I have experienced Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) since 2000. It is now in remission with the help of medication, and I am pain free. Certain activities of daily living need to be modified or avoided to reduce the likelihood of flare-ups.

Classic TN affects one side of the face and head. Pain varies from mild to intense, electric-shock-like. The pain can last for an instant, or intermittently for hours, and may come-and-go for months. 25,000+ people in the United States have this disorder. Medication or surgical procedures can help, but there is no certain remedy for everyone.

Between 2004 and 2006 my TN was not fully controlled. High doses of medication strongly affected my thinking, speaking and coordination. In 2006, I began the Trigeminal Neuralgia Series as a way to cope with the pain and emotional distress, and as a way to visually express to non-sufferers what having TN is like.

I tried to make the paintings appealing, using humor at times, so people might be willing to look at the paintings and to understand. When exhibiting at TN conferences, or at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, people have pointed to an image and said, “That’s me.”