In the aftermath of the Leeds exam, I've unfortunately fallen quite ill. It started last Monday (I actually expected to become sick straight after the Leeds exam, once all the stress had disappeared) but it waited three days and then struck me. I got a sore throat first, which was fine. But then my teeth started to hurt.
I suspected it was a wisdom tooth coming through, because the pain was at the back of my mouth where it would come through, and I'd had some pain a few months ago, but it disappeared after a few days. But this time the pain just got worse and worse, until I found it really difficult to eat, drink and sleep.
I had my midterm exam at ICU this Thursday, but I'd barely slept the night before so I don't think I did very well at all. I left early and cycled straight to a dentist in Tama (多摩) that was recommended by two of my friends from Leeds who have had teeth problems. But they were closed on Thursdays! So I found a different one near the station, but they were full on Thursday, so I made an appointment for yesterday (Friday).
I had another near-sleepless night on Thursday night, and then went to teach English, but I don't think I did a great job with such a painful mouth. I did explain what was wrong to my students though - they all know "wisdom tooth" now!
The dentist didn't speak any English, which I was expecting, so I had my electronic dictionary out checking the technical words. She took an X-ray and told me that my wisdom tooth was coming through, and it had caused the gum to become inflamed. She explained what she was going to do, and then injected anaesthetic around the area, and then used a laser to treat the gum. At first I didn't realise she was already using the laser, but then I could smell and taste burning flesh, and that was a pretty clear indication!
Afterwards they gave me two pills for pain, if it did come back. And come back it did! I'm worried that it might have become infected and spread, because my throat is still very painful and my jaw is tender to the touch. But the pills they gave me are rubbish! I took one last night to help me sleep, and I could still feel everything! I actually find British supermarket-bought Paracetamol much more effective. Japanese medicine just isn't strong enough! Plus I'm quite tall so there's more "body" for it to get through before it actually helps me.
If I'm still in pain on Monday I'll go back to the dentist and ask if there's anything else they can do. If it is infected, I don't want it to spread further, because one of my friends had to have root canal surgery here last year, and I really don't want that!
It was quite easy to actually get the appointment, and the treatment was quite cheap (Y1,600), because I have Japanese national health insurance and I just showed them my insurance card (保険証, hokenshou). I didn't have that last time I lived in Japan on a working holiday visa, so I don't know what would happen if I didn't have it.
I really hope it gets better soon. I miss sleep and food!