Giving In

2015-12-31 10.00.05

Last night I tried every trick I could think of to get to sleep and stay asleep, I even tried Kalms herbal sleep aids, and it worked, I got to sleep quickly, but an hour later and I was awake again.  Not just awake though, my leg wasn’t just ‘restless’ it was very painful and there was no way I could get comfortable or stop moving it around long enough to get back to sleep.  At this point after a week of trying to go without medication I had a kind of panic attack.  The attack centred around the idea that every night was going to be like this going forward, that I would descend into endless nights of painful, frustrating, dysfunctional sleep and days when I felt half alive.  I felt like I was losing control.

While researching restless leg yesterday I’d already had to start to confront the idea that it was going to be a difficult nut to crack, perhaps taking months and maybe years to fix and even then I might fail.  Last night I looked back at my happiest days this year and noticed that they were days when I’d been regularly taking codeine.  Realising both of these things, codeine isn’t the devil and that I needed a longer term approach, I gave in and popped a couple of tablets.  Within an hour the restlessness and pain had faded and this morning when I woke up I felt like a new man, albeit still a slightly groggy, headachy one.

I’m still committed to working hard to minimise unnecessary medication use, and cocodamol is still top of my list, but I’m going to try a different approach.  I use cocodamol for four things:

  1. Migraine relief, about 50% of the time other meds don’t work
  2. Pain during flares
  3. Sleep aid during flares
  4. Restless leg

If I’m going to withdraw from cocodamol I need strategies for managing without it in place for all of these uses and I need them well thought through before I try again, sleep is just to important to mess about with.

Given the relief that I feel from sleeping again, being in control of my pain and my legs today was always going to be good, but it turned out even better than expected.  I woke fairly early and left for Caffe Nero just as the rain stopped.  I wrote up my review of progress against last years resolutions, ready for writing my 2016 resolutions tomorrow.  I walked to Lytham in the glorious sunshine and had my favourite toast at Berties before walking home.

On my walk I was listening to the most inspiring of podcasts, all about natural movement.  I’m obsessed already with the benefits of movement, so this was right up my alley and I’ve got her audio book to listen to next.  I’m excited about the prospect of integrating my exercise into my daily movement and in a more natural way.

Once home I made made up a big batch of yoghurt and grape jellies, cooked a chicken and did the housework and shopping and Debbie and I ate dinner alone for a change, before watching some music videos and settling down to watch It’s A Wonderful Life.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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