Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bouncing on the Amity Trampoline

The bazooka-size antivirals have done all they can to induce shock and awe to the invading virus. The war has been won, or, at least, we have a cease fire. Normalization, however, continues to elude me and my face.

The nerves that the virus used like Ho Chi Minh trails from my spinal column to my face are still full of traffic--or maybe phantom traffic. At any rate, the nerves are still firing away. It is not comfortable being in an active combat zone. I have post herpetic neuralgia. According to the shingles web site, nearly half of the folks in the UK who get shingles also get PHN. It is minimized by quick treatment with antivrials but just how to treat it and how long it may last is not quite as straightforward.

My GP pronounced me as having PHN and looked in my ear and at my eye. I was reassured to know that neither ear nor eye are showing anything worthy of note at this time, but disconcerted to know that PHN can last for weeks or months or longer. He explained that antivirals had done all they could and now he would suggest a pain killer specific to neuralgia--nerve pain. He prescribed a very low dose of a tricyclic antidepressant, amitrypyline. In low doses, it has relatively few side effects (despite the long catalog of worrisome things on the patient leaflet), and I had the flexibility of taking 1 or 2 of the wee blue tablets with water twice a day.

I had not realized quite how active the nerves were until they began to slow down. The first little blue pill seemed to start working pretty quickly. The tip of my nose had been a battle zone. I imagined the fired-up nerve endings running right up to the edge of their pathway and waggling their bums and sending raspberries across to the other side. It was a relief when these hijinks discontinued. I ate my lunch in peace. By the time we were in the car coming home, I had lost contact with my nose altogether and my cheeks and fingers and other appendages were also very slow in reporting. I dozed. By the time we got home, I could barely walk and vaguely realized that "may cause drowsiness" was a serious understatment.

I slept for about three hours. I woke very slowly and was relaxed because I was neuralgia free but I had to struggle to sit upright or to walk. When I realized the choice in front of me--pain free or zombie, I re dubbed the medicine the amity trampoline.

Now I'll make another truce with the neuralgia-amity trampoline conflict. I'll have neuralgia by day and sleep with amity at night.

While my world is so circumscribed, I am going to mine my drafts folder for stories that just need a little sunlight to grow.


At 2:25 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

ai ai ai, what a trade off.

I hate pain meds and I hate pain.


sorry you're having to deal with this, and hope you're feeling a lot better soon.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks. Feeling better today. Each day gets a little easier.


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