My neighbor is an amazing cook. I don’t know this because I’ve ever tasted her food (I wish!); I only know this because the aroma of dinner wafts through our shared wall every evening and reminds me that smell and taste are two of the best senses we have. Oh, she also eats dinner late. Like, she-clearly-doesn’t-have-a-toddler-late. (It’s nine o’clock, and I’m breathing it in. Also, Charlee has been in been for two hours already.)
These past two weeks have been ridiculous. And I keep thinking if I were an animal in the woods, I’d be dead by now. But I don’t know if that means this particular situation has been especially dangerous, as there are probably many scenarios that would find me dead, were I an animal in the woods.
A little over two weeks ago, I went into the oral surgery clinic at MGH to get one wisdom tooth removed. It was supposed to be no big deal. Soft foods and ice and some Tylenol afterward, sure, but should be better within a few days.
Fast forward a few days, and an infection had developed, meaning the fine oral surgeons of MGH had to install a drain and put me on some strong antibiotics.
When that didn’t work, the pain was so intense, I was back at the hospital–this time in the ER–getting a CT scan. The infection was low in my jaw, right above my neck, and if it moved any lower, it would prohibit me from swallowing, and essentially cause me to asphyxiate. (That’s why I keep thinking if I were an animal in the woods, with no preventions, well–there you go!) Another surgery, an IV to administer antibiotics and really effective pain meds, and a few days in the hospital had me feeling better.
Now I’m home and I’m getting better every day, but to be honest, I’m not normal yet (Hahahaha roll in the jokes about “BUT WHEN WERE YOU EVER NORMAL, JESS?!”). The surgeon says that a full recovery just takes time and in the meantime I’m still on antibiotics–happily off the opiates, though!–and having to do these excruciatingly painful jaw stretching exercises. Because now I can’t open my mouth very well…
So as you can see, these past few weeks have been an absolute BALL and if you need your wisdom teeth out, run–don’t walk!–to the nearest oral surgeon and have at it. No actually, what happened to me is a-typical and simply unlucky. It shouldn’t have happened and I suppose the moral of the story is that I am incredibly grateful that I am not simply an animal in the woods (God rest my soul, because you know what would’ve happened THEN).
The good part of all this: So many people have reached out with kind words and prayers; I was even sent soups, smoothies, juices, milkshakes, and a book of smoothie recipes. My mom flew up here and she massaged my neck a lot (it’s amazing how two weeks of straight up face pain will really put a creak in the old neck). My friend took Charlee for an entire day and never even hesitated when TJ asked her if she could while taking me to the ER. A dear friend visited me in the hospital (which, I realized, is HUGE. When you’re stuck in the hospital, it’s amazing to see a kind face and just talk about life for a second with someone who isn’t preoccupied with your vital signs). Every client was a thousand percent understanding, and my employers were too. My friend took Luna on a long luxurious hike and my dog walker (who has become a friend) took Luna for a couple of nights without a word of protest.
So what does all of this mean?
It means that I am squarely in some kind of amazing community. I live in a beautiful city. Like, the buildings and streets and water come together in a magnificent way. But man, the people here in Boston take my breath away.