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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

  • Anyone have Profuse Facial Sweating?

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    Old 06-19-2005, 09:44 AM   #16
    wise_cookie
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    Location: Mississippi
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    Re: Anyone have Profuse Facial Sweating?

    Hi guys.........I've been reading all the posts on this thread with lots of interest! I too, am dealing with profuse sweating.......it's unreal! It progresses until my whole head is soaking wet and sweat drips off and hits my shoulders....honest! Talking about embarrassing! My RSD started in my left foot-ankle area after a fusion surgery (L4-5, L5-S1) but now it has gone up my leg and has mirrored over to my right leg. The left leg is still the worst. I have had nerve blocks which helped calm things down a little. I recently went thru stimulator trial. I wasn't impressed with it that much....felt too much like a tens unit which I absolutely hate, but doctor insists that is what is needed.....told me I was running out of treatment options. He will only do the morphine pump as a last resort so I more or less have no choice. I'm afraid he will refuse to treat me (pain meds) if I don't try the permanent one for a while. They have me set up for permanent placement on June 28 but I'm still unsure....lol, guess I better be figuring it out huh? I really hate to go to another pain doctor because I've been with this guy for 7 years now and for the most part I really like him. (Forgot to mention that I've had a total of 7 back surgeries...cervical and lumbar).

    Anyway, regarding the sweating issue.....I am going thru menopause at the same time so I'm getting it in a "double whammy". I can't take hormones because I had a pre-cancer in right breast last summer and it was so close to being cancer that they decided to treat it with tamoxifen which is anti-estrogen drug to keep estrogen from feeding and turning into more cancer. This is why no hormones to help with hot flashes. My gynecologist told me that with the sympathetic nerve being damaged and causing RSD that to keep in mind that RSD affects the limbic portion of the brain and the hypothalmus is located there which is your body's "thermostat". The blocks help some but I still have sweating.

    ASK ME if I wish I lived in Alaska???? To make matters worse, I have very thick hair.....feel like I am wearing a wool cap 24/7. Needless to say, my hair is cut short....very short! LoL......just glad to know there are other folks out there with the same problems!
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    wise_cookie


    1992 - Anterior Cervical Fusion C6-7
    1995 - Lumbar Laminectomy L4-5
    1996 - Anterior Cervical Fusion C5-6
    1997 - Lumbar Laminectomy L5-S1
    1998 - Started going to Pain Treatment Center for Chronic Pain
    May 2003 - Lumbar Laminectomy and Decompression of Nerve Root - 2 levels
    June 2003 - Continued problems after surgery....dx Failed Back Syndrome
    Jan 2004 - Scheduled for Anterior Lumbar Fusion L4-5, L5-S1

    Last edited by wise_cookie; 06-19-2005 at 09:47 AM.

     
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    Old 06-19-2005, 07:26 PM   #17
    sharon1030
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    Join Date: May 2002
    Location: NY
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    Smile Re: Anyone have Profuse Facial Sweating?

    Hi wise cookie,

    Welcome to the board. Did the stim help your pain at all? When you say you weren't impressed, it makes me a bit nervous that your doc went and scheduled a permanent stim implant anyway. That's what the temp was for and if it didn't help you, I don't see why they'd schedule you for the perm. The morphine pump is pretty much the last resort for everyone, but it has been a lifesaver for me and maybe it would be for you. It has even helped me with this sweating issue. Besides morphine, I have bupivacaine in mine and that is like having a constant block and I think it has helped the sweating. Since I had the pump put in four years ago, the sweating is gone (face, legs, everywhere....just normal sweating now!). Good luck with whatever you decide to go with.

    Sharon

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 05:37 AM   #18
    wise_cookie
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    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: Mississippi
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    Re: Anyone have Profuse Facial Sweating?

    Hi Sharon.........thanks for the warm welcome. To answer your question about the trial stim.....yes it did overide the pain somewhat but after a while it seemed to feel as though it "wasn't working" if that makes sense. At first it felt just like a tens unit which I mentioned I absolutely hate. The rep came back and did some reprograming and it felt somewhat better (smoothed it out so it didn't feel so much like a tens). After a day or so that is when I felt like it "stopped working, wasn't there" and to me it wasn't the "very thing that would help me the most" as my doctor suggested. Another thing..........when they removed the trial my RSD seemed to flare up because of going thru the trial. I've read that any type of invasive procedure or surgery can cause the RSD to spread so it is better to get a nerve block before any procedure. It has been quite a while since I have received a nerve block. I was doing a little better before the stim trial and now I am back to square one and a little worse. The swelling is back and pain is much worse. They are not forcing me to do the permanent one, told me I could change my mind but told me that my options were running out.

    I am supposed to go tomorrow for all my pre-op stuff and I am going to tell them that I would prefer to wait on the permanent stimulator. I am also going to ask for a nerve block because in the past couple of weeks my ankle has turned black and bluish.....looks like a bruise but it is not a bruise. It will probably peeve them off that I have waited until the week before to cancel but I don't care.....this is something I really had to think about a lot before deciding.

    I've never had the red look that every one talks about and the sweating of the extremity that the RSD started in. I do have a rash in both legs and to a lesser extent on my upper body. I do have the burning, numbness and tingling and the stiffness in my ankle. Have you had or heard of anyone else having the black/blue thing?

    I've never heard of bupivicaine? Is it something that they use in nerve blocks? That sounds like it would work well if it is the same or similar. Do you still get nerve blocks on a regular basis even though you have the pump or does the pump with bupivicaine prevent you from getting them.....or better yet, the bupivicaine take the place of blocks?

    I am going to ask my doctor about going ahead and getting the pump. I am taking 200mg of Kadian every day plus Lortab for breakthru pain. I also take a myriad of other drugs and I am sick of taking all this medicine....God knows what it is going to do to my liver in the long run although my last profile said everything was okay.

    Sorry for this "book" I've written...lol.

    __________________
    wise_cookie


    1992 - Anterior Cervical Fusion C6-7
    1995 - Lumbar Laminectomy L4-5
    1996 - Anterior Cervical Fusion C5-6
    1997 - Lumbar Laminectomy L5-S1
    1998 - Started going to Pain Treatment Center for Chronic Pain
    May 2003 - Lumbar Laminectomy and Decompression of Nerve Root - 2 levels
    June 2003 - Continued problems after surgery....dx Failed Back Syndrome
    Jan 2004 - Scheduled for Anterior Lumbar Fusion L4-5, L5-S1

    Last edited by wise_cookie; 06-21-2005 at 05:42 AM.

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 05:21 PM   #19
    sharon1030
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    Join Date: May 2002
    Location: NY
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    Smile Re: Anyone have Profuse Facial Sweating?

    Hi,

    I'm glad you're not going through with the stim. That shouldn't be done unless you are absolutely positive that's the route you want to take. As for the black/blue thing...yes I have that. When my legs turn cold, they'll be that black/blue color; and when they're hot, they turn red.

    I haven't had blocks in years. They stopped working for me. I've had RSD for 19 years and have, among other things, had a sympathectomy. The bupivacaine is a numbing medicine like the meds they use for blocks. If I sleep on my left side (that catheter is pointing toward my left side since that side is worse), my leg will turn numb which is kind of handy when I have a lot of pain . The numbness goes away within an hour of getting off that side. This pump has been a lifesaver for me. Before it, I was taking 600mgs of MS Contin and was very depressed because of it. The meds in the pump go directly to the spinal canal so they don't pass through all the systems and therefore, you don't get the side effects you might with oral meds.

    Anyway, good luck with your appointment.

    Sharon

     
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