News Just In: Jägerbomb Cures Back Pain

Last night I Went Out. I didn’t go to Sainsburys without the children, or to Toys R Us for last minute birthday treats, or to fill the car up with fuel, or to a friend’s house for tea to socialise our children with their children. Nope. I Went Out To a Pub. And THEN I Went To a Club. I Got Too Drunk. I Danced (ok, I sort of shuffled like, well like a 30 something pissed woman with a bad back). I Got Home Too Late. And Today I Am Hungover.

It has been so long since I have been out for a dance. Certainly not with a bad back that’s for sure. I knew it would be painful today, but actually, I cared very little. Jagerbomb anyone? I suspect there is always going to be a pay-off when I go out as today my back is a bit delicate, and my left leg is firing pins and needles like crazy and my numb patches have increased. But, it’s not like I am going to do this every week so I can cope with that sacrifice, because for a tiny little bit of time it felt like I didn’t have a bad back.

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Medicinal Spa Pool Recommended by GP

I have had a very unpleasant week. My back went into spasm again last week and coupled with significant vomitting for much of the week I was quite a mess – in pain, could not eat or drink anything, couldn’t take my medication of any kind for much of the week. Let’s not do details, but the short of it is, as well as being in horrendous pain and unable to stand straight, I also struggled to <ahem> take a shit. The medication, along with pain, and not eating much had basically stopped my digestive system from working. It is all sorted now but the week and in particular the end of it was actually quite traumatic. My GP said taking a laxative was like taking a sledgehammer to fix the problem. And she was right.

Today, post traumatic stress induced me has been signed off work for a further two weeks. Again. After managing a wonderful 2 weeks at work. My GP told me to ‘forget about work’ for the time being (not for the first time) concentrate on myself. Luckily I get paid full sick pay but that is not the point, I want to and need to be working.

So, I am going to the gym, to walk the pool and keep active, and then to sit in the Jacuzzi until I am wrinkly. I told my GP this and she said this was entirely recommended that I need more than anything to relax myself and that will help with the pain. She suggested doing it daily. I wonder if I can get it on prescription?

I had a conversation with some lovely people on Mumsnet yesterday about keeping reserves so that I have something to fall back on when things get bad. I was given a link by one of those people who herself suffers from chronic debilitating back pain about the Spoon Theory. If you have not heard of it, take a look. Work is a task that cannot take one of my spoons at the moment as I don’t have that many in my hands, but the spa, right now can take that spoon.

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.

I Rocked the Crazy Train! I Am Now in Pain.

I stand in front of the crowd. They jump and clap to my rocking notes, as I tap my foot and rock to the music. I am a Rock Goddess of the highest order, giving my crowd an amazing show. With sweat dripping down my face I end with a 5 star performance.

I take a bow, rip the guitar from around my neck and throw it to my audience.

My husband gets up from the sofa, and takes his turn at Guitar Hero. He has turned into Jim Morrison whIle I stumble onto the sofa snd collapse. The sweat is from  the central heating, cranked up to combat the dropping temperature. My staggering walk is due to increasing pain in my back and hip, along with the worst case of pins and needles in my foot and calf since I sat cross legged for too long at yoga once. 

Once avid fans of the pretend guitar, spending many a night with friends drinking beer and being rockstars together, it got relegated to the spaces in the eaves as parenting, work and other Real Life took over. I found it searching for something else just over a week ago, and since then R and I have played all the Gigs again, fought with Ted Nugent and won, and I fell in love with rock all over again. Not that I ever fell out of love – there have been many moments when I have driven in our family wagon singing to Rebel Yell, windows down, cranked up to full volume, it has just become secondary to the calmer tunes of Twinkle Little Star and Wind The Bobbin Up. Although, my children are rocking it out too now, even my two-almost-three year old Roo, and Bella is pretty damn good at Band on the Run. And they have mastered moshing around the living room.

I have achieved one of my Wish List items too this week, dancing around with Bella while R did his best impression of my favourite rock god Dave Grohl. Unfortunately my over zealous popping and moshing while ‘playing’ Ozzfest has resulted in several of my wish list items being unticked, namely the ‘walking without a limp or visible pain’ and ‘dancing with Bella.

R has said I might have to retire. Or at least play some of the more gentle tunes and remember that the nerve blocking meds have not fixed my back, they just pretend it doesn’t hurt any more.

He is only jealous that I can rock the fast notes better than him.

No Driving!

You know what? I can’t actually write what I think today. Well I can, but it is exceptionally dull. Not witty, or informative. I have tried to write something 3 times. I even posted one of them. Shocking.

There are bigger problems in the world than me not being able to drive the car for a while because of medication side effects. At least I have a car and have a partner who can drive it.

There are bigger problems in the world than numb patches and pins and needles in my leg and being told by my GP that this might now be permanent. And bigger problems as fighting to get my GP to re-refer me to the Spinal Pathway because ‘many people make a decision to accept numb patches, pins and needles over spinal surgey’. At least I am not in horrendous pain any more thanks to being pumped full of drugs. At least I can walk.

There are bigger problems in the world than my boss being a bit shitty with me when I said I was returning on reduced hours, not today, but tomorrow and her making it clear not to expect any Welcome Back banners . At least I have a job. At least I have enough money to pay the bills and take the family on holiday this year.

At least I am alive and relatively well. And my family are well and with me.

Yet somehow, that does not cheer me up.

I Balanced My Body!

I did not go to Body Balance last night. I rushed out of the house to cries of ‘but mama, I will miss you! can I come? one more cuddle, and a kiss…pleease? don’t go mama! I have not said goodbye!’ [for the millionth time]. Drove like a maniac the two minute distance to the gym (I could walk but a) that is more exercise, let’s not push it b) it is dark and c) it is going to rain) parked across two spaces like a woman possessed, sprinted (walked fast) towards the entrance to be pipped at the post by three hippy women and as I got to the check-in I was met with a ‘sorry class is full’ as the hippies casually took their shoes off and sort of elegantly tiptoed towards the class, ankle bracelets twinkling. Bitches. That was my class.

What happened next well, I have no clue. I expect it had something to do with missing that mornings meds. After returning home, I joined the family on the bed, for stories, and R put them to bed while I ‘rested’ my eyes. I passed out. Like, actually, no recollection of the next hour until R came up and complained he was all alone.  I could not speak or move, I ‘slept’ until 6:45am and woke with The Most Horrendous Headache, having also missed my meds last night. Tramadol withdrawal is Not Pleasant and I’m not looking forward when I no longer need it.  I have had the shakes all day and my legs almost gave way walking back from the school/nursery run.

I felt so rough, but there was another body balance class at 12:30. I looked terrible, hair was sweaty and yucky, clothes were crumpled, I took the kids to school looking like a fright, baseball cap and long coat on. But I was determined to get to that Class.

And with the help of 3 cups of coffee and some Guitar Hero with R before he went to work, to lift my mood, I did! I had a chat with a personal trainer about parting with £130 per month to get a proper exercise regime going (sod that I can work it out myself thanks) and 10 mins later, I was floating. Ok. I was falling. A Lot. The instructor was brilliant, gave me little shakes of the head which was my cue to stay in Down-Dog or whatever instead of contorting my body into some snake like position (see, I am using the lingo already). I could not even hold my arms out straight without them shaking, but I did it anyway.

And then. Get this. I Went For A Swim. I thought, well, I am here right? 6 lengths of the tiny pool, 15 mins collapsed in the Spa, 20 mins sat in the disabled shower purely to catch my breathe. Well, not purely, I shaved my legs.

Roll on 3pm, I was collecting Winter Boy from nursery like a new woman. My hair had been styled and dried, some BB cream and a little sparkle wake up cream, mascara, lipgloss and I was transformed. Apart from the slight limp from some pain cutting through my hip into my almost numb foot which I was desperately trying to ignore.

Rock On Friday for the next class!  And if anyone is thinking of going (denialandpanic for example) do it. It is brilliant!