Last Friday I went to see my GP. I had booked the day off work so it was a good opportunity to go and review the medications. Since my hospital stay early in April I have been taking regular doses of Codeine as well as Paracetamol and I am now taking Naproxen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory).
The Naproxen has helped with joint stiffness in my shoulders and knees but not with the sciatic pain.
The Codeine has helped with pain but unfortunately about 50 mins after taking it I feel “high” and that feeling lasts an hour. I’m still not able to drive and I can’t really take it when I’m at work because I need to be able to concentrate. It’s also making me constipated ☹️ which is not fun. The belly ache is awful..
As part of my discussion with the Dr I asked what she thought about me going back on Tramadol slow release. Perhaps a lower dose than last year and although it wasn’t pleasant coming off them, at least I didn’t feel high and was able to work. I also didn’t have the constipation.
The Dr is quite reluctant to prescribe it again and so they have suggested we try a drug called Amitriptyline. It started life as an antidepressant but is now prescribed more often as a treatment for neuropathic pain. There are three main drugs they prescribe for this kind of pain in the UK, pregabalin, gabapentin and amitriptyline. I was given the first two some years ago and neither worked to reduce the pain I was experiencing. They did however result in weight gain.
As I still attend my slimming world group every week I am able to monitor my weight. Looking at the online information it can cause either weight gain or loss?!?! Talk about covering your bases 😂
However, amitriptyline can cause irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and so the Dr wanted me to have an ECG first. Basically she wanted to make sure my heart beat was good before starting it and to have a baseline to monitor it for changes. Unfortunately the nurse was unable to do this until today and so I have had to wait.
MrH has been working hard on helping me with relaxation and pain management. Regular impact play sessions so I’m relaxed and of course the endorphin release helps immensely.
The ECG was done today and having been given the all clear I can now start take the new drug. It may take 2 to 6 weeks for me to see the full benefits and I will keep you posted, in the meantime I can look forward to being super sleepy… by all accounts this drug will knock me out.
So, if I vanish for a few days …. I’ll be in my bed – asleep 😴