Our mission at Ben’s Friends is to ensure that patients living with rare diseases or chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them.
Chronic facial pain syndromes effect as much as 1% of the population. Two of the better known conditions are Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia (GPN) even though they are among the rarest. Pain specialists have attempted to classify other Facial Pain Syndromes by a number of names including atypical facial pain, Type 2TN, Type 7TN, Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (ATN), Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain (TNP) and Atypical Facial Neuralgia (AFP). Recently the term Persistent Idiopathic Facial Pain (PIFP) has been used to describe facial pain that is continuous or lasts most of a day. There simply is no consensus, even among practitioners.
While this site continues to provide Support for TN and GPN, we have come to realize that many other facial pain patients attempt to deal with their disease within the GPN or TN communities. While there is much in common in dealing with the day to day challenges off Chronic facial pain, there is often frustration among the groups when it comes to treatments both drug, surgical and other interventions. For that reason, we have expanded our opportunities for continued Peer to Peer support to include other Chronic facial pain syndromes. We have chosen to lump them into the Persistent Idiopathic Facial Pain category, while maintaining both the TN and GPN categories.
LivingWithFacialPain.org is a virtual peer-to-peer community intended to be a safe place for patients and family members as young as age 12, to visit for information, discussion, venting and mutual support. Members come from many backgrounds. Some have a strong religious faith, and others no faith; some are children and others adults, rich and poor, graduate educated or taught by life. Our common denominators are that we share a life journey, and we try to help each other.
Though we get occasional visits from medical doctors, the site is not routinely supported by medical professionals. Nobody here can diagnose you or tell you what your treatment choices “should” be. We might inform your choices by sharing individual experiences and information developed by study as lay people. But LivingWithErythromelalgia.org is not intended to replace the advice or treatment of licensed medical professionals. Readers should validate any information they take away from here, against the experience of a licensed medical doctor. Site owners and moderators are not legally responsible for the accuracy of information shared on the site.
We don’t want you to identify yourself or tell exactly where you live: it is important to us that you should be anonymous here. That encourages openness. (And that’s a major way that we’re different from social media and other disease support sites.) Nevertheless, visitors should also be aware that our discussion forums and groups are publicly accessible and frequently searched by Google. That’s why your speech here should be considered “public”. If you’re tempted to write something about another person that you wouldn’t say to their face, then we counsel you to think first. Speech can be consequential.
LivingWithFacialPain.org is supported by unpaid volunteer moderators who validate and register new members and monitor ongoing discussions, photo postings and blogs. Very often, moderators are themselves patients or family members of patients. Most of the time, moderators tend to keep a low profile, except in their roles as members of the community, especially if they are well-informed about the state of medicine and research.