There are all kinds of things that can make you hurt in this world, and Lord knows I’m speaking from experience. You name it, everything from sunburns to banging my thumb with a hammer, to back injuries and much worse I’ve done or had happen to me. But I had no idea a simple orange capsule could do it, too.
The problem with having a VA doctor, a civilian primary care doctor, and a civilian pain management doctor is that they don’t all talk to each other. The results can be dangerous if one doctor prescribes something that counteracts with something else a different doctor prescribed to you. Fortunately, Terry is very good about keeping track of all those things because I’m not.
Doctor Kent, my pain management doctor (and the only one of my doctors I really have a lot of faith in), wants me to get off of some of the meds, which I’m all for. One of those meds is gabapentin, which I have been prescribed for several months now. It is supposed to help with nerve pain, and the idea was that it would offset some of the pain in my back. But it really has not seemed to have helped at all.
You’re supposed to taper off of gabapentin slowly, but apparently I did not do it slowly enough. Without realizing it was happening, over a couple of days I became very agitated, shaky, restless, my stomach was roiling, I couldn’t sleep, and I felt like I wanted to pull my skin off. (Of course, with as much excess skin as I’ve got that might not be a bad idea.)
I contacted Doctor Kent yesterday afternoon and told him what was happening and he said that I was going through some kind of withdrawal from the gabapentin. He had me start taking it again at a lower dose and I will cut that down over the next couple of weeks.
This is why I don’t drink and am so hesitant about taking all of the opioids the VA has been giving me for years. I have had several family members with substance abuse problems and I am terrified of going down that route. If anything, I avoid taking them until the pain is out of control, which I know is extreme as well.
Some other things that will hurt you have washed up on the beaches around here in huge numbers lately. High surf and strong winds have brought Portuguese man o’ war and jellyfish onto our local beaches. These are not something you want to mess with because they can really sting you! The news said they had 57 reports of stings on one day.
While the stings are not usually life threatening, in severe cases a sting can result in chest pain, difficulty breathing, and even death. But for most people, they are just darned uncomfortable. Fortunately, the lifeguards always carry white vinegar with them, which will help alleviate the discomfort from a sting. If you’re at the beach and your kids see something they want to pick up that may look like a piece of discarded trash or a pretty little balloon, don’t let them near it!
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of The Hot Seat, Bullet Books Speed Reads #4 by Manning Wolfe and Mark Pryor. It’s the story of a British transplant law professor to Duke University who is asked by a former student to second chair the defense on a death penalty case that gets more complicated as other suspects emerge. Bullet Books are speed reads for the busy traveler, commuter, and beach-goer, all original mysteries and thrillers by your favorite authors that can be read in two to three hours. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – Ungrateful people complain about the one thing you haven’t done for them instead of being thankful for the thousands of things you have done for them.