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Chronic Pain, TN and life expectancy

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Unread 09-16-2009, 03:41 PM   #1
wavegeek
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Default Chronic Pain, TN and life expectancy

This is a bit of an odd or morbid question but I was wondering if someone might have an answer. I have recently been diagnosed with trigeminal neuropathy not the classic type TN or ATN. I have constant variable throbbing in my upper molar region on both sides of my face, caused by dental injury. I am trying to find a med that will work but also considering more dental procedures at a later date. Don't know yet if I am a candidate for surgery, probably not. My condition is definetely chronic as I have had it for two years. For arguments sake, if someone has a life long chronic pain condition, TN or other, can it make for a lower life expectancy, meaning can the pain itself lead to chronic or terminal disease, i.e. cancer or heart disease, etc? Would this not be the case if the person who has the chronic pain is otherwise healthy and has no psychological issues? Basically does chronic pain make for a shorter life or is this just ridiculous question?

thanks,
alex
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Unread 09-17-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
Bassetcase
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Default Morbid yes, but not ridiculous

Hey there, I do not have the answer for that one, but I have wondered that myself. My condition is very sporadic, so I at least for now do not have the chronic pain you speak of. However, it would make sense that someone with that sort of condition would lose a lot of sleep; and (according to my Dr) lack of sleep lessens your ability to fight pain - and pain does create stress. I believe it would also damage your immune system. I would think all of this combined would shorten ones lifespan considerably.

Just my unprofessional opinion - and I hope it's wrong.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
annlee
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Default not morbid at all

IMO, especially because I'm 61 yo and have reached my limit of drug therapy (finally) and am hopefully going to get some relief through cyberknife (if I choose that) you have posed a good question. Of course I'm mindful that entering into the zone of radiation or surgery is a big step, I am hoping for a better life than to be dizzy, having fuzzy thinking......well, I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I? I'm tired of this and wonder if I've aged. Everyone, and I mean everyone, thinks I'm much younger than my years, but, looking young may not mean young in years off ones life because of this condition.

I do think genes play a big part in our mortality.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
wavegeek
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Default Life Expectancy

I have been reading up on this topic and there has been no evidence that chronic pain in and of itself can cause a lower life expectancy. Depending on the chronic pain, if someone is active, healthy both physically and mentally chronic pain should not play a part in that. Now whether the pain is causing physical or emotional issues that is another story. I corresponded with people on a chronic pain blog and they said if one can maintain an active(hopefully) and healthy life(even with meds) they can achieve this. Just food for thought...
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Unread 09-18-2009, 04:40 PM   #5
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As others here mentioned, pain creates stress, which can lead to a variety of additional illnesses, but in and of itself does not seem to shorten ones lifespan. In the case of TN, however, or any chronic pain condition for that matter, depression is probably the biggest health concern and can certainly cause early death!

I have atypical TN. I don't have episodes where the air touches my face and I get sudden shocking pains for a few moments; I get pain in and around my ear, jaw, neck and cheek and can last non-stop for days. Sometimes the pain is only a 5 for one day. Other times its at 9 for two weeks.

I can relate some to your sense of hot ice. I get the sense of icy heat sometimes running from one ear through my head to the other ear, like someone stuck a hot ice pick through my ears, but no sense of wetness. I guess there's all kinds of different ways to experience this delightful condition!
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Unread 11-02-2009, 12:38 AM   #6
Jimmydjt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavegeek View Post
This is a bit of an odd or morbid question but I was wondering if someone might have an answer. I have recently been diagnosed with trigeminal neuropathy not the classic type TN or ATN. I have constant variable throbbing in my upper molar region on both sides of my face, caused by dental injury. I am trying to find a med that will work but also considering more dental procedures at a later date. Don't know yet if I am a candidate for surgery, probably not. My condition is definetely chronic as I have had it for two years. For arguments sake, if someone has a life long chronic pain condition, TN or other, can it make for a lower life expectancy, meaning can the pain itself lead to chronic or terminal disease, i.e. cancer or heart disease, etc? Would this not be the case if the person who has the chronic pain is otherwise healthy and has no psychological issues? Basically does chronic pain make for a shorter life or is this just ridiculous question?

thanks,
alex
I was searching the web looking for info on this exact issue. I had been in severe pain for over twenty years following nerve damage caused during an oral-surcigal procedure. Thankfully due to nerve reapair surgery a year ago, I am in a great deal less pain. I have however recently been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, which at the age of 47 is a bit worrying. Thinking back, I have had the symptoms to this condition for a number of years and simply associated it with bouts of acute pain crisis. It would seem to make absolute sense that chronic severe pain can have a considerable physiological effect, due to the extreme stress that it causes. Over a long period of time this stress is bound to manifest itself in a number of pathological conditions. As they say 'stress is a killer'; so no, it's not a daft question, its a highly valid one.
Regards

Jim
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Unread 11-02-2009, 07:53 AM   #7
supermoo
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Hi all I have had TN for over 12 years and the attacks are different every time. Have had it bad this year as I had it for 4 months solid. I dont seem to have a set trigger as what sets it off one time dose not affect it another. Its very hard it this country to get things taken seriousely And when you have servear disabilaties and nerve issues as I have you get fobbed off a lot
They want me to start Tegratol now to stop the pain. Its allways a good Idea to go to any appointment armed with info about condition and medication. And write a list of questions to as it helps make you feel more in controle. Huggs for all. xxxxxxx
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