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Thread: pain and spasms getting out of hand

  1. #1

    pain and spasms getting out of hand

    this is probably going to be quite long, but i want to get all the info i can in here now. my husband is a t7 complete since 9/14/07. the past two months or so have been (as he describes it) hell on him. he is in constant pain but let me explain that... he did have 4 broken ribs because of the accident. the pain he is describing to me is burning fire sensation below his level of injury. he goes through periods where more times than not he spasms quite often mainly during transfers, laying in bed and when it gets really bad, to touch. in turn his stomach area tightens which i am sure is painful. it tightens his rib area and he ends up being very sore as he describes it. he's had bladder infections and we thought that was the initial cause. we get them to go away. he was in the er twice in the past 3 weeks and the weekend before last was informed he was impacted pretty bad. he started taking prescription laxatives and i've given him enemas and done his bowel program every night to clean him out. seemed to have been working. we also decided to up his gabapentin (on our own). we did that this past saturday, got a prescription for naproxen and the following list is what meds he is taking now...
    gabapentin (for neurontin) 300mg - 2 pills 3 times daily
    oxybutynin (for ditropan) 15mg - 2 pills once daily
    naproxen 500mg - 2 pills 2 times daily
    baclofen 10mg - 1 pill 3 times daily
    lactulose 30ml every 6 hours
    over the counter stool softeners - 3 pills once daily
    we had never had a problem with impaction before. about 3 weeks ago when he went to the er (the first time this round) they pumped him full of morphine and other pain meds because of the pain he said he was in (which was the soreness and burning/fire sensation. i think this had a lot to do with the impaction. he came home and was perfect for 1 day. then started to go back downhill again. took him to a different er the next weekend. they are the ones who took xrays and said he was impacted. gave hime the laxative. took a week before he started feeling any better. which is about the time we doubled his neurontin and started the naproxen. sunday and yesterday he said he was feeling great. last night he said he started feeling the soreness and burning sensation return. he said is slowly and progressively is getting worse - AGAIN!! i don't know what to do. he has seen his sci doc and they said it was probably impaction. his urologist said he was clear of all infection and now i don't know what to do. i'm sure i'm leaving something out here there is so much to relay. if anybody has any suggestions or even the same problems i would like to hear from you. anything at all. he gets to the point where he gets so angry because of the pain and it's hard for me to deal with that. most of that anger is directed towards me. so if anyone has any ideas, plesae share them.
    thank you so much

  2. #2
    Is his bowel program daily? Does he use a magic bullet? or dig stim?
    He probably needs that plus a good strong stool softener twice a day. In order to start a good bowel program he must be cleaned out and then done daily. As you have been doing, save the enemas and laxatives only when he feels impacted. Miralax is an option also.
    Sometimes it doesn't take long for an impaction to occur.


  3. #3
    normally his bowel program is every other day and that is with the magic bullet and dig. stim. he doesn't "feel" it when he's impacted. that is just one of the things i read on here that could be causing his spasms to escalate. we know it's not a bladder infection. there is no odor and it's almost clear as water. unlike when he did have an infection. we had tried miralax before he went to the er the second time ( a friend of ours is a nurse and she recommended it) it didn't work at all. we are just trying to figure out where the pain is coming from. honestly all the doctors including his sci doc and urologist have no explanation and aren't even working with him much to remedy the situation.

  4. #4
    is it not safe to use enemas on a regular basis?

    i have bowel program every other day and have the fleets. suppositirues never worked for me and as my friend who is the nurse who takes care of me works full time , she only takes care of me before going to work and after she comes back ( i like with her family ) , so we are afraid of me taking laxatives and they working when she's not here to help me.

    sorry to kind of hijack the thread , but as you mentioned enemas just in case of impactation, nurse CWO, i wondered if they are not safe to be used on a regular basis.

    hugs, lola
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" ~ edmund burker

    c4-5 quad

  5. #5
    What you are describing sounds like what my son went through. He was taking about the same amount of gabapentin and had the burning pain. It was awful. He went to a pain specialist and he scheduled a nerve block procedure. The doctor found one of the screws was touching a nerve. My son had surgery and had one of the rods/screws removed and now...pain free. He had the surgery in December and is off all meds except ditropan. He regrets not getting the other rod out then also... You might try a pain specialist.

  6. #6
    I've found that Lyrica is more effective than Baclofen, but as with medications each person is usually different. However, might want to add that I've had marginal success with Effexor. Might want to try that medication as well if he's getting no relief nowhere else.

  7. #7
    he has actually been on lyrica before and it didn't do anything for him. i will check into the effexor.
    thanks teach1...he is going to start calling around tomorrow for a pain specialist in our area. we are willing to try anything.

    thanks guys for the quick responses. i have learned so much from this site.

  8. #8
    We recommend high fiber diet first, stol softeners, suppositories, and dig stim before we recommend strong laxatives and enemas because once you use these on a frequent basis, you may have to continue using them and nothing else wil work-but if nothing else works then you must.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by smfrg
    i will check into the effexor.
    Never know as the drug might be his ticket to a less painful existence. P.S., started ingesting Effexor because of what I read here:

  10. #10
    Senior Member vgrafen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    chico, ca, usa
    "he gets to the point where he gets so angry because of the pain and it's hard for me to deal with that. most of that anger is directed towards me."

    smfrg, this is a problem. Your husband should come on these boards and do some lookin' around to find out he's not the only one suffering pain, AND to learn he has no right to take it out on you.

    This is one of my issues I deal with all the time when I go to support groups or visit newly injured: don't mis-treat the people who love you! I realize now that most SCI people become more of who they were before injury, and if they were decent, calm and kind people before, they're even more so after. The converse is true: if they were pricks before injury, sister, after they end up 'frozen in time', they become...unbearable.

    IMO, he needs to be called on his behavior. Pain is no excuse to make everyone around you miserable. Nobody can put up with a whiner forever...

    My book, 'Scouring the globe for a cure: a disabled man's experiences with stem cell treatment' is available at Booklocker at the following address:

    A percentage of every sale goes to CareCure.

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