For me a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) was relieving in the sense of knowing what was going on, but also disappointing in knowing that there is no cure and many treatments are trial-and-error as far as effectiveness goes.

Lately I’ve been getting weekly IV infusions of 350mg lidocaine for my CRPS. So far this has been the only treatment option that has made any noticeable headway in managing my nerve pain from this horrible disease. Prior to agreeing to this option I did a lot of research and was discouraged by the voices out there that had negative results. I had to remind myself that every person’s body is different. Just because one blogger says lidocaine didn’t work for them doesn’t mean it won’t work for me.

My infusion adventures started with every other week lidocaine infusions. These did not provide more than four or so days of pain relief. (By pain relief I mean having the pain be tolerable to function, not gone.) Thankfully my doctor switched me to every week infusions. Friday, when I get my infusions, has become my favorite day of the week.

While I am hooked up to my IV, I do experience symptoms that I feel are worth the price of pain relief. For one my tongue feels hairy (awkward, right?). I’m a little unstable on my feet, dizzy, loopy, and tend to slur some of my words. It’s as if I’ve had one too many drinks. Like the last day of college all over again minus the vodka. I can also feel nauseous if the IV drip is set too fast. For me, 75 minutes works or 60 minutes if I am sipping on sprite. The symptoms I experience lessen during my 0.9% sodium chloride (saline) flush which ranges from 5 to 15 minutes after the lidocaine ends.

For the time I am hooked up my pain level is a 0/10! It’s a Godsend! The pain relief after the infusion has laster longer and longer each sub-sequential time to the point were I can be at a 2/10 most of the days of the week (minus mini-flares of break through pain).

I like to stay occupied during my infusions by either writing (hey guys!), clipping coupons, or resting while I listen to music. Distraction is one of my main pain management techniques to cope with the pain the comes with CRPS.

As a scientist myself I have been reading clinical studies about CRPS treatment. Ketamine infusions have caught my eye. I have been reading about the effectiveness  and am encouraged to hear that an infusion over a several day period can put CRPS in “remission”. Has anyone out there had success with ketamine? My doctor and hospital do not provide this infusion option at this time. And the only places I have found require cash payment for treatment, which is upwards of $2,000 per infusion. YIKES!

10 thoughts on “Infusion

  1. I have tried ketamine infusion and it did not help. My experience is described here However, it depends a lot on dosage. Different doctor seem to be prescribing different dosages. Yes it is expensive. You can try travelling out of US as a medical tourist. But then again there is a problem with the dosage because you will have to discuss and make sure the doctor gives you the kind of dosage which you think will help you.


  2. Ketamine makes me hallucinate quite badly. I did notice some pain relief but the pain came back right away. I also could not feel whether I was breathing which is quite scary. So the infusion was stopped right away. Sorry that this is all that I can tell you about the ketamine infusion.


  3. Thank you so much for participating in our chronic pain & chronic illness link up party at The Unbroken Smile. I’m sure our community will love your article, thanks so much for sharing! I also have CRPS and I am looking into stem cell therapy…it’s just so new and to pay out of pocket scares me. I have never tried the lidocaine infusions, I will for sure bring this up to my doctor this week! Please join us again next week. ((Gentle Hugs))


  4. My husband has been to Atlanta to Dr. Rollins for ketamine infusions. He goes for 3-4 days at a time and will get about 7 weeks of 60-75% pain decrease. Then, it slowly starts creeping back and can take about 7 months to get back to the original depth of pain. If he could get these infusions every 5 months I think he would be in a completely different place. Right now, I’m trying to find someone in our state who does it but I highly recommend Dr. Rollins in Atlanta. As far as putting it into remission, I would say your body will handle it however it sees fit. That is not what my husband has experienced, but it doesn’t mean that can’t happen to you.

    We have never tried lidocaine infusions, but they sound helpful.


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