Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Put On A Happy Face

That’s exactly what I’m trying to do, but it hasn’t been all that easy lately.

It started as an irritating toothache last week. That led to a replacement filling, which did nothing to ease the ache. In fact, the pain was getting worse.

I’m no dentist, but I knew that couldn’t be good.

It wasn’t.

You need a root canal.” said my dentist. He instructed me to come back tomorrow for the first of the two part dental procedure.

Part One consisted of some novocaine, whatever half a root canal treatment is, a horrifying freak out on my part and an appointment for root canal treatment part deux the next Tuesday. It was no amuse bouche, but he swore I would feel relief.

I did until the novocaine wore off and then au contraire! OMG. I called him on Friday and he prescribed an antibiotic and said he wanted to see me Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday, I begged for novocaine again not only so I’d live through the dental exam, but so I would be able to go see my musician friend, The Big BaHuna, play his last gig with a crappy band on Saturday night. I didn’t think I’d make it without it and I totally needed the distraction and escape that loud bar band music provides for me. CRAPtastic or not.

The pain was tolerable until about 11 PM when the numbing sensation completely wore off at the bar. I left immediately, but by the time I drove the 20 miles home, the pain was almost unbearable. This was nerve pain. Been there and done that before. It’s not pleasant.

My normally happy face was contorting on the painful side and the slightest touch, even the outside breeze, was enough to make me want to perform dental surgery myself to stop the semi-automatic firing of what felt like lightning through my face.

I tried everything...my son’s leftover codeine from his knee injury and even Anbesol and tequila swishing. It’s highly probable I might have even done a little tequila swallowing, but regardless, nothing worked.

I called my dentist again on Sunday, crying my eyes out. He tried to console me with the not to worry speech, he will do everything he can to fix this..blah, blah, blah.

But, he wanted to see me first thing Monday morning. Oh, I'll be there!

When I arrived, I looked like hell. Not surprising. I haven’t slept more than an hour or two since Saturday night and I can’t blow dry my new Posh Spice haircut because the air hurts my face so badly I could fall to the floor.

My teary, mascara smeared eyes and a grimacing face were not exactly haute couture, either.

Good God.” said my dentist.

After another excruciating exam and a consult with the oral surgeon who was actually re-pondering the best course of treatment for my my severe TMJ problems, they broke the bad news to me.

There was no doubt in either of their minds, it was Tic Doloureaux. I should make an appointment with a neurologist as soon as possible.

Huh? Excusez-moi? Qu'est-ce que c'est? Répétez, s'il vous plaît.

I asked the dentist to repeat that because I thought he said Tic Tac Toe. Seriously.

He said Tic Doloureaux. Uh oh, French. Can’t be good.

Anything that’s said in French, in my opinion, is to make something sound much better or less nasty than it actually is. Like slimy escargots or perhaps an illicit rendez-vous... ménage à trois.

Derrière! Oh, that sounds much better than “rear end”, don’t you think?

Fat Tuesday? Who would want to celebrate that? Mardi Gras sounds like a good time, though!

Seven years of French have left me with more speaking skills than “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, c’est soir?” and I could easily translate what the dentist said to mean “a tic that hurts like hell!

Sacrebleu! Why do these things keep happening to me? C’est la vie, I guess.

The more official English name of this extremely painful disorder called Tic Doloureaux is Trigeminal Neuralgia. Being one of the most painful disorders known to humankind, it’s even been dubbed “Suicide Pain”. I can understand that.

There is good news.
My jaw on the painful side of my face is extremely inflamed. This could be causing some nerve compression, meaning that once the inflammation is reduced, the lightning sensations could cease.

In an attempt to reduce this inflammation quickly, I started taking some pretty hefty doses of steroids. If this doesn’t work, I will see the neurologist next week and probably start an anti-seizure medicine, like Neurontin. These meds can work extremely well on nerve pain.

So, I’m not entirely freaking out, yet. Ok, maybe just a little. un peu.


The Freelance Guru said...

Ouch hon. That sounds absolutly horrible. Good luck with the Antibiotics

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh my gosh, girl! I've never heard of this! What causes it? Why you? I gotta go Google it. Best of luck with it...I'm sending good thoughts your way for what that's worth!

Jessica Morris said...

I haven't heard of it either ... it sounds like something that will appear in one of my pregnant nightmares now tho :-p
I am sooo sorry you're going through this!!
Sounds horrible!

pjazzypar said...

I have a suggestion. I don't know if it will help you, but it did help me temporarily (about an hour or so) and then I have to repeat the process. Hold some Listerine in your mouth on the inflamed side until the pain subsides. When it wears off repeat the process. I hope you feel better because there is almost nothing worse than a toothache, except maybe childbirth.

The Rock Chick said...

freelance: thank you!

shelly: I'm hoping it's just caused my inflammation in my jaw.

Jessica: Ohhh, I used to get those pregnancy nightmares all the time. Once I dreamed that there was something wrong with the baby and I'd have to keep her in a fish tank. Totally weird!

pjazzy: I had tried anbesol adn tequila. neither wordked! didn't think of listerine but anything is worth a try!!

Crystal said...

Ooh I've had nerve pain in a tooth before, but it was easily solved with a root canal and, oh, several months of healing. Sucked! Was awful. Nothing touched the pain. Wanted to die.

I hope yours gets better very soon.