Lightning ripping across my face. The red-hot burn, sizzling in my jaw. The tic that’s tacking it’s way from inside my ear to the corner of my eye…
This description fails to capture how severe trigeminal neuralgia pain can be.
Trigeminal Neuralgia “is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head. The disorder causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like face pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as 2 minutes per episode. These attacks can occur in quick succession. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating.” (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
I have been living with this condition for years now. It’s
been had been 7 months since my last attack. Then yesterday morning, while I was heading into the breezy spring weather, the familiar shock of anguish rippled from my ear to my jaw. Rapid, and I held my breath, yet it returned. Repeatedly, the waves of gripping sharpness coursed through the right side of my face.
I’m on day 2 of this attack. I have no guarantee how long it will last, or when it will reduce in severity. I wish I knew. My diet is consisting of soft, mushy foods so I don’t have to chew. And my talking is being reserved by vital and urgent replies. Those who are familiar with my usual chatty self find it both troubling and relaxing not to have me yapping.
My Baclofen was increased. This pains me because it took nearly a year to convince the Neurologist to decrease my dose. I put in so much time and effort only to feel like a failure. The trigeminal neuralgia wasn’t really gone, it was just hiding, waiting to jump out and bite my bum when I least expect it. 😦
The worst thing about this disorder is the unknown. I never know when I’m going to get a flare up. I never know how bad it will be or how long it will last. And being that way, it seems to have the upper hand. And I hate this! I hate living in fear during and right after an attack.
Or losing sleep…