Pain Guineapig

My GP has decided to play with adjust my painkillers as we had discussed this week that I’m developing a tolerance of the dihyrocodeine /co-codamol combo that I currently take (were leaving the gabapentin levels alone as I can’t tolerate any more without becoming a zombie). We’re both of the opinion that maintaining a tolerable level of pain and attacking break through with tens, heat and swearing is much better than trying to deal with screaming agony. I’ll accept that sometimes it can’t be avoided, but let’s not poke a wasps nest when I don’t have an epipen eh?


Anyway, before we look into any more or any stronger opiates, she suggested trying tramadol. I’ve resisted it before as it’s got an unpleasant reputation for addiction and there’s no telling if it will help or hinder. So it was agreed that I’d try them at 100mg and report back in a week or so, but would hold out until the weekend to take them “just in case they don’t agree with you”. This can be roughly translated as amyltriptelene made you projectile vomit like an audition for The Excorcist, we haven’t a clue how you’ll react.


I’m pleased that I’ve found a GP who will talk to me like an intelligent person, explains their thinking, and is up front that much of what we’re doing is guess work. I appreciate her honesty.

I took the first dose tonight in place of my usual codeine cocktail and so far so nothing. Aside from a weird potsy feeling (palpitations) and tingling in my calves.


edit: 2 hours in and the last set of painkillers have thoroughly worn off, but the tramadol has not kicked in and oh God my joints are telling me about it. Mr Geek is sleepy and I have a pneumatic drill taking my SI apart, whilst my legs are burning and my wrists and hands feel like they have hot sand sliding through them. So far, it’s about as effective as a smartie 😦

Morning update: I think we can safely say that tramadol doesn’t make me sick, but equally doesn’t stop the joint pain. 3am – woke up on a pain scale 9 with tears streaming down (I’d dreamt that I’d broken my arms and legs whilst walking the kids to school, but realised when I woke up that it was the pain interfering with my sleep). The only thing I could compare it to is when I dislocated & fractured my elbow – same kind of unreasonable panic inducing feeling, but in my hips, elbows, knees and back. Initially, it didn’t even occur to me to do anything other than curl up and cry. Eventually, I pulled myself together, took some dihyrocodeine and put the electric blanket on and it died down a bit.

I’m not going to write them off after just one dose, but I will vary the parameters. I’m giving myself today to recover and get a handle on my pain levels, then I’ll try swapping them in for a daytime dose.

Endnote : I know EDS is painkiller resistant, but it’s so frustrating that what works for one of us, doesn’t for all. Still, in my own words to my studebts: “Chin up chicken. We’re not beaten yet”

3 thoughts on “Pain Guineapig

  1. Came off tramadol about 6 years ago, I wish I could remember all the reasons I did not like it, but I have forgotten. I do know it was not a pleasant experience. I have been taken the same dosage of hydrocodone compounded w/o acetaminophen for about 5 years.

    I am hoping you have an alternative plan for medication if the tramadol turns into a no show♡


  2. I have eds and fibro and found that tramadol works best for my fibro (more muscle based) pain than my eds/joint pain. Why is beyond me. Now I’m on fentanyl (the patch) which is great because I don’t get the ups and downs of relief/nausea, but after being on it for four months I’m already noticing tolerance. There’s no winning.


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