How a lousy root canal became pneumonia.

I’m amazed at how many folks have emailed me to ask just how the hell I came down with pneumonia. Was it from Antarctica? No. Was it from working too hard? No. Writing? Being out on the farm during a snowstorm? Being around college students?


This pneumonia was a side effect, believe it or not. Back in late October, I had an old crown fall out from a 15 yr old root canal. At the time I wasn’t making the connection, but I was suffering from a lot of sinus infections, inability to focus, ridiculous fatigue, insomina…

When the crown feel out, the dentist thought nothing of it. Old crowns do that. He fitted me for a new one, put in a temporary, and I dealt with the rest of the semester and went to Antarctica. Then, I got back. 10 days ago I was eating a piece of chocolate and the temporary broke apart in my mouth. I was suddenly having a lot of head and jaw pain. Got to the dentist the next day and they discovered a serious abscess at the bottom at the very bottom tip of a root that never got taken care. In other words, the abscess could have been in there for years.

They put me on antibiotics and sent me home with the warning that my immune system was about to take a nose pe. I was scheduled for dental surgery the next week to deal with the abscess.

A day later I was running a 103 and suddenly developed a wicked cough.

Two days later, pneumonia set in and yeah, apparently pneumonia can be a side effect of an abscess. Cute, huh?

So now, a month later, I am done with three rounds of nasty antibiotics, have a mouth full of stitches from dental surgery, and am hopefully on the mend. My brain certainly feels clearer, thanks to having the abscess removed. So now, it’s a matter of getting back on track with teaching and writing.

And living.