Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day Six

Of my pain treatment, that is. My thoughts so far...the topical Voltaren gel produces unpleasant sensations and has been ineffective in reducing my pain. I have tried to use it four times and each time ended up washing it off just a few minutes after applying it. The oral medication Lyrica has had mixed results. It is effective at knocking out the pain, but during the time I am rendered nearly pain free, I am so loopy all I can accomplish is attaching my butt to a chair. When the high begins to subside, the pain begins to return. During the pain reinstatement, druggy high diminished state, I still feel somewhat disoriented. Sort of a quart low with pain. After only five doses, the pain-free period has already gone from sixteen hours to confined to when I am sleeping. I wake up with pain. I also wake up with a slight headache. Not a reasonable trade-off for how I was pre-Lyrica. I know, I know I'm just the patient. But at least here, I get to have an opinion. The third prong to my pain management plan seems to be having a significant effect. The stellate ganglion nerve block was administered just to the right of my voice box via needle. It's convenient that I have my left hand and wrist as a control group. By comparison, the pain, aching, itching and burning sensations in my right hand and wrist have been reduced by about 25%. The stiffness remains and my fine motor skills remain compromised. I have a couple of lingering side effects from the shot, those being a metallic taste in my mouth and feeling a bit thick-tongued on the right, also a feeling of heaviness and puffiness in my right arm and hand. But these side effects are tolerable in light of the reduction of pain. I see the pain doc for a follow-up this Friday. I hope to ditch the topical med and the Lyrica, but continue with the nerve block shots. Now that I've been fired and no longer possess medical insurance, I hope to be able to work out some kind of payment plan with the Pain Clinic. I'd still like to have a name for my malady, and have a greater understanding of the longevity of the efficacy of the nerve block shots. Can I be cured, or merely treated? Can I return to some type of work that involves repetitive motion? If yes, will more damage occur? Did the repetitive motion, physically demanding aspects of my lab job cause the damage to the nerves in my hands and wrists? Will my fine motor skills return? Maybe I ought to just print this off and bring it along to my appointment on Friday. I'm quite amazed that I was able to come up with that bit of brilliance amidst my Lyrica induced fog. Then again, I'm pretty easily amazed. Impressed. Entertained. You must be, too, if you've read this far. Thanks.

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