I've been searching for answers this evening after numerous visits to my doctor over the past few months.
I have suffered Migraines, always on the right side, mostly with in my face, cheeks, neck for the past three years (pain usually starts with stiffness in the neck)
I stopped drinking alcohol about 3 months ago because I realised I was at the point where I could not drink even one drink without experiencing a headache, or migraine/face ache whatever you want to call it.
About 2 months ago I noticed a lump on the right side of my neck, I have since found out it is a lymph node/nodes (Prosterior cervical) . My doctor seems to think it is two nodes stuck together or "matted" as she described them. The lump is not particularly large, about 2cm by 1.5cm and it's not fixed, it is hard, but not very hard, not "hard as a rock". It can be easily felt when I tilt my head and the doctor could clearly see the lump.
I have been extremely fatigued, to say the least. I have been to the doctor many times over the past few months with that as my main concern, I just have zero energy, I feel like I can barely make it through the day some days.
I didn't think much of the lump until more recently, the past couple of weeks. I started to get neck pain and aching about two weeks ago that was persistant. The pain has progressed day by day. I have taken antibiotics (apparently strong- Levofloxacin) and they have not affected the lump or the pain. I have taken ibuprofen for the pain, it helps a little.My doctor told me that the next step is to order an ultrasound or a CT scan.
The pain for the past few days has become unbareable and seems to radiate from my neck to my chest, I feel swollen and a lot of pressure in my chest and shoulders...but there is no evidence of any swelling. I cannot sleep well at night and have had very little relief from the pain.
I have also, in the past week, started experiencing ear pain. I could have sworn I was getting an ear infection, my doctor said there are no signs of redness or inflamation and seemed to pass it off as unrelated. I now feel pressure in my right ear especially, ringing in my ears, they fill like they are filled up with something and they hurt. Of course my lymph node has been enlarged for months, it doesn't seem to make sense that it could be from an ear infection that has developed in the past week, but I was hopeful that that was all it was.
The nurse also told me that my pulse was racing at the beginning of my visit and had not calmed down by the end of my visit.
They also asked if I had had any fevers, to which I replied no. I have since taken my temperature at times where i've felt hot and cold, my temperature through my sleepless nights went from 96.3 when I was having chills to 99.5 when I was feeling hot to 97.6 to 96.1 to 98.7. I know these are all in normal body temp range but I was alarmed at the range of temperatures. The house temp stayed the same all night. It concerned me, perhaps I shouldn't be worried though, I don't know.
I called the doctor (whom I think is getting fed up with me) asking for no more waiting, I asked for them to take the next step and book me an ultra sound or CT (whichever they thought was necessary) because I can't stand the pain, the mystery ear problems and the worry that the lump is now bringing me any further.
I have a CT scan appointment tomorrow. I guess they chose to go with the CT scan.
My question is, what are they looking for on the CT scan? I mean, we already know I have an enlarged lymph node, there doesn't appear to be any other lymph nodes, only neck pain/pressure....why would they need to take a picture to confirm that I have this lump? It seems obvious it's there...are they looking for something else? It seems as if if something were there I would be able to feel it in my neck....
I would also like some guidance as to steps to take if the CT scan comes back all clear, what other steps could I take to getting to the root of my pain and ear problems with no obvious signs of viral infection or illness? I understand no one can diagnose online, I would just like some advice on the process of diagnosing the possible cause for my problems, and whether anyone has any experience with these symptoms, or a possible link between my migraines and the "Matted nodes" in my neck, neck pain, ear pain etc. Should I ask to see a specialist? If so...what type?