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Thread: in pain and depressed

  1. #1
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    in pain and depressed

    Thanks to my post-SCI pain problem, I have not been able have any kind of life in the 20 years since I broke C-5 and C-6 in a diving accident. Where are the pains? Everywhere, just about. Here's the list, with a few details:

    Shoulder blade region - level 10. Area burns, feels tight, and feels like the shoulder blades and vertebrae in between are sticking out through my skin. This area affects my use of my arms.

    Abdomen - level 10. Entire abdomen burns, and feels tight (like a heavy, hot object is laying on it, or like my skin has been scraped off. Because of this pain, I always feel full and abit queasy, so I have to force what little food I eat. Breathing is painful, since the action moves the abdomen.

    Hands - level 6. Tingle, burn, feel heavy, and feel like fingers are stuck together.

    Legs - level varies from 8 in ankles and feet to low level in thighs. Legs, feet, and toes feel stuck together. Some areas burn.

    Like most every other quad, I have a scoliosis, so I feel off-balance constantly.

    Because of this severe pain syndrome, I don't sleep, and basically have no life. I don't even go to doctors any more. Paralysis is nothing compared to the pains. I'm depressed, and wish I could I just end these pains somehow, but I have no clue as to a way to do myself in, even if I wanted to. I've tried all sorts of meds, spinal cord stimulator, alternative therapies, and no joy - the pains just keep intensifying with time. I've had numerous MRIs over the years, and a laminectomy back in '87 to look for the cause of the pains - no syrinx or anything.

    I'm at the end of my rope, and don't know what to do. Nobody deserves to be in pain like this. Any good ideas would be appreciated,

  2. #2

    in pain and depressed...

    I can only imagine the pain you are having...I do not have an answer for you, but I just wanted to tell you to keep your chin up! I am not sure what would be worse...the pain or the depression. I just joined the forums because I have a friend with a sci. Please email me privately if you can...I tried emailing you, but your address is not "real". I had already emailed you and it is too long to email here...no answers, just moral support!!! Or is moral support allowed here? Hope so! I will not be able to reply until tomorrow...

    My email is heartscriber@excite.com

    Teena

  3. #3
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    pain and depression

    My email address is alan@min.net.

    I think the support I need ended when Dr. Kevorkian went to jail. I've got support here, but it doesn't make the pains go away, or explain why they only intensify, never decrease. I'm past level 10 now, and my pattern is that the pain level never drops once it hits a new level.

    In my next life, I'll know to panic when I'm stuck under water. If I had panicked the day of my accident, I would have missed all this fun. Instead, by listening to the advice of swimming teachers, I bought myself a life sentence of pain and paralysis that I can do nothing about.

    On a pain note to everyone - does anyone here have a morphine pump? If so, how does it affect things like transfers or turning in bed? Can movement pull the catheter out of the spinal canal?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Alan, a buddy of mine had a baclofen pump, and he was very flexible and active with no complications. I imagine the morphine pump would be similarly reliable, but I'm no expert.

    ~Rus

    "Because you're not promised tomorrow." ~ Stuck Mojo

  5. #5
    Hi, Alan,

    My son is C5, and has a Baclofen pump; I understand that a pain pump works on a very similar basis; his pump is about the size of a hockey puck, and sits under the skin on his right lower/mid-abdomen. It doesn't interfere with transfers, or bed mobility; he sleeps on his stomach quite a bit; we have to be a little careful doing transfers as to where and how we place our arms, so as not to kink or displace the catheter, which runs from the pump to his back,at about the lower thoracics. Other than that, the only hassle is that jeans he wore pre-pump are a little snug now, because of the placement of the pump in his abdomen, and he's had to get some new duds. I know two people who have close relatives with pain pumps, and they all say it's helped them greatly.

    Good luck and God bless.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KLD's Avatar
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    Morphine pump

    Alan, a morphine pump is essentially the same pump used for Balofen, in fact it was used for Morphine long before it was used for Baclofen. You can have a catheter externally placed (this is usually done in the hospital) for a 24-48 hour trial to see how you respond to intrathecal morphine prior to having a pump placed. While it helps many people, it does not help all. Some also find that the addition of clonidine to the morphine is helpful, so finding the right dose and combination is important.

    Properly placed, an implanted pump does not really limit you, except that you cannot have an MRI, and you should not scuba dive as the change in pressure can effect the dosage. If you are considering this, be sure the pump is placed by a surgeon who has done a lot of these (don't be someone's first one). While the catheters can break, and as with any implanted device there is some risk of infection, the vast majority of people who have implanted pumps do well. The pump needs refilling anywhere between every few weeks to every few months depending on the drug and dosage, and this is an outpatient clinic or even homecare (someplaces) procedure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    pain pump

    KLD, can they test various drugs during tha 24-48 hour period you mention? For example, if morphine doesn't work, dilaudid might (with or without clonidine.) If I go for a test, they ought to try everything in their arsenal.

    I couldn't get MRIs during the period I had the spinal cord stimulator, either. Had to use myelogram CT scans instead.

  8. #8
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Poor Alan's pain

    Alan, you sound like a big cry baby. Wah, wah,wah. All you want is some kind of drug to get a buzz-on and cry about how tough you have it. Do you think that you are the only one with paralysis and pain? Stop the "woe is me" crap, people like you make me puke.

  9. #9
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    If all I wanted was a "buzz," I could go the illegal drug route. All I want is something to control the pain without messing with my head, so I can get some enjoyment out of my life.

    Never said I was the only person with paralysis and pain - obviously, plenty of paralyzed people have pain (to varying degrees,) However, it seems (according to several of the pain doctors I've seen over the years) that both the extent and the intensity of my post-SCI pain syndrome is unusual, if not unique. Seems I was more unlucky than most.

    Am I whining? Damn right I am. I've been living with this for 20 years, with no end in sight, and that depresses me, so I come to an SCI pain forum to vent. Sorry if that bothers you.

  10. #10

    Ignore Smokey

    Alan, you don't need to explain. Everyone with SCI suffers residual effects. Care/Cure is a site for everyone to come to for help and/or support.

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