Tuesday, January 6, 2009
MS + Copaxone = ANXIETY
I started experiencing attacks of anxiety before I went on a hiatus from blogging. In the beginning, I thought maybe, I was doing too much…blogging, school, accepting board appointments, and helping in the Mayor's campaign among my personal daily duties. By the way, my candidate WON :)
I awaken one morning from a night sleep and I immediately felt panicky and fearful. The feeling last a few minutes, but I was complex to why I was feeling that way. As I continued with my day, I noticed I was feeling panicky and fearful through out my day. I did not associate what I was feeling to ANXIETY, I just knew something was not right to feel something terrible was about to happen and it was out of character for me. I brushed it off as residual effects from wearing a morphine patch for a year and suddenly stopping a few months earlier.
Waking up feeling fear and panic went on for weeks and it intensified to the point, I knew I had to get to the bottom as to WHY. I did not like what it was doing to me, it was starting to affect my life to the point I was afraid of being home alone, driving, and leaving my home. I was at the point of despair hiding this creature ANXIETY that invaded my thoughts and body.
Many times, I thought I was going to lose control of taming the creature within when I was out in public, therefore, I cancelled appointments, stopped blogging, and if I were not taking online courses, I would have quit school. Realistically, I knew nothing was going to happen, but this creature was paralyzing me. I start realizing keeping quiet was giving the creature within power.
I began taking that power back when I told my husband what I was going through. Of course, his response was to make an appointment with my therapist. I agreed, but the creature had me paralyzed to the point I could not drive without feeling as if I was having a heart attack. I was ready to have myself committed to get control of the creature within. I called my therapist and told him how I was afraid to leave my house and drive because I physically felt as if I was going to die. I asked him, “If I checked myself in the hospital could he see me then because I cannot keep going like this”. Unfortunately I could not check my self in for severe Anxiety because I was not suicidal or a harm to others, which is fortunate.
My next course of action to fight the creature was a visit to my primary care doctor and neurologist. It is no secret there is a drug for all ailments that invade our body. Once again, I was semi scolded by my primary care doctor and neurologist for waiting weeks to let them know Anxiety was kicking my ass. My primary care doctor asked me, “Is anxiety a side effect of Copaxone.” I responded, “I don’t recall anxiety being a side effect of Copaxone, but I will look into it.” My neurologist confirmed anxiety is a side effect of Copaxone and anxiety is associated living with multiple sclerosis. I was prescribed Cymbalta 60mg to control my anxiety creature. Cymbalta was good for my neurological pain because I use to take it, but I did not know it was also to control anxiety. It took three weeks for Cymbalta to get in my system, tame the creature, and start gaining control of my life again. As of today, I have been taking Cymbalta for two months and I plan to continue taking it until a side effect rear its head from taking it.
So many different side effects come with taking medication. It is not as if I did not know, but I have to remember that a side effect from a drug can happen at any time while I am taking it. I promised myself, when I am out of character; I will not wait until it become critical before I notify my primary care doctor or neurologist. Do not be a hard head like me, when you feel out of character get in touch with your doctor.