Mission Unaccomplished

(Photo from WeHeartIt)

I’ve slowed down significantly with posting over the last few weeks. I just have not had the energy to do much more than the bare minimum that life requires of me. I know you understand what that is like, and I hope something in the energy department changes soon! I really don’t know what else to do, to get this fatigue under control.

This was one of the things on my list to address today at my doctor’s appointment. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any helpful suggestions. My concerns were heard, and acknowledged, and confirmed that this all falls under the FMS/CFS umbrella (which I knew), and that’s about all that happened. We went over what I am doing to manage my health, and how I am trying to get on top of my issues, and apparently I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I know it’s not my doctor’s fault, and it’s not my fault either, but I’m frustrated! We have exhausted the options we have available, and she reiterated that what we are trying to do is find the best way to manage my chronic illnesses. I get that, but it’s frustrating, none the less.

Something else that is irritating me, is how my questions get diverted. You know how easy it is to divert a fibromite’s attention right? Oh look…there’s a butterfly… and that’s enough to make me forget what I, or anyone else was talking about. It is not because my doctor lacks knowledge when it comes to FMS/CFS, so I don’t know why my questions are diverted. I’m distracted so easily, that I only realize after the fact, that I never got "true" answers to my questions, and it’s starting to piss me off. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like my doctor, and she has gone over and above her call of duty, to try and get my illnesses turned around. I’m just having one of those days.

The primary reason for my appointment today was to get renewals on my pain meds. We drew the same conclusion today, as we have at every other appointment. We have not successfully found a way to manage my pain. No doubt? I’ve been on and off of more meds than I can count, and suffered some nasty side effects, to go with. My doc has been trying to persuade me for quite some time, to try Cymbalta. The problem is that it scares the hell out of me. I’ve heard a number of horror stories, and I’m terrified of the side effects. I understand that we haven’t found anything to manage my pain effectively to date, and obviously, nobody hates that fact more than I do! However, I can’t help but wonder if it is worth risking some of the side effects that one may experience with this drug? I should note that I do not tolerate meds very well. When do the benefits outweigh the risks?

I came across a "quality of life" chart a few weeks ago. I can’t even remember where I saw it, but I was shocked at my score. I knew that obviously I haven’t been able to live life to the fullest, but I think it is actually worse than even I have realized. On a scale of 1 – 10, I score from a 3 – 5, depending on the day :S

Perhaps I need to just trust that I’ll be okay to try this med, and maybe I’m ultra concerned about side effects because of previous experiences with other medications, but it’s hard to just ignore those concerns. I don’t think that turning a blind eye to the risks or being ignorant about it, will benefit me in any way. It’s never easy to go down that road, no many how many times you’ve done it. If you too have felt like a lab rat, you can understand exactly what angle I’m coming from.

I’ll think it through and talk it over with my hubby before I make a decision either way.

Do you have any first hand experience you would be willing to share about this medication? I would really like to hear what you have to say! Please leave me a comment, or email me privately at chronicconnection@gmail.com

As always, I appreciate you stopping in, and taking the time to read at Chronic Connection.

~ Gentle Hugs

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9 Responses to Mission Unaccomplished

  1. My experience with Cymbalta
    I just started Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago. It hasn’t done a whole lot to decrease my *pain* as such, but my *stiffness* has decreased significantly. Before Cymbalta my pain was pretty consistently at a 5-6 level, and would quickly rise to a 9-10 if I pushed myself too hard. Now my stiffness has almost disappeared, and my pain is more in the 3-5 range. I think that’s pretty significant, since I’ve only been on it a couple of weeks!
    The first night I started the 30mg dose, I had terrible insomnia. The next week, when I upped my dose to 60mg, hubby tells me that night I kicked him, hit him, and pawed/mewed at him like a kitten. I don’t remember doing any of that at all.
    My doctor also gave me a script for pain meds, which I had filled at my local pharmacy instead of the mail order place I get my maintenance meds from. I recently read something in the fibromyalgia community here where someone talked about how pain meds reach peak effectiveness when taken regularly, instead of on an “as needed” basis, so I may start doing that to see if it makes a difference. I still don’t like the idea of “becoming dependent” on my pain meds, but if that’s what I have to do to lead a “normal” life again, so be it.
    I hope this information helps you. Have a great day!

    • Nancy says:

      Re: My experience with Cymbalta
      Thanks NightShade! You are always so awesome about sharing you support and experiences, and it’s gratly appreciated! That is certainly an encouraging share. I’m assuming you haven’t suffered any serious side effects if you are still taking it.
      Thanks again 🙂
      Hope you have a restful night. I take sleeping pills and muscle relaxers, so the problems with sleeping may become a concern. She wants me to take it in the morning, so hopefully not an issue!

      • Re: My experience with Cymbalta
        I take one 60mg capsule in the morning. I take Trazodone and melatonin at night (in addition to my other meds) to help me sleep, so once I got past the initial insomnia (it lasted only a couple of nights) I was fine.
        The other thing I forgot to mention is that my experience with Cymbalta has been a pretty typical bell curve. I noticed no improvement Mon/Tues, by Wed I felt great, by Thurs not so much, and I basically stayed at that level until the following week when I went from 30 to 60mg. The pattern repeated itself, but at least this time my plateau is at a 3-5 level instead of 5-6 like it was before the Cymbalta.

        • Nancy says:

          Re: My experience with Cymbalta
          I’m glad that it is providing you with some relief! Down a level or two is actually pretty good! I haven’t experienced that kind of relief with any meds I have tried yet. Fingers and toes crossed 😉 I’ll probably be weaned off my other med, and ready to start Cymbalta next week.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have nothing to offer you in the way of Cymbalta. I would be scared of it as you are if I were faced with the choices especially in light of your reactions to meds.
    Thankfully I have found that Phenocane and quercetin work for me pretty well. I stay around 4-5 in my pain levels now with occasional flare-ups. I don’t struggle too much with stiffness anymore so…
    I will be praying for wisdom for you to make the best decision for you.
    I hope you turn a corner to a better day soon.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Selena, My doctor had me try it once as an antideppresant. It made me really nauseaus so I didn’t stay on it very long. I am a lucky one because I don’t have pain like you, so I don’t know how it is for pain relief.
    When I go to the doctor I HAVE to take a list or I can get brain fog too. Nothing is worse than getting in your car and be on the way home you remember something that you forgot to talk about.
    One of my doctors just takes the list from me, and goes over everything on it.
    I hope you get over this bad flair up of fatigue. It is maddening.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In response to taking Cymbalta. I went on it over a year ago for depression/anxiety. The bonus side effect was that the achiness and pains in my body decreased. As I am sensitive to medication the initial dose was too strong and I was really droggy for a few days. My doctor then put me on a slow integration of it.. I think it was 30 mg every day or second day then increased eventually two twice a day at 30mg. I found that 60mg at once too strong. I also spent a week adjusting, but most due to feeling so relaxed and sleepy.
    Anyhow that was my experience. Hope it is helpful.

    • Nancy says:

      Re: Cymbalta
      Thanks you for sharing your experience with us! I greatly appreciate everyone’s input. I received quite a few private messages regarding this topic as well.
      It was a difficult decision to make. After much research and consideration, I decided not to go on Cymbalta. It just doesn’t feel right for me, or at least not at this moment. However, I’m glad to hear the stories of those who have found success with this medication! I hope that things continue to go well for you, and that you continue to get some relief!

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