I have trigeminal neuralgia. Most people haven’t heard of this, to be fair before I was diagnosed I hadn’t either. People who love me ask me what it is, so I explain. Often the response is, “It could be worse,” or “At least it isn’t cancer.” Although these phrases are meant to make me feel better, they don’t. I’m going to explain why:
Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most painful diseases to live with, so telling me that it could be worse is very difficult when I’m in agony every single day. The pain is very real and just brushing my teeth can cause an attack.
Trigeminal neuralgia isn’t cancer, but it is very serious. It’s a lifelong condition that worsens over time. My condition is its own. It’s not in a competition to see which disease is worse. The pain is real for all who have any illness. Don’t compare, it’s not helpful.