Hi there, this is my first post. Im a 22 year old college student who was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis 4 years ago. first two years were a breeze compared to now, i was on indomethican, Diclofenac, but they caused my stomach to bleed, so NSAIDs are not really an option. two years ago my rheumatologist prescribed me Humira 40 ml every 2 weeks & norco 5/325, and last year norco 10/325. at the beginning of this year we both agreed that i was taking too much acetaminophen, and i told him im a little self conscious taking out a big bottle of pills at work and school, so he prescribed me oxycodone ER 30mg , 1 pill every twelve hours and upped my humira to once a week. For 9 months i felt like i was normal again, i could actually sleep through the night for the first time in years.
but ever since the fall semester started, its been a bit of a nightmare managing my pain levels. I have a 30 minute commute, and then have three 75 minute lectures back to back, and another 30 minute commute home, almost 4 hours of sitting in hard plastic desks hunched over taking notes. i have a 15 min gap between classes, but not even 5-10 mins into class i have to constantly shift my body because of severe pain. And then theres the hours upon hours of studying, homework papers, etc. im going to see my rheumatologist in 2 weeks, but ive been sick as a dog with acute bronchitis which i caught at school, so i went to minute clinic at cvs last sunday and got on an antibiotic. I cant even describe the constant aching pain im enduring right now, and what may be worse is the fatigue/malaise, i usually have some fatigue, but now it feels like i need to sleep all day, i wake up tired and achey, and stay that way throughout the day, and both symptoms only get worse as the day goes on.
I am extremely hesitant to ask my dr if i need a medication change. I know im very young for opiates, but i cant imagine being able to continue school without them. i dont enjoy taking them, but i enjoy the relief i get if that makes any sense. And with the pain medication im on now, i have to take a dose every 12 hours regardless or else i will feel like hell, and my dr told me that its dangerous to miss doses because my body has a tolerance and that i can get sick if i do. I just feel like im too young to have to sit at home everyday with a heating pad just to feel comfortable, this has caused me to have almost no social life, im just to tired to go out and do things with my friends for extended periods of time. once and a while ill go out to dinner with a friend, but thats about it. I have been doing a little research and have found on a few sites that its quite common for someone who suffers from chronic pain to have an extended release medication and an instant release medication for breakthrough pain, the er meds are still take around the clock and the ir meds are takes as needed.
Should i ask my Dr for an increase in my extended release medication? or should i ask for an instant release mediation to pair with the meds im currently taking? Should i consider changing biologics? any advice would be greatly appreciated, and I think it would do me some good to hear from someone going through something similar so i dont feel so isolated. you can try and talk to friends and family but they just dont understand. Im just frustrated, and tired of feeling this lousy.