One of my least favorite parts of fibromyalgia is the soap opera that occurs whenever I visit any kind of health specialist. I can almost hear the dramatic music swelling while I wait for test results that will only tell me what I already know: I’m in perfect health. On paper. Hell, on paper, I’m a hypochondriac. I have seen so many different specialists and doctors, it looks like I am just wanting someone to give me some bad news.
My latest saga took place in the dentist’s office. I avoided the dentist for two years, for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons include getting told by a snotty hygienist that I should make my teeth a bigger priority in my life. For the record, I have nice, straight teeth. I have only had 3 cavities, ever. She only felt obliged to preach this after asking what my dental habits were, and I was honest. I told her that they weren’t as good as they should be, but they are as good as they can be considering my fibromyalgia really limits my day to day functioning. I felt like I didn’t need to return for a while after that; I don’t have room for non-empathetic health care professionals in my life.Perhaps that is why I don’t mind going to my OB-GYN. She is very kind and patient. She never preaches anything.
One of the other reasons I avoid the dentist arose from my latest trip. I had two (of the three in my entire lifetime) cavities filled. One was a piece of cake, done within fifteen minutes. The other was worked on, with my mouth and jaw very extended, for over 45 minutes. During this time, there was nothing to look at. The walls are coffee-stained enamel brown. So is the ceiling. I could have watch the eyes of the dental technicians as they worked me over, but that is a little creepy- for both parties. But my OB-GYN’s office is brightly colored. Every room is different jewel tone. And from the ceiling, there are mobiles hanging, so every woman has something to watch while the OB-GYN works.
Back to the dentist. So normal people might leave the dentist with an achy jaw from the numbing injection site, with minor discomfort that would dissipate in a day or two. Not me! It has been almost two weeks, and I am in a lot of pain. I handle pain on a daily basis. But this pain is in my jaw, on the left side of my face. When it hits, all I want to do is sleep for a few hours. And punch my dentist. (I have never, ever wanted to punch my OB-GYN, fyi.)
I was in a state of remission with my fibromyalgia, functioning more days than not. And now I am in excruciating pain that is entirely unnecessary and should have been prevented. This pain causes fatigue and other pain, a rather tragic fibromyalgia cycle. I returned to my dentist, was further x-rayed, and guess what! Nothing is wrong. The filling, the tooth, the gum- all perfectly healthy. But this awesome jaw pain is something that can go back to fibromyalgia. Hooray! Another unresolved symptom to add to the list. Come to think of it, the only bad news I could possibly receive from my OB-GYN is the news that I am pregnant. (I want children…just not right now.)
Hi. My name is El. On paper, I am as healthy as a horse. But when my body hurts like this, I find I am not a very happy camper. I want things to go back to normal. Not the painful normal that they have become. Perhaps a more static normal, please?
So it looks like I will be avoiding the dentist until further notice– two of the options to “aid my pain” included removing and fillings, replacing them with medicated ones, removing those weeks later, and permanently re-filling (that much filling got me here in the first place…) or to get a root canal (it is JAW pain, not TOOTH pain. I know the difference). Brilliant right? I’ll totally call in six months for a check up… right….. On the other hand, I’m not saying that I enjoy when a doctor sticks the medical equivalent of a car jack inside my birth canal, but compared to the dentist? Bring on the speculum any day.