Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I’m on drugs.

Medical ones. Obvs. Vat you thawt? Haw. Anyways, these ones are for the fibromyalgia that has been my near constant companion for about 5 years. Fibromyalgia is an annoying kind of disease. Cuz it’s not really a disease. It’s the term they slap on widespread muscular and/or skeletal pain that happens for no known reason. Well, they think they may know the reason – a physically traumatizing event like infection, injury, surgery, or prolonged psychological stress that ends up amping your nerve sensitivity to such a level that just existing hurts. But so far, no tests to prove it.

So yes, I hurt, all the time, in many parts of my body, for no obvious reason. I just wake up like that and have for a while now. It’s not the end of the world, but it does wear you down and sap your energy. After years, it starts to stress you out and mess with your sleep, which in turn, makes your symptoms worse. It’s a VICIOUS CYCLE. I love that term. I always imagine little circle monsters with sharp pointy teeth trying to eat themselves.

But because there’s no one real cause for fibromyalgia, there’s no one real cure. Just lots of things to try till hopefully something takes a bit of the edge off. I’d been ignoring mine for the past few years, but I’ve got a new doc who thinks that if she fixes my fibromyalgia, she can improve my quality of life. So hence, the new meds.

You get three options for fibromyalgia meds – pain relievers, anti-depressants and anti-seizure meds. The idea is that the pain relievers can either inhibit your brain’s production of the chemicals that cause pain and inflammation, or they can reduce the inflammation in the body that is causing some of the pain.  The anti-depressants work on the pain center of the brain, reducing the pain felt – though how isn’t fully understood. And the anti-seizure meds seem to interfere with the brain’s over-transmission of pain signals from the damaged nerves.

Having run the gauntlet of pain meds, without result, my doc has put me on the other two options – anti-seizure and anti-depression meds. And holy moly is this a whammy of a combination. The first day I took them, I actually fainted. Walked up the stairs at my house and blacked out at the top. Woke up to being surrounded by my three kitties, who I am sure were just concerned, not deciding if I was dead enough to nibble on or unconscious enough to sleep on. 

The next day, I made it to work ok, but spend the entire day like a zoned out zombie. Except I didn’t want brains, I wanted a bed. Desperately. I cut back to one of the pills, in the hopes that I could give my body time to acclimate before I tried the complete dose. It works – mostly. Some days I’m fine all day, and some days, I don’t know why, but the delayed release capsules will suddenly hit me with a big dose and BOOM. THE BASS DROPS. At random parts of the day, I get dizzy, fuzzy, and light-headed. Pretty much high (from what I've heard), but not in a remotely enjoyable way.

The first time it happened I was out with Mali and his friends for dinner and a movie and suddenly it was like I was stuck in plastic wrap. Couldn’t think or walk straight. Apparently I spent a good portion of the night staring at the floor and the ceiling and moving and speaking in slow-mo. Many jokes were had at my expense that I have little memory of. And may have eaten a really scary amount of popcorn.

I was good for a few days after that, but today, again, it hit me. Now I've spent half my day slowly blinking at my computer screen, stumbling off to get coffee, downing it, and then trying will myself into appearing present and upright. Except no amount of caffeine or sugar is helping. Every time I blink, I find myself loving the inside of my eyelids and wanting to hang out in there for a while. I feel like my head isn't screwed on properly and if I move too fast, it'll fall off. My breathing and heart rate are that kind of slow that happens before you fall into deep sleep. Given how sleep deprived I always am, this would be lovely if I was anywhere but not at my standing desk, in the middle of a hellishly hectic work week. Alash.

In the meanwhile, if any of you see a hijabi wandering around looking a bit tipsy, bumping in to walls, squinting at everything, and slowly blinking at the world, judge her not. She may be me. And me am are on the meds. 

*tips over*