I saw Doc Holiday last week and he’s really pleased with my progress. Although I am not entirely pain-free (and not sure that I ever will be) the pain has decreased to a level that I can certainly live with. And I still have hopes that it will decrease even further.
Just as a note, I am considered a chronic pain patient (previous extensive orthopedic damage and undiagnosed Lyme disease.) I am on a pain contract which means that I have access to narcotics on a regular basis. This summer I stopped taking all narcotics because the pain level had so greatly increased (I know, what?) and there was the real potential for me taking them *all* the time (make it available and they will come.)
Narcotics are not as fun as they sound. They absolutely screw up your digestive system and mess with your mind and memory. Even still, there wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t think it would be easier to just get the meds so that I could have some relief.
Since I’ve started the antibiotics not only have I not taken any pain medication (even over-the-counter) but I haven’t even thought of having to take it. If you eliminate pain, you eliminate the desire to get rid of the pain. Which of course, makes me wonder if there are people out there dependent on pain meds who actually have Lyme disease and who could be better helped with antibiotics (it’s the old treat the symptom vs. treat the cause thing.)
The bottoms of my feet which were so painful before are only a little painful BUT if I overdo it (stand or walk too long) I notice that the next morning *some* of the pain is back. The good news is that after a few hours, unlike before, the pain usually goes away.
I’m still having those weird muscle twitches (jumps) in my legs and there was one day I felt them in my arm. The paranoid in me says to be careful because that symptom is a red flag for MS but the optimist in me says that no one who has MS shows improvement just from taking antibiotics, so it’s full steam ahead for me.
Doc Holiday wants me to continue on the meds for at least the next two months, if I’m still feeling good after that, we can talk about stopping the medication and see what happens.
I know from my kids’ experience that there is the possibility of a relapse which would require me going back on the meds, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Let’s talk a little bit about the medication. I’m taking large doses of antibiotics 2 times a day. Even being a month into this, it’s still very difficult to keep those meds down. Just yesterday I threw up into my office trashcan (again, can I have a “hell yes” for being able to work at home?)
Some days on the meds are very easy and I hardly even notice that I’ve taken anything.
Other days, I have to sit still for hours in an effort not to throw up.
One person (a commenter to this series) suggested taking some applesauce. I got some of those unsweetened Mott’s applesauce pouches and when I’m nauseous I “sip” a tiny bit at a time from them. They’re not cheap (about $1 a pouch) but I’ve been able to make one pouch last through 3 nauseous episodes which makes them start to be cost effective. (Be sure to refrigerate the open pouch between uses.)
Just be forewarned, there is simply no dignified way for an adult to “sip” applesauce.
Doc Holiday has also suggested that I nibble on a few gluten-dairy free crackers (the most important thing is dairy free because the dairy causes a reaction with the antibiotics) and that also helps. He’s been on these drugs before and admitted that it’s not easy. (How cool is that, that my Doc knows and really understands what I’m going through?)
Yesterday my brother suggested chewing on a bit of ginger and a friend suggested ginger tea. I’ll be trying both of those.
Water is important but I’ve found that if I take too much water at the same time that I take the meds, my stomach starts rolling so I’ve learned to drink most of my water during the mid-day. Also, I’ve had to cut way back on my morning coffee, acid before antibiotics is not a good combination.
I’ve learned to anticipate “the feeling” which is what has helped me make it to the bathrooms while at friends’ houses (hi Gina.) Unfortunately, that feeling is also what has kept me from attending some soccer games and school events. I sure don’t want to be known as the “mom who puked.”
It’s not fun and without trying to be whiney, it’s not easy to take these kinds of drugs all the time but then neither is it for anyone else who has a chronic condition. I’ll be able to get off of this medication fairly soon, this experience has given me a real respect and empathy for those who have to take strong meds on a regular basis.
It sure is a battle.
Thank you all for your comments and discussion. I read every single reply and find much value in your experiences.
Disclaimer, this is an account of my Lyme symptoms and treatment, it is not intended to be used in the treatment of anyone else’s condition. Please consult and work with your physician if you think you may have Lyme.
Let me know if you have any questions about my Lyme symptoms and/or treatment, if I don’t have the answer, I’ll find someone who does.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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