8 February 2011

Writing can be Painful

After three weeks of mind-numbing pain, I feel well enough to write a salutary medical note.

My symptoms have been excruciating pain around the temple, ear, jaw and throat. 

I rang the doctor, as a last resort, after a week of agony.  Unless it was a medical emergency, the unhelpful receptionist recited, the next appointment was in two day's time.  I decided I wasn't an emergency, imagining this to involve immiment death at the very least.  My wife was not so sure, rang on my behalf and secured a hard-won slot the following day with the nurse.  A sort of victory, the first step on the road to relief, I thought.

The nurse's computer said I had Trigeminal Neuralgia.  It was very sure of this.  A doctor then sent me for a blood test to the local hospital to make sure I didn't have a serious sort of arthiritis.  The pain went on.

Next day, the doctor saw me, told me the blood test were OK and that I definately had trigeminal neuralgia.  He gave me carbamazapine, and I was grateful.

After a week on the pills, the pain was just as bad and I felt very ill.  I felt completely unconnected to my body.  It was as if I was Elvis and my body was the building.

The doctor was happy to change my pills to something a bit stronger and alot more orangey.   I wasn't happy about this but I desperately needed the pain to go away.  I asked to be referred to a specialist.

I saw the consultant neuroligist yesterday, in the greatest discomfort I had felt so far.  He certainly knew trigeminal neualgia when he saw it, so he could be absolutely certain that's not what I had.  I protested that the nurse's computer had been really sure, but he was convinced the problem was in my neck, that the pain was referred pain from my top vertebrae.

I saw an osteopath this morning and have been pain free since!

He said it's my posture, that I stick my jaw out when I sit and work at the computer.  I need to change the way I work and read and sit.  I need to be conscious of my head and neck.

So, let this be a warning to all of you out there.  Watch how you sit, be aware, feel your body.  Take care of yourself, you're the only one you've got.