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View Diary: Living with a Loved One in Pain (136 comments)

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  •  I wonder if your wife is a candidate for (30+ / 0-)

    a spinal cord stimulator?  My wife was in unbearable pain for about a year and, unfortunately, most pain meds do not assist with nerve pain.  

    The stimulator has saved her life.  If you can, please discuss this option with a reputable pain management physician.  A test can usually be arranged...although the test involves less leads and less programming capability.  Usually if the test gives some relief, the full package will do a much, much beter job.

    Boston Scientific has a site where you can see what's involved.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:14:31 PM PST

    •  Jodie researched that option (26+ / 0-)

      It is a possibility but not without its attendant issues and risks ... electrodes shifting, scarring, etc.

      We'll keep it in mind though for further discussion with her doctor.


      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:16:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now, please listen to me.... (19+ / 0-)

        My wife was initially opposed.  She is/was a surgical nurse.  She's not afraid of surgery but wanted to see if any other options/treatments would work before going the stimulator route.  She had multiple epidural injections...they gave relief sometimes for a week..once for a month...but it always came back.  She would take meds to knock her out just so she could sleep..and they did help with some attendant muscle cramping.  But...

        Her pain was in her lower back, buttocks, and down her legs.  Her surgery was fairly minor and after the incisions were healed, (one for battery placement, another for the leads), she met with the Boston Rep...and she has about four different programs that activate various combinations of electrodes...and she is now 99% pain free...  She carries something like a small TV remote to control the stimulator.
        The battery is recharged sort of like you  recharge an electric tooth brush...through proximity.  No leads sticking out, etc.

        I'm not sure where the placement would be for your wife's situation/pain if she is a candidate, but can assure you that my wife is very happy...very...!

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:31:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a friend who (7+ / 0-)

        got that device.  It worked well during the test, but hasn't worked so well in actual use.

        Trust your judgement, Jodie's and her doctor's. They help some people but not necessarily most.

    •  pain meds don't work with nerve pain (7+ / 0-)

      since it is a different mechanism than non-nerve pain.  However, I have found anti seizure meds such as Neurotin do assist in controlling the pain (since I have a pain complex of nerve pain, sciatica and gout all interplaying one with the other)

      •  Jodie was on Neurontin (6+ / 0-)


        It was stopped because the relief was marginal, and the side effects can be difficult to deal with.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:13:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  granted Neurotin has side effects (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg, DvCM

          but I have found it offers relief for nerve pain to me which I cannot find with other meds.  I also find Catapres can help with the added benefit of HVD control since pain can cause your BP to skyrocket, to the point of stroking out  

          •  entlord, see my post above (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, DvCM

            Or go to this site:
            My nerve pain of 10 yrs was gone in one treatment.
            Nerve meds make me dumber then a rock cuz of an old TBI.

            Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

            by snoopydawg on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:51:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  my husband reduced his neurontin (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DvCM, twigg

          dosage after being prescribe amitryplitline. he also was able to quite taking ambien CR and Ambien (one each every night) to get half-assed sleep.

          My husband is on a fentanyl patch and takes oxycodone (10 mg plain, with NO acetaminophen or other additives) for breakthrough pain, He had a stroke in 2004 and has some nerve pain.

          I'm sort of surprised to hear that your wife changes patches everyday. why is that? my husband (who is 300 pounds +) changes every other day a 25 mcg patch. Could you reduce costs by changing less frequently or a higher dose less frequently and still have the same functionality?

          anyway, I just wanted to let you know about the amitryptiline. Not sure if it would be any help to your wife or not. I can only tell you that for my husband, after almost a decade with one neurologist, this prescription changed a lot. he sleeps deeply now - a full REM cycles - unlike before. And the nerve pain reduction and full restful sleep has meant fewer breakthrough pain episodes per month. He used to get 3 of them lasting 3-4 days each time every month. Now it's down to once a month.

          Neurologist started him on 25 mg of ami at night before bed. then a week later up to 50 mg. then 100 mg at night at bedtime. It's also a cheap and well known medicine.

          I wish you all the best.

          •  First things first ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            She has tried amitryptiline but it wasn't effective ... she uses muscle relaxors, but different ones.

            The patch situation has evolved over the years.

            She is prescribed 150 mcg every other day. What she does is change one 75 mcg patch every day, to smooth out the doseage delivery ... This does seem to work. She was on 200 mcg every other day, but she has managed to reduce that. (so she always has one two patches and alternates).

            She is prescribed 30 mg Oxycodone, three a day, for breakthrough pain relief.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:10:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If she's taking 30mg of Oxy, ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I know her pain is pretty bad.  = (

              I take 20mg of OxyContin, but have 4 doses per day.  The thing about Oxy, whether codone or Contin, is that it only lasts about 4 hours per dose.  The codone version works more quickly (within 20-30 minutes of taking it), whereas the Contin is "extended release" but doesn't kick in until about 2 hours after taking it due to the way it's metabolized.  

              I've been bed-ridden for about 5 years now, so I can certainly appreciate what your wife is experiencing and the dread and depression that accompanies it.

              I can confirm that OxyContin is NOT addictive if the dosage is appropriate.  As to dependence, a pox on the houses of those who think that's somehow a negative.  We all depend on food, too.  I depend on pain relief or else I would not still be among the living.

              I'm mostly chiming in here to make sure your wife is aware that Perdue Pharma (oxy's manufacturer) has a patient assistance program that will provide meds without charge if the state of your family finances causes you to qualify.  Since I have no income, I qualify easily.  And although I don't know what their qualification formulas are, I do know that it's definitely worth checking into.  However, they don't provide codone through the program, only OxyContin.  (I've never gotten a satisfactory reason as to why that is.)

              If your wife can get her doctor to give it a trial, it's definitely worth seeing if it can provide her with the relief I'm certain she's desperate for.  The right dosage can bring 24-hour relief.  And if she's given a prescription for 24-hour coverage (i.e., a dose every 4-5 hours), she might even be able to take a smaller dose, like 20 mg rather than the 30 she now has to take because of it wearing off and her having to build back up.  And she might also be able to stop taking the other pain relievers altogether.

              Another upside is that there is NO mental effect at the right dosage, which was contrary to my experience with hydrocodone, which made me feel foggy and druggy, not to mention feeling the "pull" of addiction.  

              I hope she finds something helpful in what I've shared.  I know ALL too well about pain (mine originates in my lower spine at L5-S1, thus my entire upper body weight is a factor) and how it literally destroys one's quality of life.  

              If she has any questions, let me know.  And also, tell her that I experienced NO withdrawal effects when I once had to go without for a period of eight days. Pain?  Yes, plenty. But NO withdrawal.  I was amazed ... and relieved.

              "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

              by Neuroptimalian on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:51:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The doctor is wanting also to do a DNA test (0+ / 0-)

            because apparently some people metabolize the various narcotic medications differently, and that test might help focus in on the drug that will help most.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:12:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Boy you are right about that. (5+ / 0-)

        With this kind of pain, it seems nothing can touch it.  Some things barely take the edge off and others make you not care so much. But the pain is still there.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:26:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was helped by a TENS unit (0+ / 0-)

      HOWEVER -- I am/was in nowhere NEAR the pain she is, and my pain is only occasional (scoliosis.)

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