It all started when I went to a dentist to get some work done. I had one tooth that was bothering me. She took xrays and said I needed to have a bunch of tiny cavities filled. So she did the work, and when she started to work on my left side, I felt striking pains in my face. I figured that it was just because I wasn't numb enough. So she numbed me twice more, each time saying "You can feel that?"
After having the work done, I called because the pain kept coming back. She told me that it was just because my teeth were sensitive after all the work. Then she told me maybe it was because I grind at night. She talked me into purchasing a $500 night guard, which made things worse.
The pain kept intensifying. I went to 4 additional dentist who told me it was just TMJ. What a joke. I spent all kinds of money trying to find something to "fix" a problem that wasn't even there.
Fast forward to about 3 months later. The pain was more severe and came more often. Two dentist put me on 3 different kinds of muscle relaxers saying that it was muscle related. I was on that regimen of 5 muscle relaxers a day and 4 ibuprofen every 5 hours. Nothing worked.
This past weekend (Saturday), I decided it was time to go to the emergency room. I had been having an episode that lasted about 4 hours. The episode was accompanied by uncontrollable movement of my jaw. I looked absolutely crazy. Finally, a Dr. came in an saw me, numbed the nerve and checked on me about 30 mins after to see if it had made a difference. I had no pain after that, and he concluded that it was a nerve issue.
He then called an oral surgeon who insisted it was a muscle issue. He told my family and I that he did not agree with the oral surgeon, but that I need to see him ASAP on Monday.
I called on Monday and they fit me in to see the oral surgeon. He did a full xray of my mouth and then laid out my options:
1: Root canal on tooth that had the most pain (All teeth on left side hurt)
3. Referral to the Neurologist.
I chose the third. The oral surgeon just seemed like he was searching the xray to try to find some sort of cause, and it was making me extremely uncomfortable. He would say things like, "Well, maybe this down here might be an abscess." He just couldn't confirm anything, and I wasn't going to have him remove my teeth for nothing.
So I was lucky enough to get in with the Neurologist that same Monday. We talked about my symptoms, the type of pain, frequency, triggers, etc. He concluded that it was Trigeminal Neuralgia. He was quite surprised because of my age. He stated that I probably had the genetics for this disease, but that the dentist might have set it off. What a shame.
I am on 300mg 3x a day of Trileptal (900mg total). I can tell a difference after a few days, but I'm still having pain occasionally, but the pain in my teeth have gone down quite a bit. What's killing me now is the paranoia of setting it off, the stares that people give me when I start to have an episode, the dizziness and fatigue I have from the Trileptal, and my pain is not gone yet. I'm worried.
I am currently waiting on a call from the hospital to schedule an MRI to check for an aneurysm or tumor. I am very scared about that also as I am extremely claustrophobic.
I was the valedictorian of my classes before all this. I was studying Radiology. I literally had perfect scores in all of my classes. That has all changed. I'm hoping I don't get fired from my paralegal position. I'm just so down in the dumps. Luckily, I have a very supportive family, but a not-so-understanding boyfriend who lives with me. I'm so sick of hearing "You'll be fine. Just be happy." It's not that simple.
I'm glad I came to this forum. I needed to get all of this off my chest. Thank you guys for being sooooo supportive.