Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Chronic Abdominal Wall pain plus


Guest Unfinished Lady

Recommended Posts

Guest Unfinished Lady

I really don't know if there are any answers anymore. I'll attempt a brief summation. I have had 9 abdominal surgeries in my life for a variety of reasons: appy, C-sections (3), left ovary and hyst, right ovary, gastric bypass, gallbladder, adhesiolysis and laparotomy. I have fairly extensive adhesions that bind up my internal organs and intestines from all the surgeries. The last four surgeries involved taking down adhesions. They really can't locate any other cause internally for my chronic pain. I also have some scar tissue that seems to be binding my abdominal muscles to the abdominal wall causing some of the pain.

The pain is stabbing and sharp most of the time. Sometimes is feels more internal and sometimes closer to the abdominal wall. I suspect the more internal pain is related to bowel functioning with pulling and tugging from the adhesions. The pain closer to the abdominal wall is proximal to one of the major vertical surgical scars. This pain occurs every day. I haven't had a pain free day in over two years and not more than five pain free days in the last four years or so.

I have tried trigger point injections, which gave me no relief. I have tried physical therapy with limited results, it didn't make it worse and I regained some flexibility in the abdominal wall area, but my son got injured and had surgery and I was missing too much time from work trying to squeeze in therapy appointments on top of everything else, so I stopped in late October.

I have a pain doctor who is treating me. We have tried Lyrica, Skelaxin, Trazadone and Lortab. The Skelaxin seems to have no effect at all. The Lyrica is a little helpful but doesn't ever eliminate the pain and causes weight gain and swollen joints and increased appetite. The Lortab works to minimize the pain, but I try to avoid taking it during the day because I don't want to feel fuzzy headed at work. By nighttime, the pain level is 6-8 and I have no choice and often find it hard to get on top of the pain so the quality of my evenings is diminished. The trazadone is helpful. I don't know if it really stops the pain, but it does help me sleep and really appreciate that!

I have never been treated for any sort of anxiety or depression. I'm starting to feel like I should consider pursing it, though. Sometime in the last two months, I finally came to the realization that after two plus years, this condition is not acute, it's chronic. I felt so sad when that finally dawned on me. I guess I was holding on to hope that this was temporary and the day was coming when pain medicine wasn't a part of my daily life. I am a go getter high energy person by nature and this has sapped so much of that from me. I find myself fighting despair sometimes.

In terms of anxiety--- I don't know a lot about it, but either as a reaction to the pain or for some other unknown reason, I find myself completely tensed up. I have to consciously make myself relax and it only takes a few minutes before I realize that I am all tensed up again. Which came first---- the pain causes me to tense up or the tension increases the pain?

I guess that leads to my question----Is chronic pain ever managed with anxiety medication? If so, can anyone tell me anything about it?

Thanks for reading this long post. It is very difficult having a hard to diagnose condition. I am starting to feel very alone in this blurry situation. Ugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try to ask your doctor about taking anti-depressants. The old kind have been used in the past for chronic pain relief. What about trying hypnosis? Muscle relaxants? As a last resort surgery to remove adhesions like you said. Nerve blocks. Cutting of a nerve to a particular area (rare ie used for trigiminal nerve pain)

Edit to add:

Try vacationing in Canada where you can purchase tylenol #1's, with little bit of codeine, over the counter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so sorry for what you're going through. i had chronic pain for many, many years before a neurologist tried lyrica and it did the trick. i'm one of the lucky ones who hasn't had weight gain or other serious side effects, it just makes me a little more spacy - which, given the other crazy med SEs i have, is barely noticeable.

i can completely relate to what you say about the depression and anxiety related to pain, and wondering which came first - after you've been in pain so long, without relief, it's nearly impossible to sort out. and the sinking realization that "i'm not just gonna wake up some day and this'll be gone." that's a major blow.

i think it's a good idea to talk to your doc about possibly trying meds for anxiety and/or depression. even if you don't have a discrete mental illness, it's entirely understandable that you'd be worn down from constant pain and be sad and anxious as a result. and yeah, it's possible that your tension around the situation is making the pain worse - which doesn't mean the pain isn't real, but the stress can sure as hell add to it.

good luck. i'm really hoping you get some relief soon. come back and let us know how you're doing.

bean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Guest Unfinished_Lady

I am still taking the Lyrica, but the doc changed the Trazadone for Cymbalta to help with the associated depressoin/anxiety symptoms. I guess it takes a few weeks to find out how effective that might be. The explanation was something about these meds lessening the intensity of the pain.

I also still have Lortab 7.5 for pain management and an added evening muscle relaxant that really sleep inducing. I am zonked shortly after taking it.

We'll see. I did manage a one mile walk today, so that's progress. I could physically do it before, I had just lost all desire to do it. I am pleased about that.

Thanks for the support. It means a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
Guest Unfinished_lady

I hate to whine, I really do. I just don't know where to cry, scream, beg, go, etc. anymore. The pain has been particularly difficult the last few days. The strain of dealing with this while trying to manage LIFE is wearing me out.

I had a business trip and traveling always seems to make the pain worse. I don't know if it sitting for long periods, luggage management, stress, strange routines, etc. but it never fails to cause stronger more persistent pain.

I am at a a loss. I wish there was some sort of medical team to consult that can review me in total view to coordinate my diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, management, etc. Instead, I have a primary care doctor, surgeon, pain clinic, gastoenterologist and none of them talk to each other except the surgeon/pain clinic. It is totally up to me to figure out if I am getting better or worse or if the chronic pain is more acute due to circumstance, worsening illness or new condition altogether.

I want to cry. I want to quit. Sometimes, I almost allow myself to think I won't live much longer. I don't know what to do.

I feel alone inside this mysterious pain and there is no one who can do anything about it. Hopeless.

how's that for depressing? Sorry to dump it on virtual strangers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know how you feel. I have a herniated disc in my lower back. i am on pain pills and muscle relaxants every day. The pain is so bad sometimes i can't walk. I also have an unknown stomach problem which causes persistant nausea, bad idigestion, and heartburn. I have had "procedures" done and tests done and they can't seem to find out what is wrong with me. My GI wants me to get an upper endoscopy and a gallbladder scan, but I don't have ins. and even if i could find the dough to pay for these procedures, i am scared to death. They both sound horrible.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know, you're not alone. Chronic pain is definitely linked to depression and anxiety and at least that is something that you can treat easier than the condition you are describing, which btw, sounds terrible, i'm really sorry you have to suffer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Unfinished_lady

I'm sorry about your lack of insurance. That's terrible.

If you find the resources for the costs, the endoscopy and the gallbladder scan are not difficult. The endoscopy is easy as pie. You go to sleep, you wake up and it's over. The most painful part is getting the IV. The gallbladder scan is an ultrasound of the gallbladder. Don't fret. They are pretty easy tests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They said the gall scan was nuclear and they inject die into you. I also worry about being put to sleep with all the meds i'm on. Do you think these tests will help if an abdominal ultrasound and upper GI series showed nothing? Sorry if i'm hijacking, but you are the only person who seems to be having similar physical problems as me. Thanks for bearing with me. Any insight into what may be going on? I'm scared it will end up being cancer. hypochondriac i am.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
Guest Unfinished Lady

Long time without updating here.

I am now taking lexapro 10mg, Percocet 4 times/day, Fentanyl patch 50mcg and Lunesta to sleep. I can no longer sleep in my bed ........lying flat all night triggers the pain in my abdomen and lower back until it's totally unmanageable. I am still seeing my pain specialist once/month. I am going to a Neurologist March 11th. Am praying for some answers and appropriate diagnosis/treatment.

Sigh. Chronic pain sucks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...