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.