Saturday, March 29, 2008

Neurontin and neurology

So the spine doctor who doesn't prescribe pain medicine, leaving it to the primary care physician, was empathetic to the delays and pain level and prescribed Neurontin. (I don't blame him for not prescribing pain medicine; people don't need to be getting it from multiple sources since there is a possibility of addiction or of mixing drugs in dangerous ways--such as muscle relaxants with pain killers. One or the other, not both.) But I hope those who need medicine are getting it from somewhere since primary care physicians are often dismissive of back pain.

The nerve pain is so much better that I can lift my left arm with hardly any pain today, and the neck pain is much better. This works so much better than the hydrocodone or ibuprofen, or anything!

So Neurontin makes me barf. I woke up twice in the middle of the night gagging. I can deal with that. Sometimes you'll do anything to relieve the pain. I don't know that I can use it all the time, but blessed relief! There's still significant pain, but less hammer-my-head-against-the-wall pain.

The word errors I make constantly are troubling to me since this isn't something I have had trouble with until the past year and a half. And it's much worse. I ask my husband for my feet instead of my slippers, I twice in a day say "August" instead of "April" (and April was the word I was trying to say). I wrote the word "topic" instead of "notebook," "how" instead of "hope." There are certain repetitions in my language I have to go back and cut. I use "too" and "though" in almost every sentence and have to edit them out. I overuse "things" because it substitutes for words I cannot come up with. It takes me five seconds to come up with the word for "sunflower seeds" after picturing them. I ask for "seeds." I can't think of people's names who I've known for a long time or recognize them if I haven't seen them in quite a while. I use the wrong pronouns--"them" instead of "it" in the last sentence of the first paragraph in the safety post. Despite these errors, I can still communicate well enough and am smart enough to do my work. A few errors can be humorous, can be overlooked. They're not constant in speech, though they happen often enough, a few times an hour, to be worrisome. I notice it more when writing; it happens more with writing, but I write very quickly and that can be edited. I type homophones for words I didn't even realize had homophones. My progesterone prescription helps. I can tell a difference when I don't take it.

There's a lot I catch. There's a lot that I may not. I appreciate people's patience here if I'm muddy in my thinking or in my phrasing. Things weren't always so. I haven't lost IQ points. I still know what I know. That's solid. And I keep learning, since "knowledge" can change.

I remember noticing another woman's typos last summer and worrying about her abilities and how this might harm her career. At the same time, I've recognized her leadership abilities and how she can get so much done. She recognizes needs and finds creative solutions. She is a problem solver. I noticed that the errors disappeared after a while. She mentioned she had started a medicine for a Parkinson's like illness that causes involuntary unwanted movements. I think her typos and word problems were from this neurological illness, either difficulty typing or with resulting verbal function. I'm glad I didn't judge, didn't make comments to anyone else. I'm glad I helped her edit a few technical documents on which she had put in a lot of work, for use by everyone, and that needed only minor changes. I hope others will give me the same patience.

I hope my troubles are temporary, from pain and stress, and think they may be. Extreme pain seems to short circuit my brain.


Elizabeth McClung said...

I think pain does a fatigue which can hamper things. But I do emphathize with your regarding both pain and the word problems.

I have a very similar issue, and being aware of it doesn't actually stop it though it can make your loved one/significant other annoying as they start correcting you to what they are sure you mean, which only reminds you how you are inadvertantly screwing up.

I did however have some strange moments like when I asked the OT's a question and then both got "that look" on their face and I asked them what HAD I asked them and they said, "When are you going to do something about the goat?" I wish I knew what I was concerned about, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a goat.

I also have asked for a speed thesarus on my computer for times I blank and can't find the word I know is there but I know that is it of Scandanavian origin.

Annoying. I hope now that the pain is somewhat gone, your system will adjust to the medication (becuase if you have to choose between vomiting and pain, well, in pain that is an easy choice but after a while.....)

FridaWrites said...

I don't get corrected much, but for a while my husband thought I was doing it on purpose until I ended up in tears about it--asking for objects or talking in really vague ways was getting frustrating to him. He realizes now.

Neurontin's wearing off--it's only a nighttime prescription, but it still helps!