Imagine feeling the pain of lightning strike your face. This is what it feels like having a condition called trigeminal neuralgia. My mom, Kathleen, has this. This disease is rare but is described by patients and medical professionals as the most painful condition known to mankind.
I remember when my family and I were driving to Virginia to go on our summer vacation at the end of June in 2013. I was only 5 and was so excited because we have fun there every year. I didn’t realize my mom was in so much pain. She ended up in the hospital most of the trip, but my stepdad, Dave, did his best to give my older brothers (Kevin, Tyler and Quentin) and me the best vacation he could. This was the beginning of her painful journey.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition of the trigeminal nerve, one of the biggest nerves in the head. This nerve, which is attached to the brain, brings feeling to your scalp, forehead, nose, cheek, jaw, lip, chin, teeth and gums. The condition is usually caused by blood vessels pressing on this nerve, which causes wearing away or damage to the coating around the nerve.