On the whole, this week hasn't been too bad for me, although, I did struggle with fatigue towards the end of the week. I think things decided to catch up with me!
So Wednesday was finally my long awaited appointment at the pain clinic. I was a little apprehensive, not only to see what they had to say, but considering I have travelled to London on two occasions, to see a pain specialist up there, I just wondered what a clinic in Ashburton was going to be able to come up with!
Well the Doctor I saw, was lovely and put us at ease straight away. We talked through my history and my symptoms. We also went through the medications I am on and have tried. He then went on to explain the different groups of pain medication and for which type of pain they are usually used. I found that quite helpful. He asked me whether I felt that the Gabapentin (Neurontin) I am on, is doing any good. I said, that it is so hard to say. I don't know whether it is helping as I don't get an immediate relief when I take the meds. I have also been on it for quite some time & so that is also another factor. So we have decided that I am going to slowly reduce my Gabapentin intake, keeping a pain diary to be able to look at how it has affected me. If I think that it has made a difference, then I can increase my intake again and continue with it, but if not then I will continue to reduce it until I have stopped it completely. The Doctor said that this is the most effective way of finding out whether it's helping or not and whatever the outcome, it will mean that we have some useful information to work with.
He has also suggested another medication to start - I can't remember the name, but he will be sending me a copy of his letter! He wants me to try the Gabapentin experiment for about three weeks, after which I am to contact my GP to start this new drug. It is in the same group as the Tramadol that I am currently taking, but it is stronger.
He has said that we will go with these changes to start with and he will see me again in a couple of months, at which point we will review things again.
Martin & I came away from the appointment, feeling really quite positive. Not that there are any immediate cures or remedies, because we knew there wouldn't be, but it is really refreshing to have a Doctor talking to me about a plan & options that will be open and available to me. I have had the door closed on me for quite some time now and that is not putting my MS nurse or my consultant down, but they have come to the end of their knowledge for me. And by their own admission, they are as frustrated as I am because they don't know what else to suggest.
All in all we feel quite hopeful that this will be a positive move and one where I might start to get some relief from my pain!
Martin & I have been enjoying watching the Winter Olympics over the past week and I have to just say that Amy Williams performance on the skeleton was fantastic! We are also enjoying the Curling competition and really hope that both the men's and women's GB teams can progress through the round robin! It's funny how we all become experts for two weeks!
I hope it's not too cold where you all are and if it is then keep wrapped up warm!