I could write the book on dental stuff. I won’t. But I could.

I'm a top student in the Pain Management course.

I might even graduate cum laude.

Yesterday I sat in a tavern from 3.30 to 10.30 p.m. Seven hours! Had no idea! Surprised myself when I did the math while leaving.

Wasn't strictly nursing diseased teeth, gums and bone, oh no. I was working on a project on the laptop.

I'm like that. Bombs could be bursting all around and I could still pull out my laptop, pad of paper or a book, anything involving words, and remain totally focused and calm.

People have remarked on that frequently over the years. How can you read in all this noise and activity?

Noise? Activity? I look up. Oh yeah, it's a beehive all right. Then I return to the laptop or reading material.

This new tavern, the one yesterday, I'm liking it more and more. Actually, it's not new, it's old, it's I who is new to it. And a pub must meet highly stringent criteria to make my hangout list. This one does.

Only thing I'd change is to put electrical outlets at the counter — always sit at the counter, it's the heart and heartbeat — so's not to need to relocate when the laptop battery drains.

Still, absence of counter outlets is a small price for the reward of a cool dive. Plus the one outlet is in a reasonable spot — in the corner at the front, by a window and pool tables.

So I can keep my unconscious finger on the pulse while enjoying my own lil' space. Pull the lil' round black table up close, set up chairs, remove shoes (hate shoes, you know, must remove at hangouts), stretch out the legs. Set the beer pint here, the water pint there.

I always drink water with the beer, at about a 2:1 ratio. Each glass must have a coaster too, otherwise not a proper beer, the coaster's a sign of respect.

A good bartender comes to know these things. Refills the water glass without my asking. It's the details that matter most.

Attention to detail separates a good bartender from a mediocre or poor lazy one. Perhaps this is one reason people have long told me I'd make a terrifc bartender. I suffer the poor bartender only if I'm on his/her shift infrequently and the dive has achieved hangout status.

Anyhow, there I am with my project, raging dental woes and these. Because now and then an unemployed girl with a biermeister heart has gotta change it up from the cheap blue-collar brew. (And I loooooove stouts and porters this time of year.) I was drinking 9 Lb. porter from Georgetown (Washington). Not what's pictured, similar appearance.

Pain Management 1

Back home seven hours later and the teeth, though feeling better — or is it me? — are far from good.

So I pull the teabag trick. You know, a hot teabag on the tooth, for anyone who missed that posting.

And jump online to research more healing aids. And find this.

Pain Management 2

So there I'm sitting with slabs of garlic against each side of the teeth and a wedged-in teabag. Quite the picture of romance am I.

Damn that garlic burns!! Worth bearing through. Garlic kills infections, you know, and the garlicy painkiller's effective once the burn subsides.

Didn't wanna remove the oh-so-attractive first-aid contraption set so expertly but it was time for bedtime brushing. With my snazzy Oral-B electric.

Instead of the usual flossing routine, I kick it up a notch.

Pain Management 3

plus

Create a paste, thicker better than runny, FYI, and dip the floss in — this to send the healing antibacterial solution deep into every nook, cranny and hard-to-reach place around the infected area. Also beneficial across gumlines for general maintenance.

A smart move, it positions the pieces such that I'm able to fall into slumber without additional chemical assistance.

That's as much and as well as any person could do short of a dentist.

Today the pain's under control and well managed, which was my intent. Long as I don't stimulate or apply pressure. And breathe quietly.

Today I got my brain back.

And as they say, a mind's a terrible thing to waste.

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