I’m starting to feel like Doogie Howser M.D. writing all of the blog entries, especially since I’m normally know for my videos. But let me get to the point, yesterday I decided to come off all my pain medications and anti-depressants and have a go at a medication free life. This decision didn’t come lightly as you can probably tell if you read my last blog entry but it’s something I’ve committed to. I locked all my medication away in my gun safe making it hard to access and haven’t had any medication of any kind for over 36 hours now. Yesterday I already started to feel the withdrawal almost immediately in the afternoon with a stuffy nose but it wasn’t too bad but my back pain was a 8/10 for most of the day (ouch!). But when it really hit me was when I went to sleep at midnight which is something I never do, usually stay up until 2-3am before I get tired. I was pretty happy with this since insomnia is something I battle with horribly and I think may have been caused by my medications.
Now so far things looked like they were going well until I woke up every 20 minutes with such bad back pain I had to get out of bed and stretch and put on some Biofreeze (IcyHot) and then try to get back to sleep. I did this probably 8 – 10 times in 6 hours and finally said screw it and woke up at 6:30am. This is the earliest I’ve been awake in probably 2 years and honestly I didn’t feel as tired as I usually do when I wake up at 10am so this was a bonus! My back pain was about a 9/10 at this point and I was really wishing I hadn’t made the decision to come off my pain meds but damn it, I’m going to do this!
I hopped in a hot shower and it helped a little bit and when I got out I applied some more Biofreeze to my lower back to help numb some of the pain and it brought it down to about a 6/10 which was a huge relief to me. At this point I noticed that I felt super awake, something I haven’t felt in a long time. I normally yawn my way through the day but I was genuinely alert. So I got in my truck and drove down to my Gym and did the earliest workout of my life (http://instagram.com/barnacules).
I’m not going to lie, the workout was the most painful one I’ve done and I didn’t even add any weight and started where I left off. My back was bitching at me the whole time and my arms were cramping up like crazy despite drinking water with electrolytes added. I pushed through it and stretched a lot after my workout and then got on the exercise bike for 10 minutes and rode about 2.5 miles and it got my heart rate up and also loosened up my back which helped bring the pain down a smidgen.
At this point I realized that my pain level was MUCH higher then with the medication and it was impacting me more than I anticipated but screw it, I’m in it to win it so I’m going to hold out at long as possible and I’m sure things will get worse before they get better. I went and stood on the scale before I left the gym and posted a picture to Instagram showing that my weight is at 281lb which is the lowest recorded weight yet (down from 308lb). I’m not going to lie with the stress and depression over the last 2 weeks my diet has all but fallen apart. I’ve still been being good about breakfast and lunch for the most part and avoiding soda but dinner was getting a little out of control again and even some deserts were had. I thought for sure that would screw me and I would stand on the scale and be back up to 290lb but to my surprise I actually lost weight. I attribute this to going to the gym honestly and think that diet is important but with exercise you can be a little more indulgent at times.
I am still 100% want to lose more weight and get more fit so the gym is still going full force but I am going to back off on the diet a little bit and enjoy food since I find it incredibly therapeutic but I’m going to watch my portions and try not to eat really late which is my old pattern I don’t want to fall back into. I’m also going to continue to avoid soda pop since I’ve all but dropped it from my life and honestly don’t crave it at all anymore.
Okay so now I’ve bitched about the back pain and additional pain working out so now let’s shift gears towards the positive things I’ve noticed. Yeah, there are actually positive things that happened from this experience in just this little bit of time being off my medications. When I woke up like I said I was more alert and not yawning constantly even though I only slept maybe 3 – 4 hours with the tossing and turning and got out of bed at 6:30am. But I immediately noticed that in addition to feeling a lot more pain throughout my body I also felt mentally sharp. I could sing along to the lyrics of the songs in the shower and not forget half the words like usual. I was able to recall names of people when thinking about projects I’m working on that I always had to look up before. I didn’t feel agitated or annoyed and was actually looking forward to going to the gym despite my massive back pain and overall I felt ‘happy’. Now this could have been a placebo effect of being proud of my self for ditching the medicine but time will tell.
I was a little surprised that I would already see results this quick just coming off a few medications for 36 hours so I’m pretty amazed by that. So at this point I’m going to enjoy the mental benefits of being more alert and perceptive in exchange for having to feel the physical pain that comes along with it. I will find other ways to deal with the pain with stretching, heat/cold therapy and numbing cream to try and keep me mobile and doing stuff. I haven’t even hit the hard part of the withdrawal yet, that comes after 2 – 3 days without the medication and when that hits I’ll be in far worse shape and if it’s like the last time I went through it I will feel like I have the flu and my muscles will ache like hell. But I think if I just push through the pain and keep moving around and working out at some point my body will figure out how to repair the damage enough to keep me moving around or I will become so used to the pain it will just be background noise in my brain where as right now it right smack dab in the front of my brain because I haven’t felt it like this in a while. That is the hope anyways, we’ll see what the future holds but so far I’m actually pretty impressed with how good I feel mentally despite the physical pain and lack of sleep.
Writing these BLOGs actually helps me a lot, I don’t have to setup a camera and talk to it and edit it and publish it. I can just sit down and write my thoughts out to you guys in a few minutes and publish it out. This helps me keep track of what I’m doing and how I’m feeling. Don’t worry I’ll talk about all this stuff in the coming up vlogs also for the people that don’t read the BLOG but you guys get a first almost real-time look into how this journey is going.
I also wanted to mention one more thing that really made me happy this morning. When I woke up my son got out of bed because he heard me moving around and came up to me and said ‘Daddy, you’re awake’. I’m almost always sleeping when mom gets up with him in the morning so he generally doesn’t see me for a few hours after he wakes up. My wife was still sleeping so I took him to the living room and put something on his iPad to watch and served him breakfast and he asked me ‘Daddy, can you stay with me forever in the living room’. This made me smile because I could tell from the look on his face he felt like I hadn’t been around enough and he was absolutely tickled happy that his daddy woke up with him and got him all squared away and talked with him about what was on his mind. I almost cried I was so happy which was another indication that the numbness has subsided.
My son is my world, he is my reason for living and my reason for pressing forward. I want him to have the life that I never had growing up dirt poor and having abusive alcoholic & drug abusing parents. I want him to look at me and be proud of me and see me as not only his father but also his best friend. But that requires me to be around more and not always so stressed out when I’m around him. Almost every night I would come down from my Nerd Cave feeling defeated and exhausted from fighting fraud against me and trying to explain to companies where the videos are for the products they so graciously sent me to review. I would read all the hateful comments and they would slowly seep in and destroy me. By that time when I would go down stairs I looked so damaged that my son would often says ‘Daddy, how do you feel’ and I would say ‘Not very good’ and he would say ‘Daddy is sad, I’ll give you a hug and make it all better’. And honestly that hug was the only thing that was making it possible for me to continue on. That kid deserves everything in the world and I’m going to work my ass off to make sure I give it to him no matter how many people try to tell me I’m worthless or don’t deserve anything! I’m going to add that to the mission agenda starting now!
I love all you guys for reading my blog and watching my videos, it means a lot and this is what I do to support my family so it means even more then when this all was just a hobby. I gain a lot of strength from knowing I’ve positively impacted so many people and I’m going to learn to focus 100% on the positive and leave the negative in the recycling bin on my desktop. If you enjoy reading this BLOG come over to my Twitter and hang out, I post a lot there so just be warned and thank you again for all the support!
PS: And for the few people that are like ‘MAKE MORE VIDEOS’, don’t worry. I will make more videos but just be patient, writing this vlog gets my mind straight so I can turn on the camera and shoot videos and enjoy doing it. And who wants to watch a video where I don’t enjoy what I’m doing? Don’t answer that, I’m sure a lot of people would enjoy that 😛 Take it easy guys and until next time!
- YouTube – http://barnnerd.com
- Twitter – http://twitter.barnnerd.com
- Facebook – http://facebook.barnnerd.com
- Instagram – http://instagram.barnnerd.com