Around the age of 20 years old, I noticed I was getting pain where my back was starting to arch due to the weakening muscles; for a few years it was bearable, but it increased as time went on. Fast forward to the age of 28 and I was taking co-codamol three times a day – 500mg of paracetamol with 30mg of codeine each dose. As the years went on the dose increased as the pain increased and, by the age of 40, I was taking the maximum dose of 8 tablets a day; this seemed to be enough to keep me comfortable.
A big problem with my condition is that it's a gradual decline; problems can creep up slowly and I tend to just get used to things, pain included. Over the last few years I'd noticed my hips and thighs aching whilst I'm in my wheelchair, but a slight shift in my weight usually eased it. Nowadays, though, it's become more pronounced and the pain occurs even when I'm in bed and comfortable. Because the co-codamol had been effective for so many years it didn't really occur to me to consider other options until one of the nurses at the neurological centre I live in mentioned that she'd noticed “you're trying to get comfortable all the time and looking like you were failing.” I talked to my doctor about my options and decided to try gabapentin; I could take this alongside the co-codamol.
I started the gabapentin two days ago with a dose of 300mg in the morning, and by lunchtime I felt tired and a bit spaced out – I'd had a shower that morning and they always tire me out so I assumed that was the reason I felt as I did. Yesterday I went up to 600mg and, again, felt spaced out; not an unpleasant feeling, but also not how you'd want to feel all the time. This morning I was chatting to a carer about it and she shared that she'd also been on gabapentin and also had the spaced feeling, but it had settled down after a fortnight or so.
So, hopefully I'll settle into this new painkiller after a couple of weeks, and we'll see if it helps with the extra pain and discomfort I'm getting.