Why Share This Story?

Trigeminal neuralgia sufferers usually get hit with a double whammy: excruciating pain and lack of knowledge about the condition. Fran, the woman in this story, found it difficult to explain how painful and unpredictable the condition could be and had to deal with people who dismissed her pain as a "bad headache." Efforts to find a successful method of treatment were time consuming and frustrating.

Since trigeminal neuralgia is relatively rare, approximately 40,000 people in the United States, it can be difficult to find others who truly understand. The families of trigeminal neuralgia sufferers often feel helpless.

This is one person's experience with this condition. Fran's trigeminal neuralgia was caused by blood vessels pressing on the trigeminal nerve and she suffered with this for several years. Fran found help in the form of microvascular decompression and is still free of pain.

Her story is offered so that other sufferers may take comfort and gain hope in knowing that she found successful treatment. While Fran's condition was indeed severe, she realizes that there are others who have suffered for much longer periods of time and have yet to find successful treatment.


Adams, Raymond D., and Victor, Maurice. Principles of Neurology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.

"Trigeminal Neuralgia," in Health Resources: Neurosurgery://On-Call [Web Site], December 2001; available from http://www.neurosurgery.org.