First, allow me to express my appreciation for allowing me to glean from this forum. I could not locate the new members section or I would've introduced myself there prior to diving into a thread-topic for my initial post. If this is a violation of any forum rules (I did review the new members reading), please pardon my ignorance
- I will gladly amend this post.
Having said that, I had minimally invasive
open heart surgery last October (2015) to replace a prolapsed mitral valve w. a pig valve. Heart is doing fine now according to my last visit to the cardiologist.
However, the pain in my right rib(s) area (both side & front) is brutal at times. My thoracic surgeon (who performed the surgery) said I likely have post thorachotic pain syndrome & suggested I have an intercostal nerve block - which I had today. Still hurting so far.
My pain mgmt. doc. prescribed me Nucynta 50 mg., 3x's/day for 15 days. But, the reviews I've read on-line are quite frightening since I also have moderate sleep apnea (just found this out recently) & am not on my CPAP yet (will start using one next few months). Hence, I am afraid to try it (& may have just thrown away $120 if I cannot return it to WalMart
The only thing that provides any mild temporal-topical relief is Tiger Balm & a hot shower directly on the
location, but it *ALWAYS* returns w. a vengeance. NSAIDS are like pouring water on ducks back. The opoids seem to cause urinary retention in me & so I typically shy away from them. And, I do not want to become dependent on them (not knocking anyone who is since I understand that sometimes it boils down to that or virtual insanity from the pain). It often (not always) feels a little better in the morning after sleeping - but, again, this is hit & miss.
Just wondering if anyone else has found anything to provide relief from the pain of PTPS (post thorachotic pain syndrome)? Have tried lidocaine, blu-emu, etc. Nothing seems to work. Hoping the nerve block will help - but may take about
a week or so to really find out.
Rescheduled in 2 weeks for another nerve block if this one doesn't help. I have been told by several docs. that this procedure has to be done 2-3 times to get any real relief. Next time, they're also going to do some sort of electrical currents that actually kills the nerves as I understand it (not looking forward to that
Had my ribs x-rayed about
3 months ago & they said they were fine, although today the pain mgmt. doc. said she could see where they had to manipulate the ribs to work on my heart. Almost wish I would have just had the sternotomy contra minimally invasive approach now. Just hope the ribs are not somehow cracked (?).
I go to the gym about
4 days/week & lift weights. Now, before anyone thinks that this is the cause of my pain, when I take off for about
a week - the pain is every bit as brutal. And, I also lift very light weight @ high reps (just cannot do anymore due to the pain). However, I *DO* think I went back to the gym too soon & lifted too heavy (was back in the gym 5 weeks after surgery). But, I backed off any heavy weight when I saw how bad it was hurting.
Finally, I'm a full-time speaker/traveler & absolutely *HAVE* to be functional to maintain a living (I'm a 48 yr. old married male). At this point, I down 800mg. of Ibuprofen & rub down w. Tiger Balm before hitting the pulpit (full time minister)
Any advice would be greatly appreciated - it's gotten very bad recently. Again, thank you for allowing me to be on this forum & my apologies for not introducing myself prior to posting. Blessings.