Like I’ve said before, I’m getting old. With age, come certain body aches and pains that weren’t there before. Recently, I was diagnosed with 2 herniated disks in my lower back. The diagnosis came after shooting pains filled my legs and I couldn’t walk more than 2 feet without having to stop and rest. It took me 40 minutes to get from my office on the 3rd floor to the waiting car in the front of the building, and a further 45 minutes to go the 100 meters from where the car dropped me off to my apartment. All this happened in China, of course.
Recently, I have been trying to get my health on track. I’m eating better (for the most part – I still have a Starbucks addiction), going to doctors to get checked out, monitoring my medicines. I recently met with an orthopedist who set me up with Celebrex for my back pain. It didn’t work very well, so he gave me Paracetamol with codeine to back it up. When I tell you I was flying on these meds, I was actually soaring high above the clouds. Codeine is some powerful stuff, and it worked to get rid of the pain, unfortunately it also made me loopy as hell. So, the doctor prescribed Tramadol instead. I’m not sure what the market name is in the US, but it’s sold there too. He said it may cause drowsiness, but not like the codeine (incidentally, I saved some of the codeine for a particularly painful day). I took my first Tramadol/Celebrex cocktail this afternoon, and slept for 2 hours. This medicine did not only make me drowsy, it made me sleep. Thank goodness I didn’t take it before I went to work…..I could only imagine falling asleep in front of a class or at my desk.
I had a similar problem when I was younger and took Benadryl for my allergies. The bottle says “may cause drowsiness.” That’s such a lie! It should say “WILL cause drowsiness and WILL put you to sleep for several hours!” Even the “non-drowsy” meds can sometimes make you drowsy. I once fell asleep after taking non-drowsy Sudafed 12 Hour cold medicine! I hate being sick because I feel like a narcoleptic, falling asleep anywhere and everywhere.
I have to quantify something. I am not talking about the medicines that are SUPPOSED to make you drowsy. I, myself, have made use of products like Unisom, Tylenol PM and NyQuil. These products are designed to help people sleep. They are designed to allow people that are ill to get some rest. They work, and they supply people with much needed rest so they can get better. After all, NyQuil IS the “nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever so you can rest medicine!” These companies make it obvious what their products are for.
When other medicines that “may cause drowsiness” cause people to pass out, they need stronger warnings. I had work that needed to get done today, but now I’m 2 hours behind because of my Tramadol-induced coma. These meds need better warning labels, or at least ones that are more accurate!