What It’s Like to Live with One of the World’s Most Painful Disorders

Trigeminal neuralgia has been compared to searing, stabbing facial pain, or “a hot rod being stabbed in your eye while your face is being burnt off with chemicals.”

There’s a good chance Miranda Kirsch has one of the most painful dating stories. When she was 18, she and her new beau Steven went to the movies to see Interstellar. Steven loved it, turning to Kirsch to get her every reaction.

“He’s like, ‘Aha, that’s so great!’ And I just kind of smiled,” Kirsch told me. What she didn’t tell him was that her face was burning with excruciating pain—”like a hot rod being stabbed in your eye while your face is being burned off with chemicals”—triggered by the movie’s flickering lights and explosions.

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