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drugged: multiple drugs

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ShiningLight
19 hours ago, drugged said:

I'm making lots of soup.  

 

 

That's wonderful! Drugged, if it isn't putting you out too much, I'd love to see some of your soup recipes. Maybe there is already a topic of recipes somewhere on here, I can look. I also get some online. But it's always nice to have a recommendation.

 

Selling a home is extremely stressful. I'm glad you are closing that chapter!

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drugged
4 hours ago, Rhiannon said:

I finally made some (kind of mediocre but edible) chicken soup tonight. I would be more proud of myself if I hadn't spent literally something like five hours on Twitter this afternoon. On the other hand, I'm getting over a nasty bronchitis, and staying put in the warm humidified air has been good for me I think, I'm hardly coughing at all now. So probably sitting around was fine. It just might have been nice to, say, read a good book.

 

I do feel like Twitter can be an addiction. I have a hard time pulling myself away from it. I hear they actually designed it to work on our brains, on dopamine or whatever, like addictive things like gambling. I wish I could just give it up, but I love hearing from and talking to all kinds of people from all over. I live in a small rural town and have an antisocial work schedule (2 to 10 pm) so it's not easy for me to meet stimulating people. It just makes Twitter all the more appealing.

 

And earlier in the afternoon our British friends were still online, and there is a whole group of psych drug survivors and activists there that I sort of stumbled into (well, following Alto, and CEP). That was fun. 

 

Still, I wish it didn't feel so much like the pull of some kind of psychological gravity well that I can't resist. I hate that "addicted" feeling.

 

I'm thinking of adopting a couple of pet rats (I know, weird, but it actually makes sense for me I think). Maybe playing with them will keep me off so much Twitter. 

 

And why am I saying all this? Because apparently I am feeling confessional. I'm hoping you don't mind.

 

YAAARGH about your house stuff. Buying and selling houses is so stressful! and money stuff is just the worst.

 

Let me know how the DBT program goes. I had some materials for that at one time but didn't get far with them, just got busy with other things. Too much time on Twitter probably. Sigh.

 

Hugs--

Rhi

I guess I'm kind of addicted to Facebook.  These last 6 years hardly ever leaving the house Facebook friends became my social life.  It's really great in a lot of ways, I have friends from all around the globe, my friends from México who I can speak español with, friends from all different cultures ...  On the other hand it is really easy to just sit in front of the screen rather than getting up and doing something productive.  Still, I need some kind of human interaction.  

 

I don't think pet rats sound weird.  I have a friend who has a pet ferret and I had raccoons as pets when I was a kid.  We tried getting a kitten last winter.  She definitely kept me occupied playing with her but unfortunately my ultra-senior cat couldn't handle it so we had to find a different home for the kitten.  My cat and I have been together for almost 20 years and she doesn't want to share me with anyone.

 

Agree about the house buying and selling but we've got one more to go - this place is just too noisy and lacking in natural light.  I'm not in any rush though and I don't really want to move in the middle of an Iowa winter.  

 

Take care of yourself Rhi and lots of hugs,

drugged

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drugged
5 hours ago, ShiningLight said:

 

That's wonderful! Drugged, if it isn't putting you out too much, I'd love to see some of your soup recipes. Maybe there is already a topic of recipes somewhere on here, I can look. I also get some online. But it's always nice to have a recommendation.

 

Selling a home is extremely stressful. I'm glad you are closing that chapter!

I wouldn't mind sharing at all but I'd have to write my recipes down first.  I don't do a lot of cooking by recipe unless it's baking.  I'm making a pot of chili today and, like always, I'll wing it with the spices.  It makes life interesting when I can't remember how many teaspoons of chipotle chile powder I normally use or those times when I lose count of how much I've put in, lol.  Fortunately, my husband and I like spicy food.

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Guilietta

Hello @Rhiannon@ShiningLight@drugged

 

It is the time of year to make more soup.  If anyone likes cream of pea soup - I will gladly post.  I'm not much of a cook but that soup is good. :)

 

FB and Twitter have been set up to have addictive natures as @Rhiannon mentioned (in addition to data harvesting). A cofounder has done a number of interviews and admitted to this. I did a CT from FB and Twitter. I signed up again. Then I CT for good. This cofounder admits he CT'd. :)That all being said - it is connection for a lot of people who are mostly housebound. It does have an addictive nature but Twitter not so much I think.It is less expensive than the dopamine hit from retail therapy.  That is a big positive!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6e1riShmak&list=LL1vmnTJkAX8yUKYaqCxxbEQ

 

2 hours ago, drugged said:

I don't think pet rats sound weird.

 

Rats can be nice pets.  I know two (med students at the time) who adopted them. They were  better company than fish and not as noisy as parakeets.

 

On the recipe side - here is a combination for easy, tasty and simple  french carrot salad:

Grated carrots with a 'dressing' of parsley, chives,salt, ,pepper lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. 

 

Everyonen have a lovely day

 

Giuilietta

 

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Rhiannon

Hello D, just checking in, how are you?

 

Not moving in the middle of an Iowa winter definitely sounds like a good plan. Give you a chance to recover from the previous sale and move a bit too.

 

Hope you're doing well, hang in there!

Hugs--

Rhiannon

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drugged
17 hours ago, Rhiannon said:

Not moving in the middle of an Iowa winter definitely sounds like a good plan. Give you a chance to recover from the previous sale and move a bit 

 

I'm hanging in here.  Taking the buspirone down more slowly than suggested as I started having the morning anxiety and these shooting pains in my skull.  It's feels like having an ice pick stabbing through the temple, sometimes it's a stabbing pain across my upper jaw, always the left side.  It only lasts a few seconds but it's completely new so I thought, "Go slow."  With new and different symptoms popping up and the intense feeling of exhaustion that's constant I knew I shouldn't try and force myself (and my elderly cat) through another move.  Trying to learn to have some self-compassion even though my husband told me he thinks I'm just being lazy.  That was a shock to hear.  

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Erell

Hi 

 

"Being lazy" : this is exactly the problem with WD : as we experienced internal symptoms, people can't see any "proof". It wouldn't be the same with a broken leg. 

 

You're not being lazy : you're actually going through the most hard journey, and you're doing it with a lot of courage. 

I know that those around us don't understand that. But know that I consider all people here as heroes, including you.

 

Wish you my warmest wishes!

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Rhiannon

Going slow is a good idea. There's no rush, it's more a journey than a destination anyway when coming down from these kinds of multi-drug situations at our age.

 

It's so frustrating having this kind of intense but invisible disability. People try to interpret our behavior based on their own experience inside their own bodies, and it's just not applicable. Sorry you had to deal with that. It sounds to me like you are anything but lazy. I'm with Erell. You've stayed alive this far, and you're here on this site, looking to change your situation--in spite of everything you have been through you still have hope and courage. Sounds like a hero to me too.

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drugged
On 10/18/2019 at 4:33 PM, Rhiannon said:

It's so frustrating having this kind of intense but invisible disability. People try to interpret our behavior based on their own experience inside their own bodies, and it's just not applicable. Sorry you had to deal with that. It sounds to me like you are anything but lazy. I'm with Erell. You've stayed alive this far, and you're here on this site, looking to change your situation--in spite of everything you have been through you still have hope and courage. Sounds like a hero to me too.

 

Thanks Rhi,

The negativity is really getting me down.  Like I'm never going to get back into being physically active or ever leave the house again unless it's an emergency.  I want to say something snarky like, "When I was little I always dreamed of growing up and being agoraphobic" or ""Yep, been looking forward to the day when I couldn't go trail running, ride horses, go hiking, swim, garden, or even leave my house."  I'll keep slowly tapering but I'm going to be (more of) an emotional wreck when all's said and done if the home front stays like it is.  I just want to cry but there's no tears.  

 

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Rhiannon
27 minutes ago, drugged said:

 

Thanks Rhi,

The negativity is really getting me down.  Like I'm never going to get back into being physically active or ever leave the house again unless it's an emergency.  I want to say something snarky like, "When I was little I always dreamed of growing up and being agoraphobic" or ""Yep, been looking forward to the day when I couldn't go trail running, ride horses, go hiking, swim, garden, or even leave my house."  I'll keep slowly tapering but I'm going to be (more of) an emotional wreck when all's said and done if the home front stays like it is.  I just want to cry but there's no tears.  

 

 

Yes, I think I understand. It's very tough to have hope, especially at this point in the process. You are on a lot of drugs which are so limiting to you, but if you stop taking them you will be so very much worse so you know that isn't an option either. It feels like you are locked in a dark room with no windows and no exits.

 

And the only thing you can do is start digging your tunnel with a very small, weak spoon that you know will break if you put too much pressure on it.

 

I was there about 11 years ago. It has been a very long journey but the results have been better than I really believed they could be.

 

If you can do even the smallest thing--just stick your head outside and breathe the air then come right back in. Make your bed. Take a shower.  And maybe that's enough for one day! Do what you can, praise yourself for it. Right now the important thing is that you are alive. You have made the choice to come to this website. You have already begun the process of reducing your drugs, very slowly, safely. 

 

I am not saying that your story will be identical to mine. We have different histories. But I do know that you can get down to fewer drugs and lower doses, if you take your time, and I do know that at those lower doses and those fewer drugs, you are going to feel better and you are going to get back some of the things you miss about your life. Maybe more than you can even imagine right now.

 

I know that if you keep doing this one day at a time, there is a better future for you. I will know that for you now, while you can't yet know it for yourself. Hang in there. One day, one hour, one minute at a time.

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drugged

Thanks Rhi, sending a hug or three to you.

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ShiningLight
8 hours ago, Rhiannon said:

It's very tough to have hope, especially at this point in the process. You are on a lot of drugs which are so limiting to you, but if you stop taking them you will be so very much worse so you know that isn't an option either. It feels like you are locked in a dark room with no windows and no exits.

 

 

Drugged, I know this feeling too. I really feel for you. I feel a heavy burden even peeking out from under 3 drugs, because I have to go so slow.  I am always inspired and comforted by Rhi's words and experience. I really hold on to Rhi's observation that you may not have to be all the way off the drugs to start feeling better; even just getting to lower doses helps. Sorry if I've already said that in your thread before. It's something that I repeat to myself because it gives me hope.

 

I'm am deeply sorry your husband said that to you. I have no words.

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Rhiannon

How's it going, D? 

 

Let me make sure I'm caught up with what you're doing on the drug-reducing front. You've cut the Buspar and you're cutting venlafaxine, and holding everything else where it is, is that correct? How are things with the Buspar? How much are you taking total of that every day now? It looks from your sig like maybe just 2.5 mg in the evening, is that correct? If so that's a big reduction, what do you think about just holding that there for a while?

 

How are you feeling about the venlafaxine taper now? It looks like you maybe cut that on the 21st along with the Buspar.  I think if you did make both of those cuts on the 21st it might be good to hold the venlafaxine for a while too, just to see how everything settles out. Keep a daily journal of symptoms if you can, it can help you down the road, figuring out your own patterns. Our memories are surprisingly unreliable at that.

 

When I look at your drug sig I keep finding myself giving the side-eye to that diazepam dose. It's on the high side, especially for folks over 60. There are some definite risks with benzos at our age. What would you think about maybe tackling getting that dosage down a bit at some point? Is that on your radar at all?

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Rhiannon

I was skimming back through your posts in August and now I'm confused, how much diazepam are you taking daily? It seems like it was 5 mg then it says 15 somewhere and your sig says 10. I also saw where you said you were planning to taper down the venlafaxine to 75 mg and then to look at the zolpidem and diazepam at that point, is that still your plan?

 

Anyway, hang in there, you're on the road.

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drugged

I've been reducing the venlafaxine by a few bead every few days depending on how I feel.  Since I'll be taking my last buspirone tomorrow evening I'm now going to hold the venlafaxine for at least a couple of weeks then start tapering it again.  I'm thinking of either finishing my taper of Lyrica and/or tapering off the trazodone after that.  I'll probably finish off the Lyrica so that I don't run into a situation of needing to refill it - it's expensive. 

 

I settled on taking just 10mg of diazepam at bedtime because, when I was taking the other 5mg in the morning, I was just too sedated.  So I've been taking just the 10mg at bedtime for a while now.    

 

My symptoms have been staying pretty much the same; mostly a lot of upper body pain, some headaches, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. 

 

I'm becoming more consistent with doing mindfulness meditation and have started some rehabilitation work for my elbows and forearms and upper back throwing it a bit of yoga, too.  

 

I might try to go horseback riding before it gets too cold.  I'm not sure I'll be able to get up the nerve to do it - I used to train and show horses but not for 30 years.  I want to ride again, it's great exercise and I love it but I'm afraid that seeing how much my abilities have deteriorated will be too depressing.  

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drugged

So, I'm finished with one drug from my cocktail.  The buspirone taper was slower than I'd thought it would be as I started getting a new-to-me type of headache a few days after the first cut so I decided to be cautious.  The ice pick headaches are still with me.  Annoying but not incapacitating.  

 

Upper back/shoulder blade, neck, arms, and hands have been consistently very painful.  I've been trying to do a couple of PT exercises each day to help.  Inability to concentrate and cognitive impairment is about the same but my memory seems to be a tiny bit improved?  I feel a little more animated, not energetic exactly, it's more like the part of my brain that provides motivation is starting to wake up but it hasn't reached that point where it pushes me toward anything specific.  It's hard to describe but it feels different in a good way.

 

Anyway, that's where I am today.  

 

 

 

 

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Erell

Congratulations!!!! You can be proud of yourself 😙😙😙😙

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drugged

Thank you, Erell.  

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Rhiannon
On 10/28/2019 at 8:01 AM, drugged said:

So, I'm finished with one drug from my cocktail.  The buspirone taper was slower than I'd thought it would be as I started getting a new-to-me type of headache a few days after the first cut so I decided to be cautious.  The ice pick headaches are still with me.  Annoying but not incapacitating.  

 

Upper back/shoulder blade, neck, arms, and hands have been consistently very painful.  I've been trying to do a couple of PT exercises each day to help.  Inability to concentrate and cognitive impairment is about the same but my memory seems to be a tiny bit improved?  I feel a little more animated, not energetic exactly, it's more like the part of my brain that provides motivation is starting to wake up but it hasn't reached that point where it pushes me toward anything specific.  It's hard to describe but it feels different in a good way.

 

Anyway, that's where I am today.  

 

 

 

 

Congratulations! One down!

 

Definitely take a few weeks now before you change anything else, if you can stand to. I mean, I would say ideally give it three months and see how you're doing before cutting anything else.

 

Are you calculating the percentages as you come down on the venlafaxine? If you're going to be reducing that and the Lyrica at the same time I would feel better if you knew what percentages of each you are cutting at a time. It can be devilishly easy to cut too much when you're making what seem to be very small cuts but on multiple meds at the same time.

 

I'd like to see you bringing down the diazepam a bit, 10 mg is not a small dose. Is that on your radar at all?

 

Again, don't change anything yet. Give your system some time to adjust to the buspirone being gone. See how that works out. 

 

If you're not already doing it, now might be a good time to start keeping a daily diary of symptoms and ranking them on some kind of numerical scale daily.

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drugged
2 hours ago, Rhiannon said:

Congratulations! One down!

 

Definitely take a few weeks now before you change anything else, if you can stand to. I mean, I would say ideally give it three months and see how you're doing before cutting anything else.

 

Are you calculating the percentages as you come down on the venlafaxine? If you're going to be reducing that and the Lyrica at the same time I would feel better if you knew what percentages of each you are cutting at a time. It can be devilishly easy to cut too much when you're making what seem to be very small cuts but on multiple meds at the same time.

 

I'd like to see you bringing down the diazepam a bit, 10 mg is not a small dose. Is that on your radar at all?

 

Again, don't change anything yet. Give your system some time to adjust to the buspirone being gone. See how that works out. 

 

If you're not already doing it, now might be a good time to start keeping a daily diary of symptoms and ranking them on some kind of numerical scale daily.

I'm not doing anything with the Lyrica right now.  I initially thought I get completely off the venlafaxine before finishing the Lyrica though I'm open to ideas.  What about the trazodone?  Theoretically, I take that for sleep but I read that it's not recommended to be used in that manner plus it duplicates the venlafaxine. 

 

My original thought was to leave the tramadol and the benzo till the last; the tramadol because I don't know what's going to happen pain-wise and the benzo for anxiety and sleep.  If I had to choose between a benzo and a z-drug for sleep I think I'd choose the benzo. 

 

Does the half-line of a benzo impact how hard it is to withdraw from as with antidepressants? 

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drugged

I meant to say that I am tracking symptoms but truthfully I could write pretty much the same thing everyday.  I wake up in moderate to severe pain.  I usually see some relief within an hour or so.  Depending on where the pain is I may develop a headache or facial pain at some point.  Ice pick headaches, if they happen don't start until late morning to early afternoon.  

 

Since I'm usually up before 4 am and take my meds then I almost always have the muscle pain start to return by mid-afternoon.  I wait till 7 to 8 pm before taking tramadol and nighttime meds.  The last couple of hours can be pretty ugly.  

 

Right now, outside stressors seem to have more impact on my symptoms than tapering.  Getting out and about or arguing with my spouse can completely knock me off my feet.  Ditto if I overdo physical activity and the line there seems to constantly change.  I can do a walk one day and feel good but another day the same walk can have me in agony when I get up the next morning.  I'm afraid to do anything a lot of the time.  I know I should but fear of the pain that might hit me later ...   

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drugged

Actually, my two top fears are 1) anxiety and 2) pain.  

Growing up I didn't learn good coping strategies for distress tolerance or appropriate self-soothing skills.  

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ShiningLight
20 hours ago, drugged said:

Ditto if I overdo physical activity and the line there seems to constantly change.  I can do a walk one day and feel good but another day the same walk can have me in agony when I get up the next morning.   

 

Me too. It's a bit traumatic or at least that's how I feel about it. I never know what the rules are.

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Rhiannon
21 hours ago, drugged said:

I'm not doing anything with the Lyrica right now.  I initially thought I get completely off the venlafaxine before finishing the Lyrica though I'm open to ideas.  What about the trazodone?  Theoretically, I take that for sleep but I read that it's not recommended to be used in that manner plus it duplicates the venlafaxine. 

 

My original thought was to leave the tramadol and the benzo till the last; the tramadol because I don't know what's going to happen pain-wise and the benzo for anxiety and sleep.  If I had to choose between a benzo and a z-drug for sleep I think I'd choose the benzo. 

 

Does the half-line of a benzo impact how hard it is to withdraw from as with antidepressants? 

 

My suggestion would be to focus on decreasing dosages more than on coming entirely off of any one thing at this point. Tapering gets tricky at the bottom, so it can take a long time to get off that last little bit. And you can get a lot of improvement of quality of life just by getting those doses down. This is particularly important given your age and the increasing risk of chronic debilitation due to higher drug doses. There's also an association between benzos and Alzheimer's, which is dose-dependent. And at older ages we just don't eliminate the drugs as efficiently.

 

So in your position, I would probably taper one drug at a time down to a lower and safer dose, then focus on another one. Then once they're all at lower doses you can taper them the rest of the way one at a time.

 

You mentioned the Lyrica being expensive for you, that's why I thought you were wanting to taper it.

 

Looks like you just made another cut in the venlafaxine, 75 mg plus 70 beads, about how much is that in mg, do you know? You reduced that on Oct. 21, correct? And took your last dose of Buspar on the 25th? Definitely time to hold for a while, I'd say.

 

Longer half-life of any drug makes it easier to taper, in the sense that the timing of your next dose is more forgiving and there's a bit of a cushion after a cut. Otherwise though, the rate of a safe taper is going to be much slower than the half-life of the drug. It will still need to be slow.

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drugged

Looks like you just made another cut in the venlafaxine, 75 mg plus 70 beads, about how much is that in mg, do you know? You reduced that on Oct. 21, correct? And took your last dose of Buspar on the 25th? Definitely time to hold for a while, I'd say.

 

I didn't intentionally cut the venlafaxine, truthfully.  It was a week or so earlier, so around the 14th, I got distracted counting the beads and didn't realize my mistake until the next day.  For me withdrawal symptoms from cutting venlafaxine come on in less than a day (~12 hours) and I didn't feel significantly worse so I decided to leave it be.  I don't know how much active ingredient is in one bead, I think I read somewhere that it's approximately 0.3 mg so 70 beads would be 21 mg.  

 

I thought mentioned the Lyrica being expensive for you, that's why I thought you were wanting to taper it.

 

You're right I did say that.  Also, I started tapering Lyrica because I had a lot of unpleasant side effects with it from the beginning;  problems with speech and muscle coordination, muscle spasms, etc.  They're gone or mostly gone at 25 mg but I'd still like to get off it.  I know it acts as a brake though and I think it's now off patent.  So I can be flexible if you think I'm better off leaving the lyrica where it's at and starting a slow taper of the diazepam.  

 

Overall, I am just concentrating on reducing dosages.  I know from my experience with the lyrica that the crippling side effects can be reduced quite a lot just by getting the dose down.  I just sort of keep the end goal of getting completely off as many as possible out there as something to shoot for.  

 

Thanks so much Rhi for supporting me.  It helps immensely knowing there are people I can communicate with who really get what these drugs do to a person and how hard it is to get off them.

 

 

 

 

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drugged
20 hours ago, ShiningLight said:

 

Me too. It's a bit traumatic or at least that's how I feel about it. I never know what the rules are.

Exactly!!  That's how I think of it, I can't figure out what the rules are.  

 

When I was still running I knew pretty closely by how much I could increase my distance or improve my pace in a given time frame.  Now everyday my body responds differently.  I never know what seemingly little thing might kick off a pain flare.

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Rhiannon
6 hours ago, drugged said:

Looks like you just made another cut in the venlafaxine, 75 mg plus 70 beads, about how much is that in mg, do you know? You reduced that on Oct. 21, correct? And took your last dose of Buspar on the 25th? Definitely time to hold for a while, I'd say.

 

I didn't intentionally cut the venlafaxine, truthfully.  It was a week or so earlier, so around the 14th, I got distracted counting the beads and didn't realize my mistake until the next day.  For me withdrawal symptoms from cutting venlafaxine come on in less than a day (~12 hours) and I didn't feel significantly worse so I decided to leave it be.  I don't know how much active ingredient is in one bead, I think I read somewhere that it's approximately 0.3 mg so 70 beads would be 21 mg.  

 

I thought mentioned the Lyrica being expensive for you, that's why I thought you were wanting to taper it.

 

You're right I did say that.  Also, I started tapering Lyrica because I had a lot of unpleasant side effects with it from the beginning;  problems with speech and muscle coordination, muscle spasms, etc.  They're gone or mostly gone at 25 mg but I'd still like to get off it.  I know it acts as a brake though and I think it's now off patent.  So I can be flexible if you think I'm better off leaving the lyrica where it's at and starting a slow taper of the diazepam.  

 

Overall, I am just concentrating on reducing dosages.  I know from my experience with the lyrica that the crippling side effects can be reduced quite a lot just by getting the dose down.  I just sort of keep the end goal of getting completely off as many as possible out there as something to shoot for.  

 

Thanks so much Rhi for supporting me.  It helps immensely knowing there are people I can communicate with who really get what these drugs do to a person and how hard it is to get off them.

 

 

 

 


ok so you are on about um 96 mg a day of the venlafaxine now, down from at the highest 300 mg--good for you, that seems like a substantial decrease.  And your most recent decrement on that was 10/14 from 112.5, did I get that right? That's about a 15% cut. I think it might be a good idea to hold off on tapering that further for a while and then when it's time to cut again, be looking at a smaller cut. I think you're at a low enough dose now where you aren't going to be able to get away with those big cuts.

 

Lyrica down to 25, I hope you are patting yourself on the back for that too, that's an accomplishment. I'm not surprised you've gotten improvement with the side effects. I too have really noticed I am so much better at lower doses. And it just keeps getting better, as long as I don't push to reduce too fast. It's frustrating to have to go so slow but the improvements are definitely a silver lining.

 

I don't want you to follow my opinion about what to taper next, because it's very much you who are going to experience whatever the fallout/outcomes are, so it should be your decision and your criteria. But in your shoes, yes, I think given the reductions you've made in other meds, the one that kind of sticks out as still being at a high enough dose to be causing a disproportionate amount of disability is the diazepam. (Hm. Did not intend the alliteration there.)

 

I do think that it would be good to hold a while and see how you're doing with the pretty significant reductions you've made this month, in the venlafaxine and coming off Buspar. Honestly I would love to see you hold EVERYTHING for about 4-5 months now if you can, just to give your CNS healing time to catch up and to make sure you aren't going to get hit with delayed withdrawal from that 15% cut. 

 

I totally understand if you can't bring yourself to hold completely for that long, I have a lot of trouble with that. If you do have to cut something, keep those cuts to 2% or less. But if you can hold, that would be best, you've cut a lot and definitely earned a nice hold.

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drugged

 Did not intend the alliteration there.

 

I kind of like alliteration.  When I'm writing, assuming my brain is at least semi-functional, I enjoy using alliteration to describe things.  

 

In order to taper the diazepam I'll probably need to get a script from my doctor for 2 mg tablets but that won't be a problem.  Using the tablets I have I could do cuts of 1.25 mg pretty easily by cutting the tabs into quarters.

 

I'd really like to get the venlafaxine down to 75 mg.  I started tapering from 300 mg venlafaxine several years ago but couldn't get through that last cut (I tried too large a cut not knowing any better) so I went back to 75 mg and stayed there for 2-3 years while I tapered the Lyrica.  The first NP I saw when we moved back to Iowa increased the venlafaxine from 75 to 150 mg in one go and I was immediately in trouble.  I started tapering back down within a couple of weeks.  From the reading I've been doing I suspect that big increase might have caused mild or moderate serotonin syndrome.  I know my pulse rate increased as did my BP and I had terrible anxiety, sweating for no reason, nausea, diarrhea, etc.  

That said I will hold the venlafaxine for awhile.  I don't know if being easily distracted is a side-effect or a withdrawal symptom but I seem to get distracted much easier than I did a few months ago.

 

BTW - we're looking at houses in quieter locations but we're not rushing it.  

 

 

 

 

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drugged

Speaking of functional brains.  I'm trying desperately to read a text on neurochemistry, something that would have been relatively easy 15 years ago but now I'm failing miserably.  I have to read each sentence multiple times before I can break through the mental fog and capture the essence of what's being said.  Even then I can't remember what I read a half hour before ...  This really sickens me.  Even reading easy novels I often have to start by re-reading a chapter I read earlier so I know what's happening.  Aaaaaarrgh!  Reading has always been my favorite activity.  My sanctuary.

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Rhiannon
6 hours ago, drugged said:

 

 

In order to taper the diazepam I'll probably need to get a script from my doctor for 2 mg tablets but that won't be a problem.  Using the tablets I have I could do cuts of 1.25 mg pretty easily by cutting the tabs into quarters.

 

I'd really like to get the venlafaxine down to 75 mg.  

That said I will hold the venlafaxine for awhile.  I don't know if being easily distracted is a side-effect or a withdrawal symptom but I seem to get distracted much easier than I did a few months ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's really pretty moot at this point what you taper next. If you feel like it would feel like a good victory to get that ven down to 75 mg, that's as good a reason as any, AS LONG AS YOU HOLD FOR A WHILE FIRST AND THEN TAKE IT SLOW. It makes sense, since you're going to be dealing with it for a while, if you get it to a nice round 75 mg you won't have to mess with beads and such. 

 

Sorry for the all-caps yelling but I really want you to be okay. I suspect that a lot of what you have thought was a reaction to drugs in the past has been at least half withdrawal if not all withdrawal. It's very hard to untangle the two unless you just stop cutting and/or changing med dosages for a while.

 

Given the drugs but also all the life stress you've had, I would think it would be normal to be easily distracted and also pretty impossible to pinpoint a cause. 

 

Anyway, it's going to be a long journey of coming down on med levels safely. And it's you who are going to be the one doing it. So it needs to be what you really want and feel motivated to do. 

Edited by Rhiannon

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Rhiannon
18 minutes ago, drugged said:

Speaking of functional brains.  I'm trying desperately to read a text on neurochemistry, something that would have been relatively easy 15 years ago but now I'm failing miserably.  I have to read each sentence multiple times before I can break through the mental fog and capture the essence of what's being said.  Even then I can't remember what I read a half hour before ...  This really sickens me.  Even reading easy novels I often have to start by re-reading a chapter I read earlier so I know what's happening.  Aaaaaarrgh!  Reading has always been my favorite activity.  My sanctuary.

you have no idea how much I resonate with this.

 

I've gotten back a lot of what I lost cognitively, but there's so much that hasn't come back and probably never will. I used to love physics and math. During the years on the drugs I tried to go back to school and study physics and it was just impossible, even though less than ten years earlier I had excelled at my math and science classes.

 

On the other hand I do get to reread books I read years ago and enjoy them as if I were reading them for the first time, so there's that... 🙂

 

It does get better. I wish I could say it has come back 100%. I'm still on low doses of lamotrigine and diazepam, which both have cognitive effects.  Maybe there's still more "better" for me, I don't know.

 

But that's also part of why I keep zeroing in on that 10 mg diazepam dose you're taking, I know you hate your blunted cognitive state.

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drugged

I've gotten back a lot of what I lost cognitively, but there's so much that hasn't come back and probably never will. I used to love physics and math. During the years on the drugs I tried to go back to school and study physics and it was just impossible, even though less than ten years earlier I had excelled at my math and science classes. 

 

Wow, now that resonates with me.  For me it was organic chemistry and calculus.  I dropped out of high school in 10th grade but got my GED so I could go to college.  I was terrible at basic math and I never took geometry or trig.  When I got to the university my first major required two semesters of calculus.  Not really knowing what I needed I just signed up for pre-calculus and it was like an epiphany, I whizzed through it and went on to do two semesters of calculus.  I loved doing calculus and organic chemistry homework.  I ended up in biochemistry/molecular biology by way of pharmacy.  I did all but the last year of pharmacy school while working in a medicinal chemistry lab and I decided I wanted to go into research instead of counting pills.  It's frustrating to remember how my mind just absorbed all that coursework then (30 years ago) and today I have to reread paragraphs in ordinary novels to fully comprehend what I'm reading and even then I can't remember it for more than 5 minutes.  

 

Sometime I'll have to write down the story of my very first go-round with the mental "health" system when I was a teenager.  I've lost the majority of years of my life to a dysfunctional family and the mental "health" system.

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drugged

I've been wondering about the connection between antidepressant use and 'fibromyalgia'.  I had been on venlafaxine for about 19 years when I was given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia/chronic myofascial pain.  The chronic myofascial pain I think was spot on because I could find exquisitely painful trigger points in my muscles as could my spouse and my massage therapy.  Trigger point massage released many of them and gave me improved muscle function and a lot less pain.  However, the fibro diagnosis to me is questionable because I never had tender points and the onset of the flu-like pain and malaise was literally overnight after a minor medical procedure that required general anesthesia.  

 

I've wondered if there was a drug interaction between the SNRI I take (and had been tapering at that time) or withdrawal from it and the anesthetic used.  Maybe an interaction that kicked off full blown central sensitization?  Problem being I don't know what anesthetic agents were used.  Propofol is the most commonly used drug for light anesthesia and some of its' side effects include: rhabdomyolysis, myalgia, hypertonia, low Mg, low K. paresthesias, etc.  I literally woke up the morning after the procedure and could not move for the intense whole body pain.  I didn't get out of bed for two months for more than 15 minutes at a time.  When I was finally able to get to my doctor and told him about the pain and the pre-existing trigger points he diagnosed probable fibro/myofascial pain.  

 

I'm thinking of all the women I've known who were initially put on ADs for one reason or another and sooner or later developed 'fibromyalgia', so often after a seemingly minor surgical procedure or invasive medical test and now are more or less totally disabled and on drug cocktails like mine.  What if 'fibromyalgia' is a (sometimes delayed) adverse effect of SSRIs/SNRIs/TCAs?  Now doctors are being advised to put chronic pain patients on antidepressants instead of opiates because the antidepressants are safer and non-habit forming.  

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Rhiannon

I think there's definitely some connection between fibromyalgia and psych drugs. I don't know a ton about it, but I've developed IBS late in life (later than people usually do) in the process of coming off psych meds, and there''s a strong association between that and fibromyalgia, which I have some of the symptoms of as well. 

 

I also remember that when I was first tapering and in some pretty intense withdrawal, I noticed when I massaged my own arm that the tissue response reminded me of when I had worked on people with fibromyalgia in the past (I've done massage on and off my whole adult life). And there's something about high cortisol with fibromyalgia, and a lot of psych drugs perturb cortisol one way or another and it's usually disrupted in withdrawal.

 

There's also an association of fibromyalgia and IBS with PTSD and trauma, and that's all stuff that involves the CNS too.

 

So you're probably on to something there.

 

Anyway I also wanted to drop by and let you know that we're having kind of a staffing crisis at work this week, maybe all month, sigh (one of our temps has just quit without notice because of problems with the agency she works for, so we are scrambling to cover the hours she was scheduled to work). So I won't be spending quite as much time on this site. So if you don't hear from me as much, don't worry.

 

Hugs--

Rhiannon

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drugged

Thanks Rhi, 

I'm just going to hold everything where it is today - let things calm down.  

 

Take care and don't work too hard.  Save some time for yourself.

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Rhiannon

The staffing thing at work is resolved, it looks like, thank goodness. I will be busy this weekend, out of town and away from my computer. Just wanted to check in and say hi. Glad to see you holding, I think that's a good idea for now.

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