Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trigeminal neuralgia

Tomorrow's Washington Post magazine, which gets delivered to my house on Saturday, runs an article about a man with trigeminal neuralgia, "an affliction so intolerable it's known as the 'suicide disease,'" because the pain is said to be the worst a person can experience. It's a sudden, electrical pain that can be triggered by as little as water from the shower cascading over the face, by shaving, by applying makeup. This sounded so familiar because my dad had this kind of pain and I heard it described in exactly the same way. It took me a while to remember what he called it, and a quick Google search told me that his tic douloureux and trigeminal neuralgia were the same thing. Today there are a few treatment options but he had to live with it for many years. I don't know how he did it.

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