I was struck recently at how slow progress on First Drop was, but then realised that I’d been thrown by a number of other, smaller projects, restarting the MA (which takes me a lot of time) and playing about with Pregabalin.
On the upside, the projects have been useful and fun, ranging from writing (lots – and various), attending the local Marlborough Literary Festival (whilst the content of which was excellent, it was a show I found disability-hostile in the extreme, even being shouted at by one organiser who obviously didn’t give a monkeys about disabled people and stability on stairs), attending the monthly Hampshire Writer’s Society meetings at Winchester University (they have some really interesting guest speakers) and a Writing Group at Salisbury Library (Mondays, 10:15), and reading (also a fair bit, including attending a local reading group at Salisbury Library).
The pregabalin experiment continues: I’ve switched from 300mg 2pd (twice per day) to 200mg 3pd (which kept me in a more-or-less permanent hazy state in which I injured my foot), then to 100-100-200mg (which ended being ineffective BUT which gave me considerably more acuity). With the 200’s, I’m now wondering if I didn’t fail with my reviews last term due to being on pregabalin.
I’m now on 150mg 3pd as an experiment. I’m not sure they’re working, either, but it may be too early to tell. I’ll keep those interested up to date.
On the kitchen bench, though, things have been going apace….
For a while I’ve been quiet about pain management. One reason is simple: I’ve been largely out of pain! The state of ‘out being in pain’ is addictive, though, such a relief that it dominates the senses by its absence. It’s a beautiful sensation.
It’s worth saying that again: being pain-free is addictive.
But there is a another, more sinister reason for not mentioning pain management: I haven’t been able to. All my focus has had to have been on what I’m doing, what I’m developing because, despite the lack of pain, I’m as incapacitaed as before. I have had to carefully choose what I am doing and when I do it. The focus on the current book and the occasional short story has had to be paramount which has meant a great deal of peripheral writing has had to be put on the shelf.
Why? It’s the side effects of the medication. I’ve been taking Pregabalin, a progression of gabapentin that, theoretically, has less side effects. The intent of the drug is to suppress some nerve impulses to manage peripheral chronic pain (like mine – neurogenic pain rather than ideopathic chronic pain). To be fair, pregabalin has had less side effects than gabapentin. The latter reduced me to what can literally be called a dribbling idiot, a walking zombie who could barely talk, who caromed from wall to wall and door frame to door frame, never made sense and who never know where it was.
It’s no fun being such a zombie.
Rejoice! Why? Because the drugs seems to be working.
For anyone who’s undertaking a Pain Management regimen, medication is merely part of the answer. In the UK, it is common to be referred to a hospital-run Pain Clinic for analgesia/medication advice. The problem is that the drugs that work with neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia tend to be somewhat narcotic (tramadol, morphine or even codeine derivatives) or used for other things such as depression and insomnia (amitriptyline) or epilepsy (gabapentin, pregabalin). Often a mix of medication is required: paracetamol can potentiate the effect of tramadol or, in the experience of some, actually enable it.