Friday, September 23, 2011

Up Them Meds

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I started it, immediately felt crappy-dizzy, quiet, withdrawn.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!

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