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Friday, January 21, 2011


Polyneuropathy. It sounds like a tongue twister. Can you say it
quickly five times?

The doctor said I have polyneuropathy. I didn't know there was
such a thing. Polyneuropathy means nerve problems in multiple
places. So I have nerve damage in more than one area? Such
shocking news!

I went to the pain doctor again today. I think it was another
one of those "do nothing" appointments. I went in full of hope.
I came out with nothing but pain.

It's always the same pattern. Try this. Wait. Pain continues.
Try this. Wait. Pain continues.

Here's the break down. The buzz in my right hand mimics the
symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but isn't CTS. It's just
nerve pain of some sort.

The pain in both elbows is from several different nerves. Thus
the diagnosis of polyneuropathy. The hard part will be finding
which nerves need treatment.

The pain in my shoulders and upper back is muscle pain. It is
not connected to the elbow problems.

The plan:

1. Increase Lyrica to three times a day. This is to calm the

2. Use Volta instead of Biofreeze. This is a prescription gel
that is supposed to relieve pain and relax muscles. He put me on
this two months ago but I haven't been using it. I like
Biofreeze better. Plus, this gel has to be measured out on a
little board. I can't do that independently. The doctor showed
me how I can measure it out on my finger. I will try it again.

3. Continue to use the tens unit. I have been. I think it
works okay but it only helps the pain when the unit is on. As
soon as I turn it off, I start hurting again. So the tens unit
is really just for short time relief.

4. Start ultrasound treatments on my shoulders and neck.
This is something my physical therapist wants to try.

5. Continues massage therapy. I had my first session on
Monday. It's trigger point massage, so it wasn't what I was
expecting. It felt great. The guy has the hands of a god. But
then on Tuesday and Wednesday, my pain was much worse. It might
be that this is a case of something getting worse before it gets

I know this sounds like a lot but we've been doing this kind of
stuff for six months and it never helps. I'm getting tired of
little things. I guess I'm getting impatient. I want real
action. I want to walk out of that exam room pain free. So
what I'm saying is that I want a miracle.

I go back in one month. If this stuff doesn't help, we will
start shots to try to block the nerve. The question is: which
nerve? Polyneuropathy. What fun!

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