TN - the antisocial condition

I may be living with TN since only six months, but one thing I quickly figured out about this thing is that it's totally antisocial. It's set on ruining your relationships, making it difficult for you to be a good friend, employee, daughter, girlfriend and so on (my various roles).

Last night was one example - networking event with other people from my field of work (PR & Communications) and I was happy because I felt fine...until dinner started. Just as I sat down the pain kicked in. Oh no. I tried my best not to look like I was wincing (lest my table companions think they were the object of my grimaces). My consolation was that there was only an empty seat on my left while my best friend (mercifully in the same field of work as I) sat on my right).

Victory. I can smile and nod my way through the evening while my best pal maintains the conversation with the two people sitting across us.

Or so I thought. It was probably not my lucky evening, since at that moment my boss and a gentleman I had never met before decided to take the two remaining seats closest to me.

As much as I wanted to seem happy to be there (I was really, it's just my TN that was bent on ruining the evening) the shots of pain when I tried to speak and eat forced me into complete silence. Plus I ended up battling with my meal, which probably made me look like a very picky eater. Half way through the dinner, new guy on my left remarked that I was very silent and suggested that it might be because of my boss' presence. To which my boss replied that it was surely not the case (we get along very well) and turned to me for confirmation. What was I to do but grin and rapidly confirm that my poor boss had nothing to do with my lack of conversation?

I felt really bad. But how on earth do you explain to a table full of acquaintances and strangers that you have...well something they've probably never heard of.

I can tell you one thing though - it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on through my mind. Every single expletive I ever learned in my life. And they were all directed at TN.

You and your friend should let everyone know what you have and what it does to you. Good way to get the word out about this disease. The more people who know about it, the better! More awareness!

I've started out by explaining to my closest friends. I'm probably going to have to explain to my colleagues and my boss.

Yes, family and friends say they understand but look at you like a hypochondriac. The only time my family took it seriously was when they saw the jerky facial jolt tics on my face at the emergency room. Now they look at me like it can't possibly hurt like that. The dull achy, nauseous, avoidance of light sound and wind aren't enough unless your the one feeling them. Career, forget it, graduate studies 15 years in a field and if this happens every 5 months or so who the heck will employ you.