When you just know, but the docs don't listen...

Last updated: April 2022

So back in 2012, before I was diagnosed with MS, I was diagnosed with a host of other stuff.

I managed to get sick or had an infection and my PC prescribed an antibiotic which I had a reaction to. He told me to go to ER, since I was itching and sick to my stomach. They made me wait forEVER before I was seen but gave me something to counter it and from that point on I was "allergic to sulfa drugs".

A true emergency

Forward a couple of years and another doc of mine prescribed Cymbalta for my Fibro and within an hour or so I started itching, headache, throwing up, nausea, so I called the doc and they told me to get to the ER and get checked. They took me right away, said I was probably having an allergic reaction to the meds, and started giving me drugs through an IV. As soon as the 3rd med (well the flush) went in, the room started spinning, I had a funny taste in my mouth and my voice went hoarse. I told the nurse as he was walking away and before he could turn around it was like a balloon filled my throat. I couldn't talk or breathe, I was sitting up gasping, trying to get any kind of air in me, thinking to myself I have a nose, why can't I breath...fun fact, your nose and throat are connected so if your throat is closed, your nose does not provide air...just throwing that out there.

Having an advocate with me to help

It was the worse experience of my life because that young nurse just walked out and left me (he panicked and just left). I started to blackout at the same time my (now) daughter-in-law who was with me ran out to get help. By the time they got to me the Benadryl that he had given to me in the IV had kicked in and my throat started opening.

Fast forward to last week, my new doc (because I have moved to another state) says she thinks I need to be on a medication that is in the same family as Cymbalta. I told her that I would disagree since I had an anaphylactic shock to Cymbalta. She said it would really help my pain, my anxieties, and a list of other stuff, so a miracle drug? Wow, why hasn't the entire MS world or Fibro world heard of this (sarcasm)?

I told her my hesitation again but she said she would give me a very low dose and we can see how I do. So I reluctantly agreed...knowing better, I agreed.

It happened again

I took the prescription and within an hour I started to have a reaction to it. My throat started tightening, I was itching, and I got dizzy. My husband shoved liquid Benadryl down my throat and a Benadryl pill and off to the ER we went. They started the IV and I almost had a freakout moment wondering if the same thing was going to happen.

Luckily I had taken the Benadryl prior to leaving the house but it wasn't enough by the time I got to the hospital I was throwing up, had hives and my throat was still tight...BUT it was enough not to go full-blown into anaphylactic shock again.

Now I have to carry around an epi-pen because the ER doc said I could be allergic to the dyes they put into the medications because the medications I have reactions to aren't necessarily the same (even though Effexor and Cymbalta are in the same family, the antibiotic was not).

So I guess the moral of this story is...WE know our bodies the best. If you are against taking/trying a new medication because you know your body...listen to yourself, because you know best!

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