Chronic Pain

A 51 year old female living and dealing with lumbar back pain and fibromyalgia. Sharing things I do for relief, reduce stress and control weight gain.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New News

If I pick up where I left off I'd share that I love my new psychologist.  She is a lot different than who I was seeing.  I liked her though, that's very important for someone who will be prescribing you medication that can change your total attitude and nature. 

She had a drug in mind at the end of our session that she thought she'd really like me to try.  UGH...I hate coming off of antidepressants.  It's always so scary.  Not to mention I'd just had this awful experience with the Limbrel that was still slightly present.  She went into discussion of why she was considering this medication.  As I left she wanted me to just take my current medication and she'd call me the next day with her decision.  She wanted to review my genetic testing.  

On Tuesday she called as promised but had something else in mind she wanted me to take.  I have to say I was disappointed at first because I'd done some reading the night before. For the first time I liked what I read and even the patient reviews were good.  Those can really scare you.  D does not like for me to read all of that.  I had to trust her judgement though.  Dr. L's notes mentioned that she was considering me trying this medication and she agreed it seemed to fit my needs based on her notes and genetic testing notes.  The good news was she had the first month in samples for me.  My husband went by and picked it up for me and the journey started.  

OMG !! I shouldn't have read the reviews on this one.  Maybe 1 out of every 10 was positive but 9 negative with a lot of side effects.  The next day I started tapering down on the Viibryd and started the new one.  Two days of 20 then up to 40.  Today was the last day of the Viibryd.  It hasn't been to bad.  Not sure the side effects I'm feeling are from coming off one or starting the new one.  This new one has only been on the market since the fall of 2013 so I'm a little nervous about that.  My new doctor likes that it helps with chronic pain.  Like Savella, Cymbalta, and Lyrica all of which I've tried.  Maybe, just maybe this is the one with the perfect balance.  Pain, depression and anxiety.  Supposed to cover all of this.  What a wonder drug if it does! 

Yesterday was my annual eye exam except it was a little later than annual.  I just can't seem to stay out of a doctor office so there are a couple I scheduled out during the year even though I was due to go at the end of the year.  I have to see the dermatologist next month.  

I've been telling my husband that I had a feeling my prescription for my glasses would change.  Seems every time I go in my eyes are worse.  She said around age 60 they will level out and should stop changing.  Not urgent.  I can wait a few months and just call in when I'm ready.  After my eyes had reached the point they were dilated enough she seemed to spend more time than usual looking and studying.  After she was done she talked to me about Fuchs Dystrophy.  The good news is that I come for my annual exam so we caught it right away.  I was kind of in a fog as she explained about the disease, causes, symptoms and worst case scenario.  

Wow, I sat in my car feeling like every time I go to the doctor they tell me something is wrong.  I think I will stop going.  I know that's not the answer but right now I'm still in the "why me" & "don't I have enough" stage.  I'll be past it soon.  I don't stay there long, but it's something I have to go through.  My way of dealing I guess.  

Fuchs Dystrophy, no matter how you look at it, has no good end.  It's a slowly progressing corneal dystrophy that usually effects both eyes and is more common in women.  It rarely effects vision until people reach their 50's and 60's.  I'm 7 months from knocking down that door!  Symptoms may include:

Blurred vision on awakening that may gradually clear up as the day goes on.
Other types of visual impairment, including distorted vision,  sensitivity to light, difficulty seeing at night and seeing halos around lights.
Eye discomfort..
Painful tiny blisters on the surface of cornea-caused by excess fluid within the cornea.
A cornea that is cloudy or hazy in appearance
Blindness-may occur late in the disorder.

Treatment involves in early stages topical hypertonic saline, the use of a hairdryer to dehydrate the precorneal tear film, and therapeutic soft contact lenses.  Definitive treatment however is surgical in form of corneal transplantation.  

At this point I stopped reading.  I don't want to know or understand anymore right now.  My progressive change in vision is not related to the Fuchs Dystrophy.

Gluten Free is going well.  I want to mention because there has been some talk in the news of GF being unhealthy if you eat too much of the same thing over and over and not getting in enough veggies.

Kind Bars....very good  GF

scrambled egg with veggies, GF shell with salsa
A couple things I discovered that are good.  The Kind bars are tasty.  I try to just have one occasionally.  They are expensive at some places like health food stores but Albertson's carry them.  They regular price is still cheaper than HFS. I recently caught a sale on them for .81 cents.  Thats why you see a box of them!  I never eat breakfast for breakfast.  Honestly I hardly like any breakfast foods.  I do however like scrambled eggs for supper.  I decided one night to jazz them up and put in a GF wrap add a little salsa and it was awesome.  

At least 2-3 nights I've been stuck on jasmine rice with saute bell peppers and onions, grilled chicken and broccoli all tossed together.  Guess what I add for some spice?  Yes your right, some salsa!

Jasmine rice, broccoli, bell pepper and onions 

Thats all I have folks.  I'm processing this new news and really can't wrap myself around anything else.  
Enjoy the rest of your week and I wish you peaceful and painless days.
God Bless,

Monday, June 9, 2014

My two week pity party

I changed my mind three times for the title of this post.  I saw some hope and once again feel defeated....

Two weeks ago tomorrow it dawned on me that I was supposed to stop taking any NSAIDS until my scope that was scheduled for that Friday the 30th.  Great, day one tomorrow of a week of hell.  I just didn't know how I was going to deal without my "extra" help.  

Sunday wasn't to bad because I tried not to do anything more than I had to.  The following day was Memorial Day and D had grilled the day before so I didn't even have to cook.  I'd really started to dive into my gluten free change. I had very little left in the house of mine that would be a "no-no".  I was pretty set for the week.  

Tuesday I went to my daughters house as usual to watch the grandkids.  I got through it.  I'm usually pretty beat when I leave but my pain level was pretty up there this day.   Each day seemed harder and harder.  I did everything I could to get through without the ibuprofen and not increase the pain medicine.  More creams, increased stimulation and a lot of praying.  In the end it caused a flare up that was out of control and guess who came to visit...yeah my friends the hives.

Thursday evening came around and I was so relieved it was over.  Try and sleep tonight, take the test tomorrow and get some answers.  I always believe before every appointment or test I'm going to get an answer.  The same answer I've wanted to know for years.  No different news about this text.  Pictures looked the same as last year.  That part is good, but the fact that my symptoms are much worse are not.  He said absolutely no more ibuprofen.  I'm crushed! What about cutting back I asked him?  He said, "well, you could take 1 TID"  I seriously thought he was joking.  I take 4 at a time.  I was thinking more along the lines of taking the 4 once a day instead of twice.

My mind drifts back to the Limbrel that my PM doctor wanted me to try.  I tell the gastroenterologist about it and he agrees it's a great option to try.  So I take my first dose when we get home with my coffee I missed earlier that am. I had another prescription to pick up that day so I discussed how to take the Limbrel with my pharmacist.  I was thinking it was like the ibuprofen and you have to wait 2 hours between it and pain medicine.  She let me know it doesn't work like pain medicine and not to get my hopes up to get relief instantly.  If it  works it will be an overall reduction in pain scale by reducing some of my inflammation.  She said it won't make me feel better, then ware off like the pain medicine.  So when I returned home I was glad to know I didn't have to wait two hours to take my pain medicine.  It was almost lunch time and I was just taking my morning regime of medication. 

It's supposed to work best on an empty stomach so I wanted to do my best to try and take it that way.  By my second dose that night I was so nauseated :/(
Please God, let this be temporary.  One of the side effects but should pass quickly.  Not taking with food will help your body absorb better.  It continued most of the week.  Wearing off a little each day.  Finally by Thursday I was past it almost completely.  Then the bombshell hit...I went to bed that night and shortly after lying down starting feeling as if the bed was spinning.  Ok, this was weird.  What in the world is different.  It continued to get worse and keep me from sleeping.  I took out my pain/medicine journal and started to study.  

I got up Friday morning and when my feet hit the floor I felt so dizzy I went right back down.  It was so weird to me I'd never really experienced dizziness like this.  Both times I tried Lyrica I though I was dizzy but now I'd call that "light headed".  More like a brain fog or brain zaps.  My eyes twitched with that medication also. 

I had a friend coming over to visit and wasn't by any means canceling my plans.  My car was in the shop and I was stuck home anyway so I tried not to let it get me down.  I told myself hey, your not going anywhere today anyhow so couldn't be a better day to happen to you. It will pass and be over.

Speaking of my friend,  One of the things I love about her is she has no problem calling me and saying, "hey are you free this week I want to come visit?".  Perfect day for her to come since I was at home and even though I was feeling pretty weird having her here kept my mind off of the dizziness and my worry of why? It actually lightened a lot for some time but then later in the afternoon right about the time D got home I had to get still and recline in my chair.  I still took my evening dose of the Limbrel and I could tell after that the swaying, spinning and nauseas feelings returned with a vengeance.  Ugh...this can't be happening.  Please tell me it's not the medication.  If it isn't though, what is it? I really need this medicine to help me and to not make me have new problems.  After another rough night Friday night and barley able to get around Saturday am I was really getting down about this.

Who can I call on a Saturday? pharmacist. I love her.  She knows my husband and I both and I can talk to her about most anything.  I let her know what was going on and she recommended I get something over the counter for nausea because that usually helps with dizziness also.  She recommended I try some Bonine until I talk to the doctor on Monday. 

 She said there was a possibility it may not even be the Limbrel.  It may be vertigo she said.  I don't know what would be worse to not be able to use the Limbrel or deal with treating Vertigo?  We talked about how I'd recently started swimming again.  Maybe I had some water in my middle ear she suggested?  Maybe this, maybe that.  Try this and call your doctor Monday.  The most she could do for me.  She's not a doctor after all she reminded me.  She could see the disappointment.  I couldn't hide it. 

I had taken the morning dose and decided on my own to skip the night dose.  At 1am I was finally able to lay my head down and try to sleep.  Even the Bonine was not helping at all.   I'd decided I'd rather start over if I have to because it's the only way I see to know if that's what's causing the trouble.  Sunday morning I was so exhaused from the previous two nights lack of sleep. I pushed my way though a epson soak hoping to detox some of the medication out of my system and I was really adding to the large amount of water I drink.

I wish I could explain how I was feeling.  I tried telling my husband.  He said he understood but I know he didn't.  What's new with me not feeling good?  It's always something.  I am a fighter though.  I was so sick of feeling sick that I wasn't spending another day stuck in my house feeling like I had to hang around the bath room and hold on to the walls.  I got dressed and made myself to to the store.  I think I know how a drunk person feels driving now.  Don't know how I got there but I did and I was ok.  Felt good to get out of the house. 

It wasn't until 5 this evening I seemed to feel better.  Matter of fact I had went out side and realized I was watering and doing ok.  I decided to get in the pool and walk around a few laps.  It went very well surprisingly.  Could this be over?  But what does that mean?  I can't take the Limbrel?  That really stinks.  Guess I will wait to talk to him when he calls instead of making conclusions.  Maybe I can try the lower dose of 250.  I asked my pharmacist if maybe eating with it may be helpful.  She said that is not a side effect that would change from eating with food.  

So I usual.  On them to see what they say.  I'm expecting to hear it mostly like was the Limbrel causing or why would it have cleared up over the past two days.  If it continues to stay clear guess I know for sure.  Like I said above, I really needed this medicine to work for me but I push myself though a lot with my back already hurting.  I guess if I can't take it just wasn't meant to be.  Worse case i'll take the ibuprofen anyway.  At this point I'm just looking forward to sleeping good tonight and waking up feeling "normal" for me.

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my new psychologist.  Third one.  I really like the previous one but she retired to be with her daughter in another state having her first grandchild.  I guess I can't hold that against her. I just hope this therapist and I connect and have the same relationship I did with Dr. L.  I have a lot of questions for her.  None pertaining to any of my issues from this week end.  She doesn't prescribe that medication for me.  I plan to ask her to try and wean off of some of my others if she thinks I am ready. 

Thank God for my stimulator and it working so much better than it used to.  I couldn't tolerate what I do without it.  Some parts of my post may not seem right as far as time lines and days.  I tried multiple times to write but many things were out of the question with the dizziness.  Reading, watching TV, checking email, walking around in the pool.  Very simple things I couldn't do.  It was so frustrating.  Tomorrow is a new day.  If I can't take the medicine I accept that.  I just hope it doesn't come back.  I have no idea what my treatment for inner ear problems or whatever vertigo treatment is.

Struggling to keep up H.O.P.E.

Morning Prayer to start your day.

I will this day live a simple, sincere and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of impurity, discontent, anxiety, fear, and discouragement.  I will cultivate health, cheerfulness, happiness, charity and the generosity in giving, carefulness in conversation and diligence in appointed service.  I pledge fidelity to every trust in a childlike faith in God.  I will be faithful in exercise, deep breathing and good posture.  Eat only healthy foods and get sufficient sleep each night. I will make every effort to improve myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually every day of my life.