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  • Excessive Sleeping & Chronic Nerve Pain

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    Old 05-28-2016, 04:45 AM   #1
    SheilaKathy
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    Unhappy Excessive Sleeping & Chronic Nerve Pain

    I find that since I have given up on Physical Therapy or non narcotic meds handling my pain, I am sleeping too much, like sleeping some days away, just to escape the pain and not to have to deal with the loss of so much of my life. I have Sciatic Nerve Pain (Sciatica) and sitting for any length of time is difficult, especially in a hard chair.

    When I lean forward, the pain is gone for awhile, but eventually leaning forward hurts the back I think. I am leaning forward right now as I write this and also leaning on my computer desk, relieving pressure on my back by doing so. But it hurts my arms to lean on them, so I can only do so for so long.

    I don't want to get hooked on narcotic pain meds and I hear they are not really good at handling nerve pain anyway, but I don't know. I have never tried them and I fear the addictive nature of them, and that as time goes by you need stronger and stronger doses. That sounds like a recipe for eventual disaster to me!

    I wonder if there is any medicine that handles nerve pain? I am taking Gabapentin, but I may not be taking enough of it or it just isn't working. I wonder what other meds there are for nerve pain. Do any of them really work??

    How do you live with chronic pain? What do you do to deal with it? What works, what doesn't?

     
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    Old 05-28-2016, 08:12 AM   #2
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    Re: Excessive Sleeping & Chronic Nerve Pain

    Sometimes.......one.minute.at a time!!

    I wish I could complain that I sleep too much-trust me, even on narcotic meds-this will pass.

    Its a constant battle and some days are worse than others. Any thing you can do to distract yourself and get out of your head-is a great tool

    You will come to find what does and does not work for you. I feel your pain-I do.

    Take any relief you can get.

    Hang in there......
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    Old 05-28-2016, 10:26 AM   #3
    tortoisegirl
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    Re: Excessive Sleeping & Chronic Nerve Pain

    It has got easier over time for me to cope. It took trial and error to find some treatments that help me. Everyone is different though, so often it isn't really helpful to list what we take (and my condition is quite different than yours).

    Gabapentin and Lyrica are the typical meds for nerve pain. They can take time to see if they will work (months), and the dose is typically tapered up slowly. I'd work with your doctor to see how long you should trial it, and if the dose can be increase any more (if you are tolerating it ok). Lyrica is typically considered more effective, and is a newer (but more expensive) med.

    I wouldn't give up on alternative therapies...there is always something different to try. If you have only done one course of physical therapy with one therapist, I'd try another one, as they typically have slightly different methods. There are other therapies to try too, such as massage, acupuncture, water aerobics, topical treatments, TENS device, nerve blocks, implanted nerve stimulator, etc. There are other classes of non-narcotic meds used for pain too, like NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, anti seizure meds, anti depressants, etc. Staying active can help pain, and from what you said, water therapy may be a good fit. You may be able to get a doctor's "prescription" and find a place which takes insurance.

    I too often want to use excessive sleep as a way to escape the pain. It can also be a sign of depression, which is common with chronic pain. If you feel you might be struggling in that area, a therapist may be helpful. We have to grieve the loss of our pain free lives.

    Pain management doctors are moving away from using opioids for chronic pain, and you are correct, they typically aren't considered very helpful for nerve pain. So, they might not even be an option for you. That said, for someone who has severe chronic pain and doesn't have previous addiction issues, if they take the meds as prescribed for their pain, the risk of addiction is quite small. When taken daily you would become physically dependent though, which isn't the same thing. Yes it is typical to need larger doses over time (tolerance).

    I have hope that something else will eventually come along, as you are right, opioids aren't really a long term solution. Typically eventually you get to a dose where your doctor isn't comfortable increasing it any more despite it not helping your pain. Some folks get lucky and build tolerance really slowly though (you hear of folks on the same dose for 10 years). I think its typically older folks who build tolerance slower. Best wishes.
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    Last edited by tortoisegirl; 05-28-2016 at 10:34 AM.

     
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    Old 05-28-2016, 11:31 AM   #4
    SheilaKathy
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    Unhappy Re: Excessive Sleeping & Chronic Nerve Pain

    Thankms, everyone, for your thoughts. I guess that one minute a time advice is going to be taken by me, this minute. I had some good minutes today, like going out for walks, buying myself a pair of pink shorts of the summer and just getting outside and morning around a bit helps me mentally.

    I do have a mental health therapist, who I see once a month. This month we had a phone consultation while I lay in bed. I don't know if this would be the best thing to do every month thought, because there is so much more to communication than just words and tone of voice. Facial expressions and body language are important too. I am not taking any antidepressants, but maybe they might be needed, as I read on ***** that they can be helpful in treating chronic pain. I will ask my Dr. when next I see her. I am to see her next about a month f4rom now. By then I will have worked out all the non-medical solutions I can think of, I am sure.

    I am taking a pillow around with me wherever I go, as this was recommended by my physical therapy assistant. I don't feel the need to go back to P/T or see any other P/Tist. I feel the most has been done with P/T that can be.

    I have Stenosis in my neck and I believe that this Sciatica is also caused by it in my lower spine. I suppose all this will come out in an MRI which will probably be my next action. I will request one anyway! I wanted one to be done before P/T even, but the Dr. said P/T had to be done first, and only then would an MRI be done if P/T did not work, otherwise Medicare would not pay for the MRI. I doubt that P/T can do much for Stenosis in the lower spine. However, I will continue to do my P/T exercises. I have nothing to lose by doing so. One of them does hurt, but the rest of them really don't cause me any pain, so I just grin and bear it when I do that one.

     
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    depression, nerve pain, oversleeping, sciatica



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