Pain Management

I see the surgeon on Thursday at 1100. It;s off base so it will take me awhile to get out of ALS class and drive down there.

Thursday can’t come soon enough. The right side of my jaw is excruciating pain. On a scale of 1 (being hardly any pain) to 10 (being the most pain) I am now at a 9.5. It was a solid 8 at all times until this weekend. Saturday was cheat day. (I eat very healthy and I calorie count the other 6 days of the week.) For my cheat day, I ordered pizza. I figured it would be simple and soft enough to eat without to many issues arising.

It wasn’t.

By the end of the evening, the right side of my jaw was excruciatingly painful. Not even the hydro-codeine/flexeril I was prescribed was easing the pain. When I bite down, it’s more obvious that my teeth are no longer aligned properly. It’s all off centered to the left. Opening my mouth is very painful. It’s not as painful as trying to close my mouth, especially if I have to apply some force to it (for chewing while I eat).

I’m miserable. I can’t even sleep well because laying on the side of my face is painful. I’ll just doing my best to focus on class and for once in my life, I dread meal times. I know that Thursday will probably consist of an MRI scan, the doctor looking at them and then discussing the best options. I have a feeling that this issue will require surgery.

A positive side to this fiasco is at least my jaw waited until I was home from Guam before shitting out. The first time that I was deployed, I went to Qatar and I had to come home early for knee surgery. Earlier in the deployment, I needed an emergency appendectomy. The worse part of that was how my shift treated me when I was finally cleared to resume working. The unit I was deployed with already treated me like crap, but most of the guys were even worse to me as the departure date to the states loomed closer and closer. I don’t want to think about the shame I’d feel if I had to get sent home from another deployment for surgical reasons.

I don’t know what else I could be doing at this point. I just wish I wasn’t in ALS so I could get the medical care I desperately need without having to miss a lot of class time. (Each lesson in the class is taught once and if I’m not present, I hope that someone in class took good notes. It is for this reason, that appointments during ALS are discouraged. The ALS cadres let us attend appointments if they pop up as a courtesy to the base/surrounding area.) I hope I don’t miss anything crucial on Thursday. I have enough stress weighing on my mind and now I have to graduate so I don’t lose my joint spouse orders.

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