Sunday, March 11, 2012

Attempting to Settle With Fibromyalgia

There is only one bus for Ullapool on Sundays. Tonight I will sleep in a bed that will be my bed for at least a couple of months to come. On Wednesday I will no longer be Master of My Own Fate, I will be employed, with a boss, with tasks and responsibilities and my time will no longer be my own.

This will probably be good for me, but I have to admit the notion leaves me somewhat disgruntled.

Coincidentally, I'm coming up on the last of my medication. I was given a slab of Pristiq before I left, enough to last me through the uncertainties of travel in various countries in the EU, also enough that would see me having been on a stable dosage for in excess of six months. It doesn't pay to tweak dosage and medication too much, and my psychologist was quite adamant that before attempting to lower my dosage I should sit pretty for at least six months.

Pristiq, or Desvenlafaxine, is not available in the UK.

The doctor I saw in the Bank Medi Centre did a fair amount of checking her references, and qave me a prescription for Effexor, or Venlafaxine. She was thorough in calculating comparative doses. The prescription given will be a slight reduction, but less than dropping from 150mq to 100mq of Pristiq.

This will be a direct chop and change. As soon as the Pristiq is done I will commence the Effexor. Much as this sounds dubious, I did the same when switching from Cymbalta to Pristiq, and on the recommendation and assurance of both my GP and psychologist, with no notable side-effects to speak of. Apart from space-cadetness. Vague I can deal with, however. Amplified depression, not so much.

I am still shit fucking scared.

The Fibromyalgia Support Group in Inverness has not responded to my email, and further searching has not indicated any particular doctors with an understanding of fibromyalgia in the area. In this case, I figure I'll save myself the travel and register at the medical clinic in Ullapool. There's only one. There are a few practicing doctors there, so even if none of them have any experience with fibromyalgia there must surely be at least one I feel comfortable talking to.

This lead to me attempting to research how one goes about joining the NHS. Should anyone else happen to follow in my footsteps, I have some very simple advice: don't.

The websites, which I am not goinq to link to because they are all confusing and lacking in anything that looks like administrative process, have nothing, naaaasink, on how to go about joining, or information for expats. A friend who had already navigated this told me to simply make an appointment and register with a doctor, and it will sort itself out there. Cool? Cool.

And while rummaging around online learning all this I read about my medications all over again, and about fibromyalgia all over again, and the words THERE IS NO CURE have lodged in my throat, all the descriptions of pain, fatigue, depression, aches, all the limits and restrictions, the unending unceasing reality of it, I remembered these things all over again.

I start work on Wednesday. There is a frightening amount of hope pinned upon this menial job.