What I have read scares me to death

I am in the early stages of ATN. I have tooth pain on the left side and sometimes some soreness in my face and burning behind my left eye. Klonopin so far is the only thing that’s helped. I have also read most medicines don’t really work for the ATN and neither does surgery. I am so afraid of what lies ahead. I have also read most with ATN develop classic TN. I have tried almost all meds and cannot tolerate them. Is there any hope, because I already feel hopeless. I have heard from some that opiates help with ATN. Haven’t gone there yet. Have tried 2 acupuncture treatments, so far not much help. But, the Dr. of oriental medicine I am seeing says it takes 3. I am very depressed. Does everyone get to the point where they can’t live with this?

It’s okay to be scared. I was very scared too when I was just getting diagnosed, in fact I’m still scared. But I’ve learned to step aside from the fear and worry (most days any ways). You might have to try few different medications or combination till you find something that works for you. For some or most this takes some time. It might take abit to get to the therputic dosage too. Opioids should be used as a last resort. They may not help at all for some and yet others do get some relief with them. Depending on your TN you may also have other opinions besides medication or in combination with medications such as MVD nerve blocks and Botox for example. What is recommend is for you or a caregiver or friend is to research as much as possible about TN. Be honest with your healthcare professionals about how your pain is, how you feel mentally, and even how much stress you have (stress can affect pain levels so can depression). Build a good patient doctor relationships with your health care professionals too.

It takes take to adjust to having TN. You may go thru a morning phase and that’s okay. Try also to look at something to be grateful for at least once a day. I know this seems odd and it can be hard some day to be grateful for anything when you feel like your cheek bone is being chrushed to liquid. But it will help. Continue to be your self and to do activities you have always done. Rember that it’s okay to have bad days and to ask for help when needed. Have a motto to tell your self in bad moments and pain; such as I may have TN but it does not have me, and this is just phase and this too will pass. We all have our bad days and pitty parties, and this okay too. It might take a bit to adjust. There are also all kinds of all tips to help as well. Like using hot or cold compresses, a good scarf can help keep the wind off your face (so can a ski mask but I would not recommend wearing one into a bank, you get the wrong kind of attention), having humor about TN helps too, and there is magic mouthwash, patches, and gels/lotions that might help by making your face numb. Lastly a good dose of hope helps as well. You may be one of the folks that go into remission. There are a good amount of members here that have gone into remission from 6 months to years (I swear there was somebody who had remission for 30 years! My appoligies to that member as I can’t remember your name).

As to your last question; sadly yes there have been some unfortunate souls whom could no longer bear it. This is not the norm (at least I believe for today’s world). There is no data or should I say reliable figures for that. If you hear someone say some silly figure such as half, a third or a quarter of TN patients will commit suicide, it’s not true. Don’t fret other the unsavory “do in” business. We are all fighters against pain and I think you are too. You joined this awesome community to ask questions, find information, and find others with TN right? Focus on the good, ask all the questions you need or want, or cry and vent if needed. We are all here for one another. I hope this helps and may you have a great day that is pain free.