I can’t get politics out of my head… thinking of the future of America and the future for my children. I get so worked up…but to no avail it seems these men who are running or should I say ruining it all are nuts!
As I try to calm myself something else flutters in from the recesses of my mind…it seems right now in the hours of pain I am in a spiral of negativity that I can’t break out of. When I am in the grip of the pain, I can’t think…or when I do it may be almost manic and depressive.
Having suffered from migraines or cluster headaches (they are not sure what to call them) for years and soldiered through, there are times when the pain gets me very down. I had been diagnosed with TMJ years ago but it was never suggested to persue until now. Recently my dentist sent me to an orthodontist who has more than diagnosed the TMJ, he is pretty sure the headache pain radiates from the jaw, thus affecting so much more. It actually effects the way I hold my head, my posture, which effects blood flow to my neck which in turn keeps the pain cycle rolling along. He has decided to refer me to a TMJ/Pain Management Center to be evaluated and they will act as the quarterback sending me to many other specialists using varied modalities to get this multi-faceted problem under control. I finally feel as if we may have gotten to the root cause of my pain and the real problem after about 20 years of just treating the symptoms.
Now the wait….of course I am not the only one with such a serious pain problem and I have to fill out a 16 page packet of New Patient information. The nice lady on the phone was able to fit me in on February 28th so as I wait I can ponder some of my own issues that have lead me here. Just giving the papers an overview started many thoughts flitting through my mind.
Sometimes self-reflection is good and sometimes it’s a deep pit you can fall in. I thought I had been doing so well about 2-3 months ago with my pain management that I fooled myself I was cured! Oh, what a fool I was. I fell into the trap so many people do…I thought I knew my body…which I usually do, but I could not see into the future to see the pitfalls and angst I would have to deal with that would exacerbate my cycle of pain that I always have to be aware of. Oh, to have the 20/20 vision of a sage….then perhaps I would have seen this unfold before it happened and done it so differently.
I was feeling good, I was so confident that I was full recovered, I decided to take myself off all my medication, pain meds., the whole nine-yards. More the fool I. One of the reasons I was feeling so good was that I was taking them. I just hate the negative connotation of being weak, having to rely on medication to get through life. My doctors have tried to allay my fears and negative thoughts by telling me that when you are faced with constant pain, it is normal to be depressed and need medication. It is okay to take things that have been invented for just that purpose…I guess I am stubborn and wanted to be stronger and prove I was better and perhaps cured or could do it the old fashioned way, with stern determination. I had beat breast cancer, what the hell was a little headache, afterall? Wrong…. in walked serious family stress and dental pain to boot which only exacerbated my TMJ and with no cushion of medication to help shield me I was just a mess waiting to happen.
So here we are back to square one or even further back, back to “pain central”… on a scale of “1 – 10” I’m at about an “8” everyday, all day and there is no relief. I had even told my neurologist to space my botox shots further apart since I was doing so well. What the hell was I thinking? Goddess alone knows. Perhaps a lesson to be learned? Pain only makes us stronger….right? Also, if truth be told if I hadn’t hit rock bottom and turned to a new dentist for answers, and then the orthodontist perhaps we wouldn’t be here at this juncture about to find the root cause and the long road back to pain management….so perhaps it was all worth it in the end?
OMG! The phone just rang and it was the Pain Mgmt. Center. There was a cancellation and they can fit me in 0n Monday the 13th. Has providence stepped in yet again to help? Thank You, thank you, thank you angels and powers that be!
If I can help anyone out there reading this it would be to suggest a few things I have learned through this painful odyssey:
1. Do not take yourself off your medication without a doctors approval, no matter how good you are feeling!!! I winged it….
2. If you have headaches, check into botox shots by a licensed neurologist, I’ve found they really do help….
3. If you have bad headaches check out if a Pain Management center can help you
4. Check if your headaches are dental related — TMJ or bad dental work or an off-bite (you may need to see an Orthodontist) might be part of your problem….
Just some ideas! And if you are living with daily pain my sympathies are with you…I hope you find answers and a cure or at least good management of the pain!
(C) Written by Evelyn Garone 2/8/12