Unintended Consequences Of Chronic Pain And Fibromyalgia
I’m an adult with an ear ache. Well, actually I’m a man bordering on old age and it’s not an ear ache, but it’s earaches, one in each ear. My throat starts to hurt along with a three day headache that will not go away so I go to the doctor. I’m not proud, in fact, I’m quick to go to the doctor when it comes to relieving any type of pain.
With fibromyalgia I am sick of the pain. If I can relieve some type of minor or regional pain, I’ll do what I can. So the doctor agrees, I am sick. I get ten days worth of antibiotics. I get some cough syrup, cough syrup without narcotics. I already have a prescription for that. Yeah. I’ve been through many a sinus infection and many an upper respiratory illnesses, both viral and bacterial. I know that if I respond favorably within two to three days, it’s likely bacterial and I’m on track. Otherwise, it’s viral and I have to wait it out. It’s sad that I know this much.
I’m taking my medication regularly for three or four days and I’m responding well. Then all of the sudden I seem to be backsliding. Not good. So the question is why? I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want to expose my grandchildren to whatever I have. Being sick on top of chronic pain and fibromyalgia is just miserable. It’s worse than miserable, but unless you have a chronic illness or a chronic pain, you likely wouldn’t understand. So then, the question is why am I backsliding. Why are my symptoms getting worse and not better like they were a few days ago?
It takes longer to figure out since my memory is foggy and my deductive reasoning skills are reduced by fibro fog but I do figure it out. I take too much medicine. Too many pills. I guess that’s a matter of opinion. I don’t technically take too many pills because every medicine I take is prescribed, even the Calcium, Vitamin C and other supplements.
You see, the problem is that my memory, motor skills are kicking in when I take my morning medicine and my night time medicine. I look at the bottles, sometimes skipping the labels because after six, eight or twelve years of taking the same medicine daily, I know what the bottle looks like. I know what the pill looks like. I have made several phone calls over the years to the pharmacy to ask why the shape or color of the pills in a particular pill bottle are different. They look it up and say that for that particular bottle, it came from a different manufacturer this one time or that they changed the shape of the tablet or the pill is a different color because it is now generic.
I think to myself, when was the last time I took my antibiotics? Now that I’m thinking about it, I start to wonder when I last took that two color capsule. I go through my pills, sorting them by morning and night time schedules. There’s a slightly translucent white pill bottle remaining along with an old bottle of Meclizine that I need to dispose of. The white bottle turns out to be my antibiotic. Crap! I realize that I have been on autopilot for so long that I passed over that antibiotic bottle the last few days. I haven’t been taking my new pill.
What’s done is done and I need to move on. I have changed the way I manage that pill. I have been taking it properly now and the symptoms are again improving. I now place the antibiotic next to my pain medicine that I take throughout the day. That reminds me to take it morning and evening.
After dwelling on this strange circumstance, I realize that among the many unintended consequences of medicating and treating fibromyalgia and chronic pain is that sometimes other temporary medicines get lost in the shuffle making it harder to deal with what most people would consider normal medical issues like the occasional sinus infection or ear aches or whatever. After twelve official years diagnosed with fibromyalgia I am still learning about how to live with this chaotic illness. Yeah.
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