I now have a diagnosis of TN and meds

I finally couldn't deny my pain any longer and had to visit the neuro. I tried to get in to see the actual doctor, but was told that I didn't have the right to change from a PA to a doctor. I was in so much pain (first time in over two years), I agreed to see the same PA that told me I had migraines. I took my Mom along to be sure that if I was unable to speak, she would speak up for me and not settle for a migraine diagnosis.

The PA was much better this time at listening to what had been going on. She kept saying how this "doesn't happen to people so young". From this site, I know that it does happen to people in their 30's and even younger. She listened to how I have dealt with the pain in the past couple of years. (I have been able to deal with a daily numbness that is mild to moderate by "popping" my neck just below my skull.) She was even willing to send me for a second MRI to check for anything going on in my neck, but the attending came in and said to just start the meds. (And that is the person I thought I wanted to treat me!?!) The MRI isn't being done now, but I will ask about that again on my next visit. I would still like to rule out a neck problem causing the pain. The PA stated that pain located in the lower face/jaw can come from the neck, so I hope that down the road, she will be able to get that MRI for my peace of mind.

She put me on a prednisone pack this week to help with the pain in my neck. Next week I will start on Epitol (carbamazepine) 200mg twice a day. She left it up to me to choose how I want to start the dose. Does anyone have suggestions on this? I thought about half a pill in the morning and maybe a whole pill in the evening? I am the mother of six (ages 2-14), so I can't afford to be so out of things that I can't function. Not that I am functional when the shooting pains start.

Thanks for any tips you may have to share.

I think your idea of taking half a pill in the morning is a good idea until you see how the carbamazepine affects you. It has a lot of side effects for some people. If I take a whole one in the morning I can't look after myself much less look after six kids. Good luck!!! I hope it works out for you.

Working your way up slowly is the best way. I am now up to 1200mg a day on this same drug. It DOES make me forgetful, have a hard time finding the right words for things, and extremely tired. Coffee and 5 hour energy shots are my best friends and I am STILL tired, LOL. Write things down that you don't want to forget and set alarms on your phone for your meds so you don't forget them either. You can use reminders on your phone for all the other things too instead of writing them down. When I got up to 1200mg a day, we did it in 2 doses like before and I was so drunk and sick that I couldn't function. So I slept it off and decided to split it into 3 doses. It keeps most of the pain at bay, but I still have days that I can't touch my face, but the pain isn't as bad as with no meds. Sometimes you have to "play" with your doses like that so that you can do what's best for you and your family. Splitting mine into 3 doses helped me to function a little better. Good luck!