Relief (Finally)

This last week or so has been somewhat hellish in relation to my pain levels. If you're on my Facebook friends list (and, of course, assuming I've not culled you off in a big clear-up!) you'd have seen me complaining and moaning about how much pain I've been in.

Things this weekend, were not fun. Not at all.

If you cast your mind back to the Co-Codamol Shenanigans of early June, you will recall that I was sent to hospital, and properly told off for the amount of meds I was taking. That is, I was taking a day-and-a-half worth of meds every 24 hours.

For many many months. Possibly over a year.

So, I was firmly informed that I had to watch how many Co-Codamol I was taking every 24 hours. No more than 8, thank you very much.

The downside, of course, meant that my pain levels snuck up on me. Now, I have been on painkillers in some form or another for the better part of 13 years, just so I can function, let alone hobble along at the pace of life that I lead. I am not an addict, I don't have a drug problem: I have a PAIN problem.

I returned to the doc, and his new plan of attack was to stop the Co-Codamol entirely, and put me on a new painkiller, a patch called BuTrans, which contains buprenorphine. To make sure my body didn't spaz-out, he started me on the lowest dose.

This stuff is, by all accounts, quite strong. Not only is it used in patients suffering from high pain levels, it's also used in place of Methadone, to weans addicts off of opiates like Heroin.

Yes, as usual, there are plenty of side effects, but I scan over those unless I feel rough - no point telling myself what IS going to happen to me.

So, Friday morning, I took my last Co-Codamol, Kellie stuck the patch on me, and I waited for... Well, something. Either to feel funny or whoozy, or to feel the pain flowing out of my body.

But nothing happened.

OK, maybe it needs a day or so. By Friday evening, I was in agony. I HAD to take a couple of Co-Codamol as I was on the verge of tears. I didn't sleep Friday night - I was writhing in the bed in agony. Saturday morning, the pain was worse still, so I took more Co-Codamol.

ALL weekend, I've been suffering. Properly suffering. I couldn't get out of bed for a wee Saturday morning - it was a race between my bladder exploding or the drugs kicking in so I could get up the stairs. I've not left the house, not done anything, couldn't concentrate on anything (LESS than usual), been making stupid mistakes, nearly went face-down out the bath, went to bed at nine on Saturday night, eight last night... Monday I was up just after 4am, and sat on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself.

My doc told me it would take maximum 24-36 hours for this patch to start working "effectively" but I thought giving it the weekend was a good run of it. BUT I wouldn't take it off, and wouldn't take my Co-Codamol normally. I put it off and put it off, but eventually, I caved - I needed to see a doctor... I saw a different GP (my usual doc was not in) Monday morning, and he was a little leery to make too many changes to the plan. He could, however, see how much pain I was in which made me feel a little better, as I knew it wasn't in my mind.

He has me now wearing two-5mg buprenorphine patches, PLUS I get to take my Co-Codamol "as normal" until I see my regular doctor on Thursday.

As soon as I got in, I took off the existing patch, Kellie reapplied two patches to my back, and I took my Co-Codamol. After a couple of hours, I felt rather drowsy, and was in bed at 8pm, and flaked out pretty quickly. During the night, pain kicked in again, and I was restless, fidgety and suchlike, and eventually got up at six.

I DID feel a little better this morning... Still in more than my "normal" pain, but somewhat more bearable. I had to suffer through a bus ride, as this morning was my therapist with the CFS/ME service. Explained to her what's happened this week (and in general) and she thinks that it could be worse due to the amount of stuff that's been going on this last month or so that has fully exhausted me. BUT, on the bright side, she thinks I need to get another referral to Pain Management ASAP.  So on Thursday morning, I have to ask my normal GP to refer me, and to check/increase my buprenorphine dosage so I don't have to rely on Co-Codamol as well, plus I "should" ask for another blood test, just to rule out anything else that may be going on.

I'm happy to report that, this evening, the pain is a little better than it has been - it's still above the levels that I am used to, so I am suffering a bit, but it's better than it was. Which is saying something. At one point over the weekend, I considered cracking my head into a wall to knock me out - just so I could get some rest...

Desperate times, and all that...

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone that has been putting up with my whining and complaining via Facebook these last few days, and for offering support or just generally nice words to push me through it. And, of course, for Kellie, for coming to the doctor with me, for looking after me, and running around after me all weekend.

Hopefully I will have even better news on Thursday morning with stronger meds!!

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