Friday, April 22, 2011

New treatments and therapies

So here's what I've been trying lately. While not particularly revolutionary, these are new to me, thanks to my two new doctors (OFPS and PT) who appear to be at least somewhat familiar with our plight of chronic burning tongue and ongoing facial pain.

After requesting a second round of steroids from the orofacial doc (low dose 4mg medrol pack), I find myself about 10% better but still in pain. The best news is the heachaches are reduced which is awesome! Crazy thing is, I've asked several other doctors for steroids over the past year and been turned down 3 times, being told "it's too late at this point". I beg to differ (as usual!)

The physical therapist manipulates the inside of my cheek using a tongue depresser, along the lining of the cheek all the way back to the TMJ/ear area- yes, it's extremly painful. That's then followed by tens unit and ice pack for about 15 minutes. I'm supposed to eat soft foods at room temp. I'm also learning how much difference the application of heat vs. cold can make, and trying to understand when to use each. Unfortunately, sometimes the only relief one can get is lying down, and that's just not an option for most of us at most times.

The jury is still out on the new bite guard. In some ways it makes things worse, making my teeth more achey than they already were, but I'm told may just take some getting used to. I'm taking .5 mg klonopin at bed time which helps relax the muscles, the anxiety about the pain, and helps me sleep.

Finally, and perhaps most dramatic, is the relief I got for a few days from receiving injections on the outside of the face, right in the most painful spots where the muscles are so tight they are rock hard (lower jaw, right in front of the ear). I've heard so much about these injections and was curious if they'd help or make a difference - any injection is invasive, and my Dr. was reluctant to give me them due to my history with injections - after all, that's how this whole thing started- while getting novocaine for a filling procedure. I'm not sure what exactly is contained in these injections, some combination of anesthetic (Carbocaine) and cortisone to numb the area temporarily.

The shots hurt like a bugger, but by a few hours afterward, I began to feel relief from the unrelenting pain and headaches I've had for now 16 months straight. It's temporary though. This is all a trial and error process so we'll see how it goes.

How is everyone doing? What are you trying to find pain relief?

1 comment:

  1. Hello, My name is Stacy. last Wednesday I got my wisdom teeth extracted. The next day I noticed the left side of my tongue was still numb.. No hot/cold sensation, no taste, just pure numbness. My doctor put me on a 6 day pack of Medral (steroid). This is my second day, don't see much change. I do have slight tingling at the tip of my tongue.. It's on and off.. I noticed a lot of you talking about pain.. I am experiencing no pain.. Just numbness and slight tingles. Can anyone share any input or advice? Any success stories? I am so scared that I will have to live with this forever. I can't eat.. I can't sleep.. Very depressed.. Thanks in advance.. Also, recommendation of any lingual nerve repair specialist is welcomed and appreciated (Philadelphia and surrounding areas).