Maybe Wine CAN Cure Back Pain…

I am often described as forthright, activist minded, quick acting, decisive. I am also sometimes described as impulsive, hotheaded, impatient, bull-at-a-gate-post (my mum loved that expression). I am all of those things. Often, they get great results, but sometimes you can’t sit around having committee meetings to make decisions. Sometimes, you need to be decisive and just get on with it. R and I are quite different in this respect. He likes to chill out, have a cup of coffee and a chat, forget about, return at a later date, and talk some more, but when it comes right down to it, struggles to make the decision. This is one of the ways we are very compatible. He helps me slow down a little and encourages me to take time and think, I speed his actions up and encourage him to make decisions (or, make them for him).

I have felt uneasy about how much medication is running through me and for how long and continually seek alternative ways to deal with my pain. I worry about how much damage diclofenac is doing to my insides and my joints. I worry that my emotional wellbeing is being eroded away by artificial chemicals that have forcibly increased my ‘happy chemicals’.

I have never been an adrenaline junkie or a seeker of drug highs. I like to be in control of myself, of how I feel, how I act. This has become more and more noticeable as I have grown older. I don’t like things being ‘done to’ me, I need to be the person at the steering wheel of my life. I am happy to have some-one map reading, but I have found, in relation to pain medication, the medical profession are pretty hopeless map-readers, they can have people driving around in circles.

In this decision I have just taken, my cautious considering husband is fretting, as my impulsive (decisive) mode had engaged. Although in agreement it needs to be done, it does not sit well with him, but even he knows that these chemicals cannot be good for me for this long.

So In the midst of a reoccurrence of back pain I have stopped both amitriptyline and tramadol.  It was not a deliberate act. well, not completely. Last week I stopped the nerve blocker so I could drive and stop walking into things, this week I threw up for so many days I could not take my tramadol doses and chose not to start it again.

My GP sort of knows I have stopped the tramadol, but, temporarily only. She has prescribed me codeine instead as I prefer this for acute pain, but hoping it will help with the withdrawal of the opiate side of the tramadol at least and I can reduce this easily (i hope). Just not the double serotonin drop. I have been reading about the experience of others in withdrawing from Tramadol and it takes me right back to my whole reason for not wanting to start it.

To say I am not scared would be a lie. The next few weeks I suspect are going to be very tough. I am actually now just waiting for the withdrawal anxiety and restlessness and angst to kick in. I have not read One Single positive story about withdrawing. There is Not One Person in the ‘net who has got away with it lightly. So there is absolutely no reason I will escape it.

Crazy I hear you say. And you are probably right. And, if you are in my position, please please don’t copy me. See your GP and do it properly. Like I explained at the beginning, I am hotheaded. I don’t want to be persuaded out of it by the GP, or have to titrate down and just prolong the inevitable agony. Now I have made my mind up. I am going to do it. I have to do it. I cannot be a prisoner to this awful medication any longer.

I will manage by exercising (when I am over this acute phase) I will have saunas at the gym to help me detox. And by eating. I have lost my appetite for so long I have lost just over 1 stone in weight. YEY! some might say, but I only weigh 8st now. I miss food, especially as R is a trainee chef, that is Not Good.

And, I will always have a bottle or two of Pinot Noir waiting to help. I think I am going to need it.

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My Husband Stabbed My Leg!

I am taking a low dose of amitriptyline for nerve pain; sciatica.  I am 3 weeks in and it has almost stopped my back, hip, stomach and leg pain completely; it is working as it is meant to, pretending there is no sciatica. Unfortunately one side effect of amitriptyline is that my spatial awareness has gone out the window and I am constantly walking into things, causing bruises that have me hastily explaining to all and sundry that R has not completely lost his patience with me, and really, yes, I did walk into a Mother and Child Parking sign, while R howled with laughter in the car.

Talking of bad impressions. Reduced pain is great, but I am now left with constant pins and needles in my left foot, calf and thigh. Yesterday I was pretty sure I could sense numb patches on my calf. R walked into the kitchen and looked on in amazement as I sat at the kitchen table, casually tapping at my calf, foot and toes with the sharp point of the parring knife to check if I was right. However I learnt that you can’t check your own leg with any useful results.

Two minutes later, my slightly unconvinced husband was also sat at the table holding the parring knife to my calf. ‘just do it!’ I said, with my hands over my eyes to make sure the test would be accurate. ‘I am!’ said my husband, alarmed at how hard he was tapping my leg with the knife to no response.

And there is the confirmation. I have an actual numb calf. The nerve damage is being hidden by amitriptyline, the wonder drug. I’m not entirely sure what, if anything I am going to do about that. No-one medically seems to listen. What more do I want than the handfuls of drugs that turn me into a dribbling shell of my former self? I am not in lots of pain; the sciatica is under control, so I should be thankful. And I hope that the numbness was always there just hidden by the pain.

It’s not often that one can say their husband stabbed them in the leg without it leading to a criminal conviction is it?