Oy...what a couple of weeks I've had! Or, rather, 3!
My husband went overseas for business, and he had just enough miles to drag me along. I started having the problems with HORRIBLE sleep paralysis while taking Kadian right after he left (like that NIGHT. eeks, as I have two small kiddos!!). I saw my NP the day I left to join him, and we decided that the risk of the horrible dreams vs having a HORRIBLE reaction on a new medication while in a country where me having to go SEE a dr would be EXTREAMLY expensive....it wasn't worth it. (of course, I know now that the client my husband was down there working with...they covered both of us medically while we were there....Thats another story how I found THAT out! I'll get to it in a second)
So, we stick with the doseage I'm on....we talked about lowering it, but the last time I went down there with him, I came back early because my system FREAKED out for some reason. We WERE in a different part of the country, but I did NOT want to risk ruining this trip all the same, as we had already bought plane tickets for an actual holiday for part of the trip while I was there.
Sooooo, first it starts with the plane trip down there. (we started in Sydney, Aus, then popped down to New Zealand. OH MY GOD...it is SO GORGEOUS down in New Zealand!!! I totally want to move to Sydney...) I got screwed by the airline (not going to name a company...but it starts with a q. They are NOT considerate to Drs notes, OR medical conditions!). They put me in a seat where my feet were bend BEHIND my knees....for 15 HOURS. Hell, I have horrible circulation, and I know that causes risk for the DVT. However, one of my conditions, it keeps me at a lower risk for the DVT, because my blood is SO thin already. (I have Reynaulds, Ehlers-Danlos, and of course RA. I should be taking asprin for the Reynaulds, but I can't because of the Ehlers-Danlos!!!). They also don't allow much "congregation" as they call it...stupid TSA has some rule about flights to/from the US now about passengers "hanging out" in the coach cabin Going back to the US, they are strict on all classes...but it was only coach flying down there. total insanity...I know all about airplanes, and if they want to crash it into a building, doing it on a 747 at the END of a 14-hr flight, there's not enough fuel or weight left to do what they did on Sept 11th. But thats another story. I get the security thing, but it's also putting people's lives at risk. Since they started this new "procedure" in the past month (I think), the DVT rate has gone up. TSA's response when I called them? "We feel the risk of one person dying from DVT is worth saving a full plane load of 300-400 people". Idiots, idiots, idiots. I'll stop. I'm not going to bring US government policy into this post...I'll get my blood preassure up WAY too high!!
So yeah....the gist of the story is, I landed in Sydney with cankles from hell. My husband took one look at me, and went "OMG, what happened??" (I was close to collapsing after getting my bags and clearing customs) I actually ended up in the ER at a local hospital, and thats how we found out that the company my husband was down there with covered any emergency medical expenses. They were really awesome about it. Of course I got the "evil" eye on my medication list (they didn't believe me until I produced the bottles, along with Drs notes that I was legally allowed to carry them), which really shocked me, as you can legally buy as MUCH codiene over the counter down there as you want! (yet they have a horrible Meth problem, and if you don't have Aussie ID, you can't buy proper sudafed....found that out when I caught a cold!!!! I expected to catch a cold, I usually do after being on a plane..but I didn't take any sudafed with me, thinking I could buy it there. They would have confiscated it at customs anyway...but still.) But they gave me tons of fluids, and I was released by the time my husband was out of work for the day. (love it, they only work about 34hrs a week down there! They release at 3pm on friday's. My flight got in at 8am, which was lucky...as I was out of the hospital by 4ish) I was pleasantly surprised when I was checking out and asked for the bill...they said it had already been taking care of by company XYZ, and they had also been informed that if I needed any further medical treatment, to forward any bills to company xyz. I'm loving this trip already! I was able to see most of downtown Sydney that weekend as a result of all those fluids! But let me tell you...talk about having to pee!!! hahahaha. They were giving me about a bag of fluid an hour, as well as at LEAST 8oz of juice/whatever I wanted orally.
I have to say...for anyone with weather-related headaches, and arthritis....Sydney...it was a DREAM. I had a lovely time, hardly struggled with my pain (was in fact able to cut down on pain meds while I was there....but I STILL had those horrible dreams!), and it's just simply breathtaking, the ocean, the weather, and the lack of American-style waste. All their buses run on natural gas, so there's like ZERO smog there. It's awesome. Makes me realize how wasteful we can be here in the states! (but I'm still not giving up my extra soft toilet paper. hahahaha)
I ran into a snag once we got to New Zealand...the weather is drier there, and my arthritis kicked in with a vengance! Which means, I was back on my normal amounts of kadian mixed with percocet...and the dreams came back worse than ever. I think I seriously scared my husband!
Which brings me to my point. I'm going in tomorrow to see my NP at my pain Doc (a week early, but we kind of expected it, if my dreams didn't clear up...which they've only gotten worse since I've been home. My husband ended up having to stay another 3 weeks, AND he's going back two weeks after he gets back...so I cannot go on like this alone with the kiddos!!), and we're gonna discuss options. We talked about Avinza when I saw her last....but I'm really worried that it's the same chemical makeup as Kadian, except it's got a 24-hr dosing schedule....and I already struggle with the dreams even when I only take my kadian once a day! (and still have them just as bad with a lower dose...so it's not a dose level problem, I think it's just the Kadian in general!!)
She also told me to do some research on ER pain meds, and she would be open to any ideas I had. She's awesome like that, she really likes that I get invovled with my treatment, and I'm really REALLY careful about the meds that I take, and I'll try just about anything, within reason. (I've even done hypnosis! didn't do anything, but I gave it a whirl just the same) I'm SO against the oxycontin to be honest, just because of the problems with it, theft, addiction, etc. I know that my body is already chemically addicted to the pain meds that I take, but I try to not dwell on it. I guess also, it's just the problems where i live at the moment WITH oxycontin theft. While I was gone there were several more pharmacy robberies, including the theives taking the names of patients off the computers who had scripts and targeting them. It's REALLY REALLY bad here right now.
We've also discussed the patch (duragesic), but I guess that scares me a bit as well. I don't know. I was just so thrilled that the Kadian was WORKING, and now because of the damn dreams...it's gotta go. I just can't continue to have these like this, especially with the current forecast for my husband, he's got a full travel schedule for the next six months. As in, he will be here an average of 3 days a week for the next 6 months, if not a little less. I need my sleep to keep up with my kids and all their activities!!!!!! I can't continue this not sleeping thing...I'm physically and emotionally exausted, and I've only been home 3 days now.
Anyone got any advice for me? Sorry for the long post...I know, I tend to ramble on...especially when I'm tired. lol!
I'm now trying to convince my husband we need to move down to Sydney. The 7 days I was there, it was seriously the best 7 days I've had since I first became sick. I haven't been able to do THAT much in years, I loved it! And the weather is pretty much like that year round...with the exception of "cold" spells in their winter (which is our summer). Cold to them is about 50 degrees. Thats warm compared to winter where I live! (we've had a colder-than normal winter)
Shoot, I even went sky-diving....now if that isn't a miraculous feat, I don't know what is! (although, I'm not sure if I should tell my NP that....she may freak out a bit on me. lol. It was so much fun though...and they were extra gentle with me, they knew about the arthritis)
Only regret...I didn't buy more shoes while I was there!! All their summer stuff was way on sale. Oh well. Like i need more shoes anyway..but you know...I still have 10 inches in my closet. LOL!