Friday, August 29, 2008

Post-partial depression

Last week I wrote about my visit to the dentist and how much the Novocain shot hurt. I actually had to get two shots, because I could still feel the drill after the first one. But the drill didn't really hurt, so I asked the dentist not to give me a second shot, but she did anyway. The second that Novocain entered my system I instantly felt like crying.

Several days later, I gathered enough of my senses to look it up online. Once i finally figured out how to spell Novocain, it all fell into place. (FYI, the generic version has an "e" at the end, and if you search online using this spelling you will find a song by Green Day and a weird movie of the same name).

According to, the FDA advises using as low dosage as possible to avoid adverse side effects. And warns against using Novocain on patients with known drug allergies, of which I have several. (Several drugs give me a full-body rash, one makes my tongue swell up, one makes me hurl, and latex makes my skin fell like it's burning.) So, with several drug allergies listed on my chart, why did I get not one, but *two* shots? I ended up with a 6-day attack of fibromyalgia, of which I had been free for several months, severe anxiety, and major mood swings. All of which ended after 2 back-to-back and lengthy acupuncture treatments, but if I did not have a fantastic and available acupuncturist, i would still be suffering instead of sitting here typing about this in past tense.

The main lessons I want to share from this experience are these:
First of all, if you have drug sensitivities, you may not want to use Novocain. l have learned, via my pointing and clicking, that there is a far more hypoallergenic drug available that will give the same numbing, called Lidocaine. In the future, I will list Novocain (and Novocaine) as a drug allergy, so that I do not have to go through this again. It would probably be wise to do a detox of some sort an such an injection as well, since these things have to be metabolized by the liver. (I already take milk thistle every night because I take prescriptions every day).

Second of all, before embarking on major dental procedures, make sure your body is ready to handle the trauma. Yes, trauma. It is important to deal with cavities and broken teeth, as they can lead to larger problems, but make sure you are ready, or at least that you have some form of support (such as acupuncture, or another form of complementary medicine) to help you get back to yourself afterwards. We don't need to volunteer for a setback in our efforts to regain our health.

Third, always remember you are in charge. When the dentist starting grinding on my good tooth to make it match up with the new porcelain inlay on the tooth below it, I told her to stop it. When I go for my next cleaning, I am *not* going to do the fluoride treatment, which they handed me to swish around my mouth without asking me if I wanted it, and for which my insurance did not pay. I do not care about the money as much as the fact that Fluoride is a chemical. It is toxic. Its benefits are questionable, and its toxic qualities are a frequent topic of discussion in Europe, where they do *not* allow Fluoride in the water supply. The US drinking water supply is routinely fluoridated, as are most toothpastes. There are only a few toothpastes out there that do not contain fluoride, such as Tom's of Maine (I love the cinnamint flavor). I don't need any more toxic crap in my body than is already dumped there on a daily basis through air pollution, pesticides, flame retardants in fabrics, and Lord knows what else- I'm not going to volunteer to have more chemicals in my body! Read about fluoride, both sides of the discussion, from more than one source, and make your own decision.
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