Missing in Action
I would like to thank everyone who sent me their words and wishes of support during what has been one of the most traumatic periods in my life. I dropped off the radar for about 18 months, and people will probably wonder why, so rather than keep repeating myself, I thought I'd setup this page so you can read it in all the gory detail.

It appears that I have developed a neuropathic disorder called Trigeminal Neuralgia which is a condition of the trigeminal nerve which encompasses most of the face. If you read the wikipedia page in the link, you can see that it can be quite a nasty thing to have. To quote from the first sentence on symptoms:
 People with the condition "are begging to be killed," said Kim Burchiel, M.D. 
Well, that was me for the last quarter of 2007, most of 2008 and much of January and February 2009. My problem wasn't just the neuralgia, I have also developed (since 2006) an acute case of excema, a dry, itchy skin condition. This has made the condition a hundred fold worse, and decidedly even more unbearable. Initially, the TN was treated as a symptom of the excema, and consequently went undiagnosed for more than a year.

So what with the chronic (and constant) pain, came days or even weeks without proper sleep, sometimes only an hour of fairly shallow sleep was all I could get in one go. Sometimes, I'd just collapse where I was standing (or sitting) into sleep, without warning. Along with this came the almost inevitable depression, and thoughts of just ending it all were never far from my mind for over a year. It was only the persistence of my doctors that gave me hope. Now that I am being treated correctly, the prognosis is good, with a range of medications and surgeries available. It is far from over, and even with my current medication I am in a lot of pain, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported me, even in the smallest of ways, it has all helped.
Phil Ide

24th March, 2009