A Puzzle


I’m feeling triggered and here are the random thoughts that make up the puzzle pieces:

– When your parents die, your an orphan

– I have aging parents and a father with memory issues

– Chronic Pain

– Saw my dentist last night at a social function

– Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosis

– Feeling misunderstood

Now how do I connect the dots or piece together the puzzle to figure out the reason why I’m feeling triggered – that “vibrating” inside feeling? Because I’m tired of keeping these things stuffed inside and there’s no reason to misplace this feeling and unload on the first poor soul that crosses my path…

So what it is? Thinking of my parents always makes me think of my childhood. And then there’s the dentist and pain thing … yes, I went to the dentist feeling fine and came out feeling pain – even as a young child, I remember that. I recall the anxiety and even going to the “toy closet” at the dentist office and instead of playing, I organized and lined up the toys – some might label that as an autistic behavior today, but it’s just one way, my way of trying to exert a little control over a stressful situation.

What else is it about dentists – I’ve been listening to a lot of new research and doctor’s about detoxing and chronic inflammation (which leads to chronic pain) and the compounding effect of heavy metals and other toxins have a buildup effect on the body (I have a mouthful of mercury fillings and had fluoride treatments at the dentist as a kid – both of which fall in the toxic category).

I have a highly sensitive personality and roughly 20% of us do. This means I’m more sensitive than 80% of you to bright lights and sounds – no wonder the dentist office itself was difficult, the blinding light overhead, the gag reflex, the drill sounds permeating the office – horrible…

I’ve been working on it, the chronic pain, I use essential oils daily, take detox supplements, and get manual therapy bodywork twice a month. I pray and meditate and work on balancing work and life. But I still experience a pain level of about 2 to 3 daily. No one can totally get rid of stress and I’m worried about my parents – there’s a lot of psychology there – I love them, they were good parents, but I don’t believe they completely understood my highly sensitive personality or how it impacted routine things like going to the dentist.

That’s it – being understood or rather feeling misunderstood is the connecting puzzle piece… last night when I met my dentist at the party, she casually asked how I was doing while I was talking with a college counselor about a summer intern I had worked with. I mentioned being concerned prior to the internship about not having enough time in therapy experience to offer the student because of my chronic pain diagnosis. This led the dentist to ask about the diagnosis and when I said it Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), she asked more and heard me say it was triggered after going to a dental appointment almost 2 years ago.

But I had already said this to her and even emailed her because I didn’t want her to feel bad – even though the trigger was the dentist, the real cause was a misaligned body and a lot of life stress. At age 20 I first went on Vicodin after severe pain following a routine dental appointment. I brushed it off. But the incident a couple of years ago couldn’t be brushed off and resulted in an emergency room visit and being place on pain and anti-seizure meds with the TN diagnosis.

For those unfamiliar with TN – it’s also called the “suicide disease” – the pain is unpredictable and unrelenting when you’re in a “flare” but it also goes in remission, each time, like multiple sclerosis, coming back worse. The pain caused me panic attacks for quite a while because I was so afraid of it flaring as bad as it did. Pain meds really didn’t work but because it’s the a type of seizure of the peripheral nervous system (pressure on the nerve from twisted fascia in my case exacerbated by the tension causing stress in my life), the Neurontin worked, but had side effects.

I was determined to get a handle on this and thus why I’ve gone the natural route and am medication free right now. But back to feeling misunderstood – it’s been a long journey and I’ve invested personal finances (natural methods are not covered by insurance) and time in recovery and when my dentist asked how often I experience the TN – I was explaining the 2 bad times and she seemed distracted and my HSP (highly sensitive personality) picked up the feeling that only 2x was no big deal, and she said she would be happy to make me a bite splint.

Argh … a bite splint? I would rather her be curious about mercury in fillings, the long term effects of fluoride, the atmosphere in the dentist office triggering people with HSP … I want her to know I used to have horrible TMJ problems and grind my teeth to the point I would wake people up at night but it was because of cranial tension and after dozens and dozens of craniosacral therapy sessions, that has all disappeared.

So that’s it, feeling misunderstood – having HSP magnifies everything – but now I’ve sorted through the puzzle pieces, I can breath and let go of the vibration caught in my body and let some of that twisted tense feeling in my release and relax – yes, breathing again, deeper.  Having an outlet for expression definitely helps.  I might not be able to change my dentist, but maybe I can change the world, by working on myself and working on being a physical example of healing by going to the root of the cause rather than just treating symptoms.

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