I have been reading these forums for sometime now and have finally decided to ask a question about a series of symptoms that have been going on for about 7 years.
7 years ago I was rear ended at 40 miles an hour causing my head to bounce off of the head rest. Saw stars and dazed, but no loss of conciousness. No xray, Chiro diagnosed as soft tissue damage. Extreme neck pain failed to get better after 6 weeks of spinal manipulations and neck adjustments.
6 months later, I was walking to my desk (software engineer) and I started to feel woozy, somewhat loss of balance, tingling and numbness in left arm with excrutiating neck and facial pain, and a surreal feeling. After several more episodes (never lost conciousness or experienced weakness in face or extremeties), I was convinced I was having mini-strokes.
Went to a Nuerologist who told me to absolutely dismiss any notion of a connection between these episodes and the previous car accident. He said it would have occurred with days of the accident not months.
He sent me for an MRI to rule out stroke or acoustic Neuromas. MRI was fine except for sinus disease. Diagnosed as panic attacks. Had sinus surgery with no relief whatsoever. Continued to be diagnosed as panic attacks.
At this point I lost my insurance and lived with it for years without seeing docs as it was determined that it was not serious. However, about a year and a half a ago, my symptoms really started to progress.
Headaches on the left side have become unbearable and follow an upside down fishhook pattern starting underneath the eye and wrapping up around the temporalis muscle then around the ear into the neck. Facial and neck swelling on the left side only. Horrible left side neck pain with shooting pains down left bicep, forearm and complete numbness in thumb and first finger. On top of this, I still have dizzy spells out of the blue, trouble swallowing at times, fever and marked weight loss though I am eating normally. Constant cough for the last 3 months (yes I am a smoker but < 10 per day now) My spine aches and I just generally feel sick all the time.
Finally got insurance this last January found a GP who has sent me to 1 neurologist, 2 ENT's a cardiologist, ran sed rates, numerous blood tests, a chest xray which showed possible pnumonia, ct scan of temporalis bone, ct scan of kidneys, MRI of Brain with and without contrast with nothing showing to explain symptoms. The Neurologist diagnosed me with Trigeminal Neuralgia and tried Neurontin, tegretol, triliptal, Cymbalta, Lexapro, Lyrica, Indomethican, amytriptaline all with no relief.
Please not that the pain is not the lightning like bolts lasting for seconds that I hear described by Trigeminal sufferers. My pain remains constant and fluctuates only in severity, up to a solid 10 and incapaciting several times during the week.
My GP finally sent me to a Neurosurgon who said if anything I might have atypical Neuralgia but not Trigeminal because of the constant and not intermintent pain. He even backed of that however stressing that the noticeable facial and neck swelling on one side did not fit with Neuralgia and instead seemed concerned with a neck problem or something else he would not specify.
he did some tests and said something about brachial reflex being abnormal. sent me for a cervical MRI 2 weeks ago and still has not called me with the results.
Should I breath a sigh of relief that it must be nothing even though my symptoms seem so severe and debilitating given that I have not recieved the results. I am fairly scared at this point since cancer has come up quite often in symptom searches.
Any ideas? With all the symptoms and pain I feel like my life is slowing deteriorating to the point of incapacitation. I know you can't diagnose me but thank you for at least looking at this long post.
an idea---people may think i sound like a broken record but here goes-- try going to town on the scalene muscles in your neck. get a trigger point manual by clair davies and read it and then address those scalenes and see how you feel. the accident combined with the flexed desk posture may have sent these muscles into chronic spasm. there are many nerves from the brachial plexus that run through and around these muscles so arm and hand symptoms are not uncommon when these muscles are is spasm. i know-- been there.
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