Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.

04 October 2006


Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), also known as Tic Douloureux, is considered by many to be the "most terrible pain known to man." The electric shock-like pain generally is on one side of the face and is spasmodic, coming in short bursts lasting a few seconds. Several attacks can follow each other within minutes. There are often trigger points, places on the face which, if touched, trigger an attack.. Eating, shaving, applying makeup and talking can be triggers. There can be periods of remission when pain is completely absent. These periods of remission, which can last days, weeks, months, even years, are unpredictable and without medical treatment, the pain usually returns.
TN is a very rare condition. Statistics vary, but TN occurs in approximately 150 per million people per year. Medical literature notes this condition is rare for anyone under age 50 but in reality, TN is known to exist in many younger individuals including children.


I often forget about it ... until it comes back. It's an embarrassing affliction to have. I won't die from it, although I may wish to sometimes. No one seems to know exactly what causes it. There is no cure, but apparently sometimes it just goes away. There are no warning signs.

Mine is just below my right eye. My doctor suggests that stress is a trigger for me. It started out as just a little twitch, barely noticeable, really. But it got worse each time, until the day when it literally dropped me in my tracks. It felt like someone was pulling my entire face out through my eyesocket.

When I was diagnosed this summer, the doctor told me it might never get too bad but, if it did, it could be controlled with meds. So, the day the pain made me pass out, I started my meds. Now I only get attacks when the stress in my life is extreme.

I'm one of the lucky ones, apparently. I went into remission quickly and easily, and I know my trigger. Now, can someone please tell me how to avoid stress?


Anonymous said...

Wow, Coco. I had no idea. There are times when words just are not enough.

:hugs and prayers:


Coco said...

See, Dana, that's why I don't talk about it. In a time and place when so many are stricken with horrible diseases, I get something that hurts, but will never cause me lasting harm. Kind of like my marriage, I guess ... lol.

Anonymous said...

awww Coco :( I'm so sorry sweety. I'm glad you shared. As far as the stress, I find eating chocolate helps! That may be why I need to lose a few pounds though!!!

Julie Rose said...

Hey Coco...I understand! My husband has trigeminal neuralgia too! Watching a 6'3" man drop to his knees and seeing the pain on his face is all I need to know that this is the worst pain imaginable. It's been over 3 months since his last bout with it.

Coco said...

Ammy - chocolate for stress ... hmmm ... wonder why I never thought of that?

Julie - my prayers go out to your husband that it never comes back for him. I never knew a human could endure such intense pain, and survive.