Strap in: This is not going to be a fun one.
Even less so for me — though I’m writing this under the sort of drug load that Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson would have been proud of! Not for fun (or dependence!) but for survival.
“Since TN is a progressive disorder that often becomes resistant to medication over time, individuals often seek surgical treatment.”
I first wrote about trigeminal neuralgia (TN) on July 21, 2017. Unfortunately, like multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s also a progressive disease. In those with MS, TN can be caused by a deterioration of the trigeminal nerve’s myelin sheath. Ah, that ol’ myelin thang …
My wife gently shook me awake at 10:30 a.m. this morning. To give you a timeline, I’m writing this very paragraph at 2 p.m.!
The carers were coming in 30 minutes.
A TN attack erupted. For those of you who are lucky enough not to have experienced it, think Vesuvius and Krakatoa exploding in your mouth at the same time as the thunder god Thor throwing in lightning bolts. Just to make sure you’re really paying attention.
Normally I take two 150-milligram tablets of (Trileptal) oxcarbazepine to quell this disaster in my mouth. Nothing happened, so two more followed, plus two 300-mg tablets of gabapentin, which I was due to take anyway for my neuropathic right arm. Gabapentin helps with TN.
However, this attack lasted some 30 minutes!
It’s quite possible I’m moving from TN1 to TN2. Here comes the medical bit:
“The typical or ‘classic’ form of the disorder (called ‘Type 1’ or TN1) causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode. These attacks can occur in quick succession, in volleys lasting as long as two hours. The ‘atypical’ form of the disorder (called ‘Type 2’ or TN2), is characterized by constant aching, burning, stabbing pain of somewhat lower intensity than Type 1. Both forms of pain may occur in the same person, sometimes at the same time. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating.”
As my myelin is being eroded, drugs may eventually wear out. Then surgery on the nerves themselves may help, but even this isn’t always successful!
Drugs had failed her. I didn’t get the chance to ask about surgery. I could see how hard it was for her to speak. It was wrong for me to keep asking her questions for my own benefit.
So no jokes this week, sorry.
It’s been seven hours since my attack.
Never had one this bad before.
My very own Ragnarok!
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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