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Category: My Health

Cymbalta® Side Effects

I have now taken a 30mg dose of Cymbalta® for 12 days and the only discomfort I have seen/felt reduced is that caused by the medication. Almost immediately after taking my first dose I was nauseous and dizzy. A few hours after that I lost my fight with the nausea and lost my stomach. However, I must have absorbed some of the medicine because the nausea continued. By the next morning the nausea had subsided, but within an hour of taking my daily dose my fight with nausea began again.

My third day on Cymbalta® introduced me to more side effects of the medication. My mind began to race and I began to fidget. It seemed impossible to sit still. I was incessantly tapping, talking, shaking, pacing, even singing. Those of you who know me find the mental picture amusing, I am sure. (I am many things, but I am not a singer.) I struggled focusing on work, sleep, household tasks… and found myself pacing around the house accomplishing nothing. All the while aggravating my fibromylagia with the constant movement.

After a day of this constant motion and little rest my mind began to wander. My thoughts seemed uncharacteristic of Kate. It felt like my brain was divided into a stage and an audience and I was merely an audience viewing thoughts created by the players on the stage.

As you can imagine, I was uncomfortable in that position. My speech pattern was more peppy and energetic and I gesticulated to a dangerous extent–one dare not have stood close to me. I came to the conclusion that I could deal with as much nausea as was necessary if I could at least have my sanity and bodily control back. Heavenly Father must have thought that a fair trade… I almost immediately felt myself relax and my mind calm.

Over the past few days the dizziness has all but vanished. I still feel mildly nauseous but I am no longer limited to laying on the couch and eating tiny meals. It seems I am overcoming the side effects just in time to have my dosage doubled. I wonder if the larger dose will bring on additional side effects or bring back the sames ones I have struggled with these two weeks.

My jury is still out on Cymbalta®. Although I am experiencing relief from the side effects, I still feel worse than I did when I started taking Cymbalta®. I am looking forward to relief from my chronic pain as the medication begins to realize its role in my system.

Giving Cymbalta® a try…

chemical structure of DuloxetineImage from Wikipedia

My doctor’s appointment went well. He agreed with what our family friend suggested and seemed surprised I had not yet been advised to do so. I think he suggested a similar treatment plan when I was in high school, but I was afraid of taking (or, perhaps too immature and proud to take) a medication commonly used to treat depression. Anyway, my doctor put me on Cymbalta® and asked me to come back in two weeks to evaluate my progress before stepping me up to a higher dosage.

I am excited to try this new regimen and am optimistic it will work. To be honest, it can’t be worse. This is a win-win situation. The worst case scenario still allows me to check one more possible treatment off of my To Do list and brings me closer to the one that will help. All the while I intend to continue doing all I can to pull myself out of this flare-up. I’ve got a great team and a lot of faith. Bring it on.

In the mean time…

Family friends came into town to spend Easter with Daniel and I and my parents. The husband, a med school student, mentioned a doctor he knows who specializes in women’s health and fibromyalgia. He explained her treatment plan to me and suggested I ask my doctor about it. I was thrilled.

Earlier today my dad called our family doctor to get an appointment for himself and, when they said they could squeeze him in, he called me, offering to give me his appointment. I called the office, first explaining I hadn’t been to work in weeks because of a fibromyalgia flare up, then asking if there was any way I could be squeezed in. The lady in appointments said “No, those appointments are for sick people.” Appalled by the statement I muttered something about being sick even though I’m not contagious and asked if I could take my father’s appointment time.

Long story short: No.

I asked to be put on the list of people to call if there was a cancellation and hung up feeling the mark of a person with an invisible illness.

As generally happens, things worked out and a few hours later the lady from appointments called me back to tell me someone canceled their appointment for tomorrow morning and she’d scheduled me for their spot. It’s just like Buddy Vernetti says, “When you play by the rules, good things happen.”

A bit of an introduction…

I recently graduated from college and, I fear, am officially out of excuses to act like a college student. That, in no noticeable way, has altered my behavior, but I have noticed a fairly significant change (besides the size of my bank account).

Instead of dreaming of what I want to be when I “grow up,” I am making it happen. I got the steady job with the nice paycheck, I have a list of goals with a rough time-frame, I take time to read for fun and for business…. And, in doing these things I felt I never had time for during college, I have found the length of my To Do list only continues to grow. At the beginning of the month I added My Life With Fibro to my To Do list.

D Day
I officially became a fibroyouth™ at 14. After years of constantly hurting, visiting doctors, and undergoing tests, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by Dr. James Arkins. He was quick to recognize the symptoms because, he said, his wife had FMS. He was also quick to refer me to a specialist, since options for treating fibromyalgia were limited–especially for someone my age.

Moving Forward
My survival and success in high school and college can be attributed to the team of resourceful supporters I recruited over the years. Following my diagnosis, family members and friends came together to help me learn about, and minimize the symptoms of, fibromyalgia. It was a struggle to find information that was pertinent to teenagers with fibromyalgia. My team networked on my behalf… talking with their friends, reading about research and treatment, even buying me products to try. We spent years collecting information for fibroyouth™ and putting ideas to the test. Now I want to help others do the same.