One of you mentioned in a comment about your pain due to trigeminal neuralgia. You wrote down a link for me to read.

And that’s when the light bulb went on in my head. I went to check my medications.

I knew I’d had trigeminal neuralgia before, but I did not put together the pain I was currently feeling with the past occurrences of trigeminal neuralgia.

This pain began for me in 1998. I’ve had a number of episodes of it over the years.

When Trigeminal Neuralgia Began With Me:

In 1998 I had a complete neurological workup after the strange pain would not go away, and that is when it was diagnosed.

In case you’ve never heard of this, here is what I found on WebMD: Trigeminal neuralgia is an ongoing pain condition that affects certain nerves in your face. You might also hear it called “tic douloureux.”

People who have this condition say the pain might feel like an electric shock, and it can sometimes be intense.

The pain began for me just after I had a colonoscopy in the spring of 1998. I was given an anesthetic for the procedure. And I was told to take it easy the rest of the day.

I Didn’t Follow Doctor’s Instructions That Day:

But I did not take their advice, unfortunately. I felt fine and so I went with my then-husband to Walmart and we purchased an outdoor swing for the deck.

Once home, we struggled to get it in the door in and take it to the back yard. While trying to get it through the door I lost my hold on it. One corner of the heavy box hit me in the side of the head.

That was when the trigeminal neuralgia episodes began.

I had just a few medicine bottles to check in my cupboard yesterday after I read the comment.

One was a muscle relaxant from my ankle doctor from last spring when I sprained it. The other was Gabapentin. I had scrawled across the bottle: “for trigeminal neuralgia.”

Finally The Pain Lessened:

After I took a second pill before I went to bed last night, the facial pain began to let up a little. I knew then to keep taking it.

I read this online here: Many people with trigeminal neuralgia avoid the dentist, not due to anxiety about their teeth but in fear of the pain that might result. The trigeminal nerve transmits signals to the brain from inside the mouth, and a simple teeth cleaning can cause excruciating pain.

So couldn’t it be that oral surgery could cause it as well?

Trigeminal Neuralgia Is A Medical Condition:

Then I read this here online: People suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia can be described as a medical condition of an acute and excruciating episode of pain.

It is stabbing, periodic, and excruciating enough to be described as an electric shock being given to some areas of the face.

I’ve just phoned my primary care doctor and spoken with her nurse. I asked her if the doctor I saw yesterday would have seen this on my chart.

She said that my 2017 chart information did not crossover somehow when they had a complete computer changeover. So no, I suppose he did not have this info.

How To Treat This Pain:

At least now I know how to treat this pain.

So thank you, thank you to Trudy Mintun for your comment on my post about the gallery wall. As well as the link you sent me about trigeminal neuralgia. I’m sorry you suffer from this. It is horrible.

But if it had not been for your comment, I would not have put this all together and started taking the medication. I would still feel a bit small for feeling so much pain for “such a simple procedure,” as the doctor yesterday put it.

Sometimes you ladies truly save me.

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27 Comments

  1. Wonderful! Not that you have the pain but that now you know what it is (half the battle in my mind) and have the meds you need to help.

  2. Brenda,

    How wonderful you have had a revelation and miraculously the medication to help you. I hope this condition is temporary and resolves itself quickly. It’s amazing how sharing one’s problems open us up to the compassion and wisdom of others!

    Bless you and wishes for your speedy recovery
    Susan

  3. My grandmother who lived with us had Trigeminal neuralgia. I can remember as a very young child how awful this disease was. Take good care of yourself and get some rest!

  4. Sorry your doctor was such a jerk; had a relative tell me about a comment made by their doctor, “What have you got to be anxious about?” This relative suffers from anxiety and depression. Is there a course in medical school to teach compassion? Maybe it can’t be taught. So glad you’re feeling better now!

  5. My husband has had those horrible, out of the blue, piercing, shock-like aches since before he was 20.

    Thank goodness they only occur occasionally, and not on a regular basis, and they only last a minute or two. But it is enough to make him scream out in pain. He never thought to ask the doctor about it until just a couple of months ago when he had an attack of it the night before his appointment. Our doctor knew immediately what is it was and told my husband it was trigeminal neuralgia. We are lucky and thankful to have the primary doctor we have now. He is so knowledgeable about everything.

  6. Brenda, I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia in 2005. I was put on Carbatrol which is a drug given to patients with epilesy and I continue on it today. It blocks nerve pain. My pain was on the left side of my face near my left eye.and it was severe. I noticed it when I was brushing my teeth (common symptom) and sometimes just out of the blue. You never knew when that pain would occur. Yes, it’s like an electrical shock. It went as fast as it came. Trigeminal neuralgia can be a precursor to MS and, sure enough, I was diagnosed with MS in 2006. I have a weak right leg but can still walk and do everyday activities. Good luck in your treatment of this.

  7. So glad to hear that you figured out what the problem was. I just cannot believe that oral surgeon did not consider this when you came back in with symptoms that seem so out of proportion compared to the procedure that you had done. You would think an oral surgeon of all people would have put two and two together. What a creep. Glad to hear like it sounds as if there are likely no complications related to the oral surgery itself and likely you will not ever have to go back to that man again.

  8. I am so glad that you are going to have relief from the pain that you have had for so long !
    Did you go back to that doctor anyway? I know you mentioned that you had an appointment . I hope you now can get some much needed rest and peace of mind !

  9. Well, what a blessing Trudy is with this information. So happy for you to have relief. I hope Trudy is able to get better help with her pain. Wonderful news!!!

  10. I’m glad you found out about this. But you only have 10 Norco…what are you going to do if the pain continues once the Norco is gone? The doctor most likely won’t prescribe more because it’s highly addictive. Also, your muscle relaxers and Gabapentin are probably expired. Most drugs only last a year. Don’t throw them in the garbage or flush them down the toilet. Be sure to safely dispose of them in an approved way. Most police stations have safe disposal boxes and sometimes drug stores do, too.

    1. I am no longer taking the Norco. It doesn’t really help nerve pain. All I know is that the Gabapentin is working. The AMA has declared that some drugs are fine to use past their usage date. That the date is actually arbitrary and depends on the ingredients. The nurse I spoke with this morning did not indicate that I needed a new prescription.

  11. Great news you have figured it out…and have the meds on hand to help!! We DO need to be our own docs in some ways…and yes, someone pointed out earlier that you should have someone with you when seeing a doc these days…it can help too. I am sure you feel as I would…with a working daughter you would hate to bother them. Take care…rest!!

  12. What a relief for you, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Get better soon, so happy you are on your way to being pain free. Hugs…

  13. Sometimes you save me too!
    We ALL need to remember to bring a list of allergies, medicines we are taking, and especially unusual reactions. Doctors aint what they used to be! They dont make house calls, they dont know you or your mother or partner and sometimes they dont have your medical records. We must be proactive. I get a print out whenever i leave my Doctors office so i can review what happened when i get home. We are the best keepers of our own medical records ?

  14. I am so glad you found out what that pain was coming from, and so sorry to hear about your painful result from the dentist visit. I think that dentist has very poor people skills, and I hope you never have to see him again. I hope you are completely well soon.

  15. so glad you found the source of your pain thanks to Trudy.
    thank heaven for this internet! it is a blessing in so many ways!
    and because you’re such a great writer you help us by describing and explaining!
    thank you! at least now it’s not so frightening. try to rest! you surely must need it after all this.

  16. I would also “tell” your doctor, since he was incredibly dismissive and condescending. He needs to know for the sake of other patients.

  17. Brenda,

    I’m so glad that you finally know what has been causing you such discomfort, and that you have medicine to help with it, too. Hope today is a much better day for you.

  18. Brenda,

    You’re welcome! I’m so glad you have leftover medication. For me when I have a flare up it is a trip into urgent care. Someone must drive me, because I will be given a shot of morphine. That is the only relief I get.
    I would be looking for a new doctor! One doctor had the nerve (pun unintended) to tell me I didn’t look like a headache kind if girl, and I only needed to lose a few pounds.
    No one needs to see and sort of be treated by an unkind, uncaring doctor.

  19. I’m glad you researched it.
    I don’t think
    it is abnormal to feel a lot of pain in your mouth. I’ve had a few open wounds in my mouth and they hurt. Not the stabbing pain.
    Feel better.

  20. Glad you figured out what the cause of the pain is and how to treat it, but sorry you are experiencing this. I find we have to be our own “ doctors” most of the time. Feel better soon.

  21. Brenda, what a break-through. Thank you to Trudy, bless her. I’m so glad you now have a handle on that horrible pain. I can only imagine as I’ve never had trigeminal neuralgia. It must have been triggered by the surgery and hopefully there is no infection. Wow–so happy you have this new information.

    Remember to rest and take care of yourself. Pain can be so exhausting.

    I’ll be thinking about you and sending healing energy.

  22. First time commenting on your blog after I discovered it in September. I’m so happy that you were able to find out what was causing your intense pain, and I hope you feel your best again very soon. Thank you for all of your inspiring, heartfelt entries, Ms. Brenda. Love from Texas.

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