Thursday, September 16, 2010

Better Living Through Chemicals

When I got the injection into my SI Joint (left), I thought I would be tossing out my meds, the ones that have been keeping me going the past few months as I dealt with this excruciating lower back/hip/butt pain.

But the post-procedure instructions had a sentence that meant worlds: "Continue your previous medication."

The technician in the doctor's office, whom I shall call X-Ray Annie, said I should keep taking my meds, but only the pain pill and muscle relaxer "as needed."


For the record, here's what I've been taking:

  • Meloxicam, 15 MG
  • Tramadol, 50 MG
  • Metaxalone, 800 MG

Meloxicam and metaxalone sound like two ancient Aztec potions meant to raise the spirit of Quetzacoatl, and should probably chased down with mescal, but the doctor recommends against combining any of these drugs with alcohol.

Meloxicam is a pretty mild, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory which can have some effect on kidney function output if I take it too long. It appears to cause severe kidney damage in cats.

Metaxalone, a muscle relaxer that goes by the trade name Skelaxin (sounds like a Swedish diuretic or weight loss medicine?), is the gold standard. It doesn't make me drowsy, so it's good to take during the day. I can work and function pretty well on this medication, whereas even if I took one Flexoril at night before bed I would be groggy all the next day. Sometimes they make me hyper. Relatively few side effects, and even the people who invented it don't exactly know how it works except that it has some liver interaction.It a

Tramadol is bliss. It's an opiate-based painkiller that does the trick and still leaves me coherent and bright-eyed. Actually, I've noticed my pupils are like pencil points when I've taken one of these. Gotta watch it, could affect the kidneys.

I will keep taking the anti-inflammatory meds, as long as it takes until the inflammation is knocked down. And I promise to take the muscle relaxer and pain meds, only "as needed."

And now for your listening pleasure, "Sex and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll," by Ian Dury and the Blockheads:


  1. I like taking Skelaxin over Fleworil for the same reason. Both are great muscle relaxers but Flexoril knocks me out.

  2. My issues are more neck and shoulder spasms due to disc problems. I've found that a once monthly massage with someone that really knows human anatomy can keep me off the muscle relaxers.