Friday, October 16, 2015

Back To The Dentist

     They have relined my partial.  I suppose that's like relining automobile brakes?  Anyway, it's supposed to be better.  I hope so.

     In later life, Enrico Fermi supposedly expressed the belief that all political change was for the worse.  Any more, that's how I feel about dentistry past the most basic prevention and treatment, as well as about any attempt to do anything about my maigraines/left-side face pain.

     My M.D. has got onto that last bit, with the slightly-addled optimism of someone who has never read the complete, thick file, and her most recent effort, one of those stupid damn anti-depressants they hand out to fibromyalgia sufferers* and on the package insert, in at least 24-point type, it says, MAY MAKE YOU SUICIDAL.  MAY WORSEN DEPRESSION.  I'm not taking that stuff.  I have, in the past, long ago, been almost that depressed and I'm not going back there.  I'm not even taking a chance of going back there.  Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin are sold at at every drug store, five-and-dime, grocery store, convenience store and corner gas station; it's even free from the first-aid cabinet at work and if those drugs don't make the pain go all the way away, they do well enough just about all of the time.  And they don't make you wake up wishing the planet could be improved by your absence.
     Even if the choice was only between feeling pain and feeling depressed, I'd take the pain, 'cos the other is way worse.  Instead, it's between those things and one more option, having to be careful to not take too much of common, over the counter drugs.  I'm not saying they are safe for long-term, high-dose use (some studies say ibuprofen contributes to heart disease and we all know about the overdose dangers of acetaminophen) but they don't seem to be rewiring people's heads for the worse. Next time I see the doc, I'm taking my headaches off the table and if she doesn't like that, I'll have to find another doc and just not tell 'em.
* I'm not saying that's not a real thing -- who am I to talk, after all, with my chronic pain with apparently no findable cause? -- but people diagnosed with it are most certainly one of the favorite targets of those gawshawful drug-pushing ads on the TV, with twenty seconds of happy scenes and forty seconds of Dire Warnings read in a rapid monotone over still images of pastoral settings.  Y'know, if the stuff was so wonderfully wonderful, M.D.s would be pushing it high, wide and mighty, 'cos they are the kinds of people who are nagged by unsolved problems. Since they're not --  Ahem.  The corollary should be obvious.


John Peddie (Toronto) said...

A good friend had a similar problem. Went from doctor to doctor, none of whom believed her. They said fibromyalgia or "You're just imagining it."

She finally got a referral to an oral surgeon who spotted the problem right away, did surgery (both sides) and now she's pain free for the first time in 3 years.

Roberta X said...

You may have just noticed this thing about me, so I'll say it again: This has been a problem for me since 1996. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars (mine and the insurance company's), hundreds of hours,and time of a large number of doctors and dentists, many of them specialists, some quite highly regarded, and a few are professors at the respected IU School Of Dentistry. I have had CAT cans, MRIs and radioactive blood-supply studies and the *only* things that showed up were some bone damage which has been corrected and the fact that there's no blood flow to the bone in that area on that side -- which is not abnormal, but something that happens with age and injury.

I'm happy for your friend. Whatever the hell is wrong with me, nobody is spotting it even though plenty have looked and it's a waste of time and resources trying to do anything more about it. People tell me, "Oh, they have all kinds of new medicines now." No, they don't. They have a few spins on families of drugs already available in the 1990s, and I've tried them.

People think doctoring is some magic thing. It's not. They can do some kewl stuff now but it's really only barely past the sawing-off-limbs and handwashing stage. The biggest real advances in medicine are the lovely properties of willow bark and bread mold, bone-setting, germ theory and knowing when to stop. The rest of it is just mechanical skills and the remarkable way living creatures heal all by themselves if given half a chance.

They don't always heal perfectly. That happened to me. I take OTC drugs. They work. Also not perfectly but well enough, most of the time.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"people diagnosed with it are most certainly one of the favorite targets of those gawshawful drug-pushing ads on the TV"

Sadly, they're also one of the favourite victims of collateral damage from the War on (Some) Drugs. Nothing like making someone in real pain jump through eleventy-one hoops and be viewed by the cops as one step above crackheads, just to keep a few folks from getting high.

Blackwing1 said...

I think that the best decision you've made is to stay far, far away from the SSRI's. I've had two different friends get prescribed them for non-depression things (stroke), and watched their personalities take a turn for the worse. Both of them successfully kicked the drugs; one by just plain cold-turkey (he went through terrible withdrawal) and the other by having her husband help ween her off, one dosage-reduction at a time.

Chronic pain with an untreatable root cause is awful I hope that the OTC meds help enough during the times when it's spiking, and that life is a little more enjoyable when it's not.

rickn8or said...

Roger what Blackwing1 said about SSRI's. I'm extremely leery of them, having taken (and quit) Paxil sixteen years ago. Withdrawing from that stuff is a booger.

Now it's Cymbalta at half the "depression dose" for peripheral neuropathy. It hasn't turned me into Sparkly Sammy Sunshine, but I can use the push cart at Loew's (The Blue Toy Store) instead of the electric cart.

All my best to you Roberta and high hopes this gets straightened out.

pigpen51 said...

ditto's to jake. I have chronic near daily migraine headaches. had them most of my adult life. probably the result of numerous severe concussions in football in younger years. think at least 4 to 5 really bad ones, who knows how many less severe ones. I never played at the level of the NFL players, but I understand something about what they go through.

I have been to all of the neurologists in our city, to MI State for treatment, to a H/A clinic. Have had many catscans, mri's, etc. The triptans, otc., all of the usual meds for migraine have no affect on me. The only thing that helps me is a strong narcotic and something to help me to stop from throwing up. With all of the drug seeking behavior, for not needed reasons, it makes doctors suspicious of people who really have conditions which require not just narcotics, but sometimes quite strong narcotics.

With the change of hydrocodone from a schedule 3 drug to a schedule 2 drug, making vicodin just as difficult to obtain as morphine, the drug of choice for the junkies here in my neck of the woods is becoming heroin. It is cheaper and more readily available to them. However, the people who abuse drugs are now exposed to a very shady criminal element. I am not excusing them, I am just saying that the war on drugs is just as much a failure as the war on poverty or the war on terror.

As for otc drugs, I am willing to bet that if aspirin were introduced onto the market today, it would have to be prescribed by a physician. There is no way the government would allow the ordinary people to be trusted with a drug with so many possible side affects, without the oversight, read middleman, of government/big pharma/ama. After all, how can the people be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves?

RandyGC said...

No advice, just hopeful wishes that someone eventually can solve whatever it is causing you pain without making other things worse.

Matt G said...

Bobbi, I'm so very sorry for your ongoing pain.
I don't pray, but at times like this, I kind of wish I did; I'd do it for you.
You're a helluva person, and I want you to find peace and comfort. You deserve it.
I love some ibuprofen, but I know that I'm not feeling anything like what you do.

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting through the next few days/weeks. Let me know if you need a buddy to go to Fort Wayne HamFest. I can drive or be a friendly presence if you want to drive.


rickn8or said...

What Matt G. said.

There's a lot of us that feel that way, but Matt is all eloquent and stuff.

eriko said...

As someone that went through something akin to this for a short 6 months before luckily a tooth rapidly died on a thursday night newyears eve. 3 days of sucking ice on that one before getting the nerves killed. Anyways I can only extrapolate my anger and fear out to 20 years and cringe in sadness at your pain. I wish you any good or at least not getting worse.