I first experienced the awful facial shock of TN years ago when I was sitting with my husband and kids around the dinner table. I started laughing at something that was said and instantly felt like I was being stabbed in the face/rt. jaw with an ice pick. I had no idea what was happening. It sure scared my family as well. So I went to see a neurologist in Hillsboro, OR. and she asked me if I’ve ever had my Vitamin B12 level checked. Turns out that I was low. Not extremely low, but below normal. If you have TN, I highly recommend that you have testing because it does play a huge role in nerve function and it’s a simple blood test. (Don’t supplement with B12 first, or it will throw off the results.)
At first I had B12 shots but then I found out very quickly that I was allergic to something in the solution, not specifically B12 itself. So I switched to Jarrow’s Methyl-B12 SL 1000 mcg 2 tabs per day (chewable) and the stabbing stopped after several days. I didn’t know it then, but I was heading into remission. Over the years I’ve had “warning stabs” every now and then but they are extremely rare. Each time that happens, I get my B12 level checked and it’s below where I need it to be. I found out by trial and error that I need to keep my B12 levels between 850-980 (considered high) in order to not get stabbed. It has worked wonders for all these years…and for that I am extremely grateful.
Dr. Kim Burchiel is my TN neurologist here at OHSU and he said that my TN is extremely rare. In fact, he took samples of my saliva because they are doing research. My gut feeling is that there are many people out there who may have either the same experience as myself (remission with B12) or could be helped by it. That is my wish in making the decision to reach out to you. I can’t say that it will work for you, but at the very least, consider asking your doctor/neurologist to add a B12 level to your next blood work to see if you’re low or not. When you’re B12 deficient, it can also cause symptoms similar to MS, so I was checked for that as well and I don’t have MS. I just thank God that I had a neurologist who had a gut feeling that it should be checked because it literally changed the course of my TN. I’ve been in remission, literally for years. That is my wish for everyone of you because this is a scary pain that no one should have to deal with, but many do, on a daily basis. I can’t even imagine what that would be like, and my heart goes out to you who experience it often. If there is a chance that my post will help even one person, it’s all worth it. Because of how crazy busy my life can get (my husband has leukemia and I prefer to spend any spare time with him), I am unable to have a lot of ongoing conversations with people via this site, but I thought if I could reach out and let people know what has worked for me, it might do some good. God bless you all!