Monday, March 22, 2010

Fibromyalgia - Its Complex and NOT an Easy Fix

I think the new commercials on TV showcasing the new prescription drugs for Fibromyalgia - Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella - are a good way to get fibromyalgia exposure to the mainstreet public and make them more aware if the realness and seriousness of the condition. However, it does not help explain the complexity of the condition, and that these drugs don't always work for everyone, and they aren't a "cure" to take away ALL the multiple symptoms of FM. It really, really irritates me when friends ask how I am doing, and why am I not one one of those drugs in the commercials? Thank you for the concern, but I have done 8 months of my own reading and research, seen now 11 doctors and spent well over $5,000 and *wow* if only my doctors and I watched TV, it would be that easy to fix all my problems! Why didn't *I* think of that??!! Unfortunately, it is so much more complex than popping a pill and feeling better. In fact, from the research I have read, these new drugs (Cymbalta, Savella, Lyrica) only work well in 20% of FM patients!! They have actually found the old school, classic anti-depressant triycyclic class of drugs (that came out in the 1950s - Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline) have a much better success rate with fibromyalgia patients. However, all theses drugs, new and old, can have some heavy side effects, and for most sufferers, what drug and how much they take can be a decision between how much/if any relief versus the side effects and if they are worth it. Cymbalta has been out for a while, I tried it a while back from migraines to no avail. In fact it took my body on such a rollercoaster ride for over a month with side effects. I was so miserable, it wasn't a cure, it was like I was trading one ailment for a bunch of horrible side effects! NO thanks! I know that it is very, very hard for people who do not suffer from FM to understand it and how it can effect someone. They see you smiling and they think oh, you re feeling better, are you all better now? No! Its chronic! Behind every smile is pain and exhaustion, but I have to come to terms with this and that it is here FOREVER - so yes, at times I try to push aside everything and enjoy life. Yes, one day I can do something and the next day maybe I cannot. I don't understand it, doctors don't understand it. And what makes it worse, is that each FM sufferer seems to have their unique combination, degree and cycle of symptoms and triggers. This is why it is so hard to treat! And while it also seems nice that you know someone else with fibromyalgia, you think "oh I understand what you are going through because Sally Jo has it too and I know what she goes through" -- please do NOT assume that I am like Sally Jo! We can be similar, yes, but as I have said, each sufferer is different in how severe and what symptoms, and even what secondary conditions they suffer. So yes, some things Sally Jo can do and I cannot, and vice versa. Again, I don't understand it and doctors don't understand it, but all I ask is that you understand that I am dealing with it and always will, and just be there for me when I need a friend. A friend to go to lunch with, go to the movies, talk with and laugh with. I'm sorry if this has come off in angry mode a touch, but it really hurts me when someone thinks that the solution is simple, when I have read and researched, and resourced many, many medical professionals, over 8 months. Trust me, this is something I have had a hard time accepting that I have, and thus I have done LOTS of research on it to 1. verify I have it and 2. find every single option I have, big or small, to help relieve my symptoms! Again thank you for being there for me, as a friend :)

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