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Day 12 down and questions about throat pain meds

Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi all,
Day twelve (out of forty) done today. So far hubby is maintaining weight. Managed to put on a few prior to RADs and the first two weeks. He is holding at 210 or so. So far, he can still eat, but taste is going quickly. Funny, but he is watching those cooking shows that some of you mentioned that you did. He has never liked these before and I find interesting that many going through this start to watch them. Dry mouth and thick mucous keeping him from sleeping more than an hour or two at a time. I have a nebulizer left hanging around from when one the kids had asthma and wonder if that filled with sterile water might help? Outside throat beginning to look sunburned and inside beginning to feel sore. Takes a lo-o-ong time to eat anything, but he is a trooper. He says that it is more like something is stuck and dry and that it hurts to swallow the first sip of liquid or bite of food but then eases up a bit after he gets started. Tonight, huge portion of mashed potatoes, beef gravy with very small bits of soft meat (organic/grassfed), stir fried swiss chard- and is looking forward to some baked apples with honey and cinnamon for dessert. Not too bad. Found his taste for coffee gone yesterday which sucks because he loves it. But hey, his is still eating. Some of you have mentioned pain meds for throat pain- anything in particular? Is there a prescription spray or rinse we should be asking for? Sucking on cold watermelon helps.
Thank you all.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Jen,

I love strong coffee and most of the time that I was going through what Mark is now, it lost it's flavor to me...now a year out, it's as good as before. I probably don't drink as much, just watching the caffiene intake. But on that same note, I was never a big soda drinker, now I don't drink any, rarely drink tea either. A lot of that is because the sugar or sweetners tend to make my mouth sticky, or did when I was slim on saliva.

As for meds, they should have given you some kind of thick solution. It goes by many names (magic mouth wash mainly), for me it was Larry's Solution #2... It's a mixture of different numbing solutions (all of those ending in caine) I believe. You take it just before you eat or drink to numb the mouth and throat. Of course for me that also killed any taste that I had left at the time also.

I also had anything from liquid hydrocodone (left over from the tonsils coming out). Also I had percocets left over from the port installation (but prescribed also for throat pain later). I even had Oxicotin from something at that time and liquid morphine....

My routine was to take a teaspoon of the numbing solution, eat and drink what I could (mainly Ensure Plus), then follow that up with mostly a dissolved percocet and a warm shower....

The neck did turn pretty dark and peeled, but that was about it for me externally.

Sounds like Mark is still enjoying some pretty good eats...

Best to you both and stay in touch...if you need anything that I can help you guys out with shoot me a PM.


Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

The pain meds I used most were hydrocodone (liquid) and viscous lidocaine (thickened liquid). The lidocaine kicked in quickly, and faded quickly. The hydrocodone lasted longer. For the first bottle, I was taking the hydrocodone 1/2 hr before eating. I found out later that I'd have more pain fighting after a longer period, so then tried to take it an hour before eating. When I had problems with mouth sores, the lidocaine really helped me eat (I was in the hospital at that time, and getting pain meds via IV, and took the lidocaine orally).

I never got "magic mouthwash". I got something called "Miles mix" which did nothing for pain as far as I could tell.

Good luck.

Kimba1505's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

Today, Mark is on day 8/30 for radiation. He is losing taste and just beginning to have pain at the end of the day in the back of his throat. When not affected by chemo his eating has been very good. Got the PEG yesterday. Whew!
His radiologist, who I LOVE, has him on neurontin. It is an anti-seizure drug that has been found to be very effective for nerve pain. Mark has been started on this medication before any pain has been present. The thinking is to never let the pain spike, and stay ahead of it. If there is pain first, then medication, we are chasing pain; not blocking it. We are saving the heavy hitters (narcotics) for the end of treatment, if they are even needed.
Hope this helps,

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Glad you are being pro-active, but the heavy meds (if needed) are just for that purpose. More than likely (at least I think) if you use them as directed and needed, you shouldnt have problems later.

But even if you were to have problems associated with their use. It's better to use them for the pain from treatment, get healed and then deal with any dependencies later....

But I know you'll keep your man going and do what's best for him...you have an awesome approach to this ordeal.

God Bless,

stevenl's picture
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Jen and Kimba,

It does my heart good to see caretakers post here. I would not have made it without my wife. I am all for staying ahead of the pain. The meds are meant to be used and besides your body can't heal as well when it is fighting pain. They are not to be feared. I am almost 10 weeks post treatment and I do not need any of the pain meds anymore. So in my case they were not addictive. Really, I wanted to stop taking them as soon as I could to try to get back to feeling normal. Prayers are with you.


Posts: 665
Joined: Apr 2010

I am over 14 weeks post treatment & managed to use the heavy duty pain meds only before bed.
The rest of the day I used Tylenol & it worked for me. My oncologist prescribed codiene for
my heavy duty pain but I guess I was lucky. We are all different. I believe if you are suffering then take the medication. Why suffer!

Greg53's picture
Posts: 848
Joined: Apr 2010

I would definitely recommend the Magic Mouthwash or whatever they happen to call it. I think someone just started a new thread on the recipe for it. It helped me keep eating until about week 4 when I went to the PEG only. Ask one of your doc's for a Rx for it.

I couldn't agree more with your comments regarding supportive caretakers. My wife is awesome and has been throughout this whole deal. We've always had a great relationship but this has brought us closer than we've ever been. Always hear where people say they come out of this as a better person, we are definitely headed that way as a couple.


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