine, in my eleven years of dentistry I have never in all my life, seen someone with roots as big as yours. He took at a rule measure and measured them in from of me. See? Why they are almost 5 cm in length!” At this point I didn’t give a rats ass. Seriously. I was exhausted. I just wanted to get out of there and into my bed. I didn’t want to set foot inside another dentist office again. I walked out to a waiting room of curious and scared looking patients. Alex took me home and I went to bed.

I had a routine to follow when I returned home. I had to clean out my mouth and the holes where the tooth was every day to make sure they remained sterile. Hard to do balanced on one leg, but I did. Two weeks later I had the worst pain in my lower right side. God-awful pain. God bloody awful I tell you. I couldn’t fathom what was going on. It became unbearable and I wasn’t sleeping and eating. I was on the prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory to reduce the pain and ward of infection so what was happening? I called the dentist and they told me that was abnormal and to come in right away.

“You have an abscess Katherine.”

“An ab what? What is an abscess and how did I get it? I don’t understand.”

“I gather it’s because your roots were so big. One of the areas in your gum where we removed your tooth has become infected. I can tell you’ve done a good job of cleaning, it’s pretty far down there and food can get stuck.” He gave me a different antibiotic and removed the debris and sent me home. Great. I’m having such a good time. Anything else you want to throw my way Universe?

{ to be continued… }

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By Kate Flood
• 1:52pm • First “Write-In” at “Cafe Oh So Good”, Ottawa, ON
State of Being: Pretty flipp’n angry at a current life situation. Listening to “Dead Can Dance” which is excellent for flow writing I might add.


3 thoughts on “Chapter 2 } A $3000 Hydro Pole and an Abscess

    • Kate Flood says:

      Hey Amanda!

      Yes, I could have I suppose, but was already in and trying to do what I felt was right.

      Thank you for sending the word out ~ I so appreciate it and didn’t realize you had done that.


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