Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘brain fog’

Week One — Cymbalta Free

What a whirlwind this past week has been! I have experienced electric shocks and electric zaps (a slow-motion form of the fast shocks), intense nausea, insomnia followed by sleeping all day –unable to wake, thick brain fog, inability to use the correct words when attempting to speak…not to mention the symptoms of my conditions thrown into the mix!!

Yesterday was the worst for pain that I have ever experienced. Yes…you read that right!  Mere words cannot relay the reality, yet I must try.  It is SO important that we know and absolutely believe that we are not alone in dealing with our hidden illnesses/conditions.

Yesterday brought tears to me eyes, truly crying because the pain was so extensive, so overbearing, so excruciating. Every single inch of my body was screaming at the top of its lungs: exaggerated pain from touch (clothing, slight breeze from the ceiling fan), Tinnitus volume turned up on high, stabbing and throbbing sensations coursing up and down my legs.  It was hard to differentiate from the symptoms of my Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia/Chronic Pain Disorder/Neuralgia/IBS-D/etc. and those produced by the absence of the Cymbalta.

This morning brought a huge sigh of relief!  There is a true difference in my body today.  I am experiencing the symptoms of my conditions…albeit they are still higher than my “normal”, would be categorized as a “Fibro Flare”…yet I feel that they will slowly settle…settle enough for my Pain Specialist to make further adjustments as needed to my pain pump.

What a rough ride! I am sure that I will still have some issues arise, however, it is uplifting to know that the first week following the last dosage is the most difficult. One step at a time…one day at a time.

 

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Entering a New Reality

I was right when I thought this would be the hardest step in my new reality. I am referring to coming off of Cymbalta as part of clearing my body and having the pain pump take over.

We are very close to having the pump dialed in; this next adjustment may be the last one needed. I know the conversation with my pain specialist will be an interesting one as we discuss how my body is reacting.

Now for the truth of the reality of coming off of Cymbalta. I have described this as the most difficult step…at least I had anticipated it to be. Know that words cannot describe the intensity of the symptoms. The intensity of the brain fog is greatly amplified as well making thought and speech a huge frustration!  It is so hard to focus to interact with others…the wrong words are constantly used…don’t even think about driving.

Just a handful of the symptoms that have been exaggerated by the process: Brain Fog, burning, electric shocks, numbness, difficulty walking (legs do not obey), falling (or near-falling), nausea, abdominal cramping, IBS-D flaring, throbbing pains all over, stabbing sensations all over, tinnitus, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, irritability, skin sensitivity to touch…

I have found that normal distractions or other tactics we use to help ignore symptoms do not work. It is truly a day-to-day battle to not lose my sanity! Even with all the questions we had asked and the additional research done on-line, I was truly not prepared for the amount of energy this process would take.

I am praying throughout the day and night for help make it through this step. There is light at the end of this I know. It will be such a relief in the months ahead having this medication cleared out of my body!

Thankfully today I have a break from the electric shocks and nausea…the balance of my symptoms are doing their best to make up for those that are not present!

Just remember, if you are considering coming off a medication like Cymbalta, take the time to research, to speak with your medical team, to share information with your spouse and children…then buckle up for a hellacious ride!

The Brain on Fibro

Those of us with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, Neuralgia and the like are dealt quite a handful of symptoms.  The quantity of symptoms as well as the intensity vary from person to person.  Although our conditions manifest differently, we can each relate having experienced the intense “Fibro Brain”…

Examples of “Fibro Brain” or “Brain Fog” that I have experienced:

  • Forgetting what I was just told.
  • Walking into a room, not remembering what I was doing.
  • Forgetting to brush my teeth.
  • Unable to find the dog brush, even though I thought for certain I put it away in the correct drawer.
  • Walking to the bathroom and forgetting what I needed to do.
  • Losing my phone…then finding I had placed it on the bed.
  • Sitting down and realizing that I need to brush my teeth.
  • Grabbing the lotion instead of the hair gel to put in my hair.
  • Using the conditioner as shampoo.
  • Using the shampoo as conditioner.
  • Unable to focus for even a few minutes.
  • Unable to watch a movie at a Theatre.
  • Forgetting the note on my phone when at the doctor.
  • Unable to find the batteries when staring right at them.
  • Looking for my glasses (when they are on).
  • Using the wrong name for items.
  • Standing at the shower entrance and not knowing what to do next.

Of course, these are just a few of the many frustrating things that we deal with when we have Brain Fog.  I find that the best thing to do is just smile or laugh…then do what you remember you needed to do!

 

One Week Post Op

Hopefully I will not scare any of you!  LOL

I thought it appropriateIMG_7560 to post proof that sleep can happen!  Thus the wonderful “bed head” picture!

I have almost no memory of yesterday. It was one of those days that sleep overtook everything.

I did exactly what my body demanded and curled up in bed. I did not even think of combatting the heavy eyelids.

It was actually very freeing to just give in and allow my body to dictate its needs.

I am so thankful for a supportive husband and son that allow me to completely disconnect when my body demands it.

Per conversation with my doctor’s office, I am to continue taking it easy…moving about the house as I can…no bending, twisting, lifting, stretching. All is still looking good under the binder…swelling in lowest part of abdomen present…not nearly like before in other procedures.

At my follow up appointment, we will remove the tape and bandages…and at some point thereafter will be allowed to take a shower! I am thankful that our home is so well prepared for handicap…the bathroom counter is taller than normal….so it is easier to wet hair down.

It is important to make sure you have someone around! No matter how careful you are you will end up dropping something!  LOL  And…believe me…there is NO way to pick it up without asking for help.

At this point, I am better able to tell the difference from the surgical discomfort vs. the symptoms of my conditions.  The surgical discomfort is SO minimal!  Yet, it is just enough to be a constant reminder to be extra vigilant.

On Fibro Brain

stock-photo-mule-deer-buck-with-huge-antlers-profile-portrait-107539631

My eye sees the magnificent animal.

My brain stalls…

What is it called?

For what seems to be an eternity,

I am searching for the word.

Finally…

“Look at the buck!”

Yes…

It is a mule deer buck.

Fuzzy Thoughts

I now welcome brain fog

Rather than fighting it

Or seeing it as negative

It is an opportunity,

A chance to relax

To go easy on myself.

It is a time to embrace

The wandering thoughts

That go to and fro

With no apparent direction.

A torrent of images

Flashing and racing…

This is now a part of me

The severity comes and go

No pattern to the trigger

Just the randomness

Like a child

Easily distracted

Colors, shapes and sounds

Simple touch, the breeze

Frustration no more.

Embrace the images

The forgotten conversations

An opportunity to take a deep breath

Less pressure to achieve

Rather simplify my daily goal.

Focus

IMG_5654

Like a winding dirt road

Winding through mountainous terrain

The beauty of the trees

The chirping of the birds

Butterflies flying overhead

The sound of bees

As they move from flower to flower…

The shadows are slowly giving way

The brilliant blue sky

With only a hint of a slight breeze

The brilliant purple of the thistles

IMG_5659

Clash with the brown dry grass…

So many colors

Overwhelming all senses

While the quiet sounds

Can barely be heard above

The ringing of my ears…

The reason that I am here?

The brain fog has hidden

The initial focus is gone

Given way instead

To the beauty that surrounds…

SdeSoto

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