Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reality check

I have been feeling cruddy this past while, exhausted and weak, generally run down. When I start to feel sick, my jaw pain tends to act up as well. I didn't really pay much attention to it in the past, but thinking back on it, this has been happening for the past few years.

I feel tired and run down, my jaw tenses up, I get a debilitating headache and can't go to work and do my job. More unpaid sick leave for Bella. Hooray.

Today, I got high on codeine to take the edge off the jaw migraines triggered by the overall cruddiness, spent the day in bed and went to see my physiotherapist late afternoon for my weekly appointment.

She asked how I was doing, so I told her, mentioning that I felt like some allergies were being aggravated or that I was coming down with a cold and that my jaw acted up whenever I felt this way.

She told me that when an area of your body is in pain for a long period of time and the condition becomes chronic, as my jaw likely has, the area grows extra nerve endings and becomes sensitive to histamines. So, if you do have allergies or are coming down with a cold, the pain in that area will flare up.

The news hit me kind of hard. I realized that I have been in pain for the past three years, and, as a result, this is something that I will probably have to deal with for the rest of my life, surgery or not.

In the spring when the snow melts and the mold underneath the banks starts swirling around, during cold and flu season, on windy days...I'm going to feel sucky. My jaw is going to act up. I am going to get horrible headaches, and I probably won't be able to go to work.

While I don't regret the surgery, and I believe that it has improved my quality of life (chewing, talking and singing) and saved my jaw from more damage in the future, the damage was already done before I went under the bone saw. And I'm going to have to live with that. And figure out how to deal with it.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to handle this situation going forward? (That don't involve allergy drugs, because those aggravate other health conditions I have.)

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