I recently spoke with Jeff Bodington, FPA’s former Board Chairman, who first connected with FPA after being diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. For six years, he was able to manage with medication, and when medication no longer controlled his pain, he chose surgical treatment. As a result of a successful microvascular decompression, he has been living pain-free for ten years.
Jeff and his wife Cecile are avid hikers. His most recent adventure was climbing the Karakoram mountain range in Northeastern Pakistan. Jeff explained that the trek up the mountain began at midnight. It was pitch black with just his headlamp lighting the path. The group started their ascent wearing a safety harness attached to a rope because of the steep 45-degree grade. As he climbed the mountain, the sun slowly approached the horizon and began to illuminate his path. When he reached the pass at 18,500 feet, he experienced the most spectacular sunrise.
As Jeff shared his story, I thought about the metaphorical mountain that everyone with facial pain climbs. When you first experience facial pain, it is a place of desolation. It is just like standing in the dark with only the light from your headlamp, and you are unsure of where the path leads. It is at that moment that FPA steps in, during that moment of desperation, and lights the way forward. FPA helps you understand what to do next, who the experts are, your treatment options, and how to connect with others for support. As you begin to see where your next steps should be, you know that you are not on this journey alone.
All of us affected by facial pain face our own mountain. Together we continue to climb. Sometimes we are the ones reaching up for help and hope, and at other times we are on steady footing and can reach back to help another rise. This year I had the opportunity to help provide education to people who would otherwise not be able to purchase FPA’s new book, Facial Pain: a 21st Century Guide. My gift continues to enlighten the path for people living with facial pain, and you too can make an impact.
Thank you for supporting the Facial Pain Association. Because of your generosity, we have been able to help so many people suffering with facial pain. We have expanded our volunteer corps, launched a new website, and we are preparing for the second virtual FPA conference. With your continued support, we will be able to reach more people earlier on their path to accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
None of us chose to climb this mountain, but with your generous support, FPA can equip many others with the tools necessary for this journey.
Will you make a gift today?