Hi Green Grove,
Welcome to the chronic pain board. I'm glad to meet you, but wish it could be under different circumstances! There are a lot of elements to pain, and you are quite right that anxiety & depression go hand in hand with chronic pain. I have chronic severe eye pain from a traumatic injury two years ago. My pain has caused me much stress & depression. I, like many others here, am also being treated for chronic pain induced depression. As you said, they make each other worse, placing you in the midst of a vicious cycle.
I'm so sorry for all your pain & now your new problem with ulcers. Unfortunately, NSAID's tend to do that. May I ask, were you on a COX-1 or COX-2 inhibitor? COX-1 or nonselective NSAIDs tend to be more ulcer causing (I won't go into all the biochemistry), and COX-2 inhibitors have a significantly lower incidence of ulcers (however, chronic use can cause heart problems, so there isn't a great solution). COX-1 or non-specific inhibitors are drugs like indomethicin, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and the most famous COX-2 inhibitor is Celebrex. Sorry for the ranting, I actually spent the last 3 months doing a huge research project into the biochemistry of COX inhibitors for my biological chemistry class. I just thought it might be worth switching to a COX-2 inhibitor for a while, if you were on a COX-1 inhibitor before, to give you a chance to heal.
Were you taking an antacid (for example, protonix or prilosec) while taking the NSAIDs? I'm currently back to taking massive doses of ibuprofen, and so my doc put my on an antacid to try to prevent ulcers (I do tend to be very sensitive to NSAIDs). I've been on just about
every NSAID and steroid anti-inflammatory out there, short of the ones used in chemotherapy, unfortunately, I didn't get any relief from them, only stomach problems.
Have you ever seen a pain management doc before? I found my PM through referral from both my ophthalmologist & neurologist. I think most, but not all, operate by referral only. I saw my PM for about
8 months, in which time we exhausted all the possible procedures he could do on me & began to start medication. There are different kinds of PM's out there. Some only do procedures (never blocks, injections, etc), and some do both medication and procedures. I ended up switching back to my pcp,. He is now in charge of my pain management & meds. i consider myself very lucky, because my pcp is excellent & truly cares about
me. So many people on this forum aren't as lucky & have to suffice with docs who are mediocre at best. Some pcp's will do pain management for their patients, but not all of them.
I don't know much about
your condition, so I can't really suggest anything specific. Have you tried any alternative treatments, like acupuncture, herbs, or homeopathy? I've found acupuncture to be beneficial, but only to a point, but everyone responds differently.
Good luck! I hope you are able to find some relief & I hope your ulcers heal fast! Sending you warm thoughts & well wishes.
Post Edited (skeye) : 12/28/2008 3:03:10 PM (GMT-7)