I’m trying to make light of my condition, now that I have a name for it. The only difference now is I’m on a pain medication regimen as well as an exercise plan for my back (given to me by the doctor). There’s more going on in my back than I had originally thought, as once the bulk of the pain is dealt with for the day, the parts it was masking are revealed. It’s strange how a person can be in so much physical pain for so long that they never realize exactly how bad it is – simply because they had grown accustomed to it always being there. And yet, once the pain is gone for even a brief amount of time, it’s both a relief and an annoyance. Because you notice new things to worry you. Regardless, I’m just happy to get some relief.
I’m having trouble adjusting to the “as needed” part of my prescription instructions being every single day (at lease for now). They put me into a fog when I take them. And because of the tramadol, I can’t drive when I take it. So I’ve had to become creative in my dosing schedule.
In the mornings, I take my 800mg of Ibuprofen (instructions: twice daily as needed), chased with a 10mg cyclobenzaprine tablet (instructions: 3 times daily as needed) with my breakfast and coffee. This is so I can be at a pain level that’s tolerable but also not so doped off my ass that I’m non-functional. It’s still a bit hazy but I can safely drive if I need to. And I can still function mostly normally. After tending to errands and whatever I need to during the day, the morning meds are wearing off by then and it’s time to take another 10mg of cyclo, but this time with a 50mg Tramadol (instructions: every 6 hours as needed; i don’t take it every 6 hours. once, maybe twice a day is it for me). This is the one that works the most effectively for the pain, but I can’t function well without a midday nap. If I can get that nap, I can do pretty much anything except drive due to my reaction times to stimuli being drastically slowed. This is why when my knee flared up last year and I was put on Tramadol for it, I only took it at night to allow me to sleep and took OTC ibuprofen during the day.
And by the time i go to bed, I take one more cyclo and ibuprofen in order to be able to sleep. We’re getting a special mattress cushion, but can’t afford to get it until the end of the month. Till then I’m laying on our extra pillows at night to keep my back aligned correctly.
The hardest adjustment right now though is when it comes to my son. He’s so used to mommy picking him up and dancing around, and chasing him about. Picking him up to sit in my lap. And big bear hugs. I can’t do a lot of that anymore. At least not right now. And it hurts more than just my back knowing that a week ago, when this happened, it happened because I’d picked him up too fast and moved too quickly while holding him. It kinda punctuates for me the severity of my situation and my condition.
It’s not all a loss though. My son climbs up by himself to sit beside me most of the time. I give him side hugs when I can. and when I’m stretched out to give my back a rest he likes to sit on my ankles and play with my toes while making motorboat noises.
I do still need to make adjustments to my dosing schedule, such as take a day where I don’t take any tramadol until right before bed, to see if I can last the day in the event I have to be functional all day long (for example, maybe the car breaks down, or a maintenance worker is coming out to the house. that kind of necessary functionality).