I am the 0.01%

As some of you may know,quite recently I was prescribed cymbalta, as it is commonly prescribed for chronic pain and it has a great side effect of fatigue! Exactly what I needed as I was waking up at least 6-8 times a night, which just fuelled the pain cycle.
The great news? Cymbalta gave me the best sleep of my life. That tiny little blue and green pill is a life saver. And in the beginning I had no undesirable side effects. DOUBLE BONUS!! After two weeks of being on cymbalta  “aunt flo” came for a visit. And boy she was unhappy. My usual light short period persisted. One week. Two weeks. Three. Four.five.six. SIX weeks of consistent heavy menstruation. At this point, I knew something was seriously wrong, and off to my family doctor I went, hoping it was just a small imbalance in some hormones. My doctor was quite concerned as I already have some weird blood levels, let alone bleeding for 6 weeks straight  Not once was any external factors brought up. She sent me home with a week of hormones to kick my body back into its regular rhythm as she searched for a safe birth control due to having two neurological disorders.. and just for fun, my doctor ordered a extra set of blood work just to be safe!
 As I drove home my spoonie brain kicked into high gear. I knew I was recently checked for many  gyno disorders which all came back negative, so it clearly wasn’t anything down that road, so I did some detective work and realized that this was my first cycle after starting cymbalta. *que lightbulb moment *
Off to the health Canada website to search the drug monograph. With a quick search of the term “reproductive disorder” and looked through the different side effects and the rate at which they can occur. I found a disorder that my doctor had just diagnosed me with.. Menorrhagia. I look over to the % chance. Less than 0.01%
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This wonder drug was causing a major health problem and the chance of me having to stop taking cymbalta was high. So I took matters into my own hands and called my pharmacy first.. after no results I called the manufacturer Eli Lilly to get some real answers. To my surprise they gave me nothing. No  valuable information… just a super awkward product specialist  that kept referring to my disorder as “this  disturbance”… weird… The only thing he said was that it was highly unlikely that cymbalta would be the culprit, but i knew deep down it was true..I was crushed.
So we fast forward to today. Where my doctor confirms my original intuition that cymbalta is causing me to experience menorrhagia and that the chances of me having to stop taking cymbalta is very high, but she will try every avenue before it comes to that.. So I play the waiting game hoping that this current hormonal prescription will do the trick, and I can stay on my wonder drug. As I left the office today, my doctor said ”  I think you better  watch out for lightning strikes because you have weird luck”

We have a love hate relationship cymbalta and I

*****Just as a quick FYI this will be my last personal bog post for a month as we are beginning a fun month of guest blogs!  A new blog will be released every Thursday morning, and I encourage everyone to check them out! They will not disappoint!!*****

Being Chronically Optimistic

ImageEveryone always asks me whether I see the glass half full, or half empty. I always say I’m sorry but the glass is actually full because where the liquid ends, oxygen begins and fills the rest of the empty space.

When you have a chronic condition, one of your biggest obstacles is the unknown. Whether or not you have a firm diagnosis, you never what is coming around the corner? Just recently I was diagnosed with Chronic Daily Headache. You would think that finally receiving a diagnosis would be a huge sigh of relief. And it was for a period of time.  I was so ecstatic with the thought of a name to my chronic pain, and I knew that there was no underlying condition. I could finally stop searching.. My happiness was soon cut short with a potential cause of my chronic pain. A simple deficiency. Many of my obscure symptoms fell under it, so I brought my hopes back up again. I began fantasizing about what life could be like if this new diagnosis were true.  The diagnosis tool was simple. One vial of blood. A small price to pay for a potential diagnosis.

Tuesday was the day.  two days later I walk into my doctors office. I first see the nurse, Gail who shares my excitement for these results, as I have known her since I was a small child. When my doctor comes in, we exchange the general small talk and we both know that there is a giant elephant in the room. She finally breaks away from the small talk search my electronic file for the lab results. By this time I already knew the results. My doctor’s bubbly personality was as flat as if a balloon was run over by a semi truck.  As she told me that my levels were perfectly normal, I was close to tears. I left the office while trying keeping my composure. Shutting the car door was my body’s signal to let go and just cry. Sometimes we just need to let it all out.

Looking back, I realized that I took the news of a potential diagnosis and ran with it. My optimism to a whole new level. I allowed myself to become consumed with the idea of living with no pain, and the thought of my life changing. But my life is the same as before that faithful day, but what I’ve learned from it is this:

Optimism is similar to a sword.. Sometimes you cant tell which end is going to hurt you. But you just need to take a leap of faith to reap the benifits

Unemployed, sick, and judged


Parent’s friend: Oh! You graduated! Where are you working this summer?

Me:….I actually don’t have a job… I’m just having a restful summer

Parents Friend: oh… thats nice

You all know this feeling. Whether our friends have graduated and are moving on to a new period in their life, or they are just in the break between grades, the vast majority of them hold a full time job during the summer months.As a teenager I once felt the urge to get a part time job in May of 2011. I thought I could handle full time classes and working 15 hours a week. Little did I know that having the extra stress accompanied with a job would put me into a 4 month long flare. After my experience with my first part time job, I decided that working was not in the cards for me during this time in my life. Besides.. I already had a full time job dealing with my chronic illness.

When the next summer rolled around I knew that a job was not going to happen. So I decided to fully immerse myself in volunteering. It gave me the flexibility with missing shifts and having a reasonable shift in terms of length. I thrived in this setting, and I loved volunteering.

This summer, after my graduation from high school, having a job seemed to a must amongst my peers and in the opinions of the adults around. Having the conversation with a friends parents always ended in the same way.. awkward. They always seem to have this look of disgust on their faces… They believe that my parents are giving me a “free ride”.

My parents have taught me the value of a dollar growing up. My parents do give me money weekly for any costs that I run into. But other than that, I work around the house at a pace I can handle. I love working around the house doing things like cleaning,organizing and helping my grandmother

Living with a chronic illness is seriously a full time job.. Jack Mercury says it perfectly in her bio “Professional Sick Person. Specializations: Crohn’s Disease, Depression, Generalized Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

We are all professionals. Just in a different world

Check out Jack’s twitter,instagram and blog!



Instagram: chronicallybeautiful12