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I was sick recently, with a common cold that turned into a sinus infection. On the Monday, a week after the cold began, I called a doctor who came to see me. I didn’t even know that doctors do that anymore, but it was awesome. I didn’t have to go anywhere. This was good, because I couldn’t even take a step without stabbing pain rocketing behind my eyeballs. And I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. And I couldn’t leave Brad and Tristan alone, but I didn’t have the strength to take them with me either. I was a bit hysterical with face pain, wondering how I could look after Brad and Tristan in this state, and I begged the doctor to make it better. But the doctor only gave me pain medication for what he called pressure in my sinuses, and said that it would go away within a couple of days.

It did not.

By the Thursday night, despite my repeated assurances to everyone that I was almost better and I was planning to never get sick again, the pain worsened. My throat started hurting. My eyes felt like they were going to burst.

I went to the doctor on the Friday.  He asked if my teeth hurt, for some reason.  I was so surprised.  Yes! They sort of hurt and sort of itched. I wanted to pull them all out the previous night. I think he could see the teeth-gauging crazy on my face and that’s why he asked. I told him I had assumed it was unrelated. He said it’s another symptom of the infection. He said when you get to the point where your teeth hurt, you need antibiotics.  So now I have antibiotics and I expect I will be cured soon.  The doctor also made me book in an appointment with the psychologist.

Probably because I told him I was trying to pull my teeth out.

I called in sick to work. I told them this story. Nobody laughed at my punch-line. It’s like no one else finds impulse control disorder funny. In fact, my friends at work even went so far as to suggest that I had a perfectly sensible doctor. And they said things like “You aren’t crazy, you’re just going through a hard time and need to speak to someone” and “You weren’t really trying to pull your teeth out, or else you’d have used pliers instead of dental floss.”

It was a fucking metaphor!

A metaphor for when you are literally digging at your gums because your teeth feel weird and you think if you can just get underneath them you might be able to release the pressure.

Also, the doctor didn’t actually suggest I see a psychologist because my teeth hurt. At least, not that he admitted to me.