I often talk about how much I can do, living with Trigeminal Neuralgia, but I don't often blog about the things I can't do. I realised that I probably should, because this is the kind of post I'd like to read myself - to know it's not only me and to know I'm not alone. I also wish I'd have known some of these things when I first got diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, to know what was 'normal' for other people and to know what was special just for me.
My main problem with going to the dentist is that the biggest trigger for my TN is pretty much anything to do with my mouth, so that includes eating, touching my face, sometimes even speaking and - the second problem here - brushing my teeth. You might notice the vicious cycle here: I can't brush my teeth as well as I'd like and I don't want to visit the dentist in case that hurts as well.
New York Times Bestseller, Anthony Williams, has been using his 'gift' to 'read' people's conditions and tell them how to recover from their chronic illnesses, since he was four years old. He apparently surpasses medical science - he can identify - through the spirit - your diagnosis and he can let you follow a 'program' with him to be cured, usually involving a lot of vegetables. I, for one, think he should be embarrassed.
When I wake up in a morning, I feel like I'm about to collapse sometimes, but when I log onto my work computer, I can (for the most part) function like a hard working adult. When I get home from work, I'm in too much pain to move.
Sometimes, you need to take a look at the whole picture, the bad and the good. If I weigh up what TN has taken from me, I can see that it has given me just as much back in return. I wouldn't change my life, not even the most painful moments.
I used to really struggle to swallow pills. I remember my nan trying to get me to take a cod liver oil capsule when I was about 12 or 13; it simply would not go down. When I had a chest infection when I was 20, I had to take the child friendly liquid antibiotics instead of tablet antibiotics, because I said I couldn't manage to swallow a tablet. I had to take disolveable aspirin if I ever needed one, in orange cordial (and I don't like fizzy drinks, so those were awful!)
So, before I start the dreadful task of coming off my medication again, here are my top tips from the last time (that I absolutely must not forget) for anyone else who is deciding to brave the pain too..
I used to be a massive 'pill shamer'. I sneered at people taking painkillers for their headaches, or period pains. When I had any kind of pain, I used to live by the view that pain was there to tell us that something was wrong and, therefore, a good thing.