Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 360--Keep on truckin'

Today was my last day teaching my adjunct college classes.  I had trouble sleeping last night and didn't go to bed until around 2 a.m.  Then I apparently slept through my alarm a few times, so when I finally heard it, I had about ten minutes to get ready.

Certain times of day seem to be worse for this illness.  First thing in the morning is almost always bad.  I'm either nauseated, have a headache, am aching, or a combination of the above.  Sometimes in the middle of the night I'll have IBS symptoms, but usually that happens more during the day.

The good part about teaching is that it keeps me busy doing something with my mind that isn't  physically painful, so a lot of times I forget about the pain for awhile, or it seems to lessen.  For that, I'm grateful.  I have been debating about applying for a assistant director position for a nonprofit center that works with children with disabilities and supports people with disabilities.  I am hoping that if I can get a job there they'll be understanding of my illness, since they employ people with disabilities.

After my class, I did some grocery shopping, then came home and took a nap.  I felt a lot better after my nap, although I was still having pain.  I have found the Nucynta the doctor prescribed to be helpful overall, although it's incredibly expensive and makes me sleepy.  I also don't think it is as effective on pain as vicodin was.  I'm fairly certain that when I go back to see her in a week, she will want me to continue with the Nucynta, and I'm not crazy about that idea.  Expense aside, it's not as effective and I have already had one hallucination on it.  It was minor and not particularly scary--just more disturbing than anything else. I was writing on my computer and looked up, and saw a large (five feet maybe?) feather about ten feet away, and then it disappeared.Like I said, not scary, but not desired either.

On Monday I see my rheumatologist.  Hopefully she will prescribe more muscle relaxants for me.  I have not found the patches (Flector) to be that successful because most of my pain can't be narrowed down to a 3x5 area.  I do find it helpful on days I have to work, when my shoulder is particularly painful.  The pain mgt doctor prescribed thermacare, and I've used it once when I was having tremendous pain in my shoulder.  That was helpful too.

I will be calling the psychiatrist this week to make an appointment to straighten out my meds.  I'm hoping he will try me on Cymbalta, which is proven to be effective not only for depression but for fibromyalgia as well.  My current antidepressant, Celexa, worked for a long time but eventually stopped being as effective as I think it should be.  I also am not happy with Klonopin for my anti-anxiety medication.  It does not work at all for me.  To me, it reacts as a placebo would.  I can't even tell a difference that I've taken it, and that's incredibly frustrating when you're in the middle of an anxiety attack.

I have tremendous problems with anxiety and probably always have; I just didn't know what it was.  I remember thinking as a child that I had lots of "butterflies" in my stomach.  I didn't understand that the feeling I had was anxiety and that I had far more of it than most people.  I do have occasional anxiety attacks, which I consider to be far different than dealing with plain anxiousness.  When I have an anxiety attack, I feel like I'm having a heart attack.  I sweat, shake, and even have trouble speaking.  About a week ago I had one and could barely get out the need for medication.  Fortunately, my mother was there and helped guide me through some deep breathing exercises.  Those were helpful in regaining some control, but the possibility it could return at any moment doesn't sit well with me.

I have wondered quite a bit what the rheumatologist wants with me on Monday.  I'm not anticipating a long visit.  She may test my vitamin D again, which I'm low in, and to be honest haven't taken it regularly.  I forget, since i only take it twice a week, and I'm sure she'll nail me for it.  I'll have to do better.

At least today has not been a very painful day, and I'm thankful for that.

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