Come So Far! Last Summer to This

Last July found me STRUGGLING. I know what you’re thinking, But we were all so happy and carefree last summer. COVID-19 problems aside, I am out of the hole that I had been in since before my 2018 diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

July 13, 2019

I was having withdrawal symptoms form going off of Cymbalta.

“I have not felt this bad since I had viral meningitis (I’m not as bad as that time in the emergency room, but man, it’s reminding me of it). Since the purpose of this blog is for me to record my true journey (for healing through the writing and remembering where I’ve been) and to possibly help others who are dealing with Fibromyalgia, I’ve decided to write this (as I can today because doing anything and nothing are both really difficult right now).”

Painfullyliving.com I FEEL LIKE @#$#%

My Other Posts From July 2019

This was a very low time for me. The year prior had brought me to my bed which then lead to a diagnosis. The only option I was given to have relief from the pain and other devastating symptoms of Fibromyalgia was to start on Cymbalta. While it did help me, it had side effects and long-term addiction that I was not willing to deal with. And so, I stopped taking it, mostly how the doctor told me. I’ve since learned that I’m very affected by any medication (OTC, Herbal, or Prescription), and so, now I know that what everyone else considers easy will not be for me.

A New Me

First time backpacking since I became sick. It was a wonderful two days.

This July has brought me back to myself and to the joys of summer that I had missed so much. Certainly, I’m having to pace more than I used to and be cognizant of what my body is telling me. I now must take care of myself. If I don’t, then I will have a day or more where my body will hold me down to attend to rest, hydration, nutrition, meditation, stretching, myofacial release, sleep, etc. My family, friends, and myself have come to understand that I will do things in smaller chunks over a longer period of time. And while that was not at all how I functioned (non-stop go without eat, sleep, etc. to get something done), we all have come to know I can now plan and participate within my wellness protocol.

Two weeks ago, I was able to camp for a few days, adding in a hike and swim each day, with my friend group we lovingly call Wander Women. My husband, who had just gotten back from a week of hiking in northern Michigan was quick to set up an overnight hike/camp trip on the North Country Trail about an hours drive north of us. While I was useless in helping with the preparation (too worn out after having a wonderful sleepover with our granddaughter), I was excited to see if I would be able to carry a pack, hike, and sleep in a tent with a pretty thin mat between me and Mother Earth.

We hiked in 5 miles to find a wonderful spot to set up camp for the night. We saw no one but three women passing by on the trail for the two days on the river trail.

It was a wonderful trip. I will admit I didn’t sleep well. We will be replacing the thin mats for the next time. We’ve decided that hiking to a spot, setting up camp, and then hiking from that base will be our way of going from now on. That provides enough chance to rest and recuperate, and it isn’t as difficult to hike since we don’t have the pack on all the time. By the time we headed back on the second day, I was definitely hitting my limit. However, after getting back to the car and eating dinner at a restaurant with an outside patio, I felt much better.

Looking Back at the Road I’ve been Down

The past few years have been one of growth and healing, albeit never a straight one. I’m so grateful for all the help and healing that I’ve received from so many: my family and friends, yoga classes, massage therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, doctors of a few different sorts, meditation courses, fellow chronic pain bloggers, my counselors, those friends I’ve met in Fibro, LDN, and chronic illness Facebook groups, my Wander Women groups (one from work and one from the town I live in), You Tube videos, text and audio books, music, and so much more.

NEW BLOG WEBSITE! My First Post on WordPress.com

This is my first blog post on my new website format. I’m learning a lot about web design over this last year and have much more to go. I’m feeling proud and excited for what I might do with this new love and skill.

With all of this week filled with hiking, family, and building a new blog, this post will be less pulled together than normal. I just wanted to share the progress that I’ve made. I’m including (from My Recommended Resources page of this site) much of what has helped me this year along with links or further information. I do believe that it’s all of these things/people/resources that have brought me to where I am today. I’m not naive enough to think that I won’t have many twists and turns and ups and downs (just got diagnosed with a rare deformity of my carotid artery called Fibromuscuar Dysplasia-not at all related to Fibromyalgia), but I want to relish where I am right now anyhow. If I’ve learned one thing this past few years (and since COVID-19’s arrival), what will be will be; it’s my choice how I react.

  • Low Dose Naltrexone (Newest addition-55 days in. Started at 0.25mg and am now up to 2.5mg and still titrating up to find my best dosage amount). Sleeping pretty well without any other help; clear headed most days all day; less pain overall, more energy. My first post: Tentatively Ecstatic: My Experience with LDN Part 1 I plan to write Part two soon.
  • CBD/THC 1:1 Oil- This didn’t seem to help with pain, but sure did help me sleep soundly. I was taking .25mg sublingually before bed. I stopped because the LDN seems to be helping with it and my GP expressed issues with it (even though I have a medical marijuana card and it’s now legalized even for recreation in MI). My post: Out of the Rabbit Hole: CBD/THC Oil for Fibromyalgia
  • Meditation: I have continued with meditation after finishing the Palouse Mindfulness 8 week free course online. This is making a big difference for me. My post:The Danger of Distraction: Turning Toward Pain to Eliminate Suffering
  • Yoga and Breathwork: This is an ongoing, continuation practice of 20 years. However, I’m having to learn that my practice looks different now. I had always strived too much to get to that perfect form of a pose often injuring myself in the process. I’m doing much more Restorative, Yin, and slow yoga practices these days. 
  • Supplements: Magnesium Malate/B-12/E/D3
  • OTC: Bayer Back and Body (for headaches and pain) & Low Dose Asprin for FMD
  • Prescription: Vyvanse (I was diagnosed with ADD one year before my FMS diagnosis; I do think that the ADD symptoms, though, are more connected to the FMS issues.) 
  • Hot pad, ice pad, Epsom salt baths, and hot tub.
  • Massage & Myofacial Release: Professional massage & myofascial release, myofacial release @home using foam roller and Yogu Massage Balls, and Rhenpho Massage Gun
  • Gentle cardio: walks, hikes, bike rides, and swimming 
  • 10-week Interdisciplinary Pain Management Program through Mary Free Bed – My Post about this: Just Breath and Other Ways to Rewire the Pain-filled Brain
  • Diet: I haven’t made a ton of changes. This is an area where I really hate being deprived. I have given up on dairy. I eat way less gluten (doing a lot of substitutions). I intake food with high acid much, mostly because I hurt immediately after. I rarely drink carbonation and don’t drink much caffeine. I tend to lean vegan due to the no-dairy. However, I do eat some poultry, eggs, and fish. However, I just can’t cut out tomatoes.

I know that I am so fortunate to be where I am right now in regards to my health. I have friends who live with chronic illnesses that are really struggling right now, especially because of COVID-19. Many who can’t get around due to being very at risk if they were to get the virus. Those who have lost their form of income or don’t have health care. Some are dealing with depression, and others are hurting in due to their relationships hitting some very difficult times. You are on my heart. How are you this summer?


Thank you for visiting my blog today.  I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.  However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through as planned.  Thank you for your understanding.

Sharing is caring-as my granddaughter tells me:)

RELATED POSTS:

Lessons Learned in Mother Nature: Managing my Fibro Symptoms

This photo was taken at Pictured Rocks at
Lower Hurrican Campground.

My husband and I agreed to be volunteer chaperons for a week of rustic camping at Pictured Rocks sometime last year.  I really had thought I’d have this Fibromyalgia beat by then-Ha! Ha! My daughter ran a program called Parks in Focus that gets 14 teens into the wilderness through the use of photography.  My husband and I have always been outdoorsy, so a free trip to the UP of Michigan sounded like a great deal.

The weekend before the trip had been a really rough one.  I was still dealing with what was to be the last throws of Cymbalta withdrawal: a weird headache and nausea, besides the pain being more intense, insomnia, and at times a deep sadness.  My resolve to stay off of Cymbalta for at least two months past withdrawal was waning fast. The night before, Kelley said that he could go and I could stay home, but I just didn’t want to be left behind.  So, I got up, really out of it, and plopped my bum in the car ready for the six-hour drive to Pictured Rocks National Shoreline, thinking that I wasn’t going to be much help and worrying that I would actually be a burden.

The wonder of nature
brought us all together.

The energy of 14 teens from 11-14 years of age (5 boys and 9 girls) was palpable.  When we stopped for lunch at Mackinaw City, I was beginning to get my legs under me.  One of the campers, an alumni of 14 and lead camper, remembered me from a trip we did with his group to Ludington State park a couple of years before.  He came up and hugged me and called me Abuela.  He named my husband Abuelo.  Our role as adopted grandparents was formed.

We arrived just before the thunderstorm that night. That meant we had to all hustle to get out tents up and the camp secured.  Dinner had to wait.  As I lay in our tent, on our new Coleman Queen-sized camping cot, I felt tentative that I could enjoy this week and be of help to the group.

After dinner that first night, my husband and I did a short walk from our campsite to Lake Superior.  It felt good to listen to the waves slap the sandy shore and the rush of Hurricane River flowing into the lake.  There were no real other sounds.  The air was fresh and the lighting of the sun through the dissipating clouds soft. It was then that I took some much needed deep breaths and did a few half-sun salutations and yoga stretches.  I could feel my mind, my body, and my soul let down.

I should have tried for a better shot,
 but trust me, I was feeling great here:)

The next four days were crammed with meal prep and cleanup, amazing outdoor adventures, beautiful sites, and happy faces. At Seney National Wildlife Preserve, while the kids were doing a pond study session lead by park rangers, Kelley and I went for a stroll through the ponds.  Then, at lunchtime, I pulled off to the side of the pavillon on the grass and did some yoga, meditation, and stretches.  I felt so much better than I had the past several weeks since completely going off of Cymbalta. Even more amazing was the fact that I was using very little in the way of over-the-counter pain reliever for the first time in several months.

The loons were calling and 
monarchs flitting around. 


That night I didn’t feel the greatest.  I’ve been having times of pain that aren’t exactly pain.  It’s a deep electrical-type aching, much like getting your funnybone hit.  It’s mainly been on my left side from under my left arm, up into the armpit, into the shoulder, down the arm to the fingers and up into the neck, causing a nausea-filled headache.  I did take two Zzzquil that night and ended up sleeping fairly well.  (I did have to get up to go pee.  However, with me having Interstitial Cystitis for many years now, we came prepared with our own travel potty: Reliance Fold-and-Go.) The new camping cot really was a perfect bed away from home.


The next day was to be the big hike.  We drove to Chapel Rock parking area.  The campers all had their cameras and were ready for a 6-mile hike.  The weather was threatening to rain in the later afternoon, so we knew we had to get going early that morning.  After the ranger’s presentation about human interaction in nature, we began.  Kelley and I both used a walking stick.  He actually was in more pain than I was because of doing a major brick path laying project at home for the past couple of weeks.  The kids were kind and let us both walk at our own pace.  At about the three-mile mark, I was really feeling good, physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

Abuelo and Abuela-
taken by one of our “grandcampers”.


Chapel Rock- a metaphor for living 
FULLY no matter the obstacles.

At lunchtime, I did get hit with a wave of that weird-electric-nausea headache.  I laid down on the ground and did some stretches and ate a peanut butter and jam tortilla roll-up and drank some water.  (One note: we drank a lot of just water on this trip.  More than I normally do at home.) I revived just in time to head back.  I also took the lead of the line.  My daughter had irritated her ankle and was needing to take a slower pace, so Kelley stayed with her. As the threatening thunderclaps were heard off in the distance, the kids and I began a quick hike back with no stops for photos or nature ogling. I have to admit I felt strong when a camper said, “Abuela, you are faster than the rest of us!” That night, I felt energetic and clear-minded. I went into a sound sleep without aches and pains.

The kids commented that I was 
handling the walk better than they were! 😉


The next day, while the kids went on a canoe trip across Beaver Lake with the Ranger, Kelley and I hiked the groups’ lunches to the beach we’d meet them later that morning.  That morning, I had woken up with my usual stiff-sore legs and arms, but I was able to get the rust out through the early walk. Kelley and I got separated after I realized I had left my walking stick at our resting spot from a while back.  He went on because we were worried that we’d be late meeting the group for lunch.  Our communication for where to meet up was a bit off, leading me to add on an additional mile to my overall walk.  Towards the end of that 5-mile walk, I could feel I was hitting the end of my energy level. I focused on consciously noticing what I saw around me, the smells of pine and lake, the sounds of waves rolling in and tweets of the birds, and the taste of the wintergreen leaf I chewed. I also focused on slowly breathing in and out. Those ways of being present have really helped me appreciate and FULLY take in these precious moments. 


Luckily, we were all ready to go home and take a nap.  Sleeping in the open air really is refreshing.  By dinner time, I was back up and rejuvenated.  That night, sitting on the beach of Lake Superior, watching as the sunset, I really felt like there was hope that I could live my life, on my terms, without the help of pharmaceuticals.

A Change of Path

On the drive home yesterday, I found an article about Rewiring the Brain (brain plasticity).  Dr. Norman Doidge, the author of The Brain’s Way of Healing and The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, talks about how walking, specifically, can help to rewire the brain and fix what is broken.  Through the Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain program at Mary Free Bed, I had already bought into the idea that I was dealing with a broken brain that is overprotectively sending out pain messages.  I certainly have made progress through their guidance.  However, going off of Cymbalta definitely challenged my coping skills.  I feel that walking (especially in nature) is a healing thing for me.  I could feel the change. I am now going to do further research in this area.  I highly recommend listening to this talk: The Brain’s Way of Healing and reading these articles: Walk Your Way to Better Brain Health and  How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.
5 days, no shower or bath, 
yet really feeling good.

What brings you peace? What brings you joy? What renews your body and soul?



I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.  
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes 
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through 
as planned. 
Thank you for your understanding.



Down The Rabbit Hole: Could Medical Marijuana Help?

I took this photo of 
Alice In Wonderland’s Tea Party at
Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

When I was 12 years old, the summer before I started 7th grade at Harrison Park Junior High in Grand Rapids, my mom gave me two books to read: Go Ask Alice by Anonymous and That Was Then, This is Now by SE Hinton.  Both were life-impacting books for me.  At that tender age, I vowed to myself that I would never get into drugs.

As an adult, I do not like ever not being in control of myself.  I also hate a foggy, unclear brain.  So, I never really got into drinking or drugs.  I won’t say that I don’t know what it is to be out of my head; my husband and I tried mushrooms one time when we were camping. His roommate had sold him some.  Mushrooms are from nature, right?  Well, while that is a very interesting story I have told very few people; it’s not one we ever visited again.  I also know what a hangover is like.  I’m definitely a light-weight and after my three maximum drinks in an evening, I will be laid low for the entire next day if I have more, so I don’t do that.

As I’ve stated in prior blogs, I was VERY opposed to taking Cymbalta, one of the three approved FDA pharmaceuticals for Fibromyalgia.  I finally gave in when I was so beside myself with pain, brain fog, and no strength or energy this past December.  From there, I was on it for 4 months (30mg), 2 months (60mg), 1 month (30mg) and then I stopped- cold.  This was a bad move.  I should have actually taken the 30mg every other day for a month, etc. to taper down. Lesson learned. 

I’m now two weeks into Cymbalta withdrawal and still feeling badly (mostly from withdrawal side-effects). However, the pain is there.  Currently, the left side of my body from foot to left eyeball is aching so much I’m nauseous.  When I wake up, my arms and legs feel as though their connective tissue has turned into wood.  It’s slow going and painful to get them functioning for the day.

More Than I Can Handle

This weekend, feeling beyond what I could handle with my breathing, stretching, aerobic, and meditation strategies, I began to research medical marijuana (MM) in the state of Michigan.  I had a response from a reader of my blog Feeling Like #$%&*! replied that he was able to ditch Cymbalta (and other like-pharmaceuticals) by using marijuana transdermal patches.  I did bring this up to my pain doctor, but I could tell he wasn’t willing to look into it after his comment that “there’s not enough research”.  However, after doing some of my own, I decided to get a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card to use if I couldn’t handle things fully on my own after the withdrawal passed.  

This is a convincing video that has 
helped me open to the idea of MM.



To get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan, I had to locate a doctor who would recommend the card for me based on my diagnosis.  I found Healthy Partners and made an appointment without an issue.  I had my medical records with Fibromyalgia Diagnosis faxed to their office.  The DO I met with just verified my diagnosis and marked “chronic pain” for the reason, being Fibromyalgia isn’t listed by name for the accepted reasons for the card.  (See list provided on Healthy Partners FAQ page.)  I then applied for the card online at LARA: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  This was about a 20-minute job once I had the paperwork from the doctor. The only other worker at the office was very informative, and I quickly found out that getting the card would be the least of my concerns.  

Need to Become Your Own Expert

Being the MM Card is a recommendation from a doctor and not a prescription, the patient is the one who needs to know what he/she wants and needs.  A quality resource that explains things fairly well is Leafly.com. Although, for someone who is totally new to using marijuana, it will take some trial and error.  My plan would be to go into it very timidly.

I want pain relief, clarity of thinking, and living my life productively.  This isn’t what one stereotypically thinks of when referring to marijuana.  Turns out there are two types: Indica and Sativa. (Below a brief description from Leafly.com- Part 1, Sativa vs Indica: An Overview of Cannabis Types.  They also list a Hybrid of the two types.
  • Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed. 
  • Sativa strains tend to provide more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
Next, the consumer needs to consider the strain. Leafly.com allows one to research based on desired effects for your treatment. I do not want side-effects that produce the  “high”, munchies, tiredness, or paranoia. So, using the Advance Filter, I am able to look up specifics.  Also, I researched what other consumers and doctors are saying about MM and Fibro. 

My go-to blogger on for solid information on Fibromyalgia is Fedupwithfatigue.com.  Her article was just what I wanted: Fed Up With Fatigue: Best Strains for FibromyalgiaShe’s written several on the topic, and I’ve come to trust her factual presentation. 

Finding a Provider

Next, I have to find a provider.  (MRA-Licensed Michigan Medical Marijuana FacilitiesI want a licensed (monitored) facility that I can rely on to have a pure, quality product.  Also, I don’t want to smoke (or have the marijuana smell).  I’d prefer to find transdermal patches, but this looks like it might be difficult to find. The difficult part, after finding what sounds like the best fit strain and delivery system, is finding a place in Michigan that I can buy that product.  I can already see that I’m going to have to call and visit a few places.  The strains I’m most interested in: Harlequin (High CBD and lower THC)  for day time and then, Tahoe OG Kush for nighttime insomnia. The problem I’m encountering is that MI facilities don’t have these specific strains in the exact delivery system I would like.  So, actual calling and visiting will be needed. 

Why I’m Considering MM

There are several reasons why I like using MM versus Cymbalta and like-drug. The main reason is that I can decide the dose.  I don’t think I’ll have an everyday need (we’ll see).  I’m following the program that I got from my 10 weeks in Mary Free Bed’s Fibromyalgia Program.  I’m continuing to grow in being present and meditation.  With Cymbalta (although the side-effects aren’t major for me, they do impact my quality of life), it’s an all or nothing commitment.  I have learned the hard way that stopping its use every day is very difficult for my body from which to rid itself. I also don’t like feeling trapped by it.  

So, being I haven’t yet tried MM, I can’t say if it’s going to work or not.  However, I’m finding good evidence to say it’s worth a shot (and way less invasive than the prescribed pharmaceuticals).  I will keep you informed on what I find out and what happens if I choose to use it.

*If you are not in Michigan, I would imagine that the path you take would be similar.  However, Michigan has recently joined the states that have approved marijuana for recreational use.  

There are many resources to give you insight into the use of medical marijuana: 

What are your thoughts of using THC? There isn’t a lot of research on it’s effects for chronic pain/Fibromyalgia, what there are is promising. Possibly more research will be coming since it’s becoming legalized in many states.



Thank you for visiting my blog today. 
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.  
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes 
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through 
as planned. 
Thank you for your understanding.

Whatever Makes You Hopeful and Lightens Your Heart Just a Little…


This is one important part of my yoga space

My long-time friend, Mindy, sent me this card a while back.  I framed it because I think it’s beautiful and fits in with my candle and vase.  The saying in the circle is “Whatever makes you hopeful and lightens your heart just a little…”  After finally feeling well enough to get up, take a shower, and attempt yoga at home, this was a great reminder for this day and every day.


Today, I did a slow Yin yoga (a routine that popped up yesterday in my Facebook feed) from Yoga Journal.  I added in a few other poses and used my yogi blankets, bolster, and Coregeous ball liberally.











I did each of the poses to the station I’ve made on Pandora: My Yoga
With Deva Primal

with Krishna Das


with Eva Cassidy


with Carla Bruni




After an hour of practice, it has made me hopeful and has lightened my heart.  I’m ready to face the day.

*My Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms are lessened this morning. Not FULLy myself, yet, but I feel myself immerging. 
What are some of the things that bring you joy and lighten your burden?



Thank you for visiting my blog today. 
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.  
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes 
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through 
as planned. 
Thank you for your understanding.

Feeling Like #$@&%*!

Believe me, I feel like SHIT!


For those of you who know me, I don’t swear….much.  In fact, it’s only been in the last few years that I even swear at all.  This has been the base of much teasing for me.

As a teen, as my volleyball teammates would use the full out “S” word or “D” word after missing a serve, I would really strongly say things like “bananas!”  My partner teacher for 16 years, feels proud that she has encouraged and trained me to open up to the use of the vulgar vernacular now and then when there are no other words that really capture the sentiment.
So, I am going to just say it; I feel like SHIT!  I have not felt this bad since I had viral meningitis (I’m not as bad as that time in the emergency room, but man, it’s reminding me of it). Since the purpose of this blog is for me to record my true journey (for healing through the writing and remembering where I’ve been) and to possibly help others who are dealing with Fibromyalgia, I’ve decided to write this (as I can today because doing anything and nothing are both really difficult right now).

An Overconfident and Rash Decision


Last Monday, I spent the night at my daughter’s house.  It’s a treat to have a “girls night” and then hang out at her house the next day.  However, I realized Tuesday morning that I had forgotten to bring/take my Cymbalta pill that I’ve been on since December 7th, 2019 for a total of six months.  (As explained in my post Leave No Stone Unturned, I had gone from 30mg to 60mg back to 30mg.)

On the 18th of this month, I went for my pain medication checkup.  My doctor and I had planned on taking me fully off Cymbalta at that time.  At my last, pain psychologist appointment, my doctor said that I’d probably go to zero from 30mg since it’s the lowest dose anyhow. (I’ve since learned that that’s not quite true. 15 mg is the lowest commercial dose available.) Then, she said they’d want me to give it a month or two to see how I’m doing without it.  My thinking was that by going off Cymbalta I could then see how I am doing without the brain-altering drugs and from there, see if I would be able to manage the fibro symptoms without it.

So, this past Tuesday, I thought, Why not just stop now?  Then, when I go on the 18th, I can let my doctors know-how I’m doing. I was feeling fully confident that I’d be doing pretty well because the 10-week Chronic Pain Program had taught me a lot of ways to manage the pain.

A Reminder That I’m Not Fully In Control



Thursday night, after a wonderful day of hiking and photography with my daughter and 13 teens in the woods, I was beyond worn out.  I wasn’t sure I could drive myself home.  I felt weak, dizzy, and a bit nauseous.  I could feel a headache coming on. I scolded myself for leaving my water bottle in the car rather than have it on the seven-hour trip, figuring that dehydration was the culprit. (I did eat many grapes and had some applesauce, so I wasn’t crazy dehydrated.) By the time I got home, I couldn’t bring myself to drink water or eat anything.  I did take some Bayer Back and Body with some water, though and was in bed by 6pm.  As the evening wore on, I got worse.  I couldn’t even listen to soothing music or my book without being bothered.  Finally, I did fall asleep and felt relatively okay the next morning.

These are withdrawal side-effects from Cymbalta.
I have every one of these (except the brain-zaps).


Yesterday, feeling the edge of what I had the night before, I canceled my appointment in the morning and then had to sit out on the kayak trip I had been looking forward to with the Outdoor Adventure group of women called the Wander Women with whom I had just recently begun to connect (see my blog post Sleep, Fog, and Vampires).  However, by afternoon, I could go swimming and felt pretty good doing it.  I swam and worked on the beach from 1-5pm.  Still feeling good, I went up for a shower because Kel and I had tickets to see the Mark Lavengood Band: Bluegrass Bonanza at The Dogwood: Center for Performing Arts because I will be writing an article for our local NewaygoCountyExploring online magazine

I Want Off This Ride!


The first set, I was totally into the music and even would have liked to dance.  During intermission, I went and interviewed Mark (very talented musician from Grand Rapids).  But, when I sat down and the first song of the second set started, I felt a wave of ill-ease wash over me.  I knew it was the start of what I had the night before.

Last night wasn’t good-fitful sleep and up by 4am. But this morning, man oh man!  I feel like I’ve just gotten off the Whirl-A-Twirl ride that also included a Sock-O-Matic machine in the car that I was riding in. And this morning, it’s ramping up rather than going away.

One of my major fears for even starting a med like Cymbalta were all the stories of withdrawal symptoms.  One friend had told me about her mom’s experience after taking it for two years.  The withdrawal ended up being so bad (horrible brain shocks, etc) that she gave up and went back on it.

Not So Cocky Now, Am I?


So, today, my decision is to push on.  I sure do hope these warnings I have read in online articles about the side effects from Cymbalta withdrawal can take weeks or even months to get back to my “normal” self are not correct.  I do have Cymbalta pills I could take, but I’m five days without and just don’t want to start over.  I’m currently sitting on the deck, in the shade, wet cool rag on my head.  The light breeze and lake view are helping me feel some better.


My husband, son, and four-year-old grand-daughter are taking care of me like an invalid.  I sure hope I’m up to going swimming this afternoon.  Tomorrow, we have family coming over for lake fun.  Monday or Tuesday, I’m hanging out with someone I only ever get to see every few years (she’s in Michigan visiting from Arizona). I haven’t been able to go to my yoga class since Wednesday. This is F#$@ed-up! (While I use that word verbally now and then, I still don’t feel comfortable writing it out.)

My VOW: I am going to do every OTHER thing rather than EVER be on meds like this again!

Article on Easing Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms: https://www.25doctors.com/cymbalta-withdrawal

Have you ever been on any of the three FDA-approved Fibromyalgia prescription medications?  What has been your experience?

Thank you for visiting my blog today. 
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.  
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes 
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through 
as planned. 
Thank you for your understanding.


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