Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If it's not one thing, it's another- how getting sick can make you feel better

I got a nasty intestinal virus over the weekend- and by nasty, I mean rushed to the emergency room nasty, anti-nausea meds via IV nasty, projectile vomiting nasty and I think you've already heard way more than you want to know.

My body was wracked with pain from the soles of my feet to my eyelids, but particular my lower back and thighs. In the midst of this 2 days of horror, I realized that my lingual nerve injury didn't bother me one bit. I didn't feel pain in my teeth, my tongue didn't burn, I could lie on my left side for the first time in a year... what the heck?

So of course the next thing I wondered was Holy Mother of God, how can I bottle this feeling (uhhh, minus the stomach flu symptoms). Alas...the fever broke, and slowly but surely, the neuropathic pain returned with its former vengeance.

Has anyone else seen this happen- you get sick and the lingual nerve pain subsides - it's like your body can only deal with one horrific thing at a time so it kind of shuts down and just focuses on the worst one til it can rid itself...then back to regularly scheduled programming. Sigh.

I remember this happening when my mother died virtually on my due date with my 2nd child. My mother was dying, my son was being born...how could this happen at the same time? It was too much at once. And so, my body kind of just went into autopilot for the next few days, til I could lay my mother to rest. Then, the baby was born, a week late. The baby was huge and low, and supposed to be born early. But I somehow managed to hold off long enough to say goodbye to my mom, and not miss her funeral because I was delivering a child. Life is weird.

So, the rugburned/scraped along the sidewalk burn of the left side of the tongue is back, the deeeeeeep achiness in the upper left teeth is -hello!- stabbing me again all the way back to my jaw near the ear, and I'm even getting sharp pains in the temple again. Tragic that this is now what "normal" feels like.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks at 11 months

As the days grow shorter, and the temperatures turn colder, I approach the one year mark of my injury (Dec 30th, 2009 - "a day that will live in infamy"). I have an all-over, nondescript burning sensation most hours of the day. Yep, it's really annoying, and distracting. I have to plan for meetings or any time I'll be away from my purse for awhile, which contains my stash of gums and lozenges, but sticking gum in my pocket, and carrying water.

No longer does just the tip or edge of my tongue burn; it's more widespread all along the left half of the tongue. I still have pain when puting on sunglasses. I still cannot rest my chin in my hand. But I can do lots of things I couldn't do before, like go to restaurants (where hypersensitivity to noise used to kill me), and walk outside even when the wind is blowing (whereas I used to have to pull a hood over my left ear and mouth). I've not had a migraine headache since summertime. So there's definitely been progress.

I'm very encouraged reading that Kev has completely recovered! He is one for the record books, and I will be driving him crazy picking his brain to understand how he managed to finally beat this thing.

The simple answer is, there are no simple answers. This thing takes time - lots of time. And ppppp... patience...something I am NOT known for. I continue taking B vitamins - do they help? Who knows? Couldn't hurt. I am still on meds - couldn't survive without them. I have stopped asking "why me" and "when will I feel normal again", and started just living. I try to notice when the pain is lessened, feel grateful for those rare moments, and burn them into my memory cells, in the hopes they'll someday win out over the pain receptors still firing off.

My thoughts go out to each of you this Thanksgiving. I am so thankful to have this blog and grateful you take the time to read and share your thoughts with me. Have a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Burning inside and out?

Here's an odd question. Ok, these are all odd questions, but here's the latest. Has anyone noticed their facial skin peeling? I noticed my chin peels about once/mo. for the past few months... for no real reason. It got me thinking....is this nerve related, it's almost like it's burning my skin from the inside out.

I mention this because I recently came off of a particular bad spell of worse mouth pain, which has now settled a bit. The first quiet tongue day I'd had after about 2 weeks of fire, I noticed, again, the skin on my chin peeling, like from a windburn or sunburn. Only, I haven't been in the wind or sun to any real extent.

And this is like the 3rd time I've noticed this - then I put some aloe on and it's gone the next day. I don't have any dryness anywhere else on my body like on that part of my face.

Things that make you go "hmmm".