I haven’t walked around as much as I should. There are days where I wake up in pain, like today, and days where I don’t. Regardless of the day, I should follow the physical therapist’s, Doctor-Number-Fourteen, advice to walk for a minimum of five minutes daily. My body’s problem could be that my lower back isn’t resting on my hips correctly, or my hips are not… as cool as they could be. Hard to say.
Well, I’m high right now, but it’s medically necessary. I’m taking Gabapentin for lower back pain that’s lasted nearly a month now. I’ve been barely able to do anything other than sit here and distract myself from the constant pain from waking up to going to sleep. So here I am, my mind is somewhat mentally disconnected from my body, so the muscles can stretch back to how they should be. Am I breaking sobriety? 
I took my first dose of Gabapentin at 9:25pm. It’s 9:27pm now. Let’s see how this medication does for me over the next few hours, or whatever. First, I thought this was going to be Pregabalin, but I suppose they’re similar enough. Second, the side effects warning include suicidal thoughts in “a very small number of people, about 1 in 500,” so that’s concerning. Third, I’ve started to get a bit of a headache, but we’ll see…
After I told my physical therapist that my previous session left me tired for nearly a full day, Doctor-Number-Fourteen adjusted the options we’re trying for therapy. I’ve given him the moniker -Fourteen because he’s providing medical advisement for me and remotely helping my primary care physician Doctor-Number-Nine with my treatment. We’re still applying desensitization and light stretches, but we also tried cupping, since the skin around my lower back is not responding to normal sensations.
I told my physical therapist, Doctor-Number-Fourteen, that I wasn’t able to do any of the stretches or exercises he had recommended I do. I told him that after each session, I was wiped out throughout the next day. After the first session, I was tired for about a half-day. After the second session, it was nearly a week. I had been struggling against fatigue and was in constant pain. We might be approaching a solution.
It’s 2:37pm and I just took my first Methocarbamol. I’m listening to the Endless War Kickstarter stream while I’m waiting the estimated 30 minutes for this muscle relaxant to kick in. I’ve got everything prepped for tomorrow, mainly prepped my coffee machine, in case I get knocked out from this, but considering how other similar medications have been, at most, I’ll be fine. Still, consider this a trip report for how things go as they go.
A colleague once told me how one nurse could tell the difference between someone “faking it” to get recreational medication and someone that truly needs pain-relief medication. Cases may be different for everyone. I am someone that… even seven-plus years into this whole sobriety thing… well, if things happened in a certain direction… But no. There was one thing that separated people looking for a fix and people looking to get fixed up, or, repaired.
Within twenty minutes of my hour physical therapy session, I was tired, and by forty-five minutes in I had reached my limits. I didn’t even do that many stretches. My body had just been so sore overall. The physical therapist had found a knot on my right side that, although it alleviated some of the pain, did later lead to some back pain. It’s all on the course to healing, but it’s still rough going.
Well, I’m back, but at least it’s not for the same issue, I guess. My lower back started acting up a few weeks ago. I’ve been on medical leave for over a week now, and yesterday was my first day going back to physical therapy. I did one hour of stretches after diagnosing the particulars of my lower back issues. I’ve been in significant pain all day today. I know it’s necessary, but still, ouch.
How can I level up my sobriety? Let’s look at how I’ve done so since I started writing about sobriety over two years ago. My biggest positive change was learning to recognize when I’m experiencing stress. That’s my main trigger for moments that might encourage me to indulge in insobriety. If life is going well, and not just from some outward appearances but if I feel like my life is going well, why risk that?