Friday, August 24, 2012

My Remarkable Lack of Pain

Falling off a bike, falling on your face, fracturing and spraining an arm, breaking a tooth and knocking two others loose sounds terribly painful. I certainly looked bad afterward: a lot of strangers in stores, on the bus and even on the street saw my black and blue face and arm in a sling and asked me what happened. At the urgent care center; I rated my pain a 4 out of 10 as long as I held my arm still. But 4 out of 10 isn't horrible pain. The bottle of Vicodin I got that day is still in the bag, unopened.

My arm wasn't that badly injured--not as bad as my cousin's when she tripped over her dachshund and broke both of her wrists. And my jaw, despite landing on it and still having a bump on my chin, wasn't fractured or broken.

Could be I'm a tough old bird--I'm descended from bull riders, homesteaders and blacksmiths. But I think diet has helped. I know that changing my diet to low-carb, taking vitamin D and later adopting the cavity healing diet made my teeth look and feel better. I used to suffer from TMJ and my teeth weren't exactly movie-star white, despite frequent brushing and flossing.

Rinsing with coconut oil as an anti-bacterial made my gums feel better when they were cut and bruised. This study(1) showed coconut oil made poor little rats inflamed with our old friend carrageenan feel better. It's unclear whether the rats ate the coconut oil or had it applied to their affected areas. I've also eaten at least half a can of coconut milk a day since my accident. Lots of red meat, liver and eggs, too--enough to give a typical dietician a coronary. Not many vegetables though. V-8 is delicious but carby, and I can't chew leafy greens. A few weeks ago I was eating almost twice what I normally do and ended up down to my junior high school weight, which shouldn't surprise experienced low carbers and calories-in-calories-out rejectors. I'm up to my normal weight again, and my appetite has gone down to normal.

My braces are straightening out my teeth, but they're keeping them a little loose and tender. In a stroke of luck last night, I got out the cinnamon oil I bought while I was at Aveda getting my hair washed, and saw it contained clove oil. It really does work for gum pain. (The Aveda oil is for external use only, so use your own judgment.)

The coconut oil and clove oil are mild pain relievers, and I have nothing against taking something stronger if you need it. (I needed ibuprofin for days after the tetanus shot, the most painful part of all of this.) 


1. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. Pharmaceutical Biology, February 2010, Vol. 48, No. 2 , Pages 151-157 S. Intahphuak, P. Khonsung, A. Panthong 


tess said...

i think Peter (at Hyperlipid) wrote something once about carb-eaters experiencing more pain.... at least, i'm glad the pain was not worse than it was, even though this was an expensive and annoying accident!

Lori Miller said...

Peter's posts on pain:

High fat meals are analgesic:

Praise the lard!

Molecules and Peter's own experience with back pain and low-carbing:

A bit OT, but heroin and IBS:

While I generally haven't been in a great deal of pain (except for the tetanus shot), I was pretty tired for about 10 days.

Angele Style said...

Where I live in Portland. Oregon the bike capital of the world everyone rides but me it seems. After just hearing about your fall I have no desire. I enjoy your posts about your healing experience and nutrition because for me it goes together. I think we learn so much from each others personal experiences than we do from doctors studies and the reason I enjoy your posts.

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Angele. There are a lot of cyclists in Denver, too, even on streets where they seem to be taking their lives in the hands.