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  • Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

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    Old 03-08-2008, 09:54 AM   #1
    luv2teach
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    Question Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Hi! I have been reading the board for a few days and just joined.

    I am a 35 year old woman. I have suffered from constant headaches for about 15 years. About 75% of the time, I am able to continue to do what I need to do, but the pain is always there. I am in constant pain from the headaches. Sometimes I just think I can not do this anymore! But the other 25% of the time, it is horrible. Last week I had to miss my own son's birthday party because I was in such pain.

    My dentist and D.O. have both said that I have TMJ. I have been seeing a chiropractor for the past 2 weeks and he said, "Oh, yes, I see major reasons for your pain!" He said my TMJ joint was dengerating. He also said I have bones pressing on bones in the back of my head. (I can't remember his exact words, but that was basically what he said.)

    I went to a neurologist 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. My OB sent me for my constant headaches. He was really nice, but he did not prescribe any meds because of the pregnancy. I am now at the point where I feel like I have to have something done, so I have made another appointment with this man.

    I am going to see him Wednesday. If he is like I remember him, he will be very nice. But is he going to help me? I'm so excited to think of finally being rid of my pain, but I am also concerned that he won't be able to help me and I will be so disappointed.

    He sent me some papers to fill out and one is a drug contract. It basically says that narcotics are never prescribed as a first course of action, they are never called in, and only he will be able to give me narcotics.

    What do you think I can expect at this doctor's visit? Do you think I will get help?

    Thank you!!!!

     
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    Old 03-08-2008, 10:18 AM   #2
    cmpgirl
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Hi Luv2teach: Welcome to the boards. I can't help with the TMJ, because that's not one of my many pain issues, but as far as what to expect....I would say to just be as honest as you can be. Let him/her know exactly what pain level you are presently at, and have a reasonable expectation of what can be done for you. I don't mean to be pessimistic here, but sometimes, when pain becomes chronic, there is really no such thing as "pain free". I am pretty sure everyone here will agree with that.

    Many of us have had to accept that with positivity and good pain management from a good physician, we can live the best life we can, even if the pain is still there, but being managed. In my case, being able to maintain a pain level of between 4 and 6, works for me. It's really about what level you are comfortable at.

    Obviously, the best case scenario is that he can do something to completely correct your condition, but if he tells you that he can't and will help you manage the pain with therapies and/or meds that's a great thing too.

    Best of luck at your visit and always keep hoping for the best. Keep us posted! cmpgirl

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    There are so many good headache medications out these days.. I hope the Dr can help you get a good med that will help with your headaches.

    If you do in fact have TMJ is a neurologist the best Dr for this? I am not sure if they are.

    If this Dr can't help you I would look into seeing a pain management Dr as there often very familiar with TMJ and headaches and might be more up on the latest injections, meds, and procedures for TMJ. See what this Dr says and how you feel and go from there, but please do note that A PM Dr is a good source for you with daily chronic pain.

    good luck at your apt! I am sure he will order a lot of test to check for different things and than go from there.. If your wanting narcotic pain meds, than I am not sure if a neurologist is going to give you anything like that right off the bat maybe as a last resort.. After you have tried everything else, but its probably doubtful they treat with narcotics... you may have to be willing to try different meds vs pain pills.

    SS

    Last edited by slipperyslope; 03-08-2008 at 12:50 PM.

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 05:10 PM   #4
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Chronic headaches are one of my issues. Have you seen an ENT? Many headaches can be the result of sinus issues. Mine are. I've also been diagnosed with "cluster headaches" meaning they come in clusters...No rhyme or reason for them. They can be debilitating.

    My PM Doc said he has a couple patients who have chronic headache and face/head pain and all are on heavy narcotics. He said it goes beyond the simple headache....Very serious pain to the touch in the head region.

    Headaches can be a very, very difficult thing to diagnosis...Stay persistent. Some neuros don't believe in narcotics while others do....You'll just have to navigate through based on what you think is best for you. I'm of the very firm belief that when your head really hurts, and I mean really hurts, it doesn't matter what's going on around you....You are down for the count and cannot function. For me, when I get a bad episode, only the big guns work.

    Hope this helps.

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    Old 03-08-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Hey, this is chris...you replied to my post on too much Lortab consumption.
    I was diagnosed with TMJ when I was a teenager (about 15) years ago and was given a grind guard to wear at night. Over the years, I've had several made and just until the past year has it gotten alot worse. I've had xrays done and my jaw joints are rubbing together due to the cartilege between the joints are deteriorating. So, now I'm in LOTS of pain and especially when I wake up. I can only eat soft foods and drink.
    Ive been to lots of doctors and still havent found what I need. Its such a hard specialist to find. The proper one would be an Oral and Fascial Surgeon, but I went there and paid (out of pocket) and he referred me to someone else. I am now looking for a pain mangagment group to manage my pain. Ive been on muscle relaxers, valuim, naxoprene, celebrex, and now lortab, a narcotic...It seems to be the only thing that helps me manage my 5 kids and allows me to eat and talk and be pain free. But Ive been from clinic to clinic and doc to doc. Next week I see a pain management group. Unfortunately your gonna have start at the beginning to see what works and what doesnt work for you. Sorry, I cant be more help. I do have records from previous docs. I recommend bringing what you can from other doctors to show you have take this and that didnt work. It is very frustrating. I want to cry sometimes. When I find out something, I will let you know. Good luck...chris

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #6
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    chrisandylino brings up some good points with her example. In most cases, patients end up at PM clinics when it's determined that they probably won't heal completely and need someone to manage the pain on a long term basis. My PM group won't see anyone unless (A) they are referred...You can't just call and make an appointment the first time and (B) They have chronic pain...Not acute pain.

    Just as an fyi, my PM Doc drug tests all first time patients to make sure they are legit. You'd be surprised how many people take their spouses meds (or something else), and therefore get expelled, or not accepted. I only bring this up because I've heard very sad stories where someone finally gets accepted into a PM clinic and because they're stressed & etc., they took a spouses valium, or some older med they had laying around and since they didn't list it as one of their current meds, they get expelled.

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    Old 03-08-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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    Smile Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Hi! Thank you for your reply. I will post again after my appointment on Wednesday! Donna

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    hi! thanks for your reply. I am also under the care of an allergy doctor. I take weekly allergy injections. My allergies have improved about 300% since I started this four years ago. But nothing has touched the headaches. It started also hurting in my face, which is a new thing, about a month ago. My dentist was kind of surprised at how bad my xray looked and he hoped that the chiropractor could help me. In the two weeks I have been there, it has not helped at all. Very nice person, but I'm not getting any relief. I don't really know who to go to. I don't really think it is 100% TMJ, although I'm sure that is a big cause. I just don't know.
    Donna

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Hi! Thank you so much. I will remember that!
    Donna

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #10
    luv2teach
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    Re: Appt. with neurologist next week. What should I expect?

    Hey Chris,
    Thank you! I think that we might, at least to some degree, have the same problem. My dentist and chiropractor both said that I had degeneration and bones were rubbing on bones in my TMJ. I will let you know how it goes! Thanks, Donna

     
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