Ok folkarinos, so I promised to keep real about the journey, no matter what it brings or how difficult, controversial or embarrassing it is so here goes.
It’s not really been a secret that as part of being so unwell this past couple of months, my mood has taken a dive along with my energy and other symptoms. Earlier this week, I got it all on paper and wrote to my doc explaining where I’ve been at, she called me yesterday…
Antidepressants are extremly controversial in the CFS/ME world as they can often be seen as buying into the psychological paradigm that we are fighting so hard to get away from. Also, because a lot of us tend to be very sensitive to medications, these powerful drugs can make our symptoms worse. Some of these symptoms overlap with the stated side effects so stuff can start to get confusing.
After a tearful discussion with my doc about how I’m not doing so great on multiple fronts, I’ve agreed to gird my loins and try a different kind of antidepressant that has a wide acting effect on neuropathic pain, urinary issues and mood.
In the past, I”ve tried popular SSRIs and they have made me much sicker and have not worked for me. My doc knows this and she knows of my trepidation due to my bad experiences, however she wants me to try an SNRI and to consider its wider action applications.
People with long term chronic conditions can become depressed, I’ve been depressed before, I recognise it and I am not ashamed. So I’m choosing not to worry about whether this somehow gives the impression that all my health issues might be mental health based.
As I mentioned earlier with the comorbid overlap that can happen who knows where one condition starts and the other ends or which are side effects or even symptoms magnified by side effects. They can feed off each other. It can become very complicated and I don’t think you can exactly know or unpick the understanding of everything to the last detail, sometimes you just have to say “OK I’m not great, I want to feel better and this might help”.
I’ve always tried to keep an open mind, take control of my situation and not be precious about my diagnosis. I mean, I’ve been misdiagnosed so many times in the past so if I turn out to have ‘delusional arthritic purple monkey syndrome’, who cares right? I’ve learnt that having a name for the disease that hounds you isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be anyway. Just cos we can name it, doesn’t mean we can cure it, or even treat it in some cases, am I right?!
So I’m agreeing to give them a go based on the fact that I, personally, need that hope, I have to keep trying. I have to do what my medical advisers think might be best for me at the given time and in the given set of circumstances. There will be good times and bad ones and we need to just deal with what’s in front of us right now.
I could go round and round in circles in my head…. but I’m choosing this. I’m giving them a try because they might give me some relief for some period of time and I’m going for it with a good attitude. So wish me luck because I expect the next few days (settling in time) will be rough. X