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Posted by katrina ( on April 12, 2001 at 13:41:42:

In Reply to: Lithium posted by Steve Prosser on April 12, 2001 at 07:43:10:

My husband had been on lithium for a couple years, and took 2100 mg a day during that time, he also took Pamelor (Nortriptalene), and contrary to what I have read in the past on the board, he gained about 60 pounds. Last year in March his neuro suggested trying to go off one or the other and start topamax. He went off the Pamelor and started dropping excess weight. The topamax seemed to be doing the job with the lithium but dr. again thought maybe it was time to try and go off lithium. Started declining in dosage and when he was down to his last day of 300 mg he was feeling like a new man. This was short lived as the following day the ch's returned, however they were tolerable so he chose to do nothing. He went from the end of May last year until December (not pain free, but able to cope) before things became untolerable again. All during this time we had lithium and the neuro's blessing if he wanted to start taking it again. He chose not to until things were way out of hand again. The lithium caused him tremors and all of his life he has been a hunter and a very good shot and due to the ch's he has spent many a season in the past 10 years when he could not hunt at all. This past fall he was able to go archery hunting and was quite successful on the first day, he was like a new-born man again. In January of this year things were again way out of hand so he started the lithium with the topamax but does not like the side effects of the lithium. It is now April and after his surgery he will again go off the lithium and hope that should things get bad it will work again when he has to start it.
Having mentioned surgery, he is a fortunate man and has never had to have any surgery other than tonsils out and that was 34 years ago and before he experienced clusters. My question is this, when you are out are you pretty confident that a cluster will be unable to break the barrier and cause you pain at that time? I am trying desperately to reassure him that all will be fine, but I do not suffer with them, I only love someone with them. I certianly have experienced watching him go through the pain, but never felt the physical head part, just the aching heart part.
He has had marginal success with applying pressure to the artery in the side of his neck, and has relied on this for instant, momentary relief for several years, but wonders how he might deal with it when he is having surgery.
I am not sure how corny this sounds, but any input would be appreciated.
May you get some relief very soon

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