Friday, July 07, 2006

Toothache

I had to go sick call today because of a tooth that’s been causing pain for weeks now. I thought the pain would go away but it never did. It’s a problem with one of my molars. I get pain whenever I eat hot or cold foods. So I finally decided to have it checked out. Since today was a maintenance day I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do maintenance on my tooth.

I had to get a sick call slip from our operations center before I went over to the medical clinic. I guess I can’t just walk right in during sick call hours. Maybe they want to make sure company medics could try and fix the problem first. I knew this is nothing the company medics would be able to handle. I had to see a dentist.

When I got there I was given a number and told to have a seat. I didn’t have to wait too long, thank God. I started wishing I had brought my book to read while I waited. They were playing Star Wars Episode I on the TV and I found it boring. I’ve seen that movie many times and I’ve never liked it. It only took a few minutes before they called me. I wondered what the other people waiting before me were thinking. “How did he get in so quick?”

I was escorted to the back of the clinic and told to fill out a questionnaire. It was a typical dental questionnaire that asked if I was allergic to any medications and if I had any changes to my health recently. I didn’t have to wait long for the dentist either. In fact, I think I was his first and only patient of the day. I could tell by remarks that other medics made in the hallway, “You got one!”

They did an x-ray and I had to get my old filling taken out. He replaced it with a composite filling. It was like a quick fix and he wanted to see if the size of the filling was causing the problem. If I still have pain in a couple of weeks I’ll have to go back for a root canal.

The picture above is from the sign that’s posted outside the clinic. It’s named after Specialist Michelle Marie Witmer. She was a Guardsman, like me, from Wisconsin that was killed during a patrol here in Baghdad about two years ago. The clinic is named after her.

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