Posts Tagged ‘Medications’

Tracking the Possible Side Effects of Your Prescriptions

November 26, 2021

I am pretty sure, most of us when we get a new medication do go through the drug information as well as discussion with our doctor about the side effects of the med. But keep this information because side effects can happen at any time..

There are at least three situations I can think of where it could be very important. I know two from personal experience:

  1. You can adapt to the medication over time and the side effects can creep in as you’re adapting. For me, it happened twice. I was on Celexa for several months before the side effect of abdominal pain started creeping in.. Because it had been a few months we, nor my doctor or I, didn’t associate a possible side effect from a medication to the pain. I was also on fentanyl and didn’t even notice the side effect of a decreased libido as it slowly crept in. I thought it was part of getting older. until I came off the medication & return to the level of high school..
  2. Dosage changes can also impact. With the increase in medication to help treat something you can also increase the risk of side effects. I had this happen with Cymbalta. Well it didn’t help me with my pain it was helping me with my mental health but we had to shift it up one level. This shift did the same thing as my fentanyl just took alot faster. Zero libido kicked in after only 2 days.
  3. Other Interactions. It is entirely possible for medications to interact with other substances. Yes, the big one would be other prescription medications, there’s a possibility of interacting with over the counter medications, supplements of all sorts or foods even. So if you are having side effects, if you made any changes in any of these, take that into consideration. But the side effect might be from the food or the supplement or the new med, but the side effect could also be from the initial medication or worse a combination of more than two.

So, Yeah. Keep as eye on your side effects if there are changes, even if you’ve been on it for a while. Unfortunately, the third situation is the most convoluted one to sort out.

Flaring! Flaring bad!

November 23, 2021

Yesterday was the perfect storm. Everything conspired against me.

  1. Poor Sleep. According to my fitbit, for the last several weeks, I’ve been getting usually between 4 & 6 hours of sleep a night, average rating poor-fair. There’s the occasional longer, better sleep in there, but not often..
  2. Forgotten Medication. When I left for the cottage early this morning, I forgot all my meds at home. Admittedly I didn’t need them all today, but there are certain ones that I do have to take at certain times for them to be effective. Unfortunately, those got left at home. I did have limited or weaker alternatives which I suppose is better than nothing.
  3. Emotional Stress. I am currently having problems with my current relationship. I’m not sure if it’s something I can handle and accept or not, so there’s alot going on there..
  4. Poor Diet. Due to the aforementioned stress, I haven’t been eating.. I haven’t been eating well & I haven’t been eating much. Neither is good, both is worse.
  5. Activity. Spent the day in bed.. with my boyfriend, not sleeping. While this is usually a good thing, due to stress, I was unable to truely relax and enjoy it. So I was getting the workout without all the longer term benefits
  6. Physical Stress. After I’d started going down hill, I had a horrible drive home. What would normally be a nice relaxing 1½ hour drive home from the cottage turned into a 3+hour nightmare. Between accidents causing an entire highway to shut down for over 14hrs, excessive detours, multiple accidents on said detours, snow.. The body begins to tense up more & more & more.. and with me being in the car I wasn’t able to like stretch or anything creating more physical stress

For the first time in over 3 years, my pain turned to a solid 8/10.

After 2+ hours, 4 Tylenol3, 4 muscle relaxers, an anti-inflammatory, my CBD oil, prescription edibles, and a backrub with A535.. the edge started to come off, but I also started feeling the effects of over medication too..

I just can’t win..

What We Should Know About Our Meds

November 16, 2021

Given our chronic medical issues you would think we would know everything and anything about what is going on. Well some of us are fanatical and no every single thing but her medical conditions are treatments and all the other possibilities, very few of us do. But here are some important information that we should know.

Who’s Your Pharmacy Staff?

I’m not talking about the stock boys or the cashier’s, but the staff who prepare your meds. If you have a good rapport with the pharmacy technicians and your pharmacist you are less likely to have problems and they are probably more willing to take the time to communicate with you about concerns and questions you have.

Do I know my Pharmacy Staff?

I get my medications through a large national chain. I would recognize the two pharmacists that work nights I believe one is Christopher & I *know* the other is Stephanie. As for the Pharmacy techs, I do recognize them & I believe most of them recognize me in the context of the pharmacy. The girl who usually works pick up is Hailey and she recognizes me, despite the mask. When she sees me step towards her in line to get my meds she says to me “Hey Kelli! How’s it going?” As she’s already getting my info pulled up on the computer which is search my last name. The girl before her I also had a similar camaraderie.

The pharmacy prior was a smaller store of a different national chain. They knew me fairly well and vs versa. We would recognize each other on sight, even outside the pharmacy, by name – Mine, my SO & my Dog lol.

What Are Your Medications?

Most of us know our medications known by one name or another and most of us also know our dosages. But did you know that the generic is not the same as your brand names. Each of these medications have different code numbers so Nabilone has one unique number and Cesemet, which is really the same medication, has a different one. This is because the formulation is slightly different Do you know about these numbers? I know in Canada it’s called the Drug Identification Number and I believe in the States it’s a National Drug Code (someone correct me if I’m wrong). They *should* be listed on your prescription bottle

Different formulas & dosages of the same medication all need a unique DIN or NDV

Do I know the Drug Identification Numbers of my medications?

No, not off the top of my head. I do have that information in my bedside table however (maybe I should put that in my phone – lol). So while I don’t have the information in my head I do have a handy.

This is the reason why CBD or THC by prescription is not covered by medical benefits because it does not have a DIN or NDC

What are the Possible Side Effects of Your Prescription?

I am pretty sure, most of us when we get a new medication do go through the drug information as well as discussion with our doctor about the side effects of the med. But keep this information because side effects can happen at any time..

Check back Next Week for More on the Side Effects

Recent ER Visits

October 22, 2021

A few weeks back, I was talking to my mom about my health and we were discussing one of my previous trips to the emergency room. The visit in question was due to mental health not physical but it’s still triggered a thought in my head.

I used to be a fairly regular patient when I lived in East Toronto.. At my worst I was in the ER at either Centenary or Scarborough General 2-3 times a month for quite a while.

With this conversation, I came to the realization that I haven’t been to the ER or the hospital since covid started, and the world shut down March 2020.

This means that I had not had to go to the ER for my pain at all for almost a year & a half! Personally, I think that’s pretty good!


Before anyone tells me that a trip to the ER is pointless & they will just accuse me of wanting drugs and won’t take me seriously. I believe I’ve actually addressed this issue previously.

When I go to the ER, I’m not looking for narcotics. What I want is big shot of toradol and some sort of stronger muscle relaxant. What this does is it calms down my osteoarthritis which makes the rest of the issues significantly more manageable.

There is even one doctor there at Oshawa General who also used to be at Centenary where I used to go when I lived in Toronto. Because of being a frequent flyer when I was in Toronto, this physician knows me on sight, knows my likely issue, and will turn around and say “Toradol shot?” And he writes the order for me. I can be gone in minutes once I’m in the back when he’s there.

It Finally Happened Again

August 13, 2021

So on Friday or late Thursday my sciatica flared up, because of my osteoarthritis… And with Cub camp on Saturday there is no way I would have been able to function.

So I went to the ER, the first time since covid started, and possibly even the first time in 2 years…

Previously when I went to Lakeridge health Oshawa I was expecting compassion, respect and dignity. I’m sure if you go back far enough you will see posts of getting policy changed in the Scarborough hospitals.

On Friday the first thing the doctor said to me was “So I hear you can’t afford Toradol?”” well that’s professional. He agrees to give me some Toradol after I saw I don’t want narcotics.. Toradol in an anti-inflammatory..

Every other time I’ve gone to the emergency department in the hospital, but Centenary, Scarborough Gen, or Lakeridge Health Oshawa I have been given an injection of 30 mg of Toradol. Frequently I am also given another 30 mg tablet to take it home later. And occasionally the doctors do offer me a muscle relaxer as well

All I got on Friday for a chronic pain flare bad enough for me to drag my ass to an emergency department in a pandemic was 10mg of Toradol. There is absolutely no way that someone with chronic pain, specifically in a flare with pain spiking, the 10 f****** mg of Toradol is going to do anything.

The one thing it did, was put me in tears.

I ended overdosing on naproxen at home just to get enough relief so that I could work with my Cub Scouts the next day.


Before some dough head makes a comment about me being a Scouter while having chronic pain. If I didn’t do anything because I had pain I wouldn’t be doing anything at all – I’d be a freaking hermit. And I’m very much enjoy working with the kids to allow that.

And before someone else says let somebody else run the meeting, I was the Scouter in Charge on Saturday. I was the one who actually knew exactly what we were doing, leading several of the activities & the only one familiar enough with the area to run a hike… I am also the one who, if something happened, I would be the one responsible whether I was there or not. So you damn straight I’m going to make it up to the day.

Camping with Fibro

August 6, 2021

Yes, I can go camping with Fibro. It borders on Glamping, but I’m still in the outdoors, in my tent & cooking out on a stove. And yes, I have gone camping twice this summer, so far with at least one more weekend planned

I have had to make many modifications to how I can camp.

I am no longer able to go backpacking. I would not be able to handle the weight I’d have to carry mile after mile.. In my teens, I had gone up to the back country of Algonquin, spending several days out in the wilds with friends. That’s not happening anymore. The mind is willing, but the body’s not even gonna consider it! Lol.

I have had to upgrade from a 2-person hiking tent to a a 4-person, 3-season tent. I can no longer sleep on the ground, on thin mats, bubble pads or wood flooring like at Camp Adelaide. I now have a double high queen size air mattress that I use. I have a fitted sheet on it & depending on the weather 1-2 sleeping bags & my Lilly blanket. I also have a pillow that I use exclusively for camping.

My camp setup for virtual Cuboree

I have borrowed a camp stove from one of my cub packs (yes, the pack knows). It connects to the smaller green propane tanks, not a big 20lber. It is not one that requires you to prime it, cuz I find that one difficult. But also does use the huge tanks either so I don’t have to move that either. In addition I recently purchased my own stove used. I still need to clean it & test it tho.

I can light a propane lantern both on the green tanks & the big white ones. I’m lazy & cheap so I only use a small battery-operated portable one & my handy dandy flashlight. Blessed with good night sight, I don’t usually need a light source to sneak off to the bathroom at 2 in the morning.

I recently purchased an small indoor/outdoor table to use camping & at in-person & outdoor cub events. I am not sitting on the ground to cook or prep. With COVID, we can not share the picnic table with others right now, so I need my own table.

As some of y’all know, I have a long sleep cycle, and I’m sure your curious how I do that camping. Easy: ear plugs, & sleep mask. With my Cubs, I have our SiTs do breakfast, but otherwise, I suck it up. I know I will crash out during the week, but it is worth it.

My pink sleep mask (I have 3) & a pair is standard orange ear plugs.

To sit, I bring lawn chairs. My butt is too big & my balance to horrible to be able to get in an actual camp chair, handmade or store bought. Add to the fact that they are barely off the ground, with some I’d have to get on the ground to get up! Lol

This is what my current campfire chair looks like, but with thicker wood .. Made it in Rover Scouts.

Swimming? Heaven! The water is a blessing. Yes, not everywhere has water, but I camp at my bff’s cottage so there’s water there. Our cottage is also on a lake.. I enjoy the cool lake as it’s refreshing, especially on warm day.

I make sure I take all my medications, as prescribed at the appropriate time. I also bring sufficient extra medications, especially the PRN meds cuz you never know when you’ll need them. In addition to the regular meds I also bring my A535 & the Voltaran cuz again, you never know.

Are there other aspects of camping that I’m missing? Let me know & I will tell you how I deal with them!

Instant Gratification

July 23, 2021

I know want what I want and I want it now.

I did some exercise before bed. Normally a little exercise drains me & nixes my RLS.. Normally. Not so last night. It backfired.

I couldn’t sleep for a few reasons:

  1. My Restless Leggs Syndrome kicked in despite the exercise. I had to take 1½ Trazadone to get them to settle..
  2. My mind could not shut off..Kept thinking about stuff, like my cub scouts and my plans for the weekend. I just kept going over stuff in my head – despite trying 3 different sleep meditations.
  3. The exercise reacted like it used to – negatively. In the last few years, basic exercise has not been the hindrance it was for the 10+ years prior. So imagine my surprise when in snuggling into bed & my leggs (in addition to RLS) start to hurt.. it was not good. I’ve not had this reaction (other than overdoing it) is several years.

No, the want for immediate gratification and instant response was not for sleep. In this case, it was for my pain meds to work. I had to run 3 courses of meds. The first one the regular evening maintenance pain regime. The second was more Tylenol about an hour later. After still not getting additional relief from the additional meds, I bumped it up, 2 more Tylenol, 2 Robax which includes another, but different, muscle relaxant & anti-inflammatory.

At 5 am I was still awake..

Myth Debunked VI of VI

June 6, 2021

FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSIS IS THE END OF THE ROAD

Many find it hard to accept a fibromyalgia diagnosis, not just because of the condition itself but because of what it means. It can feel like the healthcare professionals are saying ‘there’s clearly something wrong with you but we have no idea what it is… there’s nothing more we can do for you’.  This ties into the point of the trashcan / umbrella diagnosis.

Lack of information and fibromyalgia-specific support at the time of diagnosis can leave many feeling like the diagnosis is the end of the road, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The OP was personally told by her rheumatologist not to go online because she’d ‘fall down the rabbit hole’. I imagine the doctor wanted her to go home, give up and stop bothering doctors.

Acceptance, often a difficult and ongoing work-in-progress for many, can be done in conjunction with keeping open mind, still being open to new developments, diagnoses and tests and treatments while working to manage fibromyalgia in day to day life.

Myself, I knew my diagnosis before my doctor’s did (Did the same with my endo), so acceptance was never much of an issue for me. I think my GP had a harder time accepting it than I did.

While there’s no cure, a multi-disciplinary approach can help to some degree. The likes of pacing, pain self-management therapy, massage, acupuncture, gentle exercise, gadgets, self-help books, medication, supplements and so on will work differently for everyone; both the experience of fibromyalgia and its management will be different for each person. It’s often a case of trial and error for each individual to develop a routine and to find the tools that work more effectively for them. 

My regime is a multi-disciplinary approach as mentioned above. I have a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, low level narcotics, MMJ and a small selection of vitamins. I also regularly see a physiotherapist /osteopath, RMT, pain physician for trigger point injections, & my dentist because of my TMJ, I participate in exercise which prior to covid was Aquafit for the most part. I try to watch my dietary choices, but I know I still fail there- addictions to sugar & McDonald’s. I am also involved in chronic pain support groups in my area which are currently virtual.

What hasn’t worked for me includes Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, Fentanyl and Codeine Contin. I have given acupuncture several tries but have not found it helpful for me & occasionally detrimental. My best friend sees a chiropractor but I found that they were less helpful for me. I also still need to be very careful in the way of exercise so it’s not to over do..

30 Facts!!

May 24, 2021

Originally written for the 25th Anniversary with 25 facts,, this is a list of things you should know, from someone with Fibromyalgia. From someone who experiences it, not just studies it. I have taken the original, modified it and added to it from *my* perspective as my experiences with fibro are not the same as hers. OP info available at the bottom.

  1. Every morning is a tough morning.
  2. I can sleep all day and still feel like I just ran a marathon.
  3. If I went out last night, I need a day or two or three to recover — its okay, it was worth it.
  4. When i’m tired, let me sleep.
  5. Certain foods make me flare up, For me that’s items like Ice cream breaded food products (like fish sticks or chicken fingers), mayo & salad dressing, KD, etc.. Some I know why, others no clue.
  6. When I’m in a flare, leave me alone in a dark room but please check in, even if I don’t answer. It makes me feel cared for & loved .If I am flaring and I am responding, I’m likely asking for a ride to the ER.
  7. Yes, diet matters, but in flare mode, all bets are off.
  8. Yes, my face is swollen. No, I didn’t gain 5 pounds overnight… Well I could have gained, but not on my face.. So, Yes, that is a tell that I am in a flare.
  9. I have many different sizes of clothes in my closet to accommodate flare vs. non-flare days. I currently have clothing from a medium ( very generous medium) to 3x.. I’ve lost weight, so likely only a few items & eventually they will go too.
  10. Fibro Fog sucks. Ya know when you get absent-minded every once in a while? Misplaced your keys? Misread something? Forgot to water the plants? That’s Brain or Fibro Fog. While it happens to everyone at some point, it not the norm. For people with Fibromyalgia this is the norm. Every day. I have even lost my train of thought, mid-sentance. It happens enough that those close to me don’t bat an eyelash when it happens. Some even see it happening & will remind me of what I was saying. The worst, is fogging out when I drive & I love to drive, but have to be super careful to make sure I am clear minded.
  11. Ask before you touch. Some days, I can barely tolerate the feel of clothing or even my hair on my skin. When I’m ok, give gentle hugs please — my skin & muscles may still be tender. But if I give you a bear hug, you can give me one back!
  12. Bright lights, loud noise and too many smells can overload the senses and can cause nauseous (or worse) or kick in a migraine.
  13. Allergies play havoc on my body. Scented products like perfumes & body products are typical culprits Sometimes I don’t even know I’m allergic until I experience it, So it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when I go into public because I can’t control what scents other people wear. Food allergies/sensitivities do not make life any easier either, especially when eating out.
  14. I am a human barometer ( there’s a post around about that.. I can typically tell it’s gonna be too cold, too wet, too hot.
  15. Yes, i am on medications, sometimes even alot of them. I have a decent relationship with the pharmacy staff, and I know exactly what all my medications are, the dosage, and why I’m on it & how it helps.
  16. To me, car rides are joy rides cuz I really love to drive. I need to stop every hour or two to keep my legs from going numb or seizing up. It, for me, is so worth it! But so many with fibro feel differently than I do & equate it to a highly painful roller coaster ride.
  17. Some days it’s OK to let my Fibro win. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  18. I can get moody. You would be too if you were in pain all the time, be patient with me.
  19. Don’t be surprised if I can tell your mood as soon you walk in the room. My Fibro/spidey-senses are tingling.
  20. My day, week and month are carefully planned to accommodate my Fibro. Only important events & people like you are scheduled.
  21. If I cancel my plans with you, don’t be mad.. Remember, I made plans with you, because you are important to me. I am trying and obviously want to hang out with you, so please keep any nasty commentator yourself as I already feel guilty.
  22. Your friend with Fibro that says they have no pain doesn’t make me feel any better. Plus if they have no pain, they may not have fibro cuz *all* Fibromites have *some* level of pain at *all* times Alternatively they could simply lying either about having fibro or about being totally pain-free. Also, just cuz someone says they are “Good” that’s does not mean pain-free
  23. “You should exercise.” ROTFLMAO. Have you considered going to the gym while you are in the middle of the flu with body-wide aches & pain, fatigue? Didn’t think so, so how can you expect me to when I have body-wide aches & pain and fatigue? Yes, I do exercise, but I’m not a hypocrite. Do you know how long it took from me to go from bobbing in the water during aquafit to get to my current level of exercise? Years!! It helps, that I have lost weight. Before you use me as an example of of someone with fibro who is ‘fit’, remember that I started my journey to become healthier & to increase my fitness level in the winter of 2012, almost 9 years ago. And I would not consider myself ‘fit’
  24. Going to the doctor makes me sad & sometimes overwhelmed— it’s a reminder of my condition. And it doesn’t help that I have at minimum a half dozen medical appointments each month – GP, Pain Doc, RMT, Physio/Osteo therapy, Gyn, Neuro, Dental, Psych, mental health support groups, and one offs for tests like bloodwork, ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or CT.
  25. There are zero no-pain days, but my low-pain days are my happy days. So if I’m looking good and acting good and I’m social, I’m better, right? No, just a good *low* pain day. Fibromyalgia is chronic & will not go away
  26. Because of Fibro, the mandated downtime gives me the opportunity to write this blog, and I’m grateful. Unfortunately, some of that downtime does not even permit blog writing because the pain or fatigue is*too* intense, so I have missed posts.
  27. Because of Fibro, some Fibromites get to spend more time with their families than if they were healthy.
  28. if i am being a dick about my health, you will not change my mind. I have to figure it out myself. For those in my life who put up with that for years, I am sorry.
  29. Because of Fibro, I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community that reminds me I’m never alone.
  30. Yes, I have depression. No, it’s not because of my fibro. My depression started at age 16, but fibro, we believe, started from Mono when I was 19-20. So, obvs they started at different times plus I do know the triggering event that started my depression.

Original published by Puja Rios on May 11, 2007 at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-facts-for-fibromyalgia-awareness-day_b_59148663e4b01ad573dac1c2

A Letter from Fibromyalgia

May 6, 2021
A Letter from Fibromyalgia

Hii!! My Name is Fibromyalgia, and I’m an Invisible Chronic Illness.

I am now velcroed to you for life.

Others around you can’t see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.

I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please.

I can cause severe pain or, if I’m in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.

Remember when you and Energy ran around together and had fun?

I took Energy from you, and gave you Exhaustion. Try to have fun now! I also took Good Sleep from you and, in its place, gave you Brain Fog.

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.

Oh, yeah, I can make you feel anxious or depressed, too.

If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away, too.

You didn’t ask for me. I chose you for various reasons: That virus you had that you never recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma. Well, anyway, I’m here to stay!

I hear you’re going to see a doctor who can get rid of me. I’m rolling on the floor, laughing. Just try. 

You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.

Pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, anti-anxiety pills

You will be put on pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants, anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant pills. You will be told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given a TENs unit, get massaged. You will be told that if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away, told to think positively. You will be poked and prodded. MOST OF ALL, you will not taken as seriously as you feel when you cry to the doctor how debilitating it is to live your life, every single day.

Your family, friends will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and that I’m a debilitating disease.

Some of they will say things like “Oh, you are just having a bad day” or”Well, remember, you can’t do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago”, not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago. Some will just start talking behind your back, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a “Normal” person, and can’t remember what you were going to say next!

In closing, (I was hoping that I kept this part a secret), but I guess you already found out… the ONLY place you will get any support and understanding in dealing with me is with Other People With Fibromyalgia.