Through the Wringer

What a week it’s been. Whew. Over the last several days, excruciating pain plus symptoms of shaking, temperature dysregulation, sweating, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and uncontrollable tears have wrung me dry.

A week ago, following a tooth extraction by an oral surgeon, I was in bad shape; I did have oxycodone prescribed and it helped, a 5-day course. A strong non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug was also part of recovery meds. I chose not to tell the surgeon I’ve been told not to take NSAIDs. Monday of this week, I finished those scripts. On Tuesday, serious pain, worse than most daily fibromyalgia pain, began to spread from head to toe.

The area on the left side of my head was understandably painful; the removed tooth was an upper, left molar. But the level of pain was through the roof. My pillow felt like a concrete block, making relaxing quite difficult. Pain wrapped around the top of my head, so severe I wondered if I was heading into a migraine. The stars I see with a migraine never appeared. The other major site of pain was my hips and down my long bones to the knees. I sobbed into my pillow Wednesday night, overcome by pain and hopelessness. By the third day, both hips were burning despite use of acetaminophen. I asked my husband to take the day off to take me to a chiropractic appointment, which is something I never do. I used NSAIDS, although I’ve been told not to use.

The chiropractor released tightness all around but most especially in my glutes. I was pleasantly surprised by the relief I got. He also strongly recommended I see my primary doctor because he was unable to say what caused, what he called, a “nervous system crash.”

Fortunately, there’d been a cancellation at my physician’s office so I was able to get in same day. We discussed the symptoms that had wreaked havoc in my body. When I reported that my chiropractor referred to what happened as a “nervous system crash,” I could see she considered his wording problematic and unhelpful. One cause I considered was use and discontinuation of an opiate. I did know I’d get a fibro flare after the oral surgery, but this was 9.5/10 and I didn’t know how to handle it.

The doctor said she was unaware of anything in current medical literature regarding major negative effects after short-term use of opioids for post surgical or injury related pain. If I was having such a response, she said, it would be very unusual. In her opinion, I was most likely experiencing a severe fibromyalgia episode following the tooth extraction, and oxycodone had masked that while I was taking the opiate.

Whatever the cause(s), she asked me what I wanted to do about it. She’s like that. She doesn’t assess what’s happening and offer treatment modalities that she thinks would be appropriate. I told her if I had the okay to take ibuprofen, though it’s an NSAID, along with acetaminophen, I felt like I could handle the pain, following relief achieved by chiropractic care. Of course, I’m used to pain. Next week, I’ll see the chiropractor again and receive a regularly scheduled massage.

Modern wringing appliances do the same thing as the old but are easier to use. Medical community reacts to and treats chronic pain, and fibromyalgia in particular, much the same way they have for years. I’ll “take two pills and call in the morning.”

Seriously, we’re going to see how things go through next Wednesday’s massage therapy. If pain increases again to sky high levels or if I don’t feel some good measure of relief, I’ll phone my primary practitioner. Staying relaxed and allowing things to settle are my main concern. As we wrapped up, she noted, “Your chiropractor released something.” First time for everything, including an MD appreciating results of chiropractic care! I don’t know what caused my body to be fed through a wringer, but it was a scary, excruciating process. Tumble dry? Been there, too.

p.s. If you’d told me back in the day that in my 50’s I’d be walking on the wild side by taking Advil as well as, gasp!, drinking a mini rootbeer, I would’ve laughed my ass off and had a shot with you!

Published by Sara Z

Writing is one of my passions. Most blog entries are relatively short articles regarding a wide variety of topics. I'm a middle-aged wife and mother of two adult sons. I've been a teacher, counselor, medical transcriptionist, student teacher supervisor, substitute teacher and retail clerk. Staying home now due to fibromyalgia. Seeking purpose.

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