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Whole Tooth / The Cyst That Wasn't
< Previously: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
> Next: It's here... The SHELL GAME!!!
The Cyst That Wasn't
Thursday, November 5, 1998
Following lunch at noon, I walked straight to the neurosurgery ward of the university hospital, to my appointment with Dr. med Lorenz.
By now, I had this image of a neurosurgeon as a skinny man with bulging eyes and blue veins pulsating on his forehead, with an uncontrollable twitch in his fingers and determined on opening his patients up first, ask questions later.
In different words: I was terrified.
As I got to the doctor's office, I was notified that the doctor was presently operating on a intervertebral disc and that I might have to wait half an hour or so. After entertaining myself with a copy of Elle from February 1998 (one has to know how the enemy thinks) for half an hour and the doctor nowhere near to appearing, I searched out the hospital newsstand, where I purchased "Titanic" a satirical magazine [Motto: "The definite separation of Germany is our goal."].
Even that failed to entertain me. After about two hours, the doctor was finally ready to see me.
Dr. Lorenz turned out to be a slightly heavy-set man with a friendly smile, a relaxed air and wry humor. Nothing like Dr. Kirstin.
He had already gone through the MRI scans and subsequently looked at last year's computer x-rays. He was the first of all the doctors who seemed to actually stare at the images and say something else than "hurm".
To this man, the computer images actually seemed to make sense. First off, he pointed out that the thing that had been diagnosed as a cyst by the ear, nose and skull specialist and, more recently, a jaw specialist, was no cyst after all. According to Dr. Lorenz, the bulbous thing was some temporary outgrowth of an infection (a cold or similar). It was also in the wrong place -- it could not possibly cause my pain.
Then, he asked me about my medical history in this matter. Resisting the obvious temptation to blurt out "Read my web page" (which is the answer all wired acquaintances, colleagues and friends get), I began to once again unroll the goings-on.
The shingles were of particular interest to him: "At your age, you should be able to survive Vietnam, not to get shingles." He smiled wryly as he said this, though.
He began to check my jaw out. With a needle, he touched my face in various places and asked: "Does that hurt?" Then he began to feel inside my mouth with a long q-tip.
Curiously, on the left side of my jaw there was a noticeable delay in me feeling anything. Specifically, when he pressed and asked whether I felt anything, I didn't, but shortly after he removed the tool, I would.
He wasn't happy with his findings. Finally, I asked him about what he had found.
The good news: It wasn't a neuralgia of the Trigeminal Nerve.
The bad news: He wasn't sure what it was, either.
He wanted to know whether I could live with the pain and I shook my head. "This is affecting my work and my life." I want to get it over with, no compromises.
Dr. Lorenz outlined the steps he would recommend:
First, I should have the dentists open up the other broken filling and look for another hidden cavity (the "shell game" Dr. Dietrich had proposed last year).
Next, I should get a valium prescription. If I was grinding my teeth at night, that meant that I wasn't sleeping well after all.
On November 20, I would check into the hospital for a full day and he would schedule me for a second CAT scan (this time with more detail) and yet another MRI scan (with higher resolution).
Then, he would see me again.
Of course, I wanted to hear where this was heading.
So far, he had determined that the maxillaris nerve was the one causing trouble. The nerve was overreacting in a bad way to an unknown impulse and the hyperreaction might spread to other nerves. He mentioned that he didn't want to sever the nerve because another nerve might try to replace its function (i.e. hurt like hell).
The reason for the new MRI and computer x-ray scans was that he wanted to make sure it was not some kind of tumorous growth pushing against the nerve, causing it to overreact.
As I left his office, I thanked him for his honesty. "Don't thank me, I haven't been able to help you yet," was his reply.
My mind reeling, I walked back to work quickly. Now I am worried and relieved at the same time: I finally appear to have found a doctor who knows what he is doing, but on the other hand I am no closer to a resolution of my problems.
NEXT: IT'S... THE SHELL GAME!
"The pain is back at its worst, too fast to counteract."
It's... The Shell Game!!! >
Previously: The Nucleo-Magnetic Coffin <
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"The Continuing Health Crisis" is an 100% true account of MOATMAI's health problems. It is intended to keep all friends and enemies informed about his current status. The Whole FAQ.
First Visit? You might want to check out the summary before continuing.
Current Status: The root canal, it is done. The tooth is dead. And the pain? Well...
The whole mess began in June, 1997. The Whole Tooth starts here.
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2002 by MOATMAI at HELLONEARTH dot COM
This Section Last Updated: 2002/01/02
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