Veteran TV personality Denise Drysdale has been hospitalised with a rare nerve disorder, according to reports. The 72-year-old was taken to hospital after suffering “unspeakable agony” in her face last week.

Explaining her absence on Studio 10 the past few days, entertainment reporter Craig Bennett told viewers what had happened. “You might’ve noticed you haven’t seen somebody on this couch or on this show for a little while. We’re talking Denise Drysdale.

“Why you’ve not seen her on the show for a little bit is because of this reason. Last week she was taken to hospital after suffering unspeakable agony that she described to me as a cross between being struck by a lightning bolt and a white hot poker.” He added, “It turns out she’s suffering from a rare nerve disorder that affects the face. Trigeminal neuralgia, it’s called.”

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the fifth cranial nerve, and causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that can last anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Bennett told viewers he has been speaking to Denise multiple times a day and that she’s on the mend. “I know we all share in wishing our Denise Drysdale the speediest of recoveries. We need our regular dose of Ding Dong,” referring to Drysdale’s nickname on the show.

According to Bennett, Drysdale had told him that she “can’t take a trick”. “She said, ‘Literally it’s one thing after the next. A tsunami of medical mishaps.’ I said, ‘Darling forget about a car, I’d just buy an ambulance,’” Bennett joked. The pair were most likely referring to Drysdale’s accident on the set of Channel 7 show Holey Moley last year, where she tripped during a challenge and fractured her shoulder.

Co-host Sarah Harris said of Drysdale, “You know what, she just keeps getting up and going. She’s got such a big heart and irrepressible energy.”

Image: Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Images

This article first appeared on Over60.