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I am 86, will be 87 in July. Trigeminal Neuralgia has cursed me since when in 1988 a sudden, first flash knocked me backward into the Skagit River in Washington State. I lived there for decades after retiring. And tried to fly fish it every day for salmon and trout.

I was wading that day, up to my belt in water, when… Hit by lightening! Down I went into the river. Hard to get to my feet, though filled with adrenalin. Got immediate diagnosis of TGN and prescription of one of the drugs for epilepsy. Can’t remember which one. Then for 20 years that was followed by replacement drugs. All turned me into talking but barely walking zomby. None stopped TGN flashes.

Started what seems to be a routine with TGN: Off to a dentist, who reached for pliers to start pulling molars. Said goodbye to him. Haven’t met a dentist yet who knows much about TGN but do know a lot about pliers.

Off to the University of Washington Medical School for chats with pain specialists. Succumbed to deep brain PUt-A-Pillow-In operation. Eight hours later awoke to folks poking around. Pain flash the moment the surgery team smiled at me. But did get major brain infection from all those folks poking around the old brain plumbing. Spent next six weeks in hospital being poked and prodded, hooked up to bags of bug killers–and asked if I minded being used by medical students for morf pokes and prods. I minded. The only thing that relieved pain from the infection was Jim Beam, smuggled to me by one of the reporters who used to work with me. Good man. But nurse caught us embracing the Tennessee liquid genius. She threw my pal out and got me lectured by all but the hospital parson. He said he liked Jim Beam too and wished he and I had a bottle for a good talk. He wanted to convert me to believing in god. Fruitless task but good chats anyway.

Endured next 10 years dizzy from prescribed TGN battlers. But one day, just before leaving my pain doctor, a salesman dropped off a new drug: VimPat, by the cases. Try it, he suggested. I took some. Tried it.

Bingo! It worked! It still works for me. No pain. Bettered my life entirely. Big time.

Odd Name but giant prices! I couldn’t afford $600 a month, from druggists complaining “DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS?” Yes, indeed! But can you get the price down below $5 a pill?. No. Ha, ha.

So be prepared in case you make an acquaintance with ViPat. I got around the U.S./Canadian price by finagling buys in India., China is good too, I’m told.

I give no other details. I am a tall, muscular guy. So I don’t give out prescription details. That’s what doctors are for. Most I have met since starting VimPat (Never heard of it!) and (You buy it in India! My God, you must be crazy!)


Was a newspaper reporter and editor for decades. So I report. I hope it does some good. I am not advising Jim Beam. I am not advising VimPat.

I admit a weakness about both when fly fishers chase me down. I expect to be cremated with a fly rod in hand–just in case, you know.

Oldwader1, after reading your testimony,very interesting in fact, it made me want to know the cause of your TN problem. You didn’t say what other treatment was available. Glad to hear your pain is managed. Good luck. Gloria

I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia about 10 years ago. Was prescribed Gabapentin and I take it even when I am not having an episode. Am experiencing an episode now that has lasted several months. If I take enough Gapabentin to manage the pain, I am a zombie. It just totally wipes me out. Hard to sleep as even laying my cheek on the pillow is excruciating. Wish I could figure how what triggers it though I do know cold air on my face causes immediate pain.

So glad the medication works!!! Love your writing, hope you haven’t stopped . What are your side effects with Vimpat? I take Oxtellar and it works for me. We are lucky medication works!!! But yes, I am gorked out on all my
Medications. I said goodbye to my photographic memory for sure.
Best of everything to you