I've been struggling with my new medication regimen. about 2 months ago, my PM told me to increase my hydrocodone use to 20-30mg per day, rather than move on to a stronger time-release med (currently, Ultram ER 300mg).
I've been finding that daily use makes me feel crummy. I'm o.k. for the first 10mg, but as the day moves on, and I take more, I get headaches (even with 3-4 liters of water) and just don't have the energy I used to. So, I've tried various strategies -- taking lower doses more often, taking a large dose in the morning then waiting a long time until I take another, etc..
Overall, I feel like I am negotiating between cognitive side effects on the one hand, and sufficient pain relief so that I can work on the other.... and so far, I haven't found the balance.
Although Hydrocodone in the past (where I would take it just a few times a week) was activating, that just is no longer the case. It doesn't make me as groggy as some other opioids, but it does now seem to erode my ability to concentrate. Over the next six months, I have a book to finish, two papers to write, a conference to organize, and a new book series to get started (as general editor). But most days lately, I can barely get 2 hours of work done!
Today, I'm going for a new MRI and will be seeing the ortho on Monday. Maybe he'll have a good plan of action. Otherwise, I think I'll have to tell my PM that the hydrocodone doses aren't suitable, given my cognitive needs.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg & 2-3x 10mg Hydrocodone daily. Oxycodone 10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).