Looking into medications to treat Fibro, I became aware of how truly scary it all is. “Why can’t there be a magic pill that cures all?!” I would cry to myself… of course nothing is ever that simple, especially when it comes to Fibro. I would see a post asking for advice on a certain type of medication and the comments were always so divided: from “do not touch this awful drug ever” to “this was a life saver for me”. Makes total sense why no one knows what the fuck to prescribe you.
My medication was pretty complicated because I have also suffered long term mental health problems so I had been on Lexapro for over 6 years. The doctors didn’t want to give me anything that could react badly with that, so first up was Lyrica. I started off on a low dose then gradually increased; I honestly felt no change from this, it did not improve my sleep and it did fuck all for my pain so after a few months I stopped using it.
Next on the list was Amitriptyline. Oh, Amitriptyline. Once again I started off low and increased dosage over a week. At this stage, it was admittedly helping me to fall asleep easier – I have always struggled to fall asleep because my anxiety goes wild at night so this was a good thing. But that was all it did; I was still in pain and my sleep still sucked during the night. I also began having this horrible feeling of dread inside me but brushed it off as anxiety. The doctor then decided that he had a great new plan to take me off my medication I had been on for 6 years to start me on a totally new medication, so I would be taking Amitriptyline and Duloxetine, what the fuck? Well, this combination has not yet eventuated, as a couple of days later I ended up in hospital.
I woke up one day and knew something was wrong, I couldn’t explain it very well to my partner because for some reason my brain had decided it was totally confused, that awful dread feeling intensified, my heart was racing and I was shaking like a leaf. As always I went to my trusty support groups to find an answer and after reading that Lexapro taken with Amitriptyline can cause Serotonin Syndrome I shat myself and my partner took me straight to the ER. After being checked over I was given Valium to calm my racing heart and anxious body. The doctor informed me I need to come off the Amitriptyline as soon as possible. I began weaning that day; it took me about a week to wean and recover, each day getting a little better.
This experience scared the hell out of me and has put me off wanting to try anymore medications, for the time being anyway. I figured I would go ahead with weaning off my Lexapro also because I was on the highest dose and it just had not been working the same as it used to; my psychologist agreed and an appointment was made with a psychiatrist to change my medication. This is still to come.
After recovery was complete, I had a couple of days where I felt so good. I was in the middle of a challenge to walk to raise money for mental health, I smashed out the KM’s and I went to bed knowing I’d probably wake up with some aches and pains, but what else could possibly go wrong now? Hah, fuck… I woke up the next day and OMG, how wrong could I have been. Why did I even think that I could go a week with no health issues? I mean, if it’s not a new diagnosis it’s a medication issue. Anyway, during the night when I rolled over everything around me spun wildly in my head. Not thinking too much of it, I continued sleeping. In the morning my head was dizzy and the room was spinning and I felt SO sick, so in my usual style my anxiety kicked in and I decided of course that I was dying. I called my partner Aaron at work and bawled my eyes out; I was a literal blubbering mess trying to explain what was going on.Anyway, my Dad ended up coming over to calm me down because my Mum was worried because I’d bawled my eyes out to her as well. In the end though, I realised I wasn’t crying because I thought I was going to die, I was crying because I was so disappointed that I had felt so amazing the day before and then, like always I got hit with something else. In this case, hello Vertigo.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars!”Khalil-gibran
I have never in my life seen so many doctors. My new symptoms seem to just get grouped in with my Fibro. Is Fibro really the shit gift that keeps on giving the shit presents that you just do not want? Or, are the doctors just not connecting the dots and there is something else going on? Is there like a sci-fi-esque full body scan that can discover every single thing wrong with me? Count me in, because I am very much over this.