Wow. The things they do not tell you.
Take this, they say. It will improve your life! And maybe it does for a time before your body gets used to it and you end up with only the side effects and not the benefits. What then?
If you watch television at all, you've no doubt seen the commercials for Cymbalta, one of the wonder drugs of the 21st century. Their tag line: "Depression hurts." As does Fibromyalgia, one of the uses for Cymbalta. Quite honestly, I've dealt with depression over the years, so when I got clocked upside the head with Fibro it did cause some pretty depressed feelings. Chronic pain can drag you down no matter how Pollyanna you want to be.
Apparently, Cymbalta works with the central nervous system to reduce the pain of Fibromyalgia. My doctor and I decided to try it out. And soon I actually felt a difference, a lowered perception of pain at least. One thing about a person who hurts 24/7 is that they're willing to try most anything, (as I realized about myself during the "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" Fentanyl era) with little thought to the aftermath. Common to most of the people I attended Pain Management class with, I would like something to just take the pain away! But we don't always go in with enough information to be clear on what the medication might take away along with the pain. Sometimes we lose more than we gain--like the ability to feel life or deeply enjoy things--and the withdrawals can be a b****!
Today, for example, I see that people from Georgia, Virginia, Texas, and Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (I couldn't tell you where that last one is, let alone pronounce it) have visited my post on "FENTANYL: the Withdrawal Experiment." How many of the people who've started out innocently and trustingly enough on a plan to reduce their pain levels have found they are now in the pit as they try to pull back out of the pain medication fog? And I'm by no means saying we didn't NEED the help or even benefit from the medication, but boy howdy, we need help getting off!
Common withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta that I've read on message boards online etc:
- intestinal upsets, bloating
- brain zaps (electrical feeling/sounding jolts that go through your brain and body)
What I personally experienced:
- loss of words (it's taken me weeks to write this post)
- PAIN and muscle fatigue
- brain zaps
- intestinal upsets
- minor dizziness
- DON'T LOOK AT ME WITH THAT TONE!!
- Oh, really? You don't like what I made for dinner? WELL YOU CAN JUST BLEEPING BUY A NEW SLAVE!! *sob*
- Um, "irritability."
While it has improved, I'm still working on the irritability. Has my true self merely come forward and I am really an impatient, screaming lunatic? I really really hope not. As does my family.
Picture of me withdrawing from Cymbalta.
No, not standing above, the one at the bottom.
Skimmer's Recap: Cymbalta withdrawals are not for the weak. Or for our families.