Thursday 10 October 2013

My lovely GP is back!

I'm just updating you all, so this will probably just be a short post. Please see my latest one about World Mental Health Day as well :)

Ok, so my GP has returned from her long holiday! I was so glad, really needed to see her and keep her updated on things. I also needed to explain about esa to her and see if she could give me anymore letters etc.

I got there just in time but surgery was running late. I'd been rushing around, getting everything I needed to bring, so didn't realise just how bad my pains were. The waiting room was busy and as I waited I realised just how much pain I was in. It was a mixture of dull achy pains, 'heaviness', weakness in my legs, a tightness around my back and front (almost like an invisible 'belt' of pain?) and sharp pains all over. Now up to a certain degree, you can hide your pain, put on a poker face and get on with whatever you're doing. Mine was so bad that I was covering my mouth to keep from crying out too loud whenever I got the sharp pains. I was really at a point where I honestly didn't care how I looked to other people. I just wanted my appointment to come soon so I could go home to bed soon.

I really do love how my gp is with me. She recognises me, actually reads my notes (which seems to be a rarity with some places!) and I don't have to explain everything over and over again (massive relief when brain fog is bad). Ok so I'd noted down what I wanted to talk about: the Lyrica doing naff all, possibility of a supporting letter for my appeal and needing a new box of the pill.

This is such an understatement but fibromyalgia is such a bloody awkward illness to have. No cure, lifelong, fluctuating and you're lucky if you find medication that actually helps with the symptoms. Before my diagnosis, when doctors were saying it was probably chronic fatigue syndrome, I was prescribed 30mg Citalopram per day. That was increased to 40mg when I said it wasn't working with anything. They didn't even say what it would help with apart from maybe 'calming down' symptoms. All the increase did was make my dizziness and nausea worse as well as making me feel like I wasn't even on this planet. I was like a zombie so stopped that fairly quickly. I was told to give it at least 4 weeks but I was working at the time and didn't want to feel like that whilst at work! After ages of no treatment, and doctors not really bothering, then I got the suggestion of Fibromyalgia and was given Amitriptyline, 30mg per day. That helped a bit with sleep, but did nothing for pain. After that I was prescribed Pregabalin; starting at 50mg per day, went up to 150mg per day. At the higher dose, all it did was make my brain fog worse. So now I have been prescribed Gabapentin, 300mg per day. I've heard mixed reviews about this one but I will power through and hope that it helps a bit. The doctor said that if this one doesn't help, she'll refer me to the pain clinic. So there's options at least.

I just want to start feeling a bit better. All I've had so far are symptoms getting worse. I've gone from managing (but struggling) with full time jobs, to barely leaving the house and daily things (like cooking meals, washing up, showering) being a struggle. I'm young and don't want to spend years and years out of work.

Next one, appeal. I'd brought my copy of my atos report along for the gp to read and she agrees that, with my physical and mental health being so bad, I definitely should be in the support group. What she did say was that rather than me requesting a supporting letter, the dwp will send her a form to fill in if they need extra information from her? Is this right? If I'm honest, I've found the whole thing very confusing. In my esa pack, when I was given the decision, the appeal information was for jsa claimants, which is obviously very wrong...Ah well, it's been acknowledged that I'm appealing now so all I can do is wait and see and take it from there I suppose! I did actually have a missed call from the work programme people today, and when mum called for me (I was pretty much hyperventilating from anxiety), they said that the last interview had been cancelled and to attend on 30th of this month. I have no idea how I'll cope! It's a very busy office and I'll have to remember to let them know about the lift so I'm not struggling up stairs again. Also I'll be with someone different so that's another nerve wracking thing. Oh and what if I'm made to go into a group meeting again? Can I refuse? Ugh it's too confusing...

I was in bed all day after that appointment. Couldn't believe how bad the pain was that day. I know certain things can set off fibro symptoms but sometimes you just get a flare straight out of the blue! Also frustrating.

Ok, leaving it there and moving onto a much more purposeful blog post (hopefully)

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