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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Withdrawal Scare (May 29, 2012)

I have a couple of different things on my mind.

First, I have been reading about spondylolisthesis.  One of the conservative treatments is to wear a back brace or corset of some type.  It holds in your abdominal muscles tight to reduce the strain on your back.  (A bigger belly can pull your spine out of alignment more.)  I am halfway thinking about spending $80 on one to see if it helps.  I could (and probably should) go to my doctor about it, but I know that we/the insurance were charged $450 for the brace they prescribed for my daughter after her back surgery, and I could get it for far less directly.  Since I have not met any of my deductible, I am trying to save money.  I can’t see how wearing a corset sometimes could hurt me, and it just might help enough to give me some relief until I get more weight off.  In the meantime, I need to be doing core strengthening exercise.

The other thing I am thinking about is that Sunday is my birthday.  My kids are planning to take me out to dinner this weekend.  I think it is okay to splurge some on your birthday, if you plan for it, right?  So I am going to hold back on the 200 calories a day I started to add on Saturday to make room for a bigger meal on the weekend.  That would be kind of like saving up your extra points on WW for one event, right?  I am going to do my best to get 4 workouts done over the weekend to help counteract it too.

Interestingly, I got on the scale yesterday evening because I was curious how much effect my splurge-meal had on me.  I felt like I overdid a little.  But I weighed only 2 more pounds then than I did that morning, and that happens most every day if you weigh in the morning without any food in your stomach.  This morning I weighed less than I did yesterday morning, so I am good with that!  I did have some temptation yesterday evening to follow through with more eating (that old, “well, I blew it today, so I might as well blow it all the way” excuse).  I told myself that even if I did “blow it” – which I obviously did not – I would feel better if I did not follow those urges and did no further damage that day.  I knew it would make a difference on how I felt this morning, too, since it is important to get right back to the basic plan after a splurge.  So I did not eat anything and I did feel better for it this morning.

I had a strong workout this morning.  I was able to do my intervals without stopping to rest and generally felt strong doing them.  That was good!  I need to get a workout in every evening this week that I do not have to work too late.  I still will not get 10 workouts in, but that’s okay.  I will get as many as I can.

I did feel fairly well rested and ready to get back to my routine this morning.  I do so much better when I am on a routine.  I guess I need to create one for “off-work” days.  Like get up so much time ahead of whatever I have to do that day to get my workout done, have set times to drink my water, so I don’t neglect it, plan my meals, etc.

I actually have felt pretty good today.  I did not have enough pain this morning to need any pain medication.  I was sitting here this afternoon and all of a sudden these strong withdrawal feelings started coming over me.  I was wondering what in the world was going on because I haven’t quit taking any medication.  But I realized I had not had any pain meds yet today and I can’t remember how late in the day I took one yesterday, so it had been a while since I had had any.  It is hard to describe the feeling, but in one way I feel like I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat and in another way I feel extremely restless, like restless legs.  I also feel like I want to eat everything in sight.  Very strongly.  I did go ahead and take a half of a pill.  When I have to get off the meds this time, I will get off of them much more slowly than I did last time.  I weaned myself off for a time last time, but then when I thought I should be “over it,” I quit cold turkey and it turns out I had a lot more withdrawal to go.  This is when I gained a lot of weight.

I went off of them last time because the headache specialist said they were causing rebound headaches.  He wanted to put me in the hospital for five days and run me through a detox.  It is done with some kind of IV meds and they get all the drugs out of your system in a short amount of time without all the withdrawal symptoms.  I did not feel like I could take another five days off work at the time (I had already been out for two surgeries that year), and so I decided to get off them myself over a longer period of time.  But I should have drawn it out longer.  It was not worth gained weight.  Maybe this time I will do it the way the doctor wanted to do it.  It will depend on time and money.

Just so you know, I do not have withdrawal because I take too much of the drugs or take them more often than I am supposed to.  In fact, I take less than I could and not as often as I could.  It’s just that when you are on them for a prolonged amount of time, your body gets accustomed to them and you go through withdrawal.  It seems to have happened more quickly this time, since it was less than a year since I got off of them before.  I had been taking them some in the months before, but I tried to limit them to every 3 days or so, because I did not want to get dependent on them again.  But it was a choice of either being in enough pain where I was not functioning effectively, or take them again for a time while I try to permanently improve the situation.  Next time I may have to have someone tie me to the bed and put me to sleep as much as possible.  I’m kidding, but it is not pleasant and I don’t want to gain weight.  So I will do a long-term wean off of them this time.  I did a lot of reading last time and it said exercise was a good thing to do during feelings of withdrawal.  I can see that.  But I have to be in good enough physical shape to be able to do that.  And sometimes it was hitting me at work, and I can’t leave to go do a workout.

Feeling this withdrawal feeling again was scary, though.  I know why I ate all the time.  That’s what I wanted to do when this hit me.  I tried to drink a lot of water, get up and walk around and go talk to someone to take my mind off of it.  I took the half pill and felt better after a little bit.  I am going to have to be prepared for everything when the time comes this time.  But I really do not think I am going to be well enough quite yet to get off the meds.  This was just an unusual occurrence of feeling better for a few hours.

Most of this was written earlier in the day and it is now 8:06 p.m. and I am still at work.  Time to wrap it up and go home.  I don’t guess there will be a workout tonight.  I might try to do 15 minutes when I get home, but we will see.  There is going to be a whole lot of OT on this next paycheck!

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