Having surgery this week made me think about everyone around me that helped me one way or another during this ordeal. Work colleagues and bosses, we’re so comprehensive with me has I was working (or trying …) and coping with pain. My sisters have been my biggest fan and never ceased to encourage me from day one.
Lastly my wife because as in chess, the queen protects the king. Not once has she issued a single criticism while observing me pass countless hours on the net or hearing my grievances. Instead, she took control of the family boat and revealed herself in her true light, a woman of heart, unconditionally generous, who keeps sprinkling my personal legend …
I don’t know how or when but rest assured I’ll make up for it little Patsy…
My neurosurgeon told me that, during MVD, if they do not find any obvious compression, they usually propose a procedure called “partial sensory rhizotomy” (PSR). This involves cutting part of the trigeminal nerve at the base of your brain. It obviously a decision you don’t take on a whim so before going further, I searched more info. Here’s what I found :
- PSR is a commonly used alternative in instances where decompression cannot be performed because no significant vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve is found at surgery.
- The more nerve fibers that are cut, the greater the chance of lasting pain relief but also the greater the chance of dense and permanent numbness.
- Risks associated with PSR, even with the expert hands of a neurosurgeon, are :
- Experiencing weakness in the face (on the side of the operation)
- Difficulties with swallowing, or double vision
- Risk of pain within the numb area (classified as Trigeminal Deafferentation Pain or called anesthesia dolorosa a long time ago)
- Most commonly is of partial loss of lower facial sensation (or numbness)
- PSR success outcome is lower than a microvascular decompression (MDV). The probable reason behind this may be that MVD is directed towards the resolution of obvious neurovascular conflict whereas in PSR, the primary cause for TN is usually not recognizable.
To me the real question was, would I be willing to accept my present condition of continous pain in a sedentary lifestyle (and the shovel of daily pills) for the rest of my life?
No matter how many times I weighed the pros and cons, I always came to the same conclusion to go for it…
Let’s hope I end up on the good statistical side …
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) challenged me 16 months ago. I’m presently waiting for a head surgery (MVD) that, i hope, will permit to gain my active lifestyle back.
Before September 2015, I was enjoying up to 5-6 hours a week of training and/or family activities. One day without notice, I started experiencing trigeminal neuralgia.
During the last 16 months, I have not counted the titanic amount of time spent trying to gain access to so many different medical professionals, or to surf the net for medical knowledge. I took charge in the most dynamic way to solve my condition and get back in shape. I thank myself for being resilient and stuborn.
At first and since I was physically very active, the symptoms of crisis appeared to me immediately after a physical activity. I had already endured a herniated disc in the past and it was just as if I had one in my face! Shortly afterwards, I landed at my dentist, who referred me to an endodontic specialist. Everything was fine … I had to look elsewhere …
- Episodes of severe, shooting or jabbing pain that feet like an electric shock in the mandibular & maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve
- Bouts of pain lasting from a few seconds to several minutes
- Constant aching, burning feeling that’s less intense than the spasm-like pain
- Pain affecting the left side of the face in areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve, including the cheek, jaw, teeth
Shortly afterwards, I landed in a neurologist’s office who prescribed me all the right drugs. At one point, I began to realize that pharmacology would never allow me to eliminate this unbearable and omnipresent pain. I was now conviced the root cause of my pain resided in a vascular element that was compressing my trigeminal nerve. Indeed, I had noticed a direct correlation between the level of my pain and physical activity on my part. Enough was enough…
A few days before christmas, I arranged to see a top neurosurgeon who proposed to operate on me. Finally ! The procedure is called a microvascular decompression (MVD). It’s apparently the procedure with the best outcome pourcentage. So there I am, inviting you to follow my trail. This rocky path has been my toughest challenge so far, but have no doubt, I will succeed …