I left his office feeling like this nightmare was never going to end. I went home and instantly got on the internet. I searched and read anything I could find on small fiber nerves, shoulder and neck nerves, etc. I tried the stretching exercises, along with another round of ice packs and heating pads that were suggested for relief. I stumbled across a few articles that mentioned doctors prescribing antidepressants for neuropathy pain. Once I see the word “antidepressant” in anything, I immediately stop reading. I have had a few past experiences with people and antidepressants, and in my opinion, they seemed to do more harm than good, and I wasn’t willing to even consider taking them. Many of the articles said that neuropathy patients were having very good results by taking low doses of these tricyclic antidepressants. All of my research said that they were developed in the 1950’s, but aren’t prescribed as much anymore because of their large list of side-effects. In low doses, they are used to treat migraines, insomnia, neuropathy and many other issues, and in higher doses, are still used to treat depression, anxiety, stage-fright, etc.
I read all I could find but still was unwilling to consider it.
So, I kept on keeping on. I continued with the CBD oil, took both turmeric pills, and put turmeric powder in my food, and I kept up my Excedrin habit. I now had a bottle by my bedside, two bottles in the kitchen, one in my car, one in hubby’s van.
Each day I tried to live the best I could, and each night I cried myself to sleep from the pain.
During this time, I finished my second round of 13 visits to physical therapy. With PT having not led to any real positive results, my doctor scheduled me for a nerve block in my lumbar region. X Rays showed I had 4 vertebrae out of alignment, but was told would only “cause some pain, but not the pain you say you are experiencing”.
Ugh, nothing makes you trust in medicine more than when they make you think your crazy and making shit up. They gave me the blocks.
It’s interesting because my PT told me the same thing when she saw my X-rays. She gave me homework of watching videos on the internet so that I could understand how chronic pain works, and how nerves sent and received signals and how our bodies “perceive” pain. After I watched them, I kind of felt insulted. I felt as if they weren’t taking me seriously and that they thought that I wasn’t experiencing the pain that I said I was. They thought I was just “perceiving” pain?
I wasn’t PERCEIVING anything, I was FEELING it.
A few weeks later I am back in my doctors office. Before I could open my mouth to answer his question about how I was, I lost it. I started to sob. I sobbed hard. A really ugly type of mucus(y) and loud sobs. By the look on his face, I caught him off guard. He had never seen me like this before and he was surprised. I was always laughing and making jokes. Now, here I was completely opening up to him and spilling out all the crap inside of me at the same time. When I finally could stop crying I told him that I couldn’t take the pain for one more day. I told him that I had done some research and asked about the antidepressants. Now, this did very much surprise him because he knows how strongly I feel about the current state of over prescribing doctors.
(I’ll answer that in another rant for another day…Stay Tuned for that….)
He asked me was I sure. Am I serious. I said that I was and that I was willing to give them a shot. I was desperate. He left the room and came back about 5 minutes later and told me that he sent me in a script to my pharmacy. He then gave me directions on how to take the new meds and to call him in a few weeks and let me know what was going on. This was this past December that I started the Amitriptyline at 10mg. doses.
The evening I took the first dose was a doozy. After suffering from lack of sleep and insomnia for the past up-teen years, I fell asleep within 30 minutes of taking that little red pill. My hubby was flabbergasted that I fell asleep. He said he was happy to see me sleeping, but it didn’t help any to combat my terrible snoring, though. I found that I didn’t wake up every time I changed position, which was abnormal for me. I had a hard time waking up the next day, and spent a few hours very groggy. I was off of work that day, so I stumbled around the house. I did not notice any difference in the pain in my arm and shoulder that day. The second evening I took the meds, I fell asleep quickly and slept peacefully through the night, without waking. That second morning I could barely get the energy to move. I was so groggy, and I couldn’t stop yawning once I got up. I was so tired that I went back and slept another 2 hours. When I finally got up for good, I got all the way downstairs before I realized my arm didn’t hurt. You would have thought that I would have noticed something like that right away, but I was so “hung over” that I didn’t. I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom and looked at my arm like it was someone else’s. I touched it where I knew it hurt the worst. Nothing. I ran my hand along the inside of my bicep to my shoulder and onto my neck where the pain was so bad that sometimes I thought I was being impaled with a hot poker. Nothing. I brushed my teeth, I combed my hair, and I applied deodorant. All of the things that caused me pain yesterday had absolutely no effect on me today.
I was stunned. I remember starting to cry…