My real pain started the week prior to April 27, 2008.
I had been ignoring diabetes for about
10 years, but it was tired of ignoring me, so it woke me up that week.
Was working with very little pain in left foot, but got infection in right foot (that to this day even the podiatrist has no idea where it came from). The infection blew up into surgery and that all resulted in extreme pain in *both* feet from then on.
I've started seeing a family physician as a manager of the other doctors and the diabetes and another doctor for pain management. The neurologists simply say they can't do anything for me, after testing. I go for an MRI of brain on the 18th of Feb 2009, mainly because of brain 'zaps' or brain 'stutters' as I've heard them referred to.
The 'zaps' started on very rare occasion around September 2008, and in January 2009 as a daily and multiple times a day in February 2009. Although we have 13 computers all linked in the house (plus 2 laptops), and both my wife and I do programming for a living, I didn't think to really do intense searching and research on my own condition until December and January.
But, of course, I get to be excused by the pain meds. I've been on Lyrida from the start. Insurance refused Cymbalta at the dosage I needed until I 'failed' on a generic anti-depressant, even though I wasn't taking it as an antidepressant. They didn't know it was used in combination with Lyrica for neuropathic pain. So, I went on amytriptoline for a month; what a **trippy** drug. I simply refused to take any more of it at that point; and lo and behold the insurance company finally gave in and approved the Cymbalta.
Oxycodone worked for me, but you could set your watch: 1 hour to start working, 2 hours of relief, back to level of 10 on pain meter. And that didn't work for trying to get a night's sleep. Not to mention how quickly dependence would have set in, based on what the PP indicated.
At the same time, my family physician asked if I would go to a pain clinic, and I got an appointment that day.
This lead me to the titled pain med combination - after 3 nerve block attempts, all of which did NOTHING and several other drugs that did little or nothing (except a sample drug that allowed me to make some money doing a Vaudeville act while on travel cruises to Mars and Jupiter; I turned those in to the pharmacy for disposal as well).
So here I am. Neurologists who can't do anything more. Family physician who I can't accept any pain medication or other help from due to contract at the pain clinic because of narcotics. And a pain specialist who indicates that we are near or at the end of possibilities for pain relief.
I can get rid of the methadone and morphine, and live at about
a 7 of 10 pain level 100% of my day, with breakthroughs to 10 and beyond that may last minutes or hours.
If I stop all 4, I have a 14 hour window before I am at level 10 of 10 on a pain scale of 1-10.
I am scared spitless by the Methadone, based on past stories of Methadone being used for junkies, and current advise given about
Methadone being more addictive than heroin.
I am scared spitless by the Cymbalta, based on several forums where I have read people's stories about
their experiences with Cymbalta and especially Cymbalta withdrawal.
I've talked this over with my Primary Physician, as well as the Pain Specialist. Basically, they don't agree with the bottom line on either medication. And they both say "If you have any other choices, we'd try them". (Not literally, but basically the same.)
At this point I've discovered that I can manage the Diabetes pretty well. I went from an A1C of 15.9 to 7.8 in about
3 months, and am maintaining at 7.3 so far.
I'm looking anywhere I can for options on managing the pain. I'll trade dependence for the pain, but right now I'm averaging about
a 4, and I'd like to get it lower.
Sorry for rambling on, but I seem to be left with that as a companion to the methadone or one of them anyway.
I know my symptoms are probably pretty mild compared to many of you out there, but they sure seem severe to me.
And I would appreciate any insights into dealing with this. Whether physically dealing with it based on a medication suggestion I can talk over with the doctor, help with the stress or even another group here that might have information helpful to me.
Sorry for the length, but a lot was buildup and won't be repeated each post.
I'd prefer Tony for a screen name, but it was taken.
Post Edited (TonyMcGuire) : 2/11/2009 10:40:22 AM (GMT-7)