Sunday, February 04, 2007

Atlas Lifted

Taking Cymbalta for a week now has really helped me get my head screwed back on better, and it has lifted the immeasurable heaviness that seems to sit on my shoulders when depression grips me. The fatigue is still around, but it is easier to bear without the weight of the world on my shoulders. I've gone from sleeping with a few hours of wakefulness to being wakeful with a need for two two hour naps a day, which might sound like a lot, but is a vast improvement. Most days I have awakened fairly early in the morning, and when I've awakened, I've been awake rather than in a stupor.

I did have quesiness and some stomach upset the first few days, but I was having it before being in the midst of a spell of gastronintestinal symptoms so I cannot say for sure that it contributed to it. It has faded now and I've only been having the regular stomachaches.

The myalgia is much better, but I have no idea if the Cymbalta has anything to do with it. It comes in spells and can last for weeks, then passes for the most part. I'd have to be on Cymbalta for several months before I'd really know. I have still had the pain, but mostly only when I've been out and about, going to the grocery store, running errands or visiting relatives. The ads for it on TV do say it's supposed to help pain associated with depression.

It's a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. The Wellbutrin I've taken for years is a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. I had the bone pain while on Wellbutrin, but not as badly as recently while I've been off and since it's been better with the Cymbalta, perhaps the norepinephrine may help.

My brain fog is a little better also. The brick wall in my head seems a little more mud brick rather than concrete block. I actually enjoyed watching Jeopardy tonight for the first time since I can remember. I used to love to watch it, trying to beat the contestants and doing quite well, but since I've been sick it's been an exercise in frustration. I might as well have been beating my head against the wall. I know I know the answers but couldn't answer for the life of me. Tonight, I actually came up with a few answers while the show was still on. Triumph!

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Norepinephrine, along with dopamine, has come to be recognized as playing a large role in attention and focus. For people with ADD/ADHD, psychostimulant medications such as Ritalin/Concerta (methylphenidate), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), and Adderall (a non-racemic mixture of amphetamine salts) are prescribed to help increase levels of norepinephrine and dopamine.

I've also found this link to be very helpful. I did not know that fibromyalgia also caused brain fog. The rhematologist said that I had strong indications of fibromyalgia but that it might be the symptoms of mastocytosis also. I know that I had severe pain in probably 85% of the places she touched. I was very surprised to feel pain in most of those places, since I had simply felt pain seemingly everywhere. In reading the personal stories of a few masto patients, I've seen that several had also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. There must be a connection.

If I get a chance, I'll ask the doc on Tuesday, though she probably won't know. I had to reschedule from Thursday due to the snow storm we had.

UPDATE: Cymbalta is commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia with depression. See here.


michael said...

Good to see that you are feeling better. Keep your head up.


p.s. kinda tough to find no-stress jobs for 40k a year, especially where I live (Flagstaff AZ). Sorry about that.

BlueKat said...

Thanks, Michael. I can use all the encouragement I get.

I've been to Flagstaff! I was only there for one day, but I will never forget it. Breathtakingly beautiful! Every place I looked, I saw the magnificent Rockies surrounding the lovely little city. Just marvelous. You're a lucky guy to live in such beauty.

Anonymous said...

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