Saturday, January 11, 2014


Since November I've been struggling with what the doctors seem to think is nerve pain in my left hip. Since it was around the outer edge of the scar tissue area of my hysterectomy (and previous Cesearean), they ran an ultrasound to see if there was any herniated areas that could be causing the problem. 

When my regular doctor, and ultrasound tech, and later surgeon consult asked me to describe the pain, I really, really wanted them to be able to know my frame of reference, but I didn't even try. What I feel most of the time is this:

And when I concentrate on it, it turns into this:

Except you'd have to draw him clamped on to the inside of my hip, which might cause all kinds of different animation challenges.

What the ultrasound showed was that there was no herniation, but there was an enlarged lymph node that was likely the source of my pain. The theory goes that, since it is placed very closed to some very large nerves, it might be classified as neuralgic pain and, thus, possible be lessened by taking the drug Neurontin, aka Gabapentin.

My surgeon said the drug would take about a month to build up in my system and I could continue taking the Vicodin for pain as needed, especially with the Disney trip upcoming.

So, about a month ago, I started taking a 300mg dose in the morning and another at night. 600mg a day is pretty tame comparatively, since people suffering with shingles do 4x more each day to try and blunt the pain. 

I'm not sure how much had to do with thinking it was helping, especially after reading this study, which reveals just thinking a drug is working does 50% of the job, but I felt like I wasn't as constantly nagged by the family dog chomping down on my hip all day long and I slept more soundly, so whatever.

I started to feel a bit more fuzzy, less able to concentrate well on a single task, and not terribly efficient, but was determined to push through and let the stuff work at least for the month that it took to get it to maximum efficiency. 

That is, until yesterday. 

Yesterday, I lost it. 

I genuinely felt like I was cracking up by midday. I could not stop crying. I felt depressed and anxiety-ridden at the same time, unable to breathe, in an absolute panic over the idea of Nick driving on the road, or Sam going to work, or pretty much anything else. Look at the Christmas tree that is getting put away this weekend? Cry. See laundry piles? Weep. We're out of creamer! Cue the sobs! I'm talking full-blown mental case. I was so exhausted last night from the constant stream of tears and racking sobs that I laid down next to Evan to pet him about 7:30 and passed out. Bob roused me to get me to crawl into bed where I stayed, except for all the tossing and turning and bad dreams, until 6:00 this morning. I laid there, staring at the ceiling, afraid to move. I finally convinced myself a hot shower would do me good, but I sent Nick a text to check on his progress first. Here came the tears. They've gone on and off for the past two hours and now I'm terrified to leave the house, for fear I'll burst into sobs in public. 

After doing some additional reading, it would seem this uncontrollable crying is either a side-effect of the Neurontin, now well built up in my system, or a combination of the Neurontin and the decongestant I've been taking for the past few days. Whatever it is, it has got to go. 

Only, it's not that easy. 

There are disclaimers and warnings all over the place about stopping Neurontin cold, including onset of seizures even if you've never had them before. (Neurontin was originally prescribed as an anti-convulsant.)  So in between the crying jags and panic attacks and those moments where I think about how nice it would be to go to sleep forever, I'm stuck figuring out how to level down and get out of taking this drug without making things worse. 

And once I do, I'm still stuck with the family dog, and the question of why that lymph node is enlarged in the first place. Grrrr.

Think I'll go start dismantling the Christmas tree armed with an entire box of tissues now.


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