Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Pain management

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1

    Pain management

    My wife in Feb of 2009 was in a car accident where her so called friend was supposed to be the designated driver ran a redlight and hit a semi tractor trailer. They went completely under the trailer and out the other side leaving my wife with a C4 injury and the other two girls went home to there families that night. My wife is currently attending Project Walk in Calrsbad, Ca which is an amazing place for the body and soul. It is a long way from home for us ( Canada ) but so worth it. Lately her neuropathic pain has been totally unbearable more so then usual. Mostly hits later on in the evening towards bedtime. She was and curently still is on Gabepentin of 3200mg/day which wasnt enough and now Dr. has given her Lyrica 150mg/day on top of the Gabepentin. He never talked about coming off the Gabepentin, I see many posts about coming off one drug and going unto another. He has also given her Oxycodone to bridge the gap but none of this is coming close to helping her with her pain. I feel so helpless watching her cry at night. All these drugs are affecting her body and mind.
    I did recently see an article about Lithium and its use for chronic Neuropathic pain. I know Dr. Young mentioned it recently in Atlanta during a conference. I can only find articles about Lithium as a bi-polar drug and nothing about Neuopathic pain.
    Wondering if anyone can sheds some light on any of this for her?


    Thank you

  2. #2

    Pain Management

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieBear View Post
    My wife in Feb of 2009 was in a car accident where her so called friend was supposed to be the designated driver ran a redlight and hit a semi tractor trailer. They went completely under the trailer and out the other side leaving my wife with a C4 injury and the other two girls went home to there families that night. My wife is currently attending Project Walk in Calrsbad, Ca which is an amazing place for the body and soul. It is a long way from home for us ( Canada ) but so worth it. Lately her neuropathic pain has been totally unbearable more so then usual. Mostly hits later on in the evening towards bedtime. She was and curently still is on Gabepentin of 3200mg/day which wasnt enough and now Dr. has given her Lyrica 150mg/day on top of the Gabepentin. He never talked about coming off the Gabepentin, I see many posts about coming off one drug and going unto another. He has also given her Oxycodone to bridge the gap but none of this is coming close to helping her with her pain. I feel so helpless watching her cry at night. All these drugs are affecting her body and mind.
    I did recently see an article about Lithium and its use for chronic Neuropathic pain. I know Dr. Young mentioned it recently in Atlanta during a conference. I can only find articles about Lithium as a bi-polar drug and nothing about Neuopathic pain.
    Wondering if anyone can sheds some light on any of this for her?
    Thank you
    Hi EddieB! Your wife, and you, have my heartfelt sympathy. I also have severe neuropathic pain and have an ongoing struggle with medications. My injury was nontraumatic and due to a virus that got into my spinal cord. When my immune system attacked the virus, it also attacked my own spinal cord tissue. Large amounts of prednisone stopped the virus, but I was left with sensory nerve damage in the CSN, which is likely what your wife has. My pain is on my entire left half, from armpit level down.

    I take 3600 mg/day of Gabapentin and recently, my Dr has added 150 mg/day Lyrica, so our medications are similar. I have been on the Lyrica only for about a month, but I have a couple years of experience with the Gabapentin. I have found out several things which might be helpful. First, my Drs have told me that the Gaba works best when the dosage in your system is consistent. I have read that the effective "life" of Gaba in your system is 6 hours. Because of this, I switched from 4 tablets 3 times a day to 3 tablets 4 times a day. Unfortunately, since the meds make me sleep a lot (10 hours/day or more), I have settled on taking my pills at 9 am, 3 pm, 9 pm, and 3 am, so I have to set an alarm for 3 am. I keep my dosage & a glass of water on my nightstand, so I can wake up, take my dosage, & go right back to sleep. This is aggravating, but it has helped.

    Eventually one's body begins to tolerate the Gabapentin more, so the dosage is less effective & need to be increased. The max considered safe is 3600 mg/day, so that's why my Dr and your wife's prescribed the Lyrica. My previous Doc told me that Lyrica is very similar to Gabapentin which has been further processed by the body, i.e., like a more synthesized version. Therefore, a lower dosage of the medication is needed. He said that if I didn't have a lot of trouble with the Gaba then I was likely to not have trouble with the Lyrica. I do not know if my body will become more used to the Lyrica over time so that I will need to take more. Lyrica is quite a bit more expensive, unfortunately.

    Both medications make me feel sleepy all the time, but I can still function. I fatigue more easily and estimate that I am at 70% of what I was before. When I feel fairly good, I have spurts of energy and can do most things that I used to. But if I overdo, I pay for it heavily for the next day or two. It is important to pace oneself.

    I believe that stress and upset make my pain worse. I tend to be the opposite of your wife in that my pain is worst before 2:00 pm, so I feel best in the late afternoon & evenings. I also take one Amitriptyline (10 mg) at night and it helps with the pain a bit, plus puts me right to sleep. I tried Tegretol, and it helped a little also, but made me depressed and suicidal. Everyone is a bit different and your wife needs to work with her Dr. My pain is worst in my left arm & hand and so I was seen by a peripheral nerve specialist who discovered that I also had Carpal Tunnel in my left wrist. I'm sure this was from constant computer use when I was so sick for so long!

    I find that moist heat helps me a lot. I take hot baths (with Epsom salts) and lay down and soak my left side. This helps me a lot. I also use microwaveable heating pads on my left hand, arm, & side. My Doc says that this might help because the flood of heat sensations to my brain may be overwhelming the damaged sensory signals, so the damaged (painful) signals aren't as noticable.

    Lastly, I find that the more active I am, the less pain I feel. Particularly, redundant motions like peeling potatoes or weeding, or even taking walks, reduce my pain. I suspect that the repetetive muscle movement has the same "flooding" effect as the heat.

    I still have my times of crying because of the pain, but I have been able to reduce these by monitoring my dosage carefully, communicating precisely with my Dr, using moist heat, and being active. One more thing...not drinking coffee, tea, or soda after 4:00 pm has helped my sleep greatly. If I want something, I drink peppermint or cammomile tea.

    Good luck to you and you wife! I know exactly how she feels, and I'm so sorry about her pain.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    3,070
    Sometimes you come off pain meds for something else, and sometimes you just add. If the gabapentin is giving her some relief, then it makes more sense to add something to get enough relief than go completely off to something new that has no guarantee of helping at all.

    Gabapentin, Lyrica, and Cymbalta are the go-to meds for nerve pain. I'm unfamiliar with Lithium being used for nerve pain. The next step after the nerve pain meds would probably be tramadol, which is considered a non narcotic opiod. After that would be the stronger opiates. Is she seeing a pain specialist or does her neuro write the meds? If she isn't, seeing a pain specialist may help.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

Similar Threads

  1. What is Pain Management?
    By dejerine in forum Pain
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 11-02-2010, 10:09 PM
  2. pain management doctor
    By jack in forum Pain
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-18-2008, 01:31 PM
  3. pain management
    By eagle18 in forum Pain
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-26-2006, 10:01 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-13-2004, 02:50 PM
  5. pain management
    By giambjj in forum Care
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-20-2002, 02:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •