JUST BEING THERE
If you are looking after or even just visiting someone who is affected in this way, remember that your care and attention is invaluable. They may not be able to express their gratitude, but it will be immense, you can be sure of that. At times when their pain is severe, try not to engage them in long conversations. You may only get a grunt by way of response! But just your presence and kind words do much to alleviate their distress.
Try not to make them feel as if they are a burden even though this may be difficult. To be in the company of a fellow patientis comforting beyond belief but better still is to be with a loved one who has done everything possible to really understand the problem and is patient and sympathetic.
HELP OTHERS UNDERSTAND TN
The pain may strike when talking, so be aware that conversation may be halting or may cease altogether for a while. If it strikes during mealtimes, eating may be slow or hesitant. If you are in company when this happens, you should be aware that your partner may have ‘seized up’ and it would be helpful if you could take over the conversation until he/she recovers, or explain to friends why your nearest and dearest has stopped ‘mid-chew’. Eye contact messages between you, or hand gestures, will become more important. You may even spot the flinch or hear the intake of breath. Try to pick up on these signals quickly and take appropriate steps to prevent your partner having to suffer embarrassment or further unnecessary pain in trying to explain why they cannot talk or why they are taking so long over their meals.