I’ve suffered from migraine headaches since college. In the last year my migraine patterns have changed, though, probably due to age (I’m 45) and also trying to have healthier habits (walking nearly every day, cutting out meat and dairy). I used to get migraine headaches every other week for 3 days or so of bad pain and nausea. But in the last year, I’ve only been getting migraine headaches once a month (either before or after my period). Until a few months ago, they were the usual 3 day very bad migraines all day with only very short intervals of relief and the peak of the migraine would be a very stabbing excruciating pain around my left eye, temple, and the line leading from my upper jaw to the ear. I discovered Progressive Muscle Relaxation about two months ago and have been doing it faithfully once a day (and sometimes twice if I get a headache). It’s been an incredible help and my migraines have been reduced in intensity and duration for the most part. I think I’ve only had one migraine episode with the stabbing pain since I started PMR.
Then, about 3 weeks ago, I started to develop nerve pain on the left side of my face. It’s not a stabbing pain but more of a strong ache that goes on under my left cheekbone and sometimes spreads to the upper jaw on that side. In the last few days it’s also spread to a slight tingling sensation down the left side of my jaw and to the lower jaw. It also sometimes causes some aching around the upper gum line on my left side and a few times that has also been happening on the lower gum line. While I do have some teeth issues on that side, I don’t think it’s dental-related, though, as I don’t have a toothache and even when it’s painful, I can still eat on that side without much problem.
About 5 days into the problem I went to see a doctor (the first time in 3 years, so this was a big deal for me). He diagnosed me with seasonal allergies right away and gave me a prescription for nasal spray and antibiotics, though he said not to take the antibiotics unless I felt a sinus infection coming on (which, according to the description of what one is, I haven’t got, so I haven’t taken them). The nasal spray helped for the first day but after that it didn’t really help.
I’ve been taking Advil every 5-6 hours for the last few weeks and it does make the pain go away but I have to keep taking it. I also tried taking Advil Allergy And Sinus yesterday and the first dose helped a lot. But the second I took didn’t help at all. In fact, it seemed to make the pain worse. Today I am back to taking Advil and it’s helping.
I guess this long post is getting to my question of whether this could all be just another change in my migraine patterns. The pain I’m having isn’t a migraine or even headache at all (that is, it isn’t in my head but more in my face) and I haven’t had a migraine in 3 weeks. I’ve been doing a bit of research online and it seems that the migraine pain is connected to the nerves that trigger facial pain, plus my migraine episodes have included facial pain in the areas I’m feeling now (but that pain was very stabbing and severe and went away when the migraine did – this one is more of an ache, so it’s less severe, but it is consistent). So might this be my migraine issues evolving into something different, since I know that migraine patterns can change?
BTW, I did tell the doctor about my migraine issues but he didn’t seem to concerned about them when I said that I’ve been taking Advil. He did mention that he could give me medications that would prevent or treat them if they become more frequent but from what I was telling him about the frequency and how Advil did sometimes help (though not always), he didn’t think I needed them.