Monday, 1 July 2013

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

People have a habit of screwing up their faces when you tell them you have Trigeminal Neuralgia. “Tri what?” is the usual question.

It’s quite difficult to explain.

Do you try to tell them in medical terms?

That we have two trigeminal nerves, one for each side of the face.The trigeminal nerve is a paired cranial nerve that has three major branches: the ophthalmic nerve, the maxillary nerve, and the mandibular nerve.

One, two, or all three branches of the nerve may be affected. It can affect one side of your face, and occasionally both sides.

The pain may be felt in the ear, eye, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, cheeks, teeth, or jaw and side of the face.

It can sometimes be caused  by a compression on the nerve, possibly by a blood vessel or artery. Sometimes, there is no known cause.

Then do you add this bit?

Trigeminal Neuralgia is one of the most painful conditions known to mankind and is sometimes referred to as the Suicide Disease.

Or do you try to give a more easy to understand explanation?

It is so important to try to make people understand this pain. Medical explanations might not be understood by everybody. And calling it the suicide disease isn't describing the pain at all. We need understanding, but in order to get that, we need to describe the pain well.


  1. Imagine someone constantly plunging a knife into your ear canal...

  2. imagine a live cable poked deep into your ear, and then without anaesthetic, a dentist drills huge holes in all the teeth top and bottom . . then blows cold air into them ...

  3. ... Today is the 24th.. diagnosed on the 12th.... just a mere 12 days ago.. seems sooo long ago.. seems just days... Missed 10 days of work! agh! Some understand, some do not. Spent 3 days in the first ER.. spent 6-8 hours in 2nd ER (where I went via Ambulance and 911! - cuz I had a "shudder".. seizure? from the medicine? Liquid diet..Because if I "try" to eat solid food, my face "goes off!" - Not worth the PAIN!... I've had a few EARTHQUAKES (what I call the "BIG" ones!! - with the twinge and the SHAKE!!. What the last 2 weeks have been like!! Life changing for sure! 2 ER visits, 2 Dr visits, 1 dentist.. waiting for Emergency appt for Neurologist... Yet, the day I have appt with my Dr, have to work.... and CAN'T change it! Such a pain that Life gets in the way of Life....! tooo young for something like this.. tooo young...


Thank you for your comments.