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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nerve blocks

I went to the pain management office yesterday for an occipital nerve block.  They had me down for bilateral occipitals but since my right side does not hurt I did not want it injected.  I asked if he could do a maxillary injection instead and he did.  When I told him my whole left side of my head hurts he said he couldn't block all of the areas in one visit but we had to find a combination that worked well like what we did this time.  I have done tons of research about the branches of the trigeminal nerve and from what I had read the maxillary branch (V2) should cover up into the temple area.  But I have numbness from under my eye to my upper lip and it does not extend all the way to the edge of my face.  Sadly this is not even the area that hurts the most.  When I pointed to the temple area and asked if the block would spread up to that area, he said no but that only hurts because I clench my teeth and I need to get treated for TMJ.  Oh if he only knew the treatments I have gone through for TMJ that were fruitless not to mention drained my savings account because insurance would not cover them.  But of course it hurts to talk and so I try to keep it short.  I told him I have already tried that. 

Also for some reason the occipital did not work like the others I have had.  I still have pain that is shooting up the back side of my head as usual like I never even got the shot.  I wonder if it is possible to miss the right spot and it not work, or is it possible to get sort of immune to them?  Anyway, the shots seem to have ticked off the evil headache.  It was really hard to drag myself out of bed today.  It is REALLY killing me.  Days like this I want to just stay curled up in bed all day, but I can't.  Curse you hemicrania continua!!!


Anarchamy said...

From what I understand, if they don't work and they have in the past, it is typically placement of the injection being slightly off and not immunity. Sorry to hear it wasn't as effective as it could have been. I hope your headache doesn't stay angry at you for too long.

Anarchamy said...

And it sounds like a Auriculotemporal nerve block might be beneficial to you...if you haven't already tried that.

Tara said...

Thanks for the advice! I am going to ask about that one when I go back. I don't know if they do those or not, though the guy that does the procedures claims he can block basically anything. After looking into it more, with the area that they guy numbed, I think he thought I was talking about the maxillary sinus.

Ms. J said...

They can definitely miss on an injection. Each doctor I've seen has a different technique & hits different spots, so he might just need to vary up the points he hits along the occipital nerve. As for your temple area, I have that same pain and it's due to the auriculotemporal nerve, which is a branch off the maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve. I never got a block there, but it's definitely possible. Also, it always took the blocks 1-2 weeks to take effect for me. I'm not sure how you're feeling now, but hopefully you have the same delayed effect. I really hope you can get some relief soon. *hugs*