Discussions that mention lyrica

Back Problems board

Hey Pepper:

How sweet of you to start a new thread. Thank you!

I just read your list of surgeries and you've been through the wringer.

I had remarkable improvement post-fusion in Apr 2006. I would say my pain was about 80 percent better for quite some time. What I experienced for the first year post surgery were called flareups by my doc -- periods of a few weeks of leg pain that went away and were assuaged by Vicoden, PT, anti-inflammatories. .

Then the "attacks" started coming more frequently, so I got an MRI which showed an inflamed S1 nerve. Surgeon didn't think it was a big deal. He sent me for PT which I did for months and suggested an ESI, which I put off for a while because I find them basically useless. Then I said to myself -- hey, you have no discs hitting nerves so maybe it will work this time. It didn't.

For the past 3-4 months I've had daily pain, sometimes as high as a 6 or 7. It's mostly in my legs, with mild pain in my lower back. Started Lyrica about 3 weeks ago, 50mg daily. Just went up to 75 2 days ago. I don't know if you've tried it, but the side effects are making me loopy. Not just tired...loopy. I can't remember words, forget peoples' names. Today I was so confused in general that I couldn't wait to come home and delayed making decisions at work.

However, the GREAT news is that my pain level dropped today for the first time in months. It was about a 2. Pretty impressive, eh? It must be the Lyrica so I'm excited about that. However, these side effects need to abate before I can commit to staying on it. From what I can see on these boards, I am at a very low dose, but I must be a delicate flower because Topomax also had this effect on me and I had to discontinue it. I am hoping that this will pass because I really want to stay on this drug if it can relieve the pain.

I'm seeing my surgeon on Monday and I'm bringing my MRI and asking him to review it with me again. I'm also seeing some pain bigwig at Mt. Sinai on Wednesday for a consult. I'm firing my current pain doc because he can't remember who I am from appt to appt and only reluctantly gives me Vicoden because he thinks it "unmotivates" his patients.

Wow, I'm really venting here. Sorry such a long post. The more I try to figure out what's wrong, the more I go in circles. I was googling a weird sensation I had in my leg of warm water dripping down it and came up with arachnoiditis, which I pray I do not have (the MRI should have shown it, so I am telling myself to stop thinking I have it!). Then I think it's scar tissue or something wrong with hardware but my last XRAY in March showed a good fusion.

Thanks for reaching out and reading my blab-fest. No one understands this stuff like the pain board folks and I guess I really needed to talk! Best wishes to you for a healthy recovery from your revision. Why did you need one?

So would you describe your nerve pain as ping ponging?? One day it is better than you are down for awhile?

I have tried all the nerve medicines except for topomax and have had nothing but reactions to them. I am so happy that you are finding some relief from lyrica and pray that you adjust to it and the loopiness goes away for you.

I had a revisiion due to unrelenting nerve pain down right thigh and into the toes, L5 hardware problems, laminectomy of L3 and L4 and adding Bmp to L5.

You might want to go back and review some threads by Moldova concerning arachnoiditis if you did not read them. They were pretty recently. She was diagnosed with this in Oct/Nov.

Good luck and please keep us posted. We care and are praying for you.
Do you have pain in the front of your thigh? I have it in both thighs and down the back of one leg. Both feet too in my toes. I find myself doing weird things like unconsciously rubbing my leg at work (like that would really help. LOL).

Will check Moldova's post. I read one of your posts about being aware during a surgery and wanted to cry reading how you suffered. You are a strong and brave woman to be able to go back on the table after that.

Yes I do have ping-ponging nerve pain where some days my pain is less and others I want to chew my legs off like I'm an animal in a trap. I am not sure ping-ponging is the right word, because I can usually correlate the pain with long periods of sitting. By the end of the work week it is also much much worse from the cumulative effect of sitting, commuting to work, etc. How would you describe your nerve pain? Bad some days, better others? Could you relate it to anything you did?

I really hope this surgery does it for you! How are you feeling now? I can imagine its hard to tell with all the post-surgical pain, but do you feel any relief yet?

I am hoping this Lyrica works but my pain is starting to kick in tonight so I'll take one of the precious Vicodens I had to beg my doc for. He acts like one of these 7.5 pills (maybe two) a day makes me a drug addict. I almost asked for Percocet last visit, because they work so much better than Vicoden but I didn't want to press my luck!

I read that you have to NOTHING for a month and I hope you are able to heed your doc's instructions. I was bored out of my gourd after two weeks, but I took 10 weeks off work and tried hard to be a good patient, taking walks, not sitting much at all. How are you managing being on the computer? Are you lying in bed with a laptop or are you able to sit and type? After my fusion, I could only sit on my dining room chairs (straight back) and my surgeon wouldn't let me sit on my comfy couch for months!

Warm fuzzy wishes to you for a comfortable and speedy recovery.

Hiho All:

How are you doing, Pepper? It's so soon after your surgery that I hope you don't get discouraged by the pain right now. I stressed over everything post-fusion (new pain in weird places, like my ankles) and had to keep reminding myself of all the twisting and untwisting of nerves they do while you're on the table. Still, it must be scary and uncomfortable to have the jerks you mentioned and I hope you have a good enough relationship with your doctor or physician assistant that you can call and ask questions without having to wait for your appointment.

I'm sorry to hear you can't sit at the table or worship as you'd like -- and hope that changes soon! I did okay with pain this weekend except when I went to "puppy training school" with my new dog and sat on an uncomfortable wooden stool. I should have known better...I should have stood....or asked for a different chair....but I hate making a fuss about my back. So I sat on this chair for half and hour and then suffered the rest of the day! Unlike you, I am able to sit for periods of time (have a special lumbar chair at work) but I can't sit on a park bench or wooden anything without paying for it later.

What frustrates me so much is being different from other people. I'm the person who drops change on the street and doesn't pick it up because it's too much effort to bend. My hubby is great about helping out, but I have to remind him sometimes that it hurts me to load and unload a dishwasher (though I will do the top rack!) or that if I'm lying on the couch it hurts to get up and down and I don't want to get up to open the door for the dogs. To my benefit, some days I am okay and none of these things are a problem, but when I'm hurting -- EVERYTHING is an effort. By the time I get through a day's work I am spent for the evening and often crawl into bed and stay there all night.

I do believe the Lyrica is starting to help -- but today I woke up with blurred vision (the side effect they print on the bottle) and burst into tears. It passed after a little bit, but it was upsetting not being able to focus my eyes. I'm trying to so hard to deal with the side effects of the med and not give up too soon, but it's hard getting up to a therapeutic dose. I'll hang in as long as I can.

If your pain is mechanical in nature (vs. neuropathic, I guess), what does that mean for you exactly prognosis-wise? I would think that if it's mechanical in nature that would mean it is fixable (crossed fingers), right? When your doc said it was a bad sign if your pain shoots up and down (the pingponging you mentioned) does that mean it is not mechanical and instead a nerve problem, which I assume is much harder to diagnose and fix eh? I always wonder in the back of my mind whether I would have had a better outcome if I had my fusion sooner than I did. I can't say I waited forever, but I had back pain for over a year and very intense pain for four months before I had the surgery.

On a lighter note, it must be lovely to be looking at your tree all day. Maybe you'll be awake to offer Santa some milk and cookies when he stops by!

Best to you,