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Friday, September 21, 2012

Lyrica Withdrawal

I weaned Bob off the Lyrica and Sunday was his first "Lyrica-free" day. He seemed to be handling it just fine.

Then on Monday morning, he didn't seem well, and when I asked him what was wrong, he told me he was "so sad". This is highly unusual for my usually upbeat, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed guy. He was also very tired.

Monday was also Bob's monthly pain management appointment. When the physician's assistant came in the room, she immediately asked if Bob was completely off the Lyrica. I told her it had been two days.  I also mentioned that Bob seemed depressed.

She said that Lyrica is in the same category as some of the anti-depressant drugs, and though not an anti-depressant, it could have been giving Bob a "little lift" and he might feel different now that he's off it.

We also talked about if Lyrica could be causing "torticollis" and, though, she had no experience with that particular side effect, she agreed with me that it was certainly worth a try to get him off of it and see if that helps his ability to hold his head up. She told me that Lyrica stays in the system "about 4 weeks" so not to expect any improvements until then. She also assured me that if Bob's pain increased, she would prescribe something else, maybe Neurontin. Then she said, "but I better look that up, make sure it doesn't have the same side effect!"

I told her that I already looked it up on the internet (Bob had been on that before Lyrica), and didn't see torticollis listed. But, of course, if she had a better drug reference than I did, she should look it up.

She sort of laughed and told me that "all the doctors" use the internet these days to look up drugs. "You've got the same reference we do!"

So, fiddley-dee on that neuro doc!

We ended the appointment with the PA telling me that I had done "the absolute right thing" by taking Bob off Lyrica and calling for weaning-off instructions. Made me better about the whole thing.

On the way home, the wheelchair transport driver kept asking me if Bob was "OK". He was not his usual chipper self and ultimately fell asleep in the back of the van...

On Tuesday, Bob was still quite depressed and sleepy. He would not even pick up a pencil to draw. Ditto on Wednesday and Thursday, and when we went to Rehab, he kept dozing off during OT.  All of this has me quite worried, and, of course, I am googling "Lyrica withdrawal symptoms" and finding that depression/anxiety is common, but really nothing about "sleepiness"....

Then this morning, Bob woke me up singing, in a Southern accent, "Fried Chicken!"

Yes, you read that right, "fried chicken". Don't ask me why. Another silly aphasia thing...

But I sang back to him, "Did you say, Fried Chicken?" and he sang out "Yes! Fried Chicken! And corn! Corn!"

So I sang, "Just like my mama used to make!"

Then he told me he wanted "to be a movie star".  So I said I would call around to the casting agencies and see if they had an opening for a guy in a wheelchair who couldn't remember his lines. And he laughed.

This morning, he is drawing again. Thank god.

Today, we go to Rehab for his PT re-evaluation. Which has me very very worried as I don't think he's going to "pass" after what was said at the last appointment.  More on that, later...

All in all, a stressful week, here at The Pink House.


Anonymous said...

Take a deep breath and give yourself another pat on the back for your continuing job well done. It's great that Bob is singing again and back to drawing. I hope that by the time the Lyrica wears off his head/neck leaning will be considerably reduced. Prayers and hugs to you both, Dan

Anonymous said...

Hoping for a big improvement for Bob....Hang in there...