Mark Andrews: Teething troubles make me want to scream

I'm in a particularly foul mood as I write this.

The Scream
The Scream

"What's new?" some of the less kind of you will no doubt be saying. I'm aware that one or two of you mistake my healthy scepticism for curmudgeonliness.

But this time I really am feeling curmudgeonly, and for good reason.

It's not so much that it is freezing cold, I'm still bogged down with sorting my mortgage out following the ill-fated mini-budget, that half the country's on strike, and the postal strike in particular is preventing me from accessing my money.

The main reason for my less than cheerful demeanour is down to the fact that my mouth is swollen like a rugby ball, my mouth is filled with blood, and I've just endured an unsuccessful attempt to extract a tooth from my mouth which means I will now have to be referred to a specialist which could take weeks.

Dental problems are leaving me with a sour taste in the mouth

I've also got to take antibiotics with food three times a day, which is a little difficult given that I can't eat until the bleeding stems. Which it has shown no sign whatsoever of doing for the past five hours. It also means I cannot drink beer or wine for the next seven days, and believe me, I could do with a drink at the moment.

At least I'm not in too much pain, but my dentist has advised me that will no longer be the case when my anaesthetic wears off. Normally, he recommends ibuprofen, but I can't take that because of my heart medication.

And my computer has also crashed, wiping out my first draft of this column.

Oh, Merry Christmas, by the way.

This abortive extraction is actually my second procedure in as many weeks, and comes just as the discomfort was starting to subside from the previous one. When one door shuts, another one slams in your face, as the late Tommy Docherty once said.

Still, clutching for anything to be positive about, there is a line of thought that we are at our most creative when we are in discomfort. Indeed, the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch felt that his own troubles were central to his talent, and that he would never want his torment to end. Then again, he spent most of his life in and out of psychiatric hospitals. And something tells me this column is not going to go down with The Scream when it comes to our respective legacy in the world of art.

It does remind me, though of a mildly funny story from when I had a previous tooth out, about 20 or so years ago.

Back then, I did mange to emerge from the dentist without haemorrhaging gums, or the need to see a specialist. But I was so numb I was completely without any sense of pain. As I put my briefcase back in the boot of the car, I split my head open on the tailgate, and never felt a thing.

Oblivious to the fact that my head was streaming and my face covered in blood, I breezed into the office with barely a care in the world.

"What have you done?" gasped a voice at the back.

"Oh, I've been to the dentist," I nonchalantly replied, hammily clutching my jaw for comic effect. The entire newsroom wondered just what my dentist had done to me.

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