I’ve been radio silent for some time now so I feel it’s necessary for me to catch up and tell you where I’ve been and why I’ve not been posting!
For one reason or another, my stress levels were at an all time high before Christmas, no surpirses there. It’s a shockingly expensive and stressful time of year for all of us!! With chronic illness, I’m still getting into the swing of how the festive season affects me, from the SAD (which I’ve always had anyway) the short days, dark nights and cold seriously don’t agree with me! To the feeling of utter failure and correspondiong emotions that come parceled up with feeling unable to partake in the merriment; even if able, suffering during and definitely afterwards is a serious put off!!
Anyway, I made this time exponentially worse for myself by taking the spontaneous; albeit foolish, decision to go cold turkey off all my meds!!!
Yes I know better. Yes I know how dangerous this is and that there are protocols of tapering in place for many good reasons. What can I say. I reached my limit!
For anyone who has had the pain of reacting to any medication negatively, you’ll understand. For me, the culprit was Pregabalin. A medication that was meant to ease my pain was actually causing new neurological pain, which even my doctor admitted shouldn’t be happening. Aside from that, the all-encompassing darkness which came with it, was frightening. My days were black, my mind tumbling daily further into such a deep hole that finding ways out became my only hope. Some days the way out seemed final. I couldn’t let this go on! That is why I made the decision to stop putting this poison into my body.
I was so sick of the mental fog, exhaustion, depression and debilitating fatigue that came with this medication. That’s before I even touch on the fact that it wasn’t helping my pain levels, but causing new agonising facial neuralgia.
I started asking myself, how have I continued to decline? It was bad enough when all this started, but now, everything is so much worse! I couldn’t help but feel that the timing of starting this medication and the beginning of my overall condition snowballing, was somewhat of a coincidence.
So, I figured there was only one way to find out! Initially, I didn’t intentionally quit cold turkey and ignore all medical advice, (I am not condoning this by any stretch of the imagination! You should always follow your doctors instructions regarding any medication!!) I just wanted to see how bad the pain would get if I skipped a dose. Now for records sake, my internal clock knew when it was within the hour of requiring my next dose of “pain” killers, I would be enveloped by a host of symptoms, not necessarily pain, warning me that it was time.
For months I was completely over run with withdrawal symptoms. The nausea was like nothing I’ve experienced before, the only thing I could stomach was plain porridge, even then it was a struggle to keep down. My nights were long and frustrating as total insomnia took over. Honestly, I was still in pain on medication, even 4 hourly doses of codeine 60mg wasn’t cutting it. When I came off everything, yes I was in more pain, but eventuality the benefits of being drug free outweighed the very small amount of relief I got before. I couldn’t really fathom how little relief I was actually getting until I came off?! (And funnily enough, the insufferable Trigeminal Neuralgia which I had been plagued with, still hasn’t resurfaced now I’m drug free!! Major bruce bonus!!!) Anyway, after a week or two, I noticed how much clearer I felt. I wasn’t struggling for words or memories anymore! I was starting to see parts of me, my personality come back to life. I had no idea how subdued and sedated I was before! The upsetting thing was the realization of how much time I’d lost, not just time that I wasn’t able, time that I was isolated and struggling, but time that I had literally lost. Memories that I hadn’t made. Things I had done, but couldn’t remember! Never again will I poison myself like this, especially when the benefits are small and questionable in comparison.
Fast forward to now. So I’m still drug free, I did have to resort to a sleeping aid for a short period as I knew the fatigue was never going to improve if I didn’t eventually get a good nights sleep. But all in all, I’m proud that I did what I did, my mental health has certainly been thankful for the cessation of the medications. So far as moving forward from that…I’m working on it 😉
Please please please remember that I am NOT condoning going against medical advice. I am not a Doctor. Neither am I giving any advice to follow what I did, it is extremely dangerous and should never be undertaken without specialist advice. As always, I’m just sharing my story, I’d LOVE to hear yours!!