It has been 12 days since my trip to the ER and the acquisition of my lightning hands, so I thought I would provide a little update. I would LOVE to say that my hands were back to normal, or that I had realized an awesome new superpower. But alas, I can’t.
The day after my last post, I woke up with not only lightning fingers, but also a horrible hellfire pain. That was the worst day by far. At this point, I was convinced that I was going to study up on nerve damage organizations and participate in every 5K they offered because if people feel like this all the time… damn.
The day after that the pain was infinitely better. It was still there, but the frequency and intensity was nowhere near what it had been. Since then, it comes and goes. Some days better and some days worse. It is manageable, but it still pisses me off that I have to deal with it at all. Thanks for nothing, hospital lady.
But, with this, I decided to do a comparison of OTC pain relievers on nerve pain. I decided to look at Tylenol, Aleve, and Advil (mostly because that is what I already had on hand). I would take one brand for the whole day (as directed… mostly) to see which one worked best. Here is what I found:
- Tylenol (generic) – The pills managed to do a pretty good job of blocking the pain and the shocking sensation. It pretty much worked for exactly 4 to 6 hours, which is how often you can take them. I could absolutely tell when they were wearing off, so I had to re-dose several times. But all in all worth taking.
- Aleve – This one I tested on the first day of hellfire hands. Oy. It did a pretty good job of blocking the pain itself, but my hands were tingling and buzzing all day. Not exactly the shocking I was used to, but still so annoying it was almost impossible to get anything done. I also had to take another dose after about 5 hours, so it didn’t come close to the 12 hours they claim. I was pretty sure I was going to shut down a kidney. Full disclosure: Since the pain was so much more intense on this day, it may or may not have been made better by anything short of a mallet to the head.
- Advil – Advil has been totally awesome. I can take it during the day and it probably lasts a good 6 to 8 hours before I have to take it again. Also, Advil PM has been a total godsend because the nights have been completely awful trying to go to sleep with shocking, hellfire hands. But the Advil PM helps me get to sleep quickly and stay asleep longer than I can on my own. It also takes the edge off the extra pain I usually feel when waking up in the morning.
So, for the most part, I have been sticking to Advil during the day when it gets to be really annoying or painful. I am hoping that this will go away over time. Who knows.