Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
So I will give these new meds a cautious "pass" to this point. How can I be so optimistic? Well, today, without any additional pain medication, I:
- did my 13 minutes on the exercise bicycle (I did use the TENs machine);
- drove to Ottawa to accompany John for his hearing test;
- drove back from Ottawa following the appointment;
- stopped and picked up groceries;
- accompanied John to a local pub for a dinner meeting;
- accompanied John to the local "Art in the Attic" show.
And only at the point of walking from dinner to the Art show did my hips decide to object to the activity level. Normally, they would have been screaming in agony by the time I had made the trip half way into Ottawa. This is definitely progress. So I would say things are very promising.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
So, is this new med working or isn't it? The question gets back to what am I supposed to expect? How do I measure its success?
- Is it working if I have no fibro pain but continue to have hip pain? That's the same as I was prior to receiving the new prescription (Lyrica seems to be controlling the fibro pain).
- Is it working if I have no fibro pain and slightly less hip pain? That would be very minor improvement.
- Or how about no fibro pain and significantly less hip pain? Now we're talking.
- No fibro pain and no hip pain. That, in my book, would be success, although my doctor has assured me that I will never be "totally free of pain."
It seems to me that if I also have to take Codeine Contin (or any other strong prescription pain reliever) to achieve hip pain relief, there seems little point in taking additional other pain meds. I was already taking Codeine Contin to achieve what relief I could get in conjunction with all my other pain management techniques. The whole impetus for this exercise was to get me OFF the codeine because of what it does to the system. I wonder if we will in fact achieve that goal?
My doctor's instructions when prescribing the new pain meds were, "If one doesn't work, take two; if two don't work, take three; if three don't work, take four; until you achieve pain relief." So tonight, I will take two of the new pain meds and will stay at that dose at least for a few days before deciding if I need to further increase it again. Then it will be back to the doctor's office to discuss this strategy yet again.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
- took two Tylenol #3 to head off the pain I was about to subject myself to
- put on the TENs machine
- found a program to watch while cycling
- climbed up on the bike (that should qualify as an exercise in itself!)
- set the timer
- started biking
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
- I can cycle for only three minutes on the first day, with no resistance, adding two minutes each successive session, with one day off in between.
- I did my first three minutes on the bike yesterday and believe it or not, I had difficulty maintaining three minutes! I wore the TENs machine yesterday to allow me to endure the manipulation of my hips and even so, I still had to rest for a considerable amount of time after exerting myself that way. I have to take a day off today, so I will try five minutes tomorrow, again with the TENs machine attached to me.
- Given the one on, one off schedule, it will take me two weeks to build up to 15 minutes on the bike.
- Once I have reached the 15 minute mark, I am then allowed to use the bike every day, continuing to increase the time by two minute intervals, but never exceeding ten minutes on the in-between day (what would have been my "off" day).
- I should not exceed 30 minutes in one session, a timeline I should reach in one month's time, but I must limit myself to ten minutes on the alternate day (ie I must not ever do two consecutive days of more than ten minutes on the bike).
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
- John's appointment to receive the results of the biopsy on his gallbladder surgery was a resounding success: no cancer! So we were relieved to hear that news.
- The car I'm driving now? A 2009 Dodge Journey RT -- complete with sunroof; voice activated navigation system (now I can talk back to her!); bluetooth u-connect (gotta have that hands-free cell phone capability!); Sirius Satellite radio for 1 year; rear back-up camera (what a treat that is!); DVD entertainment system (yes, those back-seat passengers will be able to watch videos, complete with wireless headset and remote, while they sit back there in comfort!); heated leather seats; auto dual-zone climate control; remote starter; power everything; under-seat storage (front passenger); under floor storage (rear seats); reclining rear seats (you got it, those passengers watching videos will actually be able to recline while doing so, just like in airplanes -- but don't expect food service!). I'm sure there's other stuff I'm forgetting, but those are the salient points. Most importantly, it is just smaller enough than my Pacifica to make me happy; and it doesn't have the visibility issues that the Pacifica had. I still think it will take me a while to "forget" how much I enjoyed driving the Pacifica because I really did love that car but this is a very comfortable one to drive and I must admit that having driven it for just a day and half, I do find the leather lumbar seat in this vehicle a great improvement over the Pacifica. So perhaps before long, I will love this one just as much I loved my Pacifica. Time will tell!
- My visit with the new rheumatologist wasn't very productive. As I expected, all my tests showed "normal" -- which absolutely astounded him. He was convinced that the x-rays would show significant osteoartritis and he had hoped that the bloodwork would give him some clues of possible deficiencies; but nothing. His diagnosis? Fibromyalgia and bursitis. He was very disappointed to hear that I only received 10 days' relief from the cortisone injections. He said that he would recommend that I take the shots every 3 months until they worked; his reasoning being that my bursitis has been present for so long that the inflammation is too advanced to be relieved with just one injection. I told him that my family doctor's position is that cortisone simply "does not work" for me and I was going with my family doctor's assessment. I also told him that 10 days' relief every three months was not worth the extra pain that I would have to endure for having taken that shot. So he granted me that. We discussed water exercise so I explained the difficulties I've run into with those attempts. He suggested another pain med which my family doctor had also suggested and my pharmacist had also suggested as being a better choice than the one I've just taken me off. He agreed with my pharmacist's comments that it would be a much safer choice and might be much more effective, perhaps even allowing me to eliminate the Lyrica. So he wrote me a prescription for the new pain med but wants me to see my family doctor and discuss it with him before I fill it. He feels that my family doctor can provide my follow-up care for me from this point on. Message: he doesn't need to see me again since there is nothing more he can do for me. He did invite me to call for another appointment if this new pain med did not work for me. I can't imagine why if he has nothing else to offer? In any event, I now have an appointment to see my family doctor next Thursday, May 14th, to discuss my starting this new regimen. Until then, I will continue managing my own pain as I have been doing.
- By the time I got home yesterday, it was late morning and I had to visit with John and show him my new car and sort out stuff at home (unpack from my overnight visit etc). John and I went for a drive in my new car over to Carleton Place yesterday afternoon since we had a bit of shopping to do and as we left to come home we got caught in what has to be the worst of hail storms I've ever seen. It was so heavy that cars were pulling off the road everywhere. I could not believe the pelting my new car was taking! I thought surely my new car would be dented beyond measure. I kept saying, "my new car, my new car!" Of course, John sat there constantly opening the window to take yet another picture and letting huge chunks of hail INTO MY NEW CAR all over the leather seats! Anyway, we eventually made it home safely and my new car is tucked into the garage, none the worse for wear. But that was the storm of all storms let me tell you. I have never before experienced one like it and hope to never again!
While I was at my daughter's place on Thursday evening, she gave me a Mothers' Day gift (we don't "do" Mothers' Day because I hate the crowds and we long ago realized that our relationship is so special that we don't really need to mark it with one special day -- every day is special between us). The gift? Jeffrey Archer's novel "A Prisoner of Birth" and frankly, I got my nose into it that very night and now I can't put it down! I am already half way through it and plan to finish it by tomorrow. If I didn't have things to do around here I'd already be finished it! I continue to be in awe of the talent displayed by Jeffrey Archer. There is not one of his novels that hasn't grabbed me with the opening paragraphs and kept me interested right through to the end. He is truly an amazingly gifted writer!
That is why I didn't post yesterday. Now I have to get back to my reading. I will post again whenever I come up for air.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
- Once the appointment with my specialist was rescheduled to early this Friday morning, that involved rejigging everything else (you know, the domino effect).
- Since I don't like driving into Ottawa early in the morning, I would have to go in late Thursday afternoon and stay overnight in order to make that early morning appointment.
- If I'm going to go in on Thursday afternoon, I'm not also going to go in on Wednesday because I cannot make the trip into Ottawa on two consecutive days. Soooooo, I was fortunately able to reschedule my physiotherapy from Wednesday morning to Thursday afternoon. Which, as it turns out, was a good thing because it would seem that I needed today to continue my recovery from my "accidental overdose."
- Since I wasn't going in today for physiotherapy, I changed the car pick-up time to Thursday, following my new physiotherapy session.
Therefore, my new schedule is:
- Thursday 10:45am - Dr. appointment with John (follow-up to his gall bladder surgery)
- Thursday 1:45pm -- physiotherapy
- Thursday 3:15pm -- pick up my new car
- Thursday evening and overnight -- visit with my daughter and her family (get to see my favourite boy again -- woo hoo!)
- Friday 7:00am - 8:30 am -- breakfast with my favourite sister
- Friday 9:00am -- Dr appointment (here's hoping he has a rabbit in his hat)
- Friday ?????? -- take my car home so John finally gets to see it
So, unfortunately, it will be Friday before I post again but I'm sure my fanbase will understand!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
- On Saturday, when I was out on my car-buying escapade, I forgot to take my pain med at the scheduled time. So, I took it when I thought of it -- at around noon, which was about three hours late.
- That evening, I was heading to bed at around 7:30pm (yes, to bed, I was very tired and where else does one go when one's day is done?) I took my bedtime meds, including my pain med, without realizing that it was only seven hours since my last dose of pain med. Not a good idea.
- I awoke at 1:30am and lay awake reading for some two hours. Still couldn't go back to sleep. Got up and checked my e-mail; that took about two minutes. Watched a taped program in my arsenal of not-yet-watched television shows. Couldn't really apply myself to it so stopped doing that. Then I realized: I was wired (high) from taking two doses of that damned stuff too close together.
- I think I managed to doze off briefly between 5:00am and 6:00am when I got up for the day. I took my next pain med at what would have been the normal scheduled dosing time, 9:30am. By that time, I noticed that I was feeling mildly nauseous.
- The nausea continued all day and worsened considerably as the day wore on. I attributed it to the lack of sleep. By 8:30pm, I was so serioulsy nauseated that I decided to just go to bed for the night, but I wanted to take a sleeping aid to ensure that I would stay asleep -- I needed the rest desperately. I took my bedtime meds, adding a sleep aid that I use on occasion, but left out the pain med. I didn't want to combine the pain med with the sleep aid -- enough is enough!
- Got up this morning at around 6:00am, having slept through the night quite nicely. My pain level is really no worse than it usually is (with or without pain meds). Couldn't really partake of breakfast because of the nausea which continued until about a half hour after I took the pain med at 9:30am.
- Obviously, the nausea was from NOT taking the pain med, I suspect, as well as the high I went into after the accidental overdose. I'll be sure not to let that happen again!
If this experience is what happens after only three weeks on this medication, what am I potentially doing to myself staying on it for another three weeks? Since my pharmacist assured me that it is OK to not take a dose and in fact it is better to do so since the less I take the better it is for me, that is what I'm going to do. I will skip a dose of the pain med whenever I can. I'll just choose my times carefully so that I don't subject myself to any more suffering than is necessary. And I will absolutely ensure that I NEVER again take two doses so close together as to cause an overdose high response which then causes withdrawal symptoms. I cannot for the life of me even begin to imagine why junkies think this is fun??????