Chronic pain symptoms increase

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!

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