love – Patience – Tolerance

The long road to relief

I remember having toothache in my early twenties. I hadn’t been to a dentist for years: I didn’t even know where to start getting in to see one but got desperate. I lost sleep for days and tried everything to kill the pain. At one point, I caused myself damage with a screw driver and a hammer, trying to extract the tooth myself  And I will never forget the sheer relief I felt once I finally got to a dentist and got the nasty little bastard removed.

I couldn’t have imagined that intense nerve pain never ending, and what it would have done to me mentally had I not got it resolved.  I surely would have gone insane!

Yet, here I am, almost 5 years on, still dealing with Occipital Neuralgia and Central Pain Syndrome. I am currently suffering from a flare-up caused by the cold breeze of the air conditioning in an office at work 3 days ago. It was enough to raise the nerve pain levels in my head. The stabbing, burning, and shooting pains are uncontrollable. I just have to ride it out.

I have adapted to living with it in some sense. I rarely talk about it anymore. I went through a phase of writing about it here regularly a few years ago, I think It was a way of trying to make sense of it: of the forced changes in my life that I, and my family had to face. The old me was gone, suddenly I had physical limitations and I struggled to accept that it was chronic. That there was no cure. But talking about it just amounts to whinging now, everyone in my life knows I suffer. They don’t need to hear about it anymore. Hell, I’m tired of talking about it!

I was hospitalised in a flare-up last year.  I had taken drastic action trying to relieve the pain in my head. As extreme as my attempt to get releif was, that incident led to me getting my first steroid nerve block injections. Something positive came of the chain of events that landed me on a hospital ward with a pain pump. I have had another nerve block procedure since, on the left side of my head, and am on the waiting list for another.

I am working closely again with the pain clinic. I have learned to deal with the stress, but I am still my own worst enemy. I do too much. My attitude of push on and work through still creates more problems for me. Slowing down hasn’t been easy. It’s taken years of retraining myself, of balancing minimised movement with sufficient rest.

But there is a little hope on the horizon. I have been referred to the neurosurgery department at Southmead Hospital in Bristol for radio-frequency ablation treatment. It is a procedure that burns the nerve, disrupting the pain signals being sent to the brain. It’s only temporary relief because the nerve regenerates every 6 – 12 months. But it’s the longest lasting relief I can hope for at the moment.

I guess I have surprised myself over the last few years of how much I can actually deal with when left with no choice but to deal with it. It’s weired living in constant pain. It brings a never-ending temptation to bite into resentment. But I have been resilient and adapted. It’s been the toughest situation I have ever had to deal with, but it is yet to break me – yet.

So I won’t bring it up again for a while. I don’t want to bore you to death anymore with ongoing accounts of my suffering. Only one of us needs to put up with it. But it’s 2am, I’m hurting and need to share. Also, it’s my blog, and I’ll write about whatever I want!

Seriously though. Thanks for reading 😉

4 responses to “The long road to relief”

  1. I have trigeminal neuralgia. I am having a flare, too. I didn’t get much sleep last night. It is amazing how exhausting chronic pain is. Thank you for your post. I pray you have long long periods of relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry that you are also suffering. Neuralgia is a beast. I hope your flare calms down and you find some releif. Stay strong


  2. Chronic pain is no joke. It can make you feel so anxious, discouraged, very distracted and miserable. I am so sorry that you’re dealing with this. A couple weeks ago my doctors office would not refill my medication for my neuropathy. They needed to speak to me about my medication. When I finally saw the doctor, she explained it is the refill Center’s policy to not refill my medication after a certain period of time when I haven’t seen the doctor. As a result, I went without my medication for five days. I was ready to jump out of my skin with the amount of pain, pins and needles, and/or numbness. I was calling the office daily, requesting a refill, waiting for my appointment. When I finally saw the doctor, she knew nothing about my frustration, but explained that the refill department was basically honoring its policy. She refilled the prescription immediately in a few days later I feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you finally got it back under control.
      I have a long-standing battle with medications. I can’t stand taking anything that affects my clarity of mindy. The problem is suffering greatly without anything, especially with neuralgia pain.

      I have managed to avoid opiods, mainly because they don’t work for me, although I know many with chronic pain benefit. We are different, after all. What works for some isn’t effective for others.

      My hope is to one day be medication free. Meditation has probably helped me physically and mentally more than anything else.

      Take care, and I hope you find long-standing relief. Chronic pain is a beast


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