My Upcoming Surgery

Last year I had five surgeries covering all sorts of things. The one in December was the worst, the hardest. It took me 10 weeks to recover from that one. Well, I have another one coming up now, 10 days from today. It’s actually not a difficult procedure and is done in an outpatient surgery center, but because of what’s involved, I get nervous. It will be my third time to have this procedure done. It’s called a Gasserian Ganglion Block, or a nerve block. I suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia, which some people consider to be the most painful condition known. It’s alternate name is “the suicide disease.” The pain is remarkably intense. Indescribable. There’s only one surgery that cures it. It’s called an MVD surgery — a brain surgery which can be lethal and is avoided by most neurosurgeons. The others are all “band aid” approach surgeries — temporary pain blockers. How long can they be effective? That’s the question.

I had my first nerve block last May and was head/facial pain free for 18 days. I underwent another in August. This time, the results were better and with one exception, I made it to October pain-free. Since then, I have had greater and greater instances of head/facial pain attacks, with some 19 occurring to me over the past two months. Almost no medications help, although I have tried many. The strongest dose of Percocet can calm it, but usually you have to take several, and then you suffer from what I call a Percocet hangover the next day. Still, it’s better than the alternative.

One thing that concerns me is not all of my pain I’ve been experiencing has been standard TN-type pain. So will this procedure take care of all of the pain, or just some of it? I met with my pain management specialist two days ago and he thinks the TN is triggering the other pain and that this nerve block should be totally effective. If not, it’s another MRI with contrast.

Speaking of the procedure, they give you anesthesia and put you to sleep. Then they insert a long needle through your cheek up into a skull cavity where part of the trigeminal nerve is located. Upon reaching it, it’s my understanding that they basically electrocute the hell out of it, before withdrawing the needle and later waking you up. It’s a bit iffy when you’re talking about messing around with the largest nerve in the brain and doing damage to it, but there you have it. It doesn’t sound overly difficult and it’s not really bloody or anything, but it is a bit tricky and it calls for precision on the part of the surgeon.

6 thoughts on “My Upcoming Surgery

  1. oh my goodness. I have never heard of such things. I hope it goes well. I just had a minor laminotomy … and am out for two weeks. By comparison what I have is nothing compared to what you are going through.

    I do hope your next procedure gives you good results…and for a longer time period.


      1. Oh…nod nods. Sneezing hurts! How much recovery after this next procedure of yours. (And isn’t out patient surgery just incredible? Mine was as well … nowadays they want you up and about as soon as possible.)


        1. The pain is minimal, but it usually takes me four or five days to get over being tired from the anesthesia. I’m a wimp. I had 25% of my colon removed in December, and THAT took a long time to recover from. That was some pain….


  2. southernhon

    This is the first time I’ll be here with you during one of these. I hope I can help the recovery go by quickly. You know I will be praying.


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