Too Many Peas (A Poem)

Here I am in pain from a badly infected gum
The nerves have been damaged, and my chin is all numb
I’ve been to the dentist and paid substantial fees
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

They think I may have Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
My mouth is so painful, and the bone is very sore
It hurts when I cough and hurts more when I sneeze
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

Necrosis means death to my very fragile bone
I may need an operation, as my X-rays have shown
I’m pretty terrified and have wobbly, knocking knees
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

Will surgery be needed? My mind is full of fear
My heart’s thumping loudly, and I’m gulping down the air
I wish I could eat, as I’m missing bread and cheese
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

I wish I’d never set foot inside the dentist’s door
I didn’t expect this trouble; that’s for sure
I’ve been using an ice pack to help the pain to ease
And all I can eat is custard and mashed peas

I’ve never had pain like it, not even giving birth
It’s cost me a fortune – I’ve not had my money’s worth
I’m in so much agony; can you make it go, please
Because all I can eat is custard and mashed peas.

Photo by Engin Akyurt:

Author: Ellie Thompson

Writing my memoirs, musings, a little fiction and a lot of poetry as a way of exploring and making the most of my life ... ... Having had a break from writing my blog for more than three years, I decided to return to write my memoirs, some day-to-day observations, views and feelings. My passion is non-fiction poetry. I have a disability and use an electric powerchair called Alfie and let nothing get in the way of living life to the full. I believe that you can never do a kindness too soon and should give credit where credit is due. A smile or a kind word could make the difference between a good or bad day for a person - we never know what's going on for another soul. Those little things, perhaps, practised daily like a mantra, could mean so much to someone else. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading a little more about me. Please, make yourself at home here. You are very welcome. Ellie x 😊

88 thoughts on “Too Many Peas (A Poem)”

    1. Thank you, Cathy. I am still in a lot of pain, even with strong painkillers and some new and powerful antibiotics. I’m doing saltwater mouth rinses four times a day and using an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day, too. I’m hoping I will feel a bit better tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed. Xx 💛

      1. I hope you are feeling better today. when i have dental work, i usually rinse with salt water about each half hour or less as the pain subsides. take care 😊🙏

        1. Thanks very much, Cathy. I’m still in quite a lot of pain, but the numbness is just beginning to wear off, so the nerve must be recovering, hopefully. I have an antiseptic mouthwash to use twice a day, and am using salt water frequently in between. With a bit of luck, it’ll be quite a bit better by tomorrow. Thanks for caring. Xx 🤗💕

  1. Wishing you a safe recovery. Dental pain is terrible. If you’re able to take CBD capsules, I have found it very effective as a pain killer. I used it for 2 root canals – before and after, as well as for post surgery pain. I took 15 mg capsules, 2-3 at a time every 4 hours, like a Tylenol protocol. You can do this in addition to what the dentist has you on.

    1. Thank you, Tamara. The pain is getting me down, but I’m glad I was able to write something today, however silly. I do take CBD gummies to help me sleep. I have a few left, which I will try for the pain, but Amazon have just increased the cost from £17.10 for a pot of 30 gummies to £21.50! I take two a day. I can’t afford them anymore now, especially after the exorbitant dental fees I’ve had to pay this week. I still have to go back on Friday; before then, if the pain doesn’t start to ease. Goodness knows how much that will cost. I’m missing eating normally, although I’m not all that hungry; not surprising really, given that I’m hardly doing anything. I hope you are well, Tamara. X

      1. I understand, CBD isn’t inexpensive. I buy mine online from, but I don’t think they’re available in the UK. I wait until they have sales, then buy a few bottles of capsules. Maybe Google other sources? I wish you well and speedy healing.

        1. Thanks, Tamara. I’ll look into some other sources. I will research the company you mentioned, too. I might be lucky and find they are available to be shipped to the UK. I’m searching for some cheaper ones on Amazon, too. There are quite a few, but so many of them aren’t vegan, which is half the problem. X

  2. You paid quite a price, monetarily and physically, but your block appears to be gone. Good job! Now maybe you can write a poem about your dentist. That should be fun (hortifying fun, that is) to read! 😭😭😭

    1. It certainly has cost me ‘an arm and a leg’, as they say here, in all ways. I’m not sure I’ve really got anything more to say on the topic of dentists, having written three pieces about my experiences. I’m sure it will get boring for my readers.

      I’m trying to write a piece that was given as a prompt on WP a few weeks ago. I don’t generally write on the prompt suggestions, but this one was writing a letter to your 100-year-old self. It’s not as easy as it sounds as it’s difficult to get the tenses correct. If I decide it’s any good, I will publish it here; if not, I will simply scrap it 💙💜💙.

      I had to go to a private dentist, as I think I mentioned, as the procedure I needed couldn’t be done on the NHS because of a pre-existing condition I have. I ususally have to pay for dental costs, but nowhere near as much as it cost to go privately. I’m having to make a lot of cutbacks in my general life until I’ve paid off for all the treatment I’ve had and some to come (I have to go back on Friday again). Luckily, I am not able to eat much so food hasn’t cost much this week.

      1. Pre-existing conditions are the bane of getting good insurance. When it comes to public health they should not even be discussed, let alone be the cause of making you pay.
        If I had to pay for medical treatments because of a pre-existing conditions, i would be homeless right now. I would be appealing that decision, though considering your conservative government, they will just laugh.

        1. Yes, you’re right, J. I had the choice between having the tooth out privately and fairly quickly or waiting over a year for an NHS appointment in London, which is difficult to travel to at the best of times. Given that I had toothache, I just couldn’t have waited for a year. The pre-existing condition is severe osteoporosis, and the problem is the drugs I have to take to treat this. They’re called bisphosphonates, and they help to build up new bone. It’s the drug that causes the problem with bone healing, which is why it has to be done with great care. Even then, as in my case, the infection can very often eat into the bone, which is why it is so painful. Now, it’s just a case of hoping the new, stronger antibiotics will get on top of the infection.

          On the subject of our government, they are there for the rich, including themselves, naturally, and not for the poor or average person. I also heard about the court case involving Trump on the news last night and could hardly believe my ears when I heard he could still run for president! What a totally horrifying thought (certainly in my eyes, anyway!!) 💙

          1. Your pre-e isting condition is “not your fault,” and therefore should not be part of the discussion. To make a person in severe pain wait for over a year for dental surgery is basically forcing you to use private health, AND THAT IS NOT A CHOICE! I’d like to see your M8nister of Health have to deal with that one. (And even tnough he could afford it, he would find a way to make it happen TODAY and still not have to pay for it.) Gotta love those Tory azzwipes!
            Take care of yourself as best you can. You need those teeth to take a bite out of someone’s behind! 🤮🥵

            1. Thanks, J. I love the way you worded your reply. All perfectly accurate, unfortunately. Our next general election isn’t until January 2023, so that’s two more whole years of Tory government and their lies and greed. Let’s hope an earlier election is called, although I somehow doubt it. Can but hope. X

              1. If the majority of people would stsat complaing, sooner moght happen. But the Toriex will never call early on their own. They are too afraid of losing power even 1 day earlier than they have to.

    1. Thank you so much, Maggie. I’m feeling pretty grim this evening despite all the extra drugs. I can’t seem to get on top of the pain. Thank you very much for thinking of me. I appreciate that a lot. Big hugs for you, too, dear Maggie. Xxxx 💖🤗💖

        1. Sleeping is difficult, you’re right. I’m going to phone my doctor in the morning to see if she will write me a prescription for some stronger painkillers. The ones I am taking aren’t touching it. I have to go back to the dentist on Friday, too. Thanks for caring, Maggie. Xxx 💜🌹💜

    1. Thank you so much, Kerry. I’m sorry your mum experienced the same thing. It’s pretty grim. Writing seems to be a good distraction from the pain, albeit temporarilty. (I’ve just started reading your ‘Fatal Attraction’ post). Xx 💙.

  3. You are amazing to be able to write a poem while enduring all that pain. I don’t know if US slang is the same as UK slang but it seems like a ‘fine kettle of fish’. Custard and mashed peas is a fine refrain — it works very well. It must be difficult for one to become accustomed to custard. I’m really sorry this has happened to you. I’m glad so many people here are so warm and comforting and can articulate their feelings so well. I join them in their prayers for you.

    1. Thank you so much, Doug. I am finding the act of writing takes my mind off the pain a bit as I really have to concentrate, which is not easy at the moment. A ‘fine kettle of fish’ is also a UK slang phrase. I am getting very fed up with eating custard and mashed peas. I bought peas last week for my dinner, but then, I had my tooth out and got the infection, so I couldn’t eat them in the normal way. To save wasting them, I’ve been mashing them to a pulp. I can’t say I enjoy them, though. One of my lovely readers suggested making jelly. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before. I will make some this afternoon as that will slip down easily and doesn’t need to be chewed. Thank you for your prayers for me – they are much appreciated.

  4. Holy crap Ellie, this sucks. I’ve never had a bone infection, but I do have rotten teeth, never really took care of them well enough. Occasionally I will get food deep under my gum in a place a tooth pick and floss cant get to and that will pound a nerve for days, and all I can do is wait until my saliva breaks it down.

    I hope the dentist can give you some sort of solution.

    1. Thanks, Brian. Bone infection is excruciating. I’m hoping the new, more potent antibiotics will help with that. I’m taking strong painkillers, which are hardly helping at all. Sorry to hear you have rotten teeth and get food trapped under your gum. That must be painful, too. I find it difficult to floss my teeth at the best of times, as my teeth are set very closely together. I’m returning to the dentist tomorrow, so I will see what they say then.

    1. Thank you very much, Kate. I appreciate your kind words. I’m still in a lot of pain, but I have to go back to the dentist tomorrow, so I will know more about whether I’ll need surgery or not. I’m dreading the thought, but I’m wishing and hoping it won’t happen. Xx 💕 P.S. Sorry I’ve missed so many of your recent posts – my concentration is really rubbish at the moment, and I am behind with everybody’s posts X.

  5. Oh nooooooo. Oh Ellie, my heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain. I’m praying the pain goes away and that your mouth and jaw both heal really quickly. Sending you gentle hugs xx

    1. Thank you so much, Janet. I’m really fed up of being in so much pain. Thank you for your prayers and hugs – they are both very much appreicated. Sending many hugs for you, too Xx 🤗🌷💕

  6. Yow, that’s horrible news. I hope they can treat you easily with meds and surgery won’t be necessary. On the lighter side, what is it with you Brits and peas. God I hate them. I can’t even look at them without my stomach turning. Once, visiting England, I ordered a burger and fries and my plate came covered with peas. Uck. It’s unholy.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. I dread the thought of surgery as the infection can spread from the jawbone to the bones in the face and sinuses. I hope it won’t come to that.

      How funny about you and peas. I love peas, but I’m now sick to death of them, especially mashed up, a bit like mushy peas. Over here, burgers and fries often come with peas automatically. If you’re lucky, you get a salad instead. You made me smile (as much as I can smile without pain), declaring peas to be unholy!

    1. Thank you very much, Thomas. That’s kind of you. I’m on strong painkillers, but they are hardly ‘touching the sides.’ I have to go back to the dentist again tomorrow if the pain is still this bad.

    1. Yes, it certainly does suck, PeNdantry. I like your rhyme – it made me smile; as far as I can smile without it hurting. I have to say I’m sick to death of custard and mashed-up peas.

      How are you keeping these days?

      1. Glad I could bring about a grin
        I always count that as a win 🙂
        Today I find I’m in fine fettle
        In my new home I will soon settle.
        No longer as of late deranged:
        Contracts finally exchanged! 🍾

        1. Another lovely rhyme, PeNdantry. I’m glad you’ve exchanged contracts and are in your new home. All that legal stuff is a nightmare, isn’t it? My son’s house has been on the market for months. When they did get a buyer, someone dropped out of the chain, so his house has got to go back on the market all over again. At this rate, he’ll never move!

          1. The rules governing house purchase in England are completely nuts. (My guess is that, as with so many other things, rules such as these don’t get changed because they don’t trouble those who have the power to change them.)

            1. I totally agree with you, C. Our house purchase rules and regulations are ridiculous. And I daresay you are right about it being because they rarely affect those with the power. My son’s house has now been on the market for ten months! It’s in a popular area, and he has had to drop the price by thousands twice already. At this rate, he’ll stand to lose the house he is trying to move into. They say that moving house is one of the three most stressful life events, the other two being death and divorce.

    1. Thank you, Mick. It is pretty grim at the moment. And I’m so fed up with the custard and peas that they are both beginning to taste rather yuk. Thanks for your good wishes. X

  7. I wish you well and speed healing. Really good job, you write a poem about your dentist . So painful words written you in poem. Nice written you have to experience. You everyday two to three time rines often with the warm salt water.
    Tack care, Ellie!

    1. Thank you very much, Rajkkhoja. I’m so glad you liked my poem. I am using an antiseptic mouthwash and also saltwater to rinse my mouth with regularly during the day. Take care of yourself, too. Xx 💙

  8. Eww. I’d have to stick with only custard. I can’t do peas.

    Ugh…that jaw pain and whole situation sounds awful! I’m so sorry, Ellie!

    1. Thank you, David. It is pretty grim right now. Funnily enough, one of my other readers said they can’t stand peas, either. I’m rapidly going off of custard now, too, as I’ve had so much of it. I fancy a nice vegetable samosa – not much chance of that right now.

        1. That’s a good idea, David; I’m glad you suggested that, as I have a smoothie maker, but it’s tucked away in the kitchen and rarely gets used. Now would be the perfect time. It’ll make a nice change from peas and custard! Thanks again.

  9. This sounds awful, I’m so sorry and hope you feel better soon (and don’t need surgery). On the bright side, if we want to say there is a bright side here, your poem is very well-written – I found myself physically flinching because you convey the pain so well. Here’s to you writing a feel-good poem once you recover! 🥂❤️

    1. Thank you so much for reading my poem and being kind enough to leave me such a lovely comment. I’m really hoping I won’t need surgery, too. I’m so glad you liked my poem, although sorry it made you wince. I will give some serious thought to writing a poem celebrating my release from the pain and infection when it goes. Thanks for the suggestion 💗.

    1. Thank you, dear Allie. I spoke to my dentist, who said to phone my doctor in the morning to request some stronger pain relief as the usual pain medications aren’t touching the pain at all. I’m sorry to have gone on and on about my pain.

      I must write about something else tomorrow, as it must be very tiresome for everyone to keep reading about my pain.

      I started a piece that was a prompt here on WP a few weeks ago where it was suggested that you write to your 100-year-old self. I’ve written most of it, and it will make a change from all the dentist stuff. I hope you are well today. Do take care of you, too Xx 💐💕

  10. I am so sorry that you still have to deal with the terrible pain. Your poem, though incredjbly sad, has great rhythm and rhyme! May you feel better soon and feast on bread and cheese, dear Ellie.💖😊

    1. Thank you very much, dear Aaysid. I am currently waiting for my doctor to give me a callback, and I’m hoping she’ll give me some stronger painkillers to counteract the severe nerve pain I now have. I’m glad you enjoyed my poem, though. I appreciate that. Thank you, too, for your get well wishes, which are much appreciated. How I long to eat some bread and cheese, perhaps with pickle as a sandwich! I’m sick to death of custard and mashed-up peas. I don’t think I ever want to see a bowl of custard again for as long as I live! Xx 💛

    1. Thanks, Ann. It is rather scary, you are right. I feel it will never ease, but I know, in reality, that it will given more time. Thank you very much for your prayers for me. That’s much appreciated. X

    1. Thanks, Brit. I don’t think I ever want to see another bowlful of custard in my life – much the same as being sick to death of mashed up peas. I’m still having to eat very soft foods a week after the extraction. I thought it would be all healed up by now, but I’ve been unlucky. I’m in a lot of pain this morning – it’s nerve pain where the numbness is just beginning to wear off, so I’m waiting for a callback from my doctor to see if she’ll give me some stronger painkillers. Fingers crossed she’ll be sympathetic. X 🌹

        1. I’m still in a lot of pain and they’re now saying it’s nerve damage caused by the oral sugery and it might not get better! Not good news, but I’ve decided to continue to try and enjoy the things in my life despite the pain. Xx 😘.

  11. I have never seen anyone make poetry because of dental issues but I really like it. I have a lot of dental issues too but what you are going through sounds awful! I hope you’ll feel better soon, so you can eat something other than peas.

    1. Thank you very much, Kat. I’m sorry you have dental issues, too, and thank you for liking my poem and for your get well wishes. I really appreciate your kindness. I am very fed up with custard and peas, and I’ll be glad when I can eat something else 🌼.

    1. Thank you so much, Allan. That’s very kind of you. I really have been trying to catch up with your posts, but I’ve been frequently incapacitated in one way or another for some time. Everytime I see a post from you pop into my inbox, I mark it with a star (meaning important) and still, I haven’t managed it. I’ve been like that with everyone’s work for a while, not just yours. We’ve had some good conversations over the time we’ve known each other and I’d like to re-establish this. I hope you are well, and it’s good to hear from you.

  12. First, I’m so sad this is happening to you. It absolutely should not have gone this way. Second, you have written a really powerful poem here, Ellie. That repeated last line of each stanza really works to show your feelings. I could feel it so strongly—fear, pain, disappointment, worry. You’ve conveyed a lot here. Very strong writing. Very strong pain. I will keep you in my thoughts as you navigate this new struggle. Keep writing around the pain. Your words will keep you moving forward through it all, and I’ll be here sending you my love and rooting you on.

    1. Aww, Bridgette. Thank you for such kind words. I’m glad you thought my poem made sense, as I had serious doubts about it before I published it, but I pressed the publish button just the same and took a chance. I thought about sending it to my tutor, but I didn’t think it was ‘good’ enough, so I decided against that. Perhaps, I will send it to her along with the one I wrote earlier as a contrast. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts, dear Bridgette; that means a lot. I have found that this new pain is helped by writing, as I am concentrating so hard on finding the right words that I’m not so focussed on the now constant pain. Thank you again for your constant love and for rooting for me. I so appreciate that. Xx 💖

      1. I’m glad you can find some benefit to this unnecessary pain and I’m excited you are taking classes. I look forward to seeing what other writing comes out of this experience.

    1. Thank you so much, Tangie. I start some new, stronger painkillers tonight and hope that they will give me some relief. I just hope they don’t make me too sleepy and dizzy to be able to cope with day-to-day life. Xx 🌼💕

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