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My husband a year ago got what was believed to be pneumonia but his sputum showed nocardia after 3 months of being on the wrong type of antibiotic. They switched him to Bactrim but he also then went into congestive heart failure then they changed it to cardiomyopathy. He has been in terrible pain since having had 3 epidural injections to control the pain on his right side but it didn’t work. He has a regimen of medication for pain but really, it doesn’t work that well. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? He goes to Brigham Womens but even they are stumped why he is in such pain. The nocardia has cleared but not the discomfort. He can’t sleep on either side and basically has turned into a bear. He was a healthy 40 year old when this happened and rarely ever even got a cold. Any help would be great.

From your description, it appears that the pain started after receiving 3 epidural injections. If thats the case, nerves may have been damaged during the procedure and he may be experiencing neuropathic pain. Additionally, the bacterial infection leading to the cardiomyopathy may have also damage some nerves.

The best initial step in the workup of your husband’s pain is to identify the source. There are pain killers and procedures such as nerve blocks that can be employed for unrelenting pain. If he has not done so, your husband should be worked up by a pain specialist – some neurologists and anesthesiologists train in pain management and are experts in the field of neuropathic pain management.