Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Times They Are A-Changin'

So I saw my psychiatrist on Saturday.

My psychiatrist(s) and pain doctor have made recommendations, and now a referral has been put through for the government to decide whether or not to fund me to go to Homewood (a rehab type facility in Ontario, Canada).

It is primarily a mental health clinic - but my psychiatrist believes it is my best chance to potentially see other doctors who would be more willing to delve into the medical issues and tests that can not be done in this region of the world.

If the government doesn't approve it, obviously, I'm not going.  If the government does approve it, I'll probably be going whether I want to or not.  I don't know how I feel about being treated in a detoxing facility, especially when I only take about 1/2 of the pills I am prescribed.  I have never shown drug addict behavior in my entire life...but I have never been able to detox without having TERRIBLE side effects (primarily from SSRI's and Benzos).

I'm tired of this complicated situation, but alas...I keep going.

I see an endocrinologist early in the year, as I've had a few tests with low parathyroid, so we'll see how it all works out.

What does everyone think?  Do you believe in the use of medication for illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, MECFS, and an unknown autoimmune problem?  Or do you support the natural supplement route?  What is working for you?  Have any of you been treated in major facilities?



Anonymous said...

I believe in trying everything, until you find something that works for you. If the government is willing to pay for you to go, and you have to, than go and suck every bit of help out of them you can. What you are doing now doesn't seem to be giving you enough relief, so see if they can figure it out.

I think the best treatments usually combine meds and natural treatments. But everyone needs different things, and it just takes trial and error. I won't say there is anything I would say Don't do without trying it

aka Witchyangl

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what Monica said above. Try anything and everything until you find something that works. Although I must admit that this facility sounds a little too scary for me. I am a real wimp and get homesick too easy. Keep us posted please!

Toni said...

I agree with Monica and Mo. Trial and error. I would only add that I appreciate my doctor's rule in treating me: do no harm. So, he's willing to try treatments, traditional and non-traditional, but he always wants me to start with low doses and then work up if they seem to be helping.

It seems to me that often what works best for people (and has the added benefit of being less harmful) is low doses of several different meds (as long as they're not contraindicated together) rather than a large dose of one med.

On the one hand, it doesn't sound like you need to go to rehab. On the other hand, the quality and advancement of medical practices in Ontario is likely to be much higher than in PEI and if a rehab clinic is the only place you'd have access to that higher level of care, it sounds may be worth a try.

Tough decisions, Annie. Love to you.

Baffled said...

Just remember supplements are chemicals too. Just because they are natural doesn't mean they aren't harmful. I agree with everyone else. Everyone is different. That is why we have so many products on the market at different doses. Unfortunately, it is a trial and error process that requires the doctor to pay attention during the initial dosing stages to make sure the meds are doing what they are supposed to. If going to a facility is the only way you can get that type of help go for it. Use all of the resources available to you while there.

As for myself, I do use prescription medication for my joint pain. I have to fight my insurance company every time I try to get it filled because they want me to take asprin until my stomach can't handle it anymore. For me the prescription stuff works so much better than anything I can get over the counter. Fortunately my doc is great and goes to battle for me everytime I need a refill.

I have just been reading this excellent book on pain called The Pain Chronicles. I think you might be interested in it. It covers all aspects of pain including mythology, liturature, research, meds and the author's own battle with chronic pain. It is excellent and I highly recomend it.

elisabeth said...

I can only speak for my own situation, but I need both prescription medications and vitamin and mineral supplements to keep my health optimal- I have tried each on their own in the past and was not successful. (Of course, I'm still hoping to become better than I am, but it's a slow process adding or changing anything in the mix).

Honestly, the clinic should have lots of experience and be able to help you if you do need to detox off a med (or several). I would be leery about giving up some autonomy, but I also sometimes daydream about being able to go somewhere that I can just focus on my health and getting well. Whatever comes, I hope it works out for the best! *hugs*

Anonymous said...

I would give it a try. I have had no success with either prescription meds or the natural route. And about 99% of the doctors I saw do not really understand CFS. And no medical aid here would pay for treatment of it. SO good luck and give it a go! Be strong, Amber

kitty said...

Hey Annie,

I agree with everyone else - anything is worth a try and also natural supplements are just as bad as prescription meds etc as far as the effects they can have on your body. Not to say either are bad but just to bear in mind that "natural" isn't necessarily better.

For my ME/CFS the only thing I've been prescribed really is amitriptyline - I take 10mg at night time and that is to help me sleep and to help with the bad muscle pain in my legs that I get. I have recently started taking a "natural" vitamin supplement called ultra muscleze (magnesium, malic acid, b vits) but so far i've seen no improvement over my regular magnsium (which is AMAZING for twitches and muscular problems).

Anyway enough rambling! Hope you find something to help you dear x

Baffled said...

That's the trouble with posting while in a brain fog, I forget to write stuff down.

Anyway, I take a mix of prescription and suppliments some of which were prescribed by the infectious disease specialist I saw. By docs orders I'm on Celebrex (the anti inflamatory that helps with my joint pain) and large doses of B12. Both of which helps tremendously. I also take calcium, magnesium and potassium which all help with muslce contraction and release but this is self prescribed. I was taking these before I got sick and never stopped so of course there isn't anything to compare to. My regular doc also put me on D because I just don't get out in the sun much. My chiropractor put me on C and zinc. None of which I've seen any difference with. However, when I had my blood tests done this year all of my mineral levels were normal except my B12 level so I guess I'm doing something right.

I did have trouble with a contaminated B12 supplement. It gave me horrendous heartburn. Bad enough I had to go on strong prescription meds. As soon as I switched brands I felt much better. The take away here being don't buy cheap suppliments. Here in the US they aren't regulated for purity or strength so you have no idea what you are actually taking.

Bluebirdy said...

Annie, I went to an in-patient pain treatment center. There are actually 2 kinds. The first kind is one that believes in helping you find the right medications to help you become more functional. Well actually that might just be a pain specialist, not an inpaitent treatment. The one I went to was not that kind. They took away my meds and as I went through dangerous withdrawals that could kill a person, they had activities all day long and demanded that I take part, just to prove to myself that I could function even while in pain. I went voluntarily and was supposed to be able to sign out voluntarily, but they locked me in for 3 weeks until I did and said what they wanted me to do and say...so I became a great actress. The first few days I was too sick to even sit up. They put me in a room and told me if I wanted to eat, I'd have to walk down to the dining room. I didn't get to eat until I figured out how to get down there. I needed help to get to the bathroom. Used call button, no reply. Had to DROP onto the floor, scoot my butt across the floor into the bathroom, then try to get back in bed. At that point my legs were almost paralyzed, which is why I was desperate enough to go into the hospital in the first place in a far away city. They gave me a 7 hour psychological exam. The Dr. said he wished his own daughters were as well adjusted as I was, and agreed that my problems were physical, not psychological and that I needed to be on a medical floor, but the admitting Dr. would not release me for 3 weeks. They demanded I get dressed each day. I had one set of clothes with me, so I rinsed them in the sink at night and put them on the next day. A few years later I was asked to go to another one to "learn how to deal with the pain." Hmm. Been there, done that. So if you can, talk to someone from the inpatient pain clinic and ask straight out if this facility is the type that teaches you to live with your pain, or that helps your pain with medications. They did let some patients have their heart medications etc. on that floor, so all meds were not taken away, but all mine were. Now I use supplements and just a couple prescriptions, but the supplements are chemicals too, like someone above mentioned, and after 12 supplements a day for a month or 2, I had to quit, they were damaging my liver, so I just felt like there is no treatment that does not have side affects. I do take a few supplements that help and are healing though. I just wish I could take all of the ones that helped me so much. It almost seemed hopeless when I was told that I had to go off EVERYTHING except the pain meds (because my heart stops from arrythmia when my pain gets bad), and to get told that I can't even seek out meds that might make my life better, because they tear up my liver. So now I am thinking of hot tubs and acupuncture and gentle massage and alternative treatments but those are all very expensive. Ask questions before you go to that inpatient place Annie. Email me anytime, I left my email address in my second comment under pop culture wednesday.
Blessings, Sheila