Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Doctors, Self-Diagnosis, and When Not to Listen

For the past week I've had pain in my jaw from where I had the shots from the dentist. This is not common. Usually in a day or two the pain recedes. The pain has been intermittent, worse in the morning. Yesterday my ear on that side began to ache. I had a headache and pains shooting up the side of my skull above the ear. At times it felt as if I were on an airplane and my ears needed to pop. Afraid to go out of town and get sick, I gave up when hubby insisted I see the doctor. Not wanting to miss work I went to an Urgent Care facility.

My experience with the doctor: He looked in both ears and said he saw no infection. Without looking further or asking any other questions, he said the problem was most likely caused by allergies. He said he would give me two prescriptions, Biaxin as an antibiotic and a steroid pack. That's it. He left, sent the nurse back in with the prescriptions and I was dismissed.

Do you see a problem with this? I sure do!

I know I have allergies and I could feel my sinuses clogged, but no infection seemed to be plaguing me. Just the weird pain.

I know I have a problem with TMJ. The left side of my jaw pops when I open wide. So, I came home and forced my mouth to open wide. It hurt. I continued until I heard it pop. I moved my jaw a bit open and closed and from side to side. Before going to bed I took ibuprofen.

This morning my jaw hurt really bad again. I did the same thing with my jaw and now the pain has lessened. I still have aching in my jaw/ear but I believe ibuprofen will help. I've researched TMJ and I'm sure that's the real problem. TMJ can cause headache and stomach upset. I've had both recently.

I am not going to fill the prescriptions given by the doctor. I will take Mucinex for the congestion and allergies and ibuprofen for the pain in my ear. Then I'll call the dentist and have them look at my mouth. After all, the pain started after that brutal session.

Bottom line, it pays to do self diagnosis and do it BEFORE going to see the doctor. With the insurance companies and their policies, doctors are running people in and out of their offices in a constant stream, and writing prescriptions without doing any diagnosis. Please be cautious. After all, it is your body...and your money.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Carol Ann,
If you were aware that you had problems with tmj AND new that your pain started after receiving anesthetic at the dentist, don't you think You are the one who should have notified your doctor of these things? If he sat around asking you all the possible questions that could be causing jaw/ear pain you would complain about sitting in a doctors office all day. Also, the dentist might have hit a nerve while doing the anesthesia so you might want to go back to your doctor and ask about that.