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G is for Gabapentin

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a-to-z-letters-gGabapentin is known by the brand name Neurontin, and it’s used mostly for seizures, Restless Leg Syndrome and a few other things. It has some off label uses too, which is why I take it: headaches, sciatic pain and insomnia. I mean, it hits all three of them for me, with just one dose each night before bedtime. When the sciatic pain gets bad, I take doses during the day too. My pain pills do nothing, absolutely nothing, for sciatic nerve pain. The only thing that has ever touched the nerve pain has been the gabapentin.

The problem with gabapentin is that it makes me soooooo sleepy. And it doesn’t matter how long I take it, the sleepiness never seems to go away. So when the back pain is bad, the gabapentin fixes it, but I sleep, all day, all night, I sleep. I sleep and I sleep. I hate it. But I hate pain more than I hate sleeping my life away.

I just wish there were a way to find a balance between the two: limit or eliminate the pain and let me be awake for at least the large portion of the day.

Is that too much to ask?

Apparently, it is.

For those who don’t know, in addition to the congestive heart failure and CTEPH, I also have adult acute scoliosis, which has caused my spine to start twisting, particularly at the top of the lumbar spine, and I have loss of lordosis in my lumbar, stenosis throughout my spine, and eight bulging discs. Every single level of my spine is showing disc dessication, and I have arthritis from the damage done due to the dessication, on all three levels of my spine. There’s some other things, like a hemangioma, and some nodes of some sort or something. I can’t remember it all.

It all boils down to: My back is really messed up.

Between not being able to breathe and my back now wanting to work all the time (my legs will go numb and won’t always do what I tell them to do, making me a fall risk), that’s why I use the wheelchair most of the time when I go out in public. If we are going to a restaurant where the seats are comfortable (my tailbone/coccyx pain is really bad on hard chairs), I’ll walk in with my oxygen tank, but most of the time, we take the chair. Just easier and less pain that way.

But after the first batch of sciatic nerve pain left me completely debilitated for over a week, writhing in pain so bad I could barely stand to be alive and awake at the same time, I am so grateful for gabapentin. I take it at the very first twinge of nerve pain, and usually by the morning, the pain is gone or greatly reduced. Nothing gives me more relief than that.

So as much as I hate — and believe me, I do hate it– taking pills all the time, I am so glad I have my gabapentin!

Love and stuff,

Michy

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5 Responses to “G is for Gabapentin”

  1. Derek Odom says:

    E takes that same pill because of nerve damage in her leg(s). She complains about the small pharmacy she has to ingest each day, too, but is thankful for them all the same. Weird paradox, it must be. Did that sound like Yoda?

    • Michy says:

      LOL Yoda just won the This is Madness contest that pits all the Star Wars characters against each other. He was the big winner. I like Yoda.

      As for the pills–well, I hate them, but I love them too, so yeah, bit of a paradox. Those pills are often unnecessary–but at the same time, they have the ability to improve quality of life–and I like having better quality of life for sure!

  2. Lucy says:

    I understand the feeling, it is so frustrating living with pain,not wanting to take anything for it and yet,needing relief.

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