While I was in the midst of that inexplicable excruciating pain, my sister (aka The Queen) took on the "case." She does that. It usually involves a lot of research of a legal or medical nature.
She's just trying to solve problems — in this instance, mine. I poke fun at her for these actions but I have to admit 99% of the time she's correct in her diagnosis. Or with her legal advice. Or other information. Whatever. When it's health-related, I call her Dr. Loftus. (She has several AKAs.)
Her findings are often of the worst-case-scenario variety, though. Not the sort of stuff you want to hear while you're in mystery pain. She diagnosed my Fibromyalgia before any doctor did.
By the way, I didn't mention her "findings" to a doctor before I was actually diagnosed with FMS.
99% success rate, people!
Anyway, like me, she found the nothing is wrong in your mouth non-diagnosis suspect. So she went further into research mode.
Based on the nature and location of the pain, TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA is what she came up with. This shit used to be called Suicide Disease!
That didn't freak me the fuck out at all...
So, I take this news in stride, because, like I said, worst case scenario. And 1%.
On the 9th, I went to my internist (let's call him Dr. Wolf) as scheduled. I was the first patient who put on rubber gloves during a visit with him! (Why? I had to pull my mouth open to show him where I had a sore and the various other points in my mouth that hurt and I had been reading magazines while waiting. Germs!)
After we both removed our gloves & threw them away, he said it could be one of three things: A sinus infection, TRIGEMINAL FUCKING NEURALGIA, or from the Saphris.
He was facing away from me when he said TN so he missed my jaw dropping. For some reason I pretended I didn't know what it was and asked for further information. He left out the suicide part. He knows I'm anxiety-ridden as it is and I'm sure he didn't want to unnecessarily upset me.
At this point, the exam was done and I was about to leave, but my mother had barged past clerical & medical staff to join me in the room. There were reasons. She questioned Dr. Wolf about my pain & the mystery surrounding it. She then unwittingly blew my cover about not knowing what TN is by saying something to the effect of "That's what Dr. Loftus said!"
I blurted out that I didn't know why I'd just pretended to not know what TN was. That's the truth.
Dr. Wolf repeated what my treatment plan was: antibiotics for the possible sinus infection and some cream to put on the sore in my mouth. He said if this pain continues despite the medicine, I'd have to discuss the Saphris with my psychiatrist, but no matter what he wanted to see me in 2 weeks. Y'know, just in case I have TRIGEMINAL FUCKING NEURALGIA!
Please let this be one of the 1% cases. I have enough problems — mental and physical. I was suicidal in the past and overcame it (though it'll always be a struggle) and I've already got FMS. I can't handle SUICIDE FACE PAIN!
Which brings me to the good news. I've been taking the antibiotics for six days and the pain has gone away. THE PAIN IS GONE!
I'm still not out of the woods, though. TN can go into remission for months or even years.
Always look on the bright side of life, right?
Sunday September 14 2014: it echoes to this day...
That my oral issues go on is somewhat my fault as I keep refusing to go to the ER. I hate hospitals for various & sundry reasons. I suppose I could go to one of the walk-in clinics, but I'm not a fan of those, either.
I keep picturing the long hours waiting while being heavily reminded of loved ones that have passed. Who wants that?
I just wish this pain would go away. I know it won't without proper treatment but I went to the dentist and they declared it a mystery. If something fucked up happens to me because of this, I'm going to sue. (If I die, my family better go for it!) I like my dentist but not enough to let the entire practice get away with whatever the fuck might happen if this continues to go untreated.
Maybe I will go to the hospital today. If I don't, I am definitely going to make it to the appointment with my family doctor tomorrow.
I've already let the tooth torture go on this long, what's one more day, right?
Monday September 08 2014: it echoes to this day...
So why the fuck does it feel like I have an abscessed tooth? The pain is tortuous; I can't describe it accurately, it's awful. It's throbbing and radiates from the area of one of my teeth to the front of my gums. I can't eat. I MUST document this.
Let me take this back a bit. I recently started a new medication. (I can look up the date if necessary.) A short time later, I began experiencing what I thought was a bizarre side effect: you know that feeling you get in your ear when it needs to "pop" & you can hear your heartbeat? That was happening intermittently but just in my right ear.
The other day I told Jenn & MOP about it (not at the same time). Both said this was likely due to an abscessed tooth. I've had an abscessed tooth before & didn't recall the ear thing, but my memory has become an issue recently. (More on that at another time.)
I'd been meaning to make an appointment with the dentist's office for a cleaning anyway, since I desperately need it. (I've developed tartar in the most unflattering of places.) I was so afraid there were all sorts of things wrong with my teeth. I told myself to make an appointment, adding it to a to-do list on the 3rd.
That day, September 3, 2014, I developed the pain that I described at the beginning of this post & continue to experience now. I was visiting my sister's — adding me to her cellphone plan would drop the price for both of us & I could finally have a decent phone, so she had to be present for the purchase & activation. We didn't get that done that day, but I digress. I sort of joked about me having this mouth pain after being told about abscesses and the possibility that maybe it was all just in my head. That the only reason it hurt was psychosomatic.
As the day wore on, the pain became more and more intense. It got to the point where, on the drive home, around 4:30AM, I considered going to the ER. By myself.
Last time I had an abscessed tooth it was a nightmare. It felt, oh, I don't know, A LOT LIKE I FEEL NOW. I should take this time to point out that I take a lot of medication for my chronic Fibromyalgia pain. This could mean that the pain would be worse — dear god, WORSE! — than it is now if I weren't taking said medication.
Anyway, let's go back to yesterday, September 4th. I had two appointments at the psychiatrist's office at crazy times (ha ha). I definitely COULD NOT miss one of them as it was the 4th attempt to meet my new therapist. This tooth thing was/is an emergency, though, so I had my mother call my dentist's office. Miraculously, they had a 3 o'clock. (That office is always all booked up. If I didn't take the 3PM, I'd have to wait until some time next week.) The receptionist curtly informed my mother that I hadn't been there in 3 years. (I knew it was a long time but not that long.) I thought she was going to say the practice dropped me due to inactivity or something. But I got that 3PM.
The therapy appointment was @ 2PM & these offices are 5 minutes away from each other. So I cancelled the second psychiatric appointment & let the new therapist know that my dentist is a real stickler for time.
An aside, sort of: my new therapist is AWESOME!
So, there I am, doing the getting-to-know-you thing with the therapist with insanely agonizing pain in my jaw. I think our introduction went well despite this.
I was able to "check out" of the office with appointments made & MOP's Rx in time to not be late for the dentist.
I go in there, expecting at least an abscessed tooth, fearing much more. They took x-rays from many different angles, looking to assess the damage. I'm thinking I'll be leaving there with a prescription for antibiotics and all sorts of future appointments to address the horror happening within my jaw. (I was given no pain medication for my first abscessed tooth due to the fact that I'm already taking something. Again, it was a nightmare.)
Well, the tech examined the x-rays and said she couldn't find a single thing wrong with any of my teeth and, in fact, my mouth was in good shape for someone who hadn't been in for 3 years.
My dentist comes in. He examines the x-rays, digs around my mouth, taps on some teeth, I respond with yes, this hurts. I should've said the pain is excruciating. Maybe I did. Yet he, too, says he can't find a damn thing wrong with any of my teeth. The two of them declare it a mystery. A MYSTERY!
Now I had explained to the tech that I recently was put on Saphris and that it's a sublingual dose. That I had thought the ear stuff was a side effect of it. That my sister & brother-in-law floated the abscess theory. That this pain was akin to the pain I felt back when I did, in fact, have an abscessed tooth, leading me to believe all of this tooth pain was something wrong with my chompers.
They found NOTHING.
Yet here I am, in tormenting pain, unable to eat, scared to brush my teeth.
The dentist & tech said my treatment would be a good cleaning (which I have to wait until the 15th for!), because maybe there are some food particles jammed down underneath my tooth or something & maybe that's causing the pain. Maybe I had "hit" my tooth & this was like a bruise that will heal over the next few days. Maybe it was from the Saphris — do I sleep on my right side? Also I should eat soft foods while we wait for this to go away. Maybe this, maybe that...
Basically, they don't have a fucking clue about the origins of my mysterious mouth pain.
I can't help but suspect it's from the Saphris. Jenn dug around on the Internet for side effects and found a listing of "toothache" in the "less common" list. But from only one source. Toothache isn't on the pharmacy leaflet that comes with my medicine. (I am well aware that the information on those leaflets aren't complete.) But I can't really call this a toothache, that word doesn't cover it.
So I don't know what to do. I made an appointment with my family doctor because my mother and sister urged me to. But the appointment is on the 9th, four long, unendurable days from now. I don't see what he could possibly do about this other than refer me to a fucking dentist!
There Is Absolutely, Positively Nothing Wrong with My Teeth. Yeah, right.
Friday September 05 2014: it echoes to this day...