A Very Toothsome Update

Guess who had an emergency tooth extraction?

This Chick!

What the heck are you talking about, you say? WELL.

In August ’22, kidney failure put me in the hospital. It came out of nowhere.

They managed after a couple weeks to get me stabilized, but they could not SOLVE the problem because they could not FIND the problem.

Blood-work said infection.

Infection sported an invisibility cloak, teasing us with maliciously whispered “gotchas” from the corner.

The docs couldn’t even make whatever it was grow in a petri dish, for crying out loud – so the thing killing me WAS UNKNOWN.

So for months, we’ve been chasing this – dealing with fallout, with constant illness.

THEN. We happened upon an article from the Mayo Clinic, and discovered (drum roll) that a screwed-up root canal can, in fact, shut down your kidneys out of nowhere.

By gum, I HAD a screwed-up root canal, didn’t I? Back in Seattle, right before we moved, many years ago, and it went so poorly. I mean, a tooth isn’t supposed to hurt constantly after a root canal, right? Right? SO you’d THINK.

I did not know just HOW screwed up it was.

Spoiler: It Was Very Screwed Up.

Well-meaning dentists in the area kept telling me to try to keep the tooth, so I did – which meant another root canal (which ALSO failed), antibiotics put inside the tooth (felt like glory!), a brand-new crown that collapsed in on itself TWICE (and cut my tongue a lot, which feels like it ought to be a metaphor for something).

All the while, kidney function continues to decline, fevers persist etc.

THEN (whew) I finally got an appointment to see an expert – one of the best in the whole state.

He took one look at this poison-bone in my mouth and said WHY IS THAT STILL IN THERE?!?!

Yes. He communicated in interrobang.

He then did a thing I’ve only ever seen in movies: he had the oral surgeon CLEAR HIS SCHEDULE to get me in right away.

Twenty minutes from diagnosis to knife.

The bad poison-bone had to go.

SO… It’s gone! I am goofy from pain. Getting it out was An Adventure I’d Like Not To Repeat (filled with all kinds of observations I’m going to be able to use in future torture scenes), and…

Well, almost immediately, I felt better.

I mean, long ways to go, and all that. But the constant fever I’ve had since forever has gone DOWN. And I’m sleeping. Actually SLEEPING for more than an hour at a time. (Wish that was an exaggeration.)

Even with exhaustion and nausea, I still feel better than I did before going under the knife. That, to me, is insane.

Down with the poison-bone. Up with… the opposite of that.

Now you know! I’m gonna go have a nap.

P.S. If you want to see the tooth that nearly killed me, I’ll send it your way. It’s fairly horrifying, so I won’t just post it out of nowhere.

But you better believe I’m keeping it forever.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.