Neuralgia - back pain

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sisterpain
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/31/2007 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
My sister and I are just 11 months apart and miles apart living in different states.  We are very close and stay in close contact.  She has very recently been diagnosed as Type II Diabetic.  We are familiar with the disease as our mother has had it for many, many years.  She has done everything she needs to do to treat her disease and is in excellent control of the numbers. 
 
However, she has had chronic back pain that is probably neuralgia and is missing work regularly to try to get a grip on it.  One of the drugs she has been prescribed is nortriptyline in very small doseage to start at 10 mg. and increasing to 20 mg. The doctor says that she should not experience depression, but she is out of control with her emotions, crying and on the brink of crying all the time. 
 
She doesn't know if it is related to the chronic back pain or the drugs or what.  Nothing seems to relieve the back pain.  She is under a lot of stress at work and I have strongly pushed her to take a medical leave to get herself under control without having the stress of her job.  I think she will do this for at least a couple of weeks, but didn't want her to work through this alone.  I feel that those with this disease are best equipped to help get us some answers for dealing with this. 
 
Can anyone suggest help for the back pain primarily and clues as to the emotional breakdown?
 

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/2/2007 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Whatever the reason for the back pain-neuralgia, the nortriptyline is considered the drug of choice for that problem as well as the depression she may be experiencing. Chronic pain can lead to depression all by itself and depression can lead to pain... It just plain takes the fun out of life and wears you down. She may need to see a pain specialist if it's out of control.

I remember something from my childhood. When my mom was all wound up and working nights as a pediatric nurse, if there was an additional crisis at home (there were six of us kids) and dad was out of town on business, almost like clockwork her back would go into terrible spasms. The only treatment available at the time was traction to pull the muscles out of the knots they formed.(This was waaaay before muscle relaxers.) The doctor told her it was all of her stress and tension going into her back. Dad knew she couldn't just take a few days off to stay in the hospital and leave us kids to our own devices so he built her a traction for their bedroom. I remember my older brothers and sisters helping her get into the back traction so she could rest and heal at home and direct our activities from there.

Maybe your sister is doing the same thing? All of the stress and stuff is going to her back and making her take time off to rest? Just my 2ยข.
~ Jeannie
Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class!
Yours may be one of them...

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


sisterpain
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/3/2007 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your reply, Jeannie.  It is what I feel as well.  The stress is creating the larger pain issues and it just becomes a cycle.  I worry because of the other pain meds they have given her and potential addiction to them.  Mostly I feel so helpless and want to help even if it is just doing some research and asking for help from others with the experience and history.
 
I worry because her emotions are so close and the tears just overwhelm her.  I think that is still part of the mourning process from knowing your life has changed permanently.  It is one thing to be sympathetic to our mom who has had it for so long, but when faced with it in our own generation it because very real. 
 
I appreciate your input and hope others will respond to help us further understand what she is going through and to know if it is "normal" for this disease.
 
 

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/3/2007 10:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Diabetes is not the "Death Sentence" that it used to be. Medications and methods of delivery have changed dramatically in the past decade making it more of a nuisance than a danger. We need to be careful with our food plan and exercise but it's mostly learning new patterns of healthier living. She may have a huge fear of the unknown because nobody ever really discussed diabetes much in the past. The more she learns the easier it will be to adjust her lifestyle to help her feel better. If you can, try to help her see it in this light.

For myself, accepting my diagnosis took quite a while, almost ten years. I knew I had it but "It wasn't that bad..." My years of denial lead to some loss of sight and kidney damage. I now know I was not facing it because I hadn't really accepted that I am mortal and will one day die. The death of both my husband's parents and my father kind of brought that reality home to roost and now I'm much better with my disease. It's part of my life, just like the new puffiness and wrinkles around my eyes... just like the gray roots in my hair... just like the arthritis in my knees and spine. I have accepted that aging and illness are part of life and I can only do the best I can do.

I try to focus on the good things in my life every day and take it easy on myself. If you can, try to help her see this. You are a good sister to care so much. She is lucky to have you in the picture.
~ Jeannie
Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class!
Yours may be one of them...

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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