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medication related rambles

I’m going to talk about this in vivid detail with all my thoughts because when I have a bad pain flare up in the future, I need it here to remember why it’s important to deal with it carefully and use all my tools instead of just the easiest ones. I’d also love opinions, comments, stories, whatever if y’all have anything to say, good or bad.

 

So for a long time I’ve been asking my pain mgmt doc if taking pain medication regularly/daily could actually be increasing my overall pain instead of helping it. I’d noted that I used to need to take a norco like once a month or once a week for a bad flare up and was able to manage everything else with motrin and heat. He kept telling me that that’s not possible, that’s not a thing that happens, if my pain is worse it’s a good thing I have the medication available to deal with it because it’s just my body going through a rough patch of illness, but it’s not from the medication – the increase in medication is due to the increase in pain, not the other way around. I kinda didn’t believe him based on past experience with it (taking norco daily around the time of our wedding, I really needed to take it every day for pain being very severe, but when we got home from our honeymoon and I stopped pushing my body so hard and therefore stopped taking it I felt so much better. Again, could have been from the amount I was putting my body through, but… I just have that intuitive feeling that says that’s not the case and I don’t know how to explain it.

 

Anyway, I had a *super* rough week this month where I nearly had to double the dose of medication I was taking to make it through – 7 percocet a day and I was still stuck in bed with very very severe pain. I never used to feel like that when I wasn’t taking medication daily, and used it rarely as needed (not to mention medication worked way better when I took less, therefore needed less to deal with those severe amounts of pain). On top of that, it’s the second or third time  my doctor has temporarily upped my dose of medication and then left me with no choice but to go without (or with less) until the day I’m allowed to refill it – even if he tells me to take more, he can’t give me more any sooner. So because of that one week of upping the dose, I was short for “daily” medication this month. For the third time. And it makes me feel sick every time. All three times it’s been “Yeah, it’s fine, you can take xx dose for this flare you’re in, it won’t hurt you and the goal is to stay out of the ER.” So… leaving me feeling lost and fucked over. Repeatedly. It’s scary as a patient who’s had addiction in their family for multiple generations, who’s constantly scared of crossing the line from physical dependence on a medication into addiction to the medication. Even scarier when the doctor minimizes all of those concerns.

 

So, I decided to stop taking percocet, not totally stop but stop using it to manage daily pain and keep it for crisis pain. To do that, I decided it was best to stop taking it entirely and see where I was at with no medication, and then work on it from there to find a happy medium of what I *need* to be taking.

 

The first two days were awful, with all the normal expected withdrawal symptoms a person would go through after taking it for almost a year at the dose he had me on…sweating (AKA lack of temperature regulation combined with a high fever FML), severe all over pain, nausea, weakness, lack of appetite, total lack of ability to sleep...a weird thing is this very distinct and very strong smell that’s generally awful but doesn’t actually exist (I think – I’ve always been awful at identifying a scent, but I’ve never smelled whatever this is before and it’s gross so ??)… but the absolute worst thing was RLS symptoms, it makes it feel like your muscles are crawling and kinda makes you wish your skin would fall off because straight up pain would be easier to deal with. You can’t sit still, but you can’t move for the pain and weakness, but sitting still is excruciating, and it leaves you trying to find anything to do to find relief. And there is literally nothing that will help. The saving grace was being able to use a cough medication I had to relieve that – a fourth of dose of it was enough to stop the muscle-y stuff without actually making anything else better (which would have made me feel like I was still taking too much medication). Two benadryl every two hours, two motrin every two hours, and cough meds every 6 hours. I tried a muscle relaxer because my muscles were doing a spasmy thing that kept dislocating my shoulder, but it made the rls-y stuff much much worse, so I didn’t do that again. Also, unbelievable anxiety...like the kind of anxiety I would never believe a person could feel and bear, and that coming from someone with OCD and panic disorder. I have panic attacks constantly, normally. But nothing that measured up to half of this.

 

Two days of this. It sounds (and feels) so silly for these symptoms to feel so bad – sweaty, nauseous, sore, restless, weak, anxious – it reads like a bad flu. But it feels like dying. And I think I’d rather die than go through it again. I was very close to it at a couple points. I don’t think it’s something a person is able to understand until you’ve been through it. I can’t come close to explaining it.

 

Today, I woke up feeling much better. Not normal, but not bad by any means. I’m very sore, and very, very, very weak. I’m not anxious, but every few hours I’ll have a crazy-intense panic attack that ends as suddenly as it starts and leaves me kinda wondering what happened. I wish I could take flexeril because I have a fucked up muscle in my back that’s bothering me because of sitting the way I have been and it won’t fix until I do, but I need to be further out from this before I can handle it because of the muscley stuff. But the pain is already down to less than it was. So that’s kinda proven me right already… if I’m in less pain, less than a week after stopping the medication… the medication was definitely the root of why my daily pain had gotten so bad. I’m glad I made the right decision. I’m frustrated that my doctor denied it even being a possibility when it seems so clearly related to me.

 

I want to talk about dependence vs. addiction as well to end this, because that’s a distinction that I’m not sure I can make sense of in my head as sick as I’ve been the past couple of days, and it’s important to me to see if there’s a difference in how I think about it from further away from this week. I feel like my “me” is very non-addictive, I don’t easily get addicted to stuff as a whole, but I definitely feel like my body gets dependent on medications easily, and I’ve had that experience in the past as well. I’m just not sure how to make the distinction. I have no desire to take medication (in fact, I still have enough I could have taken it at any time and felt better, and tapering off probably would have been the thing to do, but I didn’t want to, I was done wondering and I wanted the answer). In my head, I’m good, and it’s not something I need. But my body obviously feels differently, because it thinks it’s dying. I’m not totally sure, medically, how the distinction between the two works. I know they can be very similar and almost the same sometimes. But I don’t feel like I’m struggling with this. I don’t feel desperate. I just feel lost.

 

One final thing I’m struggling with: I feel like I can’t do anything because I’m so scared of causing a flare up of pain, and I don’t feel safe taking percocet for that pain so close to this period of withdrawal. I want to be at least a week out from my last dose of it, and also feeling 100% again, before I feel safe taking it again, because I’m scared it will trigger the withdrawal symptoms to start again if I take any – despite knowing that’s probably not how it works, the fact that it’s only a “probably not” there is why I’m scared. So, I’m not. But, it makes me terrified of causing myself any pain at all. I can’t do any of the things that make me feel better, so I’m stuck in bed watching TV, but for a different reason – fear of pain, instead of actual pain… but I know these things hurt, so it’s not a fear of pain as much as a fear of unending pain once I make it start by doing one of the things. Coloring hurts, gaming hurts, reading hurts, doing my nails hurts, walking hurts, cleaning hurts, everything hurts, and I’m stuck with nothing I can do except watch TV and read Facebook on my phone, and that’s why I was happy to have the pain medication to begin with – it kept me from being scared of pain, because even if the pain was there, it was never indefinite, I could always make it end if nothing else worked and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I don’t know how to resolve this, other than… I’m gonna be a lazy motherfucker for a couple weeks until I feel safer taking medication again in case doing stuff makes me flare. Not that I’m terribly much complaining about that, I love watching TV and all, but like the anxiety is making me want to clean like crazy and I can’t and that’s frustrating me. But I’ll be okay with that.

 

 

A couple final notes… the literal feeling the pain every time a joint subluxes even the tiniest amount is now really annoying to me since it’s been kinda numbed for so long, and also everything tastes and smells so strong it’s hard to deal with. I haven’t eaten in some days because of this, and it’s causing other medical stuff to flare up because I can’t handle food. So there’s that.

 

I’m doing better. And will do better every day.

 

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Chris Cornell

I vaguely remember when Kurt died. I remember scarcely better when Layne died. I remember much better when Scott died. I'll even throw in Prince and Michael (different genre, of course). Somehow, this is the first one that really bummed me out on a gut level. As I listened to a tribute to him on Spotify I listened to his lyrics much more closely and realized that's where my hurt was coming from. His own.

 

That we've lost four of the five vocalists that changed the course of music in the 90s is unbelievable. The voices of our generation. That so much talent from our youth is gone, leaves quite an unwanted hole.

 

And then I come to find out that it was, in fact, Kim Thayil (as well as Ben Shepard), whom I saw at a local Minneapolis show my crew and I were filming on Friday night. Emotional night. The band couldn’t keep it together to cover Black Hole Sun. And it’s going to be difficult to listen to “Burden in My Hand” for quite a long time...

 

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New Job Day 1

First day of new job today. 

 

There’s a lot to learn. And on top of that – because of all this stress with my family lately, I think I’m actually getting sick. I haven’t been sick in … years!! It feels like a head cold. I’m making a healthy, simple dinner tonight, then getting to bed early. 

 

The commute isn’t terribly bad, but I definitely want to move closer to work to save myself nearly 2 hours a day in the car to/from work alone. Which kind of sucks – moving – because I really, truly do love it here in this small, quiet, quaint little corn-town. I’ve grown VERY accustomed to the pace of things here, and I don’t really miss all the hussle and bussle of the suburbs. The suburbs SUCK, to be frank. The traffic sucks, the people suck, the noise sucks, it all sucks. I mean – if I have to put up with all that, I’d almost rather just move into the city. Jeezus! At least Chicago is freaking awesome. The burbs are just bleh. 

 

So whatever. Life goes on – there are perks to this situation. I’ll get to enjoy weekends off for a while. I’m no longer working on my feet all day and fucking up my knees (which really have started to get bad recently), and I’m making more money. So in the future, when I hopefully move back into a more ruralish town and try to get a job, I have experience, I have a history of making more $$$, and so I can actually… hopefully find a job and live. And Jeff and I will get to finally move in together. 

 

 

Things have been going good between us lately, too. Of course we hit our rough patches here and there, we have our squabbles, but we love each other and overall we get along really well. <3 

 

I feel lucky. A little… stiffled… I hate the idea of working a cubicle job… but I’m trying to be open. Maybe I won’t hate it as much as I think I will. Maybe it’s just the stereotype that’s been around me my whole life about these kinds of jobs, and I need to set that aside and evaluate the situation for what it truly is. 

 

The job seems easy enough. Basically I’m on a computer all day processing reports and invoices, and sending/answering emails about said reports and invoices. Officially, I am a “Merchandising Support Specialist”. So that’s cute. 

 

Peace, ya’ll. 

 

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A thought for the day...

The more I watch, the more I read, the more I listen,

the more jaded and disgusted I become with the MSM!

 

In my mind, the more I hear “an anonymous source”,  “a person

not authorized”, “a source close to___________ ", “a former

official”, “an official” … (Ad nauseum)… the more I less believe

that that source is being protected by the MSM to protect their

identity, but that these “nameless sources” are nothing more

than an excuse for blatant lies and fabrications!

 

So much “news” is exposed as false/fake now days that I believe

the MSM has totally lost all ability, creditability, and worst of all,

HONESTY in reporting the news!

 

Negativity? My god. how much more negative can the MSM get?

A Harvard poll reports that Trump immigration news is 96% negative!!

 

Everything Trump does is “NEWS” and CRITICIZED! 

OMG! Trump had TWO scoops of (vanilla) ice cream while everyone

else received only ONE!

HOLY BATSHIT! Trump had Diet Coke and everyone else had water!

 

Seriously?!

 

WHO GIVES A SHIT??!!

 

Really, build a fucking bridge and get over it already!!!

TRUMP is PRESIDENT and that HAG LOST!!!!

 

 

 

 

 
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