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Category: Trying Stuff

Me and Amitriptyline

I love AmitriptylineAmitriptyline was my first love. And, I confess, we still have a thing going on.

I have taken 10mg or 20mg essentially every night for the last decade. These tiny pills changed my life. They taught me what a real night’s rest was like. They pulled me through high school and college and cut my falling asleep time from 3+ hours to 30 minutes or less. For this, I love Amitriptyline. But, last night as I struggled for over 3 hours to fall asleep I decided Amitriptyline no longer reciprocated that loving feeling.

Luckily, this morning I have regained my composure and I take back my delusional thoughts; I now believe that the Cymbalta* is to blame for my trouble sleeping. It made me tired all day yesterday, and the naps I took kept my brain awake last night.

No matter, I am off to my follow-up to talk with my doctor about the first two weeks on Cymbalta.

*Note: I have not yet been on Cymbalta long enough, or seen positive results enough, to call it my Cymbalta.

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.

Fibromyalgia and Timothy Ferriss

After years without a severe flare, I had forgotten how bad things could get. Now, I remember and I am ready for a change…

The first few years after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia were rough. But after settling into a routine and helping teachers and friends understand how to help me succeed with FMS I eventually began to step out of the constant fibro flare. By the time I went to college I had my FMS under control. Occasionally a late night or miserable weather would throw me off but, after some solid rest and wise decision making, I would feel better.

At the beginning of the month I had an assignment due and I did what it took to get it done. Since then my body has done all in it’s power to remind me I cannot afford to put work, or much else, before my health. I haven’t been to work for a normal day in over two weeks. I work from home as much as I can but my brain can’t seem to think in numbers. The fibro fog tries to make its way into my life but I’m fighting.

I tried to make an appointment with my specialist but his secretary told me I’d have to get his approval and give up my already scheduled annual December appointment in order to meet with him on such short notice (we’re talking two weeks out). I think this low-information diet Timothy Ferriss suggested has backfired**… I must have missed a memo. Did the United States already switch to a universal health care system? Are healthcare appointments now rationed?

In an effort to get help asap I have decided to turn to my family doctor for help. I called for an appointment but he was completely booked so I made an appointment 10 days out and started scheming up ways to survive until then.

**In all reality I recommend Timothy Ferriss’ low-information diet. Try it for a week. It has helped with my fibro fog and decreased my stress. I am more productive and less overwhelmed. The diet I created for myself is not as strict as the one he discusses in The 4-hour Workweek but I’ve enjoyed it.