Let me first state that for those of you who prescribe to the Cartesian/ Newtonian view of the world…..this post is going to sound woo woo…..as in “CRAZY”…..so bear with me. I have not posted for a few days because I have been rolling around in pain. Last Thursday I awoke with horrible face and head pain. I instinctively knew this was not a migraine and within a few hours had that confirmed as the throbbing in my jaw intensified. I had a tooth infection. Now anyone who has ever had a tooth abscess can relate to the incredible pain that accompanies it. Ughhh. I scrambled to secure an appointment with a dentist and called my family doctor for an antibiotics. I happen to be one of those lucky folks who has endured multiple total joint replacements, making a simple trip to a dentist a somewhat dangerous proposition. Any foot or dental procedure requires pre-medication on my part to lessen the risk of infection spreading to my bionic joints. So, twenty-four hours later, off I went to the dentist. As I sat agonized in the chair, the dentist informed me that I had a pocket of infection the size of a nickel between two old root canals. This meant there was not much of a tooth even there to treat, rather a neolithic post that closely resembles a molly bolt, going straight down and then expanding into a “T” shape in the jaw. That was not good news. You see, that post meant that no endodontist, oral surgeon, or dentist in the country would touch this problem without a full hospital surgical theater. Complicating matters further, my medical history as I have shared here includes a bleeding disorder, which is a very scary thing for surgeons. Now, I am in horrible pain and I am feeling hopeless. For those of you not familiar with the United States medicare system, dental work is NOT covered. What to do?
Over the next day, the pain intensified and triggered a full-blown migraine. Okay add visual disturbance and constant vomiting to the list as well. I become concerned that the pain will overwhelm my ability to cope and that I am throwing up my antibiotics. I reach out to my psychologist for help and here is where the story gets weird.
You see, last Wednesday I made a concerted effort to dip my toe into the water of “the real world” and joined a meetup group in my area. This group, full of wonderful people, shall remain anonymous because I do not want to cast aspersions upon them. Professional, outgoing, sincere people attended this group aimed at assisting all in the art of public speaking. They were not the problem, I was. You see, my background includes some harrowing experiences being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. For those of you unfamiliar, part of my mandated religious experience included one to two hours every single week of theocratic ministry instruction. That is a fancy way of saying “learning how to speak publicly in a way that persuades others to join your religion.” So this well-meaning, innocent, meetup group triggered the Hell out of me. I hadn’t expected that and went home completely overwhelmed and struggling with dissociation.
My therapist was aware of this incident. As I sat in his office yesterday, he gently offered an interesting point of view. Could it be that my body was reacting to the emotions and experience of that Wednesday evening? Could it be that I felt emotional pain with what I was hearing that night and it registered as an invasion in the jaw area by my ear. After all, an infection is an invasion of a foreign body gone wild. After all, every change that occurs in the mental and emotional state…..whether conscious or unconscious…..is accompanied by change in the physiological state. After all, I did not like what I was hearing that evening, as it generated flashbacks of nightmarish events. Was my body reacting to that? Is it possible? And if so, could I change it without further medical intervention?
After contemplating these remarks for a bit, I decided to give it a try. From my point of view, it couldn’t hurt and if it actually worked, well…..bonus! For the next twenty-four hours I employed visualization, EFT, mindfulness, and self-hypnosis techniques to the best of my ability. Please note that I am FAR from an expert in these things and would never be accused of being “skilled”…..but I did try. And here is the weird part. It worked. Really. I awoke this morning without the agonizing pain. My new dental x-ray shows that a dime size pocket of infection still exists.
I know, I know…..maybe it was the antibiotics. Maybe it had nothing to do with all my woo woo efforts. But maybe….. just maybe….. it did. What do you think? I am curious about your thoughts on this idea. Is this evidence of the mind-body connection? Or am I crazy?
- Pain is in Your Brain and How to Fix It (articles.mercola.com)
- Tapping: A Sensation That’s Sweeping the Nation (thephilosophersguidetotheuniverse.wordpress.com)
- EFT works, yet again, for Olympic athlete, Abi Oyepitan. (careymann.wordpress.com)
- Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): Tapping Into Empowerment (positive-pollyanna.com)