Every now and again, the gums around my lower wisdom teeth start to get inflamed and the pain is positively horrendous. I really should get them removed, but not having the nerve (geddit?) to go through a whole operation, I cowardly reach for the Neurofen and wait for the pain to pass.
Two days in and the pain was driving me up the wall. It's bad enough having to cope with a toothache, but doing so whilst trying to teach is tantamount to climbing up the north face of Everest with a blindfold, in a blizzard.
Lunchtime arrived and I begged Dana to get in touch with a dentist and arrange an appointment ASAP. When she called back to say that she'd managed to get me a 3.45, I didn't think twice and ignored the fact that I'd have to go along the private route to enjoy this privilege.
I begged a senior colleague to cover the last 15 minutes of my final lesson and after he begrudgingly agreed, I managed to get out of school in time to arrive at the appointment. I can't remember the last time I went to the dentist, but I certainly don't recall ever being asked to put on some lab specs, to avoid the bright light "damaging my eyes".
If that wasn't weird enough, they took an X-Ray with this strange machine revolving around my head zapping me with radiation. I noted how both the Dentist and her assistant fled out of the room to press the switch and leave me to fry, all on my own.
The dentist suggested that I should have the operation to get them removed, but I was not signing on. More importantly, she "irrigated" my gum in the most sensitive places and gave me a prescription for penicillin.
So for now, I'm started the five day treatment, promised not to imbibe any alcohol until well in 2007 and have started getting on first name terms with a packet of Paramol that is never more than a foot away from my feverish hands.
What began as an annoying toothache has now led me down the slippery slope of popping Neurofens and antibiotics as though they were going out of fashion. I also don't give a damn either, as long as I can forget how painful one sodding gum can be.