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Naturally, I’m up at 2:30 in the morning.

I’m about to make a list that will probably horrify some of you, but THIS is the extent to which I have insomnia – here are the things I’ve taken tonight.  I’m not wide awake, but I’m “end of day” tired, instead of “go to sleep” tired.  This will give you some idea as to why my posts have been few and far between as far as good content goes, as well.

  • 150mg diphenhydramine (as sleep aid, generic)
  • 1000mg acetaminophen with 50mg more of diphenhydramine (in the form of Tylenol PM)
  • 20mg cyclobenzaprine
  • 700mg carisoprodol
  • 100mg tramadol
  • 10mg Ativan

There was a time in my life where half of an Ambien would make me goofy and dopey and knock my ass out.

Two Tylenol PM pills were enough to make me groggy the next morning, to the point where if it was past 11pm, I just wouldn’t take it at all.

The above list is my complaint about fibromyalgia.  I don’t need any of these drugs to survive, so I’m still technically in my realm of “non-suicidal about amount of medication.”  (If you missed that, here it is again:  If I have to take 6 or more pills in order to live, I consider it high time for me to just shuffle off the mortal coil.)

I can’t tell what medication is doing what, but they’re all supposedly a major cause of drowsiness.  I mean, hell – that’s why I take them.  Thus far, 3 hours later, I’m reminded of how I used to feel after taking ONE Tylenol PM.

I’m nervous, pissed, and nearing desperation for a good night of sleep.  That’s what the Ativan is for, BTW – my anxiety.

Fibro sucks.  I’ll be the first to say that life is far from perfect right now, but I have people around me who care for me, so my discomfort is purely physical in that respect.

If I sit in one position for too long, my joints freeze.  I haven’t been able to feel the soles of my feet touching a floor or other surface in well over a month.  I have absolutely no internal temperature control (this is particularly fun when you’re married to a human heater).  I can’t hold a coherent conversation because I’m either too tired to care, or I honestly can’t think of anything to say.

There aren’t many things that make me happy right now, and of course it’s worrying JB, but I don’t know what to tell him, except that he has my word that I’m not going to hurt myself or anything.  And I’m not.  At least, not intentionally.

The fact is, however, that the levels of medication that I’m taking at night just to be able to grab a few hours’ sleep might kill me.

There’s a very fine line between “desperation” and “addiction,” and I don’t want to go down that road.

I honestly have no idea what else to do.  My doctor’s been great, but he can only do so much.  JB offers moral support, and that’s important, but again, he doesn’t know all that’s going on, and I don’t know how to explain it to him, so there’s a lot of frustration in the house.

How did this progress so quickly?  How did I go, in the space of a year, from a moderately healthy (though slightly lazy) woman to this mess I am now?

A lot has happened since my diagnosis and subsequent drug roulette, but other folks get through the things I’ve dealt with, and worse, with little to no real problem.

I’ve been borrowing spoons* for weeks now…I’ve built up an incredible amount of sleep debt in the process.

Now with this medication switch, the stress on my body matches the strain on my emotions, and I feel literally paralyzed sometimes because I have to decide whether to take a shower that day.  Shower = sapped energy, but clean.  No shower = energy to do something else, but stinky.

Do I have the energy to fix something relatively healthy for lunch, or am I just going to have to pour myself a bowl of cereal?

How many naps can I get away with in the middle of the day without people thinking I’ve lost my mind or died?

Will putting the massive pile of laundry away do me any good, or should I just leave it there, since I’m going to have to drag it out of the closet, anyway?

If I wear my slip-on shoes that are worn to bits, am I sure that I won’t have to do much in the way of walking that day?  Or should I choose the thicke-soled shoes with the pads inn them, just in case, even though they don’t match anything I own and make me look like I have cartoon feet?

Is that REALLY a zit, or is it one of the weird blister/cysts I get on occasion?  Will it be gone in a couple of days, or will it linger for weeks?  Why the hell is it on my chin?  Is there one coming up on my finger?  Seriously?

Will my fingernails ever just be flesh-colored again?

If I wear this Medical ID bracelet, will I look like a tool, or is it justified because I’m so sleep-deprived that anything could happen?

Do my in-laws think I’m just lazy?

Does my husband regret marrying me?

How am I supposed to make up all of the work I missed from being sick?  Is that going to potentially ruin my last semester of college?  Will anyone care?

Will this self-loathing and disgust at my own body’s lack of ability to complete simple tasks EVER end?

Will I ever be able to make a proper fist again?

Yes, this is the shit I worry about.  You never realize how much you take for granted – things like spreading peanut butter on bread – until you can’t do it any more.

You want to know how I am?  Let’s just say I’m not optimistic at the moment.

Also?  I have cramps, and I don’t care how good a mood I’m in beforehand, a cramp can turn my whole day into sour grapes in a matter of seconds.

Naturally, because of this bad mood, I decided to watch Intervention, to remind myself that there are people out there who are much worse off than I am.  Unfortunately, one of the stories hit a little close to home.

I have some work to do.  If you’ll excuse me, I may check back in, but seeing as how I expect many of my future entries to be of this same tone (and it’s annoying me just to type it, even though they’re my thoughts), it’s not worth it to waste either my time or the time of my readers with that bullshit.


*(The post I was hoping to link for that story is not available at this time, but “spoons” are an analogy for energy and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks when you have a chronic illness.)

9 comments to Naturally, I’m up at 2:30 in the morning.

  • Joe

    I know there was a comment to this effect before, and I don’t remember your response, but have you tried accupuncture? Doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s done HUGE wonders for my wife’s Fibro AND her allergies(!).

    • There’s no acupuncture place close to me, and I’m waiting until I get insurance to try anything other than medication, which may not be the best idea, but my bank account doesn’t barter.

  • ParatrooperJJ

    How much Tylenol are you taking in a 24 hr period?

    • Only the two Tylenol PM at night. I may have a retardedly efficient liver, but I know what happens when you take too much acetaminophen, and I already have gastric issues from the prescription Aleve I’m on – I know the effects of everything I’m taking, and I know the dangers of taking too much. I’m at the point where the highest limit isn’t nearly enough, and I can’t go any further, so it’s like almost literally hitting a wall.

  • eek

    it goes up and down – you know that already. the problem is, when you’re in a low spot, it’s hard to remember things were better.
    i wish tom had been sick every once in a while in his life. he humors me when i need to slow down, and helps out with everything i need help with, but he doesn’t really understand.

  • Joe

    I hear ya on the insurance thing. We’re paying out of pocket for her accupuncture anywhere from 2-4 times per month; it’s around $65 per visit (first visit/consult is more), which is less than I thought it would be, and a damn sight cheaper than the medication was, but it’s still out of pocket.

    If you’d like info on the clinic in East Memphis she uses, shoot me an email. Regardless, I hope things improve.

  • Do you use many artifical sweeteners? My mother was pretty bad off for a while and cut out all artificial sweeteners on the advice of a friend and you wouldn’t believe the differance. Might be worth a try.


  • “Will this self-loathing and disgust at my own body’s lack of ability to complete simple tasks EVER end?”

    I’ve been there.

    It helps to embrace the suck.

    Think of your illness as an enemy, someone who’s trying to steal your well-being. (Not your body’s well-being, your well-being.) If you’re angry, frustrated and disgusted, it’s winning. Unfortunately, you want beat him by fighting because he won’t go away. The only way to win is to flip the double bird, say “Oh, whatevs” and forget it.

    And I DON’T mean “pretend it isn’t there and everything is fine.” That’s a stupid strategy that will only end in tears. I also DON’T mean you should smile and be happy because life is just rainbows! It isn’t. Pretending otherwise is a stupid strategy that will only end in tears.

    What I’m saying is that you can’t let your enemy decide your reactions for you. And please don’t think I’m one of those “Oh, just buck up and you’ll be fine” types, because I’m not. It’s hard to do and it’s harder to keep up. It took me YEARS to come to this realization. I don’t blame you at all for being frustrated. I’ve been there so many times it’s not even funny. But I promise that if you can master the suck — not by making it go away, but by realizing that it doesn’t own you — it’ll lose a lot of its power. You might even sleep better.

    This goes for health problems, family problems, job problems, school problems — anything, really. If it sucks, it can be embraced — and if you’ve got your enemy in a bear hug, then there isn’t much it can do to you, is there? You-you, not your body.

    I hope this helps.

  • tammy

    I am first going to say thankyou because if my husband was’nt on the gun website and noticed what u posted aboout thyroid. hashimoto’s disease and fibro and all the symptoms of it… well, needless to say….. i wouldn’t be on here thanking you for your input. I was at Dr.s today and brought it up because my thyroid levels are borderline. He heard me and then ordered more bloodwork on just that. I’ve been going through dr.s and medicines of all sorts just to try twswo figure this crap out. My skin even hurts so bad i can’t move sometimes! i am now taking ambien cr and flexeril as prescribed for my insomnia. getting a little loopy right now. would loooove to talk to you more about what you’ve gone through and tests and what you have found out. i do have to go to put kids to bed. maybe i can help you with what all ive gone through as well as you help me with your experiences and what your body tells you each new day. email me if u want at . we will figure this crap out!!!!!!!! thanks again, another sad girl for all this weigt gain and pain and nonstop talking about this or that over and over again. i get so sick of talking about it so i know everyone else is so sick of it as well. anyhow….. hope to hear from ya. tammy