Frankly, sometimes the medical industry as a whole makes no bloody sense! Now, don’t get me wrong, this is NOT something I think my doctor is doing wrong (which is a first, but another reason why I like her so much).
I was on Oxycodone for a few months (September through March – with March being a weaning off stage). What it did for me is kill the pain hard enough to allow me not only to get to sleep, but sleep SOUNDLY enough to help with pain control. The more actually restful, deep sleep one gets raises your endurance levels, allowing you to feel less pain. It’s not that the pain is non-existent, just that your feeling of it is better tolerated. In essence, Oxy gave me 24 hr pain relief (lowering my overall pain to about a 2), even though it’s effectiveness ends relatively quickly (3-4 hours before you usually need a new pain pill). It took me a while to get to the point that my doctor understood that I wasn’t saying that the Oxy was working 24 hrs, and for her to explain to me that it was the fact that it was allowing me to sleep deeper.
But, because of how closely that doctors are watched, and Oxycodone use is particularly targeted as it has quite a high street value, too much prescribing of it can put you under investigation. Even though I only ever took 1 per day (except for the week recovering from foot surgery), the concern is there – that she might be endangering her practice. So, she needed to find something that was focused on doing the same thing – allowing me to sleep deeply enough to help with my pain endurance.
So, she went for a sedative called Clonazepam, which is a tranquilizer of the benzodiazepine class. Now, you have to understand something. Even WITHOUT chemical help, I’m clumsy as hell. One of the common side effects of this particular drug is sleepiness (which, yes, I have been experiencing, but can’t necessarily sleep even though I’m sleepy) and poor coordination.
That combination, along with my normal tendency toward clumsiness, means I am about 2-3 times as clumsy as normal. This, for example, explains why I fell twice while dealing with our tenant moving in (scaring her rather badly). I’m still healing the strained shoulder from one of those falls. At least the 2nd of the two falls landed me on my tush (which is padded, but may have jarred my back).
Unfortunately, it also tends to interrupt REM sleep, something I already naturally have a problem with. I rarely get down to that REM level – proven actually by a sleep study.
So, she was forced to take me off Oxy, which I had proven to not be abusing, but put me on a far MORE addicting substance with additional issues relating to it.
But many doctors are stuck doing this kind of thing to their patients, because sometimes what actually works correctly is something that can get them actually sent to jail if they prescribe it too often.