Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Chinese patient goes back to the drawing board

My mother's shingles (which sounds like an interesting title for a novel, don't you think?) has caused us all much anguish and stress over the last few weeks.

First there was the pain, which must have been excruciating (though of course I can only guess) - bad enough that at one point I think my mum believed she was going to die from it.

There were multiple visits to doctors - to her GP and to after-hours doctors. They variously prescribed her four different medications to treat the pain:

One acted as a muscle super-relaxant and nerve sensitiser, so that she felt as though she could hardly stand and walk - and it hurt her feet when she did.

The next two, prescribed in unison, gave her the shakes (like Parkinsons on the proverbial speed) and pushed her blood pressure to scary heights. (One of the meds is called Tramadol - a more appropriate name would be Tremor-dol.) This lot put her in hospital for a few days.

The last was a cream which apparently works by distracting the nerves with red hot chilli pepper. My mum had to wash this off quick-smart because it made her feel like her skin was on fire.

So she's back on the plain-Jane paracetamol, which probably does little more than shave a wafer-thin edge off the pain.

Boy, is she grumpy.


Amanda said...

Oh poor Violet! How awful for your mother and for you all. I had Tramadol post caesarian- they are serious hard drugs and they almost completely knocked me out. I hope she gets better soon.

Violet said...

thanks Amanda. I hope so too. I hope she gets nicer too but that would take a miracle ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow your poor mum! Sounds terrible. Hope she gets better soon.

I too have had tramadol before... Prob post Caesar... Still got so e knocking around In The cupboard for a rainy day. Don't remember any side effects tho.

Anonymous said...

Your poor mum! If you care to try, soothing baths with a few drops of lavender, chamomile and tea tree essential oils may help. Use good quality essential oils - the lavender is a pain killer and healing agent, the chamomile soothes and all three in unison with the tea tree are general anti-virus agents. Plus, they are very relaxing and may help your mum's mood too. Hope she gets well soon!!

Violet said...

donnasoowho: yeah my mum seems unlucky that way - the side effects both times were apparently quite rare and some doctors who saw her had never heard of them!

kiwiyarns - unfortunately she's not mobile enough to take baths, and showers wouldn't really allow for those oils to take effect. I will get her a hot water bottle to start with and maybe try to talk her into trying acupuncfture as well.