Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Pain Relief Saga

I've made a lot of progress getting off of Lortab. I take 3-4 a day, which is half as much as last year, but they aren't long lasting enough to remain mobile if I take fewer than that. At my last doctor's appointment, I suggested that maybe we could change the strength.

I've been using the 7.5/500 for a couple of weeks now and it has been really uncomfortable. It's not excruciating pain, but it's bad enough to keep me from sleeping through the night. I'm trying not to feel discouraged, but it's really difficult. I want to call my pain management doctor and tell her that this isn't working and that I need to be moved back up to the stronger dose.

I've resisted by telling myself that I might be able to get accustomed to this level of pain. I had few completely pain free days, even with the 10/500 Lortab, but it was usually manageable. When I added the Tramadol to my morning and night doses, it felt like a godsend. I could actually move around in the morning, without the intense twisting, throbbing pain on the left side of my torso. Now, I'm back to having bad mornings. It seems the Tramadol isn't quite enough to keep me pain free, even though I also take 3 doses of Neurontin each day.

I want to believe that there's a magical combination of medicines that will allow me to completely eliminate the need for narcotics. I just can't seem to figure out what it will take. I appreciate that my doctors want to make sure that I have adequate pain relief. I know that I'm quite privileged to even have doctors who take my pain seriously. Maybe that's what makes it less scary to keep decreasing my narcotics usage.

And it really is scary. I think anyone would be scared if they knew the kind of pain that always lurks around the corner for me. Every few months something goes screwy and I'll end up with several days sans medication until my next appointment or find myself unable to get a ride to the pharmacy to pick up my refill. And it is dreadful. It is the kind of pain where you find yourself moaning without even realizing that you were doing it. Then I get my narcotics refilled and the pain recedes to the background again.

My body makes it quite clear what is giving me the pain relief I rely on to be able to function at all. It makes me sad, because my mind tells me that I should be able to go without after all these years. It's been almost a decade since my last surgery. Yet, the pain is still there.

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