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With this condition you learn to become patient, like it or not! You become tolerant too with the old saying "Good comes to he who waits!" I was all that yesterday as I sat in our local hospital emergency dept. If there was going to be an annoying fellow individual then the odds were that she'd sit next to me-- She did! It was instantly obvious that she was a little drunk, well it was 2.30 in the afternoon and rather apt that I should be suffering with tooth -- hur-- tee don't you think?


Not to laugh at really because I was in some agony, in fact excruciating pain that almost had me in tears! I'd checked in at reception looking like a Zombie, feeling a bit like one too. How on earth I managed to drive to the department is beyond me. I was in a daze and totally oblivious to anything but this horrible ache in my jaw.


I sat in crowded room with my head down. I thought people were staring at me so I became quite paranoid. Children ran around the room, parents screamed at their kids, magazines everywhere and aggravation all round. There were people limping, holding faces, groaning and then this one who plonked herself down with such lack of grace that the draught nearly blew me off my chair. Her breath nearly cured my pain until she elbowed me in the chest as she nearly fell off her seat.


"Oh boy do I get em!"


I was on the verge of going home. I'd been sat for an hour without being seen and listening to others saying they'd been there hours already, my heart sunk! The lady beside me began to fidget and rummage in a plastic bag. She turned to me and asked if I could listen out for her name as she needed the bathroom. I hesitantly said yes, and she got up very shakily and stumbled towards the door.


My name was called -- thank goodness, I thought. I was shown into a cubicle and sat down to be questioned and assessed by the nurse who looked like the end of her shift couldn't come any sooner. I explained my pain and then she asked if I had any other symptoms or illnesses. Well where do you start? I told her briefly about my condition and was quite surprised to learn that she knew all about sclero, Raynaud's etc and wasn't particularly phased about my tube. I explained that it wasn't working and was due to be changed early next week, so I was having trouble getting pain relief since I couldn't swallow tablets or drink dispersable ones because they made me sick.


"You are in a predicament love, aren't you? You look very pasty and weary, do you feel unwell?"


"Well I don't feel great but it's more with pain and tiredness than with ill."


She checked me over and told me to sit back in the waiting room and a doctor would see me shortly. I returned to my chair since the lady who'd sat beside me appeared to have left or was being seen by the doctor. I was a bit disappointed to see her stagger back to her seat clutching the plastic bag as before. She began to bother me. Talking into my face, nudging me, asking about my condition and asking if they'd called her name. Everyone by this time had realised that she was taking something and an air of quiet went round the room. I felt as though I was on centre stage -- was they looking at me or her? I was being completely paranoid, most unlike me!


Finally I was called by the doctor and placed in yet another cubicle where I sat feeling dreadful and wishing I wasn't there! I went through all my symptoms again as he stood over me.


"Have you looked in the mirror Mrs Lowe? Have you seen the swelling over your cheek bone?"


I'd not been in the mood for mirrors of late except to comb my hair so the answer was no!


"I think you have an abscess under your tooth" He said as he examined the inside of my mouth.


"Yes it's infected your gums and roof of your mouth. It will make you quite poorly if left."


I felt annoyed because I'd been to the dentist not two days ago and he told me there was no sign of infection or an abscess! I'd suffered for over a week when it could have been sorted much sooner. I thanked the doctor and left with two bottles of liquid antibiotics and painkillers. I walked through the waiting room were an argument had broken out with the lady beside me and several other people who simply weren't in the mood for her antics.


Now I have to work out how to get the antibiotics in --- down a tube that is kinked and only works intermittently.


Today as I write, the pain is still there. It looks like winter outside and I'm about to attempt a dose of medication. Wish me luck.


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