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Suffer from ear pain, jaw pain and lymph nodes swollen. Bitten by fying insect and has allergic reaction. What to do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 589 Questions
Thank you. First, I want to express my appreciation for your service and guidance because in a society the process of diagnosis and treatment are often separated by both the time it takes to get the proper diagnosis and then upon finding the best doctor to help the patient- if the patient can survive long after being referred to specialist after specialist and the patient feeling like there's no place to go that will diagnose and treat them properly. I know everyone has their "opinion" about the state of health care in the USA but the future of our society does not look as bright as it did a few decades ago. It's not the doctor's fault because there are many fine and wonderful physicians but whenever insurance companies and attornies get in the middle of the art and practice of medicine-- the doctors can only do what they will be reimbursed for and some unknown person working for an insurance company somewhere can make life and death decisions on the lives of people they have never met.
Now that being said, case in point, is my lovely wife who suffers from pain in the areas of her ear and jaw with her lymph nodes swollen under her jaws on both sides and under her arm pits.
We have seen many specialists and done many blood tests and a PET scan and everyone says no signs of cancer but no one can diagnose why my wife has been hurting for the past year.
It all started last fourth of July weekend when she was on Clearwater Beach and was bitten by some flying insects. She had a severe allergic reaction with rashes and oozing sores on her upper back. She went to a Dermatologist who did a skin bioiposy and diagnosed her with " Transient Grovers Disease" but the aftermath pain was always causing her to complain of it and then a few months later under a lot of distress from the pain = we believe she had an attack of Shingles. A few months later her left ear started hurting and she caught the flu which resulted in chronic sinusitis and then it started hurting down her jaw line which also suggested a Trimengenial nerve involvement and she started having a daily fever of between 99 to 103 so she went to an ENT who surgically cleaned out her sinuses ( very painful procedure) and the fevers lessened but they still come and go.
Now, add to this the fact that about 8 years ago she had a repair to root canal and the dental surgeon told her that the repair was temporary and that it would only last about 4-5 years and the teeth would need to be pulled. So, she went to dentist after dentist who xrayed her ( too many times) because the pain was directly above her root canaled teeth on her left side and and they could detect no infection under her teeth which was one of the topics i initially wrote Healthcare Magic about and was suggested that I have her get an oral pantogram--problem is- no one locally in the radiographic diagnostic centers was aware of such a procedure and no one can really tell us for sure what others test can reveil infection in the teeth and bone so tomorow we see an " immune specialist" who was referred by an infectious disease who was referred by a neurologist who was alarmed that her white blood cell count was 14.0 (high) and aAbsolute Neutrophils were 11,704 (H) so we ordered a cancer marker test which showed that her
CEA was 6.6 (H) and her CA was only 5. The Cancer specialist said that the CEA was probably from her heavy smoking (2 packs a day- nervous anxiety with obessive/compulsive disorder).
Drug wise she takes percoset for pain, an anti-depressant for depression over the constant pain and ambian for sleep and when needed a valium for anxiety. She tells me daily she thinks shes going to die and that no one is helping her and she just gets passed from doctor to doctor. We had an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for May 22, 2013 but when she learned that they would only do diagnostic work and not do anything to fix the problem if it was dental related- she refused to go for a week for evaluation and then wait who knows how long for their report. Oh, did I tell you that since she is constant pain, she is becoming very negative about life in general and her mental health is declining so time is becoming a key factor.
Now, Here's my question:
Where can I take my wife by car (she cant fly with her ear condition) in the Florida where she can be checked into a top notch clinic and be evaluated and treated without waiting for months to get in?
I'm very worried about her ability to take much more pain and her fear of dying while doctors seem to be doing nothing to help her is bring up other issues related to mental states of anger combined with frustration and rage which get directed at the medical profession in general but othertimes find other outlets that are not healthy for her ( more smoking and sometime some alcohol to help reduce the pain). It's a turbulent atmosphere in my home and it's impossible for me to focus on anything else because her situation is becoming very acute and immediate and her anger is palatable and life is a struggle just to keep hope alive...I'm hoping you can provide some helpful suggestions other than go see a psychologist or support group when what she needs is medical attention and compassionate care.
Thank you for having the patience to read my somewhat long and painful explanation of what were facing here..any help in regards of where to go to get help rather than the run around would be greatly appreciated :-)
Thank you.

Posted Wed, 24 Jul 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Guru 10 hours later
Hi Mr and Mrs XXXXX,

I am really very sorry for the condition at your home because of Mrs. Bell's ill health. I am happy to hear that she does not have any kind of cancer though little sad that doctors were not able to diagnose her condition properly.

Regarding your question where to go in order to fix all these, I believe that Mayo Clinic itself is a good idea. Because, it has multiple departments dedicated to different specialties including dental specialty department and also the fact that the clinic is one of the best in Florida. You can try fixing appointments in two departments separately but on the same or next day. Not sure how it works though (sorry about that). I know that it is very uncomfortable to wait for the results of investigations but sometimes we will be helpless if they are very rare conditions and we need to rule out all the common ones first. Moreover, it is good to start treatment once the cause is specifically diagnosed and confirmed.

Regarding her pain at multiple sites and which is the main complaint, I would like to say that there are various treatments available to deal with pain apart from medications, which include physical therapy, psychological measures, cognitive behavioral therapy etc

Please follow up with me if you want to ask anything more specific.


Dr Vasanth

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffer from ear pain, jaw pain and lymph nodes swollen. Bitten by fying insect and has allergic reaction. What to do? 3 hours later
The Mayo Clinic in Florida does not have a dental dept to fix any dental problems--that's why she didnt go after I made the appointment and she is exhausted with the endless waiting process-- as you can imagine, when your in pain, you want relief from the pain and she has seen psychologists and and over 12 specialists and it seems she is stuck and the same for me as in years past we could go to a hospital and they would take care of a patient who was in pain until they diagnosed the problem and then address what was necessary to treat it.. who else beside the Mayo Clinic ?
Answered by Dr. Guru 12 hours later

I am sorry for that. You can try at University of Miami Health System which has a separate dental department with some well renowned dentists. Please call 305-243-4000 or toll-free 1-800-432-0191 to make an appointment.

Hope it helps!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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