Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Side effects that I might want…

Woke up yesterday doing a good impression of a hamster with food in its mouth pouch. My right jaw had swollen badly. It wasn’t a complete surprise as that’s where I need a crowned tooth extracted and the Consultant at the Dental hospital had probed it.

It has happened before and liberal applications of t-tree oil had sorted it so I wasn’t that concerned. I had planned to chase my dentist up over the provision of a false tooth and managed to get a cancelled appointment with another dentist at the practice as mine is off sick.

I got well told off about the swelling and not seeking treatment (like not going to A&E) including a lecture about how the swelling could block airways if it spreads down your neck. So I got a course of antibiotics prescribed there and then. The extraction is postponed until the swelling goes and I have an appointment booked to start the 4 week process of getting a false tooth.

The anti-biotic I’ve been prescribed is Metronidazole allegedly a strong one.

The dentist took ages checking drug interactions with the cocktail of drugs I live on!

When I looked it up I found it obviously used for dental infections but interestingly gynaecological infections, infected leg ulcers and pressure sores and Helicobacter pylori (a bacterium which causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach).

But what caught my eye was this:

Anaerobic bacteria cause infections in areas of the body such as the gums, pelvic cavity, gut and bones because they do not need oxygen to grow and multiply. Metronidazole works by killing anaerobic bacteria in the body.

Now for the first time for nearly two years I awoke with no pain in the base of my spine and feeling less stiff. Coincidence or what?

It will be interesting to see if the symptoms I’ve suffered from return after I complete the course of antibiotics. Is this the catalyst I needed to put my Ankylosing Spondylitis back into remission? I pray it is.

I’m very cynical about the medical profession (in case you not noticed) in terms of treatment pathways that are regurgitated forever regardless of their clinical validity.

What I know about my body is that that I have an abnormal auto-immune system sending the wrong signal to my ligaments causing them to calcify and currently no drug other than the now banned Phenylbutazone worked for me.

But what if anaerobic bacteria carry the signal and Phenylbutazone unlike the other NASAIDs has the ability to kill anaerobic bacteria? Every one accepts Phenylbutazone works within the bone to stop inflammation but maybe in 1 in 1000,000 cases goes too far and destroys white blood cell production hence it’s withdrawal from human use.

All I know is that I am very sensitive to changes in my body and this side effect may be one I really want.

Oh by the way the swelling in my jaw has reduced as well LOL…

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