The Mystery, Solved

I really apologize for not writing. I’ve been dealing with some major muscle weakness that’s made it enormously challenging to type at all. Many days lately, I haven’t even been able to manage short comments to introduce links on facebook.

And it’s not even the illness this time. Remember that fever and sore throat I was having? It kept going on, not getting better or worse, which gave me a hunch. I looked up the side effects for Soma, the muscle relaxant I’d had to add to the sleep cocktail when it had gone pear-shaped once again, and there it was: fever and sore throat. I stopped it (this process was no fun, because I’d been on it a few weeks – Soma has a discontinuation syndrome of pain and anxiety) and swapped it out for a different muscle relaxant, Norflex, and after a couple days, the sore throat and fever went away. I then quickly determined that the Norflex made me anxious and antsy – great fun when you’re trying to go to sleep, let me tell you – but it was working. Then two days ago, I realized I was having fever and sore throat again. Back to the side effects list: Yep, Norflex apparently causes the same thing in me.

Chimp looked up both drugs, and seeing that they seemed to have different mechanisms of action, had a good idea, which we’re going to try. He noted that when I made the switch, the symptoms went away for several days, then reemerged. It took about five days for each of those two drugs to cause the fever and sore throat, I think, going by my notes in the medication/sleep spreadsheet I keep. So what we’re going to do is try using each one for several days, then switch to the other. Hopefully that’ll allow them to work and not build up in my system to the point that I am feverish and uncomfortable, and also not cause me to have withdrawal effects from the Soma.

The problem with both of these drugs, besides what I’ve already noted here, is that they are both muscle relaxants, like the Baclofen I’m also on for sleep, and relaxed muscles effectively means muscle weakness, and that means the inability to type. But, I’m sorry to say to my readership, sleep is more important than writing blog entries. (For those of you who don’t know, the reason I don’t take the usual sleep aids, like Ambien or Lunesta, is that they, like the benzodiazepines, give me screaming anxiety. Yes, Xanax actually gives me panic attacks. No, it’s no fun to live in bizarro biochemistry world.)

We’re going to try a few other things, too, which I’ll relate if they pan out. This all reminds me once again that I’m living on borrowed time with this insomnia problem.

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10 Responses to The Mystery, Solved

  1. Zach says:

    Valerian acts as a sedative, if you’d like to consider an herbal. I’ve been told that it also is a muscle relaxant, but my research so far suggests that’s related to relief of emotional tension or as part of the sedative effect.

  2. Sharon says:

    So sorry for the recent complications. I applaud you for the strategy of alternating the meds.

  3. Carol Dunlap says:

    Your solution is creative; however, do you think you should check with the doctor about any possible bad effects of alternating the medicine? It seems to me at least he should be told about your negative reaction to the drugs.

    • Jocelyn says:

      We saw the local GP just last week. He was unconcerned about the number and combination of sleeping pills. He was a little worried about me taking two beta blockers, but that only happens occasionally when the first one isn’t doing the job, and I haven’t had to do it lately, having reduced the amount of Seroquel I’m taking, which is the cause of the tachycardia.

  4. Connie Jo says:

    Hey, No Poster Girl………. I’ve got CFIDS / Lyme / Fibromyalgia…….I’ve had raging battles with insomnia for several years. It was maddening cycling from staying awake for two days straight to sleeping for two days straight……..Neurologist sent me to sleep lab for sleep study…..Turns out I had a clinically diagnosed sleep disorder….. The combination of Doxepin & Gabapentin have helped me tremendously. I still have trouble getting my “falling asleep”time to to happen around 10 pm (my body likes to fall asleep at 2:00 – 3:00 AM), but when I do get to sleep it’s 10-12 hours at a stretch without waking up. Yessssss! I’ve decided to not be so picky about the time I go to sleep because at least I AM finally sleeping.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Thanks for your comment, Connie Jo. Sorry to hear you are suffering too. Yes, I’m using both of those, plus Seroquel, Baclofen, and the above-mentioned muscle relaxants, plus Norco, nightly. The number of things I’ve tried in the past that haven’t worked is staggering, too.

  5. Tink says:

    I have the same low cardiac output as you have. Most medications give me Tachycardia with a BP of 80/60 and a heart rate of 140/150.

    Earlier my dr. and I discovered my panic attacks were caused by a lack of cortisol. My adrenals were working overtime and produced little which had me in a constant flight or fight mode. Iwas started 4 years ago on Hydrocortisone and half an hour after I took the first tab a kind of calm settled in me and my panic attacks were gone.

    I try to mimic the natural cortisol by taking them on certain times but still my output looks lime the Swiss moutons with a cortisol peak at noon and at midnight when I am suppose to sleep. It makes a steep drop and around 5:00 am when everyone else is almost waking up I fall asleep.
    My sleep cocktail is a 1 mg Xanax and 30 mg Morphine. Not that the Morphine provides pain re.ief but it makes my sleepy. My opiod receptors do not function the way they should.
    Have you ever had a 24 h cortisol panel done to see if that is out of wack and that’s why you can’t sleep? After all it’s the cortisol that determines our sleep/wake rhythm.

    Just a thought 🙂

  6. Pingback: Happy Blogiversary to Me | No Poster Girl

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