trigeminal neuralgia

MS comorbidities make me a stranger in a strange body

I was never a hypochondriac until multiple sclerosis (MS) whacked me. A catastrophic fall while playing tennis in 2007 resulted in a shoulder separation that took two operations to fix. The pain was so bad that, at the time, MS was just something else I had. To be accurate,…

Does Medical Marijuana Help the Pain That Comes With MS?

Will your doctor approve you to buy medical marijuana (MMJ)? Two of mine will and one won’t. The doctor who won’t, a primary care physician who works within a medical group, told me it’s the group’s policy. The problem, she explained, is that there are no guidelines. How do you…

The Big Blue Bag and a ‘Cast Away’ Bed

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when I was very young, we British children would be asked, “What’s through the round window?” The line was from a TV series called “Play School.” The swinging ’60s may have been breaking in London, but culturally, this was the happening show…

What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia in MS All About, Anyway?

My immediate thought after reading a recent MS News Today headline stating that trigeminal neuralgia (TN) affects more than 3% of MS patients was, “Really, only 3%?” The reason is I’ve seen several complaints about the condition, which causes excruciating pain in the face. As the story noted, TN…

Study: Trigeminal Neuralgia Affects More Than 3% of Patients

Trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic pain condition characterized by shocks or burning sensations in the face, seems to be much more common among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) than in the general population, according to a review of published studies. This condition also is more prevalent in women with…

The World According to MS Ennui

Move along, move along. Nothing to read here. What a great start to a column! Last week, my worries about MS lifted as I was consumed by a glitch in my computer software. I’m pleased to report that I’ve found a whole series of admittedly fiddly workarounds. I’m even…

I’m Back in the Desert Without a Horse

Well, that was fun. I’ve got my party hat on from a recent birthday (of course I have one, it’s my trusty trilby! See my avatar above) and have been out and about having a lot of fun. I splurged by spending time with family and friends, ’cause…

The Painful Tooth: My Weekend of Agony

I’ve written about trigeminal neuralgia (TN), which entails severe facial pain, many times. Let me count the ways. Please excuse me while I go off and search through my columns. I’ll be a while. Well, it turns out I’ve written specifically about it only three times,…

Will Football Help Me Get Through a Tough Week?

Right, I actually have to start writing my column early this week because of the football schedule. For you Americans, that’s soccer, y’all. The biggest, most popular game in the world! The UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euros, is on. It’s the 2020 competition, but it’s being held…

Introducing My ‘MS Popeye-Spinach Hypothesis’

For any younger readers, and by that I’m guessing 45 and under, may I present the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man. He got himself out of scrapes by downing a can of spinach, which supercharged his muscles. There was none of that nonsense of de-stalking raw young leaves…

My Own ‘Left Hand of Darkness’

I was listening to a BBC podcast recently titled “The Sinister Hand,” about the history of left-handers. It seems that in medieval times, left-handedness was associated with sorcery. (What wasn’t?) It was only relatively recently that left-handed children were no longer forced to write right-handed — sometimes even…

An Upbeat MS Column for You Lucky People

The trouble with a degenerative disease is that things only get worse. In the long-gone days of my youth, I somehow wrangled myself into being an arts critic. Wizened journalists imparted the lore that a bad show was much easier to write than a rave. Satirical barbs are far more…

Britain Leads the World in Two Types of Jabbing

I was 6 years old when British boxer Henry Cooper knocked Cassius Clay on his bottom. (It was that long ago, folks — 1963. This was before Clay’s religious conversion and consequent name change to Muhammad Ali.) Unfortunately, Clay was literally saved by the bell. I remember dashing around…

How I’m Staying on Top of MS’ Many ‘Gifts’

When I was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, my first question to my neurologist was, “Will I end up in a wheelchair?” She patted this question back with the generic, “You may, but no one knows the course that anyone’s MS might take.” Later, I learned that late-onset…

The Mouth That Roared and Roared

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…

All Quiet on the MS Front

It hasn’t been that quiet in my surrounding world! Last week there was a crow fight so loud in our back garden that it echoed down the chimney into the front room that now is my bedroom. It sounded exactly like being in Hitchcock’s horror film “The Birds.”…

Need to Know: How to Manage MS Pain

Editor’s note: “Need to Know” is a series inspired by common forum questions and comments from readers. Have a comment or question about MS? Visit our forum. This week’s question is inspired by the forum topic “Do you use pain meds to get through day to day life?” from…

My Pain Is Real — Don’t Deny Me Relief

I am quite outspoken. I have no problem voicing my opinion or needs — or so I thought. An exchange this morning left me speechless. While my head was swimming with semi-intelligible responses, I was rendered mute. Let me just say that I have been on pain medication for…

Need to Know: Why Do I Have Facial Pain?

  Editor’s note: “Need to Know” is a series inspired by common forum questions and comments from readers. Have a comment or question about MS? Visit our forum. This week’s question is inspired by the forum topic “What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?” from May 2, 2018. What causes…

What a Relief!

New year, new beginnings — not a chance. Theresa May still has Brexit as her waking and sleeping nightmare, and I’m still battling urinary tract infections (UTIs). Over the last few years, I’ve probably written about this more than anything else; it’s the one thing the medical establishment…

Don’t Turn Anything Down!

At the start of all of this, when I was laid low in the hospital by what turned out to be sclerosis, I was visited by my mate Nigel. He is the king of sclerosis (I’ve written about our “ill” starred bromance in this column) and he offered this…

Tricks of the Trade

I saw my neurologist a few weeks ago for what was effectively an emergency meeting. I’d had the customary two rounds of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) and still had a relapse. We discussed weighty subjects and there seemed, surprisingly, to still be some hope. It depends on the outcome of an MRI;…

What’s Going On?

Something is! I had to be carted off to the hospital in an ambulance on Thursday of last week. It was either an infection my home-visiting doctor couldn’t spot or the dreaded relapse. She couldn’t diagnose any illness. At the hospital, they used the words “atypical infection.” One of…