Now That’s a Jaw Breaker

Hi folks!

So what’s going on with you? I’m sorry, that was rhetorical, what with this being a blog post and all. Feel free to answer it in the Comments though!

What I meant to say is, here’s what’s going on with me.

Yup, you guessed it! This is a progress update on Life, the Universe and Everything – specifically as it pertains to one particular idiot living in Perth, Australia.

First: the news! (Hang onto your lunch.)

I considered doing this as a video blog, but chose not to because a) Roo is away metal detecting with her Dad, so I haven’t washed in a week, and b) I’ve broken my jaw in three places, and am currently eating all my meals through a straw.

Wait a minute – how???

Well, because I’m an idiot, I managed to fall over at a party. “But people do that all the time!” I hear you cry. Alas, never one to settle for convention, I did it around 8pm, after just one drink. Amazingly, Roo had been away for less than 12 hours at this point! I also fell over in the garden – which is what makes the damage so impressive…

I told you to hang on to your lunch:

Split in Chin
How hard was that grass?

Yes, that IS bone you can see in there! Nine stitches (my first) and two metal plates (ditto) later, I have braces on what’s left of my teeth, and a load of elastic bands holding my jaw shut. If you’re wondering what the mucus-like substance in the picture above is… well, it’s mucus. The hole went all the way through you see, and whilst the bleeding stopped after a couple of hours, saliva from inside my mouth kept dripping out through the hole in my chin. Which is delightful, I’m sure you’ll agree! DAMN that grass…

Silver lining: I can’t talk (Roo will be overjoyed when she gets back!) – and I’ve already lost more than 4kg in my first week of an all-liquid diet…

Liquid Diet Fridge


Now, living in Australia has its perks. One of the most important for me (coming a close third after permanent bikini-weather and free sausage sizzles) – is Medicare. That’s right – much like in the UK, we get free health care over here. The entire procedure – from Roo’s sister carting me into the emergency room with a hand full of my teeth, through surgery and two days in hospital, to the impressive bag full of drugs they sent me home with – cost me nothing.


I even gained a new reader; apparently while coming round from the anaesthetic, I told the nurse I’d been bitten by a crocodile once and she went and looked me up on the internet.

Book Inscription Jess
Apparently they don’t let you take pictures of nurses and put them on your blog these days. Who knew?

By the way, here’s a phrase no-one ever wants to hear on waking up in hospital: “The facial reconstruction surgeons will be coming to see you shortly.”

I mean if I hadn’t been worried already, I was then! As it turned out, those talented surgeons only needed to fix the split in my jaw bone at the front – which could actually be opened and shut by hand, as one demonstrated to his students. Party trick! Sadly, they also removed three of my teeth, and broke the news that most of the rest were smashed to pieces.

And dentistry, in Australia, is NOT free. And not cheap, either. Cue my worried face – except that’s REALLY hard to do when your jaw is held in place with elastic bands…

Luckily for me, this is where my Guardian Angel enters the story.

Pikachu Dentist
It’s Pikachu! My Guardian Angel is Pikachu. Also, my dentist 😉

Her name is Laura. She’s a long-suffering reader of my books, poor girl. And she is also a top-flight dentist.

About two years ago, I got one of those random messages that come in from time to time. I love hearing from my readers, and I always reply to them. This one was a bit more random than the usual – a lady who lived in Perth, she ran a dental clinic, and said, “If you ever need any work on your teeth, come to me and I’ll do you a good deal!”

Being the vain, image-obsessed creature that I am (no, really! I’m TOTALLY gonna shower before Roo gets home) – I seriously considered getting some dental work done. A lifetime of booze, coffee and adventure sports has left my smile more ‘homeless in Dublin’ than ‘Sleepless in Seattle’.

But I felt a bit weird about asking such a huge favour from someone I’d never met, based solely on the rather flimsy account of her having enjoyed a book I wrote once. Plus, as perennial backpackers, Roo and I were (and are) permanently broke. But flash forward a couple of years, and there I am, lying in a hospital bed while the nurse picks grass from the chasm in my chin. They say pride comes before a fall… I bloody well wish it had come before mine, as it might have cushioned me from the ground a bit. Sadly, I’ve never had an awful lot of pride. You don’t have to work hard to get me to beg! Especially when the sobering prospect of spending the next decade in debt to a dentist rears it’s ugly head…

So I fumbled through my phone and found that old Facebook message.

And then, still in shock, I wrote a long and rambling reply.

Actually I wrote it three times, as my huge and shaking thumbs kept accidentally deleting it.

“Hi!” I said. “You might not remember me… but I’m that idiot that went to Ecuador and got bitten by a crocodile. Anyway, you’ll never guess what just happened…”

And the rest is history.

Or it will be in six month’s time, when the last procedure is over.

I’ll need at least six visits, several new teeth, and pretty much every kind of dental doohickey they make. Plus an angle grinder and a shed-load of superglue…



I honestly couldn’t do it without her.

I mean, I can’t think of a single skill that is less appropriate for DIY than dentistry. Can you?

Roo has now arrived back, and is in disbelief at the sheer amount of damage I have managed to do to myself in the short time she was away. I mean, it’s understandable. I’m quite impressed myself. She has made an executive decision that the next time she goes away for anything longer than a day, I am to be cocooned in bubble-wrap. Because I am clearly not capable of looking after myself.

On the upside, she has also had some interesting ideas about how to cope with an all-liquid diet…

Ice cream hoard


So, you know – it’s not all bad. How’re you?

64 thoughts on “Now That’s a Jaw Breaker

  1. Holy crap, Tony! You really can’t be left alone for a minute, can you? But, how many people can say that writing about their adventures got them discounted dental work? I hope they gave you some good drugs and you heal fast!

    PS: Roo must be thrilled with the peace and quiet around the house.

  2. Gadzooks! Roo goes away and you manage an “adventure” all on your own … but not the enjoyable kind! I’m so sorry to hear of your injuries – I’m squeamish over the smallest thing so I’m cringing at all that you’ve had to go through and are still going through! I’m happy that you managed to get that good dentistry deal – your books are so great that you deserve to have received this bonus from them, and Laura. And an all-liquid diet that includes ice cream … mmmmm! Now you need to look after yourself, please!

    1. Roo has made it official: I am now no longer allowed to be responsible for ‘looking after myself’ – because apparently I’m quite bad at it. She’s assumed the responsibility full-time from now on 😉

      1. Yes, that’s true – “look after yourself” does not seem to be one of your skills so I can see why Roo has decided to be the official “looking after Tony” person! 🙂 I’m happy to see the new book is out and I snapped the Kindle version up today. And I see you and Roo are planning to travel by the end of the year so be good about letting yourself heal now so you’ll be ready for that. 🙂

  3. Surely you don’t expect us to believe these were your first stitches? (except God knows how many in various pants crotches over the years).
    Good grief!

    1. Cheers! I think most people are doing better than me right now! Luckily, I’ve always been good at finding strength in adversi… oh, bollocks to it. I’m off to get drunk and watch TV 😉

  4. Oh my lord!!!! You really did a number on yourself this time!! I really admire your ability to turn something so tragic into a comedy! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!!! Maybe you should write a book….? haha

  5. Ouch that looks so painful! Hope you’re back to normal (or your normal!)soon. Good luck to Roo on trying to keep you safe.

  6. Sounds like a good time to get some writing done. Oh, was that insensitive? 🤭
    Really, take better care of yourself! I hope it’s not too painful, rest and feel better.

  7. Holy Frijoles!! Sorry for your pain and agony. Here in the states, a tooth can easily cost $3,000. That’s one tooth. My hubs seems to be having a dental appointment every other week and the money just flows out like a waterfall. I know you appreciate your Angel, Laura. She is doing you a major solid. I’m not saying you have to grovel at her feet, but sending her flowers or cards (you tend to be funny when you write), anything to show your appreciation is a good thing to do (as you know). You poor thing. Roo will take good care of you.

    1. Oh, there will be grovelling! Actually, there already has been a fair bit of grovelling. It’s impossible not to grovel when you show up needing favours after falling over IN A GARDEN and smashing your face in… the word ‘idiot’ has never been more appropriate!

  8. Oh Tony, hope your recovery is swift and painless, only you can do this in such a short space of time when Roo isn’t there. Good luck with the Dentist hope yr smiling again soon 🤕

    1. Unbelievable! She was most put out to find that she’d only been gone 12 hours when I fell… It’s like, how can I possibly do that much damage, that quickly? It’s almost impressive 😉

  9. It’s amazing that after all your world traveling, your worst disaster was tripping in a garden at home. Such is life. Heal well, my friend.

  10. That’s horrible!! Wishing you a fast and full recovery!! You better buy stock in a bubble wrap company!

  11. Oh, Wow! I’m so sorry. I must have a dark side because I’m also looking forward to the great and funny book you will write about hospitals and your experience. Sorry….

  12. Oh my goodness, this should put a stop to your nonsense for a good while. Love the diet but not the pain to get it. I also had people want to wrap me in bubble wrap—wish they had last week—I fell in the garage and some how hurt my left knee and landed on my back and hit the left side of my head on the ground—how do you do that—well the next day a lot of muscles were screaming so I must have really twisted trying not to dislocate left shoulder again. Ah well—off to Iceland and UK next Tuesday—I so want to stay upright-and I don’t drink!! Well hope you are not in too much pain—get another book out and we will help you pay your dental bill.

    1. Ouch! Hope the injuries don’t ruin your trip – I know yoy’ll make the most of it! Iceland is amazing, me and Roo loved it there. Actually, she fell down some stairs while we were in Rekjavik – her excuse “It’s all snowy!” I had to point out to her that we were INSIDE… 😉

  13. to fall over at a party? was it on the 3rd floor with a garden balcony? Dude at least while it sucks majorly, it wasn’t worse. YOu still have your hands to type, and write books, besides there’s now a bunch of us waiting on the next book 🙂

  14. Well you’ve really outdone yourself this time
    I hope you cope well and eventually come out the other end smiling ( with new perfect teeth)
    There’s a lot worse things you could have done, but nothing comes to mind atm
    You’re actually lucky that the beautiful Roo didnt jab with a poison filled needle after this last little escapade

    I wish you a speedy recovery, minimal pain ….and a long life

    And you’ll have plenty of time to write some new stuff

    1. I know, I was honestly trying to think how it could have been worse… I still can’t think of anything! Go to party… fall over… end up with smashed in face need thousands of dollars of dentistry. Ah well. At least I didn’t… Nope. Still can’t think of anything! 😉

  15. Tony, well done man! Love a good injury with a great back story. That is one you can pull out at gatherings for years. I think I am a little jealous.
    Glad you are getting that mug fixed tho…

  16. Never mind all the medical crap, I want to know about the caramel ice creams! But glad to know you’ll be basically OK. 🤪

  17. That’s awful! Very glad that you’ve got a dentist for a guardian angel. Too bad she couldn’t save you from yourself, but at least she can fix you up. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  18. I’m so glad to know you will be taken care of! I’m in the process of rereading your books (currently in China with you and Roo, having a blast as usual) and truthfully I’m surprised you have waited this long to take out your teeth. A bit anticlimactic, though; I expected it to happen when hiking up Hua Shan. Hugs to Roo and I hope Vicky’s ankle is well healed. I wish I’d had the chance to meet you when you were here in New Hampshire!

    1. Hi Johanna! Yeah, I honestly expected my first major injury to be far more dramatic. I at least wanted to get a cool story out of it! “Fell over in a garden” is possibly the single lamest reason for a whopping great scar anyone has ever had to utter… Bugger!

    1. Cheers Ron! I’m on the road to recovery, and using the time to write. More blog posts for now, at least until I get another adventure under my belt, but it’s good to be writing. Gives me something to do while I’m sucking on my soup 😉

  19. Oh Tony you don’t do things by half do you. Bubble wrap I agree with Roo and lots of it for you.
    Take care and go careful please.
    Love to Roo.

  20. Tony! Poor bugger! Since you’ll be out of action for a while, it’s opportune to write another book or two! (Love your work mate!). GWS!

  21. Holy Cow, Tony!!!!! I’m feeling really sorry for you especially because you didn’t even do it on some outrageous adventure. Get better soon. Oh yeah, I bought the new book today and will read and review asap.

  22. I didn’t know the new book was out so I’m thankful to Katie for her post and I have just bought the Kindle version and I see there are already a couple of good reviews! Can’t wait to read it! Hope you’re starting to recover, Tony! Take care, Colleen

  23. Two falls in a short span of time? I hope you’re looking into that while repairing the damage done. If anyone can make an otherwise tragic story entertaining, it’s you Tony. Best wishes.

    1. Ha ha! I’m actually going to set up a ‘Patreon’ page at some point, more just so I’ve got one than as a serious money-making effort. But it seems like everyone else has one, so why not?? Can’t hurt 😉

  24. Yr supposed to smoke the grass , not try and bury yr head in it…
    Enjoy yr life old fruit ,it passes too quickly.

  25. Wow! I’m half way through book two and looked you up and found this blog! I live in Perth too and can’t believe you were here! Not under the best of circumstances but I trust all is well now!!! Sorry I didn’t know of you then but glad to read you visited the best place on the planet, esp now!!

    1. Hi Louise!
      Yay! Glad you’re enjoying the books. SPOILER ALERT – I’m STILL in Perth! I’ve fallen in love with this place, which is pretty good news as I’ve been in lockdown here for the last few months! You might not want to read TOO MUCH of the blog, or it’ll give away what happens in the books… I don’t think it will ruin them though, there’s still plenty of craziness going on in there 😉 Let me know what you think, eh! I hope you’re well, and enjoying the new surge of freedom!
      Best wishes,

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