Facial Pain… An Infection or CRPS Flare-up

Three years ago a dentist attempted to save my jawline by not pull three of my molars that had degraded along the gum-line where previous dentists pried against the remaining tooth for leverage to extract my wisdom teeth because the roots were and probably still are healthy and vital to the formation of the jaw. Yes, as loud as I am I actually have a small mouth.

On Friday, I attempted to schedule an appointment with the dentist to extract the tooth as I was starting to get a toothache but the office was closed. It could wait until Monday to set the appointment. Friday evening rounded the corner and the pain was increased. By Saturday and I couldn’t close my teeth together. It always happens on a Friday after hours! Ugh!

As I went about picking up I found my nose ring I’d had in earlier… As alarm bells rung in my head because of the crusted coating I found growing on my nose ring I decided it had to be an infection, bacterial or fungal but anything growing on sterling silver, in my opinion, is not normal. So in I went to the ER. As I approached I started to recall what my husband told me he witnessed the last time I thought I had an infection that shouldn’t wait till Monday had set in… “As soon as you told them you were on pain management they left the room for over 45 minutes and every person who entered after responded to you as if you were seeking pain medications.” He further said to me “I don’t think I’d ever mention it again and if they try to hand you a script for pain pills refuse it.”

I don’t agree. I think the medical field needs to stop treating pain patients as pill seekers trying to get high. Me personally, I have a sensitivity to natural opioids. That means I take two at the same time or too close together and I itch and vomit. I cannot get high off of them without becoming violently ill yet in my records a doctor actually tried to accuse me of pill seeking behaviors at my monthly pill seeking appointment. Hmmm

I finally meet my new GP, mind you I’ve told every doctor this especially the ones prescribing, I mention this to him and he is the one to tell me I have an allergy to the medication if I ever break out in hives I am out of pain management options via opioid interventions.

Ok back to the ER story… I was scared they were going to send me on my way as a pill seeker rather than a seeker of the problem. I video recorded as best I could but have yet to watch my fears play out. As soon as I feel up to it I think I’ll put out a video on how afraid we are that we won’t be heard and helped or misperceived our intentions because while I was there waiting in the bed for 6 hours I began having muscular ripples and drawing and comforting of my feet and legs. Cannot jump up every time one set in like I do at home it will freak people out so I sit there rubbing, begging them to stop, and crying from the pain, humility, fear…. We try so hard to either be invisible or blend in and when you’re a spectacle, a medical enigma it’s emotionally draining.

After clarifying I was fearful of the same treatment again, that I tell them I’m on pain management because if the pain pills aren’t managing the discomfort more pills won’t. I wanted help understanding what was wrong. I knew it had to be an infection of some sort … bacterial, fungal … something.

The conclusion: A CT Scan revealed inflammation, no pooling of fluid, nothing but swelling and concentrated at the upper right quadrant of my mouth. Diagnosis: gingivitis. The remedy suggested prescription mouthwash currently not filled. However, one hour after the use of Afrin nasal spray the pain began to diminish almost immediately in comparison, 24 hours later and I was able to eat for the first time in almost three days.

Gingivitis? I don’t think so. The CRPS inflammation attack of the face is how I think it should actually read but who am I but the patient who lives with this dysfunction of the bodies primary and secondary systems. Whats next my heart?

Published by lisa proctor

Since 2012 I have suffered the effects of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Moreover, through lifestyle changes, I've taken back control of my life and regain much of the independence I thought lost to me. It is for this very reason I wish to share my discoveries with others with the hope that it will serve you as well.

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