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 5 years of nerve pain... almost recovered now

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youngstreet Posted - 12/26/2008 : 17:05:31
Hello everyone,

Here's my story of my TMS-related nerve pain (neuropathic pain) and how I've recovered.

I suffered a lingual nerve injury after my wisdom teeth were extracted in April 2004. I was asleep during the surgery, as I was under general anesthetic. Immediately after the extraction, the right side of my tongue was numb. I bit on it repeatedly for days, and it was very painful. I hoped that the sensation would return, and thankfully it did about a month after the extraction. However, the sensation came back a little too well.

Unfortunately, the right side of my tongue became overly hypersensitive from that point on, and any slight touch to the tongue would feel very painful (allodynia).

The first couple of years after the surgery (up until 2006), I fought through the pain. I kept on believing that the pain would go away on its own. It hurt almost every time I talked, but I didn't let it bother me because I thought the pain would go away in time. My oral surgeon told me that it could take up to 2 years for the nerve to heal itself. Suffice it to say, that after two years rolled by, my hope started to wither away and I couldn't hold it together as well.

After two years, the pain began to take control of my life. I began to stop going out (for fear of talking) and spent much of my time being depressed and alone at home. The pain began to affect my job, my relationships with friends and family, and then my girlfriend left me early in 2008. Needless to say, this past couple of years have been my rock bottom.

During that time however, I began to search intensively for a way to find relief from my pain. I saw countless specialists (my family doctor for 20 visits, a pain management doctor for 8 visits, a neurologist, a second oral surgeon, an ENT doctor, two oral medicine specialists for 8 visits in total, a chiropractor practicing laser light therapy for 25 treatments, a psychologist specializing in pain management for 5 visits, a neuropsychiatrist for 3 visits, two acupuncturists for 25 treatments in total, and an osteopath). I also took tons of pills (Elavil, Doxepin, Effexor, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Neurontin, Topamax, Clonazepam and Tramadol). On top of that, I made sure to take Vitamin B-complex, B-12, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Omega 3. And just to be sure, I had my blood tested, a CT scan and an MRI. All my test results came back fine.

Let's just say, my search for help was completely exhaustive. The troubling conclusion of my search was that I didn't feel physically better. My tongue still felt awful.

I read Sarno's "Mindbody Syndrome" a couple of months ago and the book and this forum have really helped me to recover. Looking back now however, I believe that sometime between April 2004 and today, my lingual nerve had somehow found a way to heal. The problem however, was that my mind had never done its part to get over the pain. My mind was still generating physical symptoms long after my nerve injury has run its course. I think I had gotten so conditioned to the pain every time I talked, that the act of talking would trigger real physical pain, regardless of whether there was a physical cause of it or not. I was also conditioned to feel pain whenever I was nervous or stressed.

I never wanted to believe that the pain was "all in my head". I thought there was no way that I could have genuinely painful moments without there being something very wrong with me. But after reading this book, reviewing this forum, and discussing with my neuropsychiatrist about how my fear/anxiety could be generating my physically painful symptoms, I've begun to live my life as if I didn't have the pain any more. And after telling myself over and over that I'm physically 100%, I've begun to slowly recondition myself to feel less pain. And although I'm not quite all the way there yet, I think I'm really close.

Have a very happy holidays,
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MichaelB Posted - 05/23/2012 : 19:24:11
Hi Youngstreet,
Wow are you the person I wish to watch and learn from! I will start to read the Mindbody Syndrome again. I have a pain in the left ankle. No sign of infection and still the pain persists. Years ago the ankle had a staph infection and it feels like it is back, but no sign,--just pain. almost a phantom pain. This is really getting to me and I've got to shut it down, even if only little by little. Thank you for your testimony. I hope this helps. If you or anyone have ANY suggestions, I am willing to listen.
Keep getting well,
Michael B.
LuvtoSew Posted - 03/18/2009 : 11:18:50
very inspiring- thank you for your post.
johnaccardi Posted - 01/04/2009 : 07:16:07
I have a similar problem with the fear of speaking. My fear comes from a "dry mouth" and "twisted tongue" feeling. The symptoms make speaking difficult and the fear of speaking has grown over the past year and a half. Hope I can recover like you are.
youngstreet Posted - 12/28/2008 : 17:01:28
Thanks Elliot. You're right, very few people have TMS-related neuropathic pain. However, if you search hard enough on this forum, there are a few of us out there. Dr. Sarno also mentions that TMS can affect nerve tissue just like it can affect muscles and tendons.

It hasn't been easy, but reading Sarno's Mindbody Prescription was definitely the turning point in my recovery.

Take care,
elliot1 Posted - 12/28/2008 : 15:12:06
Wow, that's fantastic. That's really quite a feat as I'm sure it was difficult for you to accept that it was TMS as there are very few people who have had pain in the way you had.
youngstreet Posted - 12/27/2008 : 04:37:42
Thanks for the reply Steve. While I can agree that they may be nothing wrong with the nerve today, I know for sure that I did suffer a nerve injury after my wisdom teeth extraction. The right side of my tongue was completely numb for weeks. There was no way that my mind could have been creating that type of symptom.

However, sometime between April 2004 and now, my nerve had healed and my mind had been generating "nerve pain" (TMS) as it probably knew that my lingual nerve had a perfectly plausible reason to have pain. I have exposed my mind for what it had been trying to do (for potentially years) and I have begun to feel better.

scd1833 Posted - 12/26/2008 : 19:47:32

it's quite possible there was never anything wrong with the nerve. I had terrible tooth pain after biting on a seed, the molar, hurt for about two weeks, I finally went to my root canal guy, and he told me there was no way the tooth could be in pain, as the nerve was already dead(root canal) he xray'd it and there was no infection, and said the tooth itself couldn't possibly hurt. within 30 min. the pain went away and has never returned. this was after I had discovered TMS and had "cured" my back problem, It seems like with me, the tms always tries to "hide" somewhere and dare me to come to a TMS conclusion, when I do, it goes away or moves to another place

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