De-stressing a Medical Procedure

blue and silver stetoscope

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If you’ve been with me long enough, you know I have a chronic pain diagnosis that hibernates and then rears it’s horrible ugly head. Trigeminal neuralgia affects the facial nerve and radiates excruciating pain into the eye, nose, mouth, ear, and down the neck of the affected side. Stress accompanied by dental visits have been my past triggers with the proverbial straw breaking me in 2013.

Since that time I’ve worked hard on stress management and making life changes that support wellness. But over the past year or so I’ve had a number of tooth issues requiring two crowns and a tooth extraction. I’m blaming it on menopause. Yes, hormones affect every part of our body and I don’t think I’m wrong, although I’m not sure how much research is out there on the subject of dental health and women’s hormone changes.

So far no trigeminal flares have been triggered. But I’ve worked hard to prevent that from happening. A flare is so traumatic that I’ve had to do some emotional freedom tapping to release the PTSD trapped emotional energy. I’ve also been proactive in other ways to help de-stress medical/dental procedures:

  • I’ve planned ahead and put money in a medical fund so paying for procedures will not be a cause of stress.
  • I have essential oil blends to help with pain and anxiety.
  • I have wellness relievers built into my day (infrared therapy, Eden daily energy routine, stretching/self-myofascial release and water therapy).
  • I have a schedule I control that doesn’t control me.
  • I have a supportive network of friends and family.

So when I was told I needed to have another tooth extracted, I experienced fear but also had a solid foundation to de-stress. First, I freed up my schedule and cancelled all appointments so I would have unobstructed healing time. Then I practiced the stress relievers I teach women in bi-monthly classes.

The tooth extraction was today and it went as well as it could. Last night I was anxious and did some tapping, prayed offering gratitude to the tooth that was going to be removed thanking it for all that it has done for me and letting it know we would be reunited in the resurrection of the body (Christian spirituality), and I didn’t force myself to go to sleep and instead watched movies until midnight.

In the morning I drank a good healthy protein drink and some kefir … both settling nicely on a nervous stomach. I used some calming essential oils and allowed plenty of drive time to the appointment. I requested the nitrous oxide during the procedure even though I had to pay extra for that. It was worth every penny. I picked up my prescriptions before going home even though I just wanted to go to sleep after leaving the oral surgeon. I took the pain meds, sat with an ice pack, and made up a trauma blend to help with the bruising and swelling (Trauma Oil, Helichrysum, Frankincense, and Roman Chamomile). I took a long nap.

So far, so good. I look like I have a chipmunk cheek but the pain is negligible (knock on wood). And I just feel relief that everything is over. I mothered myself and I’m grateful for that … self-mothering, having a daily wellness routine and planning ahead has been the best way to de-stress a fearful medical procedure!

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