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☼ Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

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brassmonkey

Off to the Anza-Berrego desert to enjoy the wild flowers for a couple of days.

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Junglechicken

Off to the Anza-Berrego desert to enjoy the wild flowers for a couple of days.

Just googled it Brass.....looks really beautiful :0)

 

Enjoy!

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SkyBlue

Oooh, Anza-Berrego! Sounds amazing, Brass! Can't wait to hear all about it!!  

 

<<<<HUGS>>>>>>

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brassmonkey

Had a great trip. We had originally wanted to do it today March 17, to celebrate our 38th anniversary. We then realized the crowds would insane and decided to go earlier. The Anza-Berrego is a very popular place this time of year because of the flowers so there were a lot of people driving around, but being mid week not as crowded as it will be tomorrow.  This year is meant to be one of the best in the lst twenty years because of all the rain we've had.  Give the desert a bit of water and it explodes. There are three main locations for the viewing and we hit all of them, plus took a 4 wheel drive road out to an overlook that was amazing.  There is a local metal sculptor who has setup several hundred pieces jut out in the desert, horses, birds, dinosaurs and the like.  They're clustered in groups so we were able to see all of them.

 

The flowers were wonderful. Football field size areas of just color.  Almost impossible to catch on film.  I took a lot of closeups of individual flowers. I'll post some when I get a chance. We drove out Wednesday to get the lay of the land and were a bit disappointed, but things bloomed even more overnight and Thursday was incredible.  Drove around from 9am to after dark just looking. Then came the two and a half hour drive home.  It was hot 95F/35C but very dry.

 

On the WD front all is well. I made what I think will be my last drop this morning.  I'm at 0.008mgai which is 1mgpw. It's a ridiculously small amount of powder. I thought it would be best to take things as far down as possible to show the limits of the process.  At this point I don't think the drug is doing a whole lot. 

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LexAnger

Wonderful! Wonderful!!

Was hoping so much to go for the flower fields too for the record amount of rain we got, but unlikely I can make it due to the acute WD from the fast and huge dose drop. Very disappointed.

 

Looking forward to seeing the photos!!

 

Celebration for the final and full freedom is right at the corner! So proud!

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apace41

Congrats, Tom.

 

So happy for you.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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AmyK

I had to google the place, looked amazing with those colors!

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brassmonkey

Lex-- could you make it to Chino Hills State Park? Just outside of Los Angeles and my friends say the flowers are great there right now.

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LexAnger

So Ironic you are mentioning chino hill park, Tom!

 

I actually made a trip last Sunday there while I was feeling a ok day suddenly in the middle of the heavy WD, after a lunch with my son in van nuys thinking it's already closer to the park. I was still too weak to walk around so just drove around quickly and took a few pictures. It was indeed a wuite gem considering its in the big dessert area. I used to drive up along the coast highway passing 154 the chichuma highway -- the most scenic drive in this area, all the way to big sur every spring. Now I can only look out of window to the mountain 100 yard away ( I'm in Simi Valley). Thanks for the rain this year, all mountains are very green.

 

As of today, I had a few 'heart failures' in the past week so I'm finally convinced I can't ride it out anymore. I will increase dose tonight. Maybe I will bounce back quickly before all the green and flowers fade, then I will be on the road again.

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LexAnger

Oh my, misused the wor ironic in the post above. Apology Tom. It should say interestingly:(

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mustangwoman

Wow!  That is beautiful from the online pics.  Glad the withdrawal is going well and that you are down so very,very low!  You're a champ!!

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snostorm

Brassmonkey you are my sinsei.  Yoiu are my inspiration.  Please keep us updated as your progress.

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brassmonkey

Leaving for Egypt in just over a week.  Starting to pick up the pace on packing and getting ready.  Finally made a decision on the flooring for the kitchen and are in the process of placing the order.  It's actually starting to look like we will get it finished one of these days.

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manymoretodays

Sounds nice.  Starting to get early bulbs up here at home and first new roof estimate tomorrow.  Hoping to revive some plantings/garden areas outside and it's looking good for greens, purples, yellows, and white........I might try some blueberries or blackberries too......the growing of........  Looks like I'll get to Southern AZ. mid to late April and the same for the the South part of good old Utah.  Should be lovely.  If not flowers just the landscape itself.  So nice when the water is abundant, which it seems to be........plenty of snowmelt coming down and more rain to fall.

 

And wow, the home stretch for you now......... with tapering........and then there was none(!!!!)  Congrats.  I think it will be just fine.

 

Love, peace, healing.......and growth :)

 

mmt

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Gridley

Congratulations, Brass.  Inspiring to see you loving life.  The textbook taper.

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brassmonkey

Migraine corona this morning.  Lasted about half an hour. Left a slight headache and  an off stomach but that should clear up in a few hours.  More of a bother than anything else.  I seem to be getting them every few months so I'll have to mention it to the doctor next time I'm in.  Starting to pack for the Egypt trip, getting pretty excited.

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mammaP

Glad the migraine has gone Brass, I've only ever had one and feel for you getting them regularly. Hope the trip goes well and you have an amazing time.  :)

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brassmonkey

The migraine was pretty much a nonevent.  I felt "off" for a day or so and then it cleared all together.  Just been fighting general stress all week.  All the last minute things before the trip plus finalizing and ordering the new flooring, arranging to get the ceiling scraped and resurfaced, and we booked another trip.  That's a story for when we get back from this one.  Speaking of which, I'm all packed and Monica's puttering.  We leave in about twelve hours.  There will be very limited wifi so I probably won't be checking in until we get back.  Talk to you all then.

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AmyK

Have a great trip, traveller! Hugs!

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herenow

I have been following your progress periodically and even was inspired to microtaper from your instructions. Your trip sounds fun! From all the AD-related hell in the last couple of years, it has been hard to venture very far from home for me. Your traveling is inspiring!

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SkyBlue

Have an awesome trip, Brass! You so deserve it!!!! 

 

<<<<<<<<<<<<Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! >>>>>>>>>>>>>

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brassmonkey

Hello from Cairo. We were no where close to the bombing. So we are both safe. Leaving for the airport in a couple of hours for the long flight home. Back on line in a few days.

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Shep

Safe travels, Tom.

 

Look forward to an update on how your trip went. 

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nz11

Wow you sure do get around BM.

Looking forward to the sharing of a choice picture on your return.

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nick1990

Hope your trips going fantastic brass.

 

I wanted to ask, I finished a 10% slide ( two 5% with a hold after the first 5% ) 4 weeks ago. Been holding since, was fine for first 2-3 weeks and this last week ive been in a mild/moderate wave. Been 7 days now, think its faded mostly now. Is this to be expected? Did you experience waves of more than a few days?

Many thanks mate!

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brassmonkey

We're back all safe and sound.  The flight from Cairo to Los Angeles ended up being one of the best flights we've ever taken, even though it took a while to get off the ground.  More on that later.  Thank you everyone for the well wishes for the trip.  I can't wait to hear that some of you are starting to get out on extended trips too, as they are a sure sign of recovery.  I have several thousand picture to go through but will be posing some as soon as I can.

 

Nick-- it sounds more like a small fluctuation in the background WDnormal than a reaction to the slide.  There's a difference between what happens after a drop and a wave.  With each drop I would experience an increase in symptoms for several days.  They would clear by the time I was meant to do the next drop.  With a wave the increase in symptoms tends to last for a longer time, several weeks to several months.  Once I moved from acute wd into the window/wave pattern, the wave would last for many weeks with just brief windows ( the first several were like 15 minutes long).  Over time the waves got shorter and the windows got longer.  So now it's mostly feeling good with an "off" day here and there.

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nick1990

Looking forward to seeing those photos Tom! Glad your home safe and sound.

So with the fluctuation in wd normal, your saying it will get worse over time or better? For instance , after my next 10% slide, should I expect to feel worse after than I do now? Or better?

Sorry, im just a little confused!

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brassmonkey

No problem Nick, It's a very confusing, convoluted and shifting area. It's the true definition of "the only constant thing is change".  WDnormal is the average feeling over a frustratingly long period of time. At the beginning of a taper it's hard to really see any long term improvements for the first six months or so, and even them they can be very slight. The time period from one slide to the next is not long enough to see any change, good or bad, that really counts in the long run. Over the course of time the level of WDnormal will slowly rise as we heal and things improve.  I've found that it's best not to expect anything with a slide, but rather to accept what I get each time with the knowledge that over time things will get better.  The moment when you can look back and truly say "I feel better than I did six months ago" is so sweet.  You're on the right path, now it's just a waiting game.

 

To use a bad surfing example, we are looking at the mid-line in a long series of troughs and crests.  We want to keep our board as close to the mid line as possible, but understand that we will get above it or below from time to time, but by applying  our skills be can get back to it for a smooth ride.  We try to keep our board in the calm area just in front of the white water for the fastest ride.  If we get too far from the white water the ride is slower and smoother but if we go the other way and get caught in the break we may have to hang on for dear life.

 

That's more about tapering in general, but hopefully makes some sense for the WDnormal aspect too.

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mustangwoman

Hi Tom!  Great to see you're traveling, having fun, and providing wonderful insight and example ( as usual ).  I am down to 2.2 mg of luvox, which would be equivalent to .44 mg of paxil.  I wish I could get as low as you for my last dose, but the smallest I can go with weights and the scale would be 0.158 mg of luvox, equivalent to 0.03 mg of paxil.  I plan on going very, very slowly here on out.  I always look forward to reading about how you are doing, one of my dear old pals from pp.  I started ssri for postpartum anxiety after my youngest was born, would love to get off before she's completely grown.  She's 13 now.  Sometimes it gets me down when I think about that, but then I look at how far I've come, and all of my great friends here.  Thanks for all you do!  looking forward to seeing some pics!

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nick1990

Tom, thank you so much for that more detailed explanation - it really makes a lot of sense. I enjoyed the surfing example in particular :)

Thank you for all you do mate.

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brassmonkey

Hi Mustangwoman-- They grow up so fast, but I'm pretty sure that you'll beat her.  It's so wonderful to hear that you're doing well on your taper.  When it comes to the really small doses I've been weighting out bigger ones and visually dividing to get the smaller ones. Right now I'm weighing out 4mgpw and dividing it into quarters.  Not super accurate, but I figure that the dose is so small that the little differences won't really matter.  The tiny amounts of powder are a total pain to work with though.

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SkyBlue

Hey Brass, so glad to hear you are safe and sound and that you had a great trip. You deserve such happiness! ! ! Can't wait to hear more about i! :) Hugs!!!!!

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mustangwoman

Thanks.  The lowest dose possible I got to was based on the lowest dose being equal to a actual measurement of "1" of my jewelry scale, the smallest I can get it to, which is a tiny speck.  That is with a 50 mg pill with an actual weight of approx 316 per pill.  When it is this tiny, it's really challenging to work with.

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brassmonkey

Well in the "can't let the moss grow under our feet" department,  we're going to China!!!!  We have a booking for the beginning of May for a two week trip.  Spent a very uncomfortable three hours at the Chinese Embassy this afternoon applying for the visas, but other than that it's a done deal.  That should finish us off for the international travel this year, but there are several more "local" trips in the works. Portland the end of June, Grand Island Nebraska in August for the Solar Eclipse and Cleveland in November.  After that who knows?  

 

Although not as totally amazing as the trip to Kenya our Nile cruse was pretty "knock your socks off".  The flight over set the tone for the whole trip.  It was a late night flight and stayed in darkness most of the way over which was important.  I had Monica reserve us two seats that would be on the north side of the airplane for the flight because there had been a huge amount of sunspot activity for the weeks building up to the flight.  This gave us five uninterrupted of viewing one of the best displays of the northern lights that has happened this hear.  I have always wanted to see them and I still feel like jumping up and down going "goodie, goodie, goodie" it was truly amazing.  It wasn't until after the sun came up that I allowed myself to get some sleep. The rest of this flight and the connector flight took us until the next evening before we got to Cairo.

 

Got picked up at the airport and after searching for my luggage for several hours, were driven an hour or so to our hotel. Monica's suit case was fine, but mine had been left behind during the connection in Saudi Arabia. It finally caught up to us the next afternoon.  Anyway, after a very short nights sleep we go down for breakfast on the hotel patio and there right in front of us a couple of blocks away is the Great Pyramid of Giza.  What a view to wake up to.  Later in the day we got to walk right up to it and climb on the lower parts.  But first we spent many hours touring other temples and sights.  All of which I've seen in picture since I was very young and was breathless because I was actually there.

 

That evening we flew to Luxor where we boarded the cruse ship.  It was straight out of "Death on the Nile" 1920's classic everything.  We spent the next seven days sailing and stopping at various ports to visit all the "important" temples.  Each one of which was a story in itself.  Made close friends with the other fifteen members of the group and had a wonderful time.  Finally we had to fly back to Cairo.  Monica and I ended up on a different flight than the rest of the group because of our later departure time on the last day.  This meant that we had the tour guide all to ourselves for the last day and were able to adapt the tour to our own tastes.

 

Catching the flight home was a trial because of the Holy Days that were starting and everyone who had never been on an airplane was trying to fly.  Throw in some security scares and it took some doing to get off the ground.  The long haul flight, however, ended up being mostly empty and was one of the best flights we have ever taken.  We actually arrived home somewhat rested and not too jet lagged.  That's the trip in a nutshell I'll fill in more details later.

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nz11

Thats some impressive travelogue you are putting together Brass.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading of your amazing trip.

Have a great time in China.

Nothing like a long haul flight with empty seats next to you (hooray!!) so you can lie down and sleep. 

 

nz11

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brassmonkey

As of last Saturday, April 15, 2017 I officially took the plunge. I did the final 100% cut and dropped to "0mg".  For the first time in 25 and a half years I am drug free.

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