This week has been a decidedly Bad Elvis week for me.
And by Elvis, I'm referring to Costello, not Presley. There has been a lot more 'Accidents Will Happen' and 'I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down' than there has been 'Good Year For The Roses'. You see, TN - trigeminal neuralgia - has been having a field day.
TN is something a few of us lucky, lucky MSers get to suffer as a side-effect of our condition and we're fortunate enough if it does strike us to really start to understand all about what real pain is. Forget all about the occasional unexpected cramp, a TN attack has been described to me as being around twenty times worse than childbirth, something which I cannot verify personally since I have never been through the delights of childbirth - something I will never experience personally. Not at my age, obviously,
Whether that is a fair comparison or not, I can assure the vast majority of you who will never have experienced that sort of pain, it really is a lot worse than stepping barefoot on an upturned garden rake (which I have experienced - twice), and at it's pain-peak, thought of trips to Switzerland and the offices of Dignitas spring readily to mind. I'm not a stupidly brave person - I would never go willingly to see a boy-band concert - but I am not a recklessly fearless person.
TN, however, scares me witless. And words that rhyme with witless but start with a 'sh' instead.
The condition is one where up to three conjoined nerves in one or other side of the face decide to fire off randomly with a raw pain-power that could light up a sports stadium. Or a concert by Kylie Minogue. There's nothing that can be done if it strikes - nothing will alleviate the pain - and you just have to wait it out. And the time for waiting it out? Who knows. It might be seconds of excruciating agony, or it might be as long as the aforementioned boy-band concert. With a couple of support acts.
I'm waiting (and waiting and waiting) for an operation that will kill the nerve that is responsible for the attacks, but in the meantime changes to my drug prescription which are designed to move me on to more nerve pain-killers have seen me wobbling far more than usual. And I still haven't got used to them - were it not for a thoughtful boss letting me work from home, I couldn't work at all.
At least I've learned a new skill. I can now trip over fresh air which, let's face it, is not an easy thing to do - whatever Charlie Chaplin used to say.
So, definitely a Bad Elvis week and accidents are happening all over the place.Just remember, if an otherwise normal (ok normal-ish) looking guy trips over a few inches of perfectly normal looking nothing-ness right in front of you, it could be me. If you hear him muttering the lyrics to 'I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down' it almost certainly is....