Are Your Medications Working For You?
Do You Have a Physician You Are Comfortable With?
I was fortunate to have my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia four months after my symptoms came to stay. I saw a Rheumotologist named Dr. Valentine. He was a hippie in appearance, long hair pulled back and Birkenstocks. Dr. V ran many tests. All were negative. He said it was important to rule out diseases that had similar symptoms. I received the Fibromyalgia diagnosis. He gave me a prescription for Trazodone, to help me sleep at night. He believed that you start one medication at a time, with the lowest dose. I am thankful for this practice. He would wait two weeks before adjusting the sleep medication and/or starting a new medication. The Trazodone worked well. I then was placed on Effexor XR, 75 Mg. There was a slight improvement. I was then placed on Effexor XR, 150 mg. A measurable improvement. Mind you, I was still in pain, but the measurable difference allowed me to be on my feet for a period of time.
Then without sickness, Dr. Valentine died. His office had names of physicians who treated Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue but they were a hour drive from where I was living. There was a time of anxiety because I didn't know where I would go, would I be comfortable with the doctor, what if I couldn't drive for an hour then another hour back? My daughter called me in the middle of this worrisome time. She was working for a photographer and he had Fibro. She asked him for a doctor recommendation. This was an answer to my worries. Terri Russell is a Nurse Practitioner. She treated a hand-full of Fibro patients. I became comfortable with her. She added a blood pressure pill as the Effexor made my pressure increase. She also gave me Hydrocodone. I used it for break-through pain, but not daily. Flexeril is a muscle relaxant and I feel the difference if I run out. She also started me on Guaifenesin for the mega amounts of phlem I deal with. These medications worked well, with no side-effects. She also told me about Lysine because I had too many cold sores, which she told me was a Fibromyalgia symptom. I personally like Terri, but there were several situations that made me uncomfortable. I opted to look for another doctor.
I found two women doctors, in practice together, that treated Fibromyalgia. They have both treated me and I admire their type of practice. They started me on Neurotin, Tramadol and Amitriptlyn. The Amitiptlyn is for my Restless Leg Syndrome. Tramadol is for pain, which replaced my Hydrocodone. It is not a narcatic.
I feel fortunate that I have not had a reaction to the medications. After reading many blogs and talking with new friends on Facebook and Twitter, I understand that I'm a minority. Many suffer trying to find the right medication. I want to encourage you to find a physician you are comfortable with and to keep looking for the right medication. I believe that learning to listen to what your body is telling you, finding the right doctor and medication are all important to helping you live a better life.
Yes I can ... Advocate for yourself.
Chronic illness lowers our self esteem. We must work to be strong.
Yes I can ... Find a doctor who I can work with me for my health.