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Non-specific Neuropathy

I'm in a goofy mood this morning - I took my first dose of Lyrica last night (it's indicated for neuropathy, and my doctors are agreed that this is nerve pain, not muscular - especially since the steroids did nothing). I slept through the night instead of needing to take a painkiller, and I woke up this morning without any of the usual withdrawal symptoms I get when I don't take a pill for 7 hours (I usually dose every 4, and since I'm only taking the Lyrica once a day, I still have to take the painkillers during the daytime).

However, I'm having a slight tendency to walk into walls.

But we're going to give it a try, since I appear to have diabetic nerve pain without the diabeetus. Seriously - I have stabbing, shooting, and burning pains in my arms, and that's exactly how the diabetic nerve pain is described (it can also happen elsewhere). More specifically, I have some kind of nerve damage that isn't showing up on basic tests, hence the designation "non-specific neuropathy".  I want to take the Lyrica rather than Cymbalta (which was also suggested), because I don't need an anti-depressant.

(They kept asking me if I was depressed. I may be in pain all the time, but depression? No. At the risk of sounding smug, my life is awesome, and I have everything I've ever wanted.)

(Except that damn pony. But I wanted that when I was 13, so maybe I don't need it anymore. I'll go for that winning multi-million dollar lottery ticket instead.)

Those of you who have read my diary for a while know that I am in constant pain, and have been for almost 7 years now. I could really do with a break, and if the Lyrica does the trick, I will be ecstatic.

In a completely unrelated thought, I also now have both Bunny: The book of random, and Bunny: The book of perpetual bewilderment. The first I had to get from Amazon.uk and pay in pounds, but they're totally worth it. As you can see from the proliferation of bunny icons, I like Bunny.

Anyway - I saw an extremely funny thing yesterday, and I am desperately disappointed that I didn't have my camera with me, because if there was ever something that needed to be made into a macro, this was it.

As I was driving out of the base onto 16th street, there was a metrobus blocking the right lane - fortunately, just after the turn I needed. It was billowing clouds of white and black smoke (no flames). As I turned, I realized that the ad on the back was a public safety message that said "See or Smell Smoke? Call 911". I thought it had to be a joke, except for the fact that there were a bunch of irritated passengers sitting on the sidewalk (no-one appeared hurt).

Oh, such a good macro. sigh. Maybe one of the Demotivators - "Economy - The money you save on equipment will help to pay off your lawsuits". 

Oh, and tudorlady?  Just in case you need a bigger icon picture:

We love Lennie, yes we do.

Update:  You can now buy Convocation 2008 tote bags!  http://www.zazzle.com/convocation_party_bag-149062506827366861  Look for more Attack Laurel products soon!


( 59 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Aug. 28th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Yay for good drugs!
Very glad you are pain free, just watch out for the walls, they're sneaky.
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, I'm not pain-free yet - it is supposed to take a week or two for the nerve-blocking stuff to take effect - but it also helps with the codeine dependency (after 4+ years on the stuff, I have a very bad reaction if I don't take it) by alleviating the more annoying of the withdrawal symptons (which I get if I don't take the damn pill on time).

How about you? How's your ankle doing? I got your note - thank you so much, it really made me smile. I wanted to make sure you got the Attack Laurel tote bag before I put them up for sale on Zazzle. :)
(no subject) - mstewart - Aug. 28th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
If all of your other options don't help with the pain (I hope the Lyrica continues to work for you!), consider giving the anti-depressants a try. Depression manifests in a lot of different ways, and one of them is pain that doesn't have an obvious cause or cure (i.e., your docs are doing a good job by checking for depression). With the obvious exception of personal grief over losses of loved ones, job, etc., a lot of depression has nothing to do with how happy you are with your life. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but you can think that everything is perfect in your life and still have mucked up neurotransmitters in your brain that manifest in unexplained pain.
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the information, but no, I'm really not depressed. How do I know? I've had depression before, and the symptoms just aren't there. The neuropathy is just neuropathy.
(no subject) - _medb_ - Aug. 28th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Aug. 28th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - snailstichr - Aug. 29th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
*crossing my fingers for the meds to work*

I wanted a pony, trampoline, and a pool when I was a kid. My mother kept telling me “when you’re 20.” On my 20th birthday, I remembered, and called her up. Boy, was I disappointed.
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
Good luck with the drugs. I get nerve pain in my elbow when I'm under stress (or have overdone it physically). I cannot imagine having non-stop pain for seven years. I'm sorry.
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
Actually, you get used to it after a while, and the desire to do things outweighs the desire to sit on the couch and watch TV (most days). Since I can't remember what it's liek to be pain-free, I'm doing okay.

Tired sometimes, but okay. :)
(no subject) - kass_rants - Aug. 28th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fiberferret - Aug. 28th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - albreda - Aug. 28th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Something else you might want to try (non-prescription) for this. My husband suffers from diabetic neuropathy and has found some relief from Alpha Lipoic Acid at 1200mg/day.

The Mayo Clinic Study: http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2003-rst/1733.html

Info from Oregon State U: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/la/#dmneurop

Perhaps you could even get the intervenous treatment since your pain is so chronic.

Good luck!
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
I will keep that in mind, thank you!
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)

You're a drug addict who feels pain?

Watch yourself; you're going to fall off that pedestal I put you on.

[points and shrieks] Feet of clay! FEET OF CLAY!


Seriously, I don't know from pain management. I live in awe of people who live in constant pain, because I'm such a pussy I'd collapse under the strain in hours. Ask Kass; she'll tell you how whiny I am when I hurt.
Aug. 28th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
Truth that. How he made it through Ranger School without his CO beating him to death with his clipboard, I don't know.
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Aug. 28th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Aug. 28th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yay for pain management and Bunny!
Aug. 28th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Bunny is awesome. :)
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Aug. 28th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
good to know they found something that might work...that you woke up with no withdrawl symptoms seems to bode well, from my quasi-medical point of view. fingers crossed that it works.

the mental image i got of the metro bus you described had me laughing so hard i had to hold my shoulder (shifting muscles = pain from stitched tendons)

while my level of pain is/was NOWHERE near yours, i am looking forward to the day i can reach for something off a high shelf and not have to anticipate my shoulder shifting painfully. being able to brush my hair and reach for the radio dials in the car without pain will be spiffy as well...here's hoping the Lycera is a wonder drug for you!
Aug. 28th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
I hope that medical science comes through for you this time. I know too many people who suffer with chronic pain, from various different causes, and it has become clear to me that this is the next (and highly profitable) frontier for any drug company that can get it right.

Good thoughts coming your way!
Aug. 28th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, Nonspecific neuropathy = medspeak for Damned if we know.

Last time I spoke to a compounding pharmacist (he makes doggie drugs for my clients) about my hubby's strange not-really-but-sort-of-resembles-rheumatoid arthritis he offered to make up a topical of ketoprofen in DMSO for my "puppy" - and what I did with it at home was up to me. Might be an idea to ask about/keep in reserve as a supplemental thing to have on hand for flare-ups.

Worthwhile to just bend the ear of a pharmacist rather than an MD sometimes, too.

Good luck with it!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 28th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you. Yes, if you're not actually depressed, the depression drugs can spiral you into one - I am watching the Lyrica for side-effects, because the Neurontin I was on is related to Lyrica, and that made me *terribly* depressed (and nauseous - I couldn't and didn't want to eat, and lost 10 pounds when I was already at the lower end of my ideal weight).

Most days, I plagarize from Nike and Just Do It. :)
Aug. 28th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
A good nights sleep is a good start. Crossing fingers and hoping it works out for you.

About the anti-depressant thing; its not that you psychologically need the anti-depressant part. Certain anti-depressants seem to work on the brain's pain response and diminish it.

I'm am curious about Lyrica though. It has been recommended for my fibromyalgia. But I am reluctant to add another drug to my arsenal of meds and their side effects. I hope you'll keep us posted with your progress.

Hope it helps you!

Aug. 28th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
I will keep you posted. :) The only problem with anti-depressants is that they can trigger depression (similar to the effect they can have on teenagers) if you are not depressed. We know so little about how the brain works (and I work for a foundation that concentrates on brain reasearch!), and the connection between the anti-depressant and pain is not fully understood.

The makers of Cymbalta were originally developing it as an anti-depressant, but found that their test subjects were reporting leesened physical pain. Now, the experience of pain is tied in with serotonin and dopamine, and the "ache" I get when I miss a drug dose sure feels like pain, but what it really is is my brain scremaing "more opioids, dammit!", which manifests as pain.

Anti-depressants help with that kind of pain, because it's closely related to the inability of a depressed brain to produce "happy juice". Unfortunately, most FM patients are producing happy juice just fine, and the SSRIs screw with that production and substitute an inferior substance that the brain recognizes as less good, and the patient feels depressed.

So, it doesn't work for non-depressed people. Sorry about the lecture; how brains work is fascinating to me.
Aug. 28th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you have your own local resources and all that, but in modern life, I'm a pharmacist and have been battling my own undiagnosed pain issues (for "only" two years), so I'd be happy to send you info about drugs and such, as desired. I'm hoping the Lyrica works for you, it has done wonders with a lot of the patients I am responsible for.
Aug. 28th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Listen to The Eithni. The Eithni is wise. The Eithni is helpful. The Eithni mixes a wicked martini, too...
Aug. 28th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Good luck and godspeed with your trials. I'm starting to experience diabetic neuropathy, but so far it manifests mostly as a loss of sensation - about half of my right foot is permanantly numb, the half that tends to be susceptible to gout as well.

I hope the shooting, burning pain gets lost in the mail and never arrives.
Aug. 28th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Yoiks! Be very careful with that. Master of your own body, blah blah blah...

melodrama- we don't need another loss like Gyrth- /melodrama
Aug. 28th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I hope that the Lyrica works.

Still on my candle list. Have you ever tried Reiki?
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