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Breaking the pain meds barrier
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TOPIC: Breaking the pain meds barrier

Breaking the pain meds barrier 12 years, 4 months ago #129

  • Al_in_Canada
Maybe some of you can remember this point in your lives.

I've always shunned away from prescription pain relievers, even so far as declining to fill a vioxx prescription for hip pain (one of the earliest AA symptoms I can remember) back before it got pulled.

My pain levels were tolerable, particularly since I'm no stranger to pain having grown up post Spina Bifida with the related physical deformities. I've been living a relatively normal life despite a 2\" difference in leg length, with no back problems. I was an electrician for 15 years until tennis elbow of all things knocked my off the construction site and into a desk position.

Enter progressive neuropathy, incontinence, chronic fatigue, a slew of diagnostics ruling out diabetes, low testosterone, vitamin deficiency, MS, an EMG shows peripheral nerves (legs and arms) are fine, but not getting stimulus from the brain. Two MRIs show no abnormalities in the head and cervical spine. (for some reason, they haven't done the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral spine areas).
(I dug up my medical records from 1965 and confirmed an L5/S1 laminectomy preceeded by a myelogram using 4cc Ethiodan. The otherwise very detailed report makes no mention of removal of the Ethiodan.)

I'm still without diagnosis of my current symptoms (the \"classic\" AA ones), but one of my two neurologists (the one who did the EMG) commented I was a \"very interesting case\" and \"I wish you were my patient.\"
He was amazing, actually. His office was like a tropical paradise with plants everywhere, even the treatment rooms and he wears these denim overalls!
I guess because EMGs are messy with all the soaking they do to warm your limbs.

I digress...back to pain.
I've found my neuropathic pain to this point has been managed very effectively by my consumption of cannabis, but the muscular pain I feel from the stimulus-starved muscles persists and in fact has gotten worse to the point where it's affecting my gait and manual dexterity in the hands.

My back itself has begun to ache a lot, particularly when I sit a long time, and after I do any strenuous activity. This weekend I played with my band and after moving all the equipment (usually no problem) and performing all night (also not usually a problem) I was on my ass for five days after with all my usual symptoms \"bad day\" at about 125% the norm.

Once I was able to get out and go to work (Thursday), I saw my GP and asked for some pain relief.

I got Tylenol 3 for acute pain episodes and amitryptaline 10mg/day for ongoing pain management.

I started the amitryptaline last night and I was as constipated as ever this morning!
It eventually \"passed\", and I noticed a few things already.

My chest doesn't feel all tight as usual (probably the antidepressant effect) and my legs are almost completely devoid of pain! So much so, that I'm amazed I was tolerating so much pain before! I feel I could get up and do things today.

The only side-effect I notice is dry mouth, which is probably good because it will make me drink more water.

Addendum:
This latest episode has been a bit of an eye opener for my wife too.
She's always had the attitude I'm sure you're all familiar with that this is muchly in our heads. Seeing me laid out all week unable to do much of anything for myself affected her in a (positive) way. I wonder if that's another \"classic\" breakthrough point in the progress of arachnoiditis.

Al

Re:Breaking the pain meds barrier 12 years, 3 months ago #140

  • Louise
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Al form Canada you are an interesting guy.
The amitryptaline will constipate you and you will notice that you might be gaining weight as well. Yes, it is very good for the pain if you can tolerate it. I cannot.
Tylenol 3's are hard on the liver. I discontinued taking them.
Enjoy the reprieve and keep on playing. You might want to not overwork yourself either. Unfortunately, AA does not go away, it gets worse eventually.
Good luck
Louise
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