I'll keep this post brief, because sitting up to write it hurts. I'm unfortunate enough to suffer from periodic attacks of atypical facial pain, a bland medical description for what I'm told is among the more intense chronic pain conditions it is possible to suffer. The left side of my face is alternately in extreme pain yet strangely numb, or dulled by painkillers to an aching tiredness. There's nothing wrong with my face, teeth or mouth, instead my trigeminal nerve is betraying me by telling my brain about pain that shouldn't exist.
I'm lucky in how this condition affects me. I get it for about a week, roughly once a year or eighteen months or so. It's usually triggered by stress situations like my currently heightened gender wrangles, and yet again I'm lucky in that painkillers have some effect on it. Some people with this condition have it all the time and painkillers don't work.
Pain this intense is debilitating. I've had pain before, broken a toe and a rib, split fingernails, had headaches and stomach aches like everyone else. The normal bumps and scrapes of growing up. But nothing like this. Unrelenting, merciless.
I can understand why it drives some people to suicide.
My doctor has given me some pills, not a painkiller but an anti-epilectic. Surprisingly the recommended prescription for errant trigeminal nerves. It hasn't worked yet.