LIFE: Gabapentin

Or, "What happens when we can't afford the pills that help me..."

I went to bed Saturday with level 5-6 pain down the back of my neck, across my shoulders and down to my elbows. Oh, and my thumbs. Yup, it skipped my forearms and hands completely just to make my thumbs feel like I was wearing too tight bandaids. I woke up after 10 hours of sleep with severe brain fog and fibro in the middle of my shoulder joints, like someone had shoved a knitting needle in there.

Yay, me.


Here's the issue: I'm out of Lyrica, the pain med that makes my fibromyalgia manageable, and right now, we can't afford the refill ($308 with insurance). So I'm stuck taking the second choice for fibro, gabapentin.

Actually, gabapentin is usually the first medication doctors prescribe for fibro. It's definitely cheaper. I think I pay about $5-8 with my insurance. And honestly, it's pretty good at knocking out pain levels 5 and below.

But there was a reason we changed my meds to Lyrica: the amount of gabapentin I have to take to make it worth my while (I'm on 400mg right now) makes me loopy AF, and I'm not functional at all, not really. Everything takes longer, bc I can't focus and I keep getting distracted.

Like this blog post has taken almost two hours, bc every time I start writing a piece, I get distracted by things like, "Oh, I should explain how the pain scale is different for people with chronic pain!" and there I go, looking for a gif, can't find one I like, think I should just make one, but how am I going to break down the levels...

Blinking causes the world to spin or waves of nausea or both. If I close my eyes, my head feels like it's floating away, and I want to vomit. Standing up is an event, because I lose a lot of my balance control.

Oh, and I lose the ability to form thoughts. I stood in Elder Spawn's room, telling him about a cardboard box that needs to go out, and I couldn't tell him where the box was. Like the words 'Arizona room' were written on the inside of my brain, but I could not get them to my mouth. I had to point, and he said the words for me.

On the plus side, I'm probably in the best mood that I've been in for weeks. Sitting at my desk, I'm singing loudly (Peter sent me a text -- cos I have headphones on -- letting me know ;-) ). I can see my week's projects in my head, and I'm trying to ...

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5:48AM Monday

So, um, I laid down on my bed about 14 hours ago and didn't leave it for the rest of yesterday. Yay, meds.  So where was I?

Oh, yes, I'm trying to exist. In a better space than I have been for the past few weeks. Today, we're going to make chocolate chip cookies. I've already applied for a job I want but won't get (I have the training and some experience but no degree -- not a requirement, but someone out there is going to have it and knock me out of the running), binged the first three episodes of "Castle Rock" and called the elementary school to arrange pick up of the, er, pick up passes and check on his teacher.

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I'm trying really hard to not let this turn into a healthcare rant, but let's be honest, if we had single-payer universal healthcare, I could have the meds that work and don't make me into a zombie without financially upsetting our household budget.

And it's not just me. I don't know any of my peers who can comfortably afford $300+/month for medication, much less for one script. I'm going to take the Lyrica co-pay card to the pharmacy and see how much that saves me. I'll let you know.

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Have a great Monday!

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