Trigeminal Neuralgia

One day I was brushing my teeth and felt a burning electric shock up that radiated from my jaw into my cheek on the left side of my face.  It got worse and I finally mentioned it my doctor.  She said she had another patient with something similar and had to get his chart.  She came back and said I had Trigeminal Neuralgia.  She asked me why I waited so long.  I have seen a few neurologists here and there.  Right now, I'm okay with the pain.  The medications were worse than the cure.

The trigeminal nerve is overstimulated.  TN is said to be the most painful pain known to medicine.  Its is nicknamed the suicide disease because suffers have committed suicide from not getting any relief.  About 1 in 15,000 suffer from TN.  TN is not fatal and there is no known cause or cure.  Since TN isn't life threatening or sexy, there is very little research but its a $80 million industry.  

I have tried Carbamazepine (Tegretol) but the side effects are many: liver damage, memory loss, and low folic acid levels are just a few.  It turns you into a vampire because it can give you rashes in the sunlight.  This leads to low vitamin D levels.  I have taken Klonopin (off-label) before but I feel drunk.  Brain surgery is an option but it scare the crap out of me.  Surgery isn't a cure, there is no guarantee.