It Makes Me Sick!

Some very special people

FPR has been in a sticky situation recently: he has been stuck on the Macbook, which has meant that I couldn’t get near it to type a post on here. I know I could have typed it on my iPad, but I prefer using the Macbook. Silly, isn’t it? Wotevva! That is why it’s been a while since my last post. (As I typed that last sentence I could hear The Last Post playing in my head!!!)

OK. Let’s get on to the business in hand…

Back in early September, I mentioned in this post having felt nauseous. This is something that happens occasionally. I don’t really remember it being an issue since I tried taking Amitriptyline back in 2015. The Amitriptyline caused me to suffer dreadful nausea and vomiting. Since that time, I have suffered bouts of nausea occasionally. However, those occasions are becoming more frequent and, consequently, more troublesome. I hadn’t attributed them to any particular cause but rather just viewed them as unpleasant things that happened once in a while. Recently, though, I have been wondering if there is an underlying cause for the nausea so I decided to check whether it is a recognised symptom of Fibromyalgia. No prizes for guessing what I discovered.

I can’t remember, now, which website I read about nausea being a symptom of Fibro but, because I wanted to add a link about nausea in this post, I did a quick search online and this site came up. The piece I read last week didn’t mention nausea as being a common symptom of Fibro so it was something of a revelation to read it in this post. This is probably a good time to remind you that I tend not to read about Fibromyalgia. I did so when I was first diagnosed but found the information so depressing that I decided not to read any more, unless I was looking for something specific. I was depressed enough, without adding lots of information about symptoms I didn’t have, but  which which might develop in the future.

The article I read the other day mentioned that sufferers of fibro-related nausea should consult their doctor about it. I don’t want to bother Dr. Azeer at the moment: instead, I shall see how things go. If the nausea keeps putting in an appearance and becomes a particular nuisance I may need to review that decision but, for the moment, I shall leave him in peace.


The Radical Option


Do you ever go “commando”? Or ride bareback? If you do you’ll be able to identify with what I’m about to do…

I went to see Dr. Azeer this morning – oh, and that is a story in itself! Anyway, to get back to the point, I saw him to discuss the side effects of the Amitriptyline that I have been experiencing i.e. nausea. As usual, he asked me a few questions about what has been happening, in order to get a feel for how life is treating me, before moving on to health matters. At that point I explained that I had reduced my dose of Amitriptyline due to the nausea and that, when I put the dose back up, the nausea had returned. We reviewed the medications that I had tried and what the next step could be. He mentioned the possibility of trying Pregabalin. However, I wasn’t keen on taking it. I don’t really know why I was reluctant, I certainly hadn’t had any feelings about it one way or the other prior to going into see him. This was where things got radical! I suggested not taking Pregabalin but, rather, going without any medication for the Fibromyalgia, for a while.

I explained that the Fibro had been behaving quite well recently. I also told him about what my younger son had said concerning the possibility of the Fibro getting better now that the “cause” of it had gone. We agreed that it would be worth me having a period without taking any medication specifically for the Fibro. As I said to him, if the Fibro starts causing problems I can always contact him to ask for some medication.

So, that’s it: I’m going ‘commando’! I’m living with the Fibro without my (drugs) clothes on. Wish me luck!

The Balancing Trick


I have Fibromyalgia and I am extremely lucky. I am extremely lucky because, although I do have Fibromyalgia, I do not suffer excruciating pain unlike so many others who have Fibromyalgia. However, I am not completely lucky: after all, I do have Fibromyalgia. In the main, I am afflicted by tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue; “Fibro fingers” (when I am unable to feel my fingers properly and it is difficult to use them effectively); wildly fluctuating body temperature; extremely cold hands and feet; dizziness and Fibro fog. I must admit that having cold hands and feet is something of a revelation as, in the past, my feet seldom felt cold. Now, however, it’s a very different story. The cold in my extremities makes having a shower difficult and uncomfortable: my hands and feet are burned by the water and yet, when the water hits my body it is barely more than tepid.

I admit that recently most of my symptoms have been barely present, apart from the dratted cold hands and feet. I had been thinking that the lack of symptoms was due to adrenalin coursing through my body because of the stresses that have been around me recently. However, I’m not so sure now.

When I returned from Australia at the end of last week I was pretty much symptom-free. Yes, I was suffering nausea and sickness plus the ever-present foul taste in my mouth, but I was sure all of that was due to side effects of the Amitriptyline. I decided to reduce the dose from the 60mg I had been taking whilst in Australia, to 50mg per day. I hoped that the small reduction would halt the side effects. I was unsure whether that would be the case as originally the nausea had begun when I was taking 70mg but had reappeared when I was on 60mg, but I didn’t want to prejudge.

I duly reduced the dose last Friday. Unfortunately the nausea and other side effects continued so, after five days, I dropped again, to 40mg. Still the side effects have remained.

I had a telephone consultation with Dr. Azeer yesterday during which I told him about the side effects I was having and that I was struggling to eat because of them. I also told him that I was now taking 40mg. We agreed that I need to come off the Amitriptyline entirely and went on to discuss the remaining treatment options. He again mentioned that Pregbalin was really the only drug choice we had. At that point, I asked him whether its efficacy mainly worked for pain or tiredness. He replied that it works mainly on pain. Hmm. So this was where the balancing trick came into play. I had a choice to make:

1. Take Amitriptyline and feel almost constantly nauseous, suffer frequent vomiting and not be able to eat a reasonable diet;
2. Take Pregbalin and have my body become used to it, even before I have severe pain; or,
3. Don’t take any drugs for the Fibromyalgia.

Dr. Azeer and I had a good discussion during which I expressed the fear that if I start taking Pregbalin now, when I have little pain, it may not be effective if or when I suffer the levels of pain that many people with Fibromyalgia have. We agreed that I would not take any drug for the Fibromyalgia, for the time being, and that the decision can be reviewed whenever I feel the need.

Having heard what other Fibro sufferers have to cope with because of their doctors, I appreciate just how fortunate I am to have such an approachable, understanding and empowering GP as Dr. Azeer. I may have drawn the short straw in some things, but I am so lucky in who my GP is.

The Amitriptyline Journey

Luscious-looking lovely chocolates
Luscious-looking lovely chocolates

I love chocolate.

On my first trip to Australia, my sister and I went into the centre of Adelaide and she took me to a chocolatier where she bought each of us a chocolate bar. As we exited the shop she offered me the receipt. I was puzzled and asked why she was offering it to me. “To wrap your chocolate bar in.” She said. I declined and explained that if I wrapped my bar in the paper it would waste chocolate. At least, if it melted onto my fingers, I could lick it off! She laughed and told me I was a real chocaholic. So, you can see that I love chocolate.

Last Sunday (not yesterday), Maria, Peter and I went out to lunch with Maria’s friends, Iris and Nancy. After lunch we all went to Iris’s house where Nancy gave Peter and me a present each. My gift was the box of handmade chocolates that you can see at the head of this post. You can’t see it in this picture, as it was upside-down when I snapped the photo, but the selection even included one that was bright blue!

You can imagine, I am sure, that I was looking forward to delving in and making my choice. However, I decided to wait until we were back home in England before diving in. Peter knew that his chances of being offered a chocolate were slim to none: not because I am greedy, but because his palate is such that fine food and chocolates are wasted on him.

Whilst in Australia I suffered badly from a sore throat caused by the dry climate, but also to the dreradful dry mouth that the Amitriptyline was causing me. I was also very unwell at the end of a day out, as I mentioned in my last post. I now realise that all of these things are connected.

During the drug changeover from Gabapentin to Amytriptyline, I began to feel very nauseous as my Amitriptyline dosage approached the maximum. I mentioned the problem to Dr. Azeer and we agreed that I would decrease the dose slightly and stay at that level during my visit to Australia. However, the nausea returned, sometimes becoming gagging or even vomiting and a foul taste was ever-present in my mouth. These two side effects have stayed with me and have me feel very unwell during the past few days. For various reasons I had to go supermarket shopping yesterday and the smell of various foodstuffs was at a level that had me wondering if I was going to have to make a quick dash to the loo. I don’t think I have ever been so thankful to finish shopping as I was yesterday.

The foul taste and almost constant feeling of nausea are putting me off eating. Food tastes so nasty that I can hardly bear to have it in my mouth. Even those lovely chocolates taste disgusting! How can that be? Why is it? Isn’t it bad enough to have everything else that’s happening, without being denied handmade chocolates? Having tried a few of the chocolates I have decided to put the rest away until the thought of eating is a pleasance rather than a pennance. I don’t think I shall have ever kept a box of chocolates for such a long time!