Back in February 2011, I was prescribed Cymbalta. Now, Cymbalta is an anti-depressant that has shown, for reasons unknown, to block some of the pain associated with Fibromyalgia.
I started it, immediately felt crappy-dizzy, quiet, withdrawn. I knew it took a while to get into my system, so I kept at it for a week or so. I was still feeling like shit with the dizziness, yawning, quiet and sleepy, so I called my doctor. She suggested I switch to taking it in the evening, as I wasn't sleeping very good to begin with. (Sound familiar, fellow fibromites?)
After about another week or so, I started to see many of the side effects diminish. I was left with some yawning, a dry mouth, and decreased appetite. I figured, I will drink lots of water, stop eating so damn much, and get over the yawning. Because guess what? My muscular pain was going away! I wasn't having as much burning sensation in my fingers, my arms weren't aching, my legs weren't so tired-feeling. My mood had improved, PMS was getting better, I wasn't being such a bitch (chronic pain can do that to ya).
After about 4 months, I started to have some anxiety, my mood swings were back with a vengeance, and I was still having some pain in my joints. I was worried that, not only was a struggling with increased fibro symptoms, but Rheumatoid Arthritis was knocking at my door (my blood work shows the RA, but my Rheumatologist says that I am symptom-free, and is not treating RA at this time).
I sent a message to my primary, who said to double my Cymbalta.
This seemed to defy logic. Something worked, then stopped working. Take twice as much.
Didn't sound good. Also, I was going to have to deal with some of the mood issues when I increased-it made me very quiet, to the point that my husband always thought I was mad at him. (Apparently, I have a tendency to talk constantly, and quietness is a sign I'm about to open a major can of whoop-ass. Who knew?) So, we battened down the hatches, and doubled up.
The quietness came back a bit, but not as bad as the beginning. After about 4 weeks, I can say with certainty that my pain has decreased even more. My dizziness is limited to when I get up too fast, and it seems to be working!
I feel fairly lucky, because many people have not had good results with Cymbalta-it seems to be a regular treatment option by the doctors, but most people find it to not be a positive addition to their treatment. Strangely, the doctors continue to prescribe it. Maybe because it still has a patent, and it costs $50 per month, with insurance? I dunno.
I have decided that I like the new, improved calm Aimee. I know now that if I freak out at someone being unreasonable, they REALLY deserve it. I LIKE not being such a crab. Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to be a bitch most of the time? I'm guessing a few of you do, and I'm here to say that it's a pain in my ass having to keep up that reputation. I find myself not flying off the handle as much, not swearing at the kids as much. I like that. I know that I have gotten quieter, less over-the-top-emotional-and-over-involved. Not really missing that much.
I know my husband misses some of my crazy ways (what does that say about HIM?). Hopefully over time I will even out a bit more. Otherwise, I may need to make lists of the obnoxious things I used to do regularly, and try to attempt a few now and then so he doesn't feel so confused.
Wish me (and him) good luck!