I've stopped all of the prescription pain meds and switched to ibuprofen. The anesthesiologist called this evening, and I am so grateful. He said most of post-operative nausea/vomitting is due to pain meds and I can believe it. I can't even keep all the names straight - percodan or percocet then a switch to Nucynta.
The Nucynta was the mildest but still made me queasy and gave me horrendous nightmares in which all innocent little animals were hateful violent. I had one dream in which I was attacked by a giant butterfly, bashing it's purple wings into my face. The fright! It also gave me auditory hallucinatons and I was hearing all sorts of scary things. When I felt chest pain with painful breathing I stopped altogether. I'm not going to keel over dead from pain management after a knee surgery.
I went to physical therapy (PT) this morning and it was a good slow start. I have a lot of apprehension. The poor guy bent my knee upward while I grimaced and groaned and when he asked on a scale of 1 - 10 how I'd rate the pain with one being the most bearable and ten being the least, I said through gritted teeth,
"About a one."
"Well, maybe a one and a half. It was really uncomfortable."
That was characteristic of all interaction and then he threw in my biggest fear. The muscle stimulator aka ELECTROCUTION. He saw the fear immediately and knew it was real when I asked if he was going to taze me like in Cops. He had to explain everything. Lucky for me the muscle stimulator was left for another day. For the most part the appointment went as expected but towards the end I felt very, very sick again.
The wonderful Dr. Ali was helpful when I told him I was considering stopping the opiates. He said he could call in a nasal spray that was a very mild pain med but I declined. I feel like I can chase pain meds for days and only find the right one when I was on the mend. The meds aren't astronomical with insurance but they do add up and I was told that each day further out from surgery would be less painful. Dr. Ali recommended taking both ibuprofen and Tylenol (acetaminaphine) together. He said they are two different classes of drugs and work well together for pain management.He did say that you had to make sure to take them every 4 hours because they're excreted through the kidneys.
So this is the regimen I have started. I started with ibuporfen until we pick up Tylenol tomorrow. I took a nap and had dreams of getting beat up by an angry elephant that threw me off of a building and then jumped down on top of me. I thought I was going to die. I can only hope that this is not an sign of things to come.