Current Dosage: 80mg
It’s now week 17 of the OxyNorm reduction plan and as you can see from my current dosage, things haven’t gone to plan at all in the past three weeks. (I should be on 65mg!).
(Clicking on the graph opens up a new window with a larger version)
I was expecting my pain levels to decrease after I returned home from the INPUT course, but despite continuing to perform my exercises and attempting to increase my activities, it didn’t. If anything, I would say that it has once again started to increase. With Christmas approaching, naturally I was expecting my activity levels to increase, especially having spent the previous four weeks in London at St Thomas’ hospital and therefore had achieved nothing in preparation for Christmas. (That’s not to say that I had it in mind to run round like a blue arsed fly and play catch-up. I was still on a steep leaning curve with the lessons learnt at INPUT, Christmas preparations, Christmas School plays, and not forgetting catching up with the 4 weeks missed work. As much as I wanted to
cancel postpone Christmas this year, we all needed it).
During week 15 I decided that things were not going to plan and therefore keep my OxyNorm levels constant over the Christmas break. Better to stay at a constant level and manage the pain as best as possible and at least spend some quality time with the family rather than deal with withdrawal symptoms etc. At least that was the plan.
I’ve had about four issues over the last three weeks when my absorption rate dropped off the face of the planet for no apparent reason. I am however getting much better at recognising the effects of withdrawal and so better prepared for it’s effects. Prior to INPUT despite knowing what was happening, it still dragged me down both physically and mentally. Post INPUT, I am able to mentally deal with the withdrawal a damn site better, and as much as INPUT has to do with it, Dave A takes most of the credit for that.
There was one instance over the Christmas break that I managed to eat some shop bought pre-made” ‘snacks’ that I later found to contain sesame oil. The withdrawal symptoms started about 6 hours after eating the food and it took about 36 hours for things to return back to “normal” on that occurrence. (And if you are reading this Maggie, it wasn’t New Years Eve and your lovely cooking).
Despite my best efforts, my pain level increased so I actually went back up to 85mg for about 10days before finally dropping down again on the 6th January. (Funnily enough, that coincided with the kids going back to school on the 5th January).
I’m due up in London later this week for the one month post-INPUT follow up and I will have to have a chat with them about my progress. At my current rate, I’m not going to be off the OxyNorm until around March/April (remembering to take the pharmaceutical level into consideration). In the grand scheme of things, another 3 months doesn’t sound too long, but it feels like an age. Dealing with the back pain is bad enough, but the side effects of the OxyNorm (and OxyNorm withdrawal) more often or not feels many times worse. I just want to be off the damn things as quick as possible. Hopefully, no more increases and no more periods of stability.
There is still the temptation to just stop the whole lot and go cold turkey, but past experiences still make that highly impracticable.