During my time travelling to the hospital, I was also a regular visitor at my local GP and dentist. My GP was excellent and very understanding. I would often go into the doctors to give them updates of my progress or lack of progress. Dr Sweetman would write to King’s and Guy’s hospitals asking them why the treatment was taking so long. She did offer me a higher dose of Co-codamol but with the muscle relaxants and the amitriptyline, I was already drowsy and lightheaded most of the time. Additionally, none of the medication seemed to work for the pain but did help me to sleep for a couple of hours each night. Dr Sweetman also expressed her concern of my mental state and urged the hospital to offer me some form of psychological treatment.
During one of my many trips to the dentist, Nick (my dentist) decided he would take it upon himself to investigate the symptoms I was having. After describing to him how I felt and what was happening to my face, he started to question if the pain was being caused by the nerves. Being a dentist he naturally took the position it could be something to do with the braces and the movement of teeth. He took some x-rays of my teeth and pressed a few places inside my mouth. The x-rays came back and showed a significantly bent root in one of my teeth. He wrote to Dr Cobourne (my orthodontist) at Guy’s and explained that my pain may actually be linked to this tooth and it may be causing nerve pain. When I visited Dr Cobourne he just shrugged his shoulders. He told me; it may be the braces and the bent root but we cannot do anything about it. He stated that we should progress with the movement of teeth in preparation for surgery. This was upsetting. The immense pain I was in every second of the day could be a result of a bent tooth?
When I spoke to my GP about this discovery, she decided she would refer me to see a neurologist to investigate if the pain was a result of my trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve responsible for the feeling in your face and certain motor functions such as chewing and swallowing. It is the largest nerve in the face and breaks off into 3 branches.