Try to imagine placing something about the size of a ping-pong ball inside your mouth and having it protrude out the side of your left cheek along your jaw bone.

Are you imaging that?

Well, that’s about what I looked like on Wednesday afternoon when I walked into the dentist office.

For about four days before it grew to that size, I had been carefully tending to this tooth issue on my own by using natural herbal remedies, energy work and reflexology. And before any of you say, “OMG Ron….are you CRAZY?”, I just want you to know that both dentists who attended me could not believe that I was virtually in NO PAIN and had been able to keep the infection localized. So, whatever I had been doing helped tremendously, but I also knew that I was at a point of seeking medical help.

The first dentist I saw took one look at me and said, “This is serious, I need to send you to an oral surgeon downstairs who is probably going to have to drain it and then put on you on heavy-duty penicillin.”

When the oral surgeon saw me he FREAKED.

After x-rays were taken and he examined the inside my mouth, the surgeon concluded that it would definitely need to be drained. He said he could use a general anesthetic, which would mean I would have to come back the following day because I needed to have someone drive me home after the surgery. Or, he could use a local anesthetic which meant he could do it immediately, but also added that because of the size of the abscess I would most likely feel pain. After giving it some consideration, I decided that I just wanted to get it over with so that I didn’t have to return the following day at 8 a.m.

He said, “Okay, I’ll be right back.” And left the room.

His dental assistant looked at me through squinting eyes and whispered, “Are you really sure you want to do this with just a local?”

I said, “Why? Do you think it’s going to be THAT painful?”

Gently nodding her head. “It might.”

I said, “Oh well…..pray for me then.”

After the surgeon returned, he shot my mouth with enough Novocain to numb an elephant and three wild apes.

Ten minutes later, he said, “Are you ready?”

I said, “Ready.”

Just then the assistant placed a full-length plastic shield over her face and turned on the suction hose.

He said to her, “Suction ready?”

She responded, “Suction ready.”

He said, “Okay…here we go.”

I suddenly pondered, Gee….I wonder if should have chosen the GENERAL?

Too late.

Now here’s where this story gets a little graphic, so you may want to close your eye’s while reading this.

As he made the incision with the scalpel, I thought to myself, Hey…that’s not bad at all, I didn’t feel a thing. Then, as he took another sharp-looking instrument and carefully inserted it within the incision to puncture the abscess, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!

It literally felt like he shoved a pitchfork all the way through my jaw until it reached my shoulder. I don’t think I have ever felt pain like that before in my 54 years of life.


He took his thumb and FIRMLY pressed the outside of the abscess so that it would drain through the incision.

It was at this point I realized….


All I could hear were the sounds of the suction hose and dental assistants’ gentle voice saying to me, “Just keep taking deep breaths Ron, deep breaths…you’re doing great.”

God love her, she was like a little dental cheerleader.

The surgeon had to do this procedure TWO more times.

I remember grabbing the arms on the chair and squeezing them so hard, I thought I was going to pull them off. I also began humming absentmindedly to distract myself.

I finally heard the assistant say to me, “Okay…it’s all over, the only thing he has to do now is put in a small drain and stitch it up.

After the surgeon left the room, I turned my head to look at the assistant and said, “Well, that was perhaps one of the most delightful things I’ve ever experienced. I may have to try this again sometime soon.”

She laughed and sweetly said, “I told you it might hurt.”

When I got up from the chair and took a gander at myself in the mirror, I gasped. I looked like one of the ghouls in the Michael Jackson video, Thriller.

After I picked up my prescription and walked into my apartment, I literally collapsed from nervous exhaustion. But I’ve got to tell you, after the Novocain wore off I was shocked, because I had very little pain.

By the next day the swelling had subsided tremendously and I began to feel so much better.

So anyway, that’s my story folks. And like with any story there is sometimes a moral.

The moral of this story is….

Always choose the LOCAL.

Because it makes for a much better blog post.