Life as a chemistry experiment

I don’t talk a lot about my various medical issues here. Partly that’s because I’m convinced that they’re not nearly as interesting as livestock and crops, partly because they’re such a part of my day to day that they don’t strike me as remarkable. But every so often something happens to bring them to the fore, such as a change in the medications that manage my chronic pain.

Recently my gabapentin dose got doubled. At 300mg a day it was doing really great things for my quality of life, but I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. So my doc bumped me up to 600mg, increasing 100mg weekly to give my body a chance to adjust. One problem with gabapentin, you see, is that it makes me fall asleep. it also vastly improves the quality of my sleep as measured by my Fitbit: once I’m out there’s no thrashing around and periodically waking up, I just sleep like a log until Mr. Goat Lady brings me my tea the next morning.

Initially I tried adding an extra 100mg in the morning, but that resulted in 3 hour naps in the evening, which was not exactly desireable. So instead I’ve added it to my bedtime dose, when the sleepiness is a feature and not a bug. Unfortunately the other horrible side effect has come into play: vertigo is kicking up something fierce and as the day progresses I find it harder and harder to walk more than ten steps without trying to fall over. Experimenting with drugs always goes this way, an endless measurement of side effects against benefits, the scales always in flux until we finally find a balance that works. Meanwhile winter has moved in and the cold makes me hurt, although it makes me hurt less when I’m taking gabapentin than it did previously. My opiate consumption has dropped dramatically, which is awesome. Long-term daily use of opiates has some effects, such as suppressing the immune system, that I’d really rather not deal with if I don’t have to. I’d rather keep the vicodin in reserve for the days when nothing else works to cut the pain.

So we’ll see how this goes. I have high hopes that 2016 will be an awesome year so far as chronic debilitating pain is concerned. Don’t let me down, gabapentin.

Comments (2) | Uncategorized — Andrea @ 0800 on 12 January, 2016

2 Responses to “Life as a chemistry experiment”

  1. Vicki
    1354 on January 12th, 2016

    Gabapentin is making Widget’s quality of life better too. He was limping just *awfully* even on Rimadyl and then, coincidentally, hurt his back in a fall. The vet added Gababpentin to his daily med and his limping improved dramatically, so we asked if we could continue it. I think he’s a lot more comfortable. (Not to compare you or your situation to our dog’s, but you know about caring about your dogs’ pains.)

  2. Libbet
    1953 on January 13th, 2016

    My mom had good luck with Gralise — it’s an extended release version of gabapentin. Much less of the wobblies.

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