Woman Battles Rare ‘Suicide Disease’ in Texas

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October 7th marked International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day, so KENS decided to highlight one Texan woman’s struggle with the awful affliction. Holley Pesina was hit by a car as a child, and afterward, she developed Trigeminal Neuralgia. TN leads to such severe pain that many people with the disease end up taking their own lives.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explain on their website that there are two forms of the disorder. One leads to extreme burning or shocking pain that occur in quick successions, and the other is a constant ache or burn. “Both forms of pain may occur in the same person, sometimes at the same time. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating,” NINDS states.

Pesina started feeling facial pain when she was 16, but it took more than half of a decade for doctors to truly assess what was going on. “Trigeminal Neuralgia, at its worst, puts you bed-bound. You cannot work. You’re on… I was on multiple medications just to keep the pain at bay, and even then I still had pain,” she told KENS.

As anyone with chronic pain can tell you, dealing with the hardship and discomfort of pain weighing on one’s body and mind day after day can be grueling. Pesina spoke with a doctor who said he could provide her a bit of relief with an unconventional surgery. Now, she’s finally able to go out in public without fear of having “an episode,” and she’s even returned to her job as a nurse.