In the last 2.5 years I have been diagnosed with Bipolar II, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders. Now that I am well into the treatment of these conditions I should feel much better- but I don't.
Now that the pain in my joints is controlled, I can tell that I have nearly constant pain in the soft tissue all over my body. With the improvement of my sleep the fatigue should be getting better- but it is still controlling my life. I have to conclude that something else must be wrong.
The Rheumatologist says that my joints look good, I have little swelling, the crushing, excruciating pain that was obviously in my joints is not there anymore. He says that the places that I still have pain are not in my joints, so it is not the RA.
The treatment of the Bipolar II is more complicated. I am VERY fragile emotionally. I have been in what is called a "mixed manic episode" for a month and it nearly pushed me over the edge a few weeks ago. I am unable to work because of this condition. (Half the time I am unable to keep house/take care of my kids) I am in the appeals process in getting Social Security Disability. The constant pain keeps me walking the edge of disaster emotionally. Even if I start to feel better it can throw me into a "manic high" that takes a harsh toll on my relationships and my health.
The pain that I feel is between the joints in my fingers, (like I had twisted them, or punched something hard) in my forearm and upper arm if feels like someone had lightly hit me with a stick up and down my arm lots of times so that it was bruised but not broken. I sometimes look for the bruise, but it is never there. My thighs hurt like I have climbed flights and flights of stairs for no reson at all. My whole body hurts like this.
I looked at the pressure points, and the 2 on my neck, 2 on my lower back, 2 on my mid arm all hurt when I apply pressure.(Hurt where I flinch and pull away) the one above my clavicle is not nice, but not to where I flinch, same with the top of my back. The others don't really bother me, but then I am on 800mg of Motrin.
The only time I can get away from the all over pain is when I have some joint pain and can take the vicodin I have been prescribed. I try to take it only when the RA calls for it and not when I have "other" pain.
So that is enough background about me.
What I want from you is some ideas on how to present this to my family Dr. He was the one that sent me to the psychiatrist for BP, to the Rheumatologist for the RA, and to the Sleep specialist for the apnea. How do I present this to him in a way that he will see it as it's own problem and not as side effects from all my other problems? I don't want him to simply write another script for more pain meds.
Even though I do not understand where I am going on the path that God has laid out for me, I must submit to His plan and trust that He will take me where I need to be.
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours 3-4 times weekly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)