Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Strange Place...

I'm in a bit of a strange place lately.  I have not been feeling well physically.  I've known for a long time that I grind my teeth at night.  In college, my doctor gave me medication to help with the headaches I got from it.  The assumption was that I was under a lot of stress.  I finished school, I was less stressed, and the headaches didn't occur as often.  Over the years I've gone through phases.  Sometimes I'll get headaches every day for a month or two.  Then I won't get any for a while.  I know the teeth grinding is a problem though, because my dentist tells me it has damaged my teeth.  I had to get a crown on one tooth because I'd completely cracked it in half.  Apparently the tooth on the other side of my mouth is cracked and might also require a crown.

I've looked into treatment for bruxism (the official term for teeth grinding).  My dentist recommended an occlusal guard (to wear at night), which costs about $600.  I'll admit it - I'm cheap.  I didn't want to spend $600 on a mouth guard. 

Unfortunately, my headaches started occurring more frequently.  So I stocked up on ibuprofen and basically ate them like candy.  Over the past one to two months I've felt nauseous.  I initially attributed it to medication changes (and certainly some of it was due to that).  When, however, the nausea persisted long after my body should have adjusted to the new medication I started to consider other possible causes.  (I seriously considered the possibility that something in my office was making me sick.  I know it sounds silly, but I moved to a new office around the same time I started feeling bad.  I thought there might be a correlation).  What I eventually realized (purely by accident, when I heard my husband make a comment about needing to eat before taking Tylenol), is that eating ibuprofen like candy was upsetting my stomach.  I'm pretty sure I far exceeded the recommended dose; I guess I didn't realize how often I was taking it.

Anyway, this finally convinced me to do deal with the problem.  Before investing $600, I decided to look online.  I found a company that claims to make mouth guards for dentists.  For $150, they mailed me a kit.  I took impressions of my upper and lower teeth.  I mailed them back.  They should send me a mouth guard in the mail within a few weeks.  I'm crossing my fingers.  If it doesn't work then I will just pay the $600 and go through my dentist.  At this point, it is causing enough misery to be worth whatever I have to pay.

So I'm feeling hopeful about that.  But something is also going on with me emotionally and I'm not quite sure what it is.  I suspect it might be related to switching from one antidepressant to another; the new one just doesn't work the way the old one did.  Thinking back, when I was first treated for depression (back in high school) I tried multiple medications before finding one that worked.  I took that one for several years.  At some point I thought it was making me gain weight.  I started something else and took it for seven or eight years.  At that time, I complained about always feeling exhausted.  My doctor said the particular antidepressant I was on probably made this worse so I switched to another one.  I took this for about five years. 

I switched medications again about three or four months ago.  I've tried to give it a fair chance to work.  I've actually found it difficult to tell if it's "working" or not.  I haven't really been "depressed," my mood has not necessarily been sad or dysphoric, but I definitely don't feel as good on a daily basis as I did with the other medication.  I frequently feel irritable and want to be left alone.  It's like my average mood went from a seven to a five.  I can function at a five but I felt better, could concentrate better, and was more productive at a seven.  I'm grateful it's not worse; I think that's why I haven't asked the doctor to try something else yet. 

Anyway, that's where I am at the moment.  I am hopeful that I'll figure things out.  My new mouth guard should arrive any day now and I'm optimistic about it.  I see my doctor in three weeks; we'll discuss my options and make some changes.  Until then, forgive me if I'm not writing as regularly as I usually do or if my thoughts seem slightly less coherent.  I'm working on it; give me some time.

14 comments:

  1. I found yoga(when running tapered with aging) and daily meditation(after suffering a human life pushed me) and both helped to end my grinding. Yet, this was not the impetus. Both help to reduce normal stress that you push down deep only to surface in sleep.

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  2. Hi
    I am confused. You say you are a social worker but then call yourself therapist. I think this is very misleading for readers.

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    1. Licensed Clinical Social Workers are frequently trained in psychotherapy, therefore can choose career paths as therapists for social service agencies, psychiatric or mental health treatment programs, and in private practice. The Master's in Social Work has multiple concentration/specialty areas and if an MSW chooses to be a therapist, he or she will usually specialize in clinical mental health, then go on to get licensed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

      It can be confusing! Before I went into my MSW program, I didn't know this either :)

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  3. Merry Christmas and a great 2015 regards

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  4. Hi there! I am an MSW from Illinois who has been following your blog on and off over the last few years. I'm sorry I never commented sooner--I always connected with what you wrote and felt you had very insightful and educational posts that helped me both personally and professionally. I noticed you haven't posted in several months and that in your last post you weren't doing very well. I hope things have gotten better for you! I would love to get in touch with you to discuss some social work ideas I have, but I don't see a way of contacting you through the site. Would you be willing to message me, if you get this comment? My email is steph@ [the website I listed with the comment] I hope to hear from you! Thanks, Stephanie

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  5. I’m sorry to hear that you have to go through these kinds of stuff. Headaches are really frustrating, and could possibly be a symptom of another problem. But it’s good that you’re doing your best to cure this. I understand that when it comes to our health, we really tend to invest a large amount of time and money – but it is for the best. Anyway, I hope are feeling a lot better now.

    Cynthia Bowers @ BayAreaTMJAndSleepFL

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  6. Feliz Día de la Mujer. Saludos

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  7. Beautiful insight. It inspires many spiritual journey. http://www.bellofpeace.org

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  9. I hope you start to feeling better soon. It seems like you've been going through the fire. Hope to read soon that your feeling better than ever.

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