Back when I first got diagnosed as having M.E. you might recall that I was worried that I would be on pain meds for the rest of my life. If not then the post is here.
Over the few years I have learnt to accept that I will be on pain meds for a long time. However one of the side effects of Gabopentin was hostility. Now, to be honest, I am now renowned for my tolerance at the best of time but this was unbelievable. My aggression level was at about 8 out of 10 and that was just when I got up in the morning. Unfortunately it was the people that I cared about the most that were at the wrong end of my moods. I went to the doctors and explained my symptoms. My medication was then changed to Pregabalin. Within a week I could really notice the difference, my mood was more upbeat and I was becoming more tolerant of the misbehaving children. All was good, or so I thought. Over the next few months, I began to notice that I was gaining weight. I initially thought nothing of it. It was Christmas time and then January is full of birthday takeaways.
As some of you will know, there used to be a whole lot more of me than there is now. I have always been determined that I would never gain weight like that again, so I watched my calories for a few weeks. My calorie intake was around 1800 but each week I was still gaining weight. It had got to the stage when I had been on the tablet for around 12 weeks and I had gained 16lbs. So another visit to the docs. This visit was basically explained to me that weight gain is a side effect but you need to pick 1 of the 2 tablets you have been on. I was given 1/2 strength tablets to try and reduce my intake to find a level that was right for the pain that I had.
Now I was thinking about alternatives. Susan had always been suggesting that I should look more into alternatives but I wasn't so sure. I have always believed in the wonders of modern medicine. If there is a tablet that makes it better then that's for me. However I was now at a crossroads. I either had to accept that I would be on pain meds that would increase my weight at a pretty alarming rate or I look into something else. I decided to begin looking.
Susan and myself have been lucky over the last year or so to make some friends via twitter. One of these, Dawn, was training to do Cognitive Hypnotherapy. She offered to create a pain script for me to try. I accepted but wasn't really expecting anything from it. As I have said before, I normally don't believe these things work. Man, I have never been so wrong in my entire life. I listened to it for the first time and I have to say the experience was bizarre. The pain however was lifted. At this point I had stopped my pain meds so I was expecting an increase in pain. When the pain was getting worse I would listen to it again and the pain would lift. As time went on the strangest thing happened, I could no longer visualise the "pain". This freaked me out, so I contacted Dawn just to make sure. She reassured me that this was a good thing, not being able to "see" the pain was what was stopping me from experiencing the pain.
It has now been about 6 weeks since I have came off my medication. I have to say that I am glad I have done this. Cognitive Hypnotherapy would never have been something that I would have chosen so I have to be thankful to Dawn for offering me her help. For anyone reading this I don't think I could recommend this highly enough. Everyone should check out her website www.thinkitchangeit.com.