Sunday, 9 March 2014

June to September 2013

Last June (2013) The initial symptoms presented like a really bad toothache on the left side of my face. I took the usual over the counter painkillers with no effect. After a few days of excruciating pain, I went to my dentist. He had a look and told me he couldn't find anything that would cause the pain I was experiencing. He told me it could be glandular fever and prescribed me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I took the tablets and when I completed them, the pain was as bad as ever. I decided to go to my GP. As soon as I described the pain, he told me that he believed it was Trigeminal Neuralgia. I had never heard of it, so he told me a little bit about it and printed me out some information. He also sent a letter to a Neurologist in Dublin. I was given some pain killers, and other medication, to try and relive some of the pain.

The medication had no effect, and the pain was just indescribable. I looked completely fine, so unless I complained, nobody knew how I felt. I am lucky that my family have been so supportive. They say that they can see it when the pain is bad, but I guess it's because they know me so well.

Weeks turned into months, and after a few different medications, dosages etc, my pain was much worse. I couldn't sleep, I was in terrible form and I felt like I was going crazy. I learned about a Trigeminal Support Group that meets in Dublin from a friend. Incidentally her mother suffers from this condition too! I attended the group meeting, and I realised that I wasn't alone. There are people who are living with this condition for over twenty years, something that scared me. I was given some useful information. This meeting was last September. 

A week or so later, the pain got so bad that I had to be taken to hospital. Despite the obvious overcrowding, I was admitted for a week, and many tests were done. A member of the Neurology team explained that there is no clinical test for TN, and the purpose of multiple CT scans, MRI's and blood tests, were to ensure there was nothing more sinister going on. Finally, after a few failed attempts at different medications, I was given one that seemed to have a little effect and I was sent home. The hospital staff were fantastic. The doctors were well informed on TN and they agreed with my GP about my diagnosis. 

More to follow....

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