Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 18765

Shown: posts 1 to 17 of 17. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

pain

Posted by Plum on January 11, 2000, at 22:53:29

I haven't seen this forum before, so I'm going to ask
a dumb question:
Is there anyone else out there who is being made
crazy with pain? I have a problem with my
ulnar nerve--the "funny bone" nerve. The outside
halves of my hand and arm burn like I had just set
them in boiling water.

I am taking 2400mg neurontin per day and 600 mg of
Serzone. Almost 4 months for the Neurontin. Longer
for the Serzone. Tonight it is so bad I feel like
going outside and howling at the moon.
Running berserk through the streets.

 

Re: pain

Posted by Cass on January 12, 2000, at 0:23:52

In reply to pain , posted by Plum on January 11, 2000, at 22:53:29

Plum, you have my deepest sympathy. Can I assume that since you are on meds for your condition that it has been diagnosed? I have undiagnosed foot pain. The pain can be horrible, but the frustration of not knowing what causes it doesn't help. Also, people tend not to believe in things they cannot see, so my pain receives some skeptism, at times. I empathize with your suffering. It sounds awful. I wish you the very best.

 

Plum's Pain

Posted by bigbertha on January 12, 2000, at 3:05:15

In reply to pain , posted by Plum on January 11, 2000, at 22:53:29

> The outside halves of my hand and arm burn like I had just set
> them in boiling water.

Sounds a bit like neuropathy, which can have any number
of causes (including unknown: eg, physical injury
certain meds and/or diseases, and even genetic. Are you being
treated by a pain specialist, neurologist, psych, or
GP?
>
> I am taking 2400mg neurontin per day and 600 mg of
> Serzone. Almost 4 months for the Neurontin. Longer
> for the Serzone.

I understand that some of the TCA's are effective
for neuropathy, if that is your condition. But again,
response varies. You might even try yoga so that
you have more control over the intensity.

I wish your mind and body peace and serenity.
bb

 

Re: pain -neuropathy

Posted by S. Suggs on January 12, 2000, at 4:20:45

In reply to pain , posted by Plum on January 11, 2000, at 22:53:29

I myself had a condition called geniculate neuralgia. Felt like someone was sticking an ice pick in my ear - without any warning. The Neurontin is often taken up to 3600 per day. The post which mentioned a tricyclic is an excellent suggestion. Ask your doc. Elavil (amitryptyline) would be a good start. It is sedating, but better than the pain. If you and your dr. choose this route, you should see a reduction with the sedation factor on the Elavil (as with most TCA's). As you have found out, Neurontin makes you sleepy as well. I hope all works out, blessings.

S. Suggs

 

Re: pain -neuropathy

Posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 4:35:43

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by S. Suggs on January 12, 2000, at 4:20:45

I had surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome in 1994, and woke up from the surgery in excruciating pain that has never gone away. I had months of physiotherapyafter the surgery, then all kinds of tests where they stuck little needles in my arm and hand and ran electrical currents through them. The consensus seemed to be that I had "causalgia" which as far as I know simply means "burning pain". In November of 1998 I had surgery again on the nerve--this time by one of the best in the world.
(the retirement fund is gone...) No relief. I had handled it (I thought) pretty well until enough time had gone by after the second surgery that if it were going to improve, it would have happened. Now I have to lose all hope. It is never going to be any better than it is now, and nights like tonight--weeks like this week, for that matter--I really would rather be dead. If I get 2 hours sleep out of 24 that is a victory. I am now diagnosed with severe depression and have been off work since July. I want to work. I NEED to work. But I cry every day. I am getting weekly counselling, and I respect and admire my counsellor, but he can't be with me at 3:00 in the morning. Nobody can, I guess.
The nearest pain clinic is 150 miles away. I tried that in 1995 and 1996. One day off work every week for nerve blocks--didn't make any difference.
I had a hatchet in my hand the other day--was going to chop the thing off. I've about had it.

My GP doesn't want to give me any more neurontin, because I want to go back to work and he says I can't work or drive until I get the dosages down. But if I lower the dosage of
Serzone to even 400 I end up sitting in the dark in my housecoat, crying most of the day.

What was it Job said? Was it Job? "Curse God and die"? Sounds good to me.

 

Re: Plum's Pain

Posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 4:37:42

In reply to Plum's Pain, posted by bigbertha on January 12, 2000, at 3:05:15

Oh, and thank you all for your responses. It helps, really, just to know someone out there is listening.

Plum

 

plum's pain

Posted by juniper on January 12, 2000, at 13:38:22

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 4:35:43

plum,

my heart goes out to you. i often wonder how i would deal with severe physical pain, as i know my dealings with the mental sorts.
i wonder if your depression could be exacerbated by the fact that not only are you in severe pain (as if this were not enough in its own right), but since you do not work nor drive you may be somewhat of a recluse. in my experience, brooding at home helps nothing. have you tried to find a support group? volunteering? classes such as meditation (to meet others and perhaps help the pain?) a part-time job? i am aware that these suggestions may seem trite in light of what you are experiencing, but if you continue to do what you've done, you will continue to get what you've gotten.
have you been on any other ADs or mood stablizers aside from serzone and neurontin? are you taking anything specifically for sleep?
you are in my thoughts and prayers.
please keep us updated on how things are going for you....

juniper

 

Re: pain -neuropathy

Posted by S. Suggs on January 12, 2000, at 13:42:41

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 4:35:43

Plum, I can without a doubt say that you have had it much worse than I have. I cannot say I know how you feel, because I don't. I will not knock Serzone, but I had very little, if any, from it, when I tried it several years ago. I personally think you need another antidepressant (an SSRI for ex.) and, will your doc write a strong pain killer (oxycontin ex. , many others out there, schedule II narcotics) for the pain, at least until you get back on your feet. The TCA route I mentioned in my previous post is still a good one, but you need some results, and fast. If the pain is that bad, he should help you out or refer you to someone who can. One thing I know for a fact: Severe pain will make one depressed. Keep us up to date as we are concerned about you. My you somehow be blessed in this trial.

S. Suggs

 

Re: plum's pain

Posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 16:09:25

In reply to plum's pain, posted by juniper on January 12, 2000, at 13:38:22

Dear Juniper,

Thanks for your kind reply and good suggestions. I dont really think I am reclusive--I go for a walk every day--usually with one friend or another. I have a group of loving and loyal friends who see to it that I get out or have someone in pretty well every day. My therapy is going well, s far as the depression is concerned. And yes, the constant unremitting pain IS a large factor in the depression. I think almost anyone sentenced to sleep no more than an hour or so at a time for 5 years--without one single night of respite, is going to get clinically depressed--just from sleep deprivation.

But knowing all that doesn't make the actual experience of depression any different. Left to my own devices I probably WOULD become a recluse.

I feel better today than yeserday--I know the kind letters on this site have helped--and I'm not considered self amputation anymore (today. The nights are the worst. Does anyone know--is there such a thing as getting a nerve permanently deadened? Maybe I could get it completely severed and then it wouldn't hurt anymore? I know that I would lose the use of that half of my hand completely and permanently but that would be okay. How would I go about finding out whether or not that could be done?

I don't think my doctor even wants to see me any more. Oh that's probably not really true--I think he feels sorry for me, but frustrated? Maybe he wishes I would just go away? I can't type too much--one handed--and I'm just babbling anyway.

Plum

 

Re: pain -neuropathy

Posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 16:23:31

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by S. Suggs on January 12, 2000, at 13:42:41

Thank you for your reply. I guess I failed to mention: I have had three month trials of Elavil, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Effexor znd some others I can't recall. Lamictal. Tegretol. Since the onset of the pain, I have also had hypertension. My Dr. has had a great deal of difficulty finding a drug which would deal with that. This summer he had me on a very high dose of a beta blocker, and that's when this severe depression started. I think I pretty well cried for 3 months. Someone who hadn't seen me for just about that length of time didn't recognize me. Then thought I was my mother. The BP is pretty good now--the medications for that seem to be working, but my Dr. will not prescribe opiates because he says they won't help anyway. He's probably right, because we HAVE tried percocet and percodan and they make me throw up. So does morphine. If I take enough dramamine to take care of THAT, I might as wll go to bed and suck my thumb. That's how much I have to work with in the way of brain cells.

It seems like I either have to be seconds away from breaking out in shrieks of pain, or walking around like a zombie.

I gained a lot of weight the first 3 years of this pain--"comfort eating" I think. When my blood pressure got so high I DID lose the weight--I am now 5' 10" and 160 lbs, and I eat sensibly and walk every day, and try to meditate and I absolutely CAN'T type another word. Hand hurts.

Plum.

 

More for Plum

Posted by bigbertha on January 12, 2000, at 17:31:29

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 16:23:31

Hi Plum - just a couple of thoughts

1. Beta blockers are NOTORIOUS for precipitating
or exacerbating depression. I think they affect
GABA (gamma amino-something, it's one of them
brain chems that influence serotonin). So if you
were blasted with this stuff, it may have shoved
you into that ol' pit.

2. Remember, pain meds (especially opiates), may
require titrating. I remember the first couple
of weeks on Effexor, as RoseanneRoseannnaDanna (if you're
old enough to remember the original Sat. Night LIve),
would say:"I thought I wuz gonna die..." - from
nausea. But tiny dosing increments helped alot.
Also, I've read that topical creams (for arthritis) containing
capsaicin (red hot chili peppers!) have been used
successfully in some cases. Apparently they work
by super-stimulation of the nerve endings in the
skin, thereby exhausting the pain-producing elements.
Zovarix (sp?) is one brand.

3. Is there a medical/university center within a
reasonable distance? Your doc could get rid of you
(just kidding!) and you might receive more effective
treatment. Are you feeling well enough to research
online sites, especially places like NIH, Stanford,
etc. If not, let me help.

4. I know you're worried about working, but if you
have a true disability, you can apply for Social
Security. This would of course be a last resort
scenario, but it is a possibility.

Hang in there, Plum.
bb

 

Re: plum's pain

Posted by juniper on January 13, 2000, at 0:20:40

In reply to Re: plum's pain, posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 16:09:25

plum,

it is wonderful that you have a group of kind friends who are there for you. you actually sound like you get out more than i do! i am sure that this helps you a great deal.
i wonder if there is such a thing as having a nerve severed. i would imagine that calling a neurologist may be a good start on finding information on that. it almost seems drastic, but in light of what you have been through, it makes sense. and i imagine that you cannot use that hand much anyway as it is.
have you tried anything for insomnia? have you gone to a sleep clinic? do you think that your insomnia is related to the pain, or did it occur before this also?
i agree that as much sleeplessness as you have had would certainly make anyone depressed. too much time to think, but too tired to think straight anyway.
what kind of doctor is your doctor? a specialist?
my thoughts are with you...wishing you a "good" day :)

juniper


 

Re: pain -neuropathy

Posted by Phillip Marx on January 13, 2000, at 0:32:15

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by Plum on January 12, 2000, at 16:23:31

http://www.google.com/search?q=Neuropathy

My mom has diabetic neuropathy.
Biofeedback helped a little, but she had to get over the accidental "opposite" effects.

Browsing those sites matured my sympathies for her and neuropathy.
She goes to a neuropathy support group at her Senior's Center.
It is so invisible to the non-affected. But it is too, too real.
Down with diabetes, up with vanadyl sulphate and chromium picolinate.

pm


> Thank you for your reply. I guess I failed to mention: I have had three month trials of Elavil, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Effexor znd some others I can't recall. Lamictal. Tegretol. Since the onset of the pain, I have also had hypertension. My Dr. has had a great deal of difficulty finding a drug which would deal with that. This summer he had me on a very high dose of a beta blocker, and that's when this severe depression started. I think I pretty well cried for 3 months. Someone who hadn't seen me for just about that length of time didn't recognize me. Then thought I was my mother. The BP is pretty good now--the medications for that seem to be working, but my Dr. will not prescribe opiates because he says they won't help anyway. He's probably right, because we HAVE tried percocet and percodan and they make me throw up. So does morphine. If I take enough dramamine to take care of THAT, I might as wll go to bed and suck my thumb. That's how much I have to work with in the way of brain cells.
>
> It seems like I either have to be seconds away from breaking out in shrieks of pain, or walking around like a zombie.
>
> I gained a lot of weight the first 3 years of this pain--"comfort eating" I think. When my blood pressure got so high I DID lose the weight--I am now 5' 10" and 160 lbs, and I eat sensibly and walk every day, and try to meditate and I absolutely CAN'T type another word. Hand hurts.
>
> Plum.

 

plum's pain

Posted by juniper on January 13, 2000, at 1:16:33

In reply to Re: pain -neuropathy, posted by Phillip Marx on January 13, 2000, at 0:32:15

plum,

just one more entry from a fellow insomniac:
i was looking at some sites on causalgia, and found that neurosurgeons have developed techniques for severing nerve pathways involved, but this surgery (oddly enough) is not always completely successful. have you tried a localized sympathetic nerve block?


peace to you,
juniper

 

Re: plum's pain

Posted by Plum on January 13, 2000, at 12:42:01

In reply to plum's pain, posted by juniper on January 13, 2000, at 1:16:33

Dear Juniper,

Yes, I have had ay number of nerve blocks. The only
one that worked was when the second surgery was done, they infused the open wound with marcane before the stitched it up. Then I woke up in the recovery room for the first fime in almost 5 years, the pain was gone. Completely gone. I started to cry, then had to explain to the nurses that I wasn't crying because I was In pain but because I was OUT of it. But I guess that's not something I can do again. I'm not sure this site isn't dangerous for me, because I have been trying to get to the stage where I will never again raise my hopes
its too hard to have to realize again that whatever I thought was ging to work, didn't. Crying again. cant see thankyou

 

Re: plum's pain

Posted by Morc on January 13, 2000, at 13:33:33

In reply to Re: plum's pain, posted by Plum on January 13, 2000, at 12:42:01


Plum:

Have you tried St. John's Wort? Not only is it a potent antidepressant, but it's often used for nerve pain. It very successfully anesthetized a part of my body!, though not one I wanted.

 

Re: plum's pain

Posted by juniper on January 13, 2000, at 17:12:19

In reply to Re: plum's pain, posted by Plum on January 13, 2000, at 12:42:01

plum,

i know the hopeless feeling, but i can now look back at the times that i felt completely hopeless and see, rationally, that there were options i hadn't explored, and because of these options i should have still had some hope. but hope is not rational and when you feel hopeless you stop looking for any more options. and while you have tried a lot, and been through hell, you haven't tried everything.
do you have a friend who can, or is, help to support you in your search for some relief? someone who can make some calls or do some research when you are not feeling up for it?
one of the things i read last night mentioned acupunture...
what have you tried for sleep?
it seems to me like you are standing at a crossroads and are swaying as to whether you should continue to fight or just give up. i have no authority to tell you either way, but if you do give up, things will likely stay the way they are, and that is obviously not good.
please take care and continue to write.
peace,
juniper

> Dear Juniper,
>
> Yes, I have had ay number of nerve blocks. The only
> one that worked was when the second surgery was done, they infused the open wound with marcane before the stitched it up. Then I woke up in the recovery room for the first fime in almost 5 years, the pain was gone. Completely gone. I started to cry, then had to explain to the nurses that I wasn't crying because I was In pain but because I was OUT of it. But I guess that's not something I can do again. I'm not sure this site isn't dangerous for me, because I have been trying to get to the stage where I will never again raise my hopes
> its too hard to have to realize again that whatever I thought was ging to work, didn't. Crying again. cant see thankyou


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