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Chronic head/neck/face pain for 10 years and no diagnosis
Hello to all,
This is my first post in the pain area so I will describe the issues I have been dealing with. I am nearly age 54, I currently use advil and an occassional muscle relaxer. No other meds I have tried, and I have tried everrything from morphene down including anti-depressants etc, have helped improve my quality of life.
At age 23 I began having some neck pain on the leftside lower cervical spine and radiating down to the scapula area. I was very healthy, fit and active. This subtle deep pain would come and go for over the next 21 years and a few times I saw a physician and twice did some PT. No improvement but not debilitating and mostly bothered me for short periods of time. In 2005 I had my first MRI and it revealed a buldging disc at c-6. Not bad though so I did nothing further but just kept exercising. In January of 2006 it began spasming every month for about 3 weeks then would begin to heal and do it again. July of 2006 it hurt so bad that I decided to get some help. I ended up in PT with traction and strength exercises. By October of that year I began to feel something I had never felt and it was depression. In December my pain became worse as one day while steretching at home (flexion stretch) I felt a significant POP in the upper right cervical area follwed by a bi-lateral spasm from top to bottom. Wow what I thought could not get worse did. It continued to worsen over the next 2 weeks and then one day my entire head and face began to feel as though it were in a vice grip. I began puking uncontrollably and squirming in massive pain. Off to the ER. The ER ran all kinds of tests and films including a spinal tap and then my heart went into AFIB so off to the ICU due to very low BP and high HR. Two days later out of AFIB but head/neck and face still in a vice grip. Released from the hospital on day 5 no meds, I was told I now have headaches, but wait you people don't get it no one can live with this much pain. Sir, can you walk? Yes. Then it's time for you to go. One week later back to ER because of vomiting and pain for the past week. Now steroid injections, morphene, percocet and whatever else they could throw at me. MRI and head CT showed no reason for the pain I displayed. Since then I have been to many traditional doctors, Integrative specialist and spiritual healers. Nothing has made a notable difference in my pain. I became unemployeed and my married and family life was at risk of ending. For the next 6 years or so I simply sat on the sofa with ice or heat and watched TV or read a book in between doctor appointments and intense bouts of puking and crying.
Over time I think my body has adjusted some on it's own and I am not in as much pain however if someone with no pain experience felt what I feel now they would be freaking out as I did when this got intense. I have had numerous films and they have been read by numerous radiologists. Also had Prolotherapy, Prolozone, Amniotic Stem Cell injections, PT multiple times and so much more. I don't feel that this is a ligament issue but rather a tendon near the nerve cluster of C-2 or C-3 cranial nerves. I have had referred pain all over my body down to my feet including the hip, knees, lower back and mid back. This will come and go. For example about 3 months ago my right jaw (TMJ) decided to spasm and will not close to chew food sometimes. The tightness in my neck, head and face are still present just a lower intensity. In the first five years of this I planned my death three times and one of those landed me in the hands of the white coats. That was horrible. The past few years I have worked very hard on strenghtening my mind to be able to withstand the constant head pain and now occassional puking. i look for reasons everyday to keep moving forward and I don't feel depressed anymore but I am often sad for brief periods. Any guidance of how I may help this heal would be welcomed with open arms. I am looking for a better way to image the cervical spine to locate the source of injury and I do suspect that that disc buldge will need to be dealt with but only when I can see what is causing the bilateral spasming throughout. Thank you for your support.