#ChronicPainSucks: Part III

In July my condition became a lot worse and I was living with level 9-10 pain every day.  The pain scale goes from 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst pain.  I was having a hard time functioning.  The pain was so severe I felt crippled.  By August I felt I would be in a wheelchair soon if I didn’t figure out what was was wrong.  Notice I said “if I didn’t figure out what was wrong”.  Yes, I had to figure it out myself.

I  was do for a visit with my Psychiatrist (I’m not counting her as one of the 5 doctors’) so I went to see her.  With 20 years of being in a dark room with migraines you naturally get depressed and become severely vitamin D deficient.  After my implant I started going off the antidepressants and was down to a small dose of Cymbalta.   At one point I was on 7 different medications.  It becomes so difficult to manage that many medications and it’s dangerous because it’s easy to make mistakes.  Just ask my husband~ And ask my friend Colleen how fun it is when Kim forgets to bring her medications on vacation.

Because I was so frustrated, mad and upset that no doctor was helping me, she said I needed a mood stabilizer.  WTF?  So this is how it always works….throw drugs at a problem.  Our medical system in the U.S. is ruled by the drug companies.  Pharmaceutical companies care only about the money and not helping patients get better.  Doctors just want to treat symptoms instead of figuring out what is wrong.  In fact, they treat side effects of a medication with another medication.  Have you seen the commercials for a medication to take to help opioid induced constipation?    So instead of adding fiber to your diet they recommend a drug.   I refused to accept another drug from the psychiatrist.  And, I am no longer seeing a psychiatrist.  I didn’t need a mood stabilizer.  I needed answers!

Back to my PCP at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation

My PCP has been amazing.  She listens to me and has helped me through many years of migraines.    She suggested I move on to the Stanford Pain Center.  Since I have been a patient with them in the past and didn’t really have a good experience I decided to find someone outside of Stanford.  My back up plan was to go to Stanford.  I googled pain doctors in my area and thankfully I found Remedy Medical Group.  And lucky for me they have an office in Redwood City.

To be Continued……

Chronic Pain and Depression

When my migraines first started in 1995 I began experiencing depression.  I never felt depressed before that.  I had no idea at the time that most people with chronic pain have depression.  I went to my primary care doctor and got Fioricet for the pain and Prozac for the depression.

I remember the first time I took Fioricet. I had no idea it had caffeine in it.  It was such a nightmare!  It didn’t help my level 10 exploding head pain AND I was wide awake.  I didn’t even think of going to the emergency room.  I just remember crying.  [What is Fioricet?  Per drugs.com:  Fioricet contains a combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Butalbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates. It relaxes muscle contractions involved in a tension headache. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.]

I remember Prozac too: [Per drugwatch.com:  Patients taking Prozac may experience a host of side effects, including sexual dysfunction, dry mouth, nausea, headache, diarrhea, nervousness, restlessness, agitation, increased sweating, weight gain, insomnia and drowsiness.]  Strange how so many drugs have headaches as side effects.  I only took it for a few months and then switched to Zoloft.  [Per drugwatch.com:  Minor side effects of Zoloft that typically decrease after the first or second week of use include:, Nause, Diarrhea, Weight loss or gain, Increased sweating, Dizziness, Sleepiness or insomnia, Tremor, Dry mouth, Headache, Restlessness, Suicidal Thoughts, Sexual Dysfunction.  I didn’t stay on Zoloft very long either.

So if you are feeling depressed from all the head pain or just in general.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Check out NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illiness.  

http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview