Monday, November 22, 2010

Pain... Embrace It...

This entry is going to be Toronto, days three through 3 through 5.

Why, you ask?

Well, because I don't remember enough of days 3 and 4 to make decent blog entries, that's why. Day three was spent in bed, and day four should've been spent in bed.

In my last entry, I'd mentioned getting some aspirin from my pal Ryan. I had a toothache, and figured that some aspirin would do the trick. I got back to my hotel that day, got some dinner, and went to bed.

On Friday, I woke up and felt miserable. I had planned a day of visiting clients, but was lucky enough to leave the room long enough to get some aspirin and some Anbesol. I came back to the hotel and went to bed about two o'clock in the afternoon. I felt pretty bad.

On Saturday (day 4), my friend Andy Lund and I were doing a big event at a guitar store just west of Toronto. I woke up, and my tooth still hurt quite a bit. I walked into the bathroom, and looked into the mirror. I noticed that the right side of my face was slightly swollen. I figured I had a small infection, and was mildly concerned.

This isn't normal

 My buddy Brent has kids, and kids are always getting sick; ear aches, strep throat; stuff like that. "Surely", I figured, "he's got some lerftover antibiotics kickin' around the medicine chest".

I gave him a call and, unfortunately, he didn't. What he did have, though, was a friend who's a dentist: "Dr. John". I spoke with John, explained to him what was going on, and he said he would send a perscription to a local pharmacy for me. I got the prescription for antibiotics, and started taking them. And the aspirin. I took lots of aspirin. The event was a huge success, and I wanted to take the guys from the store to Barberian's, which has been voted the finest steakhouse in Canada. It ain't cheap, but the crew earned it.

The problem was, though, that I was feeling like Hell. Whatever those antibiotics were doing, they weren't helping me feel any better. Andy had flown in late the night before, so he was fine with my not wanting to go out to dinner (I told the guys the next time I was up, we were going). Andy was beat and wanted more sleep than he'd gotten, and I wasn't feeling well. Add to that the fact that we had to drive to Buffalo on Sunday, and it made sense that we make it an early night.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling better; I got out of bed encouraged, assuming that my antibiotic magic bullet had done its' job. I was horrified, though, when I walked to the mirror to see this:

This definitely isn't normal

Had I been in a fight? Was I hit by a car? I was definitely not diggin' it.

The antibiotics, clearly, hadn't done what I'd asked of them, and I was worried. I was more than worried. I was scared. I considered going to a local hospital, but thought it best to first give "Dr. John" a call and let him know what was going on.

He was not at all surprised that the swelling had gotten worse, and he wasn't concerned with it. I remember wishing I could share in his indifference. But then he asked me if it hurt as much. When I told him it didn't, he said something that I'd not heard before, yet it makes absolutely perfect sense: "The swelling will follow the pain".

I hoped he was right because, at this point, I was ready to pay Mafia-doctor prices to get this taken care of. John offered to see me in his office before we left for Buffalo, but the last thing I wanted to do was undergo any level of oral surgery and then have to get on a plane the next day.

Andy and I left Toronto about 2:00pm, and we stopped at the duty-free shop at the Lewiston border crossing at about 3:05pm. The swelling had, in fact, gone down quite a bit. Don't get me wrong; it was still swollen. But I was no longer sportin' the "Hey, did you get your ass kicked in a bar last night?" look, so I figured I was heading in the right direction.

At dinner last night, it had gone down even more and, this morning, it actually started looking, dare I say it, "normal". John had expressed concerns about my flying (I didn't really have a choice), but it didn't affect me at all.

My point is this: Had I paid closer attention to the pain on Thursday, I might've avoided this; at least to the extent that I've had to deal with it. Essentially, I put it off two days, and who knows what I could've avoided had I been on antibiotics two days earlier than I was. So, when you feel pain, check it out. Get it looked at. It might be nothing. Or it might be.

Yeah, it probably is...

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