Not really asthma related - well, only indirectly - but I thought I would just ask whether anyone else on here has experience of this as part of another medical condition.
During my recent prolonged ICU stay (in Feb - March) I developed Critical Care Myopathy and Neuropathy - basically muscle wasting and nerve damage due to a combination of the drugs they had to give me, the sepsis, kidney failure etc etc and the fact that I was lying around not moving for seven weeks (I know - lazy aren't I?!)
I've got numbness and neuropathic pain in my feet which is really a little unpleasant, especially at night, as it wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep. My feet are very sensitive to quite light touch, which makes things like having them washed and dried quite uncomfortable (don't worry, I am still washing my feet though!). I've also got impaired proprioception (joint position sense) in my feet, which basically means that unless I'm looking at them I don't know quite where they are, so I keep stubbing my toes on things, which is not really helping the pain situation!
I've been seen by the Pain Clinic and have been started on various different things, including some drugs that act specifically on the nerves (amitriptyline and gabapentin), and have been given a TENS machine today, which seems to be helping a bit. Of course there's the usual problems with the various drugs interacting, which most of you will be all too familiar with! I had some seizures when I was an in-patient, which may have been partly due to the combination of amitriptyline and tramadol, and I also seem to be very prone to postural hypotension at the moment. I'm also waiting for a course of acupuncture, and a trial of a lignocaine infusion (apparently also a bit of a bronchodilator!) but both of these have waiting lists in the order of months.
What I basically was wondering, was: does anybody have any bright ideas or top tips for dealing with acute flare-ups of the pain and 'electric shock' sensations, particularly at night? The drugs seem to have reduced the chronic element of the day-to-day pain, but they haven't eliminated the acute episodes. I've been advised not to wear the TENS machine at night. People have suggested various things to me, like putting my feet in a warm foot bath, or getting someone to massage my feet, but neither of these are particularly practical for 3am when I just want to get back to sleep!
Any bright ideas anyone? Sorry this post is so long and moany... thought it was worth a try asking you guys though, cos I know many of you have medical problems other than the asthma. In particular, has anyone tried acupuncture for neuropathic pain? If I thought it had a good chance of working I might try to get some privately rather than waiting months to have it through the Pain Clinic.
Cheers everyone who's managed to read this far!
Take care all