As you all know, I’ve been battling the symptoms and limitations of Fibromyalgia for nearly 20 solid years. I was diagnosed in the latter part of 1992 and have written about my experiences with the disease a few times since I started blogging not long after our 12-year-old daughter was born. Over the last few months, I’ve shared my fears and frustrations as my symptoms have gotten worse and I’ve grown more dependent on those around me when I have flare-ups. I finally decided to see a doctor back in September and got two prescriptions — Voltarin and Lortab. The Voltarin I honestly never took and the Lortab upsets my stomach so I would take half of one when I just couldn’t stand the pain anymore …
I got my doctor to refer me to a specialist and saw a rheumatologist on Friday. He was very receptive and listened to what I had to say. He explained various things in detail to me and didn’t mind my questions about the biology behind the medications he prescribed to me. He also didn’t seem perturbed when I refused to take any prescriptions that were relatively “new.” I am not accustomed to taking medications because I’ve almost always maintained without them, so he respected that I was apprehensive, but understood that I do realize I need them at this point.
He ended up prescribing Ultram (50 MG) for pain and Flexeril (10 MG) as a muscle relaxer which he’s hoping helps me to get into the restorative stage of sleep that I do not reach and haven’t for years, which is largely the reason for me waking up so stiff and never feeling “refreshed” after a full night sleep. The Flexeril is also supposed to help with the muscle spasms that I have so frequently. My main concern with each of the medications are that headaches are a side effect of each of them. Since I already have headaches almost daily, I really don’t want to have even worse headaches :(
I really dislike having to take medication at all since most of the ones used to treat Fibromyalgia patients cause drowsiness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Since the combination of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue already cause me to experience all of those, these medications are making them worse. I’ve been dragging all weekend, really groggy, and my eyes are working against me. I’ve not gotten hardly any work done on my clients’ projects which of course isn’t good but I’m trying my best to get used to the effects of the pills and not give up on taking them because I really need the relief that they promise to provide.
I was complaining to Barry about how the meds make me feel and he asked, “Are you hurting?” When I told him I wasn’t, he reminded me that I just started taking the pills and that I will get used to the physical effects, but the main thing is that I’m not in pain. I suppose he’s right… I’m just so anti-pills that isn’t hard for me to not notice every little thing and make a big deal about it. I worry about how the medications will affect my body long-term. Since Fibromyalgia is not a degenerative disease and thus doesn’t affect me physically except to make me hurt, I was always adamant about simply dealing with the pain. The more symptoms I experience, however, and the more pain I’m in, the less I’m able to manage on my own and the more necessary medications become.
Still, I’m worried and I don’t want to take them. But I am and I resent that it has reached a point where I’m no longer in control and I no longer have a choice. I need to be at my best or I can’t give my best to my family, my clients… myself. So, here I begin traveling down another road on my journey to comfort.