Trigeminal Neuralgia and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Guess what I have.  How did you know?  Maybe the title gave it away!

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a big fancy word for nerve pain on the side of your face.  This pain can include teeth, sinuses, ear, jaw, eye, and head.  The main nerve feeding one side of your face, running through your temple area, is called the Trigeminal nerve, which branches into an upper, middle, and lower nerve.  Neuralgia is a word used to say “pain”.

Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia is the term used to describe pain on one side of the throat and the back of the tongue.

I’m writing about this because recently this has been a problem for me.

I have been to the dentist three times to check different teeth (the pain migrates), and to the doctor twice to try to rule out sinus infection and ear infection.  It was none of those. I will be scheduling something with the neurologist soon.  I also went to a lyme literate nurse practitioner to look into chronic Lyme disease.  I have that too, and I think that is contributing to my nerve pain.  I have also discovered that stress or unhappy thoughts trigger the pain!

I am on a rotation of painkillers constantly to keep the pain under control.  I go from Acetaminophen to Naproxen sodium to Ibuprofen.  Plus, I must rest frequently to avoid triggering the pain, and also avoid any unpleasant thoughts or tasks.  Not easy to live this way because there are typically things necessary in life that are not pleasant to deal with.

I am learning a new protocol for coping with the limitations and giving myself permission to rest and let go of any unnecessary stress.  Now that I understand what this is, my heart goes out to other sufferers.  I am exploring options, but some are not very attractive, such as cutting the nerve so the side of the face is numb.  Can you imagine always smiling like you are shot full of the dentist’s numbing agents!  Yikes!  One time the medicine at the dentist got up to my eye somehow, and I couldn’t shut it without help.  We taped it shut until the numbness wore off!

If anyone has something to share about this awful condition, please feel free to comment and share experiences or advise.  Thank you!

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