I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately. Turns out that, in addition to everything else I get to do, I get the opportunity to be part of a community of people with an affliction known as "Trigeminal Neuralgia".
TNA, as it's sometimes called, is an irritation of the trigeminal nerve. From what my doctor told me today, the nerve leaves your brain and comes close to the skin just below and behind your ear. That soft little dimple just behind your jawbone, feel it? Yeah, that one. Well, anyway, through some poorly understood process, mostly involving positioning of arteries rubbing the myelin sheath of the nerve (although some people point to NICO, where infections cause part of your jawbone to die, as a possible suspect), this nerve becomes inflamed and just goes crazy.
From the perspective of someone who began suffering this type of pain Friday afternoon, it's this excruciating, overpowering pain emanating from around the muscle back by my right-side jawbone hinge, with searing pain flashing through to my upper and lower teeth on the right-hand side and up past my temple and back of my right eyeball. The way I describe the pain is that it feels like someone is cutting my face and jawbone off. The pain is so intense, every time I have an episode, I seriously think I'm going to taste blood inside my mouth.
I'm having one right now as I write. Rhythmic breathing helps me manage the pain, but sometimes it's just so intense I can do nothing but curl up in a ball and whimper in agony.
Well, that's not much fun at all. I plan to write a bit more about this later, but for now, this will have to do.