Last year blew. I started the year miserable, like most of us... it quickly lead me into the doctor's office and once again I lost the month of January to drug fog. We tried Morphine and then Fentanyl. Oh man, I felt so good on the Fetanyl... it was the closest to normal I've been since developing Fibro. The daily aches, feverish feeling, allodynia... most of it went away (unless I forgot to change the patch!). Norco took care of the rest if I needed it. I got massages every other week, too. I could manage my three boys. We took a 5 day Disneyland trip and I was in better shape than the Norms.
But by late summer my tolerance was up and the patch just didn't cut it. The FDA changed their rules and my precious Norco became a REALLY controlled substance. My doctor cut me off, along with all of her other patients. She refused to prescribe any pain medications anymore, to anyone, for any circumstance.... and with no warning. I was shuttled into a pain management program, filled with fear as to what they would do... if they even "believed" in Fibro.
As I feared, but also secretly hoped, the doctors at the pain clinic do not treat Fibro with pain medications... especially opioids. The anesthesiologist's first demand for me was to start weaning off the Fentanyl. The naturopath's was an elimination diet to see if food allergies were influencing my pain (none found), as well as a huge mess of blood tests that included micronutrient testing that we're still waiting on results for. The therapist and I have begun CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to rewire my brain's perceptions and reactions... and she has demanded I kickstart this blog and SLOf as a whole back up in addition to keeping a journal.
This month I will be undergoing a Suboxone treatment plan to get my body off the opioids, as the tapering process I've been doing for the last couple months has caused way too many withdrawal problems and takes a really long time to complete. I don't really know what to expect outside of a complete hell during the forced withdrawal before I can take the Suboxone, but my eyes are on the prizes: NOT waking up in an opioid withdrawal every 3 days... the Fibro pain is bad enough without adding to it. NOT having to pay attention to a little clear sticker on my bikini area, NOT remembering to replace patches, NOT picking up an RX every month. NOT being addicted. NOT having side effects.
As scared as I am for the process and the additional pain I will be facing during that forced withdrawal and afterwords (when I will have no more pain medication other than Advil), I'm more hopeful than I've been for an incredibly long time. My naturopath will be doing vitamin therapies with me, as well as chiropractic and PT. My therapist will continue to hold my hand through the process and teach me how to take each step, to think positively, to use breathing and meditation to quiet my nerves and pain. And maybe the anesthesiologist can find something safer that works a little bit better than ibuprofen.
So... I'm taking off on a journey to well-being again. Anyone coming along? I'm determined it will end in a better place than it started.
May it be a Happy New Year.