The Painful Tooth: My Weekend of Agony
Well, it turns out I’ve written specifically about it only three times, although I’ve mentioned it in 15 other columns. Searching for all of it only took me an hour.
If I didn’t spend my life sitting down, that’s exactly what I’d need to do right now. So, rather than writing more, a game of solitaire is in order. Back in a while, methinks!
Oops, now it’s time for dinner, bathroom, and bed, so no solitaire for me. I haven’t even checked email today. Gulp!
It’s now the next day, and I’m back. Today is Wednesday, and I’ve had peace for the last two days. But this is the first day I haven’t been stoned! Let me elaborate.
On Sunday night, I had the worst TN attack I’ve ever had, even with a load of oxcarbazepine, an epilepsy drug that somehow helps TN. Doctors have told me that TN follows a unique pain path, so the relief strategy is different. For instance, opioids aren’t usually effective.
Baclofen, originally prescribed as a muscle relaxant to help spasms in my right arm, is a second-line defense against TN, but this time, it made no difference. A lidocaine patch over my jaw finally helped, but even that took an hour to work.
My TN is very specific. It attacks one of the molars on my lower left jaw. When it first began happening, it was like an electric fire in my tongue. Eventually, it settled into one tooth. I sometimes get a warning of an impending attack if I feel slight pain when my tongue happens to rove in that direction. This time, I was composing a voice message on my phone when it hit full-bore.
Think of the worst drilling pain you’ve ever experienced at the dentist’s office and multiply it by 10. I was screaming for three hours. My wife, Jane, filmed some of it, but with my low level of technical ability, I have no idea how to upload it to YouTube — I’m 63, you know. And I’m not sure I want my first post to be about me screaming.
I could go on, but I’m bored with all of these technicalities, especially after finding all of the source material. You may have skipped what I wrote above, or just moved on. I guess I’m writing for my hardcore audience.
So, what caused this? I was told to cut down on the drug gabapentin, and it sucks. Again, gabapentin is an anti-epileptic drug. Blah, blah, blah.
Anyway, I cut down on it on Monday of the previous week, and my first TN attack in months happened the following Friday. All you need to know is that gabapentin has a lag time.
On my own recognizance, I immediately returned to the original dose. But there’s that time lag. By last Monday, Jane had swiftly decided I should officially go back to my original dose.
After a horrible Saturday, I thought the worst was over. By 6 p.m. on Sunday, I hadn’t had any attacks, so I was thinking about having a beer and watching a bit of telly.
Forget that. No warning at all.
I was composing that phone message when all hell let loose. The three hours of screaming started.
On Monday, it was baby food and all day in bed for me. Bananas and vegan custard were on the menu. At least I’d recovered enough not to have the “nanas” mashed!
The big baby moniker is fair enough. Officially, I wear pads, but they are big-boy nappies.
No wonder I cry a lot!
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