here at the end of week one of what i can only call a neurological wonderland

I can say that I feel better. The pain is way less intense than it’s been in years. Sometimes it’s barely even pain, more like just a bit of awkward tension no worse than watching Napoleon Dynamite.

I also feel more awake, generally speaking. This despite having consumed way less coffee than usual – less than half my normal amount, not because caffeine is bad for us fibromyalgics but simply because after about a cup-and-a-half I’m no longer interested. Coffee thinks I’m cheating on it with Cymbalta. I tried to tell it we’re just friends, that my relationship with coffee is too time-tested and too much a sure thing for me to ever even think about seeing someone else…but I suspect it’s right anyway.

Feeling awake is probably somewhat due to sleeping a bit more, but I think it’s more about just sleeping better. The only thing that woke me up these last few night was our cat, Gaz, who needs pet about once every two hours or so. The first couple of days were bad, sleep-wise. I kept waking up about once every hour or so, which gets old fast. But Tuesday night I started to feel like I was really sleeping during each 1.5-hour increment. And Wednesday night I slept better than I have since I was probably like four.

It’s a little easier to focus on things, too. That is an expected result of Cymbalta but it’s also a function of not hurting all the time. When you don’t have to focus on ignoring massive quantities of pain in your torso it frees your mind up for other tasks. Which is nice.

I also generally feel…not happier, exactly, but more satisfied. I suppose that should be expected from taking an anti-depressant, but it’s unfamiliar to me. The hardest part of this part week was taking it easy. Not that I’m an active person by any stretch, but I do like to keep myself busy. I’m not one to sit and watch TV for hours on end. I like to read and write and make music and clean the house and work on any of the numerous projects I always have going on. But this week I made myself chill out. Ashley and I watched a lot of TV, thanks to Hulu, and while I was somewhat disturbed to spend so much time in such a pointless pursuit, I also was satisfied to just relax and hang out with my lovely fiancée.

But there have been oddities as well. Nothing bad, and thankfully nothing really bad, just oddities. Much of time I feel as though I’m…suspended…within my own body, as though the real me begins, say, .25-inch below my skin. Consequently my skin often feels a bit numb, a bit far away. Even touching my tongue to the roof of my mouth is a surprise, because I forget that both my tongue and my palate exist. I’ve always been incredibly aware of my body – which might be a factor behind or resulting from the fibromyalgia – so this disconnect is surprising, though I’ll admit it’s welcome.

There are times in which I space out. Outwardly I know I look like I’m not even home but I’m thinking intensely about something. Maybe that’s part of being able to focus more, but it’s not generally acceptable to take a mental vacation whilst sitting at your desk.

The weirdest thing is that sometimes I can smell things. I’ve been anosmic my entire life, meaning that I’d never smelled anything ever. Until this week. It’s very odd that it happens and I wonder if anyone’s done any sort of research on SSNRIs and anosmia, but what’s even more odd is suddenly having a sense at 36 that I didn’t grow up with. I don’t have words for what I’m smelling. I don’t know what it is. I haven’t learned how to ignore it. I’ve never considered how important it is to grow up with a sense, how we learn to deal with it, and what it means if that process is skipped. It is certainly an unexpected result.

But despite the oddities, I feel better. So far, it’s worth it. It’ll take more time to assess the long-term benefits of course, but so far thing seem positive. Thanks to all of you who voiced concern, who offered comfort and prayers. I appreciate it all very much.

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