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Gunner1: 9 months and still suffering


Gunner1

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I had been taking Celexa for depression  for 20 years. I tried to quit taking it 2 times before. I am on my 3rd try. After talking to doctors  I tapered for 6 weeks from 20 then 10 milligrams  and then stopped. Last time I tried I tapered for 6 months. Thought I would try shorter time this time. I know now from joining this group that was a mistake. Boy do I know it. Uhh...I have been off for 3 months. Symptoms  are anxious, feeling dread, nervous, hard to fall asleep, foggy brain , feel flat. I am functional in my job but I feel like an actress.  Get teary eyed easily. Anyway. The posting in this group have helped me so much. I have not told too many people in my life because  it is hard for them to understand.  I have had my husband read a few postings so he can see what I am going through. I have been asked over the years by doctors  how I feel taking Celexa and I said goodsoooo never thought of stopping for a long time. Did not know the drugs were not made to take your whole life. I am pushing myself to eat cleaner, not drinking alcohol  right now and walking and riding my bike for exercise.  I have to believe I will feel better but I question daily if I really will. Thanks to all who share their journey. 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Gunner1.  I'm sorry you're having these unpleasant symptoms.  Yes, it's true, these drugs are not to be taken your whole life.

It's good you're eating well, not drinking alcohol and doing non-strenuous exercise.  

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
Please continue to use this thread to document your taper and to ask questions. 
 
The symptoms you describe are typical of antidepressant withdrawal.  So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.
 
 
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
This explains it really well:

 

 
The only known way to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms is reinstatement of a very small dose of the same drug, waiting to stabilize, then tapering very slowly off that small dose.  However, reinstatement doesn't always work.  The alternative is to wait it out until your body reaches homeostasis.  Unfortunately, there's no way to predict how long that will take.  
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic
 
If reinstatement is something you want to consider, please let us know and we'll give you more information and a suggested dosage.
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

Here are some helpful techniques on handling anxiety, which is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms.

 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can post updates, ask questions and interact with other members.  I'l glad you found your way here. It's a great site, with very sympathetic and helpful members and moderators.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Gunner.

 

Can you tell us a little more about your symptoms? Over the last 3 months, are they better or worse? What is your sleep pattern?

 

You might be able to improve your sleep, see

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

and other topics in

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 3 months later...

I took Celexa for 18 years. Tried to stop two times before. 20 MLS. This is my third time. I have been off for 6 months. I tapered too fast. Listened to doctors  who said 2 or three weeks then dose down. Took two months until stopped. Then I found your site thank god.  Still feel terrible and it is comforting  to know I am not alone. Anxiety and dread as soon as I wake up. Constantly  have to redirect  my thoughts and am restless.  Sleeping about 6 hours a night. Everything  seems hard but I am functioning.  Hard to make decisions  out of my comfort  zone. Tired. Better in the evening.  Will this ever end uhh..

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

2 Intro topics merged - each member has only 1 Intro topic.  This keeps a member's history in one place.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • 2 months later...

Gunner1  Everyday wake up to feeling of constant  dread and anxiety.  9 months off Celexa. Was on it for 18 years. My body feels strange. Week and little energy.  I have to be busy with something. I eat healthy food most of the time. I force myself in the morning  as I have no appetite.  I am managing my day to day life but making mistakes.  I did not taper long. I did what the doctor  recommended.  3 weeks on my last step down 10 mls. I feel like I won't  ever feel good. Everything  seems hard. New problems make me more anxious  but I do figure things out. I have been following  advice on exercising  and eating right. I usually  can get 6 hours of sleep each night but wake up at 4 am and then I cannot  go back to sleep. I am so discouraged. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m sorry your going thru it right now gunner but is just temporary in the grand scheme of things. I have a lot of the same issues although I haven’t been going through this as long. We just have to remember things will get better. It just takes time sometimes. Hope this helps. 

July 1 thru 30 2019

10mg Prozac

CT off Prozac August 2019

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Gunner1.   Sorry for the delay in responding

 

You are suffering withdrawal symptoms from a too-fast taper of Celexa.  Your symptoms are typical.  So that you'll have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.

 

 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

You will recover.  Unfortunately, we can't tell you how long it will take.  Some recover fairly quickly; others take longer.  In the meantime, we strongly encourage the use of non-drug techniques to cope with withdrawal.  Take a look at the techniques in the following link and see which you think could be helpful to you.
 
 
These techniques are helpful with anxiety.
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hello @Gunner1, we are all aware to what you are describing, these are withdrawals, i just passed by your thread to tell you to be patient and don't resort to antidepressants whatever the hard are things for u.

Iam like you and still suffer for 8 months or more now but I believe it I will get better.

Take care of your self, don't stop having healthy food, these are all helping♥️

i wasn't on a certain drug all the period. i took many drugs many times and for no very long period but to simplify.

--fluvoxamine maleate100 mg + amisulpride 200mg------started july 2012 and total taper in february 2015 ( 9 months without drugs then)

--sertraline 100mg -------started november 2015 and total taper (withoud reduction slowly) in november 2016( 4 months withoud drugs then).

--sertraline 100mg + quetiabine 25mg ( started in mars 2016 and for 7 months) then fluvoxamine maleate 100mg again for another 7months and after that a something like to use every drug for 14 days and for about 1.5 years.

--my last drug was trintellix 10 mg ( used it in 12/2018and total taper in 4/2019).

symptomts i have now ( bad concentration and problems in short and long memory+ bad depersonalization).

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Gunner1 9 months and still suffering
  • Administrator

Hello, Gunner.

 

What drugs were you taking, how did you go off? How have your symptoms changed over 9 months?

 

That amount of sleep isn't too bad. You might be able to extend your sleep time by darkening your bedroom with blackout curtains and shades and wearing a sleep mask to block the early morning light. See

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration

 

Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Administrator

merged with earlier Intro topic

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate  them. I have never felt this way before so get scared sometimes it won't go away. I was on Celexa for 18 years. Tapered on doctor recommended time line .I know now that was way to short. 20 ml down to 0 in 3 months.

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  • Administrator

How have your symptoms changed since you went off Celexa in February?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I feel worse .Sounds like what I read about that happens if taper too fast. 7-12 months later you crash. Feel mostly restless  all the time. Have to keep busy with something.  Feel dred and fear with anxiety.  Do not have panic attacks or racing heart or sweating . Mostly feel hypersensitive to any stressors. No pleasure always feel nervousness.  Body feels out of sync with mind. Drop things, clumsy. I act like I am ok with people but is forced .

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Also with hypersensitivity I can cry easily  and do at all times during the day. Not for long I catch myself and redirect my thoughts. Hard to escape your own thoughts.

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  • Administrator

No, there's no set schedule when you might "crash" in post-acute withdrawal syndrome. If you experience additional stress or take drugs such as antibiotics or drink alcohol, you might cause your symptoms to ramp up.

 

Did you do any of those things? Are you light-sensitive, heat-sensitive, etc.?

 

Your PAWS sounds fairly typical. You need to stay calm, reduce stimulation in a peaceful environment. Recovery is very slow and frustrating, symptoms will fluctuate and change. Improving your sleep even a little will initiate progress. Try fish oil and magnesium supplements. Please read the links I gave you.

 

Are you getting at least a half-hour of gentle exercise, such as walking, each day?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Yes. I do get excercise.  No not drinking much alcohol  at all. No drugs of any kind. Read an article  I thought somewhere on this site about feeling worse about 7-12 months after a too fast taper.  

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  • Administrator

How much alcohol have you been drinking? Any celebrations in the last 6 months?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I drink a few glasses of wine in a months time. Trying to stay away from that. 

Yes. I am reading the articles. Thank you for your support  and suggestions. 

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  • Administrator

You might not drink alcohol at all, it might be setting you back in ways you don't feel immediately.

 

You seem to have a sense of how to take care of yourself. Keep thinking of ways to help your nervous system keep calm, it will gradually heal.

 

Keeping a very regular sleep schedule helps, go to bed at a normal hour, get up at the same time each morning.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Gunner1: 9 months and still suffering
  • 3 months later...

Off celexa for 1 year

 

dosed down for 4 months off celexa. On it for 15 years. Completely  off for one year. Felt terrible started back for 5 months on 20 ml. Still feel anxiety and dread .sooo. going to taper down again. 50 percent for 2 months then another 50 percent. I am managing but feel constant dread and anxiety.  No panic attacks. I have other problems I deal with .caretaking my mom for 10 years . I just keep moving forward. 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Gunner

 

Thank you for coming back to update us.  I've merged your new topic with your Introduction topic which keeps your history in one place.  Only 1 Introduction topic per member.

 

So that we can see your drug history at a glance please create your drug signature.  ALL drugs, details for the last 2 years, summary of anything older.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
18 minutes ago, Gunner1 said:

started back for 5 months on 20 ml.

 

20mL or 20mg?

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Administrator

@Gunner1, did reinstatement of Celexa reduce your PAWS symptoms? What has gotten better?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
10 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

So that we can see your drug history at a glance please create your drug signature.  ALL drugs, details for the last 2 years, summary of anything older.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

@Gunner1, that information in your signature., as requested by ChessieCat, would be very helpful.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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