I have had an interesting week making adaptations to my medication. I added back my third mini dose for my vacation, as my pain was increasing and I didn’t want to deal with it while visiting family. I have reduced it back to two again a few days ago. The strange thing is in general I have not noticed a great deal of change in my pain level until now. The slightly painful tingling sensation in my hands/arms and feet/knees has returned. When I try to run or kick a soccer ball my legs feel heavy and everything takes more effort. I try to distract myself with music and/or other thoughts to keep myself active.
I have also had a drastic change in my energy level. I have periods through the day where I feel a bit “high” and hyper. Having so much struggle with fatigue this is a welcoming symptom. Other times in the day I crash where my pain level increases and it is difficult to concentrate. Generally this is before my typical dose, but not always.
Since I am using such a little dose, I am surprised by the impact upon my daily life. It makes me aware of the power of the drug I have been taking, as well as the body’s attempt to regulate when I make changes. I can see the importance for me to make changes slowly, making the process more bearable. I have a greater understanding of the dependence I had on the drug, and how after time the effect diminished. Changing medications has always been difficult for me, but at times this is when I would experience the greatest symptoms and the greatest relief. Since my dose currently is so low, I imagine that the symptoms I am currently having will be similar to what will be the end result when I am drug free, though probably slightly more intense especially when the “high” period ends.
I am still hopeful and feel like this is a huge step in improving my health. It feels good to be doing something that is improving my daily life, costs less, and is effective. I have so much to gain, and little to lose. Though I will always advocate the ability to have pain medication options, I hope we can also have better pain management care. I am grateful that I had amazingly supportive doctors, yet there was so much tha they didn’t understand and the options were limited and/or highly expensive. Much of my personal journey has been through my own research, talking to others, finding support, and exploring my own options for improvement. Taking it one day at a time!