Saturday, August 8, 2015

Medication Machete

I hate taking drugs.  Especially if they cause brain or body changes.  Of course if the alternative is pain, real pain, then bring them on!  Particularly nerve pain, a nasty little machination between brain and nerve that cannot be escaped no matter what you do.  Not even sleep, because sleep is notoriously difficult when experiencing nerve pain.

But the one cool thing about nerve medication is that it is designed to break up that little negative conversation, so that although the nerve is still being trapped and agitated, the brain no longer considers it news. Ho hum it says, I've heard it all before, no biggie.  And then, the theory goes, it should be possible to slowly extricate yourself from the nerve drugs.

As I have been dealing with a cocktail of three different medications with the resulting weight gain, mental fog and shaky hands, I was more than ready last October to begin that slow decline to drug free existence again.  And less financial cost to be honest as well!

Under my doctor's regular assessment I began with Nortriptyline, the one with the most pronounced physical and mental effects. Down to a half dose, then a quarter, then, 6 months later, gone completely.  Next, it was Lyrica's turn.  Even though there is now a generic and so much less expensive alternative Pregabalin, it is still a drug so out it goes. Down to a half dose, then a quarter and now an eighth and so far so good.  No nerve pain twinges. No loss of sleep. No anxiety or depression.  Everything is happy, happy.

But I have learned to be a good patient and that means being patient.  I will live with the eighth dose for another month or so, then drop it entirely, if all goes well, by October, one year since this whole drug decline started.  Look out Cymbalta, your days are numbered!

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