My neuralgia has flared up: I’m now waiting for the locusts.

I used to think I was a new soul. I don’t believe in reincarnation, except when I do, which is in a vague, “I don’t think about the details much,” kind of way. I decided “new soul” because I don’t feel like I’ve been here before. Except I have this thing where I hate my neck being touched. I don’t like necklaces, I can’t wear turtlenecks or scarves, and don’t touch me there unexpectedly unless you want a violent reaction, possibly aimed at your nose.  [i] I used to joke it meant I’d been strangled in a previous life. It’s probably just an extreme reaction to vulnerability, not unexpected given my life history. [ii]

I used to think I was a new soul, and then the last eight or so weeks happened, and those on top of the general misery that has existed ever since my lumpectomy. I must have not only been here before but been a horror show. The rule of three, or karma, take your pick, but my family is getting slammed. As opposed to all the other families getting slammed.  

Anyhow, my neuralgia has flared up. [iii]

The best way to experience trigeminal neuralgia is to have a friend sharpen a tuning hammer and then drive it into your skull at random but frequent intervals for five to seven days. If you’re lucky: if you aren’t, it will carry on for longer. They must hit a nerve bundle when they strike so that the pain runs the entire side of the skull.

tuning hammer

The good news is even opioids won’t stop the pain. All hail the Japanese scientists who came up with Gabapentin. In its off-label, non-anticonvulsant life, it helps numb nerve pain. I’d marry it if I could. The difference between a neuralgia ten and the adjusted seven/eight is the ability to carry on. In every manner of speaking.

some of the affected nerves

I thought it not ironic, but a horrible coincidence considering recent life events that my neuralgia has flared up – such a kick in the head.

Despite appearances, however, I’m essentially an optimist.

I may be dealing with tear-inducing pain, but at least I no longer have to come up with a piece exciting and new. I now have a legitimate reblog reason beyond basic laziness.


  • Do you suffer from chronic pain?
  • What kind, if you do, and what does it present like (pattern of frequency and location: I’m both nosy and comparative)?
  • Do you take a perverse pride in your ability to endure something that destroys most, or is that just a “me” thing (and arrogant with it)?

[i] Grammarly is going to hate that sentence.

[ii] There’s a phobia – hapehephobia – but I’m not convinced it’s the right label for me.

[iii] It can be triggered by things like jaw clenching. The kind of thing you unconsciously do when you’re under stress from things like local disasters, a terminally ill mother, and a decompensating father. I really should wear my retainer more.

By Em

I like writing. Words help me unpack my thoughts so that things start to make sense. Once I have both myself and the universe figured out, I plan to take up macrame. "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go." E. L. Doctorow

12 comments

    1. No can do: for me it came and went in October. I did, however, reckless order from Amazon, so tomorrow will be practically like Christmas. If you wanted Santa to bring cereal and reading glasses 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your post made me angry. At what/whom? I don’t even know. It just makes me angry that some people just cannot catch a break!

    I don’t believe in karma, reincarnation, etc., but times like you describe make me wonder why I would be hit with so much BS. I must have been a terrible person in my past life. Or not. But we tell ourselves all sorts of things just to comfort ourselves.

    Chronic pain? I don’t think I could call it that. To me – chronic pain means all day every day and that is not always the case. I have good days so I think everything is dandy, and so I return to stuff like working out and everything continues to be good, so I do more… and then the pain comes back and I’m back to square one. No, I really don’t overdo the workouts anymore. And yes, I focus on the form to do them ‘properly.’ Eh.

    I get knee pain to a point of not being able to do anything but walk without pain, I get sciatic nerve pain in my leg, my shoulder is bothering me, my headaches… That’s the gist of it. Yes, I think I can endure more pain than others. Physical and mental. I used to be proud of it. Now, not anymore. It gives me nothing but pain and suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to describe chronic as all day, every day, but then someone – possibly you – said that was minimizing the reality of the experience. I think it’s funny how we so often give so much more grace to other people.

    “Yes, I think I can endure more pain than others. Physical and mental. I used to be proud of it. Now, not anymore. It gives me nothing but pain and suffering.”

    Exactly this, and ditto. I used to think it meant something, that I could endure. Now I suspect the interstellar aliens aren’t coming and there won’t be torture, so, like you, it seems little more than just pain 💖

    Like

  3. I feel for you.

    I endured “tic douloureux” for a few years before finally discovering something that gave me lasting relief:

    I began lying down prone on my abdomen whenever reading a newspaper or a book, because I noticed that my pain was increasing whenever I would read something while sitting up or lying down on my back (as in bed) and tilting my head & neck forward.

    At first that just kept the pain from getting any worse, but then it dawned on me that perhaps I could add something similar to my morning stretching routine.

    So, as with much of my routine stretching, I started off while still lying in bed.

    I rolled over onto my abdomen and gently cradled my head in my hands.

    This was almost impossible at first because it revealed great restrictions in my shoulders upper back and core (where all things thoracic and lumber intertwine).

    But each day it became a little easier to assume this position.

    I even begin attempting to lift my head further up and turn my head from one side to the other.

    Within a week my TJN was gone.

    Now, whenever I feel a flare-up starting, I simply assume a prone position at the nearest opportunity.

    However, when that does happen, I also realize I haven’t been doing my stretching.

    Hoping you find some form of relief.

    Liked by 1 person

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