Thursday, November 17, 2011


Trial and Error

In discussing my doctor’s visit, Eileen had one main question: “What does he mean by, “Slowly come off of it?” referring to my doctor’s recommendation to slowly come off Gabapentin. Well, I know one thing; it means don’t go cold turkey like I did with those last medications!! So, instead of taking six pills yesterday I took three. Eileen contends the doctor should have instructed me how many pills to take per day in coming off the medication. She is right. Gabapentin is supposed to be hard to come off.

I had a lot of trouble yesterday evening and into the night. I didn’t sleep at all, not even for a minute. Chiefly, I had strong arm pain and intense nausea… despite being on two anti-nausea medications. The arm pain wasn’t severe but it had a hard edge which kept at me. I took my doses of Tramadol (narcotic-like pain killer) yesterday but it has to build back up in my blood stream; so it didn’t do much good. To say the least, it was a long night; I’m just glad my arm was fairly well behaved compared to how it can be. Oh, did I mention leg cramps too?!

Anyway, being mindful of Eileen’s question, I don’t know if I’m coming off the Gabapentin at the right pace or not. I searched the internet; it didn’t yield much help. So, I took my morning dose of Gabapentin today but now I have progressed to heavy sweats and frequent vomiting. I don’t know whether it’s from Gabapentin withdrawal, arm pain sickness, or whether I picked up a bug at the doctor’s office. My arm pain will often reach the intensity of increasing my nausea and causing me to vomit. However, while last night’s arm pain wasn’t pleasant, I’m certain it didn’t rise to that level. So, I’m not sure what’s making me so sick. Frankly, I have my moments in which I feel like I’m a lab rat to which these guys experimentally make their trial and error recommendations. They seemingly go home at the end of the day and come back to their offices the next without a thought to the repercussions of their recommendations. Meanwhile, I’m strung-out and sick. In reality, I’m sure the doctors are doing their best and are concerned, but this all gets very frustrating. Ever get to the point in which you start praying while vomiting? I’m there!! I’m starting to lean towards thinking I contracted a bug at the doctor’s first significant bug since starting Gleevec for my leukemia.

With all my sickness this morning and afternoon, along with some naps, it’s taken me several hours to write this blog. It’s mid afternoon and I’m happy that the nausea is starting to ease a little.

Even if this is a bug I have, what do you suppose the chances are that I’ll cancel my appointment with the neurologist? I’d say the chances are pretty high!! Besides, Eileen made a good point. She said that the neurologist ostensibly gave me his best recommendation: Gabapentin. From there it’s probably going to be trial and error like I’ve anguished through for years already, perhaps even with the same drugs. I don’t see myself going through that again. I’ve about concluded that I’d rather deal with my arm pain the way I have been than to be a lab rat at the hands of trial and error.

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