Stress-related flares NOW

Hello. Happy Thanksgiving, all. Or rather, congratulations for making it through Thanksgiving. I am a week into a giant, aggressive flare. It started just a few days before traveling to my in-laws for the holiday, and is showing no signs of letting up. We got home tonight, so I'm hoping that maybe a night of sleep in my own bed will help. Right now, I can hardly eat, speak, or even lick my friggin' dry lips. This comes after a month of no pain and it's definitely the most agressive flare I've had in a while.

My question is this - I've heard of, read about, and experienced the connection between stress and TN pain. But can anyone say more about exactly what the physiology there is? Is it higher blood pressure increasing the size of vessels touching the nerve? Is it tighter muscles putting more stress on the nerve? Is it stress holding the body in such a way that the nerve is just getting tweaked? Does anyone have thoughts or knowledge or ideas?

I know how much of this is simply unknown. I really do. But I thought that with our significant, collective experience base, we might be able to share some trends. I will share, since you are all strangers, that visiting my in-laws is a high stress experience and this is not the first time I've had flares when visiting them. And as annoying as that is, it also makes me believe strongly that if there's that kind of predictable connection, there must be something I can do to help myself deal with it. (Like stay home, ha!)

Curious to hear any thoughts. My best to all.

Faye (Zap, zap, zapping girl)

I definitely believe stress aggravates the TN shocks. My worst night ever was the night I told my husband I could not live like this and was crying and wishing I could die. Now when I start feeling precursor twinges, I make myself lie down and take deep breaths. And I pop an extra dose of Neurontin!

Hi Mimi. I should have taken it easier getting ready for this trip but this flare really came out of nowhere. When you pop an extra dose of neurontin, do you find that you can go back to your regular dose without any problem? I am religious about taking my tegretol and I never take any extra because I've found that if I up a dose to cover some extra pain, I can never go back to the old dosage. It's a very greedy drug, for me. It's like it says, "oh, you're going to try to go from 1200 to 1400 for a few days? Well, how 'bout if you never go back to 1200 again!" At least that's my feeling. I have no idea if the neurontin that I just upped will behave the same way. I hope not. Especially because it's not working at all! Thanks for your thoughts. I hope you're doing ok. I know how feeling that bad feels.

Hi Zapgirl,
When I take the extra dose of Neurontin, it makes me drowsy and then I relax. I have no problem going back to the regular dose. I had a terrible time on tegretol, though I know it is the so called drug of choice. I hope you are doing better now.

You know, that is exactly what I with stress, your BP goes up, the vessels swell bigger, therefore irritating the nerve more. Stands to reason in my opinion.

I think BP is a stress correlation - could get a benzo prescribed prn from your doc for stressful times