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  • Two weeks after 2 level fusion, yes or no to lyrica, Help Pls!

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    Old 09-28-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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    Red face Two weeks after 2 level fusion, yes or no to lyrica, Help Pls!

    Two weeks ago I had a two level fusion, C56, C67. Surgery went very well. Was out of bed same day, went home next day.
    I hate the Aspen Collar.
    Was on liquid diet for 10 days. Now Ive advanced to soft foods. For some strange reason Ritz crackers are very easy to eat. I've recovered very well. so far.
    But. I have Fibromyalgia and am in the most incredibly bad pain from my right shoulder and down my arm to my hand. My neck is fine.
    So. Lyrica is being suggested and I'm confused.
    At the moment I'm taking a truck load of medicines. Codeine with tylenol (liquid) which constipates me, so I also take metamucil, senekot,and miralax. Then at night I take valium, nortriptalyne and 1/2 of a sleeping pill (midazolam).
    I live in the Philippines and came to San Francisco for my surgery. And I sit here for 6 weeks as I recover. The pain in my shoulder and arm is so bad it wakes me up after 3 hours of sleep. The most sleep I've been able to get since the surgery is 5 hours one night.
    Now. Lyrica is being recommended. My SanFran doctor is hesitant to give it to me as I am super sensitive to medicines. My pain management doctor in Manila suggests 25mg/day and my rheumatoligist in Manila (wife of pain management dr!) says 75mg 2X a day.
    Any advice please????
    Do I want to try this?? Do I want to try it for just a short period in order to break the Fibromyalgia flare up cycle? Or do I not want to touch this medicine?
    I don't like having medicines pushed upon me. The only reason I'm taking all those horrid laxitives etc is because I didn't go to the bathroom for 6 days after the surgery. I refused the codeine and then finally gave in last week because of the arm pain. The medicines I take at night I've been on for over 8 years as they are for my Fibro and have worked well for me so far. This surgery threw me into a big 'ole fibro flare up and I usually take a NSAID for that which I'm not able to now because of the fusion. Therefore, Lyrica is the next suggestion.
    Thank you!! And sorry to have made this so long.

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    Old 09-29-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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    Re: Two weeks after 2 level fusion, yes or no to lyrica, Help Pls!

    Congratulations on your surgery! I had the Aspen as well and yes I hated it. Muscle spasms ebbed quickly once I was out of it. You are a "complicated patient" but no worries I am too. I did not do well on lyrica I had double vision but I suggest you type the drug name in the search section of this board and anybody who has ever posted on this topic will pop up and you can read the exp. they had with the drug. I think I was on 25mg 2x daily and then moved up to 50mg 2x after 2 wks. I was on that drug for maybe 3 to 4 weeks.

    My Dr. suggested taking magnesium in large doses to help with the constipation. No RX and its cheap. Maybe you can ck with your Dr on that.

    Have you tried sleeping with a wedge pillow or a recliner? I was in too much pain to sleep flat, and prior to surgery was a side sleeper.

    Hoping you have a speedy recovery and strong fusion!

    Old 10-04-2008, 09:09 PM   #3
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    Smile Re: Two weeks after 2 level fusion, yes or no to lyrica, Help Pls!

    Thank you for your answer. You gave me hope.
    I am also a "side sleeper" but sleeping on my back now relieves my pain, much to my amazement. I can sleep between 7-8 hours a night now! Such a gift!!
    I have a theory, "When in Doubt, Don't". so I have decided not to take the Lyrica. I have too many doubts and will listen to my gut!
    I'm going to start cutting out the laxatives as the gas is just too much. I'm able to go 6-7 hours now between dosages of the codeine elixir and my next step is to go to two dosages a day and hopefully be off it completely before I fly back to Manila.
    This is just a Huge Test of Patience! I plan to pass this test with flying colors!

    Old 10-05-2008, 08:45 AM   #4
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    Re: Two weeks after 2 level fusion, yes or no to lyrica, Help Pls!

    considering the horrid constipation you are having,you should see if your doc could Rx you something less constipating than the ty 3s. for some reason,codiene seems to be one of the worst for getting constipated. perhaps something like vicodin would be a better choice,it doesn't seem to fuel that back up quite as badly. the raise to a bit stronger med may also help much better with your pain too. was that pain like that BEFORE your surgery or is it new,the arm stuff? if it was there pre op,it should have gotten at least a little bit better,you know what i mean? if this is new for you,your surgeon really does need to know about it and Rx meds accordingly too.

    as far as lyrica goes,it really did help with my RSD and central pain problems which can be over the top at times,but onthe downside,it gave me vision problems just like the other poster mentioned,but it also affected my legs to the point that i would trip over my feet. i already had leg issues from a spinal cord injury so that didn;t help at all. it is just one of those meds that some people can take and have great results and others,like myself and the other poster up there have alot of problems with. every med we take and our reactions to them are a pretty individual type thing. but it DID help alot with my pain and thats the sucky part. if you should decide to try it at least,i would start at the lower end like the 20-25mgs? you can always taper up on a med,but should try when possible to start low at first just so your body gets a chance to get used to it. this also lessens the likelyhood of reactions to and side efects from as well.

    just one helpful suggestion like the above poster mentioned? magnesium IS a good laxative but the absolute best way to use this would be thru taking a bath in epsom salts? the salts are just granualized magnesium,thats it. it actually absorbs into the skin while all you do is soak in a nice relaxing tub. it goes directly into the skin which would include the abdominal area too. it could help alot to just try it and see. you can buy epsom salts at just about any drug store. just throw in about one cup or so and swirl it around in the tub til it dissolves pretty much,then soak. this also helps to relax tight muscles too. i LOVE the epsom baths for my overly tightened muscles and the spaticity that came along with my SCI. just something that really helps me both relax and with my ongoing constipation from just having to be on narcotic therepy for my pain issues too.

    i hope that helped you some. believe me i have been thru the c spine surgery twice and also had a surgery that had to go into my spinal cord,so i can relate well to what you are dealing with here. that arm pain really needs to be evaluated whether it was there pre op or is new. it should have gotten better with your surgery or should not be there at all if this is new for you ya know what i mean? i know you do have fibro but the very direct pain you are having which would more than likely have been radiculopathic from your c spine problems should be watched for any changes. just how bad was your c spine pre op? what were your most significant findings that popped up on your pre op MRI? if you have a copy of your report(you should obtain one if you do not have one already just for your own medical files)could you post what was in that summary at the very end? that is where they will place all the findings that kind of matter? its just that whatever was there pre op would kind of dictate whether or not that arm/shoulder pain is still from the underlying problems or fibro much more clearly. if they did not actually 'fix' everything,even stenosis,there could be existing problems/pain there thats all.

    i do hope things get better with every day that passes,just try and hang in there. i know how much the collers suck,believe me. i actually had the miami J the second time around and it was ten times more comfy than the stupid philly coller i had the first time. please keep us posted mepa,take care, Marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 10-05-2008, 04:53 PM   #5
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    Re: Two weeks after 2 level fusion, yes or no to lyrica, Help Pls!

    Thank you for you reply and suggestions. I have severe arthritis of the spine (and other parts of my body too), my C5-7 discs were protruding and indenting my spine. I have had this problem for a long time and was being miss-diagnosed in Manila. Last April I started to loose some of my neuro functions (balance, grip, etc) and that was when my neuro-surgeon in San Francisco decided surgery was my last option. But I had a grand daughter being born in Manila in June so postponed surgery to this September. I also had an emergency exploratory abdominal surgery on Dec 24, 07 and was still recovering from that.
    The pain in my arm started 10 days after my ACDF. I contacted my nuero immediately. He said my C6-7 nerves had been compressed for so long and now they are released and going into a sort of "electric shock" as they try to regenerate. He said he had seen this frequently happen and I really had to consider taking pain meds, which I wasn't taking at that time. I am allergic to vicodin percaset and morphine. My only choices were the codeine elixir or liquid demerol. My doctor also noticed a lot of my pain is coming from tense, tightened up muscles. And some of the pain is coming from fibro trigger point activation. I will have an xray on Oct 9 and see my doctor on Oct 13. That is when I'll find out how everything is doing and if he will give me medical clearance to fly back to Manila.
    I stopped the laxatives today because I have spent the whole day going to the bathroom! Now I have the opposite problem! But this is not unusual for me even when I'm not on medication. I have a very irritable digestive system.
    I am just not willing to try a new medicine that could give me more side effect issues. If I try the Lyrica, I will wait till I am home in Manila where my doctors are a "text" away, as they are all personal friends, and can get to me right away. Swelling of the face and throat is one of the bad effects and that is something I am quite sensitive to, I swell easily. I had a bad time with my surgery in December...I had organ shut down because they didn't know I was allergic to morphine, my veins shut down, my wound opened three times as I rejected the self dissolving stitches and my L5 was torn by the spinal block, which I told them NOT to give me. I was flat in bad for 2 months with spinal headaches. My doctor in SF feels I'll be more comfortable and happier when I'm able to go home. My husband will definately be happier to go home!!!
    So, again, thank you for you reply and advice, I truly appreciate it all!
    Good luck to you! MArtha

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