Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Typical....Nothing Seen on MRI

The doctor called early Friday afternoon after receiving the results summary.  As it typically is for me nothing showed to be irritating the trigeminal nerve.  The only thing that showed up was a little something in my left nasal sinus cavity.  UGH!  Now Benny says we're not going to do any more special tests like this since they're not showing anything the doctors can use to figure out what's wrong.

I got the authorization confirmations from insurance afterwards.  The doctor's office said they ordered a MRI with contrast but both confirmations said without dye.  So I have a feeling we'll have to pay more for the usage of the dye...receiving the bill just in time for Christmas.  Just what we can't afford right now.

The doctor also said she finally got the information fromt he neurologist for possible alternatives to the Tegretol.  Since I'm no longer experiencing pain there's no need to continue Tegretol or try the alternatives.  I hope she put the information in my file so we'll have something to turn to if/when this comes up again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Electronic Sounds Gone Deeper

They started me on Tegretol for the Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I took the first dose Thursday night and the second Friday morning. The phone ringing, the fax dialing, the microwave beeping, and even some of the voices on the TV are all deeper since then.  At work Friday I kept asking if it was just me or if anyone else noticed the deeper sounding tones but nobody really answered me.  That was before I saw the side effect of hearing problems on the sheet when I read the info to a coworker.  Is what I'm experiencing this side effect or something else?  I'll see what the doctors have to say.

The doctor had me not take the Tegretol last night and this morning.  By the time the MRI is done she should've consulted with the neurologist to determine whether or not to cut the dosage in half.  So far the TV sounds back to normal but I don't know about other electronic noises yet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dude, you made my face hurt!

For about a week now I've had this pain on the left side of my face.  It started only in the evenings then during the day on Friday.  Taking 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours offers minor relief.  Sure enough near the end of that 6 hour window the pain returns.  It starts around the bottom of my jaw, spreading across my cheek into my lip.  It feels as though someone is stabbing my cheek over and over again for hours on end!  Ice didn't do anything for the pain.  The heat of the shower felt more like needles over the area.

Benny insisted the pain was from my teeth but I didn't think so.  I don't feel that pain when touching my teeth or gums with fingers, toothbrush, food, etc.  So I sent a message to my doctor's office telling him what's going on.  The first thing they ask is if I'm having chest pains or trouble breathing.  Is that the norm to ask that for just about anything these days?  They set me up with an appointment the next morning with another doc in the practice since mine wasn't available.

This doctor asked questions and examined me.  I thought my lymph nodes might've been swollen too but she said they weren't.  The doctor went back into her office to lookup my bloodwork history (not sure why that couldn't be done in the exam room) and a little research.  She returned with the clinical diagnosis of Trigeminal neualgia, facial nerve pain.  Additional bloodwork was ordered.  She's consulting with a neurologist to determine the best course of treatment.  I was kind of surprised to hear the doctor was consulting and I didn't need to make a visit to the neurologist.  She did say it's unusual to see something like this in someone my age; it's more something for the old folks.  But hey, most things that happen with me are unusual!

After a quick search I found this to a great representation of the trigeminal nerve paths.

It's surprising to hear the first course of treatment is antiseizure drugs such as Tegretol and Neurontin.  It appears that these drugs interfere with overactive pain signals coming from the nerves.  I looked up both drugs to see what's covered by insurance.  It appears Neurontin's generic would be the least expensive choice being a tier 1 drug.  I've sent a message to the doctor letting her know my preference so that can be taken into consideration in her conversation with the neurologist.  So hopefully by the weekend I'll be in less pain!

One good thing out of this doctor visit is I learned I lost 18 lbs without even trying!  She was surprised I didn't know and wasn't trying.  Hey, you don't have a scale you don't know these things! LOL

For details on facial nerve pain check out the Trigeminal neuralgia information on WebMD.