By now, you have heard me talk about this a lot in the past year. Last July 18th was the first time I had an “attack.” It is described like a pinched nerve in your brain by some. I would say that is a pretty good description of how it feels. It is also sometimes called the suicide disease. But, I want you all to know that I have never felt suicidal this past year. (So thankful for that.)
Here are a couple really informative links about what I call “TN.”
Buzzfeed ran this one:
And then this is from American Association of Nuerological Surgeons:
What I have mostly noticed is how it is having an impact on my brain power. I am learning to be more gentle on myself and not push myself so hard. Learning to say no has been really an exercise in discipline for me. Saying no to business events, networking events, parties, and other things where I have to talk a lot. I am a talker – so it is hard for me to NOT talk. 🙂 But, when I spend a full day doing stuff and talking the whole day, it takes a toll on me now. I hope that will stop one day and I can be back to my old self.
I know a few people with TN (150,000 people are diagonosed with it each year) and they all say the same thing. Talking. Chewing gum is a big no no. Over exerting themselves with too many commitments. Too much stress in their lives. All those things can trigger an episode.
Fortunately, I went about 9 months without a really painful attack of the TN. But, for whatever reason, last night I was at a movie and I started feeling those familiar jolts of electricity in my brain. I was like OH SHIT. Noooooooooooo! I was like “oh, maybe just one.” Then the second one and I was like “ok, that was definitely a second TN jolt. Maybe just two.” And then it kept going on and on. About 20 seconds apart. Sometimes two and three at a time, one after another. And by the time the movie was over, I knew there was no doubt. It was happening again.
I wracked my brain trying to thing if I ate anything strange. Am I having an allergic reaction to something? Did I eat too much sodium? Did I have any MSG? Am I hydrated? Did I hit my head anywhere? Did I eat any blue cheese or gorgonzola? (It can also be caused and triggered by trauma to the head.) But, I came up with nothing. Just one of those things. There are some pinched nerves in my brain and nerves take an effing long time to heal. But, I could not think of anything I had eaten that might trigger an attack. (But, honestly, who knows.)
I got home and I mediated. I did some deep breathing. I stretched out my jaw and used some acupressure techniques an acupuncturist taught me. I drank a ton of water. I took a couple of my gabapentin pills. I also took an 800 mg Ibuprofen to help with the pain. NOTHING helped the pain. NOTHING. I finally laid down and did some more deep breathing and I finally fell asleep. Somehow I magically slept for 7 hour and woke up with no more pain. Fingers crossed it goes into remission or that I do not have another PAIN attack for another 9 months or more. This is no joke. It really rattles me. I cannot finish a sentence when it happens. I cannot even finish a thought, honestly.
But, most days are ok. I mean, I do not every really feel like my old self. (Like all annoyingly positive and fun loving…. that aspect of my personality is definitely gone right now… but am also dealing with a bit of depression, too.) I am hoping to have my TN go into remission. I know it can take nerves years and years to recover, so hopefully little by little, they are repairing themselves.
I am mostly great, honestly, I am. But, some days are rough. I have great care taker and have some fabulous insurance and doctors. I also have some great help from others that provide other types of help that are NOT Kaiser. 🙂 Non-traditional healers you might call them. My dream team is what I call them.
For now, it is one day at a time.
Thanks for all of your love and support. I am so grateful.