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How do you shut you brain off?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Wendi C, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Wendi C

    Wendi C

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    I need some help. I have anxiety in certain situations. One of which is at doctors. I had a crown put on a back lower molar last week because of a hairline crack. But the way my symptoms presented he wasn't sure if it was just a really mad nerve that would need a root canal. We did the crown and everything went smooth. On the 4th day post op I felt a dull ache in my jawline on that whole side. And it hurts to eat on that side. A logical person would say, "that's not right. I'll just go in and get it checked." But all day I was depressed thinking something more has to be wrong. I got NO sleep because I couldn't shut off the anxiety even after taking 1/2 a xanax and seriphos which makes me really sleepy. And my heart races so i also took a propranalol. I'm really depressed because i do not like dental procedures and I'm afraid of needing a root canal. And to add to the compound stress getting no sleep makes dealing with physically going somewhere that much harder. I'd love to know I'm not alone, not crazy. I feel so depressed because of this and feel like I'm going crazy. :(
  2. tdog333

    tdog333 Senior Member

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    Just take a REALLY deep breathe, super deep until you can't hold any more air in, and slowly release, do that a couple times every time you feel panic or adrenaline rush. It helps to flip the parasympathetic nervous system on. I know a professional boxer who does this every time to get rid of the butterflies before fights. It works for me too!

    If you want to try natural supplements look into GABA, Calms Forte by Hyland, and 1G tryptophan/ 3mgmelatonin before bed.

    The GABA and Calms Forte really shut my mind off.
    WillowJ likes this.
  3. Wendi C

    Wendi C

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    Thanks @tdog333! I've found in some situations I can't get my breathing under control due to my heart racing out of control, but still worth remembering to try.

    I am currently taking about 400 mgs of theanine (as Suntheanine) per my MD for the anxiety. So far not much difference but its only been a few weeks. Retraining my brain is what I might ulimately have to do since so much of it is situational (doctors offices, airplanes and tight spaces like elevators).
    Allyson likes this.
  4. tdog333

    tdog333 Senior Member

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    @Wendi C okay gotcha that makes sense, sounds like you are on the right track. I would definitely try the calms forte. It's marketed as a sleeping aid but I have heard of people taking it after a stressful day or for anxiety. It's one of the few things along with gaba that I have seen help. It's also incredibly cheap, I think I got it for $5.
  5. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    The technique that works for me is to ask myself the question: What would help me feel safe right now?

    I then do that. Whether it's as insignificant as watching a movie or as disrupting as cancelling next week's plans, I do it. Because I've decided that nothing is more important than my health, and a key factor to healing that I've found personally is feeling safe in my world.

    Dental work has been life-threateningly unsafe for me in the past as well as a traumatic experience, with horrors I won't go into for your sake. Needless to say, I find it very difficult to get to the dentist, but I have abscesses that must be addressed.

    I spent about 7 months trying to get everything in order for the first procedure, leisurely addressing it as I felt able to. I went with a more expensive dentist that would be physically safer for my sensitivities. I had sensitivity tests done. I had osteopathic work done to help ease the procedure's effects on me. I saw a naturopath who provided adaptogenic herbs that lower stress and other things to help my teeth as we waited.

    The first procedure was much more traumatizing than I was prepared for, both physically and emotionally.

    But my health improved.

    I'm now in the process of preparing for the next.

    I think the most important thing is to go gently on yourself. I was told I should have the second procedure 5 weeks after the first, even though my dentist wanted to do sooner because the cavities are so deep (all the way to the nerve). Instead, after a couple week's recovery I scheduled it for over 7 weeks later. Plus I scheduled all sorts of supportive things around it, including:
    • Seeing my cranial osteopath 2 days after (he's incredible at relieving trauma)
    • Getting a massage a few days beforehand
    • Planning on attending a Cuddle Party
    • Checking out lots of DVDs from the library
    • Informing the people around me that I expect to be emotionally vulnerable/traumatized around that time so they can be ready to help
    • Defending my schedule of any obligations during the expected recovery time period (several weeks)
    Honestly, I teared up a few times while organizing this, because each time I began to feel panicked I'd stop and examine why and change things around to feel better instead of ignoring my anxieties and soldiering through. I'm listening to the vulnerable place those come from and surrounding me with the things that personally help me feel safe and confident that everything's okay. I'm also making sure there's an absence of other things that can make me feel unsafe, like obligations.

    Your "safe" things will probably be different from my "safe" things. And that's okay, the key is you find what works for you, and embrace that.

    I personally made the decision that I'd rather risk a bit more tooth decay than force myself to go to the dentist before I was emotionally ready. The appointment is now over 2 weeks away, and I'm ready. It's still going to be really hard, but I feel confident that the safety net I've created for myself will make this experience and recovery more gentle than the previous one.

    I also use breathing techniques, journaling, catharsis exercises, and other such things to help manage my emotional state. Manually winding down the nervous system often addresses the bulk of the issue, but I also found it's extremely important to learn how to comfort myself in the same manner I would a child or a close friend. It actually took a few years before I was any good at it, and I'm still refining my skills.

    Sorting this stuff out is a very complex process. Taking pills may help temporarily sometimes, but as you can see they aren't always sufficient. Dealing with the root (no pun intended) of things is difficult, but caring for myself by nurturing/comforting/accommodating the anxieties and waiting until I'm ready has made such an improvement I now have people wanting to be around me just because, as they say, "you feel so grounded".

    Wishing you all the best. Take care. *hugs*
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  6. Allyson

    Allyson *****

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    Wendy C all those symptoms sound like POTS - have you had a TTT?

    IF so there are ways to manage them and meds that help some people a lot too

    tired but wired feeling is one typical one that POTsies and EDSers complain of - you look like you may have EDS facial features and it is genetic so worth checking out...poor teeth and dental crowding are common in EDS too

    Ally
  7. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I like Calms Forte or Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower Remedies.
  8. Wendi C

    Wendi C

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    Thanks! @Dainty and @Allyson - I wish you the best with your treatments Dainty. It's a lot of work to overcome emotional trauma. I will tell you what makes it a lot easier. Pain.. My crown treatment left me in a lot of pain. I think I have irreversible pulpitis. I went 3 days with chronic, horrible pain. The pain subsided, but now I cannot even chew on that side of my mouth so I have to get a root canal on Tuesday. If the crack is down into the root I'll have to get it pulled. Won't know until they get in there. I'm actually relieved because being in pain and not being able to eat like normal has been a real PIA! My biggest issue will be the dental dam, and I've always refused it in the past but I know that it's the best for keeping that garbage out of my mouth and keeping the tooth clean as possible.

    I will, of course, take my usual 1/2 of a Xanax and propranalol along with a heavy dose of Ibuprofen for the jaw pain that I get and it will get done and be over with. I just keep saying, "it'll be a snap!" Positive affirmations and relaxing music will get me through! :) Thanks again everyone!
  9. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    If it is a back tooth then you may want to consider just getting it pulled even if it could be root canaled. There was a recent thread on the forum about root canals and a lot of people seem to have gone through then and ended up having to have teeth pulled anyway.

    I also get extreme anxiety at the dentist. I was supposed to have a root canal some years back, but had the tooth pulled instead because they couldn't numb me enough for the root canal and I would NOT let them continue. Getting the tooth pulled was actually very quick and much less expensive than a root canal.
    Wendi C, merylg and Allyson like this.
  10. Allyson

    Allyson *****

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    HOweveer having a back tooth pulled an predispose you to TMJ - I had one removed needlessly andthen evelope a TMJ - not uncommon in EDS apparently but a real pain and something requiring long term management .. Idid have 2 rot canals too so now am careful with dental care as EDS can involve dental issues like poor teeth, TMJ and periodontitis..

    Ally
  11. Wendi C

    Wendi C

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    It is the last back molar. I literally ground it down to the dentin (from night grinding) and that's what started all this crap anyway. However, I'm going to 'try' to get the root canal done as I do worry about the hole being there and then even more expensive is an implant. I've heard all the horror stories. I'm apparently going to one of the best endos in New Mexico. I just wish I could have them use ozone as the cleaner. I've heard some using ozone and laser to fully disinfect with good outcomes.. I think that the outcome has a lot of do with the physician doing the work so I have hopes.

    Teeth! What are you going to do????
  12. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    I hope it goes well. Glad you are going to an endodontist. My daughter had hers done by a regular dentist and then had to get it redone by a specialist. Not fun paying for 2 root canals on the same tooth. If you have to bail on the root canal and get it pulled, having a hole in the very back hasn't bothered me. I was told the tooth above it might hypererupt and cause problems, but it has been at least 6-7 years and it hasn't done.
  13. Wendi C

    Wendi C

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    Thanks @vamah! It went well. I was nervous as all get out, but the endo had incredibly warm bedside manner (this is critical for me) and super sensitive with me as they new about my anxiety. When he got down to the pulp, blood just poured out. He said it was a very angry, angry tooth and had I not done something things were likely to get 10x worse and I believe him by the fact I couldn't get near it without pain the last several weeks.

    He did use bleach as the cleanser which appalled me but what was I to do? Surely they will find better disinfectants in the future. OMG. I can't imagine what my body is thinking right now. Oh well. Good news is I can start gaining weight again from not being in pain and stressing from the procedure!
    Little Bluestem and vamah like this.

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