I spent the last 5.5 days in a Vicodin coma, brought on my tooth pain I ignored until I couldn't stand it anymore. Actually, the first couple of days was in a Tylenol-3 with codeine-coma, but in any event, I was incapacitated.
10 things I learned while in a Vicodin coma:
1. The next time I have a glimmer of tooth pain, I'm heading to Dr. Marshall. I will not stop for red lights or pedestrians. I will park on the street and demand he see me Right Now.
2. As soon as Dr. Marshall thinks the words "root canal" I will drive straight to Dr. John Slavens. I will not stop for red lights or pedestrians. I will park on the street and beg for him to see me Right Now.
3. If a parental figure is curled into a ball fighting not to scream with pain, praying to every God ever mentioned to stop the pain, the offspring of said parent will poke you and ask in a quivering voice, "Mommy, are you dead?"
4. You can read books in the odd 20 minutes or so of clarity that comes between pill feedings, but you won't remember any of them.
5. You can watch TV, but it's best not to lest those infommercials seem like a good deal. Of course by the time you drag yourself out of bed, find your purse, then your wallet, then your credit card, the pain or the coma will be back and you won't place the order anyway. So I guess you can watch TV; just don't have your credit card handy.
6. Your husband can tell you all sorts of lovely secrets or berate you nonstop and you won't care. You won't even see his lips move, let alone know what he's saying.
7. You can try to respond to email but you won't be able to form complete sentences or come close to proper grammar.
8. You can try to talk to your friends, professional peers and colleagues, but you'll just scare them when you sound like Courtney Love or Lindsay Lohan anytime past midnight. Remember the adage about it being better to keep quiet and have folks wonder if you're stupid than to open your mouth and prove it. In this case, you have the coma as a defense, but you're better off just crawling into a ball and shunning everyone.
9. When you do emerge from the house to go for the root canal, don't bother trying to make yourself look human. You're not human. You've been suffering and sweating and cursing for what seems like years. Your only obligation is to be clean. The good doctor is going to stick a rubber dam across your mouth and focus on a tooth. His staff will be nice, but they just need the paperwork filled out and signed with something close to legible. And if you have to go to the pharmacy, please. They've seen worse than you, and you won't be holding a handgun. Well I can't speak for all of you, but you won't likely need the handgun. You can pretty up later. When the pain wrinkles have relaxed and you can talk again.
10. You will lose weight. However, a little-known side effect of Vicodin is constipation. So while you might register a weight loss, you're still packin' (if you know what I mean.) Once you stop taking the little white pills of salvation, you might have an exit wound the size of Alaska, but you won't mind -- and if you're lucky the pain won't be so much to send you back to the Vicodin wagon.
To sum up:
If you have tooth pain, find a dentist in a hurry. You're risking your child's peace of mind and your marriage.
If you need a great dentist and you're anywhere close to Indy, Dr. William K. Marshall is your man. I love him. So does Ali. I don't know that Jeff would feel comfortable professing his love, but he thinks Dr. Marshall is just swell.
(I thought I couldn't love a dentist more than I love Dr. Marshall, but to be fair, Dr. John Slavens is an endodontist. So I don't have to choose. If you ever need a root canal, he's your man. I personally hope to never see him again. In an official capacity, of course. But I don't want to see anyone else for this particular need. I would drive from six states away to see him. Of course I'd kill people along the way because I'd be in another Vicodin coma, but you get my point.
I'd write more but now I have to post great reports on the good doctors on Angie's List...I guess that's No. 11. If you have good dental health care providers, talk 'em up. I have had a few enemies in my time. On none of them (OK, maybe a couple) would I wish this pain.