I went to bed last night with the start of an ache in one of my upper right molars. Nothing terrible, but it got worse overnight, occasionally waking me up from sleep, to the point that I realized that I might need to go in to the dentist post-call on Thursday in order to get it looked at.
By early this afternoon, the pain was, shall we say, exquisite. It was like a ball of flaming nails inside my head. It hurt so much I couldn't even think straight. And I knew I was to be on call all day tomorrow, in a job that requires above all that I can think critically and pay attention and be able to make big decisions in a split second without being distracted by the fact that my mouth felt like it was going to freaking explode. It could not wait another two days. So after work, I made an emergency appointment with my dentist, and soaked a gauze pad with lidocaine to mash on my gum over the tooth. (Pathetic topical attempt though it was, it kind of worked, enough for me to drive to the dentist's office anyway.) My dentist, who very nicely carved out a spot for me in his schedule, took one look at my tooth, took one look at me, and promptly did a root canal.
So, that was my afternoon. Well, that, and the fact that I found out, while I was in the dentist chair waiting for the calcium hydroxide (or whatever that stuff is that they use) to exercise its bacteriocidal action on the inner workings of my molar, that my response to Dr. Sibert's Op-Ed in the Times this Saturday was quoted in The Wall Street Journal online. So I guess this day wasn't all bad.