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