I’m not sure if I’m having a series of flare-ups or just the natural progression of the disease, but the pain lately has been higher than normal and for some periods it is off the chart.
As the Costochondritis pain wasn’t being managed well with just Tramadol, my Rheumatologist prescribed me Hydrocodone for the times when the Tramadol just isn’t cutting it. That is usually a day or two each week, so I worked with my doctor, and I’m prescribed a small number of pills each month, to help with getting addicted to them (which is always a fear in the back of my head). Lately, I have been ripping through them and I’m not happy about that. I’m one of those people that would rather not take any medications at all (yeah, I passed that stage years ago), but I also understand that it is warranted for some of my ailments.
It seems lately that the Costo is wanting to take over my entire chest, it seems to spread out on the right side, both front and back and on the left side, there are periods when it is very much concentrated to a small spot on the front. Just sitting here typing this the pain is at a good 3-4 with spikes to a 5-6 and that is on 200Mg of Tramadol taken about two hours ago. Normally Tramadol manages it well, but as I said, some days require something stronger.
I’m so torn, I mean I can handle the 3-4 and even the 5-6 spikes, even without the Tramadol. I have told my wife and my doctor that as well. But they always raise the question of, whether should you just deal with it, or whether would you rather be pain-free. I haven’t been pain-free in a while. I think the last time I was pain-free a day, was when I was in the ER for something and they gave me Morphine, and bingo I was pain-free. It is a very strange feeling to be pain-free when you are so accustomed to pain.
And with the increase in pain, comes an increase in depression and if I change over to Hydrocodone, then I get tired and that brings frustration as I’m not getting my work done if I’m sleeping all the damn time. Plus Hydrocodone ushers in another unique problem for me, which is the guilty feeling of taking it. It is a controlled substance and to be honest when I take it, I feel guilty, guilty of being selfish for taking it, guilty of being pain-free for a few hours. Do I deserve I, what have I done to deserve that feeling? So many people are in pain and what makes me any different? As a result, I will often go to bed in the evening in a world of pain.
I guess no one ever said this was going to be easy. As the only easy day was yesterday.