When my GP first suggested I attend my local pain clinic, I wasn't sure what to expect, so I went scouring the Internet and couldn't find much information there either. I hate the unknown, so I thought I'd write a little about my experiences, so if you're reading this and you don't know what to expect from visiting a pain clinic, hopefully a little information from me will comfort you.
I get the worst 'brain fog' in the world. Sometimes, my mind just won't co-operate with the rest of me! I get it both from the medication and from simply being in pain. I could possibly call it 'pain fog'!
I'm not here to claim my pain is worse than anyone else's, or that I know better. I hope your pain isn't worse than mine, I hope you're not struggling like I am, but I'm okay if you 'win' this one. I don't mind how mine pain compares to anyone else's. In fact, your pain is worse than mine.
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.
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.
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!)