Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day On, Day Off

Things have continued to go well, for the most part, over the last week or so. I had an appointment with the pain management specialist last week and he decided that my recent progress and the fact that I keep nodding off at random times where I sit together indicate that it's time to back off on the dosage of my pain meds.

Wait, didn't we just increase them a couple of weeks ago?

He had me cut the Methadone and Lyrica doses in half and gave me an additional once per day anti-inflammatory called Meloxicam. I was skeptical when he said this, but I have to say that there has been no negative impact to doing so. I feel about the same, pain-wise, as I did on the higher dosage and am down to taking only one Vicodin per day, if at all, so I guess he made the right call.

My sleep is still somewhat unpredictable with getting to sleep being the biggest challenge. Once I get there, I'm usually good for the rest of the night. Of late, I've developed this tendency for my knees to start hurting within an hour of going to bed, so I get up and sit in the living room with my legs outstretched until it wears off, then I go back to bed with no further complications. It makes no sense, but not much does these days when it comes to my body.

I made it to work again on Friday and all went well for the most part, but on the ride home the ache in my left forearm returned. This is that mysterious pain that shows up at random, ignores all pain medications, including the neuro ones, and then goes away after an equally random period anywhere from hours to days. It has a pinched nerve feel to it, though I don't know if that's what is actually causing it. Even though the pain manifests in my left forearm near the wrist, I can feel it all the way up my arm and into my shoulder. This time it decided to linger through the weekend and into Monday, then I woke up Tuesday morning and it was gone.

Sunday we took the kids to see the circus about an hour and a half drive from our home. Other than the persistent ache in my arm, the ride was otherwise uneventful. It was my first time to see the circus as well as the kids. The only one I ever went to as a kid was one of those small circuses that goes around to small towns and sets up in the parking lot of a shopping center. It was good to go out together as a family and enjoy ourselves for the day. The ride home, like the ride out was uneventful and I arrived back at home feeling about the same as when I had left.

After such a great day Sunday, I should have expected Monday to somehow be less. I woke up still with the ache in my arm, and some minor pains in my hips and legs, but really no pain worth mentioning, still, I felt off all day. Even feeling off, I didn't have a Vicodin from mid day Sunday til late Monday night, and I only took that one in hope that it would help me to get some sleep. It seems that even though I can now get in the car and go out for a drive, every time I do, I need a down day afterwards. It somehow takes something out of me that requires a day of recuperation to recover from. It's strange because I don't feel especially drained at the end of the day after an outing, in fact, I sometimes feel pretty good afterwards, but inevitably I wake up the next morning feeling off and not fully up to the day's tasks, but it only lasts for a day.

Sure enough, I woke up Tuesday feeling fine as if the blahs of Monday had never happened. I went on in to work and even went to a local meeting afterward, not getting home until almost 10:00PM. Then today, I woke up feeling off again and stayed home.

Overall things continue to look up, my meds have been cut in half and I'm in no more pain. The as needed Vicodin have become less needed and I'm able to get out or get into the office again. It's still two steps forward and one step back, but the overall direction is forward. My first hurdle to overcome was being able to ride in the car. The second was to be able to work in the office again. Now I just need to be able to increase the frequency and to be able to do it without having a down day afterward. I'm getting there, but still slowly and I'm still impatient.

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