Monday, October 3, 2011

Update on Medical Schtuff

So, while my back is still doing well, my digestive problems were barely controlled with the new medication, and we still didn't have an actual diagnosis, plus I started having new problems.

Within a week of writing my last update, I started having horrible headaches daily, which often lasted for 12+ hours, sometimes woke me up in the middle of the night, etc. Horrible. I was downing Tylenol like it were candy just to make it thru the day.

Which just irritated me because here I am taking yet another medication to treat a symptom, without knowing a cause.

I also was experiencing extreme fatigue. By dinner time each night, and sometimes sooner, I was so fatigued it was all I could do to function. I struggled thru work, managed the bare minimum (ie. taking care of FireGirl), and did virtually no household chores for about two weeks. I was exhausted!

At one point I even took the last pregnancy test I had left over from our little IUD fiasco back in February / March, because the only time in my life I remember being even close to this tired was when I was pregnant.

It was negative.

And then... I started having excruciating pains in my right bicep. For no apparent reason.

I felt like I was falling apart, and no one could tell me why.

I hesitated to go back to the doctor, because I felt sure they'd just prescribe more drugs to treat the symptoms, without finding the cure. But I had to do something. I felt sure that there had to be one, or maybe two, things going on that combined these seemingly unrelated symptoms, as opposed to multiple single problems that all just started within the past six months.

And I was tired of taking meds.

So I made a decision. I had to figure out what was really wrong. For sure. I considered going in to my family doctor to demand more tests, but I knew there was one thing we had to definitively rule out first.

So, without telling any of my doctors, but with consulting my pharmacist, I stopped all of my medication cold-turkey (except for birth control - I do still want to be married, you know).

Even though they had confirmed that since my symptoms started months after starting my meds, and that there were no known interactions, I had to know for sure that my meds weren't causing my symptoms before I demanded more testing.

I decided I would stay off of them all for two weeks to make sure they were out of my system, then gradually introduce each one individually, to try to rule out any interactions and determine which one, if any, were causing my problems.

Wouldn't you know it, within just a couple of days, I started to feel tons better.

No digestive issues, headaches gradually waned down to nothing, fatigue was gone almost immediately. I just felt so much healthier.

The first week off of my meds, I had a realization. They kept saying it couldn't be my original meds, since I started them in November, and the problems didn't start until March. And sometime during that first week, it dawned on me: there was one thing that had changed in March.

Did you catch it? I didn't until then. And I felt kinda stupid, until I realized none of my doctors caught it either.

My IUD expelled itself in February. I started the Patch in March.

I read all the package inserts for the meds, googled stuff, could find no known interactions. But it seemed that had to be it. Going on a hormonal birth control literally changes your body chemistry. It just had to be what made my existing meds start my issues. And dumping more meds on top of it, just increased my problems.

How ironic that the meds that were prescribed to help me, were tormenting me.

So far I'm on week two of adding back my first medication. My tummy's rumbled a few times, but no major GI symptoms, I've had a couple of headaches, but nothing bad enough to convince me that they're related.

I'll start med #2 back up tomorrow, and we'll see how things go.

And if for some reason there's no problem... then that's all I'll be taking. Which will be a huge relief. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I've tried to convince FireMan that we should just stop the birth control, but so far he's not buying it      :P

I now this was long, so thanks for checking in!


Unknown said...

Good luck. I am glad you are feeling better!

PS - Love the new banner. My hubby is at Engine 2, his helmet caught my eye instantly. Happy Monday!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Maybe you should try NFP? This sounds like a nightmare. Twice I tried the pill. Both times I thought I was literally going to go crazy. I was on the lowest hormones possible.

So glad you are feeling better. I have been having some medical issues myself. I am now in physical therapy and am seeing some improvement.

It is hard when it feels like your body is failing when we are both so young.

Melissa said...

Shoulda thought of MIL has to take meds for a couple of conditions, then she has to take meds for the side effects and reactions of the original meds. It's crazy.

Hope you get it figured out and feel better soon. I know how miserable all the tummy problems, headaches, body aches and fatigue is.

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