I saw my neurologist early this month and told him that I have reached a point where none of my normal medications are working for my pain. Although I try to keep from taking too many, the sad reality is that I have been taking more and more as preventatives have not worked. I still have to make it through the workday and be functional. I still have to get the kids to school and help with homework and other daily activities. I tend to spend my weekends not functional wasting what should be family time.
In the past we have used steroids to break a pain cycle and wean off medications but frankly that hasn’t worked well. So this time he prescribed IV infusion therapy lasting 3-5 days. I have had IV medication at urgent care before when I had a bad migraine but I had never heard of doing it daily for any period of time
He prescribed 2 times per day as he said it tends to work better. Waiting for the center to schedule me felt like forever but I actually only had to wait a week so that it could start on a Monday. Thank goodness I could take the time I needed and my husband could work around his scheduled to chauffeur me around. And my MIL helped by getting the kids to and from the bus. It all worked out.
So on the first day they gave me IV Benedryl, an anti-nausea, Toradol and Depacon. The first two are supposed to help with any side effects of the last two. But frankly I ended up with restless limbs, anxiety and generally feeling awful along with head pain. The pain itself wasn’t too bad that day. I slept between the appointments so the side effects really hit me in the evening and I was not looking forward to the next day.
The second day they had me take oral Benedryl before I got there and my doctor said to skip the anti-nausea. This worked so much better as I had no side effects. I was drowsy but nothing else. My head was about the same as Monday.
Day three was the worst for my head. I guess maybe it was revolting against the detox from its familiar meds. We were in a groove with the appointments and to minimize the holes in my hands we were keeping the IV needle in between appointments. I had to miss my daughters chorus concert because I couldn’t handle the pain. Luckily I had already seen her a few weeks before at a different concert so I could feel less guilty. I could have stopped at this point but that made no sense since I was in so much pain so we decided I would go the full five days.
On day four my head was much better. The pain was mild and I hoped this meant the cycle was really breaking. I was able to go to my son’s band concert that night and although I was tired and a little nauseous, I didn’t end up with more pain from the sound.
Day five started with no pain but we powered through the last day of medication anyway to really beat down the cycle. Looking back over the whole week I feel I really took care of myself and felt it was a new beginning. I felt a lot better and ready to really address my triggers.
Saturday and Sunday were glorious days. I had no pain, much more energy and a great outlook for the future. I started doing yoga to work on tension and stress. I started drinking about 80 ounces of water a day. I really wanted to take advantage of the good feeling and start some positive habits.
By Monday and back to work I could really tell that stress and tension are big issues. I ended up in pain by afternoon and it didn’t go away. Tuesday morning I woke and it was still there so I had to take my first medication for rescue. My doctor recommended limiting medication to 2 days a week. I made it through the rest of the week we pain off and on but didn’t take anything more until the weekend. Still doing yoga and drinking water. Working on taking breaks and standing during the day to keep pain at bay. I have to keep learning what helps and what doesn’t and when I go back to my doctor, we’ll figure out what’s next in our plan.