Department of Neurosurgery

By: Betty

 |  Tuesday Nov 23, 2010 | Share This Item

For over a year, I was tormented with pain in my right jaw, it was intermittent, lasting a few seconds but occurring sometimes as often as six times per minute.  The pain was sudden and felt like the dentist’s drill during a root canal procedure.  These shock-like stabs of pain were accompanied by a burning on the tip and right side of my tongue.  As if this wasn’t enough, my jaw had a constant ache (like a bad headache).  Sometimes, my right ear and right eye “just hurt”.  Other times my speech was slurred from having poor control of my tongue.

It was embarrassing for me to be around other people.  My husband was the only person that understood how the pain was affecting me; sleeping poorly, my irritability, being unable to chew my food quietly and my social withdrawal.

He took me for appointments from one doctor or dentist to another, to no avail.

Some of the things said to me by these doctors and dentists were:

“I don’t find anything wrong…”

“Maybe you need new dentures…”

“I can refer you to …”

“Do you take a lot of pain medication?”

I overheard one dentist say, “I think it might be all in her mind.”

I had oral surgery and he said, “I don’t find anything.”

An intern at a dental school asked me, “What do you want me to do?” I left in tears and cried all the way home. (Waited 4 weeks for an emergency appointment)

One doctor, in a pain management clinic, was very kind and tried three different medications…nothing stopped the pain.

This went on for over a year. I didn’t know what else I could do. I was depressed.

Then, I was able to get an appointment with Dr. David Jimenez. He saw me to two times, ordered tests and diagnosed my condition as trigeminal neuralgia.

I had surgery November 23, 2010. I am pain-free and I have my life back.

Perhaps, dentists and doctors could have helped me sooner if they had a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia.

I am so thankful to Dr. Jimenez. I don’t know what would have happened to me.


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