Beth Warner

Trigeminal neuralgia

December, 2021


I’m a retired psychologist from Massachusetts, USA, with trigeminal neuralgia. I’m 70 years old with no other known health problems, but the TN is debilitating. I’ve had it for 10 years, and the TN is responsible for my early retirement 10 years ago, as I couldn’t speak, eat or drink without unpredictable excruciating pain in the right side of my face. The cause is unknown, but one hypothesis is that the myelin sheath of the trigeminal nerve becomes damaged, from, for instance a blood vessel impinging on the nerve. Anyone with nerve pain knows the torture of it. It can be burning, aching, or come as an electric shock pain. I’ve had all three types of pain, in the lower mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve.

The first line of treatment within allopathic Western medicine for TN is medication, which are not guaranteed to be effective, and if they are effective, they can have serious side effects that affect the quality of life. Normal pain relievers, including narcotics, don’t touch this type of pain, so various other medications such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants are used. Often patients end up with a concoction of various medications which through trial and error may work. Or not. At best when the medications work, patients become tolerant and need more and more of the medications over time.
After medications are tried, various surgeries are available.

The approach is to hammer the symptoms, without addressing the root cause—although one of the surgeries (MVD) addresses the issue of a blood vessel pressing on the nerve, but this is serious surgery and ultimately doesn’t address why the blood vessel is doing this and support the body’s wisdom to reverse this.

As one can imagine, this is daunting stuff. To even access the surgery, in the USA one needs to go through God knows how many years of trial-and-error medications.

I kept thinking, my body made this, why can’t it unmake it? Perhaps this sounds incredibly naïve.
After trying some initial medication and finding that it only made me woozy and exhausted, I researched and researched the little information that is “out there” for lay people about this disorder. I simply refused to sign up for a lifetime of chronic pain and medication trials (which at least for me made me feel sick just trying all those medications) and I kept coming to regenerative medical approaches. Of which stem cell therapy is the queen.
But before I found stem cell treatment, I found low level laser treatment, which is also a regenerative medical approach, in that it reduces inflammation and regenerates tissue, supporting the body’s natural healing processes. I found obscure published articles about the use of LLLT for TN, and since it was only available in the USA at large scale clinics at prohibitive expense, I found a way to purchase a LLLT unit that is only legal to be sold for animal use—that has the same specs as the little article I found. The large-scale clinics would not provide me with the specs of the laser units they were using! The for-profit model of health care in the USA supports such tactics.

Thus I got by with this for years. It enabled me to retire to Costa Rica. As I love nature and animals, this turned out to be an ideal location for me, and I’m extremely grateful to live here.

I got tired though of using this LLLT every couple of months, and in my experience it only brought relief after using it for a couple of weeks. (Which is the same as what was cited in the article published, with an N of 2 subjects!)

While here, I looked for other regenerative medical approaches and I came upon Dr. Leslie Mesen’s clinic and stem cell therapy.
What a Godsend! I had the autologous adipose tissue treatment in March 2018, followed a couple of months later with the platelet rich plasma treatment. Within a couple of months I only had aching, none of the debilitating electric shocks that made it impossible for me to speak or eat.
And I’ve had 3 years of my life back! I was completely pain free for 2 years after an incredible reduction of pain the first year!

Recently the pain has returned and I’m having my second treatment, this time with stem cells derived from donated umbilical cord tissue. I look forward to another few years of freedom from pain and disability.

And I thank God so much for the fact that I didn’t go down the path of mutilating my body chasing down every whatever cell or nerve needed to be medicated or excised or numbed. This is an unending rabbit hole that the Western medical paradigm presents us. And we get sicker and sicker while pursuing this.

Our bodies know how to heal. They need support. Stem cell therapy is entrusting our bodies.

I highly recommend this treatment, and in particular this clinic and Dr. Mesen. The staff are kind, knowledgeable and professional.

I only comment that if you have the opportunity to pursue this BEFORE other approaches please go for it! The cost is reasonable! If you look at the cost of your life, entertaining years of pharmaceutical experimentation, and the cost of the other approaches such as surgeries, and how the USA system milks every last dime out of a person, the cost for this treatment is so reasonable!

Thank you Dr. Mesen, for bringing us this option.