Family of Saskatoon woman living with chronic nerve pain raising money for costly surgery
|globalnews.ca 17 Sep 2019 at 20:27|
“It’s a really helpless feeling, honestly,” said Jenna’s sister, Shaina Lynden. “She’s just kind of been living in a state of managing pain from day to day.”
The pain is connected to what they believe was a wisdom teeth extraction gone wrong, leaving her with exposed nerves, cracked teeth and deteriorating joints in her jaw.
“On both sides the joint bones are rubbing against each other, so she’s got osteoarthritis now,” added Jenna’s brother, Jaris Swidrovich.
Jenna was eventually diagnosed with atypical trigeminal neuralgia — a rare, unpredictable form of nerve pain triggered by even the slightest stimulation of the face.
“So excruciating,” Jaris said. “At times she would be screaming at the top of her lungs for sometimes eight hours a day.”
“Something that sends her into pain one day might not the next,” Lynden said. “It’s hard to pinpoint for the people around her and it’s hard for her to explain.”
When things progressed, Jenna was in nursing school and her doctor recommended she take a medical leave.
She’s on a number of different medications to help with the intense discomfort.
“She has seen absolutely everyone from neurosurgeons to oral surgeons to naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists — the list goes on,” Lynden said.
Her family said finding the right support in Canada has been an exhaustive effort.
“We did find some other practitioners across Canada, but two to three years waiting list just to get to see one of them,” Jaris explained. “There are so few who specialize in what Jenna is experiencing.”
After researching multiple specialists, they found a doctor at in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“He feels he has a prognosis for her in terms of surgery,” Lynden said. “That gives some hope.”
However, the past three years have not only been emotionally draining, but financially as well, according to Jenna’s family — prompting a relative to set a up a GoFundMe campaign for the more than $70,000 surgery.
“Where my parents are, they’re left in a position of going into their retirement, going into their pensions,” Lynden said.
Now 25 years old, Jenna did manage to complete her nursing degree, but her family says her day-to-day is still unpredictable.