Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dealing with Dental Pain

I know I've said this before but I'm gonna say it again.  I used to have a really high pain tolerance.  I don't anymore.

There could be several reasons for that.  I think a lot of it is psychological.  I think it's because of my experience in the emergency room almost a year ago, when I was denied any pain medication during a very painful procedure.  That might explain it, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier to deal with pain.

It could also be because I've had chronic pain for so long now, with my back problems.  There has been some research that suggests that when one has chronic pain, it's almost like wearing a grove in the floor from walking back and forth in the same line over and over again.  Those neural pathways in the brain are like groves in the floor.  So that could be part of it, too.

Whatever it is, it's a lot harder to cope with pain than it used to be.

The pain in my mouth reminds me of the pain in my arms when my cuts were stapled with no pain medication and no local anesthetic.  The pain feels similar, like a sharp, stinging kind of pain.  Monday night, after having my tooth pulled, my arms started hurting.  I knew there was nothing wrong with my arms, I knew that was completely psychosomatic, but nonetheless, my arms hurt.  And I couldn't make my arms stop hurting and I couldn't make my mouth stop hurting, and I was here alone in my pain, and that felt a lot like being in the hospital in my room alone with my stapled arms hurting and not being able to get any pain relief.

It's not just the physical pain that is hard to deal with.  It's the emotions that come along with it.

The pain is less today.  Actually, I think I would describe it more as discomfort than actual pain.  My mouth just feels a little sore and irritated.  It gets worse when I eat.  Eating cold things seems to be worse than warm things.  Even really soft things that require almost no chewing, like yogurt, make my mouth hurt.  Some of the places in my mouth that hurt aren't even places I had any work done, so I don't know what's up with that.   Maybe it's referred pain, maybe it's just psychosomatic.  I don't know.  I just know it hurts. 

I also know I'm hungry and then I eat and then it hurts a lot more and I regret eating.  I've been drinking a lot of protein shakes, which don't bother my teeth as much, although warm drinks feel a little better in my mouth.  If I drink with a straw, though, the liquid doesn't really touch my front teeth where I had the work done.

I'm worn out from dealing with this pain.

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