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Rhiannon

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Rhiannon

 

 
"you have to take your antibiotics for ten days or the bugs will develop resistance"

Wait, so that's not true? I'm taking a public health class and that was mentioned in the chapter on infectious diseases. The reasoning is that if you don't take a full course of your antibiotics, the bacteria left will be the ones that were most resistant to the drug, they will then propagate, and potentially these "superbugs" will be passed on to others. It's survival of the fittest and all that. I know you work in a lab so are obviously WAY more knowledgeable about it than I am lol.

 

I'm sorry you had to go through all that with the pharmacy and your doctor. Before I found someone who would regularly prescribe me Paxil, I felt like an addict desperately searching for someone to write me a prescription. I once even had a nurse practioner "cut me off" because I made the mistake of being truthful to her about my slow taper and after a few months she said I was taking too long, it was all in mind, and I could cold turkey off 12mg of Paxil and be fine. I was left to scramble to find another doctor to write me a prescription. So now, I just lie and say "Yes, the Paxil is working great, I love it!"  I imagine it would be A LOT harder if Paxil was a controlled substance.

 

 

Um, so, well, totally off topic, but: The thing that causes antibiotic resistance is the use of antibiotics. You create a selective pressure and the genes that can resist that pressure are selected for.

 

I have found no studies ever done that show this old canard about taking your ten days of antibiotics to be true, and it makes no sense at all in terms of evolutionary biology. No doctor has ever been able to explain it to me logically nor to defend it with any kind of documentation or studies. Yet I've been hearing it for 50 years. 

 

In terms of actual evolutionary biology, you said it yourself: "the bacteria left will be the ones most resistant to the drug." If they have acquired the gene that makes them resistant to the drug, it's not going to matter how many days you take it. The longer you take it the more you guarantee that the ONLY bacteria to survive will be the resistant ones. You will have killed off all of their competition. The resistant ones, once the antibiotic is removed, will reproduce and repopulate the site, and then you will have ONLY resistant bugs there.

 

That's how superbugs are created--by using antibiotics, not by not using antibiotics.

 

(Actually the way antibiotics work is by knocking down the bugs enough that the immune system can then take over and get them fully under control. So to me it makes more sense to take them for as short a time as necessary, and to support the immune system in getting control of the situation.)

 

It's medical urban legend. It makes no logical sense, I can't find any evidence of it scientifically anywhere, but it persists. That's medicine for ya. All it takes to make something a fact is that it's said over and over, preferably by people in expensive clothing with lots of letters after their names. The way our medical education system works (quite dysfunctionally) is very hierarchical and authoritarian, and people who are likely to ask questions and not accept authority on face value tend to weed out. (Or so my friends who've gone through it have described to me.) What's passed down is this attitude and prejudice that doctors know more than anyone and you can't trust non-doctors because they're idiots because they're not doctors. I see it every day working in healthcare.

 

Some of the worst science anywhere is happening in medicine, actually, and that's been documented pretty extensively (the worthlessness of most of what passes for "science" in medicine). That's what happens when you practice $cience. Medicine is highly profitable, when practiced for profit, which is just one of the many reasons for-profit healthcare is a terrible idea.

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Skyler

I'm seriously considering holding all my other tapers and just focusing on getting the Valium down, not because it makes sense in my taper (it doesn't, Valium is actually the least of my problems right now and I'm already on a low dose) but because I don't like being held hostage like this. If I could get down to 1 mg per day, I'd have enough left over at the end of the month (if I save what I don't use, making two days' worth at once) that I won't be in trouble if some yahoo decides not to refill my prescription on time.

 

Which means having to deal with yahoos and their Valium prejudice.

 

I swear, as good as the Ashton method is for so many people, this is one of the biggest problems with it in today's medical-prejudice environment: urban legend about Valium, and badly misinformed doctors.

I hear you on the hostage front Rhi.. I tapered off diazepam first, in good part because I'm planning on moving and would have lost the kindly GP who patiently wrote scripts all during that too long taper ... who knows if I'd find the same in another location. The baggage that goes with diazepam is nuts, especially given the abandon with which docs prescribe almost every other brand of benzo!

 

Waiting to see how you make out with the job!

Skyler

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ladybug

 

 

 
"you have to take your antibiotics for ten days or the bugs will develop resistance"

Wait, so that's not true? I'm taking a public health class and that was mentioned in the chapter on infectious diseases. The reasoning is that if you don't take a full course of your antibiotics, the bacteria left will be the ones that were most resistant to the drug, they will then propagate, and potentially these "superbugs" will be passed on to others. It's survival of the fittest and all that. I know you work in a lab so are obviously WAY more knowledgeable about it than I am lol.

 

I'm sorry you had to go through all that with the pharmacy and your doctor. Before I found someone who would regularly prescribe me Paxil, I felt like an addict desperately searching for someone to write me a prescription. I once even had a nurse practioner "cut me off" because I made the mistake of being truthful to her about my slow taper and after a few months she said I was taking too long, it was all in mind, and I could cold turkey off 12mg of Paxil and be fine. I was left to scramble to find another doctor to write me a prescription. So now, I just lie and say "Yes, the Paxil is working great, I love it!"  I imagine it would be A LOT harder if Paxil was a controlled substance.

 

 

Um, so, well, totally off topic, but: The thing that causes antibiotic resistance is the use of antibiotics. You create a selective pressure and the genes that can resist that pressure are selected for.

 

I have found no studies ever done that show this old canard about taking your ten days of antibiotics to be true, and it makes no sense at all in terms of evolutionary biology. No doctor has ever been able to explain it to me logically nor to defend it with any kind of documentation or studies. Yet I've been hearing it for 50 years. 

 

In terms of actual evolutionary biology, you said it yourself: "the bacteria left will be the ones most resistant to the drug." If they have acquired the gene that makes them resistant to the drug, it's not going to matter how many days you take it. The longer you take it the more you guarantee that the ONLY bacteria to survive will be the resistant ones. You will have killed off all of their competition. The resistant ones, once the antibiotic is removed, will reproduce and repopulate the site, and then you will have ONLY resistant bugs there.

 

That's how superbugs are created--by using antibiotics, not by not using antibiotics.

 

(Actually the way antibiotics work is by knocking down the bugs enough that the immune system can then take over and get them fully under control. So to me it makes more sense to take them for as short a time as necessary, and to support the immune system in getting control of the situation.)

 

It's medical urban legend. It makes no logical sense, I can't find any evidence of it scientifically anywhere, but it persists. That's medicine for ya. All it takes to make something a fact is that it's said over and over, preferably by people in expensive clothing with lots of letters after their names. The way our medical education system works (quite dysfunctionally) is very hierarchical and authoritarian, and people who are likely to ask questions and not accept authority on face value tend to weed out. (Or so my friends who've gone through it have described to me.) What's passed down is this attitude and prejudice that doctors know more than anyone and you can't trust non-doctors because they're idiots because they're not doctors. I see it every day working in healthcare.

 

Some of the worst science anywhere is happening in medicine, actually, and that's been documented pretty extensively (the worthlessness of most of what passes for "science" in medicine). That's what happens when you practice $cience. Medicine is highly profitable, when practiced for profit, which is just one of the many reasons for-profit healthcare is a terrible idea.

 

Sorry to have gone OT, but thanks for the explanation. Very interesting!

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alexjuice

Check your PMbox.

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Rhiannon

I am having a hard time this morning remembering that cortisol mornings ever go away, that I will ever feel good again. I seriously can't remember. I mean I do remember feeling better after my two long holds (three months plus) but I don't remember if I felt good in the mornings or not, I just remember that I felt better overall.

 

Today is probably worse because the past two nights I have had a small amount of alcohol. One glass of wine Friday, eight ounces of beer last night. It's crazy that that small an amount bothers me so much. In both cases it was because I was in social situations where it would have been weird not to have been having a small drink (one was hearing a friend play at a winery, the other was a happy hour get-together before going to a school play).

 

I go to bed feeling pretty good usually, but wake up just wishing I could die right now.

 

There's sunshine and I'm going for a walk on a nice trail with a friend this afternoon, getting some spring starts to put in my garden, and then going to a small gathering tonight to watch comedy and eat pizza. Ordinarily this would be a GREAT day for me. But I feel like crap and I wish I could just stay in bed for about three days. This would be the perfect time to catch the flu or something.

 

But I know from experience that hermit-ing out would just make me more depressed and cranky, so even though I'm having anhedonia and not really able to enjoy the social stuff I'm doing very much, I know it's good for me, like vitamins, and I just have to do it.

 

Grumble grumble grumble grouch.

 

Remind me, this will pass, right? I'll stay away from the beer tonight.

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bubble

oh I know of such feelings so well!

 

but somebody recently wrote how we feel very reluctant engaging in an activity initially, then gently push ourselves to go (because we know as you say that staying in bed would in the end make us feel even worse(. I mostly end up enjoying myself in outings I started reluctantly so I hope this happens to you too

 

it really sounds like a great day although I find it very difficult to put two social engagements into one day. I had a great time hiking and enjoying my spring flowers but going out would be too much. Watching a TV show is a better option (maybe because I again spent 6 hours outside).

 

Also 2 consecutive days of activity is usually two much but you are doing great

 

and bad things will pass. I bet you'll lose it during the hike :)

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bubble

too much ;)

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Skyler

Remind me, this will pass, right? I'll stay away from the beer tonight.

I sympathize, want to have my once a month tall stiff micro brew!! Waaaa

 

Hope you feel better soon.

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dalsaan

Yes it will pass but not sooner than you'd like it too : ). I'd like to hear more about the trail. We have some nice walks where I live. Mostly along cliff tops near the beach. The only downside is that there are no big trees, mainly small shrubs. I love the majesty of forests

 

Hope your day goes ok

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Rhiannon

Well knock on wood, I think I'm feeling a little better today. Still not getting enough sleep. Trying not to stress out too much about the job interview on Friday. Actually I think I'm more stressed out about packing and getting ready and going out of town than about the actual interview, at this point, although I'm sure it will be stressful once I get there. But I'm not desperate for a job--this one would be nice, but there will be others, and there's some appeal to just staying put too.

 

I think the anhedonia might be lifting a little bit today. Went for a walk in the sunshine and saw some spring flowers and felt a little bit of pleasure at the sight of them, yay, good sign!

 

Just to document this for myself: I made a set of cuts on Feb. 26th after holding for about a month, right after returning from a trip to visit the folks in Texas, and right before a series of three graveyard nights, which was followed soon after by a very busy and stressful weekend of work. I think the higher than usual stress may have affected my bounce-back period. Plus I cut 2 mg of Lamictal at once. I finally just had a nice break, four days off in a row, got in a couple of nice long walks in the spring sunshine, and I think it's helping. Unfortunately I have more stress coming up. But I'm holding now, planning to hold actually until the end of April, except I may make one more small cut in the Xanax to get it down to 0.125 which is exactly half a tablet (currently at 0.130).

 

I hope my sleep improves soon, I'm feeling pretty tired... 

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Rhiannon

Yes it will pass but not sooner than you'd like it too : ). I'd like to hear more about the trail. We have some nice walks where I live. Mostly along cliff tops near the beach. The only downside is that there are no big trees, mainly small shrubs. I love the majesty of forests

 

Hope your day goes ok

 

Oh that trail is great, it's a former railroad track bed so it's fairly level and wide. The part that I walk on is about three miles round trip, but the overall trail where they've removed the railroad track goes something like another hundred miles or so. I've never gone up on that part but I hear it's really nice. 

 

The part that I walk is between a river and a road, but the road is up high above the level of the trail and it's not terribly busy so it's not really annoying.

 

There are trees along the trail, lots of blackberry bushes, and down to the other side from the road are a few houses at first, then it's just a pretty sharp drop down to the river. 

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bubble

mmmm, like all sorts of trails :) this one sounds picturesque...

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Nikki

Do you take your dogs???

 

Sounds lovely

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Rhiannon

I wish I had dogs...sigh...not right now, maybe someday.

 

The withdrawal seems to be settling down. I've come down with a cold so it's kind of hard to say, but it seems like I'm in better spirits overall. Still having mild cortisol mornings, some insomnia, but it seems to be easier to calm myself and I'm generally feeling happier about life, so things seem to be going in the right direction.

 

Anyway, I wanted to announce that I've reached a happy personal milestone in my taper:  As of today I am down to 0.125 mg of Xanax daily! That's a big one for me psychologically. It's half of the smallest dose tablet they make. When I started my taper four years ago I estimated what I was taking at 0.65, but originally I had been taking three tablets a day, 0.75 mg.  Whole tablets.

 

And more significant for me is that for almost 20 years I took one tablet every night. I know now that those nightly tablets were contributing to the anxiety I was experiencing during the day. I knew I had to take them, I was totally hostage to those little white tablets.

 

I don't know why, there's something about being down to just half of one tablet every day that feels like a victory.  And now that half tablet is spread out over 24 hours, so my blood levels are hopefully staying pretty low.

 

Whatever. I'm just enjoying the feeling of winning a small victory over those hated little white tablets. Cut you in half, HA!

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Rhiannon

And after my last set of cuts I'm at 60 mg Lamictal and 1 mg Celexa (also a nice victorious number). Going to hold those guys for a while at those doses while I adapt to the new Xanax dose. Then I think starting in May I'll do something I don't often do, hold everything else and taper just one drug, the Valium this time. That's a rough one for me but I want to start working my way down to 1.5 mg on it, need to get down to lower dosages so I'm not so hostage to doctor whims, also because of all the other reasons. Tapering Valium causes me such intense problems with insomnia and cortisol that I'm just going to hold everything else for a while. 

 

And so it goes...the long slow journey.

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areyouthere

CONGRATULATIONS Rhi!! Down to i/2 a tablet feels like a huge victory because it IS a HUGE VICTORY!!!!! Yay! Happy dance time!!!

 

RU  :D

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Nikki

Rhi I was just reading your post on Barb's thread about grieving a lost life.....

 

Very potent and far reaching for me too.  Rebuilding in the last few years along with drug mix ups has taken it's toll.  Life or struggling with it all brings me to tears sometimes.  Today I told myself it is okay to cry.

 

Looking to catch a break and can't seem to find one.

 

Your honesty on that post/subject was so good for me to read.  I know I am not alone and sometimes that it a comfort.

 

Hugs

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mattinsmom

I'm just checking in. I feel like I have missed so much.

 

HAPPY 0.125mg DAY! Congratulations. 

 

I'm glad to hear that your w/d is settling down a bit.

 

There are 'rail trails' here for me as well. They do make for nice walks. Do you know anyone who would let you borrow a dog for a walk? I'd let you walk my guy  in a heartbeat :)

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Rhiannon

Aww your dog is adorable.

 

I hope some time in the next few years I'll be able to create a life and living space that has a dog in it. I miss having a dog in my life. 

 

Actually come to think of it I have a neighbor who has a puppy and also a passle of kids. I wonder if she'd appreciate some help with the dog.

 

On other news, it's still hard to say because I'm still just getting over being sick, but I think maybe the withdrawal stuff is settling down. At least the morning cortisol seems a little less intense, and I feel like my frontal lobes might be starting to come back online. And I'm feeling a little better about life in general. Sometimes. In the usual bumpy windows and waves kind of way. Still planning to hold through the end of April and enjoy the break. 

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Rhiannon

CONGRATULATIONS Rhi!! Down to i/2 a tablet feels like a huge victory because it IS a HUGE VICTORY!!!!! Yay! Happy dance time!!!

 

RU  :D

 

:-)

 

Aw thanks!

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dalsaan

I've never met a dog that didn't like a walk and with lots of kids I'm sure your neighbour would be happy to lend hers

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bubble

this is really great news (for all of us :)

 

2 big victories over small nasty pills that we  can celebrate!

 

hope the hold brings even wider windows and the idea about the neighbour's puppy is great. I've never had a dog but being around small kids, animals, old people or anyone who is entirely in the present moment is very healing, a form of practicing mindfulness meditation :)

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tezza

Happy for you!

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Rhiannon

Grr, having the usual hassles with prescription refills, which is only really a problem with the Valium because I have extras of everything else.

 

I guess starting in May I'm going to just focus on getting the Valium level down to where I can start accumulating some extras of those too so I won't have this problem every 30 days. Because every time I call them and say "I'm calling a week early because last time it took a friggin week to get my refill" they think "ah, drug seeker..." because it's Valium and of course anyone who takes Valium is suspect.  Because argle bargle urban doctor legend Valium is eviler than other drugs and only addicts take it.

 

God, I love doctors. Not.

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Rhiannon

Well, I am definitely coming out of this last bout of withdrawal. Mornings are still a bit rougher, but by bedtime I'm feeling quite contented. It helps that it's spring, flowers are popping up everywhere, we're having lots of sunshine, I have spinach and chard and lettuce and bok choy and mache in my garden, and next weekend my kids (both daughters with their fellas) are coming to spend two nights and all day Saturday with me to celebrate my birthday! Such a treat! We're going to go wildflower hiking. I'm not sure where, but this time of year we're sure to see wildflowers almost anywhere we pick.

 

Friday I'll be driving in to Portland, which is also always nice; it's a beautiful drive. I won't be in any hurry, so maybe I'll take the slower and even more scenic route along the Washington side of the river. Huge river, almost a mile wide in places, mountains and cliffs, hawks and eagles, ferns and forests, and wildflowers...

 

I often bemoan living out here in the boonies, especially the "single and lonely and nobody to date" part, but I forget the part about "living in a beautiful place that people pay lots of money to visit" sometimes. It really is amazing here, and the springtime just explodes.

 

My life doesn't actually suck in every possible way. 

 

Now I remember why I decided to treat myself to a long hold. So I could remember that I can feel like this. At least in the evenings.

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Lexy

Rhi

I'm glad you are feeling well and getting out.

 

On your signature you listed Xanax and Valium. Which of these are the lesser evil?

I had a panic attack a couple days ago and had to take a 1/4 of a Xanax from a .25mg. I feel anxiety is trying to break thru in the same way as the mood swings came....starts slowly and all of a sudden gets higher.

On withdrawal when I do take (rarely) Xanax it makes me feel numb and foggy.

Does Valium help for panic?

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trouper

wildflowers in the pacific northwest in spring. amazing. :) it sounds like you are going to have a wonderful birthday. :) 

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Rhiannon

Rhi

I'm glad you are feeling well and getting out.

 

On your signature you listed Xanax and Valium. Which of these are the lesser evil?

I had a panic attack a couple days ago and had to take a 1/4 of a Xanax from a .25mg. I feel anxiety is trying to break thru in the same way as the mood swings came....starts slowly and all of a sudden gets higher.

On withdrawal when I do take (rarely) Xanax it makes me feel numb and foggy.

Does Valium help for panic?

 

Lexy, I can't give you advice on what drugs to take. Benzos are very problematic and should only be used as a last resort and used cautiously and rarely.

 

I couldn't say something like "which is the lesser evil." Valium is very long-acting, Xanax is short-acting and wears off much faster than Valium. I wish I weren't taking either one of them and am tapering off them as fast as I safely can.

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Rhiannon

wildflowers in the pacific northwest in spring. amazing. :) it sounds like you are going to have a wonderful birthday. :)

 

:-)  !!!

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mattinsmom

Birthday? How did I miss a birthday? Happy birthday to my Valentine!

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JanCarol

Oh Rhi, it took me 2.5 weeks to read your story.  My word, you know how to make a girl feel lucky!

 

But it sounds like you are finally getting lucky, too.  I "get that" about the "drug seekers".  Geez, aren't we all adults here?  When I heard Thomas Szasz in a video speak that all drugs should be legal, and adults should be able to ask doctors for advice and then choose their own medication, I pumped my fist in the air.  Yes!  Wouldn't that be AWESOME instead of the "gatekeeper nanny based" systems we have?  

 

And the shame and frowning when you ask for one of the "forbidden ones."  Sheesh!  I'm trying to ask for an emergency script for Valium in case I go manic on the lithium.  My pdoc gazed down upon me indulgently, as if to say, "when hell freezes over."  There are even laws which tell her what she can prescribe.  Items outside that, "safety zone" she has to defend with an "authority script."  It's irrelevant to insurance or medicare - it's the law.

 

So thank heavens for your window and your birthday, and your wildflowers.  I miss the drama of spring and seasonal changes, we don't quite get them here.  Enjoy!  

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Pokeshaw

Happy Birthday, Rhi!  You are a :) ~~ SUPERSTAR ~~ :)  in my eyes!

 

hugs,

 

Pokeshaw in Bklyn

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bubble

Happy birthday to a very dear and special person :)

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Petunia

I hope you had a great birthday day today :)

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dalsaan

Happy birthday Rhi. Hope you had a great day x

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Rhiannon

Aw thanks! Actually I fooled you all, my birthday is NEXT weekend, this weekend was a work thing, but I'll take all the birthday wishes and hold them close to my heart!

 

Feeling sort of sad and tired tonight, but I think it's mostly because I got up at 6 am today to get to the city in time for this workshop I went to. And consumed caffeine, never a great idea for me. 

 

Thanks again for the good wishes and the kind thoughts and comments. You don't know how much I appreciate it.

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