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Dealing with Pain with reduced kidney function

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 359
Joined: May 2012

Ok, I am 1 year post nephrectomy, and 4 months post lung wedge resection.  I have quite a bit of pain still -- from the lung resection, I have neropathy on the left side...On the right side, I have residual pain from the nephrectomy (something has not healed right).  The problem is my kidney function has not returned to normal, so all of the NSAIDS are out of the question.

I am on Lyrica for the neuropathy, but it reduces my cognitive function, so I am on a dose that reduses the pain, but does not eliminate it. 

Tylanol just does not do much.  The only option seems to be low doses of opiates, which seem to work.  But I am worried about addiction.  

I am wondering if anyone else has had to deal with these issues?

The Doctor said the only things they can do for the nephrectomy pain are wait, or refer to a general surgeon.  I do no see how surgery will do anything more that create a new source of pain.  

 

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Good questions.  (By the way, what does your doc think a surgeon is going to do to help you?)

I imagine just about everyone here has had to address the issues you've raised - you're very far from alone in this.  I'm 18 months out from nephrectomy, moderately well-controlled with morphine plus paracetamol, and 15 months from a follow-up op for my first recurrence, much better controlled via heroin plus tramadol.   It took me a month to taper off the morphine (after extreme pain at neph.) but only a couple of days to get off the drugs for the second op.   I'm now on paracetamol (for an inoperable further recurrence) which makes continual pain manageable but no better than that.  There are, however, a number of rungs higher on the pain med ladder and other modalities of treatment also.  Relaxation techniques, meditation, acupuncture etc  may all prove of help for you.

It's essential not to get too concerned about addiction.  Taking opiates for relief of pain is totally different from taking such drugs "recreationally" {one of the worst misuses of a word that I've ever heard!].   There is no real risk of addiction with use for pain control.  The only time you need to worry is if/when you no longer need the pain control - then you need to stop taking the pain drug(s).  Below is a good video from Johns Hopkins - as reputable a source as any.  Around five minutes in, it has an important statistic about addiction.  I think you'll find the twelve minutes or so of the video well worth watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U58rmm-QDpU

mrs_blkjak's picture
mrs_blkjak
Posts: 87
Joined: Apr 2013

I totally agree with Texas - as long as you are using opiates appropriately there is no need to worry about addiction. Discuss your concerns with your doctor, but, personally, I think you deserve better management of your pain. My husband is taking OxyContin twice a day and oxycodone as needed. His OxyContin was just bumped up to 20 mg twice a day (from 10 mg) and seems to be working better. We have discussed addiction concerns but feel that risk is nonexistent and his comfort is important.  

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