Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back In The Saddle

I'm back in the saddle and it feels great.
 (Found this photo at an estate sale recently. Couldn't resist the cuteness.)
Oh, where do I begin? I was diagnosed way back in April with something called Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia(ATN from here on out). I could go in to great detail about what this is, but just go Google or Bing, or whatever... after you've read this, of course. Basically, ATN is a type of facial pain syndrome. I have an artery touching my trigeminal nerve causing the protective coating to wear away, exposing the nerve, which makes my facial nerves go haywire. I haven't fully figured out all of my "triggers" for the pain. Usually cool air, light breezes, wisps of hair on my jaw/cheek will start an intense burning deep in my jaw. Many times my teeth feel as though a hot poker, straight from a fire is being held in my mouth. I can't speak, eat, drink or think during one of these pain episodes. I haven't been myself for quite some time.
I started this zentangle type doodle, while waiting to hear the results from my first MRI. Although it is rare, sometimes ATN can be caused by a tumor or MS...I didn't want either as a diagnosis. Instead, the report stated that they located the possible offending artery. From there I was sent to consult a Neurosurgeon and now I am waiting for my appointment with a Neurologist for pain management.
Deciding to try a little art therapy, I started working on this doodle to help myself work through the wide range of emotions I was feeling.  As of lately, I am finding myself in less pain due to the medication. I am hopeful this will go into remission for a long time. Forever would be nice. If you happen to suffer from this rare syndrome, I wish you pain-free days.
October 7th is Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day so wear teal...
"All the cool kids are doing it"

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