Progress with Pain

For once I feel like I’m winning in this battle against constant pain.

For once I had really good doctor appointment. I was getting desperate to find a way, any way to relieve this pain.

I did some research on Peripheral Neuropathy and discovered that most of my pain, other than the RA in my knees, is due to PN.

Itching, burning, pins and needles sensation, electrical shocks, stabbing pains, my skin very sensitive to touch, aching sore muscles (in my calves and upper legs), and my right foot often feels like it’s encased in a block of ice, but I don’t feel cold. And despite the fact that skin is sensitive to touch, it also feels numb. All of these are signs of PN and it’s getting worse.

So I wrote out a game plan about what I want to do and what I can do, and what I needed from her.

We agreed to put the Celebrix on hold for now and I will try to get a hold of the RA doctor in Poulsbo and see if we can have an initial appt on Zoom. She wasn’t comfortable letting me go back on Celebrix since my kidneys have been compromised by it. And I didn’t want to drive all the way down to Poulsbo (2 hours each way) just to have this specialist tell me “I can’t help you, kid, you’re a lost cause so go away”. Which is pretty much what the infectious disease doctor told me. I keep getting sent to lots of specialists. Next will be a pain specialist.

We then talked about Gabapentin, which is a pain drug, but at 300mg twice a day, it wasn’t touching my pain at all. We agreed to experiment with higher doses. According to the sites I explored, the average dosage is between 1200mg and 1800mg twice daily, with some patients on 2400mg or higher. Gabapentin doesn’t hurt your kidneys and there is a chance it might also help my RA pain at much higher dose. So we’ve changed to 300mg 3 times a day, and after 3 days, increase it by having one of the doses at 600mg, and then increasing one dose every 3-4 days, depending on how well it works and if I have any bad side effects. So that was a win in my column.

In my research, I saw that massage and acupuncture was recommended for PN pain, and I’m more than willing to do that. I did both weekly for years and enjoyed them both. But you can’t do that in the middle of a pandemic. Especially with an open wound and a bad heart.

So I read that a heated foot massage can almost be the next best thing. It uses massage and acupressure techniques, heat (which I hope will help my block of ice foot) and it’s suppose to help circulation and swelling, both problems I have. It arrived today.

I also talked to her about an electric blanket since I had read opposing thought about them for PN. I don’t need a whole blanket because I don’t really get cold at night. But I use heating pads on my leg for the pain and I’m constantly moving it from one painful area to another. So I found a soft electric “throw” that I can wrap around my entire leg. That’s my next Amazon order.

I’m also using topical remedies, which may be nothing more than a placebo effect, but that’s fine. Whatever helps. One is a magnesium oil spray and the other two are roll-ons for joint pain and nerve pain, and are essential oils and herbs.

Other things that I’ve found that helped… a lower sodium diet which I found with Nutrasystem, which surprised the holy hell out of me. I had tried Nutrasystem 30 years ago and was not impressed. I’m glad to see they have changed and improved. One of the pluses is that the food is already prepared and for some of it only takes a minute in the microwave, and that takes some pressure off of Tim to take care of my meals. And I was surprised that the food is pretty good.

I’m a keeping a pitcher of water with lemon and lime slices in it so I can drink more water.

I bought an electric tea kettle and a red teapot that I can keep on my electric hot pad so I can drink herbal tea all evening… mostly Hibiscus and Honey Lavender.

I bought an essential oil dispenser that puffs out sweet orange scent and I’m thrilled with how much I enjoy that.

I listen to relaxing music and I meditate and I have my distractions of everything online, reading books, playing computer games and genealogy research, as well as research of my key study areas.

All of this helps alleviate the pain even if it doesn’t eliminate the pain.

So I feel like I’ve made some progress.

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