May 9th, 2001

Bad Week so Far

Bad bad bad bad bad.

I decided to join the gang for softball practice on Monday. It's always nice to get out in the fresh air and get a little exercize. I was playing in the outfield. I tried to snag a high fly ball that Josh got some stick on. I didn't get under it. Instead it fell directly in front of me, and for some crazy reason I reached out both hands to try to snag it. It came down on the fingertips of my right hand and bounced out of my glove. It hurt so much I went home immediately.

That night I was struck by a toothache and a terrible fever. My upper wisdom teeth have been growing in, which has had me a little concerned. But they hadn't hurt at all until a couple of days ago. And now, it's almost unbearable. I'm not sure why I had the fever, which has at least given way to a very bad sore throat. It hurts to swallow even water, which is about all my diet consists of now that I can't really chew.

I tried to go to work yesterday morning and have a normal day, but after about an hour and a half I realized that wasn't possible. I snuck out of the office and went home to rest. After sleeping all morning I got up and iced my finger. Most of the injury was concentrated on my right middle finger, which by this time was as swolen and purple as an overripe grape. I imagined that a good squeeze could have popped it right open. The more swolen it got, the less I could move it. Julie was pretty worried, so after she got off work she made me go to the emergency room.

So I got my hand x-rayed, and sure enough, I got a distal phalanx tuft fracture. On the x-ray film, it looked like a little chunk of bone broke off at the very end of my fingertip. The wound would have healed on its own, but the good doctor gave me a finger splint to comfort and protect the wound and impress my friends.

After the ER we got ice cream, which I had trouble swallowing, so I think the throat thing may be serious. I'm more concerned about the tooth thing right now though. I called the dentist yesterday and made an appointment for next Wednesday, but after a night of pain, I called again to see if they could take a look at it sooner. So they're going to peek at my tooth today at 1 PM. It'll be my first trip to the dentist since... 1993? It's terrifying. Who knows what problems they're going to find. At the very least they'll want to take out my wisdom teeth, which is something I'd rather skip. Although, at this point, I'd let them take out all my teeth if it would make the pain stop.

I'm getting pretty good at typing with a finger splint. It's actually easier than typing with a bare broken finger.

Wish me luck today.

Dr. Tom says...

"They have to go... no question about it," he said in reference to my three wisdom teeth, one of which is causing me a lot of pain right now.

Not exactly a surprise. I have a consultation with the oral surgeon on Friday, and hopefully they'll get me in for surgery soon after that. But the news wasn't all bad. Dr. Tom told me I could take up to 3200 mg of Ibuprofin a day if I felt like it. I'd only been doing about 600 mg. I'll take anything to ease my pain. Plus he said my other teeth all "looked great", aside from needing a deep cleaning, which I'll schedule for about a month after the surgery.

It seems odd that I would have two wisdom teeth in my skull and only one in my jaw. Dr. Tom says it's normal. People can have one, two, three, four or none. I'd have chosen "none", and then I could prance around as one of the more evolved humans, but alas, I am not so lucky.

My throat pain is as bad as ever, but it only really hurts when I swallow, as where my tooth hurts all the time. It's unrelated to my dental issues, and I have an appointment to see my doctor about it on Monday.

So, recapping... broken finger, sore throat, painful tooth.