Post herpetic neuralgia recovery time?
I had a single level spinal fusion in 2008 at L4-L5. I recovered from it without any problems and have been active since. I recently thought that I had herniated another disk with sciatica down the right leg. However, a few days after experiencing this pain I awoke with a rash on the back of my right calf, rash down the top of my foot and extending to the bottom of my foot involving the pad under my toes. My great toe also had two lesions on it. This case of shingles has been more painful than my recovery from the spinal fusion!! I took a 10 day course of acyclovir started 48 hours after I noted the rash. Two months in to this I have tried to control the intense burning, electrical shooting pain with various measures. Vicodin (useless), tramadol, valium for anxiety, lidoderm patches, ms contin for two nights when I honestly thought I was going to have to go to the ER it was so intense. I saw a neurologist this week and he started me on neurontin. I am curious what most have found to be the best dosage range for this type of pain? He started me on low dose at 100 mg three times a day. Also, he didn't really give me a time frame for how long this would last . From my reading, I have seen estimates from months to years!!! I am unable to walk for any length of time without coming home and elevating my foot as it swells and becomes extremely sensitive. I have to soak it at night, place the lidoderm on it and sleep only on my left side with my right leg elevated on a pillow outside the covers as I can't stand for anything to touch the ends of my toes. Also shoes are an issue as I can't stand the toes to be touched or the top of my foot as it initiates the burning. I will appreciate any others input on time frame for this and what they have found to be beneficial. I can not stand the thought of capscaicin cream as the burning is to intense that sounds like it might be more painful than soothing. I know there are folks out there who have suffered with this longer than I have but it is so debilitating both from the physical standpoint and the depression aspect that I feel like it has taken over my life!! What coping strategies do you guys find works best?? Any suggestions and comments will be most appreciated. Thank you!