Craig’s Dental Drama

So a large part of why my past few days have been CRAZY is because of Craig’s teeth.

Craig has bad teeth. Craig has had braces for over 5 years, he’s always got a cavity of some kind, he has had a root canal in 2018, 2019, and now 2021, he had his wisdom tooth removed in January earlier this year because he had an infection under the tooth in the bone. We’ve cut vacations short to rush to the dentist, we’ve scrambled to get antibiotics for Craig for a tooth abscess when we were in the hospital with Gannon, it’s an ongoing issue and it always comes up at the worst time. When we are out of debt, we will have a sinking fund just for Craig’s dental work.

Craig has the same pain on the same side of his mouth every time he needs a root canal. It follows the same pattern:

First he has a cold that involves his sinuses. Then about a week later, he gets this extreme cheek pain/pressure. The root canal ALWAYS relieves the pain.

This obviously isn’t our first rodeo so when Craig told me on Wednesday morning that he was starting to have some pain, I IMMEDIATELY called to get him an appointment for what I assumed would be a sinus infection that always comes before the root canal. Craig had his appointment over the phone and the provider prescribed him some antibiotics. I flew to the pharmacy to grab them and ran them out to the field where he was chopping along with some Tylenol and ibuprofen. It was so important that we got ahead of this before things get worse. Carver even got to ride a few rounds in the chopper with Craig!

That night Craig came home, he hopped out of the shower and the pain hit him like a ton of bricks. It was bad, he already had tylenol and ibuprofen on board so we knew he needed something stronger if we were going to get through the night. There was an hour left before urgent care closed so we ran into town to try and get him some pain relief. They gave him a shot and some stronger pain meds. Craig felt better and we were off – home by about 10:30 to try and get the kids to bed. (thanks for watching them mom!)

At urgent care they changed Craig’s antibiotics too so those would need to be picked up from the pharmacy. As soon as we got home that night, Craig slept for about 5 minutes until the pain was back to a 9/10. He spent most of the night MISERABLE rolling around in bed and keeping me awake too.

We decided Craig would have to go to the dentist first thing in the morning. I was bound and determined to go with my mom to her cancer appointment the next day, Craig was so miserable he just showed up at the dentist as soon as they opened to see if they could work him in. They determined it was his SINUSES and not his tooth! His tooth looked great! BUT just in case, they wanted him to see his endodontist (who we are very familiar with after several root canals) first thing on Friday.

On the way home from Rochester with mom, I got a call from Craig who was in tears he was in so much pain. We still had to get to the pharmacy and get his new antibiotics, by this time Craig was just about out of the strong pain medications. He was trying to tough through work because they were chopping which is very time sensitive (those stubborn farmers). I met Craig in the field again and he was feeling somewhat better by the time I got out there with his new antibiotics. We rode a few rounds and we were headed back home.

That night we were hopeful because Craig seemed better, maybe the antibiotics were working! Then morning came. Craig was not better now with the added bonus of the meds tearing up his gut and him feeling so nauseated from the pain and pain medications. This whole time Carver and Gannon have been bounced around and tagged along at Grandma Jo’s or picked up and taken to the chopper with Craig, or Great Grandma Dees, Carver went to the dentist with Craig, it was just insane. While we were at the endodontist Carver missed the bus and it was a hustle to try and get him to school (thanks again mom!)

The endodontist determined it wasn’t his sinuses, it was his TEETH that needed, surprise, a root canal. They said they had no room for him that day but to come back NEXT FRIDAY! What!? I put on my “aww hell no” voice and I called and said, “We will drive ANYWHERE, we need this taken care of today!” They told us they could work him in down in Iowa City, about 2 hours away, I said GREAT! Let’s go. Craig….on the other hand….insisted on going back to work because there was harvesting to do. Let’s just say I was NOT impressed with that choice but it’s Craig’s life. I definitely had a few choice words.

Nonetheless, I was off to work the weekend, the boys to Grandma Debbie’s and Papa Kevin’s, and Craig was back in the chopper. Saturday, I stayed at my in-laws until I heard from Craig who had called me, he had been back in urgent care and already down to Waterloo and back with a root canal. (courtesy of my mom who was driving him, thanks again mom) He said he didn’t sleep at all the night before, pain was the worst it has ever been, his endodontist drove up from Iowa City to meet him in Waterloo without an assistant to perform the root canal. Craig said he felt INSTANT relief and pressure – so much so HE FELL ASLEEP during his root canal!

Anyway, all this to say, Kalissa was right, we should have drove to Iowa City on Friday but also we are so glad this nonsense and pain is all behind us now! AND HUGE THANK YOU TO MY MOM who has either watched the boys very early or very late so we could get this thing taken care of!

So not only do we have the root canal bill, we will have a bill for the filling, the urgent care bills and for Carver’s cavity repairs (yup, four cavities on his first checkup.) It’s just a constant low grade chaos in the Friedman home. Last week it was all about teeth, I guess we will see what the rest of the week brings as Craig switches from chopping corn to harvesting beans!

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  1. sleep. LeMere
    September 29, 2021 / 12:38 am

    I feel for Craig, so glad the root canal is done. Better days ahead for everyone and a good night’s slerp.

  2. Elle
    September 29, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Oh Craig, I feel ya! I had a 2 AM root canal back in the early 80s when one had the Dentist’s home phone #. The relief is indescribable. I’m sorry for all the runaround to get to the actual relief-why don’t providers believe us?

    Wishing ya’ll a terrific week 🙂

  3. Christi
    September 30, 2021 / 5:33 am

    I do believe we are born with these issues. I can sympathize with him. Poor Carver is so young to already have problems. My prayers are with all of you.

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter
    September 30, 2021 / 5:48 am

    Needing a root canal or having an abscess is so incredibly painful!! The right antibiotics are actually better than pain meds – my dentist taught me that! I needed a root canal when I was on vacation visiting my daughter in Hawaii…I ended up just getting the tooth pulled – easier than trying to deal with a root canal, but I wish I had made a different choice now. Maybe next time Craig will listen to you and not have to endure the pain for longer!!

  5. Carolyn Sullivan
    September 30, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Although the root canal has taken care of the pain, I would urge u to look into his sinuses too. From my own experience I can tell. You that the roots of teeth can project into the sinus,
    Personally I would pull a tooth before getting another root canal…. In my experience it was horrible.

  6. Carmen
    October 3, 2021 / 8:33 pm

    I know Craig is a young guy, but would pulling his teeth and dentures keep this from happening? Got to be some solution for you guys!

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