December 2019 : On Remission and Superstition.

Remission is a word I had not considered much – before I acquired this TN thing.
I think about it a lot now and have, for the past year.
Dictionary definition? :

a period of time when an illness is less severe or is not affecting someone

But context is all.   In the world of cancer, remission is the lifeline that you hold onto with hope, trying not to think about the alternatives.
So there is ‘partial remission’ and ‘complete remission’ and there are probably measures to grade it. Because every nuance is important. Life or death important.

In TN? Not so much.
It has to do with the odd on/off nature of this condition:, Remission condenses down to a simple fact: When you are not in pain for “a while” – you are in remission. And I can bet the “a while” is completely different to every TN sufferer.

And that’s where superstition comes in.
I grew up in India surrounded by superstitions. Mostly quirky, easy-going and often funny.  Mum would not let anyone hand a cutting implement (like scissors) to another person directly. You had to put it down for the other to pick up. Why? Because a direct handover would sever the relationship.
And of course, superstition blooms in the intersection of religion and culture.
Because superstition is all about warding off the Devil or his alter-egos, Bad Luck & Misfortune.
Is there any other kind of superstition?
Sure, there’s the positive kind, like catching the bouquet at a wedding. But most superstition is about keeping bad stuff away.

And that’s why I have been avoiding this blog on and off for most of the past year.
My last post was when my TN came back in November 2018. And then it went away again as suddenly as it had reappeared.
Over the past 12 months, I have occasionally had a deep grumble from my sleeping trigeminal nerve. A hint of promised pain, enough to frighten. …. and nothing more.
So I have tippy-toed past the blog, not wanting to attract the attention of The Beast.

But here’s a thing. I have learned: This pain is so bad that you don’t want to give it any chance at you, so you consciously AND subconsciously start to get into some serious behaviour modification to avoid (at ANY cost) what you have learned of the triggers.
And that must help.  Leave the bear asleep, don’t poke it.

But thats only part of this thing.
It can slip back easily into your life, cheerfully patting you on the back and saying “Hey Ish, How’s it going? Missed me?”

And you cringe inwardly and understand what it must be for an abuse victim to get that SMS that tells them that their abuser is back in their life and eager to get reconnected. Abject fear.

So I’m back here, because two days ago I was in the shower and I did that perfectly innocuous thing of scrubbing your face under the stream of cleansing water.
And as my hand ran over my face and my nose, I felt that hated flash of intense electric pain run up through my eyelid.
And so it’s back.
Still not in a big way, and you can bet that, since then, I’ve behaved like a subservient prisoner of war. Standing under the shower, trying not to attract attention. Not touching my face. (Try it, it is hard!)
And maybe I will hang around this blog a bit more.
Because superstition is just that.
 An attempt to keep something bad away.
Reality – it ain’t….


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