Thursday, January 2, 2014

Will I *ever* be myself again? Meds, part II

It took me two different sittings to read this series of articles because I kept falling asleep, I stumbled upon it while trying to do research on long-term effects of Fentanyl. Read this-  It is a fount of information about a few of the medicines I take.

I should be looking at the Cymbalta I take, as well, to investigate this awful fatigue. The Cymbalta is an anti-depressant given to me when I started having the awful post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), after NF. Many people on this forum are saying that actually it may be the Cymblata causing the symptoms. I never gave that thought. I could also explain my digestion issues, as well.

It is bad- the fatigue- and recently got a lot worse for some unknown reason. It is now dangerous for me to drive long-distances. Not good. I am constantly feeling sleepy and lightly smacking my cheeks to stay awake. And I drove *a lot* this week. An insane amount, actually. Thhe clinic where we take my son for his sessions is twice a week, and hour each way, and two hour sessions. It is a HUGE chunk out of our weeks. Along with that, there were two other distance driving days as well. Thank Gd our son is benefiting from this clinic, though, or we would not continue.
(If anyone in Israel wants to know about this very special OCD/Tourettes clinic, let me know.)

Anyway, Please read the article I posted (

What I do know is that these medications are not good for me. I have been on most of them for many years- a few since 2007, others from 2008, and the side effects are intolerable. I wouldn't use that word if I didn't feel so strongly.

I think I am going to officially switch to the other doctor who I went to last month before our trip to America. When I heard him lecture, he specifically said that when a patient is on the same meds for a long time, there must be a new assessment of the efficacy vs. needs every so often. I think now is one of those times to reevaluate my meds. I am pretty sure *that* is what my body is telling me.

Did I tell you that I probably will need a small surgical procedure in the coming month? Iam going to start looking into this new problem with the doctor I am switching to. I just hope I am making the right decision. These big decisions (for me, changing doctors is a huge decision) are really hard.

Oh, one thing that is in those letters on the page I linked to here, talks about the effect in the brain with the antidepressants- specifically SSRI's, which Cymbalta is. I have that effect; the one where the visual and acoustic firings in the brain fire simultaneously. I call them "brain zaps". The world kinda shifts for a millisecond, and the auditory nerve gives out a certain type of high pitch. It is hard to explain, but when it was explained, I totally knew what he was talking about.

Medicines suck. Just for the record.



  1. I think your decision to change primary care physician is a good one. I have only heard good things about him.

  2. Meds are a hard topic....if I didn't need them I wouldn't take them...but obviously there are reasons we need them...thanks for the cymbalta article. I was supposed to change from Ixel to Cymbalta but in the end didn't but I assume Ixel is pretty similar in side effects. However when I think back to how I felt before taking the Ixel-no way would I want to go back to that! So I think caution and knowledge and experimentation with your doctor's supervision might be a good thing after such a long time of being medicated. GOOD LUCK.

  3. Today we gave a house-call to a patient who is on various meds and supplements. Some of the sups needed to be re-adjusted, most of the meds will need to be stopped as soon as he decides it's time, since they might very well be causing most of his symptoms.
    A few years ago we had a patient who came with a certain symptom and a long list of meds. The first one was meant to treat the original symptom, and each following med was meant to treat the side effects of the previous one. The side effect of the last one was the original symptom the first one was supposed to treat. Somebody was making a lot of money on him...

    1. Well, Shanni, I don't see myself as the second person in your story (or the first). My meds are treating different things, not related to side effects of anything besides the original illness. I have four meds: one for the hip pain, one for the nerve pain from the NF, one for depression, mood stabilizer, and occasional sleeping pill. They are all independent in their uses. It doesn't mean I can't successfully go off at least one or two perhaps, but it's not an iddue of someone making money off of me. Actually the opposite- in my case, the country lost money. Anyway, I don't see meds as useless. They were given to me, sent from heaven, when I got the relief that I needed. I know you guys work with supplements, and I also know there is plenty of good in that- I highly respect what you do. It's just not the direction I want to go. I want to clear out my system, not replace swallowing one thing for swallowing another thing. I did that for about a year being treated by a doctor here in Meitar. I had a whole basket of vitamins, supplements, and various root extracts and stuff. I took it all on time (3-4X a day) and not only hated taking more stuff, but hated the way they made my body feel. In that whole year, I never felt any better. And, it was extraordinarily expensive. That wasn't so important if they were good for me, a person pays for whatever makes them feel good. And I also know that every practitioner feels that their system is not "that guy's", and this is really what you need....
      Anyway, I know you do good work. It's just that I want off of stuff, not switching it for other stuff just because the other stuff is "natural". Does that make any sense?

    2. Yes it makes a lot of sense, I didn't say that any of the examples I gave were like your case. I try to have my patients take only the minimum amount of "stuff" they really need (quite often I take them off things I gave them in the past after they are no longer required). I actually try to make them as least dependent on them as possible. But as they say in Once Upon A Time, "majic always comes with a price". The price of meds is their side effects - short and/or long term. The price of vitamins or herbs, if they are given correctly, is mainly financial (not to be disregarded). If they fill a certain need, they will work by helping the body cure itself (as opposed to most meds which impose a change on the body rather than enabling it). If they are not accurate, they can be harmful at the worst, and/or inconveniant, or just not do the job and be a waste of time and money and also cause dissapointment.
      On the other hand, the price of changing certain aspects of your lifestyle in order to reduce the dependance on "stuff" (chemical or natural) is usually only the short-term "price" of making the changes - most of them you have been making already, and they are not always easy.
      to be continued...

  4. Good decision to switch docs and get all your meds evaluated. I know this is a huge, time-oriented project that will not be over from one day to the next. But it seems important to explore these issues.
    Love, Miriam

  5. In the meantime, I took it upon myself to cut out one dose of my nerve pain med. I was taking it twice a day, and I cut out the morning dose three days ago. No change yet, but sometimes it takes a while. Keep ya posted!

  6. If you mean no change in the pain, that's great news (that you can do with 1/2 the dose without it getting worse). If you mean no change in the side effects, it can take anywhere between a few hours and a few months for that to change and that depends on many factors, keep it up!

  7. is halving the dose all at once slow enough? you could skip every 4th dosage and then every 3rd until you get to once a day. hope it goes smoothly.

  8. Well, Tzippi, I didn't think of that actually. So far I totally cut out my morning dose. No nerve pain had returned (yet?), and also no reduction in side effects. Waiting to see how this goes. If it does come back, I will add in one dose at a time to see what level works. Thanks!