Friday, September 9, 2011

Finally some pain relief!

I have been in so much pain it drives me crazy.  I don't want to get out of bed in the morning because each step feels I have glass grinding away in my hip joint.  I don't want to do any standing because I feel like someone is stabbing me in my hip.  Even sitting and lying down is uncomfortable because I can't escape the pain.  Thinking is practically impossible because the pain consumes all my brain power.  On top of all this, I am exhausted from lack of sleep.  Even if I fall asleep I will be up at 3 am because I moved my leg the wrong way while I was sleeping.  Good luck falling back to sleep after that.

Before, to escape from the pain, I used vicodin, sparingly.  You only want to use it sparingly for a number of reasons.  One, you can get addicted to it.  Second, you can build up a tolerance, meaning that it may not work so well for pain in the future, like if I were to have a big surgery.  Thirdly, vicodin can also cause stomach problems, and I already have a sensitive stomach.  Furthermore, the pain relief wore off after 4 hours.  After the pain relief wore off, my pain would come back with a vengeance.

Good news though, I found a NSAID that actually gives me pain relief.  I was really skeptical when the doctor handed me the prescription for this.  No other NSAID has ever worked for me in the pass, and believe me, I have tried a lot.  This particular NSAID is called Voltaren.  It is a gel that I can rub on up to 4 times a day.  I have a strip to measure out how many grams I am using, then I just rub it all over the front of my hip, my groin, side, and butt.  The directions say not to put on clothes for 10 minutes while it dries, so I hang out naked for 10 minutes and watch youtube videos.  Youtube videos are an easy way to time 10 minutes.

It works like a miracle!  I still have pain walking and standing, but 10 minutes after I rub this gel on, my pain is practically gone while I am sitting or lieing down.  This means I can sit and get some work done and I can fall asleep at night.  Even in the morning, after the effects have worn off, my pain is not as intense as it has been in the past.

The only thing is that the side effects are kinda scary. 

  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn or indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Gas
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Ulcer in the stomach or intestines (peptic ulcer)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling
  • Increase in liver enzymes
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Unexplained rash
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).  
I think I actually overdosed on it one day.  It says I can use up to 4 grams 4 times a day.  Well, when I first tried the product I was using 2 grams once a day.  Then one day I got wild and crazy and used 4 grams three times in one day.  After that dose I got really nausea, my head ached, and  my stomach started cramping up very painfully.  Then I couldn't sleep that night because of my stomach pain. Now I either use 4 grams twice a day or 2 grams four times a day.  I am careful not to use to go over 8 grams in one day.

This stuff has really changed my life.  Being in pain is really awful.  It is my hope that I won't have to use the product for the long term though because I am looking for a surgeon to fix my hip for good.

Right now I am going to go put some Voltaren gel on and clean my house because we are having company this weekend for our BBQ!

If you are suffering from arthritis pain, I would definitely talk to your doctor about this.  You should also, discuss all the possible side-effects with your doctor, and if you can use this for long term use.  This product is not meant to be used on your hip, it is actually meant for smaller joints, such as your elbow, wrist or ankle.  I would defiantly talk to your doctor about weather you can use this on larger joints or on your back if that is where your arthritis pain is.  I have a lot of pack pain but I would be hesitant to use this product close to my spinal cord.

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