Hurrah. Re-registering at a new GP’s in a more northern part of England has led to dramatic changes in approach. However, you get the usual NHS hiccups caused by overworked, stressed, financially organisation and employees.
I called for an emergency appointment to review medications and there were none available at the local practice. I was booked in for a double appointment at 11.30AM in an urgent care clinic.
The doctor was lovely. He told me the new GP surgery booked my double appointment incorrectly, so we would get through what we could in the time he had.
I reeled off all my prescriptions:
- Naproxen 500mg
- Co-codamol 300/500mg
- Tramadol 50mg
- Amitriptyline 30mg
- Sertraline 50mg
The doctor then asked me if I understood the impact these medications would have on a body my age, 23, if taken on a regular basis. Most of these, I’ve been taking almost daily since May 2019. I said, not exactly. To be honest, I hadn’t read most of the leaflets inside the medication box (which is probably the usual norm for most people, especially if they’re prescribed numerous tablets).
He then reeled off the possible effects of the dangerous cocktail combination of drugs I was on…
- Damage to organs:
lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, bowels, brain, stomach
- Drug dependancy
- Stomach pain
- Chest pain
- Cognitive impairment
His suggestion was to stop taking naproxen and omeprazole immediately it attacks the stomach (and so does Sertraline/amitriptyline). He also further suggested to stop taking co-codamol and tramadol unless absolutely necessary (I have enough to drug a small county so I’m sure there’s enough to last a lifetime). In addition, I’ve cut down from 30mg of Amitriptyline to 20mg. That goes down to 10mg next week, then a trial of nothing but one daily prescription of Sertraline at 50mg.
The Sertraline should help me sleep, battle anxiety, depression, mood regulation etc. Although both doctors proclaim SSRI’s as nerve-blockers, I have not noticed any difference in pain on or off anti-depressants.
A reduction in drugs means no need for a dosette box and I’m considering stopping supplements. I take magnesium, vitamin d and omega 3 at the moment but I am running out of omega 3. If I reduce them one by one I can determine if any have had a positive effect (although it’s recommended for everyone to take vitamin d in winter when there’s less sunshine and it’s normal to need a boost).
Being on only one medication would be a dream come true. Much less hassle to remember.
The change of environment has done wonders for my mental wellbeing which I believe directly impacts the perception of pain and pain levels. Low mood and anxiety can cause me to hold my body tighter, tense my muscles, for prolonged periods of time without realising it which can cause uncomfortable disturbed sleep and increased stiffness, fatigue and pain the following day. It’s a cycle we know all too well.
Instead of being in an environment where, despite the nature of my state changing a long time ago from child to adult, that never differs in the eyes of a parent. That’s probably why it’s deemed necessary to “fly the nest” to settle ever-growing differences that become unresolvable.
Now, I’m in a much bigger space with a lot fewer people in it. The other person is so laid back, relaxed, patient and understanding that even when the hour strikes midnight and the glass slippers disappear leaving a gremlin who should be looked after exactly as the rules prescribe (no feeding after midnight, don’t get it wet, etc etc) I’m still the same person. The worst side of me is handled with such care and caution yet in an effortless manner, I couldn’t be less stressed (compared to usual).
There’s still an MA assignment due early March I feel like I’m behind on, but after a DSA equipment allocation (a new HP probook, printer, ink supply, noise defending headphones with mic and computer study software by the dozen) I’m thinking I might just scrape the due date.
I also have started to see a bi-weekly mental health mentor who is a trained counsellour and meets me in a public place (I always choose libraries) to discuss support academically and regarding mental health. She’s lovely, young and very open which I like. I’m glad it’s a woman.
Through Life Leisure, I have self-referred as a sufferer of chronic fatigue and pain from fibro through the PaRis Scheme that helps people with longstanding health conditions increase activity, exercise and fitness. I’m hoping for a swim membership/swim-class or exercise classes in general. Anything but the gym. Low impact only please, I injure myself around the house naturally enough as it is.
At my next doctor appointment, I’ll get a referral for rheumatology and to the pain clinic. I’ve not had a seizure since reducing the pain killers and now I’m not only barely any I’m sure it won’t be an issue, so I cancelled the neurology referral.
The new house is on a steep hill with huge steps up to the front door with no railing, very unsafe. Must ask the landlord to rectify that. Not only for my sake but my partner’s lovely mother who is a spoonie in her own right.
The emoji mood today is interchangeable. Feeling much more relaxed but miffed at medical errors.
Anyway, that’s enough of my rambling for now. I’ll report back after the doctors.
As always, thanks for reading.