Ray Marsh of Edmond, Oklahoma was prescribed Neurontin in 1998 for pain and has been taking it ever since. He had never been depressed or even hospitalized until three years ago when he attempted suicide.
"I was in a car accident in 1998 and it left me with major nerve damage. I suffer constant pain and went to a pain management doctor six months after my accident. He prescribed Neurontin. I was walking with a cane and had excruciating pain in my knee; because of the pain I was taking 1200 mg of Neurontin three times a day - the maximum dose you can take.
My depression got so bad that one day I went to emergency at the local hospital and said I wanted to die. They asked me if I had a plan and I said yes. They asked if I would voluntarily go to a psych unit and I agreed. My previous occupation was a nurse and I know what I was planning to do wasn't logical but I couldn't do anything about it.
The first time I went to the psychiatric unit at Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City, I was thinking about driving my car to the country and putting a .45 caliber bullet through my head. But I have a family to think about and that saved me. I was in hospital for two weeks.
Three years ago I attempted suicide by overdosing on 600mg of morphine. My wife found me and called 911. I don't remember anything. I woke up the next day in ICU and stayed there two days. I had never been in hospital -- especially the nuthouse! - for anything before taking Neurontin.
I have been in the acute psych unit about twice a year since 1999. My stay is anywhere from five days to two weeks. This year I have been in three times already for major depression. By now, I know everyone who works there on a first name basis.
I'm a veteran and sometimes I have checked myself into the VA hospital. So far I have been able to hide it from my kids (I have four) by telling them I am going into hospital for back pain. It is very hard on my wife because I am disabled and a stay-at-home Dad so when I do go in, nobody is home to look after the kids.
The last time I went in, my wife drove me to the hospital at 5 a.m. and she was late for work. Her boss said that missing work has become an issue. She has to take me to the hospital, visit, and take me home. She hasn't taken one sick day in a year - her absentee problem is all because of me. Luckily we have a strong marriage or she would have left me a long time ago.
There is good news: Neurontin has relieved my pain but I am still taking it.
What do you do when you have to choose between agony or depression?
Dealing with depression or dealing with unbearable pain is like walking a tightrope. So far I haven't found another drug to ease my pain and work in combination with the other drugs I take. It's a tough decision, so I take two antidepressants and a mood leveler to counteract the Neurontin.
As for the future, I feel gloomy but I don't want to die today. I realize that this is going to be my life until I die and I am only 41 years old; I take it day to day.
LAWSUITS NEWS & LEGAL INFORMATION
Attempted Suicide on Neurontin
|. By Jane Mundy|
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