Archive for the ‘medication’ Category

Yet another treatment: Robaxin

March 20, 2010

After going to my doctor a couple weeks ago, because I’d been in a bit of a flare and my back had been bothering me more than usual (I’ve been needing more Vicodin than usual, which isn’t much but is concerning. She focused more on my fibro pain than my back pain, which upset me at first, but I think might be okay now that I know her suggestions.

She decided to think about my situation and then call me and offer some suggestions, so 5 days after my appointment, she did call. She suggested Robaxin, a muscle relaxer that works by depressing the central nervous system. She recommended 750mg at night before bed, and hopes for a 25% decrease in fibromyalgia pain over the next two weeks.

I’ve taken it for 4 nights now, and there seems to be a need for finding the best time to take it (which can be annoying), because right now it looks like I need to take it about 3 hours before bed, to give it time to take effect and to allow me to function in the morning without waiting 3-4 hours for the groggy zombie feeling to wear off.

I will say I’ve been very productive so far (compared to before). It might be a combination of the outstanding weather we’re having, or a new medical marijuana product I’ve found, the Robaxin, or all of the above. I had a great two days off with my husband and friend, and yesterday even walked in the pool for awhile.

Clearly I overdid it yesterday, too much pool walking, and then a walk to the corner market for dinner items. I’m really exhausted and really uncomfortable, but I *do* think I’ve seen an improvement, and even when I’m sitting here in a lot of pain, I’m so thankful for all I did yesterday and over the last few days.

It’s an unusual feeling, having to “settle” for “a little improvement” over “getting my life back.” With fibro pain improving, I’m left with mostly back pain, and between the pain in my back (and even with improve fibro pain), my cloudy brain, and uncontrolled fatigue, I know I won’t be working any time soon, if ever again. It’s weird to me that I have improved symptoms, but they’re not improved enough to get “better.” It’s a weird feeling to have to lower one’s standards or expectations about reasonable treatment.

However, if this is going to be a long-term thing, I could probably get used to the Robaxin. That time in the pool yesterday was just heavenly.

medical marijuana

February 21, 2010

I have been wanting to write about this for awhile now, but I’ve been not-as-great-as-I’d-like-to-be with updating this site. I’ve been really tired, and in more pain than I’d like, so I’ve been focusing my energies elsewhere. Other than, you know, being too sick, things are good. I love California, and my husband loves his job (and California). We have a friend staying with us, and that’s been fun (and where my energy goes instead of the internet).

When I first arrived here, I sought out a medical marijuana card. I’d heard about the benefits of medical cannabis with chronic pain (fibromyalgia and spinal cord damage), and wanted to try it, since I wasn’t having any luck controlling my pain with Flexeril (I had relief for a short while, but it stopped). I was also nervous taking Vicodin regularly for my back. I’ll talk a little about the process, in case you’re curious, and then about how it’s helping me.

I called MediCann, and set up an appointment. I brought identifying documentation and recent medical records to a very nice doctor, who was more respectful and kind to me in half an hour than I experienced with my previous GP in nearly 3 years with him. It was mind-boggling. We talked about all my conditions and symptoms, and he reassured me that patients like me have a lot of luck with cannabis. He even offered suggestions for finding a regular GP (it was easier for me to get in to a MediCann doctor than it was to find a GP, although the GP I found is just amazing).

I was given paperwork that was effective immediately. After looking up dispensaries, I found one nearby, and checked it out. The dispensary staff were kinder than the staff of most pharmacies I’ve visited. (I can honestly say the California medical cannabis community is made up of some really kind and caring people!) They helped me pick out medicine, and the whole experience was rather surreal.

Later, at home… relief. Not perfection, by any standard, but such a huge amount of relief. The knife-like pains (or cramping burning pain, or however fibro is behaving that day) relax and melt away, not completely, but pretty far. The tingling pins and needles quieted down. Best of all, the only side effects might be the urge to cook dinner an hour early (oh, yeah, and I can cook dinner with less pain and more energy for after dinner!), or possibly a nap. Nothing long-term, and nothing damaging. And of course, my mood improves. I can’t really feel guilty about the resulting euphoria, considering how sad and upsetting it can be living with chronic pain.

Also, I sleep very well when I medicate, which has its own benefits for symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Cannabis may not be the best option for all fibromyalgia patients, and only you and your doctor can determine if you should try, only in areas where it’s legal, but for me, it’s really made a world of difference. I’m more productive because I’m in less pain, and while I’m still unable to work, I can take better care of myself, my family, and our home.

Disclaimer: I truly believe that cannabis should be legal everywhere, at the very least for medical reasons, but ideally for everyone. Used recreationally, it’s no different than an after-work cocktail, and alcohol is legal for adults to use and abuse as they wish. Used medicinally, it’s safer than plenty of over-the-counter treatments, and much safer than prescription drugs. No one’s died from overuse of cannabis. This site is a great recap of the history of marijuana prohibition, and is a good read if you’re interested in the history of marijuana, or cannabis. Also, NORML has a good overview and introduction to the medical use of cannabis.