Berith's facial neuralgia was alleviated during winter time

Summary

On the 18th of November 1985 my facial nerve was injured during dental surgery – I have written about this before. Through my daily training, several weekend courses each year and weekly group training I have year by year achieved better and better results. During the summer courses in Kvänum many things have happened.

Winter course in Bollnäs 2008, no pain at all indoors

Recently, after my first winter course in Bollnäs in February, I've got some improvements that I want to share. I have a lot less aching and pain. I have been able to switch off the pulse generator that was operated into my head to divert pain – and it is still switched off after four weeks! This has been impossible for me during winter time without my getting serious pain the next day. During the latter part of the winter course I felt no pain at all indoors, only some small jolts of pain from the electrical device every time I did squats. This encouraged me to switch off the equipment and double my daily dose of training.

Berith has less pain and have switched off the pulse generator that was operated into her head

Nerve pain all the time – traumatic trigeminus neuralgia

The third stem of the trigeminus nerve was damaged and the result was a painful trigeminus neuralgia. A short while afterward I sustained the injury, the problems increased and spread to the two other stems of the nerve. The complication is called trigeminus neuralgia. I had an ever present pain on the left part of my face that was particularly difficult to suffer after exposure to cold.

Hospitalized

When I became completely exhausted from all the pain I had to spend some days in the hospital. They weren't able to do much for me. The main reason why I stayed was that my children didn't have to watch me suffer. When I sustained the injury my oldest son had just become four years old, my youngest wasn't even two years old. My husband is a fantastic guy, but it has not been easy for him either. I had continuous insufferable pain, often several layers of pains. I was even haunted by migraine after suffering from the serious pains for a while. It didn't even take as much as an hour of this serious pain to wear me out. I recall one of many occasions when I arrived at the hospital after a long difficult period (three weeks) without being able to sleep properly. - Put me to sleep, block me, drug me, do anything! I begged and at the same time I almost bellowed while the tears run down my cheeks: I'M NOT BROKEN. IT'S ONLY A TEMPORARY SETBACK. I WILL GET THROUGH THIS. I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!

Powerless doctors

The doctors were powerless. Sometimes doctors as well as nurses got tears in their eyes. They knew that there was nothing new they could try. Nothing much could be done for me. They could not block the nerves anymore, morphine or any other painkiller didn't work on nerve pain and the different epilepsy medications I had tried had such massive side-effects that there was no point in going on taking them. I started meditation to get inner calm. The meditation improved my ability to put up with the pain, but the trouble wasn't reduced.

Surgically implanted electrode at Karolinska Hospital

Two years after I sustained the injury an electrode was surgically implanted over Ganglion Gasseri, using an external simulator and a surgically implanted antenna. Using this it was possible to electronically "divert" some of the pain. Docent Björn Meyerson at the Neurosurgical clinic at the Karolinska Hospital performed the operation that was a success. I had to spend a whole month at the site to give them the opportunity to try out different methods. A couple of years later he performed another operation to insert a pulse generator that stimulated the electrode. I had good use of the first system and later also the pulse generator for many years.

Reduced pain – but not when cold or windy

Eventually the pain was reduced to humanly sufferable proportions. However, if I was exposed to cold I got the same terrible pain as before and it lasted for several days. If someone inadvertently opened a window at my work that chill or draft would be enough. These things made me get so serious pains that I was unable to lift my head for three days, so now and then I still had to visit the hospital.

The pain was still very hard to endure. It has also been difficult not being able to stay outdoors unless the weather conditions during the summer were very favorable. Sometimes this troubled me more than the pain. It is a great loss to not be able to be close to nature, and this doesn't get easier as the years go by.

The whole family fought together and supported each other. Family and friends were worried. Some of them were able to provide great support, but most of them felt inadequate and frustrated. A year or so went by and I started to think that in spite of my injury we had a somewhat satisfying life.

The nightmare started over – this time on the right side

And then the nightmare started all over again! Similar troubles is starting to appear on the right side. At first rather seldom, but later the troubles increased in intensity and the area grew larger – at last the troubles were as difficult as on the left side. This should not be possible so I myself as well as some doctors tried to dismiss it. The troubles continued and in May of 1990 some expert doctors at the Karolinska Hospital confirmed that I really had trigeminus neuralgia even on my right side, no one had ever heard of anyone that got this on both sides at the same time. Noone knew why, but one conceivable explanation was that there had been a so called nerve titillation. Research had shown that there may exist "some connections" between the nerves on the other half of the face.

Diagnosis: Very complicated traumatic trigeminus neuralgia

I was diagnosed with a very complicated traumatic trigeminus neuralgia since 1985 after removing a tooth and additionally a trigeminus neuralgia on my right side since 1989. It was impossible to perform the same kind of surgery on the right side as the doctors found it very probable that the two systems would disturb each other.

I really had to muster all my strength and energy to find a strategy for survival. I often read the poem "To survive" (see my previous story) out loud to myself and trained myself mentally and physically. I also found strength in my political engagements. Life went on. Now and then I was hospitalized when the pains were too serious, but most of the time there was no point to it as they were not able to do much to help me. In the mid 1990's I started to practise another kind of Qigong. At that time I didn't know anything about Zhineng Qigong. This other method made me more alert and happier (although I never was very sullen), but otherwise I saw no improvements.

Somewhere around the year 2000 I was so tired that I had to start using the epilepsy medication anyhow. The medication did actually dampen the nerve titillation. The side-effects were considerable. I felt dizzy and sick to my stomach all the time, it became hard for me to sit in a car or any other vehicle, I had very little energy, suffered from frequent memory lapses and easily lost my concentration. In spite of this I didn't have much of a choice. It is impossible to endure such tremendous pain during a long period of time without any kind of painkiller. I had to stop practising the other Qigong method due to my reeling head.

I do not have a lot of memories from the years that followed. My great turning point came during the summer of 2004 when I listened to Su Dongyue's lecture on Zhineng Qigong. I understood that this method had what was necessary to help me. The amount of research and the documentation showing the improvements of a lot of people proved this to me. Per Kron talked at this lecture about his great improvements, (see his personal story) and this made a great impression on me.

After joining a weekend course during the autumn of 2004 as well as practising every week in a group – but still not practising by myself at home – I really looked forward to the Summer Course 2005. It was after this course that I started my daily training. During my first Summer Course so many things happened and after that the results just kept on coming!

I have not been hospitalized since the Summer course 2005 level 1

The pain on my right side disappeared and it never returned! I was able to stop the epilepsy medication. Since this course I have not been hospitalized.

I was able to switch off the pulse generator after the Summer course 2006 level 1

I had some great improvements even on my left side and was able to switch off the pulse generator for a few months during the summer without getting more pain. The worst pain spikes became less intense and less frequent.

I switched off the equipment after the Summer Course 2007 level 1 and 2

Continued improvements. The pain is reduced in intensity and extent. I was able to switch off my equipment for some additional months. I also have energy for my spare time and feel happy about being able to pick up painting again after a 15 year-long recess. I held two art exhibitions during the fall and they had quite a lot of visitors.

I shut off the pulse generator during the winter after the Winter Course 2008

Continued improvements, this time so much that I was able to switch off the pulse generator even during the winter. I still can't be outdoors, but if I expose myself to cold for a short while (e.g. I have to get from my house to my car to be able to go to my half-time job) I do not get as much pain as I used to get. The pain also subsides much faster.

Improved quality of life for the whole family

I do suffer from pain and there is still quite a distance to go, but thanks to Zhineng Qigong I and my family have got a considerably improved quality of life! The difference is so huge that it feels difficult trying to put it in words. I made an attempt here with my far too long story, I still haven't covered more than a fraction of all the things that have happened. Our sons are now 26 ½ and 24 years old and they have left home many years ago. We all fought hard and it feels good to hear that they think of their childhood as nice and safe in spite of my troubles. Life is not always easy and nobody said it would be, but you have to go on fighting and take your responsibility to get well again: Defeat the tiger, fight the bull or whatever you like to call it. We are the only ones that can fight. No one can do it for us, but we get a huge and fantastic help through Su Dongyue, all the teachers and Zhineng Qigong.

Seize the opportunity and defeat Your tiger!

Berith Lidberg

More stories from Berith Lidberg :

A further alleviation of Berith's facial neuralgia

Berith's facial neuralgia became controllable