Went to E.N.T.

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Oscar_Actuary
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Went to E.N.T.

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:26 pm

last Friday I was "diagnosed" with an ear infection (viral + bacterial) at one of these urgent care centers frequented by folks like me who don't have their own doctor. I recall a similar diagnosis the last time I visted a doctor, sometime last year-ish.
But this time there is even more radiant pain, down thru the jaw and gums on the left side, especially when eating cold, or crunchy, or pully foods. I've been taking ibuprophen for the pain.

Minor cold week of 3/3/13
3/8/13 diagnoesed with ear infection. Antibiotics thru 3/12/13.
Pain getting worse from 3/10 - 3/13. Then getting better now

ENT today said there was no sign of infection. Presure test passed with flying colors. Tonsiles looked good. I have no headaches, nor neck ache. No stuffy nose. Just this dull as if there is a filbert nut in my ear canal and radiant sharp pain thru the gums sometimes - like I could induce it if I swish my mouth out with water. IDK, it'll keep fading I'm sure, but it seemed to perplex the Doc. I didn't go as far as to ask "So, you think maybe I never had an Ear infeciton", but he clearly indicated there was no signs of it now. Yet, the feeling is about the same.

As with last year, to my best recolleciton, it starts with a small cold (get the fever blister), that goes away immediately like 98% of my colds. But the lower left gums feel sensitive to cold/hot. Then the pain starts to go to the ear which after a couple of days begins to feel full. Like "on lock down", as if my ear tubes were cinched up. Playing Doc, which I often do since its cheaper than going, I deduced "The ears are full, putting more presure on all the connected areas, like the jaw/gums..so its all tender." Well when ENT said there was no excessive fluid in the ear, that shot my theory.
Earlier, with the ibuprohen in the car, I decided to wait out this last bout of pain. It subsided in about the same time it takes the meds to work. So, whatever the cause, maybe it's going away.

He said give it another week and then see an oral surgeon, then perhaps a nuerologist. No thank you!

One day I'll do a well visit to an internist, but for now, this was a start. Pretty painless except when he stabbed my ear to get out a bit of wax.

ps. I dont think it's TMJ.

There is really no question here. I just knew you all cared about me in a special way!. I might be able to paste this in a more medically minded forum one day, but I dont frequent them.

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KenDowns
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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by KenDowns » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:58 pm

You might consider visiting a dentist if you have not already. You may have a chronic infection.

Let me know if I got it right, I'll send you a bill. But only if I guessed right and diagnosed you correctly over the internet. If not the consult is free.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:08 pm

Ken

Had I not had this same issue last yr, with the sensation behind/in the ear, like nut is lodged inside, I would certainly be leaning towards dental.
Even so, no doubt the trigger now for acute pain is cold liquid. But its not a sudden sharp pain; instead, it a more slow vice like pain that ramps up over 2 minutes and dissapates 30 minutes later - or when the meds kick in. I would not expect dental to be as general accross the lower gums/jaw and upper jaw. But I'd think it would come on more slowy, weeks/months

I do appreciate all diagnosis


Update:
It does hurt to tap my back molar. Not the wisdom, as they were all pulled.
Hmmm

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Ironman » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:53 am

After ruling out infection, most likely causes are bruxism, tooth decay affecting the root, and stress. I had a stress issue a while back that gave me some bad jaw pain.

Did they check your ear canal for some kind of a growth? It's not very common but it does happen.

You could eliminate two of these things with a dental exam. You're supposed to have those on a regular basis anyway.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:57 am

yeah, I'm getting dentist recommendations now

I've had sensitivity to cold, that gets better/worse for the last 15 yrs. Now its accute pain and raidates to the ear. I dont know if I ever had an ear infection. But I do know, my jaw/tooths/ear have not hurt like this for this long ever. It's not severe as long as I take 400 mg ibuprophen every few hours. But, who wants to do that forever and eat only yogurt and tunafish and babanas the rest of their life

here goes my bonuss check all to the dentist
Did I mention its been about 20yrs

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by KenDowns » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:21 am

Another symptom is bad breath, or a septic taste in your mouth when you don't think you have a cold or sore throat. That's a chronic infection. So my dentist says. She wants thousands for an implant. I think it's great we can do that, but I know I won't do it unless I have no choice.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Ironman » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:16 am

The problem with the jaw is if you get anesthetic, it numbs half your jaw, from the middle to the ear, and part of the side of your face. Pain ends up being the same way. I think the jaw is much like the abdominal area where the nerves came from much earlier points in the evolutionary process. So they are not very sophisticated, nor are the areas of the brain they connect to. So all the nerves can do is tell you something is wrong somewhere in that area. It's hard to tell what kind of pain it is or exactly where it is, because that part of your brain really isn't sure.

My guess is you'll end up needing a root canal or something like that.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:36 pm

I have a cracked first lower left molar.
Recommendation: Root canal + crown. cost $1650.
I am joining a dental plan (not insurance) that is immediately usuable and will reduce costs about 30% - 40%, for $100/yr family. I was happy to see that. My wife also has an HSA we have yet to tap.

Will still need two weeks before I get a full exam and cleaning ($75 first time customer special.) I imagine a bit more minor stuff will be found, unless Im lucky.

I hear all sorts of stories on root canals from botched and painful, to uncomfortable due to the length and time keeping mouth open but otherwise meh.

He did not mention bruxism as a contributing factor. I might guess its cracking unopened pistacios, if it occured suddenly.

Having it done Wednesday. I've shut down this week Hopefully, I get reinvigorated when its over. And get more past my fear of medical procedures.

ironman you were on top of this one in many ways

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Ironman » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:56 am

Sounds like a good dentist. They're really cutting you a deal there. If that $75 includes the x-ray too, that's about half price. After 20 years, they might have to put you under to do your cleaning, depending on how bad it is. I really hate going to the dentist, but I make myself do it every year. Or at least now I do. I wasn't always very good about that.

I bet your cracked molar is just from tooth decay from not getting professional cleanings, plus normal use. I doubt you could crack it on pistachios.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:31 am

when they aren't open in the shell, I'll bite thru the shell.
Always thought it was a bad idea.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by robertscott » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:33 am

pistachios are too much work for not enough nut.

There, I said it.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Jungledoc » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:03 pm

Well, I wouldda guessed dental if I'd been around. So please acknowledge that I would have been right.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by KenDowns » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:26 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Well, I wouldda guessed dental if I'd been around. So please acknowledge that I would have been right.
Under the "first to file" principle, I still reserve the right to collect on the bill.

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Jungledoc » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:31 pm

I just want my perspicacity, insight and prescience to be acknowledged by all. I'm not in it for the money.

Good luck collecting this.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Went to E.N.T.

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:46 pm

I don't want to oversell the joy of root canals and dental work entriely, but wow, I put off going 25 yrs, for that?

He was AMAZING!

I'll presume he didn't leave any files behind in the hole/canals, and we'll continue recovery with minimal pain

At one point, while the shots were being administered I was of two minds
1. Ok... please get this over with, I know once you plunge it, I'm going to feel the burn
2. Uh... wait, did you already do it ?

Then, he'd say, ok, one more. And I realized he has already given me two or tree shots and I didn't feel much at all. I recall in the old days that the topical would be applied for a few secs and the bam a series of shots. Here this time, I bit down on a medicated q-tip for several minutes and then came the shots. So I wa more numb. As far as the drilling and filling and crowinng, I was rationally calming myself saying "If I dont feel anythng now, I'm not suddenly going to feel him in the root." I considered taking a nap.

young, soap opera looks who speaks spanish. What more you want?

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