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  • Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

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    Old 05-15-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
    Succinite
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    Unhappy Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Hi! I'm a 36-year-old female in a lot of pain and in need of some guidance, advice, or support. Almost 3 weeks ago, I noticed a pain, which seemed to be near the bottom of my head, near my neck. It was a shooting pain, which became more severe and constant as the day went on. It was hard to pinpoint where it originated, but it was definitely a "nerve" type pain...like something was pinched maybe. I thought it was the way I had slept, used a neck pillow, and some Salonpas patches, and while those were on, the pain seemed to diminish. I took care with my neck, slept on a more supportive pillow, and hoped it would go away. It didn't.

    Within the next day or so, it seemed to be spreading or moving. Now it definitely felt like it was between my upper back teeth and ear. I thought maybe I had an ear infection, or a bad tooth. I didn't seem to have any ear sensitivity or hearing loss, and I made a dentist appointment suspecting it to be a rear molar. The dentist took several x-rays and could not find anything wrong with my teeth. I felt like I sounded crazy, describing the pain going from my neck to my ear. I went to bed, and the next day, woke up pain-free.

    This only lasted about a day and a half. Now the pain came back, and it was stretching all the way from around my ear, to my temple, through my upper gums, and into my cheek. There was also a stabbing pain coming from around my eye. I felt like even the tip of my nose hurt. People told me it must be a sinus infection, so I made a doctor's appointment, despite having no cold or stuffiness or discharge. I went to the doctor yesterday, and she ruled out a sinus infection and looked in my ears and said they looked fine too. I was sent for lab work, and my doctor told me she thought there was a possibility of me having "Trigeminal Neuralgia" - but said I was not a "typical" case because my pain generally is there almost 24/7. She also set me up to get an MRI in a couple of weeks, and I need to see a Neurologist. Of course now I'm fearing the worst, and not knowing any diagnosis for a while has me hunting for answers. I won't be able to get in to see the Neurologist for 2 weeks at least, so I came here looking for someone with any similar symptoms or experience I guess.

    I got my labs back, and was told I had a borderline abnormal thyroid test...I wish I could remember if they said hyPER or hyPO, and don't know if this could even have any bearing on what I'm going through. I hope I'm posting this in the right place. Thanks for any words/experience you can share with me!

    Last edited by Succinite; 05-15-2015 at 10:53 AM. Reason: forgot some things!

     
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    Old 05-15-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
    Allied22
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Hi! I'm so sorry for your discomfort. I can definitely sympathize with you. This sounds like what I've been dealing with 24/7 for 10 months (after having two minor fillings done). Do you know if you grind or clench your teeth at night? This can cause the type of headache you are describing and the inflammation can compress nerves causing the nerve pain (even bouts of trigeminal neuralgia). I haven't had much success curing my headache, but things that I have tried (that might help you) are:
    1. over the counter mouthguard (from a drugstore)
    2. heating pad on neck, face, jaw before going to sleep
    3. sleeping on your back, without a pillow (super hard to do)
    4. 200 mg magnesium glycerinate before going to bed
    5. 1,000 mg vit c (3x day)

    these are just things I have tried…maybe they are worth trying? Does your jaw pop or grind or click or deviate when you open your mouth?

    Hope you find some relief!

     
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    Old 05-15-2015, 11:29 AM   #3
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Thanks for the quick reply Allied! This is all new to me so I'm pretty desperate for more info. I don't "think" I grind or clench my teeth at night. My husband has never told me so, at least. I have noticed that my children sometimes grind their teeth, however. One is 6 and the other 2. It's not an all-the-time thing, but it's noticeable and drives my husband bonkers (like nails on a chalkboard to him, he says). I'm thinking if I did it, he would tell me, but who knows? I suppose it's possible.

    I'm going to bring that up at my next appointment, just to see what they say. I have tried the sleeping on my back with no pillow thing, but that lasted all of 5 minutes lol. I've also tried heat, and that did provide some relief, although temporary. I will give some of the others a try.

    Today the pain is still in my upper teeth and cheek, but also around my eyebrow. My ear also has a sort of "fullness" feeling behind it. I have no idea what is up with that, since the doctor said it looks completely normal. This has all been going on all over the right side of my face/head. The left has been completely normal all along. The only time I seem to feel better is WHEN I'm sleeping. Just wish my kids would let me do more of that :P

     
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    Old 05-16-2015, 06:29 PM   #4
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    TMJD Can cause ear problems…stuffiness and ringing. I've fallen victim to both. My symptoms seem very close to yours and though I'm still searching for relief, I do think it has to do with jaw tension (from something). I hope you feel better soon and maybe just throw that out there at your next apt….can't hurt!!

     
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    Old 05-23-2015, 09:23 PM   #5
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    I'm still waiting to hear from the Neurologist's office about getting in for an appointment, but have my MRI coming up in a few days. I did bring up the possibility of a problem with the TMJ at my last PCP appointment, and was told that was not the issue because my pain isn't coming from that area. I still am not ruling anything out though, so will mention it at the Neuro appt. when I eventually get in for one. Husband says I don't grind my teeth, and he would wake me up if I did...he can't stand the sound :P I had increased periods of relief this week...something I had none of the previous weeks. I had one amazing day of almost zero pain and I felt 110% alive and improved....only to wake up in terrible pain the next day. I just don't understand this...whatever it is. Here's hoping we ALL get relief from what pains us!

     
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    Old 06-06-2015, 06:11 AM   #6
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Hi Succinite,
    Have you had any blood tests done? You may be low in B12 which causes nerve pain and if left untreated nerve damage - which I now have. I have been taking sublingual drops just 2 under my tongue each day and have noticed a huge improvement in my similar symptoms. After you have already spent money on doctors and dentists maybe give this a try as I know only too well how much MRIs and Neurologists cost. If you aren't low it won't harm you it will just be excreted in your urine as its water soluble so no harm trying. This is even more likely if you are a vegetarian like me. Good luck!!!

     
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    Old 06-06-2015, 11:56 AM   #7
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Hi lct

    I have had blood tests done, but they didn't mention anything about B12 being low (not sure if that was part of the tests or not, though). I do know that my vitamin D is almost always very low, so have been taking supplements of D3 for a little over a year now. Ironically enough, I just STARTED eating vegetarian AFTER all of the blood tests and headaches. I will have to go get some B12 I guess! I'm wondering if my being low on vitamin D for years (had barely been tested last year, but have had seasonal affective disorder/depression severely in winter time for years) had the same effect on my nerves. Is this nerve damage repairable? Will it "fix itself" with time? I HAVE found that since going vegetarian that my headaches have been fewer and farther between. This could be a coincidence, or I could just be having a "relapse" of sorts now, but it doesn't seem to be hurting things. Thanks for the input! I'm picking up some B12 from the store today

     
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    Old 06-07-2015, 09:38 AM   #8
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Hi Succinite,
    Glad my first post on this forum may be useful! The great news is if your symptoms are caused by B12 deficiency you will notice improvements within a few days and yes the damage can be reversed YIPPEE!!!

    I have been sleeping for up to 15 hours a day and lying on the lounge the rest of the time for the last 9 weeks doped on tramadol so it was a magical find for me by a friend who googled until she found an answer as we have a big holiday to the U.S. planned in Sept and she wants me right for it.

    I have been a no red meat or pork vegetarian since I was 14 (only eat chicken and fish and now aged 46) and I have been anaphylactic to mushrooms since 2004 which are the best source of B12 for vegetarians so thats why my nerve damage advanced (I was first diagnosed with brain lesions in 2005). The interesting thing with your post is your mention of Vitamin D deficiency - apparently Vitamin D and B12 go hand in hand in creating nerve damage when deficient so it is even more likely that this could be the cause of your problems. I wish you all the best and really hope the supplements relieve your symptoms as much as they have mine x

     
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    Old 06-22-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    It was helpful indeed. I visited the neurologist and went over my MRI. It turns out I only had one white spot, which was 'nonspecific', so not a major deal there. Right now we are doing the 'watch and wait' thing to see if I have more symptoms. The dr. did diagnose me with atypical trigeminal neuralgia, and I was started on a low dose of Tegetol, to be increased if my symptoms continue. I have started taking B12 and because my D levels are STILL low, I've more than doubled my dose of that. When I brought up my history of very low levels of vitamin D, she said that it's possible that may have caused nerve damage. All other tests came back normal, including Lyme disease, so the always-low D lvl. is about all I have for an answer so far, but wow...what a difference a vitamin can make!

     
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    Old 06-22-2015, 09:44 PM   #10
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    Talking Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Good to hear you have had some improvements! I went back to the neurologist last Thurs and he said I have multiple lesions some of which are the typical shape and location for MS but more are the circular shape indicating problems are of a vascular nature. So... he's going to wait and see with the MS ones but gave me a wonderful fantastic awesome amazing dose of 35 botox injections at various points on my head and neck and the difference was like winning lotto!

    After having head pain and pressure for 72 days I felt relief within a few hours and this has continued with only minimal headaches and I can now start looking for work again and get my life back on track. He said migraine causing vascular issues respond well to these specific 35 botox injection sites every 12 weeks and cost about $1000 ea time but I only had to pay $140 for his time to inject them (15 min - would like to be on his hourly rate lol).

    Not sure what medical cover is like where you are but in Aust that is covered by our national Medicare system as it is considered a chronic condition so maybe that could be something to discuss with your neuro to see if it would benefit you too? Best of luck x

     
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    Old 06-22-2015, 09:47 PM   #11
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Forgot to say I was offered the choice of Tegretol (not sure of spelling) with dose to increase based on symptoms OR the botox. That drug has a lot of side effects and I find taking tablets quite difficult to swallow (nothing to do with current condition just me lol) so thats why I went with the botox. So it sounds like it would benefit you too...

     
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    Old 06-23-2015, 12:08 PM   #12
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    Did you have a MRI of the cervical spine in addition to the head?

     
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    Old 06-24-2015, 02:17 PM   #13
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    I'm glad you got some relief from those Botox injections, lct! I unfortunately live in America, where insurance is more like pay-to-play. My husband got a new job which fortunately pays more, but I'm not sure what the benefits are going to be like. For right now, I'm on state insurance, which is extremely nice, but only temporary. Last year I was without any insurance for half of the year, and went months with fevers and ulcers before I could get on the state insurance. That's another issue, but to give you an example of what private insurance is like here, I had a baby 2 years ago, and had insurance which was supposed to cover nearly everything (or so I was told). Even after insurance paid their share, I am still getting bills totaling nearly $50,000, and that is for a vaginal birth (although there were some complications.) Health care here is ridiculous! I'm wondering if Botox injections would be covered by my new insurance, but I will have to wait because I am not even sure which plan it will be (another joy here is constantly changing insurance companies which always comes with new doctors who don't know you or your issues.)

    Teteri66 = I didn't have an MRI of my cervical spine as far as I know. Well, the only images I saw were of my head, but I suppose they may have had images of my neck as well in there that they didn't show me. On my results it did state "abnormal findings on MRI of head/neck" but it seems like just a code they punch in, rather than it being written out that way.

     
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    Old 06-25-2015, 07:58 AM   #14
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    Talking Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    OMG I can;t believe how bad the American health insurance system is - holy cow you need to get a President that sorts that out for sure! $50,000 for having a baby!!! My uncle had treatment for bowel cancer and a triple bypass in the same year and his private health fund paid $45,000 in total. In Australia you can go private to have a baby (private cover is about $100 per month) private room choice of doctor and hospital etc or go through the public system which has a waiting list for elective surgery but anything urgent you are seen straight away and patched up courtesy of medicare which every tax payer contributes towards at around $1000 per year. If you have a baby in Western Australia there is a dedicated hospital for mothers and the full service is totally free whether you have a natural delivery or a c section and all your pre labour appts are free too. WOW I can't believe the bill you had that's a deposit on a house here!

    Do check out the botox because it is so worth it if you can get it for free or at a reduced rate. I have another appointment booked for Sept 11 so I can be headached free for my much anticipated holiday to the USA! Hope the Vitamin D and B12 work for you and the tegretol - just be careful with it and note the side effects. The only side effect from botox that I can see is I can't go to the hairdresser for another 2 weeks as the chemicals can react with the botulism injected and cause some quite nasty side effects like seizures, rashes and hair loss - I can put up with the greys a bit longer hehe. Take care x

     
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    Old 08-27-2015, 11:19 PM   #15
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    Re: Neck/Head/Face pain going on 3 weeks :Z

    I wonder if you have had your wisdom teeth removed. A friend of mine had a lot of headachs and pain issues from her wisdom teeth pressing on a nerve.

     
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