Tonight I had to admit to my husband that I made a mistake. It’s taken me a bit of time to admit it to myself. I’m not sure which was harder.
I stupidly, stupidly went off my meds.
Mentally I was feeling good–better than I have in a long time. With a lot of help I found a new place, and we didn’t have to be on the streets. I’m not sure if I could have done that with or without all of the help I was so fortunate to receive if I hadn’t been mentally stable. But all the old pains crept back up on me. There were days when it hurt just to move. Every joint in my body ached, and I thought, “Why am I still taking these meds? They aren’t helping me anymore.” You see, I kept forgetting to take them, and I would have to “catch up”, and it seemed to me that there was really no difference between Jennifer on meds and Jennifer off meds, but I was wrong.
The truth is I just plain hate taking pills. I have always avoided doing so, and then suddenly I had to take three of the miserable little things every single day, and no one could tell me how long I would need to do so. Whenever I asked the answer was always basically, “Well, it won’t hurt you to take them, so you might as well take them.” But, because I have witnessed my husband’s experience with doctors and pills and band-aid “solutions” for the last 9 1/2 years, I’m calling bullshit. There are no “solutions” for people who hurt all the time. It’s just this pill or that pill and “So sorry. We have no idea what’s wrong with you. Let’s just punt and call it fibromyalgia.” Aaaand fibromyalgia isn’t a disease, it’s a syndrome. Depression is one of the myriad ailments associated with fibromyalgia. Aaaand since we don’t understand what the underlying physical cause of the rather specific list of ailments associated with the syndrome is, we might as well jump to the conclusion that the pain the fibromyalgia patient suffers is actually psychologically based. In other words, it’s ALL in your head.
All bitterness aside, I concede that my brain is somehow defective. Not enough serotonin or something. I guess. I mean, that’s the hypothesis, anyway. Right? Because as far as I’m aware, no one has actually done anything to find out if I am actually lacking for serotonin, rather they assume that is the case. But I am not a doctor. I am just a patient, and I should not ask questions. Good patients just shut up and do what they’re told.
I had to get a new doctor. My PCP sold his practice and went to work for the new boss man. They don’t take my insurance. So, I found a new PCP, and I expressed my concerns about the Cymbalta, and she suggested a change in my prescription. I’d already been off my meds for about a week. She said, “I can put you on a different medication if you like. It’s as old as the hills. They’ve been using it for years. If that’s what you want, I have no problem writing the scrip.” So I said, “Sure. Why not. Let’s do that then.” I knew, at that point, that there weren’t going to be any actual answers, no honest provision of information.
I’m doing a seriously shitty job of explaining myself. I’m sorry. I’m trying.
So, now I’m taking amitatrypta-whatever the hell it is and a muscle relaxer every night.
It’s kind of funny about the muscle relaxer. Every single doctor I have seen in the last 25+ years who has ever taken the time to lay their hands on my back has made the same “ooooh!” noise. When this one did it, I made the noise at the same time she did, with the same exact inflection and tone, in my head. I keep telling them that my headaches and the pains in my back stem from something going on in my neck, and they all agree with me, but…
Look, muscle relaxers don’t work. Muscle relaxers knock me OUT. I sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep some more. I suppose if you count the fact that I am not conscious of the pain when I’m knocked out, well then, sure. They work. “Well, if they knock you out, just cut them in half!” Yeah. I do that. They still knock me out. I don’t know why. I wish I did. And I wish that they actually had some effect on whatever the hell is wrong with my neck, but I’ve been taking the damn things for almost two weeks, and all that has happened is that I have managed to sleep way too many days away.
I did get a referral for a rheumatologist. The soonest they can get me in is January.
Mentally, I’m sliding again. I should have stuck with the Cymbalta. I should have let them increase my dosage and accepted the fact that I will probably have to take meds for the rest of my effin life because there are no solutions. But no. I am a stubborn fool. I hurt less, but I am … “inert”. And this is NOT the time for me to be inert. It’s not. I have to go Dallas in a few days for my training, and then I will begin my year of service, and I need to be mentally ready for this. But I’m not. And I’m scared. I know what is happening to me, because I’ve been here before. I’m trying to stay rational, and I’m trying not to fall back into the pit. I’m looking up, looking for something to grab, something that will help me climb back up toward the light and the air.
meh. It isn’t easy to tell you all of this, and I know I haven’t told it very well, but I thought you deserved to hear the truth.
I wish I could be the person you could go to when you’re feeling down. I wish I could make you smile. I used to be that person, once upon a time. I miss her. But these days I’m a real downer, and I don’t want to subject you to that.
I’m going to keep taking the new meds for a couple of weeks. It may be that I just need to give them time to fix my defective brain. If there’s no improvement I’ll see if I can get back on the Cymbalta. I’ll keep you posted, but I…
Look, I don’t want to keep giving you all the blow by blow details of my depression. I don’t want to be Moaning Myrtle. You know?
I love you all. I really do.
All My Love,