Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Symptoms and symptoms...

In the absence of data that an MRI could provide and on my 50th day of constant shocking in my hands, my GP decided to add duloxetine for pain management.  I have been of two minds about trying the SNRI drug.  It is an antidepressant, after all, and there is a stigma about taking those meds in the medical community ... yet another reason to be labeled a "head case."  But the pain in my hands ... being shocked constantly ... is driving me nuts.  I agree to try the medication.

It's been five days and I wouldn't think that it could be affecting me this strongly, but what I am feeling my therapist says is clearly the duloxetine.  I am numb and basically do not care about anything.  It is a weird, weird state to be in, at least it is to me.  I have lost a bit of weight because I have absolutely no interest in food.  Me!  Me!!  That alone is shocking.  Of course, though, I don't mind the weight loss after all the gabapentin weight gain.  I just ... I just don't like the me that I am right now.  I am hoping this passes.

As far as side effects, the nausea is different from what I usually experience.  A lot more vomiting.  I have crushing headaches.  I have random shocks in my body.  And my lips are tingling.  Fun times.

In reading about duloxetine's help with the neuropathy, I need the dose to be at least 60 mg.  My GP said that I could go up in two weeks, but I'd rather not pay for the medication twice in a month.  My therapist suggested that I take the full 30 days, too.  It is a toss-up between symptoms of side effects and symptoms of neuropathy.  SIGH.

I tell you, the combination of brain fog and IDON'TCARE is making life hard, especially trying to take all of my meds at all the time slots I have throughout the day.  I haven't done much since starting the medication.  Well, other than going to appointments.  I forgot about a prescription at Walmart that was only partially filled, but it seems Walmart also forgot about it.  So, I need to go fetch that.  I had planned to not go out until next Tuesday, but I suppose one trip will be fine.  I am just not up for driving whilst in this IDON'TCARE state.

My sister completely spoiled me for Christmas and her present arrived today.  Normally, I would have already had it put together so that I could photograph it for the world to see, but IDON'TCARE and I am cold.  I am so very cold this winter that I am contemplating throwing my budget out the window and turning the thermostat UP.  I already did that.  I went from 55 to 60 degrees.  But I am still so very, very cold.  Whenever my realtor comes, I turn up the thermostat for her, to 65 degrees, and I feel much better then.  I just don't know how much more that will make my heating bill each month.  However, I am not sure how much more cold I can take.  In any case, I am hoping to put together my gift on the morrow.

For now, I am trying to think about something my therapist asked me to consider:  not saying that I was bad, but that I was terrified.  I was telling her about what happened during the blood flow testing.  I was thinking about how I was not being a good patient and she asked me to explain that.  I said that  I was shaking and crying and pulling away from the tech's touch, making things harder.  But my therapist responded:  you were terrified and lost back in the past.  She said that I was brave for staying and that she was amazed that I made it through that.

I have been turning that over and over in my mind.  I wasn't bad; I was terrified and my responses were natural and understandable.

But then we talked about how I coped with all the disgust and fear that overwhelmed me afterward.  I cut.  It is so hard for me to think about that.  I hate how effective cutting is at coping.  But my therapist insisted that there is no shame in that.  There is no shame in trying to keep myself safe in a way that is less destructive than drinking or drugs and less permanent such as suicide.

I cut and it is as if I am cutting through the maelstrom of emotions, stilling them.  The pain brings all my focus away from what is tossing me about, leaving me desperate for escape.  Then, the wound serves as a ... tool ... for days and days afterwards.  If I become overwhelmed again, I can just press on it and let the pain calm me again.  My therapist said that must be comforting to me.  I do not think that I have ever given thought to that, but it is.  I do not cut all the time and work hard not to, but I as much as I loathe that I have done so I welcome the help when I have a wound on my thigh.  SIGH.

I talked with my GP about it and she asked me to show her.  It took me a while to do so, but I did.  I was surprised at how ... non-plussed she was.  She asked if we could talk about it another time.  I agreed to that because I am trying not to be so ashamed.  That's why my therapist's comments were such a relief, how adamant she was that there was no shame in cutting.  And that she absolutely believes that one day I won't need that Big Gun coping mechanism.

It was a weird, weird conversation to have being so numb and in such a state of IDON'TCARE.  But I suppose she is used to someone trying to acclimate to an antidepressant.  I asked her what happens to someone who takes an antidepressant who isn't depressed.  I've never been diagnosed as such and she doesn't believe that I am.  She said she didn't know.  I do worry about that, especially with the IDON'TCARE permeating my every existence.  But I would really, really, really like an end to the shocking in my hands.

I do welcome the numbness, just now, and the weight loss, for sure.  But to have no interest at all in food?  Cooking has been the only thing that was moving forward in my life, the only area where I have been able to learn and to progress.  And, my goodness, with all the nausea I battle each day, I need my interest in tasty food returned!!

So which symptoms do I choose????

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