I'm one-week post-op 2-level ACDF. Overall I'm doing pretty well except for very tight muscles in my neck and shoulders. For pain I've been given Nucynta 75mg every 4-6 hours, and trying very hard to stay on top of it before I get too uncomfortable. For muscle spasms I'm prescribed zanaflex, 4mg, every 8 hours.
Some context on my questions: I'm crazy over-cautious about the possibility of addiction (since that's why we're raising our two grandkids, so it hits very close to home) but I also know that I tend to really put off taking meds until it's too late so I've made the commitment that at least for these first two weeks I'm going to take the pain meds on a schedule and not according to how I feel, so those feel like conflicting interests to me. Meds have a tendency to make me queasy, though I'm feeling that queasyness now for the first time in a few days. They're also knocking my ass down in terms of tiredness which I know I should likely just accept for while I'm still so soon post-surgery (I'm at home with a 24/7 neck brace for at least 3 more weeks), and it's definitely helping me to sleep (such as it is with this brace) at least a lot better than if I was on something that made me less tired, though I'm very concerned about pain and muscle tension management after I need to go back to work, IF I'm still needing meds for that.
My questions are:
-- Are there any pain or muscle relaxant meds that are the LEAST likely to make you tired or to interfere if you're trying to work or need to drive? Right now, no way at all could I work or drive for at least a couple of hours after taking the meds (once they kick in).
-- Are there any pain or muscle relaxant meds that are the LEAST likely to make you queasy?
-- Would it help to alternate them (take pain meds at least 2 hours before/after muscle relaxants) instead of taking them at the same time?
-- With the muscle relaxant meds, is it generally ok to take 1/2 every 4 instead of one every 8 if that makes it more tolerable in terms of tiredness, or should I verify with the doctor before doing that?