Neurological News

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thank you all for the congratulation wishes for Slappy. His graduation went off without a hitch and he was knighted hooded with the appropriate New Orleans-y pomp and circumstance (that is, with a brass band and second lining, it was great).

And now, on to an ironically appropriate update from the neurologist appointment on Friday (this is less ironic if you don't know that Slappy is beginning his residency to become a pediatric neurologist).

The neurologist was first, and foremost, not thrilled that I'm having headaches every day. Apparently this is not something that is generally considered medically acceptable. Who knew? So once the pharmacy orders it, I'll be starting a new drug called Lyrica, that should act a lot like the benign, but ultimately unsuccessful, drug Neurontin, that I took in the winter.

He did some tests of my cranial nerves and some sensation tests for my face. There's a patch from the midline of my chin to half way out to my ear below my lip (on the right side) that has virtually no sensation. We also discovered that my gums in the same area are also without sensation right now (which I didn't know going in).

He's concerned and was more so when I told him that I'm also having some trouble tasting some foods, and especially soda for whatever reason. I'm off all medications, so it's not a side effect of something else, it's rather worrisome.

He got on the phone with the adjacent hospital and got their earliest non-trauma MRI appointment for Wednesday and they're going to do an MRI with and without contrast to see if there's anything impinging on my trigmenial nerve. He gave me an official diagnosis of Right Z3 Trigeminal Neuropathy. Which translates to, your chin, on the right side, tingles and goes numb. It's caused by something squeezing the fifth cranial nerve, which exits the brain near where the compression in my brain has always been.

I made the (frequent and grave) mistake of googling this and found this list of possible causes: multiple sclerosis, infarct, glioma (tumor), neurovascular conflict, acoustic and trigeminal schwannoma (brain lesion), meningioma (tumor), epidermoid cyst, metastasis, pituitary adenoma (tumor), carotid artery aneurysm, squamous cell carcinoma, lymphoma.

So, yea. That's pretty great and stuff. I feel so relieved. NOT.

But at least I have a standby doctor in the house now. I don't know if he accepts my insurance so I might have to pay him in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which, when you get right down to it is much better than over 8,000 dollars in health bills in a year. So there's a win. Or something.


Ness said...

I am on Lyrica for fibromyalgia and it has made a great difference in my fibro pain as well as the CFS portion of fibromyalgia. Good luck and still so proud of your husband!

Flea said...

Hey! A glowing testimonial from Ness! That's really cool, after reading your dire list of possible causes. Here's the Lyrica working and being all you need!

Insomniac said...

I hate when I create panic for myself via Google. So sorry it happened to you, too. :(

Sending you thoughts and prayers for the doctors to figure out what's wrong, and be able to fix it quickly.

Dysfunction Junction: said...

Ok, I have to go here. I know it's serious and all, but, schwannoma??

That's like the funniest word I've ever heard. It sounds like something made up by Wayne & Garth. Schwing-noma. Heee...

Don't hate me.

Sue G said...

Okay, here's the word I want you to concentrate on: IDIOPATHIC!! That and RELIEF from the new meds.

Just call me the new Google.

Anyway, it sounds like you finally have a doctor I think I can like. That's good, too. You've had more than your share of not so great ones.

And now you have one in the family.

Speaking of family, the entry I expected was one with a laundry list of things you held in during your visit with your MIL....

I'll wait. It's only a matter of time.

CatMominPhilly said...

i'm also waiting with baited breath to hear about the MIL visit.

Although really...this entry was pretty Rad....Not because you have numbness in your face....because you capture all the details on the crazy irony in a friken hilarious way.

Write a book.....I would totally buy it for 19.95.

Although I'd rather you not have headaches and numbness

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you found someone who actually cares and is actually going to do something! Was wondering where I'd heard that drug name before and see from the comments that it's used for fibromyalgia so I've seen commercials for it. Interesting.
Wish you hadn't googled...that just doesn't help at all!
Still praying in Seattle!
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katy said...

My dad had Trigeminal Neuropathy following surgery on his eye. The pain went away after a few months and some Lyrica.