The Suicide Disease: Trigeminal Neuralgia
In order to bring awareness to the blights of Trigeminal Neuralgia, The World Health Organization has been asked to Turn the World TEAL every October 7th. I encourage you to help spread the word.
A day of recognition is needed to bring TN to the forefront of health disorders. Besides a cure being needed, compassionate treatment within healthcare and family support is required so that patients inflicted with the ailment are treated with respect and dignity. Statistics show that far too many, take their own life.
TN is the worst known pain registered to humanity. It’s like electrical shocks radiating across your cheek, temple and jaw like the assault of a chainsaw’s blade, hot coals searing and the wrath of God - all combined. You just want to die.
I know. I suffered for years. I had surgery to treat it, but not a day goes by that I don’t experience some kind of nerve damage, anxiety or shattered memories.
TN or Tic Douloreux affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve. Basically it is caused by a blood vessel or artery that presses against the trigeminal nerve, causing the protective sheath to be abraded away, no cushioned protection equals pain. The obstruction leans against or sometimes around the trigeminal nerve. In my case, the looping occurred at Pons, so when my corrective surgery was done, it was done at the brain stem.
For the most part, because the disease is so under acknowledged, I was treated indifferently. How can anyone empathize if they don’t understand a circumstance? I remember it actually being a cruel experience that left me with shame and guilt. I only had a few close companions who gave me comfort, I’m a survivor by nature and I have to admit that I, in that situation - had a hard time coping. I always thought I could withstand anything. I was resilient - after all.
When questioned about probable causes, it was recognized that I had encountered several acute emotional traumas, head injuries and had an overall predisposition.
I didn’t know what that meant. I had thought of myself as optimistic, a fighter, an achiever. A nurse told me TN sufferers tended to be submissive, polite and vulnerable types. I am not, nor ever have been suicidal or depressed.
I encountered people that thought TN was a mental disorder and I was treated like I was crazy.
I felt insignificant, I suffered alone in silence. One lonely Thanksgiving - I remember listening to my family in the room below ... enjoying the meal I had prepared in between strikes of pain. My sorrow built up, my body was suffering toxic levels from the anti convulsants I was taking and I developed the drooping malady of bells palsy as I stressed over the disease. I laid in my room that day in pain and brooded over the comments I was used to hearing.
“ it will all go away when I learn to control it, I brought it on myself, it was all in my head”.
Over the next few weeks I stopped eating, lost a substantial amount of weight and was too terrified to even move my head. I didn’t brush my teeth for a month. Finally I had the surgery and because I hid my fear from my partner and children, I wept, all alone in my room.
Today I am humbled, grateful, and awakened. I know the value of life and well being, and even though I have encountered setbacks with side effects, I am positive I can live a functioning life. I know what it is like to have severe vertigo, cranial spasms, out of control bodily tingles and fear. chronic, unbearable fear that prevented me from even going out in public.
Because people simply don’t know enough about this condition there is no emotional support for families and no council for patients. International awareness will bring this cause out in the open.
I have been told that the Microvascular decompression surgery I received in December of 2006 is not a permanent cure, the TN is likely to return - I can’t phantom that death sentence.
For the sake of thousands, set aside October 7th, every year to pay tribute to the lonely suffers. Learn about Trigeminal Neuralgia. Surely in this day and age, a cure can be found.
- Request Rejected
- 2014 Light Up Teal - TNnME: Intl Trigeminal Neuralgia and Me
Learn more about how you can help