Thursday, February 16, 2012

and now, introducing the trigeminal nerve

Just as an introduction to what the various Dr's think is wrong with me, allow me to show you this wonderful friend of mine (ha), the Trigeminal Nerve.

Just a little anatomy lesson. For Fun (isn't this fun? oh yes. of course it is).

The Trigeminal nerve originates deep in the brain just above the brain stem. There's one for each side of the head. And then each one comes out here on the face:and splits into 3 main branches.

This is another illustration and an explanation of how migraines can trigger trigeminal nerve pain:

At any rate, most of the pain I'm feeling right now is along that 2nd middle nerve path and deep in my ear. It's pretty constant, but varies in intensity and severity. This time, I'm on 7 wks and counting of rather constant pain, most of the day of some variety, every single day. Sometimes it aches, sometimes it's a heavy dull almost numbness, sometimes it's burning, sometimes shooting. Also occasionally around and behind my eye. And the first time the pain appeared back in Aug (and lasted about 9 wks) it was my ear and down to the lower jaw.


And, in case anyone is just dying from the suspense, whatever the MRI showed in terms of neuritis or small tumor, it's on the wrong side. It would be causing pain on the other side of my face. So, whatever it is and whatever that means, it doesn't actually explain anything about the pain I'm actually experiencing. Of course it took 3 different Drs to tell me that finally. But whatever.

More on all my Dr visits another time . . .


(photos from Wikipedia and here. Also good information there, if you're curious)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. this is crazy!

are they absolutely sure Effexor doesn't have anything to do with this?

~m

Kristen said...

Actually Effexor can sometimes be used to help alleviate nerve pain. I haven't found anything online that would link them together otherwise- and usually it's pretty easy to find funky side effects online! ;)

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