That time my broken tooth disguised itself as TMJ for five years (part four)


Really, I swear, this post should wrap it up.

After the extraction was over, Tim drove me to Chopstix where we picked up approximately two gallons of Miso soup to go, since I shouldn’t chew for at least a day, and Titi’s mom gave me some gelato to help my mouth pain because she is just the sweetest lady ever. Then on Friday, we went to the convention, where I had a good time all weekend although I couldn’t drink through a straw, which meant I was always hitting my face with ice. But at least I could open my mouth and wasn’t knocking food all over the place, and I could chew (although food did have a tendency to go into the cavity left behind by my broken tooth, so I had to rinse out a lot).

The next week I went back to the dentist to get a checkup on how the extraction site was looking, was given a cleaning and a clean bill of health, and made my appointment for the crown. Sigh. I mean, I might as well, right? And I might as well stick with these lovely people who have a therapy dog and are understanding of anxiety? Did I mention the TVs? Each chair has its own TV with headphones, so that if you would rather “check out” a bit, you can turn on the TV and set the volume to as loud as you want because there are headphones. And the large picture windows that look out over a green area, with birdfeeders and all sorts of plants and occasionally a dog wandering through, because a couple women who work there do rescue work and there’s almost always another dog in the office other than Gus, the therapy dog.

So now we’re at about… oh, three weeks past when my dentist at UF said I’d need an extraction. About two weeks past my actual extraction. AND GUESS WHO CALLED ME, Y’ALL? GUESS!!!

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That time my broken tooth disguised itself as TMJ for five years (part three)


Need to catch up? I had a lot of tooth and jaw pain and discovered I needed an extraction of a broken tooth, which my dentist’s office couldn’t do until January.

I KNOW, RIGHT?! My dentist at the Faculty Practice portion of the UF College of Dentistry is a lovely, patient, kind, wonderful, caring person. But she only works one day a week (teaches the other days) and also do to my level of anxiety wanted to recommend me to the oral surgery department, and she flagged my appointment needs as “emergency” and sent me on my way with antibiotics to kill the infection from the broken tooth (the abscess had receded since bursting but was still there… not getting any larger again, but still there. Only antibiotics would get rid of the last of it.).

So on Wednesday morning (after my Monday appointment) I still hadn’t heard back from the oral surgery department so I called them. They didn’t have a record of my appointment needs yet but said that sometimes it can take a week or two to get recommendations sent over from the other building. Not that they had anything open until January, anyway. I have to admit, I did start crying on the phone! Was I supposed to live in this pain until January? Because fuck no! Here I had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to get the tooth pulled before going to a science fiction convention the weekend of October 10/11, I was worried I’d be in pain the whole weekend and not enjoy myself — or equally as bad, that they’d tell me the only thing they had open was Friday the 9th, the day we were leaving for the con. HAHAHAHAH. Nothing to worry about there! As Tim said later, “at least you don’t have to worry about getting it pulled right before con!”. Uhm… thanks?

Anyway, they recommended I call the front desk of the Faculty Practice back. I did, and – this is my favorite part – they recommended a walk-in clinic they also operate, run by students, that takes people on a first-come, first serve basis. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAVE YOU MET ME? I need drugs to go to A CLEANING. Do you think I would mentally survive a walk-in clinic, hours of waiting, to have my tooth pulled BY A STUDENT? ALL THE NOPES. Seriously, insert that one GIF of the badger going “Nope, Nope, NOPE, ALL THE NOPES, FUCK THIS SHIT, I’M OUTTA HERE” and jumping over the cliff.

And I did what every self-respecting, in-pain, afraid-of-dentists person would do, and I mentally shut down for the rest of the day and I forget now but I may have just sat on the couch and watched TV and knit for the rest of the day. Or gone to make ceramics over in the studio or something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t thinking about my tooth drama.

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That time my broken tooth disguised itself as TMJ for five years (part two)


See? I told you I’d finish this!

When last we left our intrepid heroine

So at the advice of my dentist on my awakened/healing nerve, I popped Advil like bonbons all throughout the buying of the property saga, and the initial move. Then when I broke my finger and had both antibiotics and good pain drugs, EVERYTHING stopped hurting. But I noticed about mid-August that everything hurt… worse. I thought it was because of party planning – like, the stress of that was aggravating my TMJ, making everything worse. I called to make an appointment with the dentist to go ahead and get that night guard, but her schedule was pretty full and she couldn’t see me until the end of September.

Middle of September, Rhea and I went to Fiber-In. I had bought some OTC bite guards and was wearing them while I slept, and I was so happy about the sudden lack of pain! It was as if over the course of two or three days, things had changed. I spent the weekend eating nuts, and chewing on the right side of my face, and everything was awesome… until a few days later, when I felt like I had something between my teeth, and flossing didn’t help. I got a hand mirror and opened my mouth, and… I had something IN my tooth. A piece of food that needed to be pulled out, because it was wedged… wedged in a crack, in my tooth. A crack that after I got the food out, wiggled. A lot. That was maybe… the Wednesday after Fiber-In? Thursday I was in pain. Friday I was in a FUCK LOT OF PAIN. I was alternating Advil and Tyelnol and nothing was helping. I was taking an Advil on odd hours and Tylenol on even hours, ALL DAY LONG. The pain wasn’t even being touched. I could start to understand how someone could accidentally kill themselves trying to just shoot the jaw off of their face to get the pain to stop.

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That time my broken tooth disguised itself as TMJ for five years (part one)


About a year after I got a root canal on my back bottom left molar (which was sometime around 2008 or so), I started getting a pain in my right jaw sometimes when I ate. It wasn’t all the time, and it wasn’t always with the same thing being eaten, it wasn’t always at dinner or always at breakfast, and it was more when my teeth were moving away from each other than when coming together. It was really, really hard to explain to my dentist at the time (who was new to owning an office, as he had just bought it from the man who had been my dentist for years).

He listened to me feebly try to explain when it was happening (feeble because I was afraid to talk to him because DENTIST and feeble because it wasn’t conforming to standard easy-to-describe pain rules), and pretty much scoffed when I was having trouble telling him it was “always when” — because it WASN’T “always when.” The consensus, when nothing was found on an x-ray, was that it was all in my head.

Fuck you, newly graduated Dentist Man.

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Oh, technology

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have already seen (or contributed to) the discussion of buffer vs. Hootsuite.

Are you self-employed? If so, keep reading. If not, I’ll post about something else in the next few days, please come back then! Seriously, if this sort of thing doesn’t interest you, you are going to (a) get bored and then (b) offer me the advice that this is all too confusing and I’m doing too much and trust me, I don’t want that advice because that’s not what this post is about.

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Tuesdays unplugged

Back in the stone age, before Facebook, when blogs used to be a thing (remember those days?) I used to read the blog of a woman who started doing something she called “Tuesdays unplugged”. One day a week she would unplug from online life and just… be. While she was at work, she’d be online if it was work-related (funny how co-workers in an office flip out if you just … don’t answer emails one day). But after work? She’d go to concerts, or go camping with friends, or just stay in and watch TV with her significant other. Lately that’s an idea that’s been appealing to me more and more. Well. “Lately”. A couple-three years now. Y’all know how long I have to think about things before I commit. Think? Over think. Whatevs.

Pros to unplugging one day a week
– no pressure to answer email or messages
– no pressure to keep on top of social media
– maybe taking the day to do nothing but work in the studio (or take the day off! Who would know?!)
– not sitting in one place, insert scare article on how SITTING KILLS YOU AHHHHHHH!!!

Cons to unplugging one day a week
– oh, gawd, the pressure, what day do I choose? What day are people less likely to need to contact HaldeCraft?*
– not being able to answer customers immediately, if they’re expecting an immediate response
– wait, no online anything? No Instagram? Not even to upload a photo, even if I don’t comment on anyone else’s?
– is TV considered unplugging? That’s when I get my best (only) knitting done!

For a long time I’ve tried to temper this want of being unplugged thing with the thought of, well, I do spend hours in the studio and tend to ignore most notifications on my phone unless it’s a friend calling for help with a flat tire or something. So I am sort of unplugged a few hours a day. But then, it’s never the SAME few hours. It’s never like… posted anti-hours, where you can’t contact the teacher between 10 AM and 2 PM, or something. So maybe I need to carve out a whole day, and even if I’m not taking that day off from work, I am taking that day off from online life. But it would have to be both sides of my online life, work and personal, because nine times out of ten, if I’m online as myself, there’s at least one person who will ask me a HaldeCraft question, and it’s rude (and somewhat foot-shooty of me) to say “sorry, I’m online as me only, I’ll answer your question about the $200 custom order you want to place tomorrow”. You can argue that someone who really wants to place that special order will understand and wait to contact me via “work hours” but trust me, I’m speaking from experience here, that’s going to lose me the sale.

So then… what do I do…? I’m still not sure. Sometimes I want to be online, but anonymously; seeing what new photos the people I’m following have put on Instagram, or reading email and crafting a response in my head before I actually answer. And with things like Buffer (when I can get it to work, which is a long story in an of itself) I can pre-post days worth of things, so that it LOOKS like I’m online and posting things even when I’m not. It would be easy for me to slip off for a day and maybe nobody would notice. Maybe. Until I get that one email that’s a fire needing to be put out (the joys and perils of working alone/being your own boss).

* This is one thing Sharon and I talked about a LOT before opening the yarn store. What days of the week, and what times of day, would be the most beneficial to be open? We knew we wanted to be open later in the evening, for the after-work crowd, but didn’t necessarily need to be open first thing in the morning, so the hours of 10-7 were decided on pretty easily. We knew we wanted to be open on the weekends (again, to be open for the crowd who couldn’t get there M-F) and that meant Mondays and Fridays as well, to account for any early or late weekenders, and/or holidays. That left being closed Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Thursday seemed like too much of a lead-in for the weekend. That left Tuesday and Wednesday. We wanted to be open six days a week (although in retrospect, after four years of working six nine or ten hour days a week, we both really wished we’d opted for being closed two days a week) and I forget why we went with Tuesday, but we did. And can I just tell you that at least once a week, we got someone put out that we were closed on Tuesday? We got it so often that even now, five years later, “Who’d be closed on a TUESDAY” is still a running joke with us. Once time, a customer even *called Sharon at home* to ask if she could be let into the store to make a purchase. This is probably why I’m so sure that even if I was online as myself, but taking a day off as HaldeCraft, there are people who wouldn’t tell/care about the difference.

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