The Monster in My Face: What the Pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia Feels Like

When we arrived at the hospital my entire body was still shaking uncontrollably and my vital signs were very high. When asked what pain level I was at, I was able to say, “I am way beyond a 10 and I know 10.” In the ER they continued to give me more pain medications which still didn’t even touch the pain. I remember that feeling of absolute terror I had that night concerned as to why the medications weren’t helping and wondering if this pain would ever stop. I begged for them to please just put me to sleep, knock me out with a hammer, something, anything, just please make it stop. This went on for hours. The physician also had no idea what this could be, which made it even more frightening. Being in as much pain as I was, I was unable to really communicate.

However, looking back now, I realize there was so much more the ER physician could have and should have done. He never ordered a neurologist consult or a scan of my head (even though I had a history of brain lesions). I remember looking back at my spouse sitting in a chair near me, also with tears streaming down, unable to help me and feeling so helpless. All of the drugs they had given me did make me feel “loopy” but they did nothing for the pain. It truly felt like being in a horror movie or like a nightmare I could not wake from. About six hours later, which felt like an eternity, almost as quickly as it had started, the pain went away. I left the hospital with no idea what had caused this severe attack of pain or if it would come back.
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