Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Anecdotal Reminder About Rebounds

I just wrote this in my journal, and I thought I'd share it with all of your.

I had all 4 wisdom teeth yanked this morning. I had expected full, black out anesthetic, when it turns out I got twilight, which was kinda cool. They kept telling me to breathe...so apparently I wasn't doing too hot a job of that, but other than that it went very...calmly. I didn't feel a thing, and could only feel a bit of pressure, and the sound of the sander.

Then they put me in recovery. And I got drowsier, and drowsier, and drowsier....until I could not keep both eyes open despite my best efforts. They were starting to get concerned, and then, somehow, I'm not sure as I was getting less aware of things, the fact that I usually drink 5 cups of coffee every morning and that I'd been NPO when I came in. I had even joked with the nurses going into the procedure that I wanted my coffee. So, this is awesome, one of the nurses went a brewed a cup of coffee for me. :D I dribbled about half of it down my chin, because I couldn't feel my lips, but within a couple swallows, I started to wake up, and start 'talking', and generally act human. They were kinda amazed, and I wanted to say "I TOLD you so!" but didn't as that would have taken speaking. So I thanked them, and got the heck out of there, as I was now awake.

Then we went across the street to our pharmacy, to get my painkiller and antibiotic scripts filled. They said it would take ~20 minutes, so we went another block to McDonald's and I got a vanilla milkshake and a spoon (no straws allowed) and Mom and I had "lunch". I made a total mess, as I still couldn't feel my lips, but my body liked the milkshake, so Mom just got a stack of napkins and we dealt with it. It wasn't that that bad.

Then we went back to the pharmacy, and I waited in the car while Mom went in to pick up the meds. And I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, Mom came out and told me that our pharmacist wouldn't even give Mom the prescribed painkiller, because guess what?


Fail. That would give me an instant rebound migraine. I love my pharmacist for catching this. I would not have been happy if I had triggered a rebound migraine while trying to treat my jaw pain. So...we came home w/ just the antibiotic and a recommendation for what painkiller to ask for. (I happen to have some of it in my med cabinet for my migraines, so it's not PANIC(!) time, but I only have something like 7 pills left...out of a one time prescription for 10 pills, so Mom just called the oral surgeon and asked for the recommended painkiller that doesn't have Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen mixed into it, as all of those cause rebounds.

Then, having read my journal entry, one of my friends asked me a question in the comments:

"...So if you take any pain killers with tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen you get a migraine from the medication? I just want to make sure i have it clear."

This is what I replied with:

"Yeah, ever since 8th grade ('o1) I haven't been able to take Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen without getting horrendous migraine, because I took so much of them in things like Excedrin Migraine, and other OTC painkillers for my increasingly severe migraines. I now get what's called a rebound migraine from any of them, even if I take, say, a Tylenol for a really bad burn I got on my hand from the stove. It's because my brain saw those chemicals, and the migraine pain together so often, that now, whenever it sees the chemical, it assumes that there is migraine pain, and will actually create it if there isn't, just to keep me what it sees as "normal." 

It stinks and is quite painful, so I take Aleve (aka Naproxen) very sparingly, because I don't want to get rebounds from it as well."

I'm going to get on my Soapbox for a moment here, now. I think a lot of people underestimate the potential potency of OTC pain meds, such as the ones that I took. I'm not saying that you should never use OTC painkillers, that's absurd. However, the rule of thumb, so to speak, is that you take no more than the recommended max dose 3 days over the course of a week, unless specified otherwise by a doc or some other medical professional. And then, for only 2 weeks or so. If your pain is so bad that you need the painkillers more than that, you need to contact your doc and get seen.

I didn't know what I was doing with the Excedrin Migraine, until it was too late. So now, I really advocate awareness about responsible use of OTC painkillers, and meds in general. I don't want others to go through what I'm living with.

So be aware, be careful, and please, never take any medication lightly.

Quantum in me fuit,



  1. They absolutely underestimate these medications!

    I'm glad you got through your surgery well. I was thrilled that I got to be completely put out for mine. Much less scary!

  2. Choose proper medication when it comes to headache. There are better alternatives as well.


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