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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 19335
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I started having pain/pressure/burning/sensitivity

Customer Question

I started having pain/pressure/burning/sensitivity in my left temple/ear/cheek area in mid-November 2015. I also started experiencing hyptic jerks. Was initially treated for a sinus infection and given Levaquin 500 mg and Medrol dose pack. The day after taking my first dose of the levaquin and steroids, I developed a curved rash under my eye/cheekbone area. I went to my PCP three days later and was diagnosed with the shingles. I started taking Valtrex and discontinued the Levaquin. Headaches/pressure continued off an on for 2 more weeks. I developed numbness in the last three fingertips of my left hand and dizziness so made a trip to the ER (mid-December 2015). After a CT Scan, MRI and MRA with contrast and lab work, I was diagnosed with post herpetic neuralgia and prescribed Neurontin. This med helped with my headaches. After three weeks of taking Neurontin, I tried to increase my dosage (per my pcp's orders) as my headaches came back. I started developing muscle twitches all over my body and aching/cramping in my left hand and forearm. My left ring finger felt funny and had trouble making my hand work. I immediately came off the Neurontin and experienced horrible withdrawal. Night sweats, dizziness, twitches, aches, headache with aura and insomnia. The headache with aura, problems with the functioning of my left hand and sweating went away. Headace remained as did the numbness in my left fingers and aching in my left arm. After 5 weeks of horrible sleep, I went back to my PCP who prescribed 10 mg of Elavil. This has helped with the hypnic jerks and my sleep pattern has greatly improved. I recently had a sleep study and they ruled out sleep apnea. I've had lab work performed and they ruled out lupus, RA, MS. I went to see a neurologist two weeks ago who specializes in neuromuscular disease. Explained all symptoms. He performed a neuro exam, looked at all my test results and diagnosed me with atypical facial pain. He said that he thinks it is viral and some if not all symptoms will go away. He said he is 100% sure I do not have a neuromuscular disease like ALS. He wants to see me in 6 months to see how I am doing. He said to return if symptoms worsened or I developed new symptoms. He said a virus can cause numbness and aches/cramping/burning in extremities. The numbness/aches/cramps/burning comes and goes. As does the headaches in my left trigeminal area. Some days I have little to no symptoms and other days the symptoms return. I apologize for the long email. My question to you is, can a virus cause these symptoms? Should I be concerned? Should I make another appointment with the neurologist? I'm just not sure what to do. Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. I am sorry that no expert has yet responded. There are a couple of levels of answer in this situation. Yes, it is possible for a virus to cause these symptoms. It is not common for a virus to cause symptoms of this severity, but it is possible. As for whether you should be seen again, there is a strong argument that can be made that it would be appropriate to seek another opinion. When someone has atypical symptoms that are stubborn, it is reasonable to seek a second opinion from an expert in the field. It is good that you sought an evaluation by a Neurologist that sub-specialized in neuromuscular disease. Seeking another opinion from a Neurologist at a teaching hospital would be a reasonable consideration. Doctors that work at teaching hospitals have more experience in diagnosing rare diseases and unusual presentation. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
If you would like my assistance with any future questions, I can be reached through my profile at