But I am back, holed up in hackney flat and waiting for spring to set in.
A bit of time off is somewhat useful lately as I've dealt with tooth dramas, article now to follow...!
I've always hated dentists, since I was a teenager when train track braces were affixed to my teeth and was handed a scary looking metal implement with restraints. Not a kinky item as that would be illegal given I was only 14, and braces generally don't go hand in hand with fetish.
This is a confession, I had a head brace.
It was something I only had to wear at night thankfully, although my mum would regularly remind me to wear it when I got home whenever I had a guest over. (She will try to correct me on this as I know she is reading it, hello mum send money, but this is what my memory tells me)
It was painful, it was humiliating, and I hated it. I would wake in the morning to find it taken off and on my bedside table. Awake me hated it, but unconscious me seemed to want no part of it.
Alongside the headgear I had to have regular check ups, tightened braces, elastic bands, the works, and believed my dentist had nothing but hatred for me. If I was him I would have done too as my nervousness seemed to pass itself into a nervous gas which would resonate loudly around the white office helped along by the plastic fabric on the chair forming an unbeatable bond of volume and humiliation.
This went on for two years until the braces finally came off.
I was excited seeing other girls braces removed to reveal amazing straight perfect white teeth. A diet of American tv convinced me that braces gave you that perfect smile that every one wants and I too would join the ranks of the perfectly toothed. How wrong I was.
My teeth were now weakened, ridged and chipped. They were a bit straighter but even another year of wearing a retainer didn't help me to believe that all the pain and agony was worthwhile, from having four teeth removed just to have the braces in the first place, to the sleepless nights, jaw pain, and having to brush and floss while at school while the prettier girls use the hand driers to get their 90's wispy fringes right. (Note: I was an ugly duckling)
And so I avoid dentists. I hadn't been to one for ten years as all they would tell me was about the lack of enamel left in my teeth and how there was ridges in my teeth, I knew all of this already and it was all thanks to braces.
I avoid smiling fully, talking in a way that may show my teeth and became very self conscious of them but suddenly a pain began.
My wisdom tooth had decided to surprise me by coming through unnoticed and immediately starting to rot inside my mouth, I could feel my pulse inside my head and it was utterly relentless.
After a few days of this Edd decided to take action, calling for an emergency appointment and walking me into the dentists, a dodgy looking two roomed shop front in hackney where the receptionists teeth made me question the quality of this dentist. The dentist found the problem and advised me to go straight to the London dental hospital at 7am the next morning, along with a note that had the word urgent underlined all of two times.
To make it easier for them he decided to take some X-rays, the machine however being so old that the arm would move it around as soon as he turned to push the button and causing him frustration. So much so that he swung the X-ray machine into my face where the tooth pain lay, sadly this didn't dislodge the tooth...
The next day we rose at 5.30am to get across London, believing that we needed to be there for 7am to get seen. Handy tip for everyone, the walk in emergency dentists doesn't actually open till 8am.
An hour was spent shivering, smoking, and wincing in the cold and rain of a January morning while more and more people turned up to join the queue.
Second in the queue we hoped the process would be quick and we could go back to sleep as we were both performing that night, we sat, we waited, we took turns going outside for yet more cigarettes, and we waited some more. Finally about 9.30ish my name was called and my tooth was looked at. The X-ray revealed that the previous dentists could not take an X-ray as he had missed off the actual infected tooth.
So back I went to wait for the X-ray technician. His contraptions to help get the X-ray were somewhat scarier than I expected. Flashbacks of metal head gear popped to mind which quickly lead to other flashbacks once it started to hit my gag reflex. (You can stop reading now mum)
I yanked it out of my mouth before gagging while he had to audacity to look confused, his girlfriend has my sympathies. After a second attempt with a smaller contraption the X-ray was done and it was time to get the deed done.
Finally I was in the chair wrapped in a plastic bib, with only one dental technician at the ready to pull out the pain inducing tooth. The injections began which I hate and the numbness set in. Alongside the numbness came the drool, this is when a second technician came along to wield the suction device.
The pulling started along with the crumbling of the tooth meaning the suction device was now sucking up pieces of tooth when not attaching itself to my tongue.
That's when the third dentist got involved taking turns to wiggle the tooth with metal pincers which couldn't quite get the grip and jangled around the rest of my teeth. I didn't like this.
Pulling and pulling the tooth did not want to come out, this is when the fourth technician cam to hold my head, pat my hair and tell me I was doing well. In my drugged mind I started to wonder if I was at the dentists for tooth pain or if I was being put down. Just call me Redbeard.
After half an hour of four dentists playing around inside my mouth the tooth gave way, and all but two technicians disappeared.
They showed me the problem which was that my tooth root had gathered some kind of lovely infection around it doubling the size of the root and leading to possible facial abscesses. Great.
Now the after care which she waited to tell me while I was waving from side to side under anesthetic and shock, the usual salt water rinse, soft foods, no alcohol etc....then she hit me with the big one.
"No smoking for 48 hours."
What?! This couldn't have been mentioned before so I could chain smoke a whole packet in preparation?! Can this be used to get me off any murder charges in court as it may now become an issue?!?
Nothing helps you stop smoking more than the impending doom of infecting what was an already painfully infected area, and with a name like "Dry Hole" it scares you away even more.
I was shocked at how I didn't scratch out eyes or collapse into a heap of withdrawal crying for those 48 hours. I may have been a little more tense than usual, maybe even a little short tempered (this is a regular occurrence anyway) but generally I got on with it. I was okay.
Even when told e-cigarettes and nicotine gum were also a no go and my choice was cold turkey, I somehow managed.
I counted the hours and started to feel more happy with managing to keep my head while suffering not only facial pain, but nicotine withdrawal. I even managed to do a show later that night and another the next day while not killing anyone.
It's been 4 days now since I had the lovely experience explained in detail above, and while I have since had 4 cigarettes since I could smoke again, I have thrown all four away before they were finished as the taste was disgusting. Even Edd is now down to only 2-4 a day when we were previously on about 20 each per day and we've been using the same pack that was bought Friday morning before the dentists yanked my tooth.
So while the pain, early mornings, waiting around, lack of being able to drink for a week, and everything else I have suffered through this past week I'm now on the road to kicking the cigarettes.
And all it took was a hole in the head.