Robert Hampton

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22nd August 2014

Bite Back
Posted by at 3.32pm | 1 response | It's My Life

CAUTION: This blog does contain some yucky details of bodily fluids and such.

When last we left the intrepid hero of this blog, he’d just had some dramatic oral surgery – namely, two wisdom teeth pulled out.

I thought that would be the end of the matter, and I was back in work on Monday morning, against the advice of several people who advised me to take an extra day or two to recover.

I should have paid attention to them. Also, I should have paid attention to what my own body was telling me. 48 hours after my op, I peered into my mouth, looking in a mirror using my iPhone as a makeshift torch. I could see there was a bit of yellow gunk leaking out of the wound – pus, in other words. That should have set alarm bells ringing, as that is a sure sign of an infection.

I’m sure it’ll be fine, I thought. It will clear up by itself in a day or two.

You see, I don’t get sick. My body has the Berlin Wall of immune systems: absolutely nothing gets in. That’s been the case for as long as I remember; when I was in primary school, a flu epidemic hit the area. At one point my class of 25 was reduced to ten at one point, but I was still there every day (with an apple for the teacher).

So I soldiered on. Monday passed without too much incident, as did most of Tuesday. By late Tuesday evening, though, I was feeling run down, and I climbed into bed at 10.15pm (sacrificing my nightly viewing of Conan – that’s how bad it was).

Wednesday morning I woke up feeling OK, and went to work as usual. By the afternoon, however, I felt rotten. I alternated between sweating profusely and shivering – I must have made quite the sight on the train home. When I got home, and went straight to bed, my mum and sister twigged that perhaps something was wrong.

By this point, I was also being urged by my Twitter followers to seek help (actually, that’s happened in the past, but not usually for a specific reason).

Parents can be ignored, but if Jamie tells me to do something – well, I have to do it. So we jumped in a taxi to the NHS Walk-in Centre in Hanover Street. I offered to go by Merseyrail to save the taxi fare – it’s probably for the best that my family isn’t as tight with money as I am.

This Walk-in Centre is brand new, and is very clean and efficient. Unfortunately they couldn’t do anything. “It’s a dental problem – we’re not allowed to do anything for dental problems.” They gave me the number for the emergency dentist, which simply went to voicemail. Great.

Luckily, I was able to get in touch with my own dental practice (for reasons too tedious to go into here, I’m with a private dentist), and after initially bemusing the on-call emergency dentist by forgetting the name of my own dentist and quite probably sounding borderline delirious (because I was), I managed to arrange an emergency appointment for that evening. He came and opened up the surgery specifically for me, bless him.

The initial inspection proved difficult, as I could barely open my mouth wide enough for the tools to go in. But it didn’t take much examination to confirm that yes, I had an infection. A syringe was produced at one point, and as soon as its contents were injected into me, the pus gushed forward once more. The little sucky tool worked overtime getting all of the bad stuff out of my mouth. And then – yes! – antibiotics were received. Jason Wilkinson of Aigburth Dental Practice, you are my hero.

I got home at about 8.30pm. I hadn’t eaten since lunchtime but managed a bowl of rice pudding before going straight to bed. I slept right through until the next morning.

Thursday was interesting. I woke up and the first thing I realised was that my throat was very swollen and full of mucus.

“This is not good,” I said to myself. Or rather, I would have done, if I’d been able to talk. All that came out was a raspy sound which approximated English but was difficult to decipher. This made communicating with my partially-deaf mother an interesting exercise.

Mum, I think, is secretly enjoying the opportunity to be a full-time mother again. She has spent the last 48 hours plying me with Lucozade and sympathy.

I have taken yesterday and today as sick days from work. Hopefully, with the three-day weekend ahead, I’ll be fully recovered by the time Tuesday morning rolls around. But wow, what a wake up call. Turns out I’m not invincible after all.

One Response
  1. Comment by Tanya
    22nd August 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Poor you! But yes, I’ve noticed many mums are keen to look after their adult children as I’ve grown older. My dear mum died a few years ago, and when I got a viral infection 2 months after her death (the only time I’ve ever been signed off work), I missed being able to phone her up and get sympathy. Ironic, as her death was probably the indirect cause of my illness!

    Get better soon!