Phyllocontin Continus – a cautionary tale… An update.

Note: This was written on Easter Monday. I mention this to save rewriting it to change the tense – so while past tense is still past, present tense is Easter Monday.

Days 2 and 3, on just one PC tab a day (morning), seemed to go well, day 4 (Monday), not so much (day one, Good Friday, I had the residue of the full morning dose in my system of course).

I’m very short of breath, and profoundly tired (O2 shortfall, presumably, despite my 95% O2 sats which, frankly, I don’t belive), despite sleeping for almost 10 hours last night, though my brain still retains a greater clarity than usual (put another way, less brainfog!), which I put down to there being much less codeine in my system (I found a sheet of 30/500 Co-codamol, but they need to be rationed).

Several things have become clear:-

Apologies for the erratic spacing in what follows. I’ve retyped it 3 times and still, when I import it to WordPress, it screws it up. I just don’t have the strength to re-do it – probably futilely – again.

1)      Cutting PC, despite the associated risks and conflicts with other meds, particularly inhalers, is not a viable, long-term, option. Cutting inhalers is not an option at all.

2)      Paracetamol (Acetaminophen in the colonies), is wholly inadequate alone, and I will never understand why doctors have such faith in it. Because it’s cheap, I suppose. It might allow me to reduce my codeine intake, though – time will tell.

3)      DHC, though I have plenty, dramatically worsens my oedema by stopping my diuretics from working. No idea how. Not, therefore, useful except in the very short term – hours rather than days. It’s primary use is in my combo of two 30/500 Co-codamol, 200mg Naproxen** and 120mg DHC – my emergency backup for when pain is completely off the charts.

**This is a US formulation which, while weaker than the UK version,      which is 225mg, is somehow more effective. For me, anyway.

4)      It’s also clear that I’m seriously dehydrated (most people on diuretics are, because we don’t drink enough).  My fluid intake is mainly from taking my meds. As I’m short of, or out of, those I take multiple times day, this hasn’t been happening. I need to drink more in between, too – that can be fixed.

5)      Running out of such vital meds can’t be allowed to happen again. I have to devise a system that will ensure I don’t make that mistake in the future        (a shelf, to store my unused meds, providing an instant, visual, check on       what I have, is the current favourite, plus reminders on my mobe and in Outlook, on my PC). I also need to ask my GP for a double ration, so that I always have a complete back-up. This will be even more essential if the           tanker drivers’ strike happens – it’ll affect home deliveries, and maybe even deliveries to pharmacies.

6)      Just realised I forgot my early morning Ginseng – is that why I slept so late and feel so tired? I suspect it is. Just taken it at 13.00. I’ve found Ginseng valuable for many years – in the seventies I’d take it on backpacking trips – but a month or so ago I started taking a new brand, first thing in the morning. Not sure what the strength is, labelling is vague, but it’s remarkably effective. I’m able to be up and about by 08.00 pretty much every day. Not necessarily washed and dressed, but it’s still       an improvement! Note: I perked up after taking the Ginseng, but mostly felt pretty bleurgh for the rest of the day.

7)      Energy drinks are of some use. Nothing fancy, just Lucozade Energy – sugars and caffeine. Drinks with more exotic ingredients are a crock – they contain too little to be of any benefit. By “of some use” I mean it can keep me sitting at my computer, without dropping off and falling off the           chair, which I’ll take as a win!

8)      Note to self – do not ever run out of drugs again!


Note: It’s now the afternoon of Wednesday, April 10, and I still haven’t been able to get my meds, and not for want of trying. Details in next post.