Cait Devin has always been entranced with music. This vocalist and guitarist, now 20 years old, released her first album in 2020, and is currently working on new music. But, as Mark Sisti reported in the Observer-Dispatch, Cait’s journey has not been easy due to her experiences with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Despite her chronic nerve pain, Cait recently returned to playing gigs and will release her new single, “Glitter,” on September 17, 2021.
Learn more and check out Cait’s music here.
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)
So what is trigeminal neuralgia? This long-term chronic pain and neurological condition, also known as tic douloureux, affects the trigeminal nerve. Normally, the trigeminal nerve transmits and carries sensations from the face to the brain. But in patients with trigeminal neuralgia, even light or mild facial stimulation causes extreme, excruciating facial pain. While some patients may experience “attacks” lasting for a few seconds to a few minutes, the pain may also last for hours. Trigeminal neuralgia can result from trigeminal nerve injuries, tumors, tangled arteries, blood vessels pressing on the nerve, or other conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS). It often affects females more than males, and older individuals more than younger.
Typically, trigeminal neuralgia occurs in either TN1 (the more common form) or TN2 (the rarer form), although patients may have both forms. Symptoms include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Excessive salivation
- Facial and head contortion
- Unintended weight loss
- Intense, electrical-shock-like spasms in the lower face, jaw, and nose
- Dull, short-lived facial pain
- Spontaneous pain OR pain caused by shaving, singing, drinking hot/cold beverages, brushing teeth, or other similar movements
When Cait began experiencing symptoms associated with this condition, they included insomnia and weight loss, with Cait falling to around 79 pounds. However, she also experienced something even more difficult: pain while singing which prevented her from pursuing a career in music.
But Cait knew that music was her future, so she decided to work to overcome the challenges she faced. For example, she learned the value of rest and self-care. She started creating and spearheading charity events to give back to others. For example, she collaborated with a variety of nearly 100 guitarists, including an all-female group, to fundraise for There With Care.
Currently, Cait isn’t sure what the future will bring. Her doctors are still working to figure out exactly what is causing her condition. In the meantime, she plays gigs when she can. On September 24, 2021, Cait will travel to Liverpool, England to open up for Held Hostage and Tim Ripper Owens. Her new single, “Glitter,” will also drop within the week. No matter what the future holds, Cait knows one thing: that she will always have music to fall back on.