It’s obvious to me now, but the fact that the nerves in my mouth are just as much trouble as those in the rest of my body shouldn’t have surprised me. I guess it did.
Allow me to go back to last Thursday. I started having an arachnoiditis flare. Late that night, I was standing in front of my rocking chair. When reaching to turn off the standing lamp behind the chair, I had what I can only describe as a starburst of numb pain from the center of my lower back. I froze, trying to decide what I should do. It was definitely a “no sudden movements” moment.
Standing up slowly, I shut off the light and carefully made my way to our bedroom. Mostly out of fear, I told my husband what had happened. I have a thing about these types of moments. If I’m worried something bigger is happening – or could happen – I tell him. Most things I keep in my own head. Why worry anyone else? Plus, since this is all a 24 hour a day situation, I’d be reporting kind of nonstop. 😂
Seriously though, I would be. So I don’t.
But in this case, we talked. After a rough night of little sleep, I woke up with a pain I can only describe as a “punched in the back of the head” feeling in the lower right side of the back of my head. A bruised sensation that truly felt like the result of some sort of impact, even though there hadn’t been. It hurt now matter how I moved. The site was tender to the touch, the right side of my neck was too. I absolutely told my husband about this one because it frightened me. Was it muscular? (Most likely). Could it be some kind of a bleed? (Probably not). But it freaked me out. That lasted several days. And I admit to icing it (with care, padding, and over limited times) because the numbness took the edge off of the pain. For a few minutes, anyway.
By Monday, I’d woken up with neuropathy on the right side of my face, scalp, and neck. It was as if someone had literally drawn a line down the center of my head. Left side, (for once!), was okay. Right side, not so much. It hurt to touch my skin, to close my right eye, to touch my scalp. Same with my neck. And, later in the day, I felt the pain going down the right side of my body. So weird and unexpected. If I’m honest, it was a bit of a freak out.
And – just to add more ridiculousness to this whole odyssey – days earlier, I’d called my dentist to ask for an emergency appointment. I was convinced that my left-sided fillings were loose. For the past year or so, I haven’t been able to chew on that side without discomfort. Now, I only chew on the right side. That side is an issue now too. And my front bottom teeth are in on the action also. I can’t bite down without getting a nails-on-a-chalkboard wave of nerve pain that rises up from my gums, through the teeth, and then recedes. Ick. It’s awful. They scheduled me in for Tuesday.
When I arrived, I explained about the pain in my teeth and the new neuropathy. After an exam, x-rays, another exam, and a consultation, my dentist said there’s NOTHING wrong with my fillings. He checked my mouth carefully and said the following: 1) my mouth is “incredibly dry,” 2) my gums are receding (we knew this), 3) I have bone loss in my lower jaw (we also knew this, but he wants to try to make sure this doesn’t get worse), 4) he thinks my “toothaches” are actually stemming from the nerves in my mouth. Aka, from the CRPS. He truly believes this is the root of the problem.
And, once again, CRPS screws up my life. Ugh!!!
All of this happened one day after another. This was a good example of a bad week. There’s pain every day, I’m used to it. But this was more. New. Scary. I don’t scare easily, when it comes to the pain in my body. I think I’ve been in this situation too long. But new pain, the overwhelming kind that nearly takes my breath away? It’s not good. And it does frighten me. I’d be lying to say otherwise. New pains mean new complications. Possibly a new diagnosis. And trust me when I say that I don’t want any more of those. I’ve got plenty, thanks.
I have no idea what my arachnoiditis will do in the future. My back pain is always there. But when the arachnoiditis kicks off more, it’s like someone pulling your nerves taut and then strumming them. Ick. Yikes. That was a disgusting description. I apologize. 😬 But, unfortunately, it’s accurate.
I have many good days. Many good weeks. Stretches of time that are without increased drama. Those seven days were rough. It wasn’t the best week I’ve ever had. And it was definitely not the worst. And since I’ve got no idea what’s next, I’ll just keep taking care of myself and be as ready as I can to deal with what comes.
Here’s to better days. And on that note, I’ll be off to try and have one. 🙂
Peace and painlessness,
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