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My Story

My name is Sheena Sharapata and I was diagnosed as migraines with aura for 18 years from 8 concussions while playing competitive soccer.  I had to forgo an athletic college scholarship offer in high school due to an array of head pain symptoms starting at age 14 and at age 32 when shocks and stabs started in my ear, eye and temple, I sought medical attention.  My doctor advised on a new MRI with and without contrast in the hope to get a proper diagnosis.


While searching for answers, my MRI was clear of tumors, MS, white matter and aneurisms.  I had a family member who was diagnosed 10 years ago with Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known as the suicide disease, but with textbook symptoms. We decided to rule out this neurological condition.  My imaging was originally read negative by the Radiologist, but then it came back that I had a major artery touching/compressing my 5th cranial trigeminal nerve and did in fact have Trigeminal Neuralgia. I rarely had the textbook symptoms of teeth pain and a sensitive face to touch.


I continued to search for answers and went for a consultation with a Neurosurgeon at a top Hospital after explaining I had a family member that was diagnosed with TN 10 years ago.  The Fiesta MRI with and without contrast confirmed the diagnosis and this imaging allowed a closer look with higher resolution slices to see additional veins, blood vessels or arteries that could be potentially compressing the cranial nerve.


I have had two successful MVD Surgeries for Bilateral Trigeminal Neuralgia, known as the Microvascular Decompression Surgery, where the medical team drills a small hole in the skull behind the ear then place Teflon spacers between the compressions of the areas touching.  My right side MVD surgery was completed in October 2019 with Dr. Lim where a major artery was touching my cranial nerve in two locations that was decompressed with Teflon.  Then, 6 months later, my left side MVD surgery was completed on March 2020 with Dr. Lim where a vein was touching my cranial nerve in two locations that was decompressed with Teflon.


My symptoms were not typical and now I continue to share my symptoms, journey and successful surgeries throughout social media to reach and help many find validation including athletes, veterans and first responders. I had intense pressure in my head like it was constantly in a vice, pressure in my eyes so bad it felt like they were going to pop out, numb hand, muscle knots everywhere in back and shoulder blades, blurred vision, strained vision with floaters, plugged ear with random ringing, anxiety, severe emotional ups and downs, balance issues, electric shocks in my eye, ear and temple, stabbing icepick pain in my ear and pulsating in my temple.

Sheena with Dr. Lim of Stanford Medical Facility

“God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.”

Sheena Post Surgery with doctors from Stanford.
LEARN MORE ABOUT Trigeminal Neuralgia


Sheena shares her story on a variety of podcasts below to increase impact and awareness.

Sons of the Flag RADIO October 17th, 2023

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