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Have you recovered from being on antidepressants long term and/or high dose?

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Downbutnotout

I feel like you do. I somehow got through the day today. I had my grandson come over. He wanted  to watch the shows we used to on tv. He remembers a loving grandma. He knows. He told me he loved me. I patiently sat with him. But my feelings are barely there.  It’s mostly the memory of what used to be 8 months ago. He’s only 4. Before he came over, I went and did the elliptical machine a little, I sat and exercised, something I used to love doing, now I can barely move. . I went out with my husband for lunch. I ate my lunch, but I had to force myself. I don’t want to give up. If only I could believe my brain would reset itself. If only I could believe this will work itself out. IT will get better. I pray every night. Am I doing enough, and in the right way?  I don’t want to cave. 

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Terry
On 8/18/2017 at 4:55 PM, fightback72 said:

It's so good to see people that have healed or are on their way to healing. I just started on this journey of withdrawal and the anxiety from it has really been getting me down. For months I was going through withdrawal but didn't even know it and wondered why I was getting anxious again. I had forgotten what it felt like to have a panic attack or anxiety like this. I have been recovered from panic attacks, generalized anxiety and depression for almost nine years now but the withdrawal is bringing back those old feelings of anxiety and I have to keep reminding myself that this is not me, it's the withdrawal. It's so so difficult. Plus I know certain foods and beverages interact and cause anxiety. I try using the skills I've learned (CBT) but it doesn't always work in the case of withdrawal. 

I hope that everyone here perseveres and overcomes all their symptoms and obstacles. We will all be stronger people for having to go through this.

Please keep the positive healing stories coming. They give me faith in this most difficult of times.

Peace, love and calmness to all.

 

In your signature you stated "Reduced the dosage to 3.125mg switching to homemade liquid on August 9, 2017. "  Please tell me how you made your liquid dose.  I am also tapering generic Zoloft and am down to taking 12.5 mg by pill cutting.  I'm wondering how best to taper from here on.  Thanks, Terry

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thecowisback

i'm looking for positive healing stories too. i've been off prozac nearly a year now and apart from the odd good day here and there the last few months have been total hell. i need reassurance that i have not f****ed up my brain for good by coming off too fast, that i will heal. i need some hope right now really badly. 

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apace41
1 minute ago, thecowisback said:

i'm looking for positive healing stories too. i've been off prozac nearly a year now and apart from the odd good day here and there the last few months have been total hell. i need reassurance that i have not f****ed up my brain for good by coming off too fast, that i will heal. i need some hope right now really badly. 

 

Have you read the Success Stories on the site?

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thecowisback

i have read through them but find them disheartening as they all seem to only report success after many years. that seems like a long dark road from here as i'm barely managing day to day right now. the thought of years ahead of this torment is enough to make me want to give up completely :(:(:(

 

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Offforgood
39 minutes ago, thecowisback said:

i have read through them but find them disheartening as they all seem to only report success after many years. that seems like a long dark road from here as i'm barely managing day to day right now. the thought of years ahead of this torment is enough to make me want to give up completely :(:(:(

 

I feel the same way. I am disheartened also. I was on antidepressants for almost 28 years blindly following my psych dr hoping it would get better with each new med he threw at me! I can’t tell you how many meds I started and stopped ct .. I finally decided to stop all meds a year ago since I felt like a zombie! I was on massive doses when I decided to stop. 5 mg of zyprexa which dr told me to just stop in a few days, 200 mg of sertraline he told me to stop in a few weeks reducing in big chunks and finally did my own taper of 6months of 450 ( yes not a typo) 450 mg of Effexor xr, which I found out was still too fast. So I have been off all meds since end of July 2017... I still have no motivation,  lost all pleasure in anything in life in general and walk around very glum.  I also look at the people on this forum who have not taken the massive doses of meds I have taken and seen that it is taking years to even make little progress and I don’t know if I can make it.  I wrote to you because I wanted to let you know that I also live a life of quiet desperation. 

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thecowisback

no wonder you're feeling so rough, after coming off that many. i keep telling myself that we never hear the stories about people who recover more quickly as they're less likely to post on a forum like this as they're feeling fine. i keep telling myself my brain will heal - i just need to give it time but at the moment i'm in a very dark place. 

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apace41

I think the best answer anyone can give you is that over time the brain will return to homeostasis and healing will occur.  How long that will take  and what that means when taking a healing brain along with the passage of time and mixing it all up is anyone's guess.  The success stories, while they did take more time (in most cases) than any of us would like, seem to indicate that there is substantial healing and a lot of people come out "on the other side" feeling better about life and themselves than they did either before or during the use of the drugs.

 

It would be misleading and, frankly, unethical for me to tell you "don't worry -- you'll be fine in x months."  The reality, as you already know, is frequently different.  Having said that there are plenty of people who (i) come off with no problem or (ii) come off and see fairly rapid recovery.  My personal experience, however, is that most of the people that find their way to SA have been hit harder than that and are in a situation that is going to take time to repair.  I'm sure there are plenty of people on this site who came on scared, had a fairly quick recovery, and moved on.  There's no other way in my mind to explain all of the "sub-10 post" people (after all, we are a great site -- who would want to leave? :P).  But the "usual suspects" and a lot of the new people who have recently joined are going to be at this for a lot longer and need to think in terms of years as opposed to months or weeks.  

 

But, at the end of the day, the people who have been doing this for a long time tell us that healing will happen and we have no reason to doubt that.  The Success Stories bear that out as well and they also indicate that even those among us who are really sick and dealing with hellacious symptoms will, in the long run, see healing and recovery.

 

I hope that helps even though I know it's scary and not the answer you want to hear.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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thecowisback

that is very comforting to hear actually. i just have to keep convincing myself it will get better :) thankyou :)

 

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apace41
14 minutes ago, thecowisback said:

that is very comforting to hear actually. i just have to keep convincing myself it will get better :) thankyou :)

 

 

I'm glad it helped.  This process sucks but so long as you can keep your belief you will get through it.  Just be prepared for the times where those beliefs are tested to the very core.  Among other things, keep notes of the times you feel better so you can see it in black and white at the times you don't.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Tootsieroll

I can chime in here as I was on various SSRIs for a little over 10 years.  I did hit a little snag with a benzo withdrawal right when I finished my SSRI taper.  So with that said, I am about to hit my 4 yrs off any antidepressants at the end of this month and let me tell you what a difference time makes.  In the thick of it all I never thought I would see calm again.  

 

Albiet I'm not completely healed yet.  I still get short waves under stressful situations but to go weeks where I can enjoy driving my car or watching a movie without being negatively stimulated is nothing short of a blessing.  I've looked around my surroundings in a moment and reminisced how different things looked 3-4 years ago.  So much darkness, so fearful, so much pain within my soul.  

 

Now the colours are coming back to life.  I can see good within the day and within life again.  Things taste and smell sweeter on the really good days. Jokes are funny again.  I'm not in a relationship but the idea of love seems sweeter two (<-Ha! Typo but it's fit for two)  This is certainly not a linear healing but as a bigger picture, it does gradually get better as a whole.  There is an upside to this toxic mess that you don't know about yet.  You just have to wait to experience it.  And you will.

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Madeleine

Thanks so much Tootsieroll for sharing!   You made my weekend with your positive post. :-)

 

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Tootsieroll

I'm glad you took away something positive from my post.  I only want to shed light on a situation that is engulfed in darkness.   I know when I was early in acute I wanted to hear back from people who were further into healing.

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Happy2Heal

I am almost 62 yrs old.

I was started on psych drugs against my will at age 18

I was mostly given anti psychotics, lithium and other so-called mood stabilizers (lamictal, depakote, zyprexa, seroquel) plus tried on various antidepressants of several kinds. Then the SSRI's were added (and with them, meds for sleep and anxiety that I never had before the SRRI's- ambien, klonopin and the seroquel was actually given to me for sleep because I was on 40mgs of lexapro and was a bundle of severe nerves and sleeplessness!)

 

 I was started on zoloft in 1996 (possibly 1995)) Then I was switched to celexa, and in 2002, I was started on lexapro. I was on that until I finally finished my (poorly done) taper in Oct of 2107

so how long is that? 21 years total for all 3 SSRI's (about 15 on lexapro)  I was also on many other meds during that same time period and going back, as I already mentioned, over 40 years.

 

 

I am healing very well, almost fully healed, in fact.

 

It was hard, the past year or so was especially difficult. 
But it's almost over and I feel great most of the time.

 

 

 

hope this helps

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thecowisback

that's good to hear :)

 

 

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wildchild93

I’m in the process of coming off of effexor xr 75-225mg over the years. Been on it since I was 6, I’m 24 now so i’ll let you know how it goes. Had to put the breaks on at 75mg because my nervous system is hating me right now. I tried to come off too quickly last spring and got down to 37.5, but it back-fired so right now I’m just trying to regain enough stability to be able to go back to work.

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robcbar1

Like you all, I often visit Success Stories for words of wisdom, encouragement, and hope.  I was on SSRIs for 20 years and pretty much stopped cold turkey at the direction of a psychiatrist.  As someone who has suffered miserably for going on 2 years this March with virtually no windows, all I can say is NEVER GIVE UP!!!  No matter how badly you feel, keep repeating to yourself "full recovery" or whatever other mantra you can adopt.  We need to keep moving forward despite being (temporarily) committed to a daily life of hell.  This may sound silly, but I am approaching my withdrawal as a terrorism situation.  If I give up, the terrorists will win - and that cannot happen.  No matter your situation, I believe in you, you need to believe in you.  We have all come too far too quit.  It's ok to ask for help.  I am here for whoever needs to talk.   

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apace41
1 minute ago, robcbar1 said:

Like you all, I often visit Success Stories for words of wisdom, encouragement, and hope.  I was on SSRIs for 20 years and pretty much stopped cold turkey at the direction of a psychiatrist.  As someone who has suffered miserably for going on 2 years this March with virtually no windows, all I can say is NEVER GIVE UP!!!  No matter how badly you feel, keep repeating to yourself "full recovery" or whatever other mantra you can adopt.  We need to keep moving forward despite being (temporarily) committed to a daily life of hell.  This may sound silly, but I am approaching my withdrawal as terrorism situation.  If I give up, the terrorists will win - and that cannot happen.  No matter your situation, I believe in you, you need to believe in you.  We have all come too far too quit.  It's ok to ask for help.  I am here for whoever needs to talk.   

 

Great post, robcbar1.

 

Thank you for putting this out there.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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PSVT

I would just like to applaud the posts on this thread.........nice work!

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RealMe
On 2/7/2018 at 11:51 AM, robcbar1 said:

Like you all, I often visit Success Stories for words of wisdom, encouragement, and hope.  I was on SSRIs for 20 years and pretty much stopped cold turkey at the direction of a psychiatrist.  As someone who has suffered miserably for going on 2 years this March with virtually no windows, all I can say is NEVER GIVE UP!!!  No matter how badly you feel, keep repeating to yourself "full recovery" or whatever other mantra you can adopt.  We need to keep moving forward despite being (temporarily) committed to a daily life of hell.  This may sound silly, but I am approaching my withdrawal as a terrorism situation.  If I give up, the terrorists will win - and that cannot happen.  No matter your situation, I believe in you, you need to believe in you.  We have all come too far too quit.  It's ok to ask for help.  I am here for whoever needs to talk.   

Hi robcbar1,

Such a good and encouraging post.  My main terrorist is tinnitus, and no one can help me with it.  I am in a daily hell of anxiety and despondency but not giving up.  I told my husband when I was in a fit of anxiety, "if I die, don't feel bad.  Feel glad that I don't have to feel like this anymore. "  Then I felt bad for upsetting him.  Trying to put up a calm front for his sake usually helps me, but sometimes I just can't stand it anymore.

When I read that you were on AD's for 20 years, it makes me wonder how old you are.  I am 72, and I sometimes use that as a point of discouragement--like withdrawal can't help me, I'm too old.  I feel as if I could recover if I could habituate to this constant screeching.

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robcbar1
10 hours ago, RealMe said:

Hi robcbar1,

Such a good and encouraging post.  My main terrorist is tinnitus, and no one can help me with it.  I am in a daily hell of anxiety and despondency but not giving up.  I told my husband when I was in a fit of anxiety, "if I die, don't feel bad.  Feel glad that I don't have to feel like this anymore. "  Then I felt bad for upsetting him.  Trying to put up a calm front for his sake usually helps me, but sometimes I just can't stand it anymore.

When I read that you were on AD's for 20 years, it makes me wonder how old you are.  I am 72, and I sometimes use that as a point of discouragement--like withdrawal can't help me, I'm too old.  I feel as if I could recover if I could habituate to this constant screeching.

Hi Real – My SSRI journey started at age 18 after the death of my father on first day of college.  Paxil was originally prescribed to me for tension headaches (then Zoloft, then Lexapro).  I was unaware that I was taking an antidepressant until my early 20s.  Shame on me.  I’m now 41.

 

I often talk about my “top 3” symptoms that bring me to my knees (derealization, insomnia, and sound/light/motion sensitivities).  Tinnitus is hell.  Mine can get so bad, it often enters the top 3 list.  It’s relentless and nothing makes it go away.  I find it’s much worse in the morning.  The only thing that seems to help is white noise…you can find these sounds on YouTube.  From what I’ve heard, treatment for tinnitus has gotten somewhat better over the years but not much.  If you haven’t already done so, maybe see an ENT to see if there are any treatments you haven’t tried.     

 

Like you and many others, I pray that I get a reprieve from all of this someday.  I have a full life in front of me and I need to be there for my wife and kids.  PLEASE don’t tell yourself that you are too old or give up.  I believe in you if that means anything.  Stay strong and God bless YOU.         

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RealMe
2 hours ago, robcbar1 said:

I believe in you if that means anything.  Stay strong and God bless YOU.         

Thank you, robcbar1.  It means a lot to have encouragement from others going through similar struggles.  So sorry you lost your father at such a young age and such a crucial time of your life.  Do you still have your mother?  Did you finish college?  So glad you have a wife and children to love and care for.  I see you had a terrible scare with your son.  Hope he is well and thriving now.

I saw an ENT and an audiologist and am continuing to search for and try new therapies.  White noise bothers me when I deliberately employ it.  If there is normal background noise, sometimes it helps.  The television helps.  And I never used to watch television or listen to music.  I always enjoyed the quiet or just sounds of nature.  I think a lot of this is grieving that loss.  I read a lot of books, pray, and try to get together with friends.  Next week, I'm going to visit my sisters.  They don't know what I'm going through, and if I can keep a lid on my poor-me's, that will help me to distract and hopefully to enjoy them.  Thanks again for responding.

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Downbutnotout
On 2/7/2018 at 11:51 AM, robcbar1 said:

Like you all, I often visit Success Stories for words of wisdom, encouragement, and hope.  I was on SSRIs for 20 years and pretty much stopped cold turkey at the direction of a psychiatrist.  As someone who has suffered miserably for going on 2 years this March with virtually no windows, all I can say is NEVER GIVE UP!!!  No matter how badly you feel, keep repeating to yourself "full recovery" or whatever other mantra you can adopt.  We need to keep moving forward despite being (temporarily) committed to a daily life of hell.  This may sound silly, but I am approaching my withdrawal as a terrorism situation.  If I give up, the terrorists will win - and that cannot happen.  No matter your situation, I believe in you, you need to believe in you.  We have all come too far too quit.  It's ok to ask for help.  I am here for whoever needs to talk.   

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Downbutnotout

No breaks in 2 years? How do you keep up your fight? Do you have any good moments? How were you on antidepressants? Oh I read your story. So you can’t tolerate the antidepressants and have tinnitus. I can’t tolerate them anymore either. I haven’t had luck on the last thing I was given. I am afraid of being hyper and manic and it didn’t help anything. 

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robcbar1
1 minute ago, Downbutnotout said:

No breaks in 2 years? How do you keep up your fight? 

Simply put, I don't have any other option.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't freak out at least once a day and wonder how I'm going to get through this, but I'm still here.   

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Downbutnotout
7 minutes ago, robcbar1 said:

Simply put, I don't have any other option.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't freak out at least once a day and wonder how I'm going to get through this, but I'm still here.   

That’s good. What does your family say? 

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robcbar1
12 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

That’s good. What does your family say? 

My family has a hard time understanding what's going on.  My wife has been very patient but even she gets frustrated and I can't blame her.  I'm basically housebound at this point so it puts a strain on my marriage and ability to parent. 

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Downbutnotout
32 minutes ago, RealMe said:

Thank you, robcbar1.  It means a lot to have encouragement from others going through similar struggles.  So sorry you lost your father at such a young age and such a crucial time of your life.  Do you still have your mother?  Did you finish college?  So glad you have a wife and children to love and care for.  I see you had a terrible scare with your son.  Hope he is well and thriving now.

I saw an ENT and an audiologist and am continuing to search for and try new therapies.  White noise bothers me when I deliberately employ it.  If there is normal background noise, sometimes it helps.  The television helps.  And I never used to watch television or listen to music.  I always enjoyed the quiet or just sounds of nature.  I think a lot of this is grieving that loss.  I read a lot of books, pray, and try to get together with friends.  Next week, I'm going to visit my sisters.  They don't know what I'm going through, and if I can keep a lid on my poor-me's, that will help me to distract and hopefully to enjoy them.  Thanks again for responding.

Hope you have fun at your sisters

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Downbutnotout

I still don’t know how to post on someone’s thread . Could someone explain that succinctly to me. 

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Downbutnotout
On 1/20/2018 at 8:32 PM, Happy2Heal said:

I am almost 62 yrs old.

I was started on psych drugs against my will at age 18

I was mostly given anti psychotics, lithium and other so-called mood stabilizers (lamictal, depakote, zyprexa, seroquel) plus tried on various antidepressants of several kinds. Then the SSRI's were added (and with them, meds for sleep and anxiety that I never had before the SRRI's- ambien, klonopin and the seroquel was actually given to me for sleep because I was on 40mgs of lexapro and was a bundle of severe nerves and sleeplessness!)

 

 I was started on zoloft in 1996 (possibly 1995)) Then I was switched to celexa, and in 2002, I was started on lexapro. I was on that until I finally finished my (poorly done) taper in Oct of 2107

so how long is that? 21 years total for all 3 SSRI's (about 15 on lexapro)  I was also on many other meds during that same time period and going back, as I already mentioned, over 40 years.

 

 

I am healing very well, almost fully healed, in fact.

 

It was hard, the past year or so was especially difficult. 
But it's almost over and I feel great most of the time.

 

 

 

hope this helps

You’re very fortunate! What a great story. 

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Downbutnotout
14 minutes ago, robcbar1 said:

My family has a hard time understanding what's going on.  My wife has been very patient but even she gets frustrated and I can't blame her.  I'm basically housebound at this point so it puts a strain on my marriage and ability to parent. 

I can understand that. I am in a similar place although I don’t have tinnitus or many physical symptoms. Although I do feel disconnects in my forehead and am worried I’ve lost brain cells. But I do suffer from depression. That’s why I took drugs in the first place. And I really thought they helped. I was stable for years until I went off a fast wd 3 years ago, had a relapse ( I thought) recovered and had an event which triggered another depression. The doc upped my effexor, and gave me other drugs. When I started this, I had 2 windows, but I’ve been flat for most of the time. I have no joy and am limping along. I’m very discouraged.my husband is getting tired of this, and my friends are disappearing. I tried tms but it didn’t work. I’m trying again Tuesday. There was no connection between my brain and the machine. This never happens. I am not thrilled if it does connect because some people say it does nothing, but I have to try. I a

m very concerned because I don’t experience the windows. And you’re one if the few who say the same thing. 

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apace41
15 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

 I am very concerned because I don’t experience the windows. And you’re one if the few who say the same thing. 

 

I don't think this is really accurate, DBNO.  I don't have much in the way of windows (only moments of "less crappy" among moments of "generally crappy").  I think we HEAR about the windows because the "windows and waves" healing is one of the general themes of recovery but there are a lot of stories I've read over time of people with few if any windows but who recover in larger "clumps" when it actually happens.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Downbutnotout
15 hours ago, RealMe said:

Hi robcbar1,

Such a good and encouraging post.  My main terrorist is tinnitus, and no one can help me with it.  I am in a daily hell of anxiety and despondency but not giving up.  I told my husband when I was in a fit of anxiety, "if I die, don't feel bad.  Feel glad that I don't have to feel like this anymore. "  Then I felt bad for upsetting him.  Trying to put up a calm front for his sake usually helps me, but sometimes I just can't stand it anymore.

When I read that you were on AD's for 20 years, it makes me wonder how old you are.  I am 72, and I sometimes use that as a point of discouragement--like withdrawal can't help me, I'm too old.  I feel as if I could recover if I could habituate to this constant screeching.

You are strong. Us geriatric people sometimes have to fight. 

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Downbutnotout
19 minutes ago, apace41 said:

 

I don't think this is really accurate, DBNO.  I don't have much in the way of windows (only moments of "less crappy" among moments of "generally crappy").  I think we HEAR about the windows because the "windows and waves" healing is one of the general themes of recovery but there are a lot of stories I've read over time of people with few if any windows but who recover in larger "clumps" when it actually happens.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Oh really? That’s good to know. I thought you were well on your way to recovery. 

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apace41
1 minute ago, Downbutnotout said:

Oh really? That’s good to know. I thought you were well on your way to recovery. 

 

More like stuck in place.  Been holding because I've been dealing with symptoms including hellacious insomnia.  One step forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one step back, etc.  It only really sucks when it's one step foward 3 or 4 steps back.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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RealMe
7 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

You are strong. Us geriatric people sometimes have to fight. 

Thanks, DBNO.  We sure do.  I wonder if there are any more "older" people on this forum.  I have searched and found only one 70 year old gentleman.  I guess I am the oldest one so far.  I'm surprised because I know they are all being medicated to beat the band!

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