Monday, September 21, 2015


Zermatt in August.

Today, something really amazing happened.  I felt happy again.

Last Thursday, I got up and started researching the post pain that comes after Shingles.  It’s called postherpetic neuralgia and I’m pretty sure I have it.  Of course, I didn’t want to believe it because no one knows how long it can go on.  I’m encouraged though, because my pain is lessening or at least I am better able to handle the pain.  So here is what happened.  I have been very sad lately.  I have felt that life was going on without me.  I can’t play tennis because of a pulled muscle in my stomach.  I couldn’t walk/run last week with my friends because of church commitments both morning and night.  I teach school every other day, arriving at 6:30 A.M. so that leaves no time for exercising early on those mornings outside with friends.  I would watch the news and everything in life seemed so sad, especially the Syrian crisis.  It is tragic! Even boating with the grandkids seemed like a chore because I was in so much pain. I would cry myself to sleep at night. I had no motivation to do anything social.

This may seem odd, but even with all this pain, I really wanted to try to wean myself off of the drug, Gabapentin.  This drug is used to relieve nerve pain. I was taking 5 pills a day to manage the pain.  I have been taking the drug since July and have been increasing it to deal with the pain but what bothered me was that I didn’t have a sense of how much pain I was really experiencing because of the drug.  When Joe and I visited the doctor a few weeks ago, I told him that I didn’t like how the drug made my legs fill achy.  He thought I was taking 2 pills per day.  I decided then to start weaning myself off the drug.  I had been told to wean off it slowly.  I am now down to 1/2 pill twice daily.

This afternoon, I took a short nap.  When I woke up, I felt happy.  I realized that I had forgotten what that felt like.  I felt motivated and able to take on the day.  I felt positive about the day, night and future.  I went to the computer and looked at the side effects of Gabapentin and sure enough, one is depression.  Now, I am still experiencing nerve pain, but some days are better than others and I do think my arm is getting better.  I sure hope so but for now I am just so grateful to feel joy again!


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