Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm Blaming Savella

I just got back from an appointment with my primary doctor to address my recent five-day headache and neck pains, sinus congestion, and nosebleeds, as well as crappy sleep that's been going on since Christmas/New Year's.

So yesterday, on day four of this episode, I noticed the head and neck pains have been choosing either left or right, and remain limited to that side at several points on my head: temple, just behind my ear, at the base of my skull, and on my face near my eye or nose.  At any given time, the pain will pick one or more of these locations on one side of my head, and it's been worse at night and in the mornings, with neck pain being very prominent while lying down in bed.  I reflected on this all during the evening, while also noticing that my pain was becoming almost unbearable.

In addition, my nasal congestion issues have been continuing since December 26th, when I thought I'd caught a mild cold, but managed to keep it from spreading to my husband, which seems impossible.  Since then, I've had multiple sleepless nights and many nights of very interrupted and restless sleep.  I've been a zombie version of myself at times and crankiest when morning brings nothing but severe pain and fatigue.

Finally, the nosebleeds have gone from a touch of blood here and there in the tissue to full-blown bloody sprays and red-marker bloody tissue events, including the one from last week that happened at work.

At my last appointment with my fibromyalgia specialist, I brought most of this up, but I hadn't had the headache pattern down then, so it wasn't discussed.  I also mentioned the ridiculously high heart rate I've been having, thanks to Savella, which I started last July.  This is a well-known side effect of this drug, and although he measured my pulse in the office at 104 (normal is about 60), he didn't seem worried about it.  I half-joked that I was using up years of my life to speed up my heart rate.  He laughed.  I decided not to worry, especially since my blood pressure that day, although somewhat higher that normal (I have never had high blood pressure), was still in the normal range.  He reassured me that it would be okay and this was just an annoyance.

Today I learned otherwise.  My blood pressure was taken at my primary doctor's office on both arms.  The first one was about 130 over something.  The other arm was even higher.  Then the doctor came in to talk to me and took it again, himself.  It was 150 over 90.  WHAT?!  Typical normal blood pressure readings for me have been around 100 or 110 over something.  Here are some guidelines about what's normal.

Here's what I know about nosebleeds with headache from searching online yesterday: it can be caused by high blood pressure, among other things.  I didn't, for a second, think that was actually the one causing my symptoms.  Little did I realize, that my body's equilibrium had quickly gotten off track.  As the title of this post indicates, I'm blaming Savella.

I didn't think Savella would be a problem once I'd switched to it (and gotten past all the crap withdrawals of the switch).  Then I started having weird facial flushing.  I figured those would stop, but they haven't.  Then the heart rate increased.  Then the sleep just stopped.  Now my blood pressure is skyrocketing.  I'm even having more tremors from this maniacal stuff.  Fuck Savella!  My head is exploding pain and blood and I can't sleep.  I don't even know if it's helping any of my fibro symptoms anymore.  I want off this crazy drug.

I called my fibro doctor and left a message with the someone there, asking my doctor to switch me to something else immediately.  If I have to, I'll wean off this SNRI and just be off antidepressants, though I know they do help balance out some of the unbalanced things with fibro.  However, I will not take balancing of one thing and unbalancing of others.  That's crap.

Stay tuned for more as things develop.

Oh, forgot to mention that the doctor prescribed Amoxicillin for the nasal congestion, just in case it's infected.  He didn't see anything that indicated infection, but it's worth a shot, since it's been over a month of this stuffy weirdness.  We'll see how that goes.  I have to take a pill every 8 hours for 10 days.