Twenty-four days… really… Whoops. There’s been a lot on. I’ve been applying for jobs. Enrolled in University distance education. Went to Sydney and back again. Lots happening. I’ll take you back to January of this year, and then fast forward to about two weeks ago.
We returned to civilisation after the best year ever. If you didn’t know, we took a year off and travelled Australia. Best thing we ever did. It was also one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. But I’ll save that for another blog and probably the book. Anyway, we did the whole Christmas thing and met up with friends and family and started trying to get our lives back in order. My gorgeous wife applied for a teacher transfer that was taking us to the mid north coast of NSW, so we could continue the adventure to some degree, but mainly to change things up. We didn’t want to return to what life was pre-awesomeestyearoffever. She put a transfer in for the whole state of NSW and they sent us to live beach-side under five hours from Sydney. THANK YOU, Department of Education! So, there we were in Sydney collating our stuff from storage and friends houses and desperately trying to secure a house to live in near her new job. In amongst the travel in between our new home and Sydney, we were catching up with people, with friends, with family, repacking, organising, selling stuff, and seeing GP’s and my Pain Specialist. GP stands for General Practitioner here in Aus, your general family doctor.
To the point. I’ll get there, I’m sure.
I met with my pain specialist in early January and he prescribed me quick release Tramadol for breakout pain. This way I could come off any use of Codeine. The Tramadol was effective for me as a slow release medication some years ago and we thought the QR version would also be effective for breakout pain and be less harmful long-term than taking regular Codeine. However, I experienced side effects I’d never had before from Tramadol, namely an elephant on my chest and the feeling of pure dread. So, I went back to Codeine for the breakout pain until I would meet with my pain specialist in a few months. But… I experienced the exact same side effects from Codeine that I did from Tramadol, to a lesser degree but still the same. So, I’d gained a new way to manage pain only to lose it, and then lose the one that was mildly effective from earlier. What the hell?! This is one of those things that happens apparently. Side effects from one medication can impact what side effects one experiences from another medication. Weird.
So, I waited a few months without effective breakout pain medications for my next pain specialist appointment in April. After that appointment about two weeks ago, I’m now back on Palexia or Tapentadol for breakout pain, and an old medication from years and years ago I’d forgotten I’d ever been prescribed, Amitriptyline. Amy, we’ll call her, is technically an anti-depressant but only at dosages of 125mg or higher. I was prescribed just 25mg nightly. The aim was to help me get to sleep and to stay asleep. My lack of said sleep was really starting to take its toll. Well, did this stuff work or what?!
I was talking to my wife commenting on something on the TV. I’d said my bit and continued to watch. A few minutes later she asks me,
‘Are you tired?’.
‘A little, why?’, I asked.
‘Because your eyes are closed’.
The words ‘they are not’ were just about to explode from my mouth when I realised she was right. I had to really concentrate to get them open again. Wow, I am tired, I thought to myself. I finally got my eyes open and moved to get myself into bed. My gorgeous wife, to the rescue again, helped me remove my shoes and socks and change for bed, then tucked me in. I was zombie like, catatonic. It wasn’t even 8pm.
I didn’t wake until almost 9:30am the following morning.
After visiting my GP later that week, I got a new prescription for 10mg doses of the new sleep med. This proved to be much less effective, and more so too.
Photo: Stewart Black I like it because I shoot the opposite! J