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    New Here and starting Cymbalta. Worried about starting meds.
    lisakayrn posted:
    Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with FM approximately 6 months ago....i knew i had it but was in denial. I have been managing without medication, but the past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for me. I have had the most severe mood swings, sometimes feeling like I just want to run away. I am married and the mom of 5...the oldest is 35 and the youngest is 13. We still have 2 teenagers at home and on top of that, I am the Director of Nursing for a busy home care agency. I leave for work at 8 am and sometimes do not return until 7 or 8 pm. I am also on call 24/7. i get home and literally can not body aches....different places on a rotating basis...but mostly, I am just SO tired I feel like I could sleep forever, except that if and when sleep occurs, I am awake 4-5 times throughout the night. I now am also experiencing some numbness in my feet, have had several falls recently and luckily, have not broken anything. Is this what my life is to be from now on? Does this describe what everyone else goes through?
    So, I finally went back to the doctor yesterday. She wants me to start Cymbalta. Do most people find that it keeps you awake at night? I have seen that and then i also have read that it may cause drowsiness. I am not sure when to start taking it. I can not afford to be drowsy during the day, so i am a bit afraid to take it in the AM, but if I take it at night, I am afraid that it will keep me up. I also have Flexeril that I can take at night for the muscle pain, but I can not take that during the day because of drowsiness. I am not sure what my questions are, just looking for kindred spirits, I guess. My family is getting tired of my complaints, does not try to understand, just makes fun of my tears...especially when i cry for "no reason".
    dollbug responded:
    Hello Lisa and welcome. Sorry that you are dealing with so much right now Dealing with the wrath of the dragon is a challenge for a lot of people these days. You sound like you have a very stressful job. Dealing with so much stress is not working in your favor. It is very important that we figure out ways to get enough sleep, so that our bodies can repair. Chronic fatigue is common with a lot of people who deal with FM too. I will be honest with you though, I have not found anything yet which has helped mine at all. I so take vitamins and supplements and have learned how to control my FM pain by doing this plus other things as well.

    It will be really important if you can find ways to pace each and every day with whatever you do. This is not easy for any of us, but it is so important in order to cope with this ugly illness.

    Have you asked your doctor to check your Vitamin D level yet? If not, then you should get this done on your next visit. Low Vitamin D is common for a lot of people these days and this can also cause additional pain as well as affect other illnesses too.

    I hope you will check out the info here under *tips* and *resources* and be sure and read the *member toolbox* as well, which was started a few years ago by our Booch (Nana B, who is also a nurse)....There are lots of good *tools* to try that just might help you cope better.

    I know Nana B says she changes shoes every day which has helped her feet. I am sure you are on your feet a lot too. Be really careful with making sure you do not fall.
    I have had 4 falls, 3 of which I broke bones....(both wrist and my pinkie finger, just recently).

    A lot of us FMers have multiple health issues to deal with. It is important that all of them get addressed.

    I have tried different medicines which I did not find helped without causing other side effects. Then I decided to do my own research and this is why I now take vitamins and supplements and use other tools as well. You will have to figure out what will for best for you. This does take time and effort. You should allow at least 6-8 weeks of whatever you decide to do to actually be able to feel a difference.

    Family and friends do not understand this illness. Actually a lot of doctors do not know what we deal with every day. I hope you have a good doctor which is really important.

    We FMers, do understand what you are going through and we are here to help you figure out how to cope better.

    I am sure you will soon find a good combination of tools which will make a difference.

    Take care.


    nerak313 replied to dollbug's response:
    When I start new medications at the beining of my fight with Fibro, I would start a new med Fri night to see how well slept, how much it affected me getting up in the morning, and how hard it would be for me to "come up to speed".
    mischelmel responded:
    Lisakayrn, I have been taking Cymbalta for years, and haven't had any problem with it affecting either sleep or work, except for the first few days it made me a little drowsy. You might try taking it late afternoon for the first week, and start it on a weekend.
    You're family understanding your disease is another matter. I've found great support groups on Facebook, and a few of them have given me great tips on helping those close to us understand. Specifically, FibroColors has been a big help. They posted a "letter to those that don't get it" that I copied and let my family read, and it has really opened my husband's eyes. I'm including a link to that letter (it's anonymous, or I would cite the author), and if you think it would help, print it and let your family and those close to you read it. Those that want to understand may get a better grasp on what you're going through. The hardest thing for your family to understand is they can no longer depend on you to be their rock. It starts a cycle of fear, depression, frustration and denial that works its way throughout the family. MAKE them sit down for a family discussion on your illness. That's what it is, and they need to treat it as such. Show them a list of the symptoms. Let them know that it won't suddenly go away and mommy will be all better, that in fact, it will probably get worse before a more comprehensive treatment is developed. It's taken doctors years before they've accepted fibro as an illness, and some still don't, so having your family's understanding is crucial in your own mental well-being. Be assertive with your friends and co-workers. Explain to them that you are ill. Don't be apologetic about it (my biggest mistake!) because it's not something you made up or brought on yourself. Explain the ways it affects you, and what you need to do about it. Try your best to avoid stress (I know, easier said than done!) and use any time you can for you time to just rest and unwind. Try to get as much sleep as you can, even cat naps during a work break.
    If you are starting to get numbness in your feet you may be starting to get peripheral neuropathy. Talk to your doctor about possible meds for that. My doctor put me on gabepentin for it, and it has helped tremendously! And seems it doesn't affect my Cymbalta, either. Of course, everyone is different, but do check on it. Having your feet feel good goes a long ways to making you feel better!
    I hope this helps you! Gentle hugs, and know that you are not alone!
    fibroinsd responded:
    I took cymbalta for a little over a was an amazing help to me...really got me moving...and I did take flexeril at help with sleep...I know some have had trouble with it..and had to quit..but they pretty much realized it right away...

    I did find that after a year I was having trouble with sleeping too I quit cymbalta..and that seemed to it can have that effect..but for the year I was on it..I didn't have that problem.

    You won't know without trying it..just start slowly and watch for any changes..good luck..I hope it is wonderful for you.

    Let's put the fun back in dysfunctional !- Mary Englebright

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