A Root Canal & Dental Implant Led to Disability
The Mysterious Link Part 2
If you read my last blog, The Mysterious Link Part 1, you know how I struggled with a dental infection, chronic hip pain, and immune reactions for almost two years. The story ended when the dental implant was finished in early September 2011, and I had a beautiful molar that cost as much as a diamond ring. I was hopeful that my issues were behind me, and that my immune system would begin healing.
However, by late autumn 2011, my body could not take the ever-increasing hip pain any longer and I began repeatedly fainting — often in public, much to my embarrassment. The start of a new health mystery – which I found out later was related to the root canal and dental implant – had begun. I had no idea how it would change my life forever.
Hip Pain and Blood Pressure Issues
To try to get to the bottom of why I was fainting, I visited my regular doctor thinking it was a blood sugar or blood pressure issue, but my blood work results were perfect. It didn’t add up since, oftentimes, my blood sugar hovered around 59 and dropped down into the low 50s. The doctor suggested I take an antidepressant (it was all in my head) and I walked out wondering why I wasted my time and energy, yet again, for zero results. This was a common theme with me. My blood work never seemed to reflect how I was feeling. Instinctively, I felt my problem was adrenal-related, and the hip pain had something to do with it.
After a few more weeks of suffering with excruciating hip pain and worsening sciatic nerve pain, and without much help from my functional medicine team, I relented and met with an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed a tiny rupture in my L-5/S-1 disc. It was pushing on the sciatic nerve, radiating pain across my pelvis, into my groin, and down the back of my right leg. “A laminectomy should fix it,” the doctor said with complete confidence, so I scheduled surgery for five days before Christmas.
I wanted to trust him, but my gut was doubtful. I didn’t think that teeny-tiny rupture could really be the cause of such deep hip and nerve pain. I suspected the rupture was from fainting in full stride a couple of weeks prior. Turns out, my gut was right.
Functional Medicine – Peeling Back the Onion
Throughout the two-year ordeal (2010 and 2011), I had continued getting Vitamin C IVs and as many immune strengthening procedures as I could afford, but it wasn’t enough. I was spiraling down into a hole of fatigue with more food and environmental sensitivity issues, wacky blood sugar, and a crazy heart rate. My practitioner at the time recognized that my problems were too layered for her level of knowledge, like an onion of which she just couldn’t get to the center. She recommended another clinic with two alternative functional medicine doctors who had practiced for decades and specialized in severe immune deficiency cases.
I made an appointment at the new clinic right away, a few weeks before the impending laminectomy on December 20. The doctor and I created a plan to get me through the surgery while repairing my immune system. Hope was restored and I went forward with a positive attitude.
On the day of surgery, the surgeon assured me I would have immediate relief, yet four days post-surgery, the pain had increased, and I could barely walk. He said to give it more time, “Sometimes nerves take a while to heal.” Recovery didn’t happen and my pain worsened.
The Laminectomy Didn’t Work – I Became Bed Ridden at 41
My pain continued to intensify, and I became bedridden. I could barely get to the bathroom (had to crawl) and some days, I couldn’t get from the bed to the kitchen to eat. I lost a bunch of weight and weakened. My husband was working in another state Monday through Friday, and I had very little help. I was living in Florida and realized, after six years of living in the same house on the same street that I had very few real friends. People tended to keep to themselves, so other than a nearby friend who helped when she could and my sister who was a seasonal resident, I was on my own. I couldn’t work or do basic household chores. My life felt meaningless.
The sciatic pain worsened to the point where when the sheets touched the tip of my toes, I experienced excruciating, body-contorting nerve pain that felt like nails were being driven into my toes. My heart rate would drop, and I’d pass out on a regular basis. It was terrifying.
More Spinal Surgery … Surely it Would Help This Time
The surgeon was baffled and tried everything to offer some relief. We decided to try surgery again. On February 6, 2012, I had a second laminectomy and four other procedures to get all the tissue away from my sciatic nerve and clean out the areas where the nerves run through (the foramen).
To no avail — the pain intensified even more (which I didn’t think was possible), and I continued to be bedridden in agony. My blood pressure kept dropping and I kept fainting. One morning my BP fell to 60/40 and I had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. At that point, I understood why people who are suffering end their lives. There was no way I could live the rest of my life like that, and no amount of pain meds or anything else helped. There seemed to be no solution. I was losing hope fast.
After I arrived by ambulance, I was admitted to the hospital, and after a week of test after inconclusive test, they acted like I was faking it. Yet my legs would fold from underneath me upon standing, and I would crumple to the floor from back spasms and electric shocks (nerve pain) that would paralyze my entire body.
The doctor started talking about fusing my spine. I refused to have any more surgeries and left the hospital with a heavy heart and no solution.
Weeks passed as I lay in bed depressed and hurting. I was only able to walk with assistance or a cane and wondered how the situation would end. IF it would end.
Screams ripped from my mouth as my body contorted …
When my nerves would fire, involuntary screams ripped from my mouth and back spasms racked my entire body. I actually fell, with dead weight, on our lab-husky mix as he lay on his kitchen bed and my husband had to pick me up like a rag doll to get me off of him and into bed. I tear up just writing this. It was hell. I toyed with giving up, but my faith kept me going. Deep down I believed there MUST be an answer out there somewhere. I dug really deep and tapped into my Type A personality and German stubbornness to make sure I did not quit exploring every option — I was hell-bent on getting better.
Functional Medicine to the Rescue
All along, I continued to work with the functional medicine team in Clearwater, Florida. I believed holistic care was the only way out of my misery. They did everything they could to try to help and it did seem my immune system was slowly responding to our protocol.
By April 2012, my allergies to food and nickel had once again improved, and I had stopped fainting. But the nerve pain remained, walking was difficult, and I began coming to terms with the potential of living in a wheelchair … and then a miracle happened.
Friday, April 13, 2012, was the day I got my life back.
The functional medicine doctor I had been seeing was off that day; I was at the clinic for allergy desensitization with someone else. The practitioner conducting the procedure noticed the tears streaming out of the corners of my eyes as I lay on the exam table in terrible pain and asked if he could get the other doctor, the founder of the clinic, Dr. M., involved. Why not? I was open to anything.
It turned out to be divine intervention.
Dr. M listened carefully to my drawn-out ordeal, then he asked if I had ever had a root canal. “Huh?” was all I could think. He explained that he had seen dental-related nerve pain often, and shared a story about a man in his thirties who hadn’t walked in seven years. He came to see Dr. M and discovered it was a dental infection that for years had gone undetected by X-rays. After removing the tooth and treating the infection, the man climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a year later. Other patients had root canaled teeth removed and their cancer disappeared. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
With a glimmer of hope, I asked, “So what do we do?”
My Nerve Pain Ebbed like the Tide – A True Miracle
Dr. M tested the dental implant and found a weakness, so he injected it with Novocain to numb the area and see if there would be any relief.
My pain slowly ebbed like a wave rolling out to sea; I got off the exam table easily and walked around the clinic like a normal person.
Everyone working there watched. Our eyes got as big as the full moon, and we were all silent for a moment. Disbelief … relief … a miracle! I cried tears of joy. I think Dr. M did too. He had seen me hobbling around the clinic with my cane at 41 years old and didn’t like what he saw.
Three additional times, a week apart, Dr. M numbed the dental implant area, the spasms released, and the pain washed away. Sadly, when the Novocain wore off, the pain came back with a vengeance, and I would be fully bedridden once again. During those three weeks of numbing it, we also tried healing it with ozone and laser therapy, and my periodontist removed the crown and screw so I would stop chewing and clenching on it, without results. The dental implant had to come out.
Dental Implant Removal & Mobility
On May 15, 2012, after an intense surgery to remove the implant, I walked out of the periodontist’s office without assistance. I was weak but could walk without a cane! After two and a half years of pure hell, I felt free. It still took about a year to stop the back spasms, though they calmed down significantly. Our bodies have muscle memory, so I had to retrain my body to not spasm and very, very slowly regain strength.
I continued with functional medicine treatments, mainly ozone, stem cells, and nutritional IVs, followed a customized supplementation regimen, and slowly regained my spirit and my physical abilities.
It took months to trust my body and feel safe doing things, like going out to dinner. I had to trust that I wouldn’t faint or have a spasm that would rock my world in public, and I pushed myself to get back out into the world. With the help of my husband and my yoga experience, I focused on breathing through the fear and spasms, calming my mind, and concentrating on my newfound freedom.
I was never so happy to walk my boy, Barney, go to the gym (and go easy!), take beach walks, and cook and bake, which I love to do. Even doing mundane things like laundry was a gift. I could also get back to writing, which had disappeared because I could not sit. When I was in so much pain, I had to lay or lean or drape myself over an ottoman to watch TV. Nothing could touch my tailbone area.
The Answer to Unexplained Pain is Often Hiding in Your Teeth
Dr. George Meinig, D.D.S., root-canal specialist and author, published twenty-five years of research from Dr. Weston Price about the dangers of root canals and the delicate nature of dental issues in his book Root Canal Cover-Up.
He writes about Dr. Price’s first case (around the year 1900) when he removed a tooth from a woman with severe arthritis and immediately implanted it under the skin of a rabbit. Within two days, the rabbit was crippled with arthritis and the woman found relief. He continued with smaller bits of teeth and many diseases until he was injecting tooth powder, always with the same results.
In his research, one hundred percent of the time, heart disease transferred from infected patients to rabbits. Other diseases were about eighty percent — kidney disease, ALS/MS, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Crones, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Dr. Price found that people with strong immune systems were able to stay healthy despite having root canals. He also found that those healthy individuals, when faced with anything that overly stressed their immune systems, such as an accident, the death of a loved one, a severe illness, or anything severely taxing, allowed the bacteria trapped in the teeth to escape into the body and cause any number of diseases, or a “failure of the body defense system.”
I never would’ve imagined I would be disabled due to a dental procedure. But after reading the Root Canal Cover-Up and doing more research, these dental-related issues are not that uncommon, what is uncommon is finding a dentist or doctor who can diagnose the issues correctly.
“To know truly is to know by cause.” — Bacon [from the book Root Canal Cover-Up, George E. Meinig]
What Life’s Like Now Post-Dental Implant
Fast forward to 2022. My back, hip, and sciatic issues are still in maintenance mode. There are things I’ll never do again due to scar tissue and weakness in my low back from the surgeries and not having much in the way of discs between L4–S1.
I have learned how to alter my life for comfort, such as buying a custom office chair that contours to my body and has the tailbone area cut out and cushioned, which helps with long hours of writing. I also own a zero-gravity living room chair (Relax the Back) so I can enjoy watching TV or reading without pain in my low back or my legs falling asleep. I still do yoga, but I modify or simply don’t do certain poses (twisting is bad for me). The stiffness and occasional pain in my low back and hips are never gone but taking care of this area is part of my routine that I don’t give much credence to anymore. I just deal with it.
I am grateful every day that I can walk and never take for granted my ability to be in this world without a cane, or worse, in a wheelchair. I began my writing career in earnest in 2014 and feel compelled to share my experiences to help other writers and their loved ones live inspired and empowered lives.
Writers, Do You Live With Chronic Pain? Unsolved Health Issues? Check Your Teeth!
Writers, if you are living with chronic pain or unsolved health issues, a wise step would be to check your teeth and think about all the dental procedures you’ve had done. A holistic or biological dentist can delve into what’s really going on and provide solutions (some resolutions you might not like but they can improve your quality of life).
Even if you’ve never had a root canal, subtle dental issues and things like “silver” fillings which are full of mercury, can cause a myriad of life-altering symptoms and diseases. I am living proof that something as simple as a botched filling, root canal, and dental implant can change a life forever.
To find a dentist who specializes in holistic or biological dentistry, search “holistic dentist near me,” “biological dentist” or go to the Directory of Biological Dentists to find one near you.