Posted 8/10/2012 6:01 PM (GMT -7)
Gabapentin is generally used for nerve damage and nerve related problems. My oncologist had me try it for 2 weeks as an experiment earlier this year. I know other men with prostate cancer (my big issue) that have used it and all of them dropped it too. It did nothing for my pain, it made me feel strange and distant, didn't like that feeling. According to my wife (she's a nurse), she said it made me act very aggressive, which is odd, because by nature I am a very passive person. Needless to say, that experiment didn't last long.
We also did a test run of oxycodone, don't even remember the dose, but it too did nothing for my pain, might as well taken sugar pills. Shows you how much different meds work or don't work on different people.
The last test, was with Dilauid. When I have been hospitalized, I really liked it, when given in larger doses via an IV, as in post major surgeries. Twice I have tried it in pill form. In the lower doses, it did nothing for my pain, I had assumed it would be similar to the IV type. For it to work for me, the larger doses would leave me hazy and dizzy, neither feeling is acceptable for me from a QOL point of view.
In the end, he let me go back to the Loratab (10/500) for breakthrough pain through out the day. I have no bad side effects from being on them for over 2 years. Unlike many people, codeine meds do not constipate me, which amazes the doctor. They do not make me feel "high" or sleepy or anything else. They simply cut into the pain. I take 2 at the time, 3 times a day as a rule. On a rare ultra bad day, I can take another 2, for a max. of 8. At that point, the tylenol portion of the med could be dangerous, so I try to stay at a max of 6.
I have been made a believer out of fentanyl. It really cuts the raw pain right down, making the Loratab easier to work. I switch patches every 2 days, rotating arms each time. You do have to be careful on , and to avoid the sun and excessive heat, as heat can make the skin absorb the med all at once, which can be dangerous, or even deadly in some cases. But it works well for me, and allows me to be fully mentally functiional, which is very important to me.
It's all about compromise with CP, you have to make trade offs. My dr. could eliminate 100% of my pain, 100% of the time, but to do so, I would have to be medicated out of my mind. I am not ready for that, as my cancer continues to progess out of control (I am past the point of it being curative, all treatments have failed), I may have to be medicated more heavily. So I am willing to trade some pain, for certain functionality. Those kind of decisions are very personal and subjective. All our pain threshholds are very different. I value my ability to think clearly, so right now, my meds take care of most of the pain, most of the time. LIke many here, I have my bad days, they are random and hard to predict. So on those days, I just have to back off.
As far as venting, it can feel good, and here, you are preaching to the choir. We all do it when needed, and no one is going to jump down your throat. It's good to vent to a crowd that truly understands what it means to live with attrocious and continuous pain. There aren't many people in our everyday lives, including loved ones, that can fully understand what we go through.
Good luck again. Glad you got a good PM doctor, that is half the battle, and you are fortunate there.
david in sc