Tag Archives: Tylenol

Dealing Tylenol

I have a friend who deals with dental pain daily. She sees a dentist and practices good hygiene; she is just unlucky when it comes to dental genetics. She doesn’t complain and whine on Facebook, like some people I know. (Points to self.) She just takes a bunch of Motrin and skips along and gets crap done. She’s got three kids, a big girl job, and a husband who travels constantly for work. So, she has to be a chef, a mom, a taxi driver, and an education professional, while ignoring throbbing teeth. A, I’m talking about you.

And then there’s me. As I said before, I would make a terrible spy because I have a very, very, very, very, very low tolerance for anything painful, or even mildly uncomfortable.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had two root canals; one, the second one, involved a complete rebuild of my tooth. This tooth had root canals twice before and was infected, which made it even more fun. By fun, I mean horrific. I’m pretty sure if I were a spy, all the enemy would have to do is give me dental pain and I would sell my mother to get relief. Okay, I would sell my son, too. And my favorite cat.

Like all things, having dental pain was a learning experience. So, of course I’m going to share my little life lessons from having dental pain. Read carefully, you may need this information.

Vicodin is addictive because it only works for one hour. My endodontist gave me a prescription for Vicodin, and I took it because I was in PAIN. Yes, I realize I used all caps. It worked for about an hour and gave me the intellect of an intoxicated caterpillar. No, I have never had drinks with a caterpillar. I don’t think they make martini glasses that small. Anyway, if I were not up on things, I may have taken another pill after that one quit, but I know how this stuff works because I have listened to this. So, I just went along my merry way and took Tylenol and Motrin. Yes, together. Two extra strength Tylenol caplets actually last longer than a Vicodin. Drug dealers should sell Tylenol in little baggies and call it “Better than Vicodin.” Motrin works even better, but it is really harsh on my stomach, which brings me to my next point.

Motrin could probably be used to dissolve the fingerprints off of felons. Motrin rips my stomach apart like nothing else, especially at the prescription level dose that my dentist recommended. Last Sunday, after I took a bath, I put on my robe and curled up on the couch in my office to die. I was in so much pain. My tooth wasn’t throbbing, but my stomach was clearly trying to eat itself.

I texted my husband, “Please help. Stomach pain.” He came running upstairs, asking me what he could do.

I said, “I don’t know but WebMD says it is NSAID induced gastritis.”

As he usually does when I reference WebMD, he said, “Are you supposed to be looking at WebMD?” According to my husband, I’m not “allowed” to look at WebMD, or watch any shows involving mysterious illnesses, odd ways to die, or women who snap and kill their husbands. Whatever. I requested peppermint tea and Tums.

When medical professionals say to “stay ahead of the pain” they are not freaking joking. I skipped a dose of pain medicine so that I could go buy a car. I didn’t know that the car buying process would take 3 hours and I didn’t pack my pills. By the time we got home, I was ready to locate the nearest pair of rusted out pliers and pull my tooth out of my head. Now, I am taking pain medicine every four hours until this is gone.

Just because someone has dental problems doesn’t mean they have poor oral hygiene. I work from home, and I brush and floss after everything I eat. That is at least three times a day people. If you know me, you know that is really four or five times a day. My husband, who brushes twice a day and flosses like every third day or something, has only had one cavity in his life. He didn’t even need a Lidocaine shot to have it filled. (They don’t use Novacaine anymore, remember?) I would hate him for this, but I’m kind of married to him. If I hated him, he would start to worry even more about me watching Snapped.

Loud dog barking can make your bad tooth vibrate. Loud barking is painful to listen to, in general. Heck, ANY barking is painful. But when your tooth is already throbbing, the dog barking seems to make it throb more. This is one of many reasons that I love cats.

The pills in the Medrol Dose Pack (used for pain in my case) have the most God-awful aftertaste ever. Seriously. Just let it sit on your tongue for a millisecond too long and you will be hearing A Spoon Full of Sugar. I made an emergency jog across the kitchen to grab a bag of chocolate chips, this morning. A few chips worked quicker than finding the sugar and a spoon.

Let’s hope national security never depends on me being tough. It just won’t happen. I’m the type of person who would vote myself off of Survivor. (Skips off to rub Anbesol on her gums.)

Ding Dong! The Rat Poison is Gone.

You should have “Ding dong! The witch is dead” stuck in your head now.  You’re welcome.  Just like the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz, I am thrilled that my personal wicked witch is gone.  I got the best news ever from my doctor.  My DVT is gone, and I no longer need to take Coumadin, the human life saving, rat killing blood thinner.

When I first started taking Coumadin, I thought for sure it would kill me.  This is because I Googled it as soon as it was prescribed.  Big mistake.  Go ahead.  Just for fun, do a search for “Coumadin.”  What do you see?  Um, I’m going to guess there’s a bunch of stuff about gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. Trust me; you haven’t lived until you’ve spent at least three months being on high alert for signs of this.  I will spare you the details.  You’re welcome again.

In your Internet search, you probably also found a little background information on Coumadin.  Yes, it really is rat poison – a comforting little fact that kept me on edge for the past three months.  Because it is a poison, Coumadin requires constant monitoring.  Blood levels have to be kept in a therapeutic range.  If the level is too high, you get that hemorrhaging you see online.  If it’s too low, your blood clots.  To make things super challenging, just about everything interacts with Coumadin.  So, I spent three months avoiding green vegetables (Vitamin K counteracts Coumadin) and ibuprofen, and seriously limiting my alcohol and green tea intake. While the children in Iraq aren’t exactly weeping for me, it was challenging.  As you can imagine, I am super glad to be done with Coumadin.  As with any life experience, positive or negative, I did learn a few things.

  • If you drink enough water and strong black tea, you can get rid of a headache without ibuprofen.
  • Canola oil has a load of vitamin K in it and it is in just about EVERYTHING fried or baked.
  • Canola is NOT USED to make fries at Five Guys.  Peanut oil is used instead, which was wonderful news for me, not so much for all of the people who are allergic to peanuts.  I would hate to be on Coumadin and allergic to peanuts.  I only got fries from Five Guys once while on Coumadin, but it was wonderful.
  • Red wine really does have blood-thinning properties.  I intend to use it medicinally from now on.

    It's medicine.
    It’s medicine.
  • There are a lot of green veggies in Chinese and Italian food.
  • Green tea tastes really good when you haven’t had it for three months.
  • There are thousands of people who have to take Coumadin for life due to genetic blood disorders, mechanical valves, or certain heart issues.  I don’t know how they do it.
  • Tylenol is only useful in larger doses.  Taking large doses of Tylenol is dangerous.
  • Color-coding is a great tool.  Since my dosage of Coumadin needed to change periodically, I had three different varieties of pills.  The pharmaceutical industry realizes that it could be easy to confuse the different pills, so they are colored differently, depending on the strength.  The five-milligram pills are peach, the two milligrams are blue, and the one-milligram pills are pink.  The other varieties are also different colors, but I only had fives, twos, and ones.

So, this will be my last Coumadin/DVT related blog.  I will now go back to writing about John Stamos, kittens, jeans, and whatever else irks or amuses me. You know, the serious things in life.