Yes, so I went to the dentist today to get a regular cleaning. First time in Louisville. Yes, I know, I’ve been ignoring my dental health since we moved here… so anyway, I thought it’s time to remedy that. This was the first time I’d been to this dentist. Some chiding for not having gone to the dentist in a while, x-rays, a regular cleaning, and I’d be on my way, or so I thought. On the first visit, they just took x-rays and sent me home. On the second visit, they said they were only going to clean the teeth on my right side. They said they were going to give me an anesthetic, so the deep cleaning they were going to give me wouldn’t hurt. Ok. First they swabbed some anesthetic on my gums. Then they injected some short acting anesthetic, sticking me SIX times. Then they injected long acting anesthetic, sticking me another SIX times, this was to avoid pain??? After the long acting injections, my heart started to race like I’d run a 20 second mile! I told them I was having an adverse reaction as my heart was racing and I was feeling very jittery, deep breath. They very calmly informed me that that was the epinephrine in the long acting anesthetic to constrict the blood vessels so the anesthetic wouldn’t diffuse away. Epinephrine!!!!!???? They very calmly told me, that what I was experiencing was the fight or flight response in response to said epinephrine! Deep breaths, deep breaths. I said “You gave me what? Epinephrine? Do you know I have bipolar d/o, and the last time I was given epinephrine (in the form of Wellbutryn,) I has MASSIVE panic attacks!?!” I had written down in my history forms that I had bipolar disorder. They obviously didn’t read those. Giving someone with bipolar disorder epinephrine… really? This is a neurotransmitter, as such, it has effects on the brain, and the effect it has on my brain is a very undesirable one, namely severe panic attacks! They said “Oh well, it is a minuscule dose.” Well their minuscule dose had my heart racing and anxiety coursing through my brain and body. Luckily, oh so luckily, I didn’t have a full on panic attack, just anxiety, jitteriness, shaking muscles, and a deep desire to flee from there. I sat through the cleaning of the teeth on my right side, shaking and jittery. The left side is to be cleaned on October 8th. I’m canceling that appointment and finding myself a dentist who doesn’t even know what epinephrine is!
For cleaning my teeth, to avoid pain, they gave me topical anesthetic, short acting (six needle sticks) and long acting (six needle sticks) anesthetic and THREE appointments! Are they freaking out of their minds? Who does that? I’ve been having my teeth cleaned forever, and never have I been subjected to this, what do I call it but, craziness! I am still sitting here, shaking and jittery, and this is after almost 12 hours!
For god’s sake, how do you know what you are going to be subjected to? I thought I was going for a routine cleaning and then this… if he had told me he was going to give me epinephrine, I would immediately have disabused him of that notion. Before leaving, I did tell him that I had filled out forms in which I has written down that I had bipolar d/o. And that to give someone with bipolar d/o epinephrine is never a good idea, except maybe if they are going into anaphylactic shock, then it is a matter of life and death. I told him that the brains of people who have bipolar d/o are very sensitive and cannot be subjected to neurotransmitters, it can have catastrophic consequences, like the onset of mania. Now I am sitting here, checking every few minutes on myself, to make sure I have not been thrown into a manic phase. I don’t think so, but my heart rate is still up and my muscles are still shaky. Hopefully, I’ve dodged a bullet, a bullet that came out of a dentist’s syringe. And hopefully, now they will read history forms and inform people of what they are injecting into them before they actually inject it. Of course, I will keep monitoring myself, unbelievable as it sounds, for signs that a manic phase is on its way. I feel like an innocent bystander, who has just been run over by an 18 wheeler. Just need to calm down. Deep breaths. And plan my day tomorrow, some concrete, calming things and get some sleep. And never go anywhere near this dentist’s office again.
And to all of my blog mates, please be careful, we people with sensitive biochemistries have to be very careful who gives us what where.
Just a note: Epinephrine is a neurotransmitter and has effects on the brain and also on the body, such as making our hearts race when the fight or flight response is elicited. The reason it is called epinephrine is this: EPI means on top of, NEPHRINE refers to the kidney. It is made by the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidney, therefore EPI-NEPHRINE. It is also called Adrenalin, because it is made by the adrenal glands. So epinephrine and adrenalin are the exact same thing. Another related molecule is norepinephrine, which is also called noradrenalin. Just FYI 🙂