“My Story… ” Monday: Fatal Diarrhea


So, like I told you last week, I was absolutely beyond happy that they had finally figured out the actual cause of all my pain and turmoil. I had finally reached my breaking point when I realized that the increased doses of medication weren’t making the pain go away– of course they weren’t: those meds treated nerve pain and, by that point, I was dealing with bone pain.


Anyway, after they found the tooth issue, I was feeling optimistic.


I had to go on an antibiotic. I’m not one to take a ton of antibiotics, but I do recognize that they have their place– this was one of those places.


The last time I had had an antibiotic was close to ten years ago, for a kidney infection. I needed it then, too. The eye infections, ear infections, sinus infections and what-not have managed to clear up on their own, but I knew this infection deep in my jaw bone was going to require some help– honestly, some doctors have been surprised I avoided surgery.


Anywho, I filled the prescription and, little rule-follower that I am, read the information sheet carefully.


One of the side-effects? “Severe, rarely fatal, diarrhea.”


Oh, dear.


Now that did not sound good at all.


I polled some friends and combed some websites and resolved to eat the very best diet I could to try to counteract the nasty gastro-intestinal side effects of this medication. Plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and tons of water became my best friends. I all but gave up sugar. I took probiotic supplements.


Did I love it? No. But, since I hadn’t been able to eat much of anything while I was in pain, I really wasn’t too picky.


Whether through luck or diligence, I avoided the dreaded fatal diarrhea.


It’s been a little over a month now, since I had my palate opened and my tooth drilled. Since then, I had my root canal finished.


I feel fabulous.


The oral surgeon, endodontist, and dentist have all told me my pain threshold is “off the hook.” My dentist figured most people would have been in the ER. Dr. Hottie, er, I mean Dr. Tucker ( ;) ), said that he couldn’t believe I only rated the pain an 8 on a 1 — 10 scale. I laughed, “I need to honestly and truly believe that death is imminent before I’d go above an 8.” “Crazy pain tolerance,” he murmured again.


I don’t really know about all that, since I really have no basis for comparison. I can’t, obviously, feel another’s pain, so I don’t really know how mine compares.


I know it was bad. I know I’ve never hurt so much in my life. I know that the thought of having to live like that for the rest of my life made me want to crawl in a hole.


But I also know that it has made my relief that much sweeter.


I can’t even bring myself to complain about pain just yet.


I turned my ankle a couple weeks back and it turned all shades of purple. I never mentioned it or cared much.


Headaches, cramps, sore throats, and sinus pain come and go and I don’t bother doing anything about it– it just doesn’t bug me right now. It pales so very much in comparison that I can’t even bring myself to complain about it.


Locked up back and shoulder one day? Annoying, yes. Worth moaning about? Nope.


I have a whole new view of pain and a gigantic level of respect for people who live with chronic pain. I can’t even imagine.


And, so, I’m doing great.


I hope I never forget those couple weeks, however, because I think I learned some very important lessons along the way.


I am so grateful for my health.


I am so grateful that I healed so well. (<– this surprised my dentist, who said it was the worst infection she’s seen in her entire career)


I am so grateful that I had love and support throughout the worst of it.


And I am so aware of how deeply day-in and day-out pain can affect someone’s life.


(Also? I’m super grateful I didn’t get the fatal diarrhea.)

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3 comments to “My Story… ” Monday: Fatal Diarrhea

  • Laraba

    I am SO glad you are feeling good these days!!!

    And yes, through the first couple of episodes of your story, I kept thinking, ‘Why didn’t she go to the ER?’ My pain tolerance is NOT high and seriously, I’d have been begging for morphine if it was like that. Ugh. I cannot even IMAGINE. I am so thankful they found out the problem?

    I remember back in my teens I got a vicious, terribly UTI, that was all it was, but I was in agony. I went to the ER that time and they diagnosed it and sent me home with antibiotics and a strong pain medication. I took the meds and the pain…went away. I still remember just floating around the house in joy, because that awful pain was over. I have been in severe discomfort and pain since then, but that was the one time the pain went away within an hour so I remember the difference very clearly.

    Ok, going on and on. So glad you are better!

  • Laraba

    Hmm, I threw in a weird question mark in the above comment. Sorry. They DID find out the problem, no question about it.

  • Heather B

    hmmm…fatal diarrhea? Isn’t that cholera?

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