Sign up for my newsletter!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Detoxing Sucks!

Originally, I was taking 60 mg a day of Cymbalta. My doctor has dropped this to 20 mg with the goal of completely weaning off it. The plan is to take 1 pill per day for 7 days. Then take 1 pill every other day for 7 days, followed by 1 pill every 2 days and so forth until I'm off them. Of course, this is all happening on the heels of not taking any pills for 4 days, and when I did see my doctor on Monday, I was already feeling the effects of detoxing. She warned me it would continue and possibly get a little worse, so I've been bracing myself for a bumpy week. 

Tuesday (5/17/22) -- When I went to bed Monday night, I was so nauseous. Even the slightest movement made me feel like I was going to hurl, so I remained very still and eventually feel asleep. Thank God! Woke up again around 3 a.m. sweating but it wasn't nearly as bad as the previous two nights. I easily fell back asleep, and Crowley woke me up around 7:30 a.m. I feel great! No lingering nausea, and I wasn't tired. I worked out and now I'm actively working through my to-do list. 

I was able to work the entire day without taking a nap or otherwise feel like I was going to crash. Crossed 8 out of 10 items off my to-do list! Though, by the end of the day, I'd started to get a dull headache that lingered until I went to bed. But, overall my mood is good, and I'm thinking positively about things. 

Wednesday (5/18/22) -- Woke up around 4 a.m., feeling a little sweaty and slightly nauseous. My headache was gone, though. I easily went back to bed and slept until my alarm went off around 7 a.m. That's something else I've noticed since starting to wean / detox -- I'm sleeping better. Before, I'd wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes more than once) for various reasons, and I'd be awake for an hour or more. That's not happening now. When I do wake up, it's just for a few minutes, and then I'm sound asleep again, which I'm sure is a huge help during the day with me not needing naps anymore. 

Another thing I've noticed (that I'm really not happy about) is that when I went off the meds this past weekend, I dropped a couple of pounds. Now that I'm back on them again, even though the dosage is lower, I've packed those couple of pounds back on. The up and down is frustrating, to say the least, but I know this is because of the medication. A side effect of Cymbalta is weight gain. 

I'll be so glad to finally be off these meds.

Thursday (5/19/22) -- I slept in until 9 a.m. this morning, which is something I rarely do anymore, mostly because Crowley usually wakes me up to go outside. But he was being lazy, too, apparently. lol. I felt good today, though! No pain. No headaches. No fatigue. I took the day off from work stuff to spend with my daughter. We went to a local book sale, then to the mall so I could find a dress for my aunt's wedding. Overall, it was a great day!

Friday (5/20/22) -- It's been 4 days since I went back on the lower dosage of medication, and according to the schedule my doctor set, I'm supposed to take 1 pill each night until Monday, then I switch to every other day. I woke up in the middle of the night last night, ended up trying to sleep on the couch (that didn't work so well), so I went back up to bed when my husband got up around 5 a.m. Took me almost an hour to fall back asleep. Alarm went off around 7, and I struggled to get up today. I'm tired and want to nap, but it's not the same type of bone-weary exhaustion I had in the past. Though, I am worried that continuing the meds for another couple of days will keep increasing these negative symptoms that I'm trying to get rid of. I don't have any pain, so that's a bonus, I guess. 

I cannot wait to be done with these meds.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Back to the Doc

As I'd mentioned in my last post, I made an appointment to go back to see my doctor, and I'll share about that below, but first... here's how my weekend went and what I learned (completely by accident!)

On Friday, I'd gone grocery shopping in the morning and ran some errands, then I came home, put everything away, made lunch, ate... and then promptly fell asleep for about 3-ish hours. Woke up, had to run a couple more errands, made some dinner, and then went to bed fairly early. Know what I didn't do, though? I never took my fibro meds. It wasn't intentional--I'd simply forgotten to do so. And this is where things get interesting...

Saturday (5/14/22) -- My BFF Emily is here visiting for the weekend. She's currently (and temporarily) in MO for work, so I haven't seen her since I was out there in February for my book signing. We'd made plans to get together today, and I wasn't going to let anything get in the way of that. I woke up around 8 a.m., did not work out, but showered and got ready to meet up with her. I was feeling great, too! I didn't wake up tired. I wasn't in any pain. My entire head (brain / mind) felt clearer than it had in I don't remember how long. I didn't feel like I was having trouble focusing on stuff. I felt like my old-self, and that felt so good I wanted to cry with joy. I spent the entire day shopping with Emily and my girls. I even came home with dinner and did a little housework after. Granted, I was in bed around 8 p.m., but I hadn't napped at all--and what's better was that I hadn't wanted to--and I slept through the night! The only real thing that was different was that I hadn't taken my meds yesterday. 

Today, I intentionally didn't take my fibro meds because I want to see if this was a fluke or if my suspicions are correct and it's the medication making me feel so crappy lately. 

Sunday (5/15/22) -- Woke up around 7 a.m. not feeling tired or achy at all, so that's fantastic! I didn't work out, but I did spend a solid two hours cleaning the house/office, and that's equivalent to a workout. I've been doing laundry and working a bit, preparing for the upcoming week. Overall, I'm feeling really good and most importantly: Positive! I can see a light at the end of this tunnel, finally, and I'm hoping things just continue to improve. I'm excited to see my doctor tomorrow and discuss all of this with her. Maybe I've finally reached a point where I can manage the pain and fatigue without any meds, which would be amazing. But even if not, at least I'm prepared to advocate for a change in my meds. 

And yes, I realize how dangerous and bad it is to just stop taking prescription medication cold-turkey like this, but desperate times and all that. By the time I see my doctor tomorrow, it will have only been 3 days that I haven't taken the meds, and I'm really not showing any negative effects of being off it. Anyway, I'll update again after I talk to my doctor. 

Monday (5/16/22) -- Woke up around 3 a.m. drenched in sweat, which I'm guessing is a symptom of stopping my meds like I did. Eventually fell back asleep, and when I woke up a few hours later, I was feeling great. Had lots of energy. Worked out, and then began crossing things off my to-do list. However, by noon / 1:00 pm, I was starting to feel a little weird. Dizzy. Lightheaded. Queasy. Again, I figured this was all due to quitting cold turkey. 

Anyway, I saw my doctor and explained everything to her. (She's so great, and I'm lucky to have someone who takes me seriously and truly listens to my concerns.) As expected, she warned me against stopping my meds, but she was genuinely impressed at the improvement over the weekend. We agreed that the Cymbalta was probably doing more harm than good, so we're going to slowly--and safely--wean me off the medication. By this time next month, I will be med free for the first time in three years, and I am so incredibly excited for that! 

The next month or so will probably be a little rocky, but knowing there's an end in sight makes it all worthwhile. Onward and upward, right? I can do this!!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Week 3

As I'd mentioned in my last post, I'm going to start sharing weekly updates, so here's how this past week has gone...

Sunday (5/8/22) -- Mother's Day was very relaxing for me. My husband did a majority of the cooking (smoked ribs with mac & cheese). I took the day off from all work and writing and enjoyed spending time with my family. I even got all dressed up and took pictures with my girls and Crowley, which was fun. My parents came over for dinner, and we played cards. 

Monday (5/9/22) -- Pretty sure I ate a few too many carbs on Sunday because I'm feeling a little drained today, despite having slept well last night. My back is killing me today, too, and I don't know if it's because I sat in an uncomfortable kitchen chair too long yesterday, or if I worked out too hard / long this morning. I didn't even bother to put on makeup or jewelry today, either, which is something I always try to do. (Dressing for success and all that.) Not sure I'm going to make it through the day without a nap. All I really want to do is write, but I don't have the mental energy to put words on the page :-( 

I did end up napping for a little over an hour. Normally, when I wake up, I just feel even more blah, but that didn't happen this time. In fact, I managed to write a little over 3,000 words, and I completed 7 out of 9 tasks on my to-do list. Overall, it turned out to be a pretty good day!

Tuesday (5/10/22) -- I woke up feeling pretty good today. Still had a little bit of lingering back pain, but that might be because of how I slept last night. I worked out for 30 minutes and dressed for success, complete with makeup and jewelry. Will I end up napping again today? Probably. lol. But I'm already making good progress on my to-do list, so even if I crash later, at least I was somewhat productive. 

Took a two-hour nap today. *sigh* I'm beyond frustrated that I can't seem to make it through an entire day without a nap. What's worse -- I don't even know why! Yes, I know I have Chronic Fatigue along with Fibro, but I used to be manage things just fine, and now I seem to be going backward, and that's not a good feeling. 

Wednesday (5/11/22) -- No pain when I woke up today, so that's good! I didn't sleep very well last night, though, and I know that's because I took a late-afternoon nap. This is a vicious, unbreakable cycle, it seems. I don't sleep well at night, so I'm tired the next day, and I end up napping... which in turn makes it so I'm not tired at bedtime and then don't sleep well. Day after day after day. I just don't know what to do anymore, but I cannot keep this up much longer. 

I'm beginning to wonder if exercising in the morning is making all of this that much worse. Maybe I'm tiring myself out and that compounds the situation. So, I've decided to try something different today. I'm going to adjust my schedule and work out this evening, after dinner, and see if that helps. If I can make it through today without a nap and then tire myself out later so that I can sleep better tonight, I'll consider that a win.   

Well, made it through the day without a nap, but by 5:30 - 6:00 p.m., I was so dang tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. Had no energy at all, so I ended up laying on the couch playing games on my phone until it was bedtime. 

Thursday (5/12/22) -- Slept on and off ALL day. I was sleeping more than I was awake today. Did absolutely nothing except eat lunch, make a phone call, and wash a sink full of dishes. Went to bed around 7:30 p.m. and slept through the whole night. I am beyond frustrated with how things are going lately. I can't seem to find anything that's working, and I'm so down in the dumps that I have zero interest in anything, including all the stuff I normally love--like writing, editing, reading, coloring. I just don't want to do anything anymore. Oh, and the phone call I made? To my doctor's office. I go back in Monday afternoon.

Friday (5/13/22) -- I went grocery shopping this morning and ran a few other errands. But now I'm exhausted and want to sleep again :-( I have no desire to do anything else, and now the feelings of guilt and shame are rearing their ugly heads, like I should be doing something, I should be productive. But I'm not. Also, I seem to have started my period. Again. For the second time this month, so that's fun. (Not!)

I did do some research, though, and it turns out the medication I'm taking for my Fibro (Cymbalta) actually causes sleepiness / tiredness. I'm going to switch to taking it at bedtime rather than middle of the afternoon like I have been, see if that makes any difference over the weekend. But I plan to ask my doctor to switch me back to my original meds (gabapentin) because I never had these issues with the fatigue when I was on that. The only reason I switched in the first place was because I'd been having more consistent pain. But y'know what? I can manage pain. I can't manage anything when all I do is sleep. 

So, that's where things are as of right now. I hope this weekend won't be awful because my BFF will be here visiting and we have plans. I'll update again next week. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Day 13

Today is a good day--definitely better than the past two days. I worked out this morning, then cleaned the house. I even managed to write just under 2,000 words, and that's always a great feeling! As the afternoon wears on, though, I am starting to get tired, but I'm doing my best NOT to nap. 

I have decided that rather than post daily updates, I'm going to do these posts once a week--on Fridays--and just give a weekly recap of how I'm doing. I'll be taking tomorrow off completely to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom and to spend time with my kids and husband. For those who celebrate, I hope y'all have a wonderful day, and I'll see you all next week!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Day 12

Yesterday wasn't a great day. I ended up taking another nap later in the afternoon, and I was in bed again by 7:30 p.m. I did manage to get through 8 items on my to-do list, though, and that's pretty good considering how I was feeling. 

Thankfully, I woke up feeling better today. Still a bit drained, but I don't feel the need to nap, and the pain is mostly gone. I didn't work out because I didn't want to over do it and feel crappy again tomorrow. Then again, I usually don't work out the day after a flare-up, so this isn't anything groundbreaking on my end. 

I left the house today to get groceries and buy my mom a Mother's Day gift. I'm also back at my desk working, albeit a tad slower than I'd like. I had a good writing session this morning, too. I didn't write a ton of words, but they're good, and they made something click in my mind in terms of this series. I'm now very optimistic and excited to work on this now! 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Day 11


Wow -- what a difference a day makes when living with a chronic pain disease :( 

Woke up this morning in a lot of pain (back, thighs, knees), and I'm really not sure why. I have some theories: bad posture while sitting in my desk chair the past couple of days, worked out too hard, slept wrong... Or maybe I didn't do anything wrong and my fibro is just flaring up. That's the thing with this disease, you never really know for certain. 

So, I didn't work out this morning. I did take all my vitamins and ate a Keto friendly breakfast hoping that would help perk me up a bit. It didn't. Instead, I fell asleep on the couch for almost 3 hours. I forced myself to get up and shower--which, by the way, drained what little energy I had--and then I ate some lunch and took my fibro meds.

Overall, I'm just feeling very blah. That's a bad enough feeling on its own, but on days like today, all I want to do is eat stuff I know I shouldn't. (Like carbs. Lots and lot of carbs!) But doing so will only make me feel worse tomorrow, so today, in addition to feeling blah, I'll be fighting the urge to binge-eat.

At almost 1:00 p.m., I'm just finally starting to feel a little better. I've parked my butt on the couch with my laptop, though, because it's just a lot more comfortable. I'm going to attempt to work through some of my to-do list. I know I won't get through all of it, and the guilt about that is already rearing its ugly head. But if I've learned anything the past few years living with Fibro, it's that I need to listen to my body, and if my body is telling me to stop, slow down, rest, then I need to stop, slow down, and rest. No matter how much I don't want to. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Fighting Fibro: Day 10


I have exactly one word to describe yesterday...


I made it through the entire day without a nap! I accomplished 17 out of 18 items on my to-do list! I cooked dinner! I even rewarded myself with a nice, long hot bubble bath--I mean, self-care is important after all. I'm sure I could've worked another hour or two and crossed off the final item on my list, but I'm determined to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and I'm proud of myself for sticking with that. Granted, I was in bed by 7:00 p.m. last night, but I was reading, not sleeping. Reading something fun, for pleasure, not for work. YAY for another victory!

I'm having another good day today, too. Got up with my alarm, wrote, worked out, ate a healthy breakfast, and I've been working my way through my to-do list. My weight is down a couple of pounds, which is really encouraging. Though, I'm not really focusing much on what the scale says anymore. That was really starting to stress me out, and that's not good for my mental health... or the spiral of bad thoughts about food that inevitably happens. Instead, I'm focusing on how I feel, how I look at myself in the mirror, and this morning, I was truly proud of how I looked, and that's what matters the most. 

Right now, it's almost 3:00 p.m., and I'm quickly losing steam. I'll probably work for another hour, then call it a day. There's still quite a few items on my to-do list, but you know what? There's nothing on this list that's going to cause issues if I don't get them done today--they'll still be there waiting for me tomorrow.