Everyone today is fortunate that we live in a world where many of our ailments can be successfully treated or prevented altogether. I am on a load of medication for my depression and anxiety and a lot of painkillers for my fibromyalgia. It took a long time to find which medications were best for me.
For the first time I am now questioning whether it would be beneficial for me to at least try to reduce my dosage and/or even come off some of them. David has recently come off his antidepressants and has said that he feels more alive now that his brain is not numbed. He is certainly different and although he occasionally gets a little stressed most of the change is very positive.
Painkillers are known to not work effectively for fibromyalgia sufferers and I am on so much I’m sure my mood is affected. I’m not fully alert and often have trouble motivating myself to do my hobbies. There is also the worry of addiction. I have been taking high strength opiates for over 10 years and do get symptoms of withdrawal if I’m late taking them. I know that I am addicted. My two main painkillers are tramadol and codeine. The tramadol is sustained release and I am on the maximum dose and the codeine is taken every 4 hours throughout the day.
I have made the decision to try to come off the codeine altogether. If I do it slowly I will me able to minimise the withdrawal. The tablets I take contain 30mg of codeine and are prescription only; you can get 8mg codeine over the counter so it will be easy for me to taper off my dose. I think I will be able to do it over 12 weeks. Of course if my pain becomes unbearable I will start taking it again.
I’ve been taking these medications for so long that I don’t know what my pain levels are without any relief. If I can stop the codeine successfully I will then make an appointment to see my doctor to discuss trying to lower my tramadol dosage. Following this I will then look at my antidepressants.
Eventually I hope to find the minimum amount of medication that I need to function. Hopefully this will lead to me feeling less doped up and be able to experience more of life.