A view of Mt. Rainier during our ferry ride
This morning I headed to morning formation in Winter PTs. I had an appointment this morning, but appointments at the pain clinic can be in the PT uniform…in fact most people that go to the pain clinic are in their PT uniform. After accountability I headed back to my car, pulled out my blanket, turned on the radio, ate breakfast, and then just relaxed for a while.
At 0800 I had an appointment with the pain clinic pharmacist. This is one that my pain clinic nurse case manager setup for me. The folks in the pain clinic just want their pharmacist to go over all the medications that I’m taking. We went over each of the medications, why I’m taking it, how often I take it, and the possible side affects.
Here is a list of my current medications I’m taking and what they’re for:
Amitriptyline: originally prescribed as an anti-depressent for patients, but helps with neuropathic pain over time. This is why my PCM prescribed it to me. I take a dosage of this each night, because one of the side effects is drowsiness. I can’t really say if this drug has helped at all. I think it may play it’s part in helping bring down my average daily pain levels. I say I’m not sure because I’m also doing less to aggravate my injuries and I think the pain clinic is also helping.
Oxycodone: Also known as Percocet. I take this when the pain is getting pretty bad.
Tramadol: This is also a pain reliever, I take this when I have moderate pain. It’s nice to have two different pain meds as well, because I can alternate using them to help space out how often I take a certain pain medication.
Rizatriptan: Also known as Maxalt. This is used to treat my migraine headaches. I don’t get migraines too often, but when I do this has proven to be very helpful!
Cyclobenzaprine: Also known as Flexeril. This is a muscle relaxer. I take this when I’m in quite a bit of pain and know I have a while I can sleep. This drug makes me pretty drowsy, so I usually only take it at night. This drug will allow me to sleep when otherwise I would either have a hard time getting asleep or staying asleep because of the pain.
Indomethiacin: This is an anti-inflammatory drug. I usually take this along with one of the pain medications mentioned above.
After going over each of these the pharmacist said everything looks pretty good. I’m not taking anything that’s unnecessary, I’m not taking too much of anything, and he didn’t have any additional recommendations for me. He wanted me to be aware of certain side effects if I started taking a lot more. After that we just chatted about the time I was stationed in Germany. He had been there for a few years during his career and enjoyed it as well. I’m glad he was OK with everything I’m taking. I hate it when people question what I’m taking for pain, I only take them when I need them…and I’d be pissed if they wanted to cut something out. I’ve tried quite a few other drugs which didn’t do much of anything for me, so I’m happy with what I’m taking now.
When we left his office, the chiropractor just happened to be walking by. I had an appointment with him later on today, but he asked if I wanted to take care of it now. I followed him into his office and he did his manipulation on my neck, then slapped on a little lotion or oil of some sort and proceeded to give me a neck massage. He could feel how tight my neck was while doing the manipulation. This felt awesome, I woke up sore and had been pretty sore all morning. After my visit to the chiropractor I was starting to feel better.
I headed down to the pharmacy where I picked up all my refills. I had called in refills at the start of the week and my PCM put in refills for me yesterday for some of the others. Once I finished at the pharmacy, I headed over to the SFAC to check my army email. I emailed the navy to let my co-worker know my schedule next week. I also emailed my PEBLO just to check in now that AKO officially says I’m over a week past the army average for receiving my VA results. I think I’ll email her to check in at least once a month. I don’t want her to forget about me…and maybe she’ll have some news for me.
Here’s today’s results for my medboard status on my AKO:
218 days remaining
Start Date: 6/26/2013
Goal Finish Date: 4/17/2014
Estimated Finish Date (No Appeal): 8/2/2014
Estimated Finish Date (W/ Appeal): 8/30/2014
My current step in the process is VA Ratings. My actual time waiting for ratings is 150 days. The army average is now 142.78 days. Current days I am over the army average is 7.22
I ate a quick snack from my car, then went to my 1100 acupuncture appointment at the pain clinic. I took off my boots and walked on the hard plastic rocks in my socks. I then laid down on my back on the exam table. For some reason today as I was being stuck with the needles, it was a lot more sensitive. Usually I don’t feel much of anything when I’m getting stuck, but I felt everyone of them today. I got one in my forehead, each wrist, both ankles, and on the top of my feet. I then listened to the relaxing music, relaxed, and did my slow breathing. The acupuncturist, turned out the lights and left. I fell asleep a couple of times while she was gone for the 15 minutes.
After the appointment, I signed up for an acupressure class for sleeping and headaches at my acupuncturist’s request. The class meets once a week for three weeks. After that I headed home and did my schoolwork for the day. When my wife came home we headed to the ferry so we could go watch my daughter’s basketball game.