Notice the quotes in the title... I'm not convinced I have TN yet. Although the pain I've been experiencing seems to fit pretty closely to what TN dishes out.
A little background on me... I also have Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). (which is... "a long-term disease that involves inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. These joints become swollen and inflamed. Over time, the affected spinal bones join together.")
My TN pain started right after Christmas this year. Of course when doctors and dentists are in short supply. I started taking Advil right away... which I always have around because of my AS. After a couple of days, I attempted to go to a walk-in clinic but the wait was WAY too long. I phoned my dentist's emergency number and all he could do was prescribe some Tylenol 3's over the phone to a pharmacy. He also thought it could be the first bout of a cold sore - which I've never had before, so he prescribed me anti-virals as well. The pain was so bad for the next two days, I was alternating between Advil and Tylenol 3's every 2 hours. On Dec 30th, I went to the emergency because the pain was so bad. The emergency doctor "diagnosed" me with TN and put me on carbamazepine. Basically just by me describing the pain.
So now I was taking that, plus the Advil and the T3's because the carbamazepine wasn't kicking in right away. HAPPY NEW YEAR! >:( I was able to get in to see my dentist 3 days later. They took an Xray to rule out dental issues... They told me to continue on with the carbamazepine and call them in a couple of days if the pain was still there. Well yeah. It's still there. I called them back and they're convinced that it's TN and basically told me to continue on the carbamazepine. (100mg - 2 times a day). There's no point in me coming in to see them again, they said. I'll admit, the pain is getting better, but I still have to take Advil a couple of times a day to assist with the pain management. I made an appointment with my GP, but that's not until the 17th! (a little under 2 weeks away).
So that's where I'm at now.
I just don't know what to do...
Should I get a second opinion from another dentist?
Should I try to get in to see my doctor sooner? (which is near impossible)
I keep seeing that MRI's are the real way to diagnose this... should I go back to emergency and get them to do that... (although I'm guessing there's a wait)
This is the most pain I've ever been in. And I'm one of those self proclaimed "tough guys"... I've broken bones and even donated bone marrow and I think this is worse.
One other question... my gums are red and sore. And my bottom lip is a bit swollen... hard to explain, but it's not puffy... more like the little salivary glands or lymph nodes (or whatever) in my lip are inflammed... they feel kind of bead like. Has anyone else experienced this??
Thank you in advance for any help!!!!