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☼ Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

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brassmonkey

They've been BFFs for most of 20 years, so can't let a little sickness get in the way. lol They are all very upset that it happened.  We may pay more attention to the farming cycles though so we can miss hay season next time.

 

I'm starting to see a little progress.  Doctor gave me antibiotics and they seem to be helping. I didn't cough all night last night which is a plus, but boy do my stomach muscles hurt.  Been up for an hour or so, so it's almost time for a nap.

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mammaP

Just caught up with your thread Brass and am sorry to hear that you and Monica are ill and hope you both get better soon. 

 

I love your anger spiral post, it is really good and will be trying to use it in my life when things go wrong, instead of being devastated I'll change the channel. 

 

The summer solstice depresses me, stupid I know but it is the start of days becoming shorter and winter returning and I hate the short dark days, I shall change the channel and think about the rest of summer instead of the coming winter.  :D

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brassmonkey

Summer Solstice is the transition from youth to maturity.  There is still a lot to accomplish before the dark time of rest and rejuvenation.  This is a time of anticipation, hopes and dreams.  All the hard work we have done during the beginning of the year is starting to show signs of growth but it still isn't secure.  So there is much watching, waiting and tending to be done through this season of growth to make sure it all turns out right.  Then as fall approaches we can reap the rewards of that labor and enjoy the spoils of our efforts before taking a much earned rest and doing it all again next year.

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brassmonkey

The bronchitis is taking it's own good time to sort itself out.  The coughing fits aren't constant but are a lot more instance. I do seen to be able to breath freely from time to time, so I guess some progress is being made. I was able to get out and do some yard work yesterday.  We're having a real heat wave running in the 38/100 plus range, so I took a few hours and got the window air conditioners put back in.  They really take the edge off of the heat.

 

Made my latest drop this morning down to 7mgpw or .56mgai. It's such a tiny bit of powder on the scale.

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scallywag

Nice that you were able to breathe well enough to get some house tasks done. Hope each day you get stronger and the bronchitis gets weaker.

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brassmonkey

Minor amounts of coughing during the night and just a little so far this morning, so things are getting better.  Another week or so and should be alright.

 

Totally stoked, we just booked an African Safari for January.

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aberdeen

keep gettiing better Brass

Thats great about the drop! Not long now at all....I know how small that is on the scale. Couldnt get my scale to actually read anything lower than .004g at all, no matter what I did, even using the calibration weight thing. You're so close!

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SkyBlue

Brass, I just started the BrassMonkey slide. Approx 2.5% drops. Going well so far. thanks!

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Shep

Minor amounts of coughing during the night and just a little so far this morning, so things are getting better.  Another week or so and should be alright.

 

Totally stoked, we just booked an African Safari for January.

 

I hope you feel better soon, Tom. The African Safari sounds really cool. Withdrawal definitely has not slowed you down!  :)

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brassmonkey

Just wanted to keep a copy of this here:

 

I see WDnormal as the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves.  Watching the level of WDnormal is a good indicator that things are improving.  Over time you should be seeing a raising of the standard for WDnormal.  So how you're feeling now is better than say six months ago. It changes very slowly but is a really good indicator.

 

 Many people have the idea that stability is feeling good again, when in fact it's feeling the same level of blah day after day with no big swings to the better or bad. When a person does a drop in dose there will be a corresponding increase in WD symptoms over the next few days.  These symptoms will resolve themselves over the following several weeks and return the person to a slightly raised baseline of discomfort. The time frame and severity are dependent on a huge number of factors and end up being unique to each individual.  But the pattern remains.  This is why paying attention to your WDnormal is very important.  It is also referred to as listening to your body.  After a drop in dose and the symptoms have resolved to WDnormal the person then should wait a couple of more weeks to let things really settle out (there are a lot of little unfelt changer still going on) before considering doing their next drop.

 

During that waiting time people may think that they're not doing anything and want to get on with it.  When in fact doing nothing is very proactive.  It's those little unfelt things that need to be finished up before the next step can be taken.  It's letting the glue harden, the paint dry, the cement cure.  The things that need to be complete before the path is safe to walk on again.  If these details are ignored then they start to pile up and compound each other, then somewhere down the line the foundation slips out from under us and the whole thing collapses.

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elbee

The concept of WDnormal makes a lot of sense to me. Im still not sure what my WDnormal is, but this is a question I've had for some time. Thanks!

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geminigirl

That last part you said about the foundation makes so much sense.

 

I think it's also very wise and insightful Tom.

 

I really agree with you. We have to take it slow and really take care of ourselves.

 

It would be devastating, at least for me, for everything to fall apart down the line if you rush things and don't let your body really "cement cure" or imprint the progress.

 

In my next drop I will do the Brassmonkey slide I think for sure.

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geminigirl

I also love your Stephen Hawking quote!

 

What a hero that man is.

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brassmonkey

I just posted this to Triplem15's thread and wanted to share it here also:

 

Hi MMM-- I'm glad to see that you're not rushing things and still working on getting good and stable.  This would be a good time to work on sharpening your skills with mindfullness and some of the self care techniques that are talked about elsewhere on the site.  It's best to work on them while ones mind is clear and not have to try and learn them if the need arises.

 

When a person tapers using a scale to measure their dose it actually is done using percentages of the pill weight, because that's the way we have to weigh it.  Because all pills are not created equal weight we then translate the pill weight into AI (active ingredient) weigh to give us a common measurement to work with when we discuss our tapers.

 

I have conducted my entire taper using 40mg paxil tablets.  They weigh 500mg each. To calculate each dose reduction I would do the following; (previous dose in pill weight) X .9 = new dose in pill weight.  This would be the amount I would weigh out.  But it would not equal the same pill weight dose of someone who was using 20mgai tablets, or someone using a different manufacturers tablets.  So to compare notes we need to use the AI calculation: (previous dose weight AI) X .9 = new dose in AI weight.

 

Using a 40mgai tablet at 500mgpw makes it so that each 1mgpw gives me 0.08mgai.  This was workable until I got down to the tiny doses. I have been using the Brassmonkey Slide Method for my entire taper and wanted to keep using it as long as possible. This entails doing 4 cuts of 2.5% a week for 4 weeks and then holding an additional 2 weeks.  When I started to taper below 3mgai this was not physically possible because of the limitation of the scales only weighing in 1mgpw increments. So I switched to tapering by 1mgpw and adjusted the number of cuts per slide accordingly. In that manner I was able to keep each slide under 10%.  At first I was able to maintain 3 cuts per slide but then had to adjust to two cuts.  Recently I've had to resort to 1 cut each time and with the last cut I'm being forced to do more that 10%. I don't think this will be a problem as I only have three cuts left before I plan to jump off. The jump will be at about 2mgpw or 0.16mgai. The amount of powder is about half the size of this "o".  The symptoms from each cut have been negligible at worst so I see no problem with this.

 

My taper has been a very long, slow, but stead process. It has been a true 10% every 6 weeks with one extended hold at the 10mgai point and a couple of extra weeks thrown in during the end game.  It will end up being five years almost to the day when I make the jump.  For the most part the improvements in symptoms have been pretty linear on a quarterly basis. Day to day, week to week they have been quite variable.  I was in hardcore poopout when this all started so any change was for the better.  It took about 6 months for the improvements to registrar, and most of 2 years before I could state that I was making real headway.  After the third year I was feeling improvements with each drop, after the initial uptick from the drop settled out. During the last year I have seen most of the symptoms drop away.  I still have a lot of fatigue and muscle weakness and my cognitive functions are still not where I would like them to be, but they are all steadily improving.

 

Comparing myself with others (which we shouldn't do) I would have to say that I have done very well.  Friends who have tapered using the straight 10% method seemed to have a harder time with each cut than I did and seemed to take longer to recover from each cut. They are, however, doing well and recovering nicely.  Other friends who CTed from similar doses at the same time are not fairing as well.  They are showing marked improvements, but are still suffering quite badly.

 

Long answer to a short question, hope it helps.

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LexAnger

Hey atom,

 

Thanks so much for taking time sharing the whole picture of your tapering!

It helps a lot to those who are still behind and not yet know what the rest journey would be like.

 

Love

Lex

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LexAnger

Sorry, tried to recall the post for the typo on your name but was not quick enough.

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brassmonkey

Atom is a lot better than a lot of the names I've been called. LOL  Sometimes I wish I could repost my blog from Prior Place so people could have the complete story, but at 85 pages that is pretty impractical.

 

Still fighting with the bronchitis. The acute phase is over but I'm still having trouble breathing and get painful coughing fits late at night. Probably another week or so before it's really cleared up.

 

Well we've committed to a major stresser.  Signed the papers for the kitchen remodel on Sunday.  Now we have a timeline to pack it up, tear things apart and get a bunch of work done before the contractors come in and rebuild things. It will be interesting in itself.  On top of that the unofficial start of Haunt Season kicked off yesterday.  So we're on the clock for opening night in just under four months. July and part of August are slow with just making repairs and new stuff, then we start actually setting things up the last week of August.  The schedule will be different this year what with me not working anymore, so it will be interesting to see how it all goes.

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LexAnger

So sorry Tom it's taking that long for the extra hassle to subside. Hope it leaves soon with the weather cooling off and not impacting the WD battle. How are you doing with the meds?

 

I did a whole house remodeling last summer and it actually helped my WD symptoms with ppl working in the house. Hope it Will be a good distraction for you too.

 

Love and hugs,

Lex

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ang

Just wanted to keep a copy of this here:

 

I see WDnormal as the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves.  Watching the level of WDnormal is a good indicator that things are improving.  Over time you should be seeing a raising of the standard for WDnormal.  So how you're feeling now is better than say six months ago. It changes very slowly but is a really good indicator.

 

 Many people have the idea that stability is feeling good again, when in fact it's feeling the same level of blah day after day with no big swings to the better or bad. When a person does a drop in dose there will be a corresponding increase in WD symptoms over the next few days.  These symptoms will resolve themselves over the following several weeks and return the person to a slightly raised baseline of discomfort. The time frame and severity are dependent on a huge number of factors and end up being unique to each individual.  But the pattern remains.  This is why paying attention to your WDnormal is very important.  It is also referred to as listening to your body.  After a drop in dose and the symptoms have resolved to WDnormal the person then should wait a couple of more weeks to let things really settle out (there are a lot of little unfelt changer still going on) before considering doing their next drop.

 

During that waiting time people may think that they're not doing anything and want to get on with it.  When in fact doing nothing is very proactive.  It's those little unfelt things that need to be finished up before the next step can be taken.  It's letting the glue harden, the paint dry, the cement cure.  The things that need to be complete before the path is safe to walk on again.  If these details are ignored then they start to pile up and compound each other, then somewhere down the line the foundation slips out from under us and the whole thing collapses.

So so TRUE< you said it! SO SO TRUE. GOOD LUCK!

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mustangwoman

I may have already asked you this, but at what point are you planning to completely drop?

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brassmonkey

Hi MW-- my current thinking is to do probably three more drops which will put me at about 0.36mgai.  By that point the amount of powder I'm playing with will be so small it will be unmanageable.  The scales have a very hard time weighing below 4mgpw and I don't want to bother with liquid for just one or two tiny drops.

 

First day in three weeks I've felt almost human. The bronchitis is gone according to the doctor, now I just have some lung inflammation that is making breathing a lot of fun, NOT.

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ladybug

So close!! I'm excited for you. :)

 

Glad to hear the bronchitis is gone, hope the rest clears up soon too. ((HUGS))

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Alua

Wahoozee brass. Great job. And let me just say again what a fantastic job you do on this site. You responses are empathetic but informative just what vulnerable need. Some people have a knack for this, others not so much. You however excel. I don't post much but I watch at times and I often check in on you. I look forward to watching things improve for you even more.

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Shep

So good to hear you're feeling "almost human", Tom.  Sending healing vibes your way for a full recovery from the bronchitis. 

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aberdeen

Not long now!! Keep at it!

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mustangwoman

I'm glad you're doing so well!  The pleural inflammation will subside soon hopefully.   According to crazy meds and dose equivalencies where I am currently with my luvox dosage is supposed to be equivalent to 0.9 mg of paxil.  I'm trying to figure out some plans myself to that regard.  You are an inspiration to so many! 

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calithebold

Hi Brass, it's been a while but thought I'd pop in and see how you're doing and it sounds like you're doing well. I'm really happy for you :)  I'm doing okay, about to start with a new doc that is recommended on here, so hopefully things will work out better than of late. I'm sure they will actually :)  Have a great night!  Sarah

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brassmonkey

Hey Sarah--  Thanks for dropping in.  I'm glad things are going well for you and really hope the new doctor works out well.

 

I'm totally surprised, I had two zapps last night.  Haven't had one in a while.  The first was quite mild felt like a bad piano chord played right between my ears for a second or two. The second one was up a little higher and a lot stronger, more of the traditional electrical shock type.  Other than that the taper is going well, The tiny dose is being a pain to weigh, but not for much longer.

 

Got a chest x-ray yesterday because of the persistent cough.  Get the results in a few days.

 

All our plans are proceeding well.  Taking the remodel one step at a time.  Got our airline reservations for the Africa trip.  We're both jumping up and down about that one.  Planning on buying a new fancy camera the next few days, so I can get use to it before the trip gets here. 

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brassmonkey

Got the results back on the chest x-ray.  Everything is okay, no damage, no disease, a little arthritis in my neck.  So it looks like the coughing fits are bronchial spasms, so that gives me something else to look in to.  The report was concerned that they couldn't find a heart in there anywhere, I don't remember misplacing it anywhere, guess I'll have a dig around in my sock drawer.  LOL   

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downtongirl

Hello Brass....glad your x-ray came back ok....I have to tell you I admire your patience and diligence in your taper.  Patience is not my virtue unfortunately and I am having to learn that lesson the hard way.  I have a couple of questions for you....

 

1.  Do you have or have you had any sleep or akathisia issues....if so how long did it take for the to go away?

 

2.  What is your plan for when you are completely done tapering and off of your antidepressant if withdrawal symptoms come back in a delayed fashion say 3 months or more after being completely off....I'm hoping this does not happen but just want to know if you have a plan for it....I worry about this because I had delayed onset of withdrawal symptoms after a couple of months off of prozac when I thought I had beat it but I basically jumped off/ct'd at 10 mg.

 

Thanks in advance for your answers.

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brassmonkey

Hi DG-- thanks for dropping in.  The patience was hard won many years ago.  I gained it from an experience I refer to as my "Seven Years of Pain".  I go into detail about it elsewhere in my thread, but it was the result of a surgery gone wrong leaving me in severe pain that took about seven years to resolve.  It left me with a lot of skills that have been very helpful this time around.  It also left me never wanting to experience prolonged discomfort again so I had a choice, prolonged discomfort or patience/diligence.  To me the choice was easy.  Basically I've been through it all before and know that it is a temporary, all be it long process.  Combine that with my spiritual training and I'm "home free".

 

For many people here the WD experience is their MYSOP,  a painful learning process.  Out of necessity they must learn patience, diligence, self control, self soothing, acceptance of the situation and much more.  All things that are hard to learn when you feel good, but they have to learn now, because there really isn't any choice.  In the course of a lifetime the several years spent in WD are a very short time. However, once this situation is survived, they come out with an inner strength that unbelievable and nothing will ever be as hard again.  Although painful and it must be for it to happen, what we are going through is one of the greatest opportunities for self growth and personal learning there is.

 

I've always been an Olympic level sleeper, so very few problems there. Many years ago, prepaxil, I had about six months of stress induced insomnia from an extremely  stressful job.  I got through that, so any small flare ups now don't count.

 

I've been very lucky as any akathisia  has gone pretty much unnoticed.  I have kept myself very busy my entire taper what with my job, the Halloween Haunt and the like.  I suspect the distraction played a big part in it.

 

I'm not planning on the symptoms coming back once I've jumped off.  By expecting them to I'm predetermining that they will.  Between WD and MSYOP I have learned that expectations play a key roll in what actually happens.  It's one of life's lessons; "if you don't expect something you won't be disappointed when it doesn't happen."  If something should happen to crop up I'll deal with it then, using the knowledge I've gained over the years.  It's all part of rolling with what life throws at you.

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downtongirl

Wow...lots of wisdom you have Brassmonkey...my husband says my endless need to always be prepared for the worst or the "what if this happens" leads me to self fulfilling promises....I believe there is some truth to that....I have had some very freaky not normal life tragedies that keeps me on edge....ie.....sexual abuse at school as a child, my aunt being murdered (almost beheaded) by her stepson, abuse from my first husband who stalked me for a year after I left him, two miscarriages, my grandmother being killed by a tornado that caused her to be crushed while she was sleeping in her bed alone in the month of January....not typically when you have tornadoes in the southeast....so I am always on guard and absolutely HATE to be caught by surprise by something terrible.  I know I need to do personal work and I guess this is God's way of making me stronger.  I like your way of thinking and if I can stabilize on a dosage of prozac that doesn't cause too many side effects I plan to hold for a good long while.  Thanks for your reply and congratulations on all of your personal and medical accomplishments.

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brassmonkey

Hey DG-- well that's a butt load of baggage to be carrying around, I'm so sorry you've had to go through all of that.  I am constantly amazed at the back stories I hear around here.  The things people have had forced on them through no fault of their own.  Really scary stuff, but in every case the people have made it through. It speaks highly of their/your desire to survive. Striking a balance between being hyper-vigilant and self-assured is tricky.  It goes back to what I was saying about expectations "relax and don't expect it, but be assured that you can react properly if it happens."  Again, hard won life lessons build that self assurance.

 

We run into the "what if's" a lot here, primarily as a subset of ruminating thoughts. But they can be caused by real life also.  One thing I'v noticed is that "what if this happens" is a question, which causes speculation, indecision and the like.  This causes fear of the unknown situation.  By dropping the "what" the words are changed from a question to the statement, "if this happens".  That statement can then be followed by a plan which takes the power away from the "what" and gives it to the person. That builds their self-assurance.

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downtongirl

Wow Brass...I love how you turned the negative "What if" type statements into a positive "if" statements....never thought of doing that....thanks so very much that helps me!

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brassmonkey

Well that was an unpleasant night.  I know I did get some decent sleep but right now don't feel like it. Got to bed just after my normal time range at about 2am. Laid there for a while and then got a swarm of minor zaps. That was followed by the beginnings of a coughing fit that wouldn't quite develop all the way and just sat as an uncomfortable feeling in my throat and chest. A few quick hot flashes didn't help. Finally I started to drift off, but went straight into REM sleep for a vivid nightmare.  Brushed that off only to have it happen again.  Third time was a charm and I got to sleep only to have vivid dreams of the "what the heck is going on" verity all night.

 

Other than that life's exciting right now.  WD is well under control and we are very busy with the remodel and planning for Africa.

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downtongirl

Sorry your sleep stunk....Africa and remodel sounds exciting

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