Well, I have to admit, 5 days in to my final medication cessation and I already feel like a total baby. The first jump down in meds was just a half step compared to what it will be a week from now… and I’m dreading it. Ive tried to tough my way through the first few days, but my sleep has definitely been suffering, and I have been compensating by canceling appointments with friends and eating way more food than I should, and I finally caved and went to the chiropractor even though I had to put it on a card (bank account = zero… boo). Even as I sit here at my desk… i’m just overwhelmed with exhaustion that is bone deep. The kind of exhaustion where it feels like work just to breathe.
Our Pain Perspective
Honestly, doing this is a really good way to review how our perspectives shift in regards to our own pain. Back when I was in the PRC, I could hardly get through an 8 hour day of classes, much less an entire day of activity. I had to take breaks in the quiet room multiple times a day. I took the max recommended dose of over the counter meds.
(whether they would have endorsed that, I don’t know, and I didn’t ask. Please remember that this is my own opinions and memories, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your health care routine)
I used Icy Hot balm, Salon Pas patches, and heating pads throughout the day. Even with these, I still struggled with the intense pain.
Now, I don’t know if my pain necessarily lessened over the last 4 years, or if I just got used to it over time. Maybe both. Typically, my pain would have flare ups about once every 2 months, with a major flare once or twice per year. I just kept moving forward and used pain management techniques to get through it. Now that I am making changes again, I do know that the pain certainly appears to still be there. If i’m just more aware of it with med changes or the med changes have made me more sensitive… I guess I will never know. I do have faith that I will make it through this again. I have faith that I will yet again find a new baseline normal where my pain and I live in (reasonable) harmony. But right now… you guys i’m already so tired. This is going to be interesting, to say the least.
Preparing for the next steps
Knowing that I have just over a week before the next step down, I have really been reviewing the techniques that got me through my opiate pain medication withdrawals four years ago and trying to prepare myself. I hope that by using these, I can hopefully minimize the overall effects of the withdrawal. Ultimately, I realize that some things will just be difficult for awhile, but that is ok. At minimum, I feel that if I can get through the next two months without missing work, that will be a huge success. Having extra breaks for the holidays will help. And having you all helps me too. No matter where we are in our pain journey, we are in it together. Keep hanging in there!