This is now the 5th week of being off work on sick leave. In this time I have changed pain medications, going off high dosage of Paracetamol/Codine (equivalent to 15mg of morphine per day) for 3 months. With the past 2 months of slowly reducing that dosage and replacing it with a non addictive drug called Gabapentin. I also now am on 2 different antidepressant drugs. One mainly to help me sleep, as for most of this year I have been only able to get 2 or 3 hours of broken sleep each night, as I was waking up each time I moved due to the pain.
Most of my days at home during these 5 weeks have been spent either in my recliner or lying down on the couch, most without the TV turned on. Sitting or lying on these eases the pressure on my lower back which enables me to be in less pain. Beside the pain that I have 24/7, there are the side effects of the all medications that I am on. While these now are better then when I was on the morphine, they still effect my daily life. These being, drowsiness, headaches, feeling lightheaded, shaky and blurred vision.
Added to all these, both of my legs are getting weaker with my left leg weaker than my right. It also is very painful when I walk and I require a walking stick as there has been a number of occasions where I have nearly fallen down. The walking stick also assists me in standing up and sitting down and pushing down on it when walking can ease some of the pain when walking.
I haven’t been able to drive for about 3 or 4 months now due to the side effects of the medications and also that I am unable to sit correctly in the drivers seat. We also don’t want to be put in the position if an accident were to happen, that the insurance company may not cover me as a driver. Just now need to rely on my wife, Michelle to chauffeur me around or others to pick me up if needed.
Our hydrotherapy spa, which is also shown in the pictures in my previous post, has been money well spent. Even though now I need to have someone at home to remove the hard lid and to be there while to make sure that I don’t fall while trying to get in or out. It is very relaxing as being in the water allows the weight to be taken off my lower back while the jets and air bubbles gently massage my whole body at a very nice temp of 32 degrees Celsius.
My iPad has also been money well spent, as I am able to use it when lying down to write my blog posts, but more importantly at this time to fill out my Daily Activities Diary as required by my insurance company. Whereas using a laptop even sitting in my recliner puts too much pressure on my lower back and causes more pain. Also being the case if I was to use my iMac as even sitting in the office chair for more than a few minutes is very painful.
But despite all the pain combined with all the side effects of the various medications and everything else, things are going ok. Of course there are the days where I just wish I was just having a nightmare and when I wake, all would be back to normal. I believe that God is allowing me to go through all this, yes even though its painful and some will say its not fair, so that what I write in these posts will help others. Even if it helps only one other person, then it has all been worth it.
Pain is no evil, unless it conquers us.~ Charles Kingsley