a reply to: RickinVa
Sorry to hear about your disease. I send positive vibes.
I am a 50yr old female. I have cervical degenerative disc disease and am post fusion, unfortunately though the fusion was successful I am in constant
pain. As I type this I am looking at my disability decision. Only took 5 years!
But to respond to your question re: long term pain meds. I was injured at work on June 15, 2010. I suffered an injury to my cervical spine that led
to surgery and disability. Since the 2010 date I have been on the following:
Fentynal Patch 25mg (was originally 100mg we worked to get me off of it, 25mg was the best we could do)
Gabapentin 600mg 3 times a day
Neurotin (Tizanidine) 4mg 2 tablets 3 times a day
Tramadol 50mg 2 tablets 4times a day
Ibuprophen 800mg 3 times a day
Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 50mg at bedtime
I also suffer from severe allergies and chronic atypical bronchitis so take boatloads of various antihistamines.
I was taken off work in Aug of 2010 because of physical restrictions but was able to get a job from my home as a "call center" operator. I did it
for 2 1/2 years at about 30 hours a week. I had to stop working in Dec of 2012. I also have been working towards a degree since 2009 (I am 6 credits
short). It's important that you know that I was working and in school fulltime because of the changes in cognitive ability.
I had to stop working because of the pain caused by sitting for hours at a time. I am now considered totally disabled because of my neck, but also to
a large degree, because of my problems with memory loss, inability to process information and make decisions as well as interacting appropriately with
customers and coworkers. (Pain and pain meds make you cranky)
I have issues with sleep. I can't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. I take my meds and an hour later I HAVE to lay down, that is usually a 2
hour nap. I get up and start the process over when I take the next dose. I dont remember the last time I slept the night through.
I can't remember the last 30 seconds. For instance, making a cup of tea and walking away from the steeping tea and completely forgetting about it.
Or starting to relate a story and then forgetting what I was going to say or, scariest of all...driving to my mother's house and half way there
realizing I don't recognize where I am and have NO IDEA how to get where I am going.
Separate from the normal two hour nap time -I also have periods when I just fall asleep. In those instances I am unable not to, almost as if I had
narcolepsy. I've done it in the movie theater, in class and at home right in the middle of writing papers and case briefs. I once handed in a paper
that was late because I had one of these spells and had typed an interesting account of how Storm from the Xmen could kick Barbarella's ass but
wouldn't look as good in the 60s attire. I had to remove that whole portion, though I wonder if the Professor would even have noticed. Don't ask,
I haven't a clue why I cared about either Storm or Barbarella.
A good portion of the memory issues are caused by stress and depression ( I went from living in London making a good living and being in love with all
that is the UK to living in a tiny house in rural Alabama, supported,in part, by my elderly parents.) but are compounded by the quantity and type of
meds I take.
I have been able to do the class work required for my degree but it has taken longer because I take only 1 or 2 classes at a time. I am only required
to actually GO to class once a week, everything else I do from home.
I would suggest discussing what meds he/she would recommend especially in regard to issues with memory and what can be done to counteract those
problems. As I understand it the memory issues caused by these meds is reversible.
For me the problems are annoying but, since I can't work, not that big a deal. If I was still working I would be in a lot more pain but would at
least know where I parked and I wouldn't leave the oven on 400 because I baked cookies 3 days ago and forgot to turn it off.