Tag Archives: pain medication

Teeth Behaving Badly

31 Jul

As I sit here early on a Sunday morning, my jaw is hurting, I have just taken more pain medication, and I feel as as I am getting a cold.

That’s probably no big surprise. My immune system has taken quite a hit over the last couple of days. Extra vitamins, Vitamin C, echinacea, and plenty of fluids and rest should do the trick.

Rest? Ha! Like that’ll happen!

The culprit of all of this grief is the dental surgery I had on Friday. It had been a long time coming. Due to my absolute phobia of dentists, plus the fact that the last dentist I went to made a complete botch-job in my mouth, I had put off seeing a dentist for almost seven years. When my husband finally dragged me in kicking and screaming 18 months ago, they did all kinds of X-rays and examinations, and then produced a list of the dental work that I needed.

The list went on for two pages.

Don’t worry, they said. We’ll sedate you and you won’t remember a thing.

The idea of being given lots of drugs to knock me into sweet oblivion was very appealing, but still. I got the heebie-jeebies every time I thought of spending an entire day at the mercy of a man who had chosen a career of digging in other peoples’ mouths.

So once again, I played the waiting game.

About two months ago, I got a nasty throat infection that put me out of action for a week. It was accompanied by a fever of over 102 degrees, and it made my entire body hurt. When I went to see the doctor, I was told that this infection more than likely originated from an infection in my gums.

And that was it. The game was up. I had no choice but to go to the dreaded dentist. Except when I went back this time, new problems had arisen. The two-page list was now two and a half pages.

An appointment was made to get the work done. I picked up pre-meds a few days ahead of time, and then waited in dreaded anticipation. On Thursday night, I took three heavy-duty sleeping pills as instructed. They knocked me out, and until four in the morning, I slept not like a baby, but like a person who doesn’t have a baby. At that point, I had to wake up to have coffee and toast, and then I went to sleep again for a couple of hours.

An hour before the appointment, I took another pill, and by the time I showed up there I was well and truly zonked out. I was actually seeing double.

I lay down in the dentist’s chair. A blood pressure cuff was placed around my arm. A heart rate monitor was attached to my finger, and an oxygen mask was put over my face. I was given more drugs to take, and then I was covered with a glorious soft blue blanket.

That’s the last thing I remember with any clarity. Technically, I was conscious throughout the day. I had to be, so I could obey instructions like “open wide” and “bite down”. But I was definitely somewhere off in La La Land.

After six hours or so, I was allowed to leave. I have a vague recollection of my husband being brought into the room to receive instructions, and then I taken out to the car. Apparently a wheelchair was involved. When I arrived home, my husband gently guided me to the couch in the living room, where I lay down and pretty much crashed. I was roused now and then to eat soup or drink Gatorade.

We will not discuss the dribbling that happened as I drank.

Now, it is two days post-dentist, and I’m doing kind of OK. The effects of the sedation took until sometime yesterday afternoon to wear off, but I still have some pain, particularly at the spot where they had to extract a tooth. Quite apart from the pain, I find it very disconcerting to have a gap where the tooth used to be, and I am really looking forward to being fitted with my temporary flipper. My teeth feel very weird from all the cleaning and scaling and whatever else they did.

And just think… a month from now I get to do it all again.

Oh, boy.

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rightee/215391576/)

Overcoming The Bad Stuff: 19 March 2010

27 Feb

As I attempt to patch together bits of my life that feel as if they are falling apart, I find myself unable to write. This is a re-post from last year. In fact, this was only the third or fourth post in the life of Running For Autism. I’ll see you tomorrow, emotional Band-Aids and all.


2010 did not exactly start off well for me.  In early December, I had suffered from a strep throat infection, during which I had only been able to lie down comfortably in one position for three days.  This resulted in some stiffness in my neck and upper back.  It was not crippling, merely uncomfortable, and my chiropractor was helping me out with it.  The day before New Years Eve, a chiropractic adjustment went horribly wrong.  I had excruciating shooting pains in my back and going all the day down my left arm.  The fingers in my hand went numb. While everyone else was out partying it up the following night, I was sitting on the couch writhing in agony. I missed the New Years Day Resolution Run – something that I had been looking forward to for weeks.

Over the next month, I went to the Emergency Room twice, was seen by five different doctors, and got four different prescriptions for drugs.  I cried myself to sleep each night because I was in so much pain, and I appropriated the kids’ giant stuffed gorilla because it was just the right size for me to rest my arm on.  I was taking Percocet for the pain every six hours, and when the pain between doses got too much for me to bear, I was taking Tylenol Three as well.

For a month I could barely stand up, let alone run. In the end, it was the folks at Toronto SEMI (Sports and Exercise Medicine Institute) who saved me from insanity.  The doctor there told me what I had suspected, which is that I had a pinched nerve.  The pinched nerves always get resolved, he said, and it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to a few months.  I immediately started seeing one of the physiotherapists at SEMI, and within days I was starting to feel relief.  After two weeks, she told me I could try running again.  Two weeks after that, I was in full-on training mode again, and feeling great.

As soon as I had gotten back on my feet, though, I was struck down again.  I caught a cold, and the cold turned into something a lot worse.  I had a hacking cough, I had a fever that came and went, I was weak.  I was so sick that I was off work for two weeks, and was not allowed back without producing a doctor’s note certifying that I didn’t have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. During this time, I was not able to run for three weeks.

Last weekend marked the end of this three-week drought.  I got up on Sunday morning, and although I was still coughing a bit and somewhat congested, I decided to give it a try. It went surprisingly well – slower than I would have liked, but considering all I’d been through over the last three months, I didn’t mind.  I was just happy that I was out on the road again.

On Tuesday I went for a lunchtime run.  Due to time constraints, my weekday runs cannot really be longer than 5km, but that’s still enough for a good workout.  About 500m into the run, my hair band snapped.  Not a good thing – I have quite a lot of hair.  I ran almost 5km with my hair streaming out behind me.  It reminded me of those movies about horses, where the horses are running across meadows with the hair on their tails flowing behind them in the wind.  That’s what I felt like.  A horse’s ass.  I had also misjudged the weather that day, so I was overdressed.  Hair flying every which way plus clothes that are too hot leads to a run that is uncomfortable and cumbersome.  I was not happy with my pace or the fact that my heart rate was reaching the stratosphere.

My next run was on Thursday.  I almost left my running clothes at home that day, because I had had zero sleep on Wednesday night and did not rate my chances for a good run.  But you never know, so I took my gym bag to work, not really expecting to use it.  Come lunchtime, I still felt like the undead, but knowing from past experience how a run can actually have healing powers, I suited up and hit the road.  My clothes were appropriate and my hair band stayed intact.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and I had a fantastic run.  Although the “pace buddy” on my training watch still beat me, my pace was a lot better than it had been on Tuesday.  My heart rate stayed within reasonable levels.  When I reached the end of the 5km, I could have continued.  It was one of those runs that reminds me why I love running.

I am planning another 5km run for tomorrow morning, and a longer one for Sunday.  I am looking forward to my 10km race on April 3rd.  I am hopeful that I will stay healthy this time.  I have to.  After all, there are only 190 days to my next run for autism.