I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since I last blogged. Time is certainly flying by. My doctor was happy to prescribe the antibiotics for another three months. We both agreed that while there isn’t enough evidence yet to show that it’s working, it’s also too early to decide that it isn’t! I will assess again with the new head of the practice when this prescription runs out.
I also finally had an appointment with a lovely doctor at the pain clinic at Wythenshawe hospital. He asked me a lot of questions about my lifestyle and about my pain, including whether I would work full time if I was able to (probably not!), how much exercise I did, and whether I didn’t have children because of my pain or for other reasons. He has referred me to the pain management programme but said that it was unlikely to have much to teach me given that I already use some mindfulness based approaches and am generally quite active and healthy. I have now had the questionnaire through for this and am thinking that it’s unlikely that I’ll be eligible. Additionally, the course itself takes place over five weeks for two full days each week, so seems to be aimed at people who are not in work.
I discussed the different pain killers that I’d tried thus far and the Dr had two suggestions. Firstly, he suggested that I take a nerve painkiller. Side effects could be cognitive problems – absent mindedness and forgetfulness (how could I tell?!) and fatigue/tiredness. This drug would be something that I’d take daily. I’m daunted by this prospect, and also don’t want to start a new daily regime until I know whether or not my antibiotics are actually working as it could confuse things. He agreed that this was probably the right decision at this time. I am also wary of taking a daily painkiller when I am not in daily pain.
He also suggested that for the very bad attacks, I now try a morphine based painkiller. “Either opiates don’t work with you or you just haven’t tried anything strong enough” he said. While the idea of taking morphine is definitely intimidating, those severe attacks are so painful, that I would like to at least try it once. As these very painful ones are so rare, I am not worried about the prospect of becoming dependent or addicted. If it doesn’t work, then we will also know that my arthritis pain attacks do not respond to opiates.
Finally, I’m happy to report that since I last blogged, I’ve barely had any pain at all. Again, it’s difficult to know whether that’s luck, a particularly stable period or the antibiotics. Whatever it is, I’m grateful for it.