Tooth issues kind of took centre stage over a lot of the past week. It started on Wednesday evening, the night we got back from driving around Byron and the Gold Coast in a rented Jucy van (which was utterly fabulous). My head hurt, I was feverish, my cheek swollen – hello tooth infection. My usual, very effective remedy of bee propolis did not seem to be doing the job and a fair bit of internet-induced scaremongering over how an infection can travel to the jaw bone and cause all kinds of drama had me calling dentists pronto.
The first dentist in a clinic called Calm Dental in New Farm was helpful but delivered some rather unwelcome news – the x-ray showed my infection was up high in the root and my only options were extraction or root canal. I was not a happy puppy. Out of the two the root canal seemed to be the least horrible so I made an appointment for Sunday morning to have the procedure done.
Back home (an apartment we found on AirBnB which turned out to be absolutely fabulous and which belonged to a lovely and very kind guy called Hitesh), I went on the great world wide web and googled root canal. It was not the reassuring, heart-warming picture I had hoped for. Studies linking root canals to all kinds of horrific diseases from arthritis to cancer and a million more. Apparently the root canal procedure includes cleaning out the main nerve canal but not the little connecting smaller network of channels which are impossible to get to. Many were claiming this trapped an infection underneath the filling in an area with very little blood supply which the body could use to heal. The remaining dead tooth is apparently a cause for stress on the immune system as the body does its best to reject it. As anything on the internet there were also many claiming this was utter nonsense, that the body could deal with bacteria and that the dead tooth caused absolutely no drama. The same people however admitted that root canals were successful around 90% of the time and could then fail a couple of years after the original procedure which to me hinted strongly towards the body dealing with the trapped infection and also trying to reject the dead tooth. I’m no dentist or doctor but I read both sides of the story and emerged not very happy with the root canal route.
The uncertainty around treatment options, far too much reading on the internet and a somewhat swollen cheek took a toll on my mental state. My mostly cheerful self was worried, irritable and generally not a joy to be around. I was feeling confused, felt I did not have any good options to choose from and was worried about the cost of dental treatment on our travel budget. Grump, grump, grump.
Despite tooth dramas we had some really lucky strikes in Brisbane. The room we found on AirBnB for 50$ a night turned to a whole apartment as Hitesh, the owner was leaving for Sydney for the weekend, Gayle’s friend Kristina and her girlfriend Annie very kindly lent us their car for the week which meant we had wheels to visit dentists, get food and generally be mobile without any hassle or cost whatsoever.
Gayle did a wonderful job coping with Ms grumpy knickers aka me. She helped calm me down, researched options with me and pulled me out of those woe is me moments when I wanted to hide in the bathroom till it was all over (yes I do sometimes have a taste for the dramatic 🙂). Big big amounts of gratitude for her wonderfulness. Unfortunately Gayle became poorly on day two of tooth saga, leaving us to contend with a little more. I tried my best to be calm and supportive but had waves of success and failure in view of my not so tranquil state of mind.
Health issues aside we still managed to go for several drives in the outskirts of Brisbane (including a Eucalyptus leaf collecting mission near Brisbane zoo), enjoy Kristina’s band practice, visit Eat Street markets (Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm in Portside Wharf. This was a fabulous space with numerous shipping containers turned food stalls which made food from all around the globe. Yummy food, live music and far too many people. Definitely worth a visit nice and early.), West End Markets on Saturday and the Northey Street City Farm organic market Sunday which were all absolutely fabulous experiences.
My tooth dramas were finally sorted at Dental Wellness, a holistic dental practice. From the word go they were wonderful: a young, reassuring dentist who happily answered my million questions, a consult from the head dentist who showed me the x-ray and where my infection was at, explained how a root canal works, explained the ins and outs of having an extraction and also offered option three to keep me going until I got home.
The chosen option included cleaning out the infection as far as possible, injecting the canal with antibiotic and calcium hydroxide which would keep cleaning out and fighting the infection from the inside and putting on a filling. This should hopefully keep me going until Malta when I’m sadly going to have the tooth out and replaced with a ceramic implant. Having the tooth out whilst travelling would have left me with too much of a gap time wise to be able to have an implant which fused to the bone so this temporary option works much better for me. Finally resolution!
Prior to my tooth issues, Gayle had planned to go to Bali to do her silent meditation practice at the end of February. That date got stretched until the 1st as we returned our van a day late, then until she felt I was ok with my tooth issues and then again as she was unwell. Communication with her meditation teacher was sketchy leaving her mulling about possibly doing the practice in Australia rather than fly to Bali in the little time left.
Driving back from the cottage Gayle suggested a visit to Mount Glorious to check out a possible location for her meditation practice if she did decide to stay in OZ. We drove up a winding road surrounded by lush rainforest and cool mountain air. In our search of this place Gayle turned into a drive way which led to a beautiful house surrounded by forest and a guy playing with a sizeable remote controlled off road car.
I waited in the car till Gayle asked about the location of the place, then finally followed her after she had disappeared for some time. I walked a little further to stairs leading to a gorgeous wooden house with massive windows and a front deck overlooking the forest. I walked in as Gayle was coming to get me and met Sascha, the owner who had another little house nearby which would be just right for Gayle.
Although the little house was beyond perfect, Gayle finally went to Bali yesterday evening and it turned out Sascha needed marketing help with an art playground business she runs with her partner. Cue the perfect situation for Greta. Embracing the wonderful opportunities thrown right at my feet I am currently staying in an absolutely amazing house filled with the prettiest lights which Sascha collects from all over, laid back Swedish furniture, vintage clothes, tons of veg, big, big windows overlooking the forest and a delightful, engaging host who is so happy I can help out with her work. I could not have ordered a more magical place if I tried.
More soon xxxxx