Ultram: the bomb of all bombs.
Twelve hours ago, I was lying curled up on Chef Boy's bed, leaking tears because my foot hurt so much I was afraid to actually cry, because that would joggle the foot and make it hurt more.
I just walked (after a fashion) from one end of the house to the other without pain.
Tramadol (Ultram, Ultram ER) is the shit, man.
It's an atypical narcotic, which means it won't make you stupid or nauseated and will make you only mildly itchy and dizzy. It's not considered a controlled substance, and in some countries (according to Wikipedia) it can be bought over the counter. (Yow.) We use it a lot in people with post-surgical pain, both IV and orally. I'd heard great things about it from my patients who'd had, say, neck or brain surgery that disturbed a lot of muscles, but I'd never tried it until yesterday.
Mister Happy, the doctor I see at the Doc-In-The-Box, gave me the choice between Ultram ER and Darvocet. Now, if you feed me hydrocodone in any form, I'm goofy and happy and then go off to a sweet, refreshing sleep for, like, sixteen hours. So I wasn't crazy about trying Darvocet, which has a lower side effect profile but approximately the same effect as hydrocodone. Ultram it was, then, and I took my first pill about an hour later. I currently have the maximum allowable dosage swimming around in my bloodstream. I wouldn't drive or climb ladders or dance feeling like this (dizzy, a bit off-center), but I'm functional.
And I can walk. Well, I can hurple along on the side of my right foot (the injured one) and the flat of my left foot, but it's better than hopping.
The Verdict: If you're suffering with post-surgical pain that simply doesn't respond to anything else, or if you've got, say, sesamoiditis that makes you want to cut your foot off, try tramadol. If all you have is a normal tension headache or a sore shoulder, you're better off with ibuprofen (tramadol takes a while to kick in).
PS: The results of the X-ray Mr. Happy took yesterday show that I have more sesamoid bones in my foot than is strictly considered normal. That in itself isn't cause for concern, since most folk walk around with a couple extra or missing bits, but it does explain why I was hurting so badly--more things got knocked out of place and inflamed. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the creepy genetic combination that led to extra sesamoid bones and a strangely-placed, horizontal wisdom tooth under my right cheekbone. You guys rock.