These past few months have been hell for me, which I am sure quite a few of you are aware of, if you follow my tweets. First it started with a particular drug manufacturer to all of a sudden, without notice to its customers, stop making the one and only muscle relaxant that I have been on for years. Some of you may wonder, what is the big deal? Well, there are literally only a couple of true muscle relaxants on the market, and the other one, it seems I am allergic to it, causing me to sleepwalk up to four or five times a night. Hubby was very afraid of me falling down the stairs or burning the house down.
During this time, my medications have been increased, changed, stopped and restarted, all just enough to completely mess with me. There was the time I went through withdrawal, where my husband sat by my side, rubbed my back, telling/reminding me to breathe while holding a bucket so I could puke up nothing, listening to me cry in pain wanting to just give up because I was hurting so much (if my daughters are reading this, no I wouldn’t have given up, I was just venting so don’t worry).
In effort to alleviate the pain caused by the constant muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders, which gradually grow down my back, I first went to massage therapy, something I clearly cannot afford, only to have the massage therapist make me worse. Thus I went back to physiotherapy something I admittedly hate, having been in and out of treatment since my first accident when I was 17. There isn’t a machine/device that hasn’t been tried on me, but given the amount of pain I have been in, I thought I would give it another try. The physiotherapist I am seeing, I saw a few years ago, so she remembers my body well.
One of the first things I was put back into was traction. Oh, so much fun. Your head is literally put in this ridiculous contraption with a heating pad wrapped around your neck whilst being pulled up and down. Twice a week for a month, followed by massage and more heat. I forgot, when I first arrive I have a set of exercises to do, tailored to how much I can move, which isn’t much some days. The traction didn’t help, it caused more pain. Some pain is good, but too much pain is bad. Next we tried acupuncture. She put a whopping four needles in me, two at the base of my head, then two at the base of my neck. By the time I arrived home, I was in misery. The pain had quadrupled, and for the next twenty-four hours, I ate as many painkillers as possible. Now, I was quite willing to give this a second try but my therapist said no because I had had such an adverse reaction.
This week when I arrived for my usual appointment, and was trying to do my exercises, my physiotherapist made the mistake of asking how I was? I don’t really know what happened but the tears flowed, down my cheeks, ruining my make-up, you see my neck muscles had been inflamed for days. After finishing my exercises, I had my massage, and she asked if I wanted to try laser treatment? Why not? So a zap here, a zap there and there, all completely painless. In basic terms, the theory of the laser is to break up the inflamed cells, to promote the healing process so my muscles can relax. It was hours later when I noticed the inflammation had actually decreased some. I had my second laser treatment today, a lot more zapping.
Note: After leaving physio, I went to pick up one of my prescriptions and spoke with my pharmacist, a lovely man. He has been researching medications for me, and in that process, found out that another company is now making my original muscle relaxant. He will fax my physician on Monday for a script and have it filled for me asap.