My new tablets arrived yesterday evening, so I can tell you their name, at last, Duloxetine. I had done as I always do, read nothing that came with it, other than the starting dose, just to check I had, at least, got that fixed in my head. My first weeks dose is low, as I am taking just a 30 mg tablet, along with 10 ml of my Amitryptiline, a 50/50 dose to help with the expected withdrawal symptoms. I am more than aware of them, as my forgetfulness, that has lead to Adam being in charge of my meds, meant that I have felt them several times in the past. I admit, even though I am still to take a lowered dose, I was still truly concerned, of what might happen, far more than I was about the new tablet. Ask anyone, who has been as ill as I am, for as long as I have, and you will get the same story, life is one long round of trying different drugs. Personally, I can’t think of a single one that I have ever had an issue with, other than the seen as “minor side effect” that came with my Amitryptiline, an incredibly dry mouth. If the new tablet works only as well as the Amitryptiline, but, doesn’t give me a dry mouth, I will be happy. If it works better, I will be delighted.
I have to admit, I was truly hesitant at 8 pm when we headed into the kitchen so I could use my nebulizer, all my inhalers and finally swallow my array of tablets. If there is one thing I need, it’s my sleep, the thought of a disturbed night was filling me with dread, but like a lot of things in life, you just have to get on with it. By the point that they all should have kicked in, I felt nothing different in any way, and I started to relax, maybe, it wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought. Although, to be fair, withdrawal symptoms don’t normally appear for a couple of hours past the medication due time. When I stood up at 9 pm to go to bed, I suddenly realised that there was something wrong, I was totally unsteady on my feet and I felt drugged, spaced out and totally wired. Sitting in my wheelchair has rarely been more welcome, as there wasn’t the slightest doubt in my head, that I wouldn’t have made it to even the living room door, on my feet. I can’t think of anything I could compare it too, as not even the old fashioned premeds, you once got before an operation or the sleeping pills, I had years ago, ever made me feel that way. I was giddy, misty minded and, well, drugged. It was just how I thought, that Morphine would make me feel before I actually took it for the first time, when, I felt nothing. It was more than unpleasant, it was actually totally unsettling and bizarre. I didn’t say anything to Adam, as I knew that he would just worry, all I had to do was act normal, and get to my bed. Why is it when you want to act normal, you feel as though, you are doing anything but?
Once I had said good night to Adam, I tried to put in my ear plugs. I knew without a doubt that I had made a mess of it, but I felt so weird, that I just didn’t care. I got into bed and laid down, hoping that sleep would take over in seconds. It wasn’t until I was lying down that I became aware of feeling as though every sense in my body was heightened and more alive. I almost tingled with electricity, it wasn’t unpleasant, like the tingling caused by my MS, it was more an invigorating sensation, and not what I was looking for at that time of night. I took my mind off it by working my way through my relaxation system, which to my surprise, worked at super fast speed. All my muscles seemed incredibly relaxed before I had even started, which didn’t exactly go with how I was feeling, as I said it was weird. I have to admit that it wasn’t totally unpleasant, it was more unsettling if you know what I mean. Then slowly, everything started to shut down, as though I was diminishing in size, until, I was just my brain and my body didn’t exist, sleep followed. I can’t stress how unusual the whole thing was, I’ve never felt anything quite like it. The closest, well I know my memory isn’t the best these days, and I would need to stretch it back to the 70’s. when I like many teenagers, dabbled with acid. It was along the lines as a refined version of how that felt, except I slept.
I did wake during the night, just once, to go to the bathroom, which should have been easy and would have been, if not for the drug. As I was putting on my dressing gown, I fell over, luckily I landed on the bed, but as it had taken a huge amount of effort to stand in the first place, I wasn’t that amused. It took as much effort to find my feet again and to get into my chair. In my head, there was a thought spinning around, as to whether I should wake Adam to help me, or not. What if I fell in the bathroom? That wouldn’t be funny at all, or in the kitchen, when I eventually got there? Yes, I did still go for a cigarette, something just have to be done, no matter how you feel. Mind you, I didn’t smoke all of it as I couldn’t stop yawning and I was still feeling terrible. The pack had said it was a slow release drug, and it was, all this happened at 4 am. I didn’t wake Adam, I managed perfectly well by myself, but I was truly glad to be back in my bed. I lay there for a while trying to work out, if I was going to try this whole thing again that night, or just write it off as a truly bad idea. I didn’t make a decision then, as once more, I diminished, then vanished.
My head is much clearer this morning, but still not right. How do I feel about this drug, well it was only one night, that isn’t long enough to test anything and as it is night, not morning, does it matter, not really. Yes, I am going to take it again tonight, hopefully, it won’t be so dramatic. I clearly still have quite a bit of it in my system this morning, hopefully, my body will adjust over the hours and be ready for another dose tonight. I have to give it a decent shot, at least, all the way through this weekend, especially, as Adam is here to help me should I need it at any point, which I doubt that I will. No, it hasn’t stopped me feeling pigheaded. If I feel as bad on Monday morning, well I can talk to my Doctor and see what he says. Right now, I don’t have the slightest idea if it is doing what it is meant to or not, I won’t know that until, I have been on the full dose for a few days, so that answer, is at least 10 days away. On the good side, just cutting my Amitryptiline in half, has more than halved the dryness in my mouth. For someone who hasn’t known moister without stimulating it with food or drink, for 14 years, this alone is an amazing event. So much so, that if the two drugs turn out to be exactly the same at pain control, as long as I don’t have to spend my life feeling drugged, I will go with the Duloxetine.
You have to allow every new drug a chance, it’s all too easy to just take something once and dismiss it, Some drugs, especially those that fall into the category of antidepressants, even when not being used for that purpose, take time to get into your system, and time to work. This is just the first tablet, I can’t really judge anything on that basis, time will tell.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 09/01/2014 – A choice over Morphine
The year is only 9 days old and I have already reached the point where I wouldn’t mind sleeping the rest of it through. Until today I have been doing fine and was managing to stay up to 9 pm each evening…..