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Re: Facial pain
Feb 11, 2004
Hi Ruth,
Yeah, doesn't matter what they call it- it is all the same; they can't cure it so they just try to treat the pain. I've heard the terms phantom tooth pain and atypical facial pain used also to explain it. It is frustrating because there is that fear they are missing some horrible abscess or something. I think my doctor put trigeminal neuralgia just to have something to tell the insurance company. It is not the electric shock jolts. The continuous burning they call atypical T.N. I also feel okay when I wake up and it gets worse as the day wears on.
I did not at all mean to imply you were not getting the best treatment when asking about your shots or the antibiotics. I was just curious because I had an electric shock with my shot and the doctor thinks the dentist damaged a nerve when that happened. Also I was on an antibiotic for another condition and have since read that certain antibiotics and dental treatment can equal a neurotoxic reaction in the body. I know it doesn't matter but I stiil look for the reason behind this. Interesting that your root canal was on your top teeth where your pain is and mine was on the bottom and that's where my pain is.
Given his credentials, I am sure your doctor has seen a lot of this and knows as well as anyone else what to try. There is no magic cure. I am not interested in jumping on the doctor merry-go-round myself. It seems smart to stay with one, build a rapport and trust with each other. I am sure if your doctor decides this medicine you are on is not going to help enough he will try others. That is what mine did. And that is good - I'd prefer to be as conservative as possible.

I have not seen a pain specialist, nor do I intend to unless I am referred there by my present doctor. Here pain docs are more about giving the narcotic drugs which I am not ready to try. And a lot of the pain doctors treat people like drug-seekers if they are not referred to them by another doctor.

The drugs I am on - Neurontin was the first he tried - this is an anti-seizure med. I don't have seizures. But anit-seizure meds are what are prescribed often to treat nerve pain. It has agreed with me well; it does not with everyone. The other drug Ativan is a benzo; he gave this to me when I said I was not sleeping well-I take it at night to get a good nights sleep. This can be addictive so he is strict that I only take a small dose at night. The third which I just started a couple weeks ago is an anti-depressant; it is of a different class antidepressant than you are on. It is an SSRI, (Selective Seranton Reuptake Inhibitor). My doctors theory is that fighting chronic pain (I waited too long to seek drug treatment) has caused an unhealthy amount of adrenaline in my body - he says that needs to be brought down by raising the seratonin. Deep sleep raises seratonin (thus the Ativan) as well as this type of antidepressant. Anyway that is my treatment so far.
It has calmed down the pain. Hope if the pain ever goes away withdrawal from these meds won't be a downhill battle.
Coping with the pain is what I tried first. Relaxation and such. It was not enough. I thought I could get it under control myself- wrong.
Take care of yourself, hope you had a good day.

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