Thursday, August 24, 2017

My new dentist *might* accidentally murder me.

Okay, I guess "murder" probably isn't the right word.

As I've mentioned before, I have propranolol for panic attacks. It really helps -- I have relatively few side effects from it, it doesn't take much to do the job, and I don't need it frequently. Since my panic attacks are mostly triggered by the fear of having panic attacks, being able to prevent the worst of them helps a lot.

There's only one problem.

As it turns out, it really really really really doesn't mix well with many types of dental anesthetic.

I have to have carbocaine when I visit the dentist. It takes a little longer to work than lidocaine, but it's otherwise awesome for me. Unfortunately, using propranolol (which I might need just to get me through the door) with carbocaine is not a good time. The two together can have a pretty nasty impact on blood pressure. There are studies demonstrating that propranolol and carbocaine can be used together safely, but it requires extra monitoring because your blood pressure might decide to poop the bed with the lights on. I don't want to worry anyone who might be using either of these drugs (I am not a doctor and, more importantly, I am not your doctor), but I'd also be a liar if I said I wasn't freaked out a bit. For some people, the increased blood concentration of carbocaine is NBD. For others, not so much.
I don't know which one I am.

It is safe to take propranolol and carbocaine together? For a lot of people, the answer seems to be, "Probably." If I needed propranolol to control my heart rate on a daily basis, this would be a different story -- the risks of me skipping a day of medication would definitely outweigh the benefits. Since I only require it for anxiety (and even then, with increasing rarity), I'm not sure that it's worth the trouble. If I know myself, I know that I'd probably be calmer without the added worry that my anti-anxiety meds might cause me complications. Weird, right?

My other concern is intracranial hypertension. I'm probably as tired of writing about it as you are about reading it, but it is kind of a big deal for me, and I appreciate your patience.

I can't lay flat, because I need gravity's help to empty my broken brain. I can't do inversions in yoga, because I might have a stroke. Tl;dr, I'm a bit concerned about rolling up to this poor, unsuspecting dentist and going,

"Hi! I have panic attacks -- by the way, I didn't take the medication that prevents them, because combining it with the weird-ass anesthetic I need might send me to the ER -- and I can't lay flat because I might have a stroke. Oh, I also need an absolute ass-ton of dental work, because I haven't been able to go to the dentist ever since they put me on medication that turned most of me into acid. Have fun, sucker!"

... This dude's gonna hate me.

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