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Old 11-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
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questions about recent issue (long post)

I was diagnosed with a rare gastrointestinal disease when I was 10 years old, named Peutz Jeghers. Since then, I've had 4 surgeries due to my illness. On and off, since then, I've had numerous problems, most specifically chronic pain issues.

For the past few months, I've been suffering from a horrible pain in my upper abdominal area (sharp/stabbing). Test after test, scope after scope, pill after pill, guess after guess, my GI doctors and surgeons are completely baffled and ran out of ideas and sent me to a pain therapy clinic 2 days ago. To my surprise, for the first time in almost a year, I'm hearing something new that might be the true diagnosis but I'm still skeptical, curious, and nervous.

After they covered the fact that all my tests and recent exploratory surgery offered no evidence of any GI issues related to the pain, the pain therapists said it most likely isn't related & brought up something new. They explained that, sometimes, people with over-sensitive nerves tend to suffer from really bad nerve damage because of surgery (something along the lines of that). They basically think that, during one of my two last major surgeries, something caused a section of the nerves in my stomach to get completely messed up, causing me this suffering. (Which is strange because the pain begins at the very upper tip of my large abdominal-scar)

They brought up 3 possibilities that could help me through this, if it's true. The first one was the subject of a nerve block using the spinal cord & needles (erm I'm scared). In these cases, they end up giving you a minor injection of lidocaine+steroids into the pain-site to see if a temporary block gives you any pain relief. I got mine that day and I felt SOME positive help from it but more or less, it took me a long time to process how my body accepted it. 2 days later (today), I can feel that the drugs wore off and I'm in a lot more pain today (so, maybe this is true?).

Although with the block, they also suggested physical therapy. Although I'd actually really look forward to it, my family is having concerns about insurance not covering it. I won't get into details as to why but there's a good chance they'll try to fight covering it, so I might not get it at all and it sounds like it might be the most helpful option.

The final possibility is the one that's scaring me the most: a medication. Why? It's an anti-depressant. Before I explain why I'm scared of these pills (most people should know), let me just ask: isn't offering anti-depressants enough evidence that these doctors think it's all in my head? Or, do they actually use them for the belief in other things?

What it all comes down to is that: I've had a really bad experience with anti-depressants. A long time ago, I was on an SSRI anti-depressant. Without being heavily informed from the moronic doctor who offered me this pill: I randomly decided one day that I didn't like how the pill made me feel and discontinued it suddenly. The next day, I went through the most frightening withdrawal experience in my life. Aside from typical withdrawal symptoms, I also had violent images in my head and very heavy thoughts of suicide. I was trembling, having brain jolts, in horrible pain, felt like jumping out of my skin, and my body couldn't tolerate how I felt so my brain kept telling me to kill myself. After a day of suffering, I read online about the huge mistake I was making, popped a pill as quick as I could, vomited numerous times in a row from shock, and got desperately sick for almost a week. I then had my doctor ween me off the pills, which also was very hard to do.

What it all comes down to is: does my case sound like it has the possibility for this chronic-nerve-damage suggestion? If so, how are the 3 suggestions and are they the proper thing to do?

I researched the pill for hours before I took it. I've been on it for 2 days and I don't feel anything so far - just fatigue. They claimed it would also help with my insomnia and, in time, my chronic pain. Does Elavil really sound like the right thing for me? Can surgery really do this kind of damage? - because I've never heard of such a thing before and I've spent half of my life in hospital beds and rooms with doctors.

Thank you to anyone who reads and especially to those who take to time to talk to me about this.

 
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