Hello, I'm new to this site. I've been googling like crazy to find some information on what I'm experiencing and I'm not having much luck. My question is, has anyone had constant pain with facial paralysis? If so, what worked best to aid in the pain and how long did it take for the paralysis to wear off?
Here is my background:
39 year old female, mother of 3, chronic migraines, DDD, some nerve damage from childhood injury, TMJ in right jaw.
Last week, I woke one morning with a ball of pain in my neck, below the ear, behind the jaw. At first, I thought I slept on it wrong. By Thursday, my jaw was killing me and my teeth on the top and bottom were hurting. I figured my TMJ was flaring up. Well, by Friday, it felt like there was pressure with the pain, so I thought maybe I was getting an abscess. I went to the dentist. He took x-rays and said everything looked good and that the pain was likely muscular and I should get a splint/night guard to cushion my teeth.
By Friday night, the pain was intensifying and I was having lightning flashes across my cheek and some numbness and tingling. I went to the walk-in medical clinic saturday morning. I thought that inflammation or something with my TMJ might be irritating a nerve. The doctor agreed and suggested that rest, ibuprofen and perhaps some valium would help if it was a muscle spasm causing the issues.
The valium did help some, but by Saturday night, i was in intense pain and my face was starting to droop. I couldn't move my mouth (right side) correctly and could feel the paralysis in my cheek as well. I also felt tingling moving up toward my temple/eyebrow.
So... off to the ER I went. They did a CT and some blood draws. Those tests showed I had no structural issues and no signs of a stroke. He thought it was Bell's Palsy, but because my eyebrow was affected but not my eye and the level of pain I was in, he wanted me to transfer to the other hospital in town, they have neuro on staff round the clock.
So I go to the other ER. They look at the reports from the doctor that sent me over. They do nothing other than take my blood pressure. They do not have a Neuro come see me. They tell me that I have bells palsy with idiopathic pain. Send me home with Prednisone and Anti-Virals.
Well, over the course of SUnday, everything on the right side of my face is now affected, including the nostril of my nose. The pain is soooooo intense. AND, I can't even touch my face. So Monday morning, I call my GP. She wants to see me right away. I go in, she has me open and close my eyes, has me describe the pain and she says, it is NOT bell's palsy and instead, she thinks it is trigeminal neuralgia.
She takes me off the prednisone, keeps me on the anti-virals and prescribes carbamazepine. I ask her for something to help with the pain and she gives me some 5mg vicodin to last two days, hoping the carba whatever starts taking affect.
It's Wednesday, my face is still paralyzed. The pain still present. The vicodin helps take the edge off so that I can eat or talk a little easier. I've been looking up TN and it seems to be intermittent pain and I can't find reference of the constant pain and the paralysis. So.... does anyone have experience with this? I'm soooooooo tired of the pain.
As a side note, due to chronic pain/anxiety, etc. I have already been on Gabapentin for some time. I take 600 mg 4 times a day, though, I had gotten down to only taking 600mg twice a day, but my doc told me during this episode to go back up to my full dose. I also take Zoloft every night.
I've tried icing. I've tried heating pad. I've tried gently applying tiger balm. I've tried a homeopathic oil with st johns wort and cayenne and some other stuff. I've been eating soft food (pudding, applesauce).
I really, really don't know what to do. I'm supposed to start physical therapy tomorrow so that my muscles don't weaken too much and neurology can't get me in for 3... THREE weeks.