I can already tell today’s BLOG isn’t going to be easy for me to write because I feel like I let myself down. Last night my back pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t get to sleep. I tried the bio freeze which had been helping a little and it was doing absolutely nothing. I even tried stretching and walking around but the pain was just too intense. I finally threw in the towel and took my pain medication that I’ve been trying so hard to get off of and it was a very hard decision for me to make. I felt like I was defeated and as I took the medication I felt like a complete failure (I might of even cried a little, don’t tell anyone). I thought for sure I would be able to just kick all my meds cold turkey despite many of you saying it’s not a good idea. I’ve been through withdrawal before and I’ve been able to handle it and come out on the other side smelling like roses but this wasn’t withdrawal, this was an angry back that wasn’t letting up. I literally couldn’t find any position that was comfortable and it was eating away at me.
Well enough about my horrible failure, what am I going to do about it moving forward? Well I’ve decided to tweak my plan a little and only take my pain medication at night before bed and not take it in the morning or during the day. This will allow me to sleep pain free and I can suffer through the pain in the morning and afternoon. The thing is, when I’m moving around and can get up and shift my weight and do things my back pain drops quite a bit, it’s when I lay down and stay in one position things go to hell in a hand basket really quick. So unfortunately it doesn’t look like I get to throw away my pain meds just yet but I’m confident I can greatly reduce their use which I hope will allow me to retain my good memory and cognitive boost I’ve experienced being off the meds for 3 days. I’m still off the Welbutrin and I don’t notice any difference so I wasn’t into the drug deep enough to suffer withdrawal and I’m still completely off the Adderall (ADHD drug) and I’m doing well. It’s just the back pain that I’m finding hard to cope with.
I took some of your advise and ordered up a TENS unit from Amazon (http://amzn.to/1MXd95V) that will stimulate the nerves in my back and help relax the muscles and numb the pain. I’m hoping this thing works great because if it does I’ll use it right before I go to bed and hopefully not need the pain medication or at least a smaller dose (I’m already on a pretty small dose to begin with compared to most people on the drug). I really want to find an alternative that leaves the pharmacy in the dust but obviously my tactic of just ‘Screw it, I’m done’ isn’t going to work.
I can feel the sound of a 1,000 “I told you so’s” coming my way right now but I have to be honest with you guys. The whole point of this blog is for me to be straight up with everyone and especially myself and if I slip and fall I want you guys to know about it. If I succeed I want you guys to know about it! I don’t want a bunch of people that my writing inspires to go and try to do something if I can’t do it myself. I am going to see my doctor again in 2 more weeks and I’m going to discuss my plans to reduce medication and stay off everything else permanently.
I’m also exploring the option of trying Cannibis CBD oil & pills. I talked with my doctor and he said a lot of people have had really good results with it and it’s a hell of a lot better for you then opiate based drugs. Also since it doesn’t contain any THC (which I hate!) it shouldn’t have any mental effects like the opiate based drugs do. If you guys have experience with it please let me know on Twitter (@barnacules). I’ve only ever tried Cannibis once in an edible form (chocolate bar) and it was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. But I’ve been told the CBD extract doesn’t have any of the psychoactive compounds (THC) which I suspect is what gave me the bad experience including paranoia, fear, rapid heart beat, etc.
My end goal here is to find a way to manage the pain so that it doesn’t keep me sitting all day or make me want to stop going to the gym. I still need to be active and I had forgotten how intense the pain can get when I’m not medicated. I think once I lose more weight the back pain will get better but unfortunately the problem isn’t really weight based but rather a bone spur rubbing on my sciatic nerve that they don’t want to cut out because it’s so close to the nerve it could paralyze me if they operated.
I am still trying to be proud of myself for getting off the other two drugs but this still feels like a massive failure. Like I gave up and threw in the towel despite how much I tried to convince myself or my wife tried to convince me it was a necessary set back. I really wanted to be free of anything that screwed with my head and get back to the same ‘crazy’ super smart Jerry that I used to be. My ADHD was being treated because it got in the way of my career when I had a lot of stress going on from Xander when he was in the hospital as a baby almost dying every other day. But I don’t feel like I need it anymore because I want that passionate, crazy and balls to the walls personality back. It means that I can have insanely high days where I’m floating in the clouds but it also means on the dark days they are that much darker but I’m willing to accept that.
I will keep you guys updated on my TENS machine and other alternatives I try to find a solution for the pain. My absolutely long term wish is to find a treatment that helps with the pain but doesn’t impact me mentally in the form of reduced memory or fogginess like opiate based pain medications was doing after years of use. I’m also hoping that if I only use the pain medication at night before I go to bed it will be out of my system by the morning (only lasts about 3-4 hours usually when I’m awake) and my mind will be clear. So far today my mind feels pretty clear after taking it last night but still need to measure the cumulative effect of getting back on it regularly, so who knows at this point.
Thank you for all the support and sticking with me through all these radical changes. I’m going to try and stay as positive as I can while I try to search for solutions to my pain problems and I’m going to keep on making progress. My diet has taken a little bit of a blow but I’m still working out at the gym & the medications I’m not completely off of but I’m off most of them so there is still a lot of positive forward progress. At the end of the day I’m still down from 308lb to 281lb and despite the pain in my back I feel better for it.
Thank you everyone for reading my BLOG it means a lot to me. I’m also sorry I didn’t get a video out last night and the videos are coming so slow but I was in so much pain I couldn’t get through filming the video without issues. I don’t like to shoot videos when I’m not happy because it really shows in the end product as you well know. So just hang in there with me and let’s get this all worked out and get back to just making fun technology and tutorial videos! I really want to get my racing sim up and running before JayzTwoCents gets here so he can turn a few laps with me in iRacing and maybe we could live stream it. Those are stretch goals at this moment because of the Storm Trooper suit project and VloggerFair and PAX Prime coming up this month. But I’m going to stay the course and get through all this!
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