Woman, 28, diagnosed with ‘suicide disease’ after constantly suffering from severe pain


After visiting a specialist and analysing MRI scans, Laura Cruz was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia and began experiencing the severe pain up to 25 times per day

Laura Cruz during a flare up of her 'suicide disease'
Laura Cruz during a flare up of her ‘suicide disease’

A primary school teacher says she understands why the illness she suffers from has been dubbed “suicide disease” due to the unbearable pain.

Laura Cruz was diagnosed with the extremely rare condition called trigeminal neuralgia which is also known as the “suicide disease” due to the severe pain it causes that can’t be treated with painkillers.

She woke up on January 12 this year with a faint tingling in the right hand side of her lip which developed into severe pain within a matter of weeks, with doctors initially mistaking the rare illness for shingles.

But after visiting a specialist and analysing MRI scans, Laura was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia and began experiencing the severe pain up to 25 times per day.

Laura, 28, who got married in the summer, is now fundraising for surgery that will allow her to have children.

To help Laura fundraise for surgery to help her have children, donate by clicking here

Laura Cruz on holiday before she was diagnosed
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Image:

Caters News Agency)

Due to her current medication, she has been advised against having children as there is a high chance of it causing deformities, meaning an operation is her last hope at starting a family with her husband Troy.

Laura said: “This disease has completely consumed my life; I can’t brush my hair or my teeth, eat, sleep, stand in the wind, or touch my face without feeling like I’m being electrocuted across my face.

“The flare ups are so bad that I now understand why it’s called the ‘suicide disease’.

“I’m on medication that is supposed to suppress the pain but I’m still having breakthrough pain up to 25 times per day and it’s so bad that sometimes I scream out loud.

“I ended up in A&E after my most recent flare up where I was told to go home as there was nothing they could do.

“On the MRI scans, it shows I have blood vessels wrapped around the nerve and that’s what’s caused the pain so I’m fundraising on GoFundMe to have an operation to decompress the nerve and place pieces of teflon padding between the nerve and offending blood vessels.

Laura suffering severe pain during flare ups of her ‘suicide disease’
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Image:

Caters News Agency)

“We are supposed to be in our honeymoon stage and we both wanted to try for children after getting married but this illness has completely taken over my life.”

After initially waking up with tingling in her right hand side of the lip in January, Laura began experiencing sharp, extreme pain that spread across the right sort of her face and distorted her vision.

She was put on antiviral medication but continued to visit her GP due to the pain worsening and was first told of the condition in February.

Laura said: “When I looked up the condition and saw it was nicknamed the suicide disease, I was terrified.

“There’s no cure for it so I remember thinking, how am I going to live with this?

Laura and Troy Cruz on their wedding day
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Image:

Caters News Agency)

Laura getting ready during her wedding day
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Image:

Caters News Agency)

“At the moment, everything is triggering the pain and because it’s winter, the cold is making it even worse and I’m struggling to continue working at the moment.

“I’ve just got married and I feel like a burden to my husband.”

Laura and her husband 29-year-old husband Troy, who works as a cameraman, got married in summer and were hoping to try for a family this year.

But her medication means she is unable to have children due to the risks it can cause.

She said: “The surgeon is hoping the operation will buy me anywhere between two and ten years without pain so I can come off the medication and try for a baby.

“That was the most devastating part for me.

“One day it’ll return but if it can buy me time to have a family, that’s what I care about.

“The waiting times on the NHS is anywhere from six months to two years and I can’t wait that long – the pain is unbearable.

“The operation is booked for January 20, I just hope I get enough funds through my GoFundMe page.

“This is an invisible illness and a lot of the time, people will think there’s nothing wrong with me but I want people to know more about this illness and realise that this is serious.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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