Yoga, dentists, and insomnia by gagging.

Some days, life slaps you in the face and says,

“Listen, up numbskull!  Yoga doesn’t make you invincible.”

I’m used to starting the day with about 5 to 10 minutes of yoga, but week after week, my energy levels had been falling.  Then, a pain in the lower left cheek started to emerge. 

I just didn’t have the energy to do more than work, go home, and imitate a head of broccoli with arms sitting in front of a computer wearing pajamas and dark glasses.

  • I won’t go into the story about the infected tooth that needed to come out (over 2 weeks ago),
  • Or how the dentist thought it wise not to provide an antibiotic once it was pulled.
  • I won’t even complain about how, after going back in a week to say that I had pain in my left cheek – right above where the tooth was pulled – the dentist refused to give me an antibiotic because they’ve been over prescribed to every human and animal In existence.

I’ll cut right to the heart of the matter.

After said tooth came out in chunks and slivers, I felt a release of pressure. Then, my cheek became a growing left-side-of-the-face pain that was spreading to the right. 

I was on the way to work a week after extraction when I actually stopped to think, “What if the removal of that tooth has unleashed something contagious?”

I know.  I should’ve thought about that a week beforehand but in my defense – as weak as that defense might be — my brain wasn’t firing on all synapses.

By the time I went to Urgent Care, there was a mask of inflammation across my nose and cheeks while goo glopped down my throat.  If you think that sounds bad, the smell was so loud I was searching the house to find out where the dog had pooped.

Unfortunately for me, it had rained two days in a row, and a dog actually had pooped in the laundry room or I would’ve been to urgent care the day before.

After a 30 minute wait and 20 minutes of this:

Diagnosis (sort of):  Nasty sinus infection.  Take this Z-pack and let’s see what happens.

I thought that was the end of it.


Three days after starting the z-pack, my sinuses were better, but a new problem emerged.  You can forgive me for not knowing it was happening, since I haven’t run into that particular inconvenience since 1982.

The drip from the sinuses caused me to cough.  Now I have yet another form of insomnia that I can add to my list; the 3am gagging cough.

I don’t know if it was the swimmy in my head, deeep sleprivation  sleep deprivation, or the number of times I kept missing the exit and hitting the door jamb that screamed at me, “Go back to Urgent Care!”

That’s where I was for 2 hours yesterday. 

The doctor asked, “Do you have shortness of breath?”

Since, as I mentioned earlier, my last experience with anything “lung” was 1982, I said, “I’m not sure what that means.”

She said (holding a stethoscope to my back), “Take a deep breath.”

That started a coughing fit.

Next came the breathing torture treatment, where mist is forced into your mouth that tastes like hay mixed  into a vat of toilet water. After 5 minutes, once everything from my lips to my lungs was numb, I was taking in deeper breaths.  

Did you know that after a breathing treatment it might make you jittery? 

If I ever need another one, I’ll know that “jittery” means I’ll shake like I have medication induced Parkinson’s with a side of vertigo. 

I was like that for the next few hours and couldn’t walk out of the doctor’s office without help.

Diagnosis (sort of): A(not so)cute bronchitis with a side order of coughing my guts out.

Three trips to the pharmacy (their computers went down) and four prescriptions later:  I was $93 poorer and had a stronger antibiotic, an inhaler, prednisone, followed by cough syrup that tasted like the breathing treatment, along with strict instructions to rest for a few days.

What did I learn from all this (you might ask)?

I need a new dentist.