Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness: Hoping for a Cure

BISMARCK, N.D. - Imagine getting excruciating pain on your face and medical providers can't do much to help you. Trigeminal neuralgia is labeled the suicide disease because people with the condition sometimes end their own lives to end the suffering.

Oct. 7 is the awareness day for the disease and a Bismarck woman recently diagnosed reached out to Your News Leader about it.

Desirae Zaste is a paralegal and a mom of two who was diagnosed just last month.

She says her pain began in January and hasn't stopped since. She hopes eventually researchers and doctors will find a cure but for now she's leaning for support on her loved ones and others suffering through the same pain nationally.

Some days are filled with smiles and others with pain.

When dealing with Trigeminal neuralgia life becomes more difficult.

"A lot of my attacks I would say feel like someone almost ripping apart my jaw in opposite directions. Or a chain saw kind of going through your head," said Zast.

The National Organization for rare disease shows there's between 10 to 15 thousand reported cases nationally each year.

Zaste said: "It's just a progressive disease, it keeps getting worse and worse. You can't put makeup on without getting pain, you can't be outside with the wind blowing you get pain. You can't talk , you'll get pain."

She was recently diagnosed and is trying to hold on to hope.

"These medications aren't made for Trigeminal Neuralgia. They're made for like anti-seizure medications and things like that, so it's not one pill that can take it away," said Zaste.

She's keeping focus on what's important.

Her family and two daughters who are 7 and 4.

"Just take it day by day. Give each other hugs and things like that," said Zaste.

With a lot of love... support... and awareness she's keeping strong.

Zaste says medications aren't working for her.

She says a big trigger is brushing her teeth.

In November she will be meeting with a neuro surgeon to talk about options and the potential for brain surgery.