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Dealing with trials of drugs and treatment options – Lyrica

29 Jul 14
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Over the last week or so I’ve been really struggling with the brain fog and fatigue. My doctor and I are trialing an increase in my Lyrica doses and so far I’ve seen little to no improvement in the pain levels (the reason for the Lyrica) and a massive increase in the brain fog/fatigue department.


Retrieved from Facebook

Retrieved from Facebook

I feel almost like I’ve taken a 6 month leap backwards in my mental capabilities!

It’s really hard to explain what it’s like to be on this sort of drug. My mother-in-law told me about someone in her support group who recently started Lyrica and I really liked her description… you can start off feeling fine, almost good, so you go about your day as normal but at some point you realise that you feel as if you’re high on drugs, you are completely out of it and unable to do anything properly…Β thanks to the fog I don’t think I’ve written that quite right but you get the gist of what was being explained.

Each and every day, multiple times a day, I’m stopping and asking myself what I’m doing. I feel like most days lately are just going by without me achieving much, like it was when I first fell ill.

Admittedly I am achieving more than I was back then, physically at least. I’m managing to keep up my (mostly) daily yoga, 3 times a week body weight exercises and daily walk or ride (which I’ve managed to increase to around 20 minutes a day).

Mentally though, I’m getting nowhere!

I have a uni assignment due next week and the fog is making it difficult to even understand what I’m reading in the weekly work, let alone managing to create my own 6 lesson unit of work on history for primary students. Luckily, my sister is over from Hong Kong at the moment and she’s studying similar subjects so I’ve had her helping me at least lay out the lessons so that it should be easy for me over the next week or so to get it into a structure suitable for uni. To be honest I’ve realised I’m not quite ready for study with deadlines yet, so when I finish this unit (hopefully passing) I’m just going to focus on the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and not continue my degree for a little while.

Not being able to complete my uni work makes me question how ready I am to return to work. Although I’m fighting for a part time return to work soon, maybe I’m not ready. If this fog is not just the drug again, maybe I need to take longer to heal.

Every day I will be asking myself this:

From the last campaign I ran before getting ill in 2013.

From the last campaign I ran before getting ill in 2013.

My response is not always yes. Although I’d like it to be yes everyday, there a days where I’m struggling to even remember the order of my morning routine. On those days I feel like I’m travelling nowhere or maybe even backwards.

I know I can travel well, even with my illness, I just need to remind myself of my priorities and focus on those. I can be happy and fulfilled even with a life of pain and fog where most of my time is spent at home.

Next week when I see my doctor again I will need to have made a decision, is the fog/fatigue worth the minimal pain reduction the Lyrica is providing?

Right now my answer is NO.

If things have not improved by next week I will be asking to be taken off the Lyrica and, given that then I will be off all pharmaceutical drugs (except the Depo Provera for the Pelvic Congestion Syndrome), I will be looking more into natural and non-drug options for pain and energy management.

For me to feel comfortable returning to work, I need to be at a level where I can function – both physically and mentally – at a minimum of half of what my ability was before falling ill. At the 50%Β point I’d be comfortable with part time work which would hopefully assist in increasing that percentage for the mental functionality.

I’m beginning to feel like I’m rambling so I’m going to end this post here.

My questions to you today are:

Are you travelling well? Have you found that good point/balance point in your life?

If you ever tried Lyrica, what were your experiences with it?

Do you have any alternative treatment recommendations for pain and energy management?

Thank you for reading this post and don’t forget, you can head over to LiveKen to follow our journey to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. I would love to share this journey with you as I’m sharing the journey with Chronic Illness here.

No Comments

  1. TJ Petri July 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Very tough situation you are in but dont give up. I have had similar experiences and it can just be some time before things iron themselves out.

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks TJ. πŸ™‚

  2. Jenn M July 30, 2014 at 3:15 am

    I agree that meds can be very frustrating. I’ve never tried Lyrica, but I’m on Gabapentin (which is similar to Lyrica). It does help for the most part with alleviating the burning pain (but not with all the pain such as the achy type), but I have also seen the downside of the med as well (such as weight gain–grrrr). I’m not sure if the dizziness and fatigue completely contribute to the med because I’ve had my good days where I do have more energy. So, I guess it depends on different factors.

    I, too, am still working on that balancing point. At least my hands are beginning to feel a lot better, so I can crochet and type again. πŸ™‚ For the most part, I’m traveling well (with some potholes here and there).

    I hope that your doctor is able to help you out with creating a new plan on managing your pain and energy! <3

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Thanks Jenn, I’m glad to hear your hands are starting to feel better!

  3. margie July 30, 2014 at 5:00 am

    how long have you ben on Lyrica? heard it is really hard to get off of! hope you feel better soon.

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:49 am

      I think it’s been about 6 months now, I know it’s going to be a long slow process to get back off of, but I think it’ll be for the best.

  4. Deborah July 30, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I hope you and your doctor can come up with something that is more satisfactory. It’s so frustrating to feel like you’re slipping back instead of maintaining the balance you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Thinking of you!

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Thanks Deborah, it really is frustrating as I though I was making real improvements.

      • Deborah July 31, 2014 at 10:02 am

        I know. I get frustrated, too. Just about the time you think you have something figured out and that you can make things work a bit, everything changes, and it feels like you’re back at the beginning. You’re strong, though. I have every confidence you will find a path through this.

        • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 10:03 am

          Thanks πŸ™‚

  5. Jennifer Brown-Leslie July 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I have been on Lyrica and Cymbalta since May and have felt a lot better. I still have days where I am fatigued and need to rest more but overall I have felt a big improvement. I also have Behcet’s Syndrome (auto-immune disease) which complicates everything as sometimes I don’t know if it is the fibro or the Behcet’s! I have felt that the pain has diminished on the Lyrica and I didn’t feel any side-effects. I am on 150mg per day (75mg morning and night). I haven’t put any weight on yet but I have been eating really well as I am hoping a good diet helps my stupid immune system.

    Anyway, after a stint in hospital and tips from the chronic pain team, I put in place a daily schedule that included rest time (usually I read a book or watch TV, sometimes I sleep). I am studying for my Masters in Literature via distance and have a great understanding tutor (who also has fibromyalgia). It is really hard to pace myself but I am getting better at it. I used to get really upset when I had a bad day – now I am trying to accept it and remember that it won’t last and that tomorrow is another day etc etc.

    Before I went on Lyrica and Cymbalta I was really at my wit’s end. I was unable to function and couldn’t get out of bed for days on end.

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Pacing is always so difficult!

      When I first started Lyrica 6 months ago I did have a slight improvement but things steadily got worse again so we’ve been increasing the dosage. I’m now at what my doctor believes is the maximum I should go to given my size (300 mg morning and night for a total of 600 mg!) but I’m not seeing much improvement, or at least nothing that is worth the amount of brain fog I’m experiencing.

  6. Jennifer Brown-Leslie July 30, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Elephant Tree Blog and commented:
    I have recently started Lyrica and it has been a miracle drug for me in terms of pain management. I think I am one of the lucky ones as many people have side effects that make the drug intolerable.

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I’m glad it’s been helpful for you Jennifer, I know that it reacts differently for different people. Good luck with your pain management!

  7. laylabrisco July 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve recently started Lyrica as well. For me there was no difference until I got to 75mg, 3 times daily. I had 2 pain free days this week actually. which was the first time i had a substantial amount of “pain free time” in 4 months. though it helps my pain in a very different way then any other pain med i have tried. The areas of chronic pain for me are around my eyes and cheeks, and my right arm, feel kinda numbed out. its a very odd sensation. I am still keenly aware of those areas but not in a painful way just in that they feel “funky” for lack of a better word. Brain fog is the worst. I have had exceptionally low energy i never thought to attribute that to the lyrica. best of luck!

    • Megan S July 31, 2014 at 9:45 am

      I’m up to 300mg twice a day now and still no real improvement. Thanks for the feedback though. I hope you find something that works well to minimise your pain levels as well.

      I’m attributing the increase in brain fog to the increase in symptoms because nothing else has really changed in that time.

  8. bluebutterfliesandme August 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Ah you have my compassion, I too go to school and a brain fog would not help. I hope you find a medication that works for you without the brain fog.


    • Megan S August 6, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you Sindy, I appreciate your support.

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