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Old 10-12-2006, 05:47 PM
hmm_md hmm_md is offline
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Question Left sided facial pain/numbness

I just can't figure out which forum would be the best to pose this question. I'm sincerely hoping a bunch of people came over from the old BT since there are few posts to peruse for help as we restart things again.

Here's my situation: about 1 1/2 years ago I woke up one morning and the tip of the left side of my tongue was numb. Odd, but not alarming. My whole family has a tendancy to pinch nerves and I've lost the feeling in fingers and toes for weeks after minor trauma such as using scissors or wearing heels.

By mid-day the numbness progressed to the entire left tongue, my lower left lip, then upper, then cheek and ear and left eye. I was noticing dryness in the left eye and watering in the right (compensating?) as well as what seemed like a little drooling at the left corner of my mouth.

I went straight to an emergency room and with such lovely stroke symptoms was wisked straight back for a head CT. All was completely normal except a very high blood pressure (180/150). Subsequent BP checks have never shown it to be especially high -- maybe anxiety over a presumed stroke?

The numbness continued over the next several weeks so I was referred to a neurologist who found nothing wrong, then to a head and neck specialist who diagnosed me with "sensory-only" Bell's palsey. I have done a bunch of research on Bell's and it seems the consensus is that you can't make the diagnosis without motor paralysis which I do not have. He recommended leaving it be and letting it run its course.

Over the last year and a half it has evolved into a burning pain instead of numbness. The pain waxes and wanes. It seems to be sequential in that at the minimum the tongue hurts and next it's the lips then the cheek and so on. The skin around my left eye feels sunburnt and my left eye is often very dry with profuse tearing from the right. I have begun to notice that when I am especially stressed, emotional, or tired that the symptoms are at their peak and the burning in the tongue extends all the way down the left side of my throat. When I am relaxed it is usually just low level burning sensation in the tongue, always on the left.

Of note, when I went for elective surgery for gastric reflux problems, I awoke from anesthesia with my RIGHT face numb, the lips profoundly so. For about 3 days the right was densly numb more than the left, prompting an MRI and a boatload of blood tests, all normal. The right side resolved after a few days without intervention.

On the advice of Rose, on the old forum, I started taking B-12 supplements at high dose. There seemed to be some improvement but now it's the same as always. I don't know if that was just the usual waxing and waning or if it really helped.

Other issues for me that may or may not have anything to do with this is a presumed diagnosis of benign hypermobile joint syndrome. I have joints that slide around and have had numerous associated orthopedic injuries: 2 torn rotator cuffs, chronic subluxation of right shoulder, 3 surgeries on left ankle for fracture and tendon dislocation, fractured right foot, herniated disc L5-S1. I also have a history of migraines, controlled fairly easily, triggered mostly by hormones.

If anyone has a thought as to what this is or where I should go next I would be most grateful to hear your opinion. At the moment my tongue is on fire and my left face feels like I've been in the sun all day, I have a sore throat, but only on one side. A big part of my job is talking and, although my tongue works just fine, lots of talking seems to make it all worse.

It seems negative MRI and CT would rule out stroke, any thoughts?
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:00 PM
Rowland Rowland is offline
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hmm_md,
This is a real long shot, but by any chance are you taking aspirin on a regular basis? I have had a similar episode (tongue, lip and facial swelling). I found the cause to be angioedema. Among other things, aspirin was found to be one of the offenders. My HMO was at a loss as to the cause, but it's been about a year since my last episode after having it very regularly.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:00 PM
kpprhd kpprhd is offline
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Default hmm md

sounds very familiar, you didn't mention if you had fallen or twisted to cause the breaks-anyway this may sound strange, however I went through the bells palsey(off/on6-8mo, then ocular migraines, then started falling spraining several things, arm , wrist, ankle etc. then the next year bad gastric reflux-then awoke one morning with pain in my legs, tingling/numbness esp waist down- after four years, believe it or not, I've finally been dx with lyme. Of course I live in a wooded area, and had multiple tick bites over the past several years. Don't know if just a sound alike or not? possibly something to consider.

kpprhd
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:08 PM
hmm_md hmm_md is offline
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Default aspirin

No, no aspirin. I take occasional Advil and Aleve. This particular problem does not involve any swelling. Interesting that you bring that up, though. About 4 or 5 years ago I kept having short episodes (~1 hour duration) of really noticable swelling on either my upper or lower lip on the left side. It was really obvious, looked like I'd been smacked in the face, and felt weird. It was usually after I had either a heater or air conditioner blow directly on my face. It stopped happening and I hadn't thought of it until this week. My daughter (13) has been complaining that the bridge of her nose keeps swelling up whenever the car heater blows on her face, then it goes away. She also has very loose joints.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:07 PM
hmm_md hmm_md is offline
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Default Wood-ticks vs deer-ticks

Hi kpprhd, what an unusual presentation for Lyme's. I guess that is one reason it is so hard to diagnose, it can look like anything. I have been bitten by a tick in the last ~3yrs (can't remember exact date). However, I live in Southern California and we have the rather large wood-ticks. My understanding that the organism that causes Lyme's disease is harbored in the very small deer-ticks found in the NE. We have been told in this part of the country not to worry about Lyme's disease. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me. Good that you have a diagnosis so you know what you are battling at least!
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:10 PM
kpprhd kpprhd is offline
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hmm md

If you visit the Washington State lyme disease site, there are about 30 some llmd's listed for CA- I don't know how far south in Ca, however with 30 lyme friendly doctors that treat lyme there must be quite a problem in California-and yes it's normally from a deer tick found on white tail deer-pandemic in New England-through midwest, but lyme found in all 48 states plus alaska.

kpprhd
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