Wednesday, 12 December 2018

More pain *sigh*

(TW: Meds)

As the weather gets colder, my chronic pain gets more severe. Even on the highest dose of Tramadol (moderate release) I am not getting enough pain relief. I've been suffering breakthrough pain. In a nutshell, this is pain that is not relieved by my usual painkillers. It "breaks through". I tried dealing with it by using hot compresses, TENS machine, CBD oil, and even some old Codeine that was still in date. Most of that didn't work, and the hot compresses only helped a bit, for the duration they were on me. I vented about it on social media and some good friends advised I see the GP.

Another problem I had started three days ago. I woke up with cramp in my left calf which hasn't gone away. I mentioned this to my GP too.

I saw the GP this morning. It was an uncomfortable wait, thanks to the pain and cramping. Eventually I was called through. I wondered whether a quick release opiate (such as normal release Tramadol) could be added on top of the moderate release Tramadol. Unfortunately, she was worried about the risk of overdose, so decided to look for something else.We went through my medication history to see what I have tolerated in the past, and finally decided on either Pregabalin or Gabapentin, as these are specifically licensed for Fibromyalgia. I've been on a low dose of them before and tolerated them, but not found relief. My GP wanted to see if I could start on the same dose then titrate up, and hopefully it'll work. I'm slightly skeptical, but willing to give it a try. I'll blog about whichever one I try (I forget which she decided on) and let you know if I notice any difference in my pain severity. She did actually ask how severe the pain was on a scale of 0-10. I said it tended to be a 7 or 8, so bordering on the severe end. I told her it affected my functioning, and I wasn't able to do the exercise I needed to. She did tell me to try though.

The second thing I needed to tell her about was the cramping in my left calf. I told her how it'd been happening for 3 days now and hasn't subsided at all. She didn't seem worried to be honest. She asked if I'd tried various things such as stretching exercises, hot compresses etc. I told her I had but didn't have any luck. She examined my calf (ouch!) and said it didn't seem very tense compared to the other calf.

Once we'd sorted out my prescription requests, that was pretty much it. I think it was a fairly successful appointment, and the result was what I expected really. I would've been very surprised if she'd prescribed the normal release Tramadol, or Oramorph (which would be wonderful for pain relief but I highly doubt would be prescribed unless I was on the floor screaming in pain).

 My next post will likely be about my ENT appointment for dizziness, so stay tuned!

To all my fellow spoonies who experience chronic pain, I hope you are able to stay warm and dry, with minimal pain xxx

UPDATE:

It was Pregabalin that I was prescribed. I've been taking it for a couple of days now. So far, I haven't noticed any pain relief but I'm only taking 150mg per day at the moment. It is making me quite foggy and drowsy though, but I think I can cope with it. Please comment below if you've had experiences with Pregabalin for Fibromyalgia pain. Has it helped you? Were the side effects easy to cope with, or too much?

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