My New Struggles With Occipital and Trigeminal Neuralgia: Guest Post
Andy is from Michigan and runs a Chronic Andy, where he posts about mental and health and life with neuralgia.
February 2018 began with me having very bad head pain. More than any headache I have ever had. This started in the back of my head then progressed to the top. Not much longer it was into the left side of my face. I was on a list to wait a month and a half to see a neurologist and could barley sleep, only on the right corner off my head and face area when I could sleep. The pain was very severe by the time I had seen the neurologist.
Over several months I had an MRI, CT, two occiptal nerve blocks, and physical therapy on my neck. It was discovered that I had a buldging disc and arthritis in my neck. One is fixable and one is not. After going over all my symptoms they diagnosed me also with occipital and trigeminal neuralgia. Words I new nothing about, except what was going on with me in this year. I was learning fast it was something I didnt want to have, but have very little control over.
More recent i’ve had two cervical medial nerve blocks to help with the occipital neuralgia. I am also told this can help with the trigeminal. I also take anti-convulsants twice daily which seems to have a big impact. Once this last cervical medial nerve block wears off, I can call the pain clinic and my inscurance will cover a radio frequency ablasion on both sides c2, c3, and c4 of the neck. The pain clinic will burn the nerves and thats suppose to last up to one year. There are other options, but so far this is the one that has been offered to me. With the medication, which is also a nerve medication, there is a risk of brain fog. I am on a very high dose to keep the pain down. Some times I get my words mixed up, trying to spell them, or remembering things. For me the pain was very severe and I have more than one thing going on.
Mental health is also something to be very careful with. These are very serious issues, but also know you don’t have to do this alone. With counseling, family, friends, or others, there is hopefully always someone to talk to.
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I am so sorry that you’re dealing with all that pain! I know what it’s like to live with trigeminal neuralgia. I am in the process of healing mine believe it or not and am praying for you and everyone else that has to experience it.
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