It’s been a hard week – or more accurately it’s been several hard weeks. I have definitely noticed an increase in pain, a decrease in cognitive function at work and a much lower energy supply. On top of that I’ve slightly overeaten (which makes keeping my weight in check), because of the lower energy levels. It’s a hard cycle.
Rare Experience: Painsomnia
The more Fibromyalgia (and other chronic illness) folk I connect with, the more I realise I don’t suffer from this thing known as painsomnia (mash up of pain and insomnia). I think I am saved this very frustrating situation because I am on two different anti-depressants:
The dosage of Amitryptaline is so low, I’m not actually taking it as an anti-depressant, but as a method of fighting my sensitivity to pain. I am supposed to take these a couple of hours before bed, mostly because both have a drowsy effect which helps me sleep (and therefore taking it in the day would make it counter-productive when trying to work!).
Unfortunately for me, after having a day of bad pain, feeling ill due a bug, and really low energy, I had a spat of FibroFog and forgot to take these meds before bed, which I didn’t realise until I woke up just two hours after going to bed, with my shoulders all crunched up. I tried breathing techniques to calm my shoulder and mind, but could not sleep, but failed.
Painsomnia – exactly what I would have regularly if I wasn’t on these two drugs.
Held Together By MedicationDue to bad planning on my part, I’m also out of Tramadol, a key component in my fight against pain. So I’m waiting for the doctor’s to process my prescriptions (which are free thanks to an amazing NHS here in Scotland).
I often think I take too many types of medication, but the reality is that if I am missing, or forget to take one of them, I really notice the difference. At the time of writing my medications are
- Bog standard Paracetamol and Iburofen (gives me a ‘base’ that helps other drugs)
- Dihyrocodeine (classic Painkiller)
- Tramadol – designed to change how my body responds to pain
- Methocarbamol – a muscle-relaxant (which my doctor felt the need to tell me wouldn’t affect ‘key’ muscles like my heart or bowels!)
- Nefopam (a really strong painkiller for emergencies as it’s highly addictive)
- Omeprazole (to protect my stomach lining from the above)
and that’s just my prescribed medication. But if I am out of any of these, the difference in Fibromyalgia pain levels is noticeable. I also take Magnesium and Vitamin D supplements. I am just held together by a raft of medication.
Full Circle: Tonight’s Painsomnia
I am under no illusions – I need these meds – and not ordering Tramadol enough in advance has put me in more pain. Forgetting to take my night-time tablets has prevented me sleeping. I have an alarm which is supposed to remind me to take them, but I didn’t hear it, so I forgot.
So tomorrow I intend to make that alarm louder. If I remember anyway. I am grateful that usually I have enough medication but moments like this remind me how easily unbalanced Fibromyalgia pain management can be. Thanks for listening to my sleepless thoughts as I type this at 4.30am. Hopefully I can sleep now I’ve got this out of my head and my meds in my body!