Suffering from an invisible illness can cause people to become suspicious. I was once accused by my best friend of making up an illness so I could sit around at home all day and take drug’s. It’s sad the people I have lost in my life due to central pain syndrome.

On Saturday night I was again taken to A&E with intense nerve pain flaring up in my head. And again I felt defeated as i knew there was nothing they could do for me. Neuralgia has taken me to some dark places since the accident but trying to cut out the pain was on a different level of suffering and an extreme action to take. At the time it felt like a rational decision, one that might reward me relief.

Thanks to my wife the hospital had to admit me. I was a danger to myself and the pain team didn’t want me leaving the hospital until the pain was under control. And it was bad. On Monday morning my wife walked into the cubicle I was in and caught me on the floor about to smash my head into the floor to try and knock myself out. It was a dire situation. One that I had lost hope of ever resolving  i had run out of fight and just wanted the pain to stop. The hospital put me on a morphine pump but it didn’t touch the pain.

The pain management team formulated a plan to move me to a bigger hospital so I could get a nerve block in the trigeminal nerve. They didn’t have the equipment in our small hospital to do the procedure. Then on the Tuesday morning a small miracle happened.

My wife came in after sitting at home in tears, frightened of what she was walking into and defeated from dealing with my pain over the years and also from dealing with everything at home since my admission into hospital. Instead she walked into a meeting I was having with the pain management doctor and an anethitist who filled us with hope. He suggested that the type of neuralgia I was suffering from was different from the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia that I had previously been given. It meant another nerve was being affected. He ssid that he could give me a nerve block for that condition, and that if his diagnosis was right it would mean me becoming instantly pain free in my head.

I consented immediately and was taken into theatre shortly after.

The procedure was successful and immediately after the pain in my head vanished. The doctors diagnosed was right. And for the first time in 4 years I had no pain in my head. I returned to the ward and my wife with a beaming smile. No longer wincing with pain. I was told I would need the procedure every few months to stay on top of the pain but that was s small price to pay. We could not thank the doctor enough, to us he was a miracle man. It meant I could begin to rebuild my life, I couldn’t change the years that were stolen from me but could have a life going forward. With no more self harm or suicide ideation.

I was to be discharged later that day. No longer suffering from neuralgia. I was a feee man at last. It also meant coming off some of the horrible medication I had to take. I would always suffer from the central pain in my spine and lower back but I can deal with that. What I was struggling to live with was the relentless nerve pain in my head – and now that had been eradicated.

I am grateful to the pain management team who understood my condition and didn’t judge me on my extreme actions. They knew what I was going through and knew that I wasn’t mentally ill. I was just a man who got unlucky with a whiplash injury. I could walk out of the hospital with a new hope. For myself and my beautiful family.

2 Comments

    1. It was a life changing moment. For years i was misdiagnosed and it was never investigated. The doctors just kept throwing medication at me. It’s a shame it took me getting to the end of my rope for anything to happen but I’m truly grateful to the pain team and doctor who recognised it for what it was. And who offered me a solution

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