Monday, December 13, 2010

And so the year ends - quite literally

December 30th is the one year mark for me. Who could have ever predicted a little dentist appointment to get a filling a year ago would have changed my life so dramatically, and made 2010 a year for the history books. But, as I always say... it could be worse.

I will be offline for awhile- I need to have surgery for a separate issue- won't go into gruesome detail. I was fine before this year, now it seems when it rains, it pours. I wonder how much prescription drugs taken regularly over the course of this year for the neuropathy have to do with cysts forming elsewhere? Hmmm. Maybe none at all, just seems odd.

The Lyrica is how I keep the pain dialed down every day (through that, and making sure not to let my blood sugar drop, which makes the pain ramp up). But it does give me brain fog, which seems to be worsening, and blurrs my vision. It's a trade-off; until this nerve pain heals, or something else dramatically changes in my life, I don't know that I could give it up. I just try and push through the fog and focus; sometimes I do better than others.

I hope that the joy of family, friends, and fun at the holidays allows you to put your pain in the background for just a little while. I know it's hard. Don't let the stressful holiday season get to you, it's not worth it. Just enjoy the bit of happiness that you can gleen from every day, when you manage to forget your pain for a moment. To Imo, I expect you may have a newborn any day now, if I'm not mistaken? Would love to hear about it :) There is nothing like a baby to raise your spirits.

Wishing everyone good health, happiness, and wealth this holiday season.

With love,


  1. Hi Jane,

    I've been following your blog for a while now (found it through a link in Kev's blog). I too have a nerve injury, although my OS hasn't said whether it's lingual. The area around the extraction site hurts (been about 5 months now) but my tongue doesn't so I'm not sure if it is considered a LNI. Well, lingual or not, neuropathy it is. And it has turned my life upside now.

    I'm truly sorry this year has not been a good one for you. Is your surgery over? How are you? I hope things are better and you are recuperating well.

    Thank you so much for blogging; your blog has brought me much comfort.

    Happy New Year and may 2011 be a great year of healing for everyone.

  2. Hi jane,

    Maybeyou can help me with this.

    Approx two years ago I likely suffered nerve damage from a root canal that likely involved over instrumentation into the nerve (lingual or IAN, not sure). Following an extraction of the tooth I experienced unrelenting pain. A few months later that pain was replaced with burning pain on left side of tongue and in left corner of mouth. I never experienced any numbness or change in taste.

    I finally was put on Elavil (25-50 mg/day) and Gabapentin (1200 mg/daily). For the last 6+ months (while on the drugs), I experiencing no pain/burning. In the last month or so, I decided to titrate down to approx 12mg Elavil and NO Gabapentin due to significant weight gain.

    HOWEVER, starting last week my old friend, burning and pain has come back. Any idea how the pain could have been gone for 6+ months only to return? Was it the reduced dose of Elavil and elimination of Gabapentin that caused this?

    Please help.

  3. Thanks for writing- seems we have a lot in common. It sounds like your nerve pain is just being masked by the medication; once medication was reduced, the pain broke through. I tried to titrate off Lyrica due to weight gain recently, too (plus other symptoms mentioned) and found it was just too soon to stop entirely. Still, I'm only taking 50mg/2x day and was taking 3x.

    The problem with Gabapentin/Neruontin is it requires very high doses in continually increasing amounts to be effective. Elavil (amitriptyline) is in the tricyclic antidepressant class... my pain doc doesn't feel this class of drug is as effective as either Pregabalin or Gabapentin. A surgeon friend agrees Pregabalin is more effective, but also way more expensive. However you say you felt NO pain while on the Elavil/Neurontin combo, and I must admit I still feel pain every day, it is just manageable.

    Two years is a long time to suffer. I feel your pain; literally.

  4. Dear M,
    Thank you so much for your good wishes. In stark contrast to the lingual nerve injury, the laparoscopic surgery pain was - not easy, but - controlled. I was put on Percocets after surgery which I quickly titrated off. And, 25 days post-op, voila!, I'm almost completely back to normal in that area.

    Nothing like the debilitating, lingering pain from the stupid novacaine injection into the nerve a year ago, which still leaves every doctor and dentist scratching their heads. The sad thing is that more don't know about this - obviously, many of us are injured!

    I hope you are feeling well, and so glad to hear you find comfort in my pain - haha just kidding, I am so glad you are reading, and please continue contributing.

  5. Hi Jane,

    I just stumbled upon your blog. I am so very sorry to hear about your ordeal! I am also suffering from a lingual nerve injury that was caused by an injection for a nerve block when I needed a filling. That was back in 2003. My life has never been the same that day. Few people understand the debilitating, lingering pain we have to live with 24/7, including the doctors. It's beyond frustrating!

    I just wanted to say that I am thankful for your blog and to everyone who has shared their experiences here. It lets others know that we are not alone. As much as the doctors claim they have never heard of this, there are clearly a lot of people whose lives have been destroyed by what was supposed to be a routine trip to the dentist. I hope that one day there will be some relief for us and research done to prevent this happening to others. It seems to happen more frequently than dentists want you to believe and it typically goes unreported so there are no accurate statistics.

  6. I see that you haven't posted in a while. I hope this means that you are on the road to recovery.

  7. Hey Kev,
    I wish that were so...see new blog post. Hope you are doing well!

  8. Hi there, great blog, oddly enough I started my own blog on this site, but was because we were building a home and found it greatly useful. I am hoping this site will help as well. So many of your posts are exactly what I feel and others not so much, for instance, morning is the BEST and the more I talk the worse it gets, on weekends I feel better than a work day. Been to, 2 oral surgeons, neurologist, 2 pcp and a dentist. Had a bottom right tooth extraction in june of 2015 this year, been 3 months, and im a mystery to everyone. I will continue to read more and hope to get some answers. The last oral surgeon suggested it is lingual nerve pain which as yourself, I had pretty much figured out on my own through research, but other drs. just want to put my on Neurtoin and just go away, there is NOTHING wrong with you.

    What I wanted to ask real quick is, one symptom I haven't come across yet on your blog is the right side of my face is a little swollen at all times, my smile is "off" and have to force the smile on that right side. All drs. have agreed to my "off" smile and slightly swollen side, but no one cares. WTH. And I work in the health profession, and I deeply discouraged by my field and lack of care. Any ideas about the right side facial puffiness and "off" smile?

    1. Hey dwtimes2, Thanks for your note! We are kindred spirits, aren't we? LOL So much in common.

      YES, I did notice the (for me it's left) side of my face being 'off'...mine is/was swollen and even warm to the touch. I am guessing this is because your body is pushing blood to the area (inflammation) because it knows something's wrong, and it's trying to fix it.