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Spinal cord injury pain

Walter S WS at dimca07.univ.trieste.it
Wed Jul 3 11:17:24 EST 1996

   I am a 35-year-old male, who had in 1986 a spinal cord injury at 
the level of Th12-L1. Fortunately there was just a period of few 
days, when I had a total paraplegia, after which I started to move 
my legs more and more.
   At present I walk with a crutch, but there are many things which 
do not go well. Among them the major problems are the bladder, 
which I do not feel at all and the pain along my left leg.
   Whereas I feel quite normally the right, I do not have a good 
perception of some areas of the left leg; the sensitivity lacks on the
back side and down below the knee.
   Since the injury I have strong pain along this leg, it has increased
and spread over the past years. Then I had learned that there is a great
psychological component in this matter, I can live better when I do not
care about pain. Sometimes it begins when the 
weather is changing, other times it is due to a wrong position of 
sitting (bad circulation), or when I get angry!
   A good thing is that the frequency of hard pain problems is quite 
low, say once per month or less. On the other hand I have pain 
attacks every day, but they are just isolated occurrences (they 
could be even strong, my eyesight can get dim) and I carry on.
   The strong attacks are of a different kind: there is a beginning 
when I feel a pang in a certain part of the leg and then it repeats at 
intervals. It can last 24 hours and it depresses me. It is a "cerebral
suffering", because I am expecting the arrival of the pang and I am afraid
of it, I can not relax.
   In such case I take some medicines, which do not help much, I can 
say nothing. The first I knew was TAVOR (these trade-names are 
used in Italy), just to relax. Some times I fell asleep thanks to it, but
just for a while. With ROIPNOL I sleep certainly, but, strange, 
sleeping I feel the pain too. Afterwards they gave me SIRDALUD 
(tizanidina, 6mg), CONTRAMAL (tramadolo, 100mg), TORA-DOL 
(ketorolac trometamina, 30mg), DORSIFLEX (mephenoxalon, 200mg) 
and LIOMETACEN (indometacina meglumina, 25mg).
   Among these treatments I found that keterolac can help, at least 
when pain arises due to temperature (cough, infections etc.) But 
now I have problems with it. It makes me have asthma. So doctors 
substituted it with indometacina, which I did not tested properly (I 
took pills only, while injections are more effective).
   Doctors say that I should take the SINEQUAN (doksepin, 25-
50mg) regularly every day, but I am against a treatment created 
for mental problems. It should calm down my nerves, but...? Taking 
pills every day for months or years will destroy my stomach, I do 
not trust such a treatment. To be true I tried once for one month. 
Since there was no improvement, I left it. Doctors say that it should 
be taken for very long period, it should improve my life.
   Now I am confused. It is better to take a strong drug once per 
month, suffering every day a little, or having a long term treatment 
trusting that it will help, that it will not destroy my brain and my 
stomach? What about alternative therapies?
Can somebody send me a mail or answer in this news group?
I will be very grateful.

   Walter Starz
   Please, send mail to the following address:  i3008855 at utsax7.univ.trieste.it
and write "To Walter" (Also try my address, though I had problems with it.
It could be that I lose some replies.) Thanks.

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