clutching my new best friend, Lidocaine Eugenol (I call him Eugene for short)
Today is the fifth day of my post-wisdom tooth extraction agony. I woke at 4:47am, and complained to whoever would listen about how much pain I was in despite all the painkillers and ice. My dearest Rebecca, who is only months away from graduating as a witch naturopath, gave me a brief list of things that might accelerate my healing — after all, James will be here in 3 days and I still can’t smile or talk. Eventually 8:30 rolled around and I headed down to the chemist.

Everyone there wanted to talk long and hard, and ask many many questions about every aspect of my life — hardly any of it relevant to my purchases. Trying not to glare, and doing my best to explain that speaking caused me a LOT of pain, I eventually managed to gather up the zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium supplements in dosages that would actually be of use. But when I asked for oil of cloves, I was met with blank stares. I said I’d be back soon, and set off to find some elsewhere.

You would think that in a country so big on herbal medecine, the link between oil of cloves and toothache would have been established a long time ago. But every chemist I asked for 丁香油 looked dumbfounded. Eventually I resigned myself to returning to my original chemist (who is a sweetheart, if somewhat inquisitive). When I got there, he leapt upon me with excitement, showing me a bottle he had dug out of god knows where. Primary ingredient, lidocaine hydrochloride; secondary ingredient, eugenol (aka the active ingredient in clove oil). He was so pleased with himself that it would have been cruel not to buy it — but trust me, I was in so much pain at that point I would have taken just the lidocaine.

And to consolidate my love for this chemist (who already has my heart, because they stock Yaz at 585NT a pack, instead of 650NT as it is everywhere else), when it was time to pay, they totally saved my zinc-deficient butt. I had heard 165NT for a bottle of zinc, but it was in fact 650NT. I went even paler than I already am, and he kindly offered to sell them to me per pill instead of per bottle. So I was able to buy 21 tablets for 105NT instead. Isn’t that kind?

Anyway, I came home and took all my pills: Yaz, ibuprofen, paracetemol, antibiotics, zinc, calcium+vitamin tablets (strawberry-flavoured; very tasty), and a partridge in a pear tree, washed down with so much live yoghurt. Then I busted out the lidocaine drops at last… the instructions say for use by dentists only, which is fantastic as that basically translates as “this will actually work”. Now half my mouth is numb and I am almost at peace, until the next time I try to use my jaws for something crazy like eating, speaking or smiling.


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