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Old 04-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #1
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TexMom85 HB User
Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Hi Y'all,

Some of you have been worrying about me since I have been experiencing pronounced swelling in my feet, lower legs and hands since starting Lyrica for my pinched nerve/disk problem.

I went to my regular doc today (internal medicine) and I was shocked that my blood pressure was fairly normal (123/87). Of course, my swelling was not as bad as usual today, but the doctor was still concerned. She says it is possible for the tissues to hold water without the blood vessels being involved, and that is probably the case with me. She did a test on me, which gives information on fluid retention, body fat/muscle mass and inflammation. We've been doing these for a while--it's a machine with electrodes that hook up to feet, hands, etc. I show a lot of fluid, and a lot of inflammation. I had gained 31 pounds since my visit in January, a very rapid gain. She suspects that I might have some severe food allergies that are causing problems such as fibro pain, sleep disturbances and weight issues.

I am starting Medifast on Monday, under her supervision. She says that the weight should start to fall off of me, due to the elimination of the foods that I am allergic to... unless I happen to be allergic to soy, which is the key protein component of Medifast's "meals." I should know pretty quickly. If the weight doesn't come right off, then I probably will shoot myself. (kidding, but you know how I feel.)

She also is referring me to a "hand" therapist, since I am experiencing so much pain in my right arm. I had been painting (no scolding, please!) and the repetitive motion was just too much for me. She could feel what she called telltale fibro bumps in both arms, but especially the right, which I can hardly use to lift anything, such as a full glass of iced tea, without pain. She was surprised that the Lyrica was not helping my fibro pain, and I also told her that I was much more stiff since taking the Lyrica than I was before. It seems to be one of the side effects of Lyrica--it helps with one kind of pain but causes another. Go figure. Now I am also on Celebrex, which seems to have taken the edge off of the fibro pain, but I am supplementing it with Aleve and Flexeril. I have resisted the urge to take Vicodin (left over from wrenched back incident), but the pain seems to be taking over. I hope the therapist can help me with the specific arm pain...and perhaps address pain in the other parts of my body.

So, the weight and number of medications I take continue to rise, but so far the blood pressure and the heart seem okay. I am going to have a serious discussion with the orthopedic surgeon about paying more attention to my side effects and perhaps seeing if I can tolerate a lower dosage of the Lyrica. My regular doc says Neurontin has the same side effects, typically, as Lyrica, so it wouldn't make much sense for me to change, since my pain is still manageable, although it seems to be increasing a bit every day.

Anyway, that's the update. Thanks to all who have responded and expressed concern for me. While I am still a walking basket case, I refuse to give up, and I really appreciate and gather strength from the encouragement I get from fellow forum members. I share my experiences in the hope that they might help someone else.

PS Does anyone have any recommendations for pain for tendonitis? Thanks!
Tex

 
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:33 PM   #2
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cmpgirl HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Hey Tex: I was glad to see your BP was not too high. I would still recommend checking it once a week or so at your local drug store or wherever they have a machine. While 87 isn't a bad diastolic, my doc and several of my friends and family have told me (since this whole thing started with me) that 90 to 95 is considered borderline hypertensive.

Have you been previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia or did that just come up at today's exam? The reason I ask is because if she suspects fibro, you might want to see a rheumatologist for a consult. What she referred to as fibro bumps are called trigger points. TP's are a classic symptom of fibro. (If you are wondering why I know this, fibro and the disease I have share a lot of symptoms and many people are diagnosed with both)

Boy, that is a very rapid gain. Has she run any labs recently? To check your glandular function maybe? Have you had food allergies in the past? I'm sorry for all of the questions, I don't mean to be pushy. I know you had mentioned swelling before, but I didn't realize it was all over. I thought it was just your legs, ankles and feet.

I can see where all that fluid would be antagonizing your mucles and joints. As far as the tendonitis, I highly recommend the boxed heat wraps, such as ThermaCare. I love those things and use them all the time. Also, NO MORE painting! That repetetive motion will get you every time. I know you said no scolding, but just consider that a little finger wag.

I hope this medi-fast can do something. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts, as always. Please keep us posted and take care of yourself. God Bless, cmpgirl

 
Old 04-03-2008, 10:37 PM   #3
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brianpain33 HB Userbrianpain33 HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Tex,

I am 80% sure that the Lyrica is the actual culprit. I went through a pain clinic at the Cleveland Clinic and saw many, many people put on Lyrica. I can tell you from first hand experience that several of the ladies had to stop it because it was causing rapid weight gain and swelling of the ankles and feet. I really feel that you should stop the Lyrica and see what happens. You should really bring this up to your doctor. There are alot of people on the Healthboards that have had to quit taking Lyrica because of this very reason. I would hate for you to suffer because the med that you are taking is what is causing all of these problems. Here is some info about Lyrica involving side effects:

In premarketing controlled trials of all patient populations combined, dizziness, somnolence, dry mouth, edema,(means swelling), blurred vision, weight gain, and "thinking abnormal" (primarily difficulty with concentration/attention) were more commonly reported by subjects treated with LYRICA than by subjects treated with placebo

If you do go off the Lyrica, please do it gradually and slowly. Many people experienced withdrawal symptoms if they stop it cold turkey. I hope this saves you any more suffering.

brian

 
Old 04-04-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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ms_west HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

I am betting it is the lyrica. I had it happen with lyrica as well as with the neurotin. With the neurotin the swelling got so bad in my face that I went into analyphaltic shock. Moldova has seen the pictures. It was terrible. I would trry cutting back and getting off the medication and I bet your swelling will go away. I also can't take elvail and palemore for the same reason.

 
Old 04-04-2008, 06:11 PM   #5
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TexMom85 HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Hi Y'All,

I totally agree that Lyrica is directly responsible for the weight gain and swelling. I was not aware of the concentration/attention issue. Now that I've thought about it, I think I am having a bit of a problem with that, such as inability to articulate a word when I am speaking, re-telling the same thing without remembering that I've already done it, etc.

Yes, I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, several years ago. It just seems to have worsened (if that's possible) since I've been on the Lyrica. I am so stiff, much more so than I was before. I've sensed an increase in my pain, although Lyrica is one of the medications specifically prescribed for Fibromyalgia, so I found that odd. The orthopedic surgeon gave me Celebrex to help with that. Great, just what I need, another medication (It seems I am a walking advertisement for Walgreen's!)

My regular doctor didn't run any tests this time, but it's not her fault. Due to an incredible sequence of hubby's job losses (it's a long story), we had no health insurance for about a year. When he started his new job and got insurance last summer, we were constrained by the "pre-existing conditions" and therefore could not use insurance for any ailments for which we had been treated within the last 13 months. This includes my insomnia, RLS, lower back disk issues, and fibromyalgia. I managed to squeak in my Sleep Apnea, thank God, because my CPAP machine quit and I was able to get a new one under the insurance for a $200 co-pay. I had been living with the nerve pain for quite some time without seeing a doctor, so I've been able to get treatment from the orthopedic surgeon under the insurance, which is not that great but better than having none. At least I am able to get some of my medications under the insurance. Ambien CR is $135/month without insurance, and add to that the others and as you can imagine, it gets quite expensive. When I was on Topamax, it was over $350 per month....egads! Anyway, money is the main factor, and I plan to get these tests done again later this summer. I had had some from a new doctor last fall, and they were "inconculsive." I did not go back to that doctor, who obviously wasn't interested in digging any deeper for answers to my health issues.

I digress. Sorry. It must be the concentration thing...

So, two things. First of all, my regular doc says she suspects I have massive food allergies. Apparently many fibromyalgia patients sort through this. I also probably have hormone issues, left over from my hysterectomy several years ago. The diet I am starting on Monday, Medi-fast, will basically remove all potentially allergic foods from my diet (except for soy), and allegedly I should start losing weight immediately. So the weight loss and removal of food should help with the swelling and some of the pain....we hope.

The second thing....what do I take for pain? If I stop taking Lyrica, I am fairly certain my nerve pain will return. It surpasses any pain I have ever dealt with, including labor and delivery and post-surgery. There are very few medications which are effective with nerve pain, and the alternatives to Lyrica (at least the ones I am aware of) carry with them the same side effects I am dealing with right now. I really do not relish the thought of surgery, especially dealing with the spine. Most accounts I read do not speak of relief from pain following surgery of this type. I have a bad history with anesthesia, and the trauma of surgery has historically aggravated my Fibromyalgia. But, taking Lyrica brings on the side effects. What do I do?

Pray for me, fellow pm-er's. I promise, no more painting. I cannot lift anything with my right arm or even make a fist without my forearm just screaming. And this is not the same pain as the deferred nerve pain, it is new due to my overdoing it. (I am my own worst enemy, it seems.) I have an appointment with a "hand therapist" on Monday. I hope it helps. In the meantime, I am taking a reality check on my condition and instructing my brain that no matter how willing it might be to take on projects such as painting and gardening, the body is not able to keep up. Like all of you, I just want to be able to live a life with manageable pain, but I am having a difficult time realizing that I probably will never be the picture of health and vitality. While my hubby is very supportive, I often feel like I am a burden since the things I can do are becoming fewer and fewer.

Sorry for the rant...thanks for the input and concern. This is probably the only place where I feel truly understood. I appreciate you more than I can say!

I will update after the therapy session and a few days on the diet. Suggestions and support are definitely requested!!

Tex

 
Old 04-04-2008, 06:14 PM   #6
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TexMom85 HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123dietdrpepper View Post
I am betting it is the lyrica. I had it happen with lyrica as well as with the neurotin. With the neurotin the swelling got so bad in my face that I went into analyphaltic shock. Moldova has seen the pictures. It was terrible. I would trry cutting back and getting off the medication and I bet your swelling will go away. I also can't take elvail and palemore for the same reason.
I had the same problem with Elavil. What do you take for your pain? I am so sorry that you experienced such a bad reaction. That must have been scary. I've never heard of palemore.

I agree I should taper off the Lyrica, but what alternatives do I have? I was taking Vicodin like popcorn and it did not help.

Thanks for sharing...if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Tex

 
Old 04-04-2008, 07:00 PM   #7
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brianpain33 HB Userbrianpain33 HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

OK Texmom I will just run down the slew of nerve pain medications and other medications that I can think of at the moment. I know you may have tried many of these but there may still be some good options leftl

Tricyclic Antidepressants - Elavil(amitryptiline), Pamelor(nortriptyline), doxepin - very good at treating nerve pain & helpful with sleep so usually prescribed at night

Atypical Antidepressants- Trazadone, Ultram(tramadol), Ultracet, Ultram ER - good at treating nerve pain, tramadol also has a mild opiod quality to it so IT IS A MILD NARCOTIC

SNRI Antidepressants - Cymbalta, Effexor, Wellbutrin - very effective for nerve pain & also depression that usually accompanies chronic pain, many people on these boards have success with Cymbalta

Anticonvulsants - Tegretol, Topomax, Trileptal, Neurontin, Lyrica, Gabitril

Opiod/Opiates- hydrocodone(Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), oxycodone(Percocet, Oxycontin, Oxy IR), hydromorphone(Dilaudid), oxymorphone(Opana), methadone, fentanyl(patch, Actiq), morphine(MS Contin, Avinza, Kadian) - can be useful for certain types of pain especially when used in combination with other non-narcotic meds

anti-inflammatories ibuprofen(Advil), naproxen(Aleve), Celebrex - good for inflammatory conditions plus has a synergistic affect with other medications(especially narcotics) meaning it helps them work even better, has the possible bad side effect using them long term with stomach ulcers or bleeding in stomach. OTC anti-inflammatories shown to be just as effective and less costly than Rx.

I am sure that I missed quite a few meds and others are welcome to add on to my list. I am recovering from the flu and not thinking all that great.

brian

Last edited by brianpain33; 04-04-2008 at 07:07 PM. Reason: added anti-inflammatory info

 
Old 04-04-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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ms_west HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Tex,

I take oxycontin LA, perococet, and cymbalta (antidepressent and nerve medication).

Hope that helps and good luck.

 
Old 04-04-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
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TexMom85 HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Thanks, Brian and DDP,

I will look into some of these and talk with my OS. I have tried a few of them in the past for other maladies prior to the nerve pain, but several are new to me. Since everyone reacts differently to drugs, it's good to hear that you two have some solid suggestions for treating nerve pain. I also have to be careful that my sleep is not disturbed, since I have really bad, chronic insomnia and have only recently gotten it to a manageable level (5/7 nights sleeping...knock on wood).

I have been using Aleve on and off, but notice that I seem to puff up a bit even when using something as seemingly harmless as it. Some days it doesn't seem to even make a dent, but on others it does take a couple of notches off the pain level. Brian, I remember in a post you mentioned getting to a zero pain level and feeling euphoria was a bad thing (a danger sign, very understandable). I don't worry that I will ever get to that point! It's been so long since I've felt that way that I don't even remember what it's like.

Thanks for the terrific information; I really appreciate it. You people rock! I wish I had found this forum a long time ago. I'll be researching and talking to the doc; will let you know how it all comes out.

Tex

PS Brian, hope you feel better soon and get rid of that terrible flu!

Last edited by TexMom85; 04-04-2008 at 09:00 PM. Reason: added PS

 
Old 04-05-2008, 12:03 AM   #10
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ms_west HB User
Re: Swelling but Blood Pressure Normal, Pain is Returning

Sorry I missed the question about palemor ? Do you believe I simply spelled it wrong ?? It should have been Pamelor.

 
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