Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trigeminal Block

As many of you know.  Far Guy has  Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia.  He has had it since December of 2007.  He lives with pain everyday.  He takes anti seizure medication to help control the pain, without the medication he would not be able to endure the pain. The medications must be taken throughout the day, if he forgets a dose or is ill and cannot keep his meds down he is in terrible pain. Pain medications are useless…nerve pain especially the pain from the Trigeminal Nerve seems to have a mind of it’s own.

In January I asked his Neurologist about new treatments?  Nothing was new. I asked “What do we do when the pain is so bad he cannot take it?” The reply “Call and I will get you set up with a nerve block.”

In March Far Guy had a real bad spell.  During his April appointment I asked the question “When he cannot take the pain anymore and I call you how long will it take to get him in for a Nerve Block?”  The answer was two days to two weeks.  I frowned and shook my head. Far Guy said  “Damn.”  The Doctor suggested that Far Guy try the nerve block now..NOW??  okay!!

Last Monday off we went.  We saw an Anesthesiologist, a Doctor who specializes in pain relief.  Far Guy had an injection of numbing medication and a steroid into his Trigeminal Nerve. (Just below his ear on the right side of his face.) He said “It was pure heaven not to have pain in my face.”

When I first saw him as they wheeled him out of the hospital into the waiting car his face and eye was droopy.  We knew it would be and that it would go away.  What we didn’t know is that he could not blink..so his eye got very dry and sore.  He held his eye closed most of the way home.  Some eye drops and some tape and he was a one eyed wonder. By the next morning his eye was almost normal and his face was back to normal.

The result..so far so good.  His pain is a ZERO!!!!  It may stay that way for six weeks to six months to six years.  (We will take the years please.)  Far Guy is scheduled for another injection in six weeks.

We asked the Anesthesiologist why we were not told about this treatment before?  He said It is becoming more commonly used for the treatment of Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia. He has had good results with other patients.

One of the reasons we chose this procedure is this.  It does not damage the nerve.  There are other procedures out there, alcohol injections and gamma knives and one treatment that pulverizes the nerve.  ALL procedures that were we warned could make the nerve more angry and cause more pain in the long term.

In all our years of doctoring with TN and Neurologists and Neuro Surgeons this is the FIRST treatment that we have been advised to do. So we did it.

I was not optimistic.  I was expecting that it would work a few hours and then wear off.  After three days I am cautiously optimistic.  Far Guy is just happy to be pain free.  However I still make him wear his hood outside in the wind and I told him he should not eat anything crunchy.   Both the wind and crunchy food have made his pain worse in the past.

For now we will take it one pain free day at a time.  The Anesthesiologist said “You have had a raging forest fire in your face for over four years.  We will hope for good results in calming down that nerve.”

Me too..it has been a long road. If you are inclined to do so..please pray for complete healing and many pain free years.May 16 Bass Lake

Last night the boys were out on Bass Lake enjoying a nice evening on the water.  Chance tried out his new life jacket:)

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28 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so happy for Far Guy - no pain. What bliss. I'm wishing for many many years of no pain for him!

    Love that shot too.

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  2. I am so thankful that the nerve block has given Far Guy some relief. I continue to pray that this is the answer to the excruciating pain he has endured all these years. It must be fabulous for you both. Beautiful photo, too.

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  3. I too hope for the best. It sounds very encouraging, and although it's not a perfect world, this seems to be a very good option for such terrible pain. Nothing is harder to endure than constant pain. Far Guy is in my thoughts and I am happy to ask for pain free years for him. Never hurts to ask. :-)

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  4. I do hope this works for Far Guy and he can finally be pain free. Lovely photo. Have a good day !

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  5. i am very happy for Far Guy. I will pray that he remains pain free. What shame it took this long for a doctor to offer him some relief.

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  6. That is amazingly wonderful news! I hope it continues to work for many year. ♥

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  7. You bet I'll pray for Far Guy. I am so glad this is working for him, and like you hope and pray it lasts!!

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  8. Hallelujah! It sounds wonderful! I will certainly send out prayers for long-term benefits!

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  9. OMG! I had no idea he had that. My prayers are with you every day from now on....it must be terrible. There are so many terrible things in this world but some worse than others and real, physical pain is hard to ignore. It affects your life, your personality, your happiness....it's awful. I'm so happy he's pain free and I pray it will last and last and last forever! I know it must have been hard for you to watch him in pain also. Hopefully you can both breathe easy now and gaze off into many pain free sunsets together! That picture is gorgeous...you live in a beautiful place!

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  10. This is such great news. Perhaps stopping the pain for a while may actually stop the cycle of pain. I am over optimistic but I would think the pain cycle encourages continual pain. Prayers are up and at them from Iowa for a long time.

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  11. I can't imagine having pain like that everyday. I'm so glad that something has been done to change that, and I hope that the results last forever. And if not, that Far Guy can get in for another nerve block at the first sign of the pain returning. What I don't understand is why it was never mentioned as an option before:( That is just frustrating!

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  12. So happy you found something that is giving him relief. How terrible to live with such constant pain. Hope is works for the 6 years!

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  13. I am so happy that Far Guy was able to find some relief From TN. It is a terrible malady and only those who have it or are close to someone who has it truly understand the pain and how hard it is to find relief. Yes, it is so true that any treatments might make the pain worse so one has to be very cautious in receiving treatments.
    I myself have TN and did have a Balloon Compression 11 years ago that took away the terrible pains but left me with a condition called Anesthesia Dolorosa which in my case consists of a numb feeling on the right side of my face - sometimes tearing of the eye, burning sensation on that side and 24 hours a day sensations that are very distracting. I don't feel these while asleep however, so thankful for that at least.

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  14. I'm so glad that someone found something to try giving him some relief - hope it lasts for a long time! I have some idea what he suffers (not as severe as his) because I have had constant post herpatic nerve pain in my upper chest, shoulder, back and neck after haveng a severe case of Shingles in February of 2011. The pain continues over a year later with some relief from the drug gabapentin. This is a reminder to all of you senior citizens to get a Shingles Shot - I never knew this painful condition could happen!
    Myrtlesgirl

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  15. How wonderful! Will pray that it keeps on working!!!

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  16. I too, hope he is pain-free ... and forever. (crosses fingers and toes).

    That is a beautiful photo of the lake - nice subjects too!

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  17. This made me cry. I am so very. very happy for FarGuy!!! No pain! It must be heavenly!! He is definitely in my thoughts and prayers. I hope this lasts forever for him. What a blessing. And so glad you didn't try any of the other methods that could have given him nerve damage. Just sooooo happy for him. :):):)

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  18. Woohoo!!! I can't imagine walkin' 'round with THAT kinda pain 24/7 and find somethin' that'll give ya some relief. I'm just thrilled for Far Guy.

    Ya'll have my prayers sweetie. I'll pray that Far Guy stays pain free for a long, long time. I'm not givin' up that your fella can be 100% healed!

    God bless and have a terrific day!!! :o)

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  19. I WILL PRAY!! I can not imagine having pain like that in my face....I have it in my feet (different reason) and did use the alcohol treatments on the three nerves that have the problem...just say I'm glad you didn't opt for them!

    Sending {{{HUGS}}} and prayer for years and years of painless days!


    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  20. What a blessing to finally be pain-free. Our family will be praying for the best outcome for Far Guy!

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  21. Awesome that Far Guy has found relief and I hope it lasts a long time before he needs more treatment. I take seizure medication and it's not nice stuff so if he doesn't have to take the stuff ...great!

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  22. So happy for you and Far Guy!

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  23. My prayers indeed. This sort of thing (the unrelenting pain) and my best friends poor pronosis for pancreatic cancer makes me count my blessing. I'm doing physical therapy now for lower back pain. It seems like nothing in perspective....

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  24. Prayers going up from this corner of Canada! I'm glad that he's found relief and that the side effects are minimal.

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  25. So glad that its working. I have a friend in the same predicament and I'm going to have to see if see's considered this treatment. I pray it lasts for a VERY long time.

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  26. Oh Far Side! We have tears in our eyes. This is such wonderful news. The Duchess has already said a prayer for complete healing and many, many pain free years.

    Kisses,
    Emma Rose

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  27. Positive thoughts sent your way. As a nurse I am familiar with the horrors of trigeminal neuralgia. In my early career it was more commonly called tic douloureux and because of the severe unpredictable nature of the pain it was sometimes called the "suicide disease." I sincerely hope the effects of the treatment will be long lasting and you can live pain free.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie