Friday, March 15, 2013

Why am I up?

The last few nights have represented a change in my sleep pattern or lack thereof. It has been more a case of sleep entropy. I seem to be up and down every hour to half hour, waking for various reasons, not all necessarily pain related, and then taking time to get back to sleep. I've found myself on several occasions waking up after dozing off where I'm sitting, including a couple of times while sitting on the toilet.

Surprisingly it hasn't seemed to bother me in the daytime much other than the random bout of sleepiness. One morning, within an hour or waking up, I dozed off in the easy chair for a couple of hours. Yesterday, after finally getting to sleep around 6AM, I ended up sleeping until 10. It proved fortunate on the first two nights as my 5 year old woke up a couple of times each night to report various pains (tummy, arm fell asleep, etc..) and on 3 of those 4 occasions, I was already awake and was able to take care of her without her waking the rest of the house. I'll take the small blessings where I can get them. The one time that I was asleep was a rather rude awakening that took me some time to get back to sleep.

Some of the pains that I wake up with seem to spite my medications and are different from the normal pains. On the other hand, the sciatic pains that were plaguing me in recent weeks have all but disappeared since switching to Lyrica. These defiant new pains seem to be more joint pain, primarily in the knees, but occasionally in the hips too.

Yesterday (Saturday) I decided to venture out with the family to attend a baby shower in Clinton, MD which is a little over an hour's drive from the house. Given how much better I've felt since switching to the Lyrica, I figured it would be a good test for whether or not I can now handle going back into the office. I took a Vicodin right before leaving the house. It was about an hour premature, but it was also a preemptive dosage. The trip out was uneventful at least with regard to the expected pain of riding in the car, none of which ever appeared. I did have some bowel related discomfort which had started before we left and wasn't really related to the car travel, but I arrived at our destination pain-free.

After being there for several hours, seeing old friends that I haven't seen in some time, we hopped back into the car for the trip home. At this point, I was about an hour out from my next Vicodin dosage, much as when we had left in the morning, but I decided to wait it out rather than take one early for the trip home. It wasn't too far down the road until various pains started setting in, many of which felt like the pains experienced the last time I drove into the office. They concentrated in 4 locations, my neck, my left lower thigh and knee, my right shin, just above the ankle, and my left forearm near the wrist. They all seemed to be linked somehow and probably radiating out from some central point in my back, though my back actually felt fine. Fortunately the pain only rose to the level of major discomfort and did not get to the more excruciating levels that I've experienced in the past, and none of my sciatic pains showed up.

Oddly enough, once we got home and got out of the car, my pains all went away in a matter of minutes. Lesson learned. It looks like I'm probably not yet ready to return to regularly commuting into the office just yet, but if I do venture in, I need to take a Vicodin before getting in the car each way. It occurred to me the other day as I went to the doctor, that those short trips into Frederick do not usually bother me and that if my office were here in town I would probably be going into work each day instead of working from home. Ahh the perils of the long commute. There are a couple of us who have been trying to convince them to open an office in Frederick for some time, but to no avail. If only we had been successful, I would perhaps be telling different stories on here.

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