Chronic pain as my companion- Weigh the benefits with the side effects

Hello readers.  Any of you who suffer from chronic pain have heard the phrase: ‘you must weigh the benefits of this medication against the side effects.’  I have had that conversation with all the neurologists i have consulted with trying to find the cause for my constant headache and vertigo.  When you are in severe pain, you want to believe that the new medication being prescribed by a well respected medical professional will be the source of relief so long hoped for.  The side effects seem a small price to pay if the medication will return you to normal enough functioning that you can return to work.

i am now at the end of the 7th week of medical leave and just consulted with the 6th neurologist to weigh in since May.  After looking at the transcripts from all the previous doctors, his opinion was that the medications I was currently taking truly were doing more harm than good.  So, now on top of the headaches and vertigo, I also have to deal with weight gain and impaired cognitive function. These medications all warn that you may experience headaches and vertigo while taking them.   The new neurologist recommended that I cease taking both medications I was currently on.  He did prescribe a new medication for a week long trial to be discontinued after 3 days if I dId not experience relief.  I can live with that. 

Less is more is a phrase I am sure everyone has heard many times.  I am coming to believe that is definitely true when dealing with prescription medications.  I have begun to laugh now when a doctor asks me if I think a particular medication is working.  If you are on even 2 medications, how can you determine if one or both are effective?  At least with the ice packs applied to the back of my head I was sure of the relief I experienced, with no danger of further complications, might I add.

As I reflect on the events of the past 7 weeks, I realize that the most troubling effects are the feelings of frustration and futility.  As of today, we are no closer to a diagnosis for my headache and vertigo.  However, I was gratified to hear that my new neurologist highly recommends the neuro-otologist practice I will be consulting with at UCLA in December.  I am also grateful for our excellent medical benefits which have made it possible to pursue the cause for my problems.  However, if the conundrum still remains in January, all our deductibles will come around to greet us as we ring in the new year.

Well, it is late on a rainy Friday afternoon in the desert.  That is definitely something for which to be grateful.  I wish you all a weekend free of pain and unnecessary pharmaceuticals.  


One thought on “Chronic pain as my companion- Weigh the benefits with the side effects

  1. Reblogged this on Seattle Stay at Home Dad and commented:
    This is my mom. She is in a lot of pain and the difficult part is that the doctors aren’t exactly sure why that is. Despite that fact, she is finding ways to stay positive and grateful. This is a trait she and my dad both possess,and it is inspiring to see that. If you know anyone who is in chronic pain pass this along, so that they might know they are not alone. Even if you or someone you know aren’t/isn’t experiencing chronic pain, give it a read. My mother is a wonderful, loving person and I’m sure you could find something of value in her words. Also comment, comment, comment. Positive words from strangers are always uplifting.

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