Mar '19

Turning Point

Today was one of those days that you just want to forget. Press the reset button and start over tomorrow. But to make sense of this I have to go back up a bit.
In the beginning I slept like a rock, I got up full of energy it was perfect. Or at leas for me it was, my husband didn’t have shuteye at all because I snored really badly. Woops. Then about two weeks ago the nightmares started. I’ve always had nightmares. But these were different. More intense, way more violent. I used to get chased and such but I would wake up before the bad guy got me. Now the bad guy would definitely get me, the amount of nightmares where I committed suicide or that one of my loved ones got killed are in the double digits already. Before now, I never had suicidal nightmares. Nor do I have that kind of feelings, just to make that clear, that’s what is so puzzling to me.
Apparently Hydroxyzine which is an anti-histamine and the one I take can cause nightmares. I stopped taking it for a bit but there were no changes, so I guess that wasn’t the culprit. Then a bit over a week ago I had a nightmare where I actually died. I was shot in the back of the head. I saw my own murder. A bit before that happened I realized I was in a nightmare and I tried waking up and I couldn’t. Even after I was dead I couldn’t wake up. And then suddenly I made it out. My chest was hurting extremely my heartbeat was very irregular and I was scared to death.
So I went googling. And there I found that my sleep medication can have a nasty but rare side effect. So I stopped taking it.

Using methadone together with amitriptyline can increase the risk of an irregular heart rhythm that may be serious and potentially life-threatening, although it is a relatively rare side effect.

http://www.drugs.com
My son and I early this morning

The first days all was was fine. In that way that I still woke up rested in the morning and full of energy. But then three days ago the problems started. First I blamed it on my husband because I only slept three hours that night. I said that it was because of his snoring. Which was true, but before then he snored too, pretty certain he has sleep apneu, and I slept right through it. I didn’t get up that morning to help with the routine and I slept until ten. Then yesterday, again I barely slept, I got up to help with the morning routine and then my husband found me sleeping in front of my computer around eight o’clock so he sent me back to bed and I got back up at eleven in the morning. But like that half your day is already gone. I made the decision to give the ADT, which contains the Amitriptyline, another shot. But then at the last moment I chickened out.
I had tried earlier in the day to get into contact with the doctor, so I could try and figure out if I could get something else, but apparently I need to wait until my husband goes to the facility to pick up my medication for the next fourteen days. And he only has to go next week. And then I would still not have a prescription.
This morning I got up and I had no energy. I put up the breakfast, clothed my son, and put away the laundry I ironed last night.
After that my reserve was already depleted. And because my son was home today because of some holiday in Portugal, I wasn’t able to do more chores to keep awake.

My latest finished coloring.

In the past weeks I’ve had a lot of luck staying awake by coloring. And I actually have started really enjoying it. It made that I can watch TV again, somehow I manage to watch TV and color at the same time. But then again I am a woman 😉
Today I fell asleep while coloring. Luckily I didn’t do too much damage and I could fix it. A bit later my husband was telling me a story and I simply fell asleep while he was talking to me. I could hear him say “Ok then” which made me snap out of it. That was so strange. I tried to back to bed midway the afternoon but I ended up having nightmares again and I felt even worse than before. All because I stopped taking that one little pill a night.
So tonight I am going to start taking it again, but I’ll only take it every other night until I hear back from the doctor. The doctor was aware that I stopped taking it, but he didn’t suggest anything in it’s place and because back then I didn’t have issues yet, I didn’t ask.
This was a turning point for me. This is worse than being sick and now comes the kicker, writing this has woken me up a bit…
And it’s half past nine in the evening. I was planning to go sleep in a bit. Ooh life and it’s quirks.

Do you suffer from nightmares? How do you deal with it? Let me know below.

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Feb '19

Craving for Cola

Something strange happened during the past two days. I got sick. Okay, that isn’t strange, my husband had brought in some bug that attacked his sinuses, luckily for him there is such a thing as Sinutab. He got through it in a day. And then it jumped over to me. You’d say “Well, you know what to do, take a Sinutab. Sadly enough one of the components of that medication is Paracetamol and I am one of those few people in the world that is allergic to it. So far I have only met one person in my life that is allergic too. And that is my current dentist.

So I got sick. And sicker, I started vomiting, I got a migraine. And the pain it was abnormal. Or maybe I am just no longer used to pain. I guess Methadone has been waddling me in a blanket of relief. I suddenly went from ~20-25% activity on my Polar watch to 2%. I could barely walk, it’s like this bug made me revert back to me before Methadone. I found it weirdly shocking. Because even though I took my methadone, I didn’t really feel as if it was working.
And because I reverted to my old self for some reason the craving for Cola came back. The water/sirop combo I’ve been drinking lately didn’t seem appetizing at all, I barely drank from it. I wanted and needed Cola. but we didn’t have any.

hanging the pattern on the fabric

And no matter that I was dead sick my son needed clown shoes for school. They had to be made of recycled materials. I was planning on making them out of bottles and some duct tape and whatnot but my husband said “No, you’ll sew them” Easier said than done when you are sick and out of your mind. But I started on it anyway. After having the first shoe almost done and starting on the second. I got into so much pain that I started crying. I couldn’t push through.
So my husband helped me into my couch and asked me if I wanted to take the Methadone already. I usually take it at 20:00 But since I need to take it today in front of the doctor at 14:00 I didn’t see anything wrong taking it yesterday at 17:00.
I don’t know if it was because I had barely eaten in the past two days, Or because I was passed my point of no return. but when I took my dose. it was like a hot wave that went over my body. and my heart started racing. My Polar watch also shows my heart rate and I could see it go rapidly climbing to 140 and then making a dive back to 100 to then go rapidly up again.
My chest was hurting, my fingers went numb so did the tip of my tongue and other parts of my mouth.
My husband immediately called the ambulance but by the time they were here it had stabilized again. But my fingers were still numb and so was the tip of my tongue. Which is a really strange feeling I have to say.
But they took me anyway. By the time I reached the hospital the numbness was completely gone, but when they touched my chested I crumpled together from the pain. Which made that I was immediately treated instead of having to wait like usual. The ECG no longer showed abnormalities so the doctor decided to just treat my pain, because even though I had taken the Methadone I was still in a lot of pain.

In the hospital, yes I take my pillow from home. You should too 😋

At this moment my long back muscle on my left side still aches. Actually quite badly… Which throws a domper on my recovery. She prescribed some anti-inflammatory drugs and all I can do now is hope that they work and try and do not to much. I guess I’ll be coloring a lot in the next few days.
And hope that I don’t get this reaction again when I take my methadone today at the doctor. And fingers crossed he doesn’t make me take it there.

For those of you on Methadone, or any other heavy pain medication. Have you ever experienced something like this. Either the reverting to your old self or the getting a strange reaction because you took your meds a bit too early.

Edit: By now I have been to the doctor. He says it wasn’t anything near an overdose. He says it was a panic attack. I was not in any panic though. But I had not eaten that day, or barely I rather think it was that.
And I didn’t get that reaction again.

Feb '19

Stepping up my game

This weekend we installed our new desk. Now that I can sit up more I don’t want to lay down in my couch anymore. But I told you all of this in Sandman. After it was installed before we could test it out ourselves, my two year old was already using it as a race track for his cars. Of course one of the cars ended up out of his reach and he started crying. I took my walker, I don’t dare using my crutches with him around, and I came to the desk to take the car.
He was literally with his mouth open. He was stunned and then when I was next to him he looked at me with the biggest and earnest smile I’ve ever seen from him and he said very quietly and in awe “Wauw mama wauw”
It was such a precious moment.

591 steps in 10 min on the Wii fit plus.
That gave 3 out of 4 stars
591 steps in 10 min on the Wii Fit Plus

And then today I had to go to the pain clinic for routine consultation, to see how I am doing now with the Methadone. After all they are the ones who referred me to the doctor who runs the rehab. And both the psychologist and my physician were both beaming from happiness, because I was the first person they ever sent there and they had been so afraid that it would fail apparently. My psychologist told me that today. Both this and then the moment I described above, and to be fair, the one above was already enough, gave SO MUCH motivation. I came home, I quickly ate a bite, settled some affairs and then I got on the balance board. And well, I am biased, but I think I rocked it.

If you had told me 5 weeks ago that by now I would be able to do aerobics for 10 minutes straight I would have called you crazy. Never in a million years did I think this would be possible. Before I did the stepping up I also did a 3 minutes exercise where I had to act like I was doing hula hoops. So make big circular movement with your hips.
My husband smirked when I did this and said “yeah, shake that booty some more” 🤣 And then I need to try and keep it serious so I can keep my balance. But it’s one of those qualities I love him for.

That’s it for today, I wanted to quickly share this with you. I feel so amazing today. I’ve a few off days because I was in quite a bit of shoulder pain because my son has decided that when I let him stand on my lap to take a book that now he can climb the bookshelf. He started doing this 3 days ago, now I need to teach him not to do that. So that I can sport some more. Who knows, one day I might actually be strong enough to go work again. That is my ultimate goal. At the moment I am quite far from that goal still. I need to rest a lot and I can definitely not go working while on Methadone. If I dare rest for a bit I fall asleep for hours 🤣😴. But I will get there. I just need to keep going.
Not only do I need to do this, I want to do this! For me! And also for my son and my husband. That look on my sons face, I wish I had a picture so I could show you, but it’s etched in my mind for ever.

If you have any experiences like that, or any tips or tricks to share, please do so. I really like reading about other peoples experiences!

Feb '19

I’ve made a decision

I was actually planning on writing a different blog today about some of the myths hanging around Methadone. But I saved it as a draft because there is something else I want to share with you.

Ever since I came home, ~ 3 weeks ago, I have been busy busy busy. Which in my opinion is understandable. How would you be if you had been trapped in a useless body for the past 7+ years. Coming to a point where you can’t dress yourself, need help to get in and out of the shower, are to tired and/or in to much pain to sit at the table to breakfast/lunch/dinner with your family, or do any of the household chores in the house.
I can’t describe it better as I was in a house with all nice things, and then one day I got booted from that house, All the entrances were getting locked and all I could do was look through the window, stare at all those nice things and wish I could get back in, get back to that life, that amazing life where I could do so much more.

So today I took a decision. I stop living like that.

My husband always said that I should keep hoping, that eventually something would be found or this or that that would help me. I didn’t dare to believe it, I had simply accepted my situation by now and I tried to keep it like this so that I wouldn’t get even worse.
And then came that day that I was offered that magic solution, Methadone!
Suddenly the doors to that house were slightly opened and I started pushing my way back in. But it’s basically all I did.
In the past 3 weeks I have been almost constantly busy with doing chores. It was getting so bad that I actually have had barely gotten around to exercising. Not just because of time, but because I kept overdoing myself and I simply couldn’t exercise because my back was aching because I had been doing so much.

So today I took a decision. I stop living like that. I was in the store doing groceries and when I wanted the haul in a 6 pack of 1.5l water bottles onto my scooter and I had a pain spike in my back. I had been ironing for the past 3.5h and it was very noticeable in my back.
I came to the realization that I miss playing World of Warcraft, that I miss just watching a movie and most of all, that I miss cuddling and have fun time with my husband. I have been so caught up in being happy that I can finally do so much, that I actually forgot to live.
And it’s like my mom said, while my mind is ready to do all of these things, my body isn’t and that is why I am constantly stiff because I don’t give it time to recuperate. My body has been still for 7+ years and now I am suddenly expecting it to follow my will.

Full size chore table can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/GHp2whh

So I made a decision. No more chores in the afternoon. I get up every day at 6:45. that gives me plenty of time to do my part of the chores and the groceries. And the afternoons I will use for whatever I want as long as I give it ample rest and they aren’t chores.
I talked with my husband about that and now we are going to look to write up a chore calendar. Who does what and when.
Hopefully this will help and I will recover properly.

I want to say thank you to my mom for making me aware I was overdoing myself and I want to apologize o my husband for neglecting him and just focusing on myself.

Have you ever been trapped for an amount of time and then realized how much you could actually do if you would be “complete” This can simply be something as simple as breaking your arm and having it in a cast for 6 weeks, or having a disability like mine and getting worse.
Or any other experience that reminds you of what I just explained above.
Tell me all about it in the comments!

Feb '19

My frame of mind

Before I went into the “rehab*” I had taught myself to always put up a smile. Because they say if put up a smile even when you do not feel like it, eventually you will feel better. And I have to say, that actually really works. 90% of the time at least. Because about twice a year I had 1 day where I would just get up in the morning and I would be feeling really horrible and sad and I would be crying and not wanting to leave the bed. My husband knows this and just leaves me be, and comforts me when it’s needed. The day after I will get up and just move on with my life as if the previous day never happened.
I would also be really mellow when it came to my son. My husband doesn’t always have the patience with him, which is understandable, but I was the calm one. Which is weird because in everything else he is the calm one and I am the one that has no patience 😆

In the beginning of January when I went for the intake conversation to the “rehab*”, they told me that I will feel happy. I told the psychologist that I am already a happy person. But she was adamant that I will feel happy.
I rolled my eyes at her because she also didn’t agree with me when I told her I don’t have secrets for my husband. It’s difficult to have secrets if you live 24/7 on each others lip. But that is a whole different conversation.
I didn’t understand how it could change my mood.

While I can hang up my happy mask. I am now making a new mask called “The patience mask” It’s working rather well I think.

Illustrating happy mask

I described above how I used to be on purpose. Because methadone has most definitely changed my mood. I feel indeed happier, or not happier, but it’s more real. I haven’t felt the need to put on my happy mask. If you understand what I mean. But it has also changed me in other ways. I have less patience with my son. The first few days I would loose my patience easily and then feel bad because I raised my voice at him. It took until I got angry at my husband for something and him telling me he didn’t deserve that reaction that I realized something was wrong. I did look it up and mood swings are indeed part of the side effects. Luckily it only took me like 3 days after I came home to realize this. Now I am actively working on trying to be more patient. While I can hang up my happy mask. I am now making a new mask called “The patience mask” It’s working rather well I think.

It feels to me as if the methadone is heightening all my emotions. Not just the ones above but all of them basically. And now it is up to me to recognize when I am off balance with an emotion and reel it in and stabilize it.
Methadone is great because I have not that much pain anymore. And I can do so much more. In general I feel happier but it also comes with so many side effects. I completely understand why some people say that they would never touch it again. But I am very self aware, so I can try and control my mood as much as I can. Because I am not planning on giving up on this miracle drug because I loose my patience more easily. It’s simply a question of thinking twice before I react.
It also helps that when I can’t seem to reel it in and I am close to blowing my fuse that my son has become aware of my mood swings and he has his tricks to defuse me.
And just so you know I would never use violence against my son or my husband. When I say blowing my fuse it’s simply me raising my voice.

Do you take medication that has effect on your mood? Or do you have mood swings because of whatever reason? Or do you live together with someone who has mood swings? How does that make you feel?
Tell me all about it in the comments!

Rehab* : In case you didn’t read the first post, while I did go to a rehab facility I am, never was, and never will be an addict. But this facility is the only facility on this island that has the permission to supply Methadone. So my doctor contacted the doctor who runs that place to get me in. If you want more details I urge you to go read a bit more on my blog. It’s good stuff I’ve been told. 😋😊

Geen categorie

Sandman

One thing I barely do anymore is rest in my oh so comfy couch. There is the main reason “because I am more active now” but there is also a second reason which is very puzzling to me.
Whenever I lay down in my couch after a few minutes I start getting tired. And before I know it I fall asleep. The other day I was busy studying Portuguese and I had to go sit at the table because in the couch I could not focus. My sight gets a bit blurry and I get super tired.

Showing off my new crutches

Today I was playing Dungeons and Dragons with my husband and my best friend over Roll20 and I simply couldn’t focus. I kept falling asleep. One minute I am forcing to stay awake and the next (to me that is) my husband was shouting me awake. I don’t know if this is because of the Methadone or if it is like my friend explained it to me. But it is annoying.
My friend explained it that before I took Methadone, my active heart rate and my resting heart rate were basically the same, because I was always laying in my couch. But now my active heart rate is higher because I am actually physically active and when I lay down to rest, I get a drop in my heart rate which makes me tired.
It sounds reasonable, and I do think that it might be at least partially part of the problem, but when I go back to the doctor on the 27th I will ask the doctor about this.

My current computer set up

It could also be because I did so much in the last 2 days. Both yesterday and today I got up at 07:00 like every morning but now I actually joined my husband and son to drop off the latter at school. After which we took the bus into the city to take care of paperwork, trying to get my phone fixed (and it’s still not fixed!!!) and go the the orthopedist for new crutches, compression socks and some other things that made our wallet hurt quite a bit.
Then yesterday afternoon I literally didn’t rest from 15:30 until 19:15. I went from studying to making dinner, to actually eating and then cleaning up all by myself. I might need a rest day. Actually I know I need a rest day. But tomorrow we are going in the afternoon to look for wood. Because we’re going to make a desk in our house that is 3,8m long. This way I can move my computer from the couch to the desk and I can sit up to type my blogs 😉 My husband will sit on one end and I will sit on the other end. And once our son is old enough, we will give him a space in between us.
I’m actually really looking forward to tomorrow!

Conclusion I can no longer sit still. Literally 😋 if I sit still I fall asleep. So keep on moving! 😁

Feb '19

Counting my spoons

I can hear you say “Counting my spoons? Huh?” A woman named Christine Miserandino wrote a book The Spoon Theory for those of you who want to go more into depth.
But this is the basic explanation.
Able bodied people have a lot more energy than some disabled/chronic pain patients. So she came up with a method to get easier through the day. Each activity gets x amount of spoons. And you get 12-15 spoons a day. That way you won’t overdo yourself.

5-spoon-theory
Photo Credit: @DuhNoy_Blaze on twitter

Before I started Methadone I would do this. But only on good days. On bad days it had no use because then I didn’t even bother showering and such either.
Now, since I am home, I haven’t bothered counting my spoons anymore. And now I can’t go on the treadmill today because I overdid myself and my left long back muscle is hurting too much for me to handle walking on the treadmill. That makes me really sad. But there isn’t much I can do now about it except for taking a day off from cleaning up the house.

Because I couldn’t really do much in the past few year our house looked rather horrible. I was always ashamed when people came to visit. Even though we always cleaned as much as we could when people came over. Things just got thrown in the closet. But that was simply moving the problem because the closets look horrible now. So in the past week I have been going slowly bit by bit through the house cleaning up and make that we can actually find things back again in our house.
I’ve also been walking on the treadmill. Not every day, but yesterday I actually already had pain when I got onto the treadmill but I still wanted to walk and I pushed past my limit. And now I got to pay the price.

treadmill
Treadmill graph

The amount of spoons though do not fit for me anymore, so I will have to come up with a number I feel comfortable with and stick to that. Because the new me does not enjoy just laying in the couch. I used to watch series all day long. I would be playing World of Warcraft and watch series at the same time. I haven’t logged into World of Warcraft since I came back And I barely have touched the heap of series that I missed during my 2 week stay at the rehab facility, and it keeps stacking up because those that came after I haven’t watched either of course.
Yesterday I at noon, since my son was on his nap I decided to eat in the couch like I used to do and watch a series. The moment I was done eating I stopped the series and started doing other things away from the computer. I simply can’t just sit and enjoy watching tv anymore. The methadone has really changed me. Not just physically but most definitely mentally.

On the subject of being changed mentally, I have noticed that I get more easily upset or angry. Afterwards I feel sorry because I know that my outbursts are wrong. But I don’t know how to prevent them. It just happens. But I guess that is also a side effect from Methadone. I really hate it, but I don’t know how to solve this particular problem.
Luckily I have a super husband who understands and  accepts it.

Do you use the spoon theory? Or will you use it now? Or do you know someone who uses it, or could use it? Let me know in the comments below!