My Face Hurts
It was on a Thursday in mid-October, when I started to experience what I thought was a really bad toothache. I knew it wasn’t my teeth, it just didn’t feel like it. Friday I awoke and it had started to radiate outwards. Friday night I was popping 8-hour Tylenol every few hours just to keep it to a dull roar. Saturday I couldn’t take it anymore so off to Patient First. They thought it was a nasty sinus infection and gave me Tylenol 3 and antibiotics. Sunday I awoke and I couldn’t take it, the T3 was not doing anything so off to the ER. There they did a CT and said that I needed to see a neurologist since they saw significant calcification of the left frontal lobe (which I still don’t know what that is).
Things are getting serious now. They also gave me a narcotic, which for the next week I sat on the couch and drooled, but the pain was gone and told me to follow up with my family doctor Hydrocodone, is some strong stuff, not sure how people can take one of these things and function. I’m a waste case for four hours and of course, it only kills the pain for four hours. My wife tried to get me an appointment she was calling all over the state, but everything was booked. She would tell the story and they would say that they would see what they could do, but nothing ever really happened. After a week I couldn’t take the narcotics, I didn’t like how I was feeling and it wasn’t a way forward. So I went to the ER and they gave me a script for Toradol (an ANSID), but told me that I could only take it for 5-days as it is bad for the liver (so in the future one of those 800-BAD-DRUG commercials on TV will be for this drug) along with Carbamazepine, but they did take care of the pain and it was not narcotic so I could function.
So Monday it was off to the family DR. They never got the ER results, but they are going with Trigeminal Neuralgia. Which is inflammation of the 5th cranial nerve? Which can be caused by trauma, a virus, multiple sclerosis, or a tumor. Back to MS again, ugh. So tomorrow it is off to the Neurologist for more MRIs and fun and see what the calcification thing is all about.
It got really bad at one point and I was popping Tylenol and Advil every other hour alternating. Yes, I know that is bad for you, but banding your head on the table to have a new pain to focus on is probably worse for you, if not physically then for sure mentally.
Finally, she got an appointment in Richmond for me and by now my face was starting to swell. The Neurologist said it was Trigeminal Neuralgia and gave me Carbamazepine started me off with 100 MG once a day and told me I could play with the dosage up to 1000mg. And he ordered an MRI and suggested I see a dentist to make sure it was not causing any problems with my mouth.
I got an MRI with and without contrast and saw my dentist. Ironically, the dentist said that I have one of the worst root infections she has seen. Drilled for a root canal and was put on antibiotics. Long story short, they never fully ruled out Trigeminal Neuralgia, but the pain stopped after a few more weeks. The neurologist said that due to my decreased sensations on my left side, I likely didn’t feel the onset of the root infection.