The first Sunday of Advent has come and gone, so now it’s officially the start of the festive season in my mind. Back in the day, the tree and decorations would have gone up yesterday, but an adult daughter sees things a bit differently than she did in childhood. Now she’d be just as happy if the tree went up a few days before Christmas and disappeared Christmas night. Tragic, isn’t it? Oh well, there’s still my blog to decorate and it takes a lot less effort than putting up a tree and decorating a house. You’ll have no doubt noticed that I like my blog to reflect the seasons, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Fa la la la la, la la, la, la. 🙂
Perhaps it’s just as well that Alex no longer shares my thoughts on Advent Sunday (or Monday) decorating, given circumstances at the moment. When I first awoke this morning I had the wild notion that I’d haul the boxes of festive glitz up from the basement. By the time I had finished chewing my toast, however, I knew that it would be another launch on the bed kind of a day. I’ll bet that you didn’t know that chewing a slice of toast and lifting a cup of tea constitute an exhausting workout. Welcome to my world.
When I left you a week ago, I was preparing to go out for the first purely pleasurable outing in I can’t remember how long. It was rather lovely, I must say. So lovely, in fact, that I got an adrenaline surge and went back out with Daughter, in the afternoon/evening. I knew that I was going to pay for it big-time, but it had been literally years since our last proper girlie outing, and I didn’t want to disappoint her by not getting out for one before Christmas again this year. It did indeed set off a mega relapse, but I can’t say that I have any regrets. Most everything comes with a price when one has CFS, and sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and have a bit of fun, regardless. Even if it takes weeks to recover, those five hours will have been worth it.
On a kind of related note, thank you for the messages of concern about Alex. I know that I’m often pretty vague when I talk about things related to her these days, but there are reasons for that. She has her own blog and keeps it “invitation only”, so I don’t feel like I should ignore her desire for privacy. Back in my earlier years of blogging I was more open about her, but an incident while she was fifteen or sixteen taught me a huge lesson. I had no idea that her “friends” read my blog, and the one time that I let fly with a public rant after she was badly hurt by them, they saw it and made her life even more of a misery for her final two years at school. Her difficulties of late aren’t of a terribly personal nature, though, so I can talk about them now. Perhaps her story will be of benefit to anyone else with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome who stumbles by here.
The saga began with a wisdom tooth growing in at a wonky angle, which had to be extracted about a month or so ago. While she was frozen for the extraction, the dentist also did a tiny, shallow filling in a molar on the same side. Oddly, when the local anaesthetic wore off, the filled tooth was giving her way more pain than the extraction site. The pain worsened over the next couple of days, so back she went and he redid the filling. There was still some discomfort, but it gradually settled down over the next couple of weeks. At which time she returned for a cleaning, and that’s when the nightmare really began. The nerves in the filled tooth went berserk and she was in agony by that evening. So, it was back to the dentist again, and a root canal seemed like the only option to get her out of pain once and for all. Which seemed rather drastic for a basically healthy tooth, but she was in so much pain that she wasn’t willing to wait and see if it would settle down eventually. Who can blame her?
Not only does fibro cause extreme pain when there should be little to none, it also makes the use of local anaesthetic a tricky business. The dentist injected the tooth numerous times prior to the root canal, but it just would not go numb. He even tried injecting the anaesthetic straight into the nerves once they were exposed, and I think you can imagine how much Alex enjoyed that experience. Again, it was totally ineffective, so the poor girl had to sit there and have the nerves extracted without the pain being dulled at all. Go ahead, have a good flinch. I did, more than once. 😦 In a “normal” person, that would have been the end of the pain, but not in someone with fibro. The whole nerve network on that side of her mouth decided to start protesting, and so the pain has continued. It had settled down slightly by Friday, but then she had to go back so that he could finish off the procedure and he set it off again, even worse this time.
On top of all of the pain, each whopping dose of the local anaesthetic has also made her quite ill, which again, is nothing unusual for one with fibro and CFS. Heavy duty analgesics don’t agree with her very well, either, so all in all, it has been quite the ordeal. Hopefully the pain will calm down very soon, but odds are that she’ll feel some discomfort for quite some time yet. Not the drive you totally mental agony of the past few days, hopefully, but certainly periodic “zaps” as the nerves recover. I was in her shoes a couple of years ago, so I know what it has been like for her. 😦
I’m not saying that he’s a horrible person or an unskilled dentist, because he isn’t. He and all other dentists just really need to acknowledge the existence of fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, and other “invisible” conditions, and adjust the treatment accordingly. All of these diseases/syndromes are enough to deal with on their own, without having pain, exhaustion, and illness levels ramped up by practitioners who don’t know what they’re dealing with in these specific cases. Dentists need to be aware of the unusual behaviour of our nerves and muscles, the difficulties in “freezing” our teeth, the need to use a local anaesthetic that doesn’t contain epinephrine, the fact that we’re more prone to infection, the need to space out procedures with a long recovery period in between, etc., etc.
But enough of all of that negative nonsense. It’s the start of the festive season, and the next few weeks should be all about peace on earth, good will towards all, etc. Which it will be, regardless of what’s going on physically here. We’ve been forced to scale Christmas way, way back in recent years to accommodate our situation, but it still comes and we still enjoy the whole season, as well as the day itself. Perhaps we even enjoy it more with so much of the fuss and bother eliminated. It has been quite astonishing and enlightening to realize just how little it actually takes to make the season merry and bright. The Christmases of my childhood were very simple and I still wax nostalgic over them, so I suppose that simplicity has always been what makes me truly happy.
Fa la la la la,