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Rhiannon

☼ Rhiannon's intro (by Rhi)

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WinningThrough

Hi Rhi Rhi. I haven't dropped by for a while. Just stopping to say hello and send a hug. I'm sorry to hear about your friend but very glad to hear about your recents trips etc.

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Rhiannon

Just an update---Still basically doing very well, although a little symptomatic and cranky today. I made some cuts recently and I'm feeling them. But tolerably. I got the kayak out and it was marvelous! Going camping Friday night at a lake, so I plan to play with it again there Friday and Saturday. 

 

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but this is my last day of a long stretch of lots of work days (four last week, Friday off, then six more in a row), plus some cuts, plus packing (which I always find stressful) so it's no wonder really. Sleep has been less than great. Nothing surprising. Going through some grief over my mother, but not really in a neuro-emotion kind of way. It's just intense, losing my mom. I think that's pretty much normal and healthy though.

 

I'm starting to think maybe the worst is really over, with the 20 years of drugs, and the tapering, and all. I'm at such low doses of two of them that I'm not getting the bad drug effects and don't feel a big urgency to taper fast. That helps keep the withdrawal symptoms down. The other two I'm still having some bad effects from (mostly poor memory and a bit of cognitive slowing), but they're also low enough for me to have a decent life and be pretty functional and have some fun and have good friendships and do well at work. I mean, overall, my life is pretty much okay now. It's not what I would have wanted if I could have ordered it up off a menu, but I definitely feel better and am enjoying life more than I have at any time since my 20s. 

 

Could be worse, for sure.

 

And I'm feeling practically like a religious convert about how well the very slow taper off multiple meds has worked out for me. That was a very good guess on my part. Definitely feels like my brain is normalizing well and healing, all the way down, and I've been functioning better through the whole taper than I ever did during my years on the meds. The past couple of years I've just been getting stronger and happier and more stable and more functional, steadily, all the time; right now I feel like I'm the best I've been in decades, or maybe ever.

 

Crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, all that stuff...

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bubble

Just very briefly: very happy to read that. You have converted quite a few of us to slow tapering in the process ;) And I read on the other thread that you do international folk dancing: wow - how could I have missed that ;)

 

I'm very sorry about your mom. I can't even imagine what it feels like but I can only hope things are not too painful for either of you...

 

big hugs

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dalsaan

 

 The past couple of years I've just been getting stronger and happier and more stable and more functional, steadily, all the time; right now I feel like I'm the best I've been in decades, or maybe ever.

 

Crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, all that stuff...

 

Wow, that's the best thing I have heard all week.

 

Enjoy the lake

 

Dalsaan x

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andy

well done RHI ,persistence pays off so glad youve found your mojo again !

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Petunia

 

Wow, that's the best thing I have heard all week.

 

 

Ditto from me, but make that a month here :)   Its too late for me to taper like you are, but you give me hope and inspiration that recovery is possible, with enough time and patience.

 

I'm glad you are feeling much better these days Rhi, you so deserve to enjoy your life.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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Athena

Rhi, you are so strong! You work, do night shifts (!!), insert wonderful acticities in your life, and manage to find time and energy to help people here with great advice that I have benefitted from more than once! I admire your patience too , and your zenitude! Have you always had it or learned it trhough the years of struggling?

 

I am very sorry about your mom and send you all my compassion. I understand too the feeling of loneliness, it can be very hard at times. I can tell you if I was near the Pacific, I would want to go hiking great trails with you!!

 

Take care and bravo!

 

Athena

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mattinsmom

I want to say all these great, profound things but I can't seem to get past the smile on my face and the warm fuzzies in my heart. 

 

I know things aren't perfect and that grief is so incredibly painful, but here you are finding your way through. No need for knocking on wood and all that stuff. There has been no magic or luck - you have earned every moment of success and peace in your life. Job well done!

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Addax

Haven't seen you post in a bit... I hope your absence is due to god things going on in your life.

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mattinsmom

Rhi, Rhi, Rhi... (you know where this goes)

 

Hi!

You ok?

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WinningThrough

Hope you're ok Rhi.

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Pokeshaw

Thinking of you and sending love ~~~

 

Poke

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Petunia
Going through some grief over my mother, but not really in a neuro-emotion kind of way. It's just intense, losing my mom.

 

Dear Rhi, as you can see many of us are thinking of you as you go through this difficult time, you are very much missed here.  But please, take all the time you need and take extra care of yourself.

 

Petu.

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Rhiannon

My mom's condition went downhill fast, and she passed away a couple of weeks ago. Hence me not being around much, I've been with the family, dealing with all the things that you deal with when people pass away.

 

I just got back last night. Still adjusting. It's pretty challenging for me to spend that much time with my family, due to childhood issues, but it's also hard to leave them, especially my father, who's having a hard time. (They had been married 70 years! he's never really been alone ever.)

 

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know, I'm okay, dealing with a lot of emotion and a lot of thoughts and changes and stuff. Also some gut-brain stuff due to not being able to maintain my usual diet over the past couple of weeks. And now having to readjust my sleep/wake schedule again after being two time zones away and living with people who are very early risers. (Unfortunately two time zones in the wrong direction for helping with the early rising.)

 

I'm doing okay. It's not fun or easy but it's not a crisis, just life. 

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WinningThrough

I am so sorry Rhi. Sending thoughts x

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Meimeiquest

I am so sorry, both for the natural death of your mother and the unnatural wounds in your family relationships. We did miss you!

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Addax

I am so very sorry for the loss of your mother, Rhi. Dealing with such loss whilst also dealing with pains from the past, and the concern for your father is an incredible amount to handle. Add to those things the time difference, dietary changes, and the other things that go along with the adjustments made when staying with others, that you are doing 'okay' is good to hear.

 

Sending a hug.

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mammaP

Glad you are ok and coping Rhi, it is hard to lose your mom. You did well to cope when there are

family issues that go way back, I can imagine how hard it must have been for you. 

 

Huge Mamma hugs xx

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dalsaan

Hi Rhi,

 

I'm sorry for your sadness but as ever, amazing at your capacity to respond, to place things well in the context of life and to deal with the stress of family.

 

Take care

 

D xx

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Jemima

Good to hear you're holdng steady despite all the stresses.

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mattinsmom

Rhi, I am so sorry for, well, everything. I'm sorry that life is hard. I'm sorry that life seems to throw so many things at you all at the same time. I'm sorry that I wasn't here. 

You, my friend, are in my heart and prayers.

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Barbarannamated

Love you, Rhi. I'm so sorry about your mom.

 

I lost my mom, too, during early withdrawal (complicated situation) and the neuroemotions accentuated things for me.

 

Sending you love and hugs.

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Pokeshaw

My condolences, Rhi ~  Good to hear from you. Take extra special good care of yourself. glad to hear you are back home. My thoughts are with you.

 

Poke

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Rhiannon

Just checking in--I'm back tapering and will soon be able to cut to 1.6 on the Valium. It makes me crazy, how sensitive I am to tiny cuts in that stuff. I cut by about 0.02 mg at a time and every time, I get about five nights of insomnia, followed a week later or so by tummy symptoms. Any doctor in the world would say that can't be happening at such tiny dose changes, yet it does.

 

Oh well. I guess I know by now, like I always say, my body is the expert. Anyway I'm glad that it's coming down, albeit slowly. 

 

Seems like I might be finally getting the thyroid med dosage and timing right, knock on wood--feeling better most of the time although I do still have a bit of a p.m. slump.

 

I rearranged my living room and took a bunch of stuff to St. Vincent's (a donation thing like Goodwill) yesterday.  Just the beginning, I'm trying to go through all my stuff (I have so much stuff!) and purge and organize, I figure it will take me a long time, but I'm pleased I'm finally doing it because I've been wanting to for so long. I'm off work today and this afternoon I plan to get started organizing my office space, which right now is just piles of papers and junk. It feels great to be starting to make a bit of visible progress. Seems like so much of  the time I'm just treading water and making no progress at all...

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mattinsmom

Hey you!

 

Yay for listening to your body. They really do know what is best for them. Knocking on wood with you for thyroid stability. Good luck with the office. Not one of my favs but you will see progress pretty quickly. 

 

Its great that you are doing some redecorating. I am too. I just put a hammock in my bedroom. Seriously. It is over my bed. Why limit it to summer? 

 

I'm happy to hear that you are doing well. Makes my heart smile. 

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rapunzel2

Rhi, I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother :(

 

glad to see you are steadily going on with cuts. yes, it's amazing how sensitive we can be for small doses! I almost can't believe it about my own drugs - how is it possible that such a small dose has such a big effect on me!

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Rhiannon

Cut down to 1.6 on Valium and 53 on Lamictal today, after "scoonching" for about ten days (taking an in between dose). Holding the other two for now. We'll see how it goes.

 

I'm excited to be getting so close to 50 of Lamictal. My tablets are 100 mg and scored in half, so once I get to 50 (probably in January) I plan to hold there for a while and take half a tablet each day and not have to deal with the liquids and bottles for Lamictal for a while. Still plan to continue moving forward with the Valium taper, although when I get it down to 1 mg I may hold for a while and work on the Xanax instead. Who knows, that's a long way out yet. The whole thing is so slow, that's why I get excited about things like getting close to 50 mg on Lamictal--there are so few milestones and they're so far apart.

 

Anyway, you'll probably be hearing from me over the next few weeks complaining about withdrawal symptoms. Hopefully things will go as they usually do and I'll be feeling much better after three or four weeks. Wish me luck!

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Meimeiquest

Wishing you luck :). These multi-drug tapers are so tedious.

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Rhiannon

Actually I've been scoonching my citalopram and alprazolam too, just by one drop each, but I did the math and I'm at such low doses that one drop is still like 1.5%! So I'm putting those into my sig line too. Well hopefully it won't hit too hard. I think I'll be able to navigate anyway. Don't be surprised if I whine some though.

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Rhiannon

Wishing you luck :). These multi-drug tapers are so tedious.

Boy, ain't that the truth. Makes watching paint dry seem thrilling by comparison.

 

I have to say though that every day* I am so pleased with how much more sane and healthy and happy I am than I've been for the past 20+ years. So it's worth it.

 

*Except when I'm going through withdrawal-times after cuts. Not as sane and happy then. But it passes every time and after waiting a while I'm better than ever, so I'm good with it.

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Rhiannon

Hey you!

 

Yay for listening to your body. They really do know what is best for them. Knocking on wood with you for thyroid stability. Good luck with the office. Not one of my favs but you will see progress pretty quickly. 

 

Its great that you are doing some redecorating. I am too. I just put a hammock in my bedroom. Seriously. It is over my bed. Why limit it to summer? 

 

I'm happy to hear that you are doing well. Makes my heart smile. 

 

I love it, hammock over the bed! I may have to do that someday. Great idea.

 

Thanks for the encouragement, I can use it. I mean, literal en-courage-ment, for courage, because my "office" is kind of a den of lions right now, for me. Paperwork, bills, money, organizing, all kind of terrifying. 

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Rhiannon

Rhi, I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother :(

 

glad to see you are steadily going on with cuts. yes, it's amazing how sensitive we can be for small doses! I almost can't believe it about my own drugs - how is it possible that such a small dose has such a big effect on me!

I know, right? It's crazy. Just don't let that make you doubt your experience. Make the cuts as small as you have to. It's your body and nobody else has to live with the results, just you.

 

But it's still incredibly frustrating, especially when you hear the glib doctors' voices saying our experience is just not possible. Ah, screw 'em.

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rapunzel2

Rhi, can I ask one thing... You have probably written about it somewhere, but I'm too tired to search for it, so I ask. As I understand, you are doing microtapering, moving on with very small cuts. I was wondering, usually how long do you hold between those cuts and how fast are you able to move on and make a new cut? thanks for the info :) I'm just curious how is it working for you. 

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Rhiannon

This is always a hard question for me to answer, because I don't really follow a particular system. When I first started, four and a half years ago, I kept close track of my dosages and symptoms every day or almost every day, ranking the symptoms on a numerical scale of 1 to 5, keeping it in a chart (an idea I got from somebody online). I included a journal of what was going on in my life as far as stresses and events and stuff, and I looked at it a lot to help figure out how cuts affected me and played out for me.

 

But over time it's gotten to where I don't really have to do that any more, I'm familiar with my WD symptoms and have a pretty good idea of how I feel when it's time to slow down and how I feel when it's safe to move forward. 

 

Usually there's one or two things I'm focusing on tapering more and one or two that I'm just sort of letting "drift" (that's how I think of it). That is, with the ones I'm not really cutting, over time as I measure them I will gradually measure a bit lower, very small amount, not really anything you could call a "cut." Right now both of those are at very low doses. I guess they're probably going down by something like 1-2% every, I don't know, couple of months? Three months? (2% of the current dose, so, slow.)

 

The ones I'm tapering more aggressively I do the same thing but just "scoonch" them faster and once I'm about halfway to the next line down on my pipette, I'll stay there for four or five days (more or less) and then if I feel like it's a good time (as far as what's going on in my life, stresses, upcoming events, my health, etc.) I will drop it down to the next line and hold it there while the WD symptoms wax and wane and play out. That can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on what's going on in my life. I guess it's usually about three weeks, give or take, maybe four. Then I don't really cut again, though, I just start the tiny "scoonching" thing, and if I get any kind of flare of symptoms I stop and hold till they get better.

 

I also try to do at least one long hold a year, two or three months, or have done so in the past. These days I'm feeling so good so much of the time that I may not need to do that.

 

So it's very individual and the only thing that's really transferrable as far as ideas for other people is, do the journaling thing at first (I did it pretty religiously for a year then more intermittently for another year) until you really know your body's responses well and you know what to expect. And don't be shy about adjusting if you realize you cut a little too much--when you're only making tiny cuts, it's easy to "scoonch" back up, or just hold for a long time, until things settle down. 

 

Also, it has changed as I've come down in dosage. My priorities have changed. With the Xanax and Celexa, I've reached the point (very low doses) where withdrawal is definitely going to be harder and more disruptive than the effect of the drug at that dose and the side effects of the drug at that dose. I feel pretty good most of the time now, those drugs aren't messing me up the way they used to, at these tiny doses. On the other hand, even small cuts of those can cause WD, because that's how it works at the lowest doses (see that paper in Tapering if you haven't.) So I'm in no rush with those, they're just background noise.

 

Once I get down to 1 mg of Valium and 50 or less of Lamictal, I think I'll probably focus on getting off the Xanax though, not because it's causing me a lot of problems now but because it's the most inconvenient since I have to dose it every few hours. I'm used to it, but it will be nice not to have to carry all those little bottles around with me all the time.

 

So as you can see, my priorities have changed and will probably continue to.

 

I hope somewhere in there is some kind of answer to your question.

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Meimeiquest

I do something like this...I call it mini-tapering in my head. I think the most important thing to be aware if is how many days out symptoms hit so you don't stack cuts too close together. And taking tiny cuts so you can move up and down with impunity. I think of it as a little motorcycle weaving through the traffic :).

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Rhiannon

I think another thing that I do is, I sort of mentioned it: I've gotten pretty good at detecting the earliest warning signs of withdrawal. Like, certain kinds of thoughts or feelings or sensations or experiences that are pretty subtle.

 

Also, I really think the periodic (annual or so) longer holds are very important and helpful--not just holding until I don't feel terrible any more, but going past that point and continuing to hold until I start to actually feel really good, and then holding a little longer and just enjoying feeling good. Although it's frustrating to take so long, I think those holds have given me a sort of stability or ballast that's been very beneficial.

 

Personally I believe that those long holds give my brain time to do some of those delayed healing processes that people seem to go through. I think that's why I so seldom get really sick any more. (I definitely did early in my taper!)

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