Infusions for widespread, intense nerve pain, probably due to MS
Yesterday I had an appointment at my local pain clinic (UW Health in Madison, WI). Each time I visit, they have me color code a diagram of where my pain is and what kind of pain it is (e.g, yellow = aching, blue = burning, red = stabbing, green = tingling, etc.) I colored in the entire back of my buttocks and hamstrings on both sides as both aching and burning. That kind of diagram is new for me because in the past my pain was much more localized. The pain PA who I saw said that that type of diagram, i.e., broad, expansive areas of burning pain, along with a description of the pain being in the skin, was what she typically sees from her pain patients who have MS. I have MS and I also have had chronic neuro-skeletal-muscular pain due to a disc injury and subsequent microdiscectomy in which the surgeon tore the dura.
The PA at my Pain Clinic ordered a lidocaine infusion which I will be scheduling. That said, I came home and did a bit of research online and found a brief article titled “4 Infusions that can help relieve chronic pain” https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/10/22/4-infusions-that-can-help-relieve-chronic-pain.
The 4 possible infusions are: 1) ketamine 2) Immunoglobulin 3) lidocaine and 4) stem cells
I subsequently sent a message to my pain doctor as well as my MS doctor and PCP. The MS doctor and PCP said that was a question for the Pain Clinic. The Pain Clinic wrote back and said: “the UW Pain clinic doesn’t offer ketamine, immunoglobulin or stem cell treatments. You are welcome to explore those options.”. This is so TYPICAL of healthcare at places other than Mayo. No real coordination between departments. Neurology refers me back to the Pain Clinic. The Pain Clinic only does lidocaine infusions so they don’t try to answer the question or try to call Neurology and find out exactly what types of infusions are actually possible between the Pain Clinic and UW Hospital which serves neurology patients. Ugh! I requested an appointment with Mayo Neurology but was turned down (even though I’ve been a patient in the past and have graduated from Mayo’s Pain Rehab program). I plan to persist and see if my PCP can call Dr. Keegan (the MS doctor who’d seen me in Mayo Neurology) and explain to him the kind of wall I’m running into locally.
Anyway, I’m writing to ask if any of you have been any experience being treated for severe neuropathic pain in the skin with ketamine, lidocaine, IVIg or stem cells? I have MS which, of course, is an autoimmune disease so I suspect IgIV might be appropriate but I really don’t know.