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Rockingchaircat

☼ Rockingchaircat: recovery from psychotropic drugs that were prescribed willy nilly.

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Rockingchaircat

01/19/2016

And boy did I pay for yesterday's extra bit of sleep. Eventually I'm able to meditate the anxiety attacks away- but, I stare at the celing for most of the night. And of course when I do manage to fall asleep- I got woken up a pair of times with anxiety attacks.  Joy.  

It's times like this that makes me wonder about the only time I'll get a decent rest is when I'm dead.

Speaking of lights- as it turns out when the missus was making dinner I could smell a burned plastic smell that the wife could not. At first we think it's the range and we notice that it keeps putting out heat long after it's been turned off. So we yank it out of the house and onto the back porch. Later on the smell continues, and gets more intense- so much so that even the wife with her clogged sinuses smells it. As it turns out- the living room overhead lamps are burning out. Fluorescent bulbs with their ballast burning out- with their nice distinctive smell. Which permeates the house despite airing it out, and my chest is all tight from the stench- which made it difficult to breath last night- thus contributing to the lack of sleep.  The wife has decided that we need to get a newer range anyways. So guess what we'll be doing after we both get off of work today?  Yeah we can make do for a few days without a range. And eventually I'll need to drop off the old one at a recycling center.

So, I'm tired on Monday morn- enough to nap a bit, and in the end pay for it by staring at the ceiling. Seems odd that just a couple of weeks ago- I was sleeping well and feeling all gung ho for going to work. As it turns out that yes, just about every one else also came down with a cold/sickness over the weekend as well.

I'm terribly unmotivated today.

But- no anxiety attacks this morning. Seems I'm a bit depressed for some reason.

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Rockingchaircat

01/20/2016

Damn good sleep last night.
 Monday night I discovered that one of the CFL's (compact fluorescent lightbulb) had burned near the glass base, in the overhead living room. Apparently it'd been doing so for some time over the weekend- which I'd have to tie in to the fact that I've been leaving more lights on during the dark hours to help counteract the depressive lighting conditions both due to the rain/gloom and the night. The problem is- it took several hours to find it. So for those hours before finding it- I had to keep sniffing around in an attempt to locate it. It never occurred to me to check the overhead lights. Result- lungfuls of befouled/burned plastic smell- which had the nice result of irritated lungs for me. Which has made it hard to breathe at times. Thankfully the wife noticed the smell eventually as well.
 Yesterday I picked up a box of 20 halogen light bulbs to replace the CFLs. Turns out that box was the right size to replace them. I checked out the entire house and replaced each and every one of them.  And each and every single one of them showed signs of burning/discoloration. Each and every one.   Checking online- I discover that the CFL's are designed to break if they get used too much or too high. But American made ones are just supposed to quit working. The "Made In China" ones- will burn. Guess which ones I had?
Yesterday after work I took care of the bulbs.  As it turns out, the wife wanted to go and get a new range no matter how much she'd been working that day. So I took her out to dinner and then went shopping for a range. Purchase made.  Flat top. Nothing fancy. But that range has been with us since we purchased the house. It'd been acting weird of late- so I think I'd rather spring for the cost of a new ranger as opposed to the cost of a new house.

As it turns out- EVERYONE in the office came down with the cold that I got over the weekend- it just turns out that I got hit relatively mildly. And I guess I'm going to have to face the music- when I get sick I get depressed. Man that sucks. So yeah- I did get fatigued. But like always, for now and for the rest of my life I'm going to have to deal with it.

Reviewing my progress- there are many improvements in my condition. Six months since getting off of the Antidepressants. 11 months since getting off of the Benzos.

Between April 2014 to within the last six months, and today:

Hyperosmia- (Olfactory Hallucinations) that's dropped down something fierce. I did get a bout of it a few weeks ago. I thought I was going through it with that burned plastic smell a couple of nights ago- I wasn't. Used to be every day, all day.
Parathesia (Numbness, tingling, burning). This too is almost completely gone. I think I might have gotten some of it a couple of weeks ago- I'm not sure.  
Brain Zaps- Used to be every day, all day.
Tremor- none that I can recall now. Used to be every day, quite often.
Shock sensations in the body- never got much of that.
Abnormal visual sensations- seeing 'would-be's'. People in the corner of my eye- Used to be every day, all day. None now.
Tinnitus- came and went. I get it occasionally. A couple of weeks ago it increased and changed it's 'normal' tone. Hardly ever now.
Auditory Hallucinations were what I got more often. It was similar to an Ear Worm. I'd hear songs and I wouldn't be able to get it out of my head. During the worst phase of w/d I heard songs that didn't exist and couldn't get out of my head. That was weird. Nothing like that now.
Drooling- not so much now.
Slurred speech- still happens occasionally. It's been getting much better.
Blurred vision- still get that in the morning most often upon waking up.
Restless legs- mostly gone, occasionally in the middle of the night. Just one intense sensation a couple of nights ago- usually not that bad.

Flu- like symptoms-Used to be every day, all day. Now it's just occasional- usually when I'm coming down with a cold or flu. I am still a bit sensitive to the cold when I'm depressed.

Ok I could go on, but I won't. 
This Glenmullen Daily Checklist- helps to keep me centered- centered on the reality that I'm not as bad off as my depressive mentality would have me believe.  On that list- I could've checked off just about every one of those boxes- for every single day from the worst of the tolerance to the withdrawal.
Now- it's about an eighth of them. And most of that is something I've learned to deal with.

Nowadays- usually between midafternoon to early evening- things calm down and I'm 'normal'. So for a few hours I get normality- symptom free. That's the way  I want to be 24/7. That's the way I KNOW I will eventually make it to. Even just a few months ago- I didn't even have that island.

I WILL make it there. 

 

Reviewing all this it occurs to me that when I got onto that Motrin laced with Pepcid- is when a lot of the problems started up again.  It may be connected to the S.A.D., it may not, but I don't think that the Pepcid helped matters any.

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Rockingchaircat
01/22/2016

 

A decent night's sleep. Boo-yah. I still didn't want to get out of bed, but it wasn't quite as bad a feeling to do so. Now the night of the 20th. I had insomnia something fierce. Which made it difficult to get out of bed on the 21st.

 But I've changed a few things-

1) I've cut down my usage of the Lightbox down to just a singe 15 minute use in the morning. This seems to be the best thing to do at this point. This morning I completely forgot to turn it on at all. I shall see if it makes any changes in my daily life as a result. 

2) I've started taking a Magnesium supplement in the morning.  Maybe it's doing some good, maybe not. But the Cortisol Spikes at 1 or 2 in the morning have stopped (for now). Maybe they're connected, maybe not. I shall continue and wait and see. 

3) I've been eating a bit of banana in the morning. Along with a B-50 tablet. Along with a square of chocolate.

 

It is difficult to not have the usual problems in the morning. No major depressive to fight. Nor the Anxiety attacks. I'm sure they'll come along eventually for sure. But until then I find myself at a loss about how to exist. 

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Sarabera

Good to hear things are on an upward trend!

Yeah, I decided to only use the light box for 15 minutes in the morning, on days that are dark, when I don't get outside much. When I work outside (usual), I don't think I need it. Just going by my gut feeling. Lots of dark days right now as I'm north of you.

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Rockingchaircat
01/25/2016

 

I've been cranky the last few mornings. 

Saturday- sleep in to 5:30. Major cranky. I'm a bit on edge after sleeping in- I wake up and feel tense. Some feelings of anxiety. 15 minutes of Lightbox, helped a little bit. 

Sunday- sleep in till 7. Still a bit cranky, but not as much. I'm dragging. I can do things but it drags me to do anything. A white chocolate mocha at B&N seems to perk me up. 

Monday- get up at the usual. I spend half the night staring at the ceiling. I get the notion that I need a vacation. Problem is- I'd be cranky most of the time, no?  I want to take a vacation with a minimal sense of W/D being a possibility. I want to relax for a while. Enjoy life and spend most of my time not all messed up.

 

No anxiety in the morning for several days. Dragging- depressed? Yet I have an appetite. I'm just so damned tired of this crap. I'd love to have a Spiritual Experience instead. I keep fantasizing about anti-depressants- invariably I keep forgetting all of the downsides.

Completely human. Someday- I will feel content again.

 

I understand where you're coming from Sarabera. Dark mornings for only 15 minutes. The gut feeling is often best to gauge by.  It's nice to not have weeks/months of mental agony from changing or eliminating the dose.

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SquirrellyGirl

HI RCC, 

 

I get ya!

 

One of my activities that I spend too much time engaged in is spotting poor souls on patient.info who are in withdrawal (and don't know it) and directing them over here.  it gets me thinking a lot about what they are in for, the shock of realization that if they truly want off of these meds, they'll have to maybe reinstate and take it much slower than anyone wants to accept.  But what is the alternative for them?  Go back on the meds thinking that they have relapsed?  I do a lot of educating!

 

And that brings me to this post of yours.  It is incredibly frustrating, that we can't un-know what we now know.  If we cave and think maybe it's easier to go back on a med and carry on, we know that we are making it harder for ourselves to come off in the future (when we will once again decide we want off LOL!). We also probably know that we are ultimately truly damaging ourselves with the poison.  It is really quite the rock and a hard place situation.  Ignorance was once bliss.

 

So, I just wanted to let you know I'm with you, I feel the same frustrations. Sick and tired.  For me, sick and tired of this all being at the forefront of every day.  I've become identified with getting off these drugs.  Can't seem to disengage and go on with life, maybe because I'm always waiting for the other shoe to fall.   I'm hoping I will tire of the obsession eventually!

 

The good news for me is that i actually got outside and finally tackled and finished a project I had been procrastinating on, so yeah!!!  I think the SAD light had something to do with it!

 

Got my SAD light on now, thanks to you!

 

SG

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Rockingchaircat

01/26/2016

 

Thanks Squirrely Girl. it's good to know I'm doing someone some good somewhere.  :) The SAD Happy Light.  

 

And yeah. You're quite correct- I know darned full well that going back onto the 'stuff' would do me no good. But after months of withdrawal, you get darn tired of being the mature adult. You just want a window that never ends!  But we all know that's not going to happen. 

So I take the happy light and keep it on for about 15 minutes in the morning. It helps stave off the depression. But often it tends to leave me either wired or a bit anxious. The anxiety at least I can deal with with deep breathing techniques.

 

One day at a time.

 

But many of the other side effects of withdrawal- such as the depersonalizaton, the cog fog, the nausea, the vertigo, phantom smells, skin burn, and the like. I still get them occasionally. But they tend not to last very long or come about very often. I kept telling myself that if I got to this point- lack of so many of the regular W/D symptoms- I'd be happy again. I'm not. 

It's like I've been so full of anguish and pain that now it's not there quite so often, that such became the new 'normal'. And it's loss is unfamiliar. 

 

Now the next step- learning to live without all of that crap.

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Rockingchaircat

01/27/2016

 

A bit of restless leg upon going to be last night. It was fall asleep a couple of times- and then BAM!  After about half an hour it goes away and I'm sleeping solidly for most of the night. Then 1:30 a.m. rolls around and I'm surf dozing until it's time to get up.

Some skin burn this morning. And some olfactory hallucinations. I could've sworn I smelt propane near my vehicle as I was getting into it. Last night I did manage to laugh at a stray thought that crossed my mind during meditation.

Apparently the magnesium pill I've been taking has been doing some good- so far no Cortisol Spikes in the middle of the night.  I hope that stays away- forever.  But it will probably come back again, like every other symptom. 

Yeah the symptoms have been coming back- but for not as long or as intense.

I just have to accept this until the day they don't come back often enough to get cranky about it.

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SquirrellyGirl

Hi RCC, 

Have you looked into Emotional Freedome Techniques, "tapping?"  There's a thread in the self care section and some people said they found it useless, but I have found it to be helpful for falling asleep.  

 

Last night, I was so tired, dosing on the couch while we watched tv.  I thought for sure that's I'd hit the sack and go down easy.  Nope.  So, I did some tapping. I made it through a couple of rounds, and then the on the third round it was hard to concentrate and my thoughts were getting scrambled,  and then I was out.

 

Hopefully, the mag will prevent the need to use tapping for sleep, but it might be useful for you during the day for other things.  I figure it's always worth a try.  I think it is good if only to interrupt the thoughts that might be troubling you, because you are concentrating on something else.  Anything that can do that is good in my book!

 

I also find turning on my Pandora Beck channel to be very uplifting.  And tapping into humor.  I love David Sedaris and was listening to one of his pieces on This American Life the other day, so started finding him on Youtube.  I've also used a Pandora comedy channel to do the same thing.  

 

I hope today is a good one for ya!

SG

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Rockingchaircat

01/28/2016

 

Thanks Squirreliy Girl I will definitely give it a try.  It was one of those techniques my therapist recommended prior to my ending of our sessions.

---

 

Yesterday was mostly a good day. It was a nice dry day with plenty of sunshine- probably not a coincidence. Last night- I had another nightmare that woke me up out of a sound sleep at 2 in the morning, and then it's surf/doze until the usual get up time.

My healing brain seems to be going through the gamut of emotions of late.  Incredibly horny in the morning yesterday- to laughing/smiling at small things at noon to grieving the potential loss of my daughter due to her ongoing medical issues a half hour later. 

Grumpy this morning. Sleepy later. A bit nauseous right now. Diarrhea this morning. Chocolate milk put me in a good mood for a bit. Now I'm a bit dizzy. It's almost as if the brain is trying to get in the last few bits of problems before it has to go away.

i get skin burns- but they're mostly at the level at where I have to concentrate to notice them.  I've been using the lightbox every morning- which does seem to help a bit. Ravenously hungry one minute- total lack of interest in food the next.

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SquirrellyGirl

01/28/2016

 

Thanks Squirreliy Girl I will definitely give it a try.  It was one of those techniques my therapist recommended prior to my ending of our sessions.

---

 

Yesterday was mostly a good day. It was a nice dry day with plenty of sunshine- probably not a coincidence. Last night- I had another nightmare that woke me up out of a sound sleep at 2 in the morning, and then it's surf/doze until the usual get up time.

My healing brain seems to be going through the gamut of emotions of late.  Incredibly horny in the morning yesterday- to laughing/smiling at small things at noon to grieving the potential loss of my daughter due to her ongoing medical issues a half hour later. 

Grumpy this morning. Sleepy later. A bit nauseous right now. Diarrhea this morning. Chocolate milk put me in a good mood for a bit. Now I'm a bit dizzy. It's almost as if the brain is trying to get in the last few bits of problems before it has to go away.

i get skin burns- but they're mostly at the level at where I have to concentrate to notice them.  I've been using the lightbox every morning- which does seem to help a bit. Ravenously hungry one minute- total lack of interest in food the next.

Well, I wish I had the problem you had waking up in the morning!  Haven't had that problem in many years! I'm sorry about your daughter.  I know that neuro emotions can make us have very strong, scary thoughts about that kind of thing.  The mysteries of the brain and how these neurotransmitters lead us to think the thoughts we have...it's quite a trip!

 

SG

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Rockingchaircat
2/01/16

 

I think I've figured out why my last two weekends have been completely crappy. And possibly why I've been getting cortisol spikes. 

 

Milk. I've been drinking it in increasing amounts the last few weeks. Milk with coffee. Butter with toast. Creamer in the coffee. Cheese on the sandwich. Even straight milk on a couple of occasions. Last Friday- I drank some commercial egg-nog and the rest of the day I started feeling crappy. A headache, some chills, lethargy. And the next day (Saturday the 30th) another close to nasty fatigue day. That afternoon I nap for several hours, and I had fitful sleep that night. Diarrhea for the food I'd eaten.  

Sunday the 31st- pretty much the same. All the while- I have to drag myself out of bed because of a lack of sleep, and cortisol spikes during the night and morning. And like the previous weekend- I'm cranky as all get down, and fly off the handle.  Saturday morning I had a meltdown due to the lack of rest. I got up, went to make coffee, and stepped into a pile of cat vomit.  Bare feet, cold vomit, on a carpet that had been vaccummed the day before.

 

And every night- cortisol spikes in the wee hours. 2:30, 3:00, 1:30 last night. I keep reading of folks geting such spikes at 4:00 in the morning. I'd LOVE to have that then, since that's my usual wake up time.  But NOOOOOO. I get to have them a couple of hours BEFORE that time if not more.

 

I'd started eating nuts in an effort to get more magnesium to help with the spikes. I'd forgotten one thing though- I'm allergic to walnuts. And now it appears, that I'm allergic to almonds and cashews as well.  Which seem to trigger the diarrhea that ends up with me being royally cranky.   Catch-22.  So, no nuts period. I'd also been eating some some almond butter and jelly sandwiches during the last couple of weeks- guess what!  I'd been getting some allergic reactions to that as well.   Big surprise.

 

So I fully expected not being able to get a halfway decent night's sleep last night, but somehow I managed to anyways.

I tried a method- of turning on the bedroom lights after getting a cortisol spike, simulate a day time condition. Conclusion: total waste of time and effort. The spikes still came, and I ended up NOT getting any restful sleep as a result.

On Sunday- I was making myself eat in an effort to replace what I'd lost. One of the upsides I guess you'd call it was that I was so low down that I'd had no anxiety attacks worth speaking of. I tried some gatorade and suddenly drank about half of it. Within a half hour- I had an anxiety attack. Sugar? Quite possibly. 

I've cut back on the sugar in the coffee this morning. I've got some skin burn, but no perceptible anxiety. Wait and see how that goes.

I may reinstate the lightbox in the evening.  Wait and see what happens then.

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SquirrellyGirl

Interesting, RCC!  I eat a ton of milk products and honestly don't know what I'd eat without the cheese and milk!  It will be interesting to see if milk is a huge player in your anxiety and cortisol spikes.  Hopefully that and the sugar are the answer and you can get on to eliminating these problems!  Good detective work!

 

Cold cat vomit, yup, been there done that!

 

SG

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Rockingchaircat

Interesting, RCC!  I eat a ton of milk products and honestly don't know what I'd eat without the cheese and milk!  It will be interesting to see if milk is a huge player in your anxiety and cortisol spikes.  Hopefully that and the sugar are the answer and you can get on to eliminating these problems!  Good detective work!

 

Cold cat vomit, yup, been there done that!

 

SG

I envy you that.  But if you can, don't stop eating the stuff too long- otherwise you'll lost the ability to digest it- like I did. One of the downsides of my Gall Bladder/gastritis- the loss of something I enjoyed. No Pizza without some Lactaid enzymes... 

 

:(

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Rockingchaircat
02/02/2016

 

Upside- I seem to have a wee bit more energy with not eating milk or nuts.

Downside- I got to spend several of my normal sleeping hours in the Emergency Room last night.  I'd gotten to bed about the usual time, and after about an hour and a half- it became difficult to catch my breath, even with the CPAP.  Long story short- the wife drove me to the E.R. They did a few blood tests and eliminated the possibility of a heart attack (Troponin test), and the ECG looked fine.  The doc suspected it was another blood clot getting lodged. But I noticed that after about a couple of hours I coughed up some phlegm and the breathing got easier significantly- but didn't go completely away. It was almost like I had pneumonia-lite. Last night I thought for sure that all of the withdrawal symptoms from Benzos and Anti-depressants had 'caught up' with me and I was having a heart attack. The doc gave me a luvonox shot and an additional 5mg of Warfarin. I'm supposed to take another 5 mg today and get my INR checked tomorrow. (I was at 1.8 a week ago and last night (I'm supposed to be between 2.0-3.0)).  Of course the breathing problem went away long before I was released.

As to heart attack- about the only problem was the difficulty breathing. My tummy hurt a bit before I went to bed- that's about it.  But the anxiety attack that one normally gets during such- nada.  I cannot say for sure if I managed to get any cortisol spikes last night- as I spent the time I'd normally get them lightly dozing or getting blood drawn. I'll have to wait and see what tonight brings. Right now I'm at work. 

Personally- I'm of the opinion that the T-dat (Tetanus,Diptheria, Pertussis) shot is the one giving me the problem. I've got a low but persistent headache going. But I'm not dizzy in the least. The shot location isn't swollen or such and I'm not running a fever. So all in all- I think I'm good. I'm developing immunity to three things at once.  I do have a wee bit of the 'normal' (for now) anxiety going on. 

I could've stayed home, but it's just too darned cold out to work on the yard- and I've got cabin fever, and I'd rather be at work earning sick leave instead of burning it off going stir crazy at home.

 

But the upsides- still reviewing the improvements over the year- Cortisol spikes and low grade anxiety attacks are relatively mild in comparison.  I don't feel like I've got the Flu all of the time now.  The last two weekends I did have bloating- but that is probably the milk intolerance. Not drinking the milk or milk product- I'm not having mood swings. Which is a definite +. 

Someday- I will be reading through all of this- and remembering it all to jog my memory.

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Rockingchaircat
02/06/2016

 

It was good while it lasted. The window that is.

The mornings of the 4th and 5th? Refreshed. Such a wonderful sensation.  And oh so rare. I've been holding off on sugar, and on milk and milk products- it seemed to make a difference.

This morning- I decided to sleep in. 

Not such a good idea. After sleeping past the usual wake up time- and instead of basking in my happy light, I was snoozing- and woke up with an anxiety attack.  Still- I did manage to sleep well past the usual time by about 3 hours (more or less). But I've been paying for it the rest of today. In the morning it was depression/anxiety, and ever since 10-ish it's been anxiety attacks. The worst episode was after I had lunch with a friend. I had no idea that Orange Julius smoothies were made with milk. Now I do. Lucky me. 

Still, some deep breathing and calming techniques have served me well. But even with all that, I still manage to feel the anxiety on my periphery....waiting....for a chance....

I did manage a nap, that sort of helped. The weather report stated that today was supposed to be at least partly sunny- NOPE! All overcast. I really could've used some sunshine today.

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Rockingchaircat
02/10/2016

 

Today marks a year since jumping off of a Benzo. I'd say that as of right now- I've no desire to go back onto one. I'd say that I'm over it.  I'd like to say that I'm totally good- but I'd be lying. Because several months after getting off of the Benzo, I decided to get off of the Antidepressant.  It's been 7 months and I'm still feeling anxiety attacks. Granted a good portion of that is muted. But it's annoying and frustrating.

Last week I went to my Cpap/Sleep study doc; in a conversation about Melatonin he was waxing quite enthusiastic about it. He was stating that it's 'half life' is about an hour, so I'd not have a big a problem getting over Melatonin usage as I would a Benzo or an Anti-depressant - which, according to him, (Antidepressant) stabilization shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks.  And he simply refused to listen to any possibility that it could or would take longer than a couple of weeks.

So if Mr. "Wonderful/Melatonin" cannot be bothered to listen to contrary evidence, I'm going to take his enthusiasm for Melatonin 'under advisement'. Which is my way of saying: Not only NO, but F**k NO!

 

This morning, I'm doing better from the weekend. I've been munching something fierce on soda crackers and pretzels. Lots of salt and I'm feeling better. My breathing has improved, and many of the alternative symptoms have gone away. The skin burn has disappeared, and the muscle twitch/tic in the same spot on my arm where the skin burn was- is gone too. I've got energy and enthusiasm. But I still have to deal with early morning cortisol spikes. 

 

Yeah yeah yeah, it's muted, and I'm able to get back to sleep- but DAMMIT, I just want the damned things to go the freak away!

15 years on, and 7 months off. I just have to wait. And endure. I'm so close, so damned close. I can feel it. And it'd be just my luck to try and reinstate now and discover that I was almost there.  So, I'm gonna hold on, and take it day by day.

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SquirrellyGirl

You ROCK, RCC!

 

What a great accomplishment, kicking the benzo!  Yup, coming off the AD so close on the heels of kicking the benzo prevents you from perhaps seeing the benefits as clearly, but dang, that's fantastic!  

 

I wish I'd known that I was in withdrawal when I reinstated Effexor 10 months out, because I'd already had that hard-suffering under my belt and now I've had to start over with that one and have a SECOND one to deal with!  Oh me....you and me both, one day at a time.  I know you are going to succeed with the AD as you did with the benzo.

 

It's always a joy to read your posts, BTW. So nice to read that you have energy and enthusiasm!  Those are hard to come by for me, so you give me hope!

 

SG

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Rockingchaircat
Thank you Squirrely Girl. I wish you all the best.

 

02/12/2016

 

The window started again. That's the fastest I've ever had one start up again. Yesterday and today- window. Now it wasn't totally free of anxiety episodes, but I'm as close to 'normal' as I've been for some time.

Yesterday- after needing to relax after the usual morning routine of anxiousness- the anxiety went away and pretty much stayed away the entire day- and night. I had a wee bit of it, after falling asleep for an hour then waking up with some restless leg and a small bit of anxiety. The leg calmed down and so did I. Sleep for the last few days has been on again off again- interrupted. But all in all, I've been getting enough rest to not feel the need for a nap during the day. I'd say about  6.5 to 7 hours a night. My nose has been a bit stuffier than usual.

 

The change- I'd say it was due to the amount of salt that I've eaten in the last few days. My energy is back along with some enthusiasm. Unfortunately I've eaten enough salt to cause me to have a higher blood pressure for a bit/ harder to breathe for a few hours. But the tradeoff? Well worth it.

It's been said that salt for humans acts like a natural antidepressant. It seems to be working for me.  Too much table salt? I'll drink extra water to pee it out then.

Checking in with my brain training games, I do seem to have lost some ground- some of the games have become a bit more difficult to accomplish and I'm getting a lower score. This appears to be part of the pattern.  A temporary loss in ability whilst my brain resets itself during the night. And weird, the dreams have become more vivid- in fact I had another potential damp dream- details I won't go into. I voluntarily chose to interrupt it.

 

It's strange. I feel that I've turned a corner.

Depression held off with Happy Light. Anxiety held off with Salt. Those were my two biggest concerns this late in the game.

 

And my salt intake doesn't seem to have any affect on my Edema in my lower legs. But I'll still keep an eye on things.

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Sarabera

Wow, February sure started off with a bang! glad to hear you are okay. I'm just finishing tapering off a mild benzo dependence--had to go fast, as I can't get any more. 6.6 to 7 hours of sleep sounds pretty darn good! I've been sleeping good, hope I can keep it up for a while.

Sarah

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Rockingchaircat

02/17/2016

 

My condolences on the benzo rapid withdrawal Sarabera. I certainly do not envy you your withdrawal.

 

The last four weekends- have been...interesting. Interesting as in: that old Chinese Curse (purportedly) of "May you live in Interesting Times". 

The nearest way for me to describe it: Extreme Fatigue.  And it appears to be a reaction to dairy products related to adrenal fatigue. I am unable to eat chocolate or any kind of dairy product without some truly insane fatigue. Generally I deliver a friend her lunch on Saturday- and for the longest time I picked up an Orange Julius smoothie for me to consume whilst chatting with her over her lunch. The last 4 weekends- I would start to feel VERY tired that day and go home and take a nap. Which would rapidly turn into a series of naps all weekend long. I would simply lie on the couch with just enough energy to get up to go to the bathroom or get something to eat, then go back and lie on the couch and take another nap. And another and another and another.

The weekend before last I forgot to ask if the OJ smoothie was made with milk (it is), and consumed half before I found out- The rest of the weekend- naps.  Last weekend I had some rice and beans with a burrito- I didn't notice anything until I'd eaten half- there was cheese involved. Guess what?  The next day- scrambled eggs at a restaurant- Apparently they make their scrambled eggs with...guess what? Milk. Guess what the rest of the 3 day weekend I was doing?

This weekend? I'm gonna be EXTREMELY careful about what I eat. jeez louise!

These intense fatigue sessions are a great way to end a window.

 

And the annoying part? the naps don't help. They don't make me rested. They do make the cortisol spikes disappear when they're occurring, but as soon as I go to bed, the invariable cortisol spikes occur at the (usual) most inconvenient times. So- Monday night i do manage to get some sleep. But C/S (cortisol spikes) at 1:30 in the morning starting- didn't make for a restful sleep. Last night- I had a business trip, and I slept somewhat well at a motel. But the C/S started at 2:30 instead. I hope I sleep better tonight.

Last night- restless leg again. This time for the very first time- it's not in my left leg. It's in my right. Oh great.

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Rockingchaircat

Last night.

I awake at 12:40 am. After what feels (kinda sorta) like a nightmare- I'm watching someone else/me have to go past a guard to gain entrance somewhere. For some reason the guard has to search me, with a knife, around my genitals. I awaken at that point.  

Now- I can feel underneath my tummy- a sort of 'boiling' sensation- quickly I feel my skin start to burn and then my limbs start to get jittery- then I understand what it is: Cortisol Spike. It gets hard to breathe. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to relax enough to fall back asleep. I start dreaming again, second dream- I get stranded miles away from help in the middle of a strange city- a very important part of my bicycle has fallen off. I immediately awaken and I start feeling the boiling sensation again. I do what I can to suppress it. At best I get a slight tingle in my limbs. So, until my chosen get up time (0350) I am falling back asleep after short order and forcing myself awake when I notice that I'm starting to get a Cortisol Surge. Sleep doze for a couple of hours.

The night before last- I got a surge about 2:30 in the morning. I'd decided that I was going to get up and do a set of pushups as a result. The reasoning? That if I'm going to go 'fight or flight' that I needed to do something that be considered a natural response to such and should fulfill the 'need' for such. I do so and then go back to bed. 

An hour later I fall back asleep and then I keep getting nightmares that wake me up.

I've tried turning the lights on after waking up and going back to sleep to see if a simulated early morning would cure- it doesn't.

 

Supposedly these cortisol surges are a result of the endless stress due to my anxiety attacks. Which is ironic and annoying. My biggest stressor right now is not getting a decent night's sleep.  Result? Vicious Circles. 

 

So I keep trying to find that which may allow me to get an extended window. I'm not trying to eliminate the cortisol, just tone it down for goodness sakes.

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Rockingchaircat

My Nightly Report for:

1)      Light therapy-

2)      Supplements-

3)      Exercise-

4)      Diet-

5)      Meditation-

6)      Naps-

7)      Orgasm-

8)      Caffeine-

9)      Sleep Type-

10)   Day time stressors-

 

My Nightly Report for: 02/17/2016

1)      Light therapy- No.

2)      Supplements-Usual.

3)      Exercise- Walking in wet grass for much of the day.

4)      Diet- One egg, toast/jelly, coffee low sugar. pretzels. Albacore fish and chips for dinner.

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Yes- during meditation.

7)      Orgasm-No.

8)      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar, some sweet tea.

9)      Sleep Type- Surprisingly restful for most of the night. 0230 C/S. I then did a pushup set to try and see if such cures (it doesn't). More C/S until I get up.

10)   Day time stressors- Despite restful sleep I'm dragging for most of the day. LOTS of driving.

 

Essentially- as part of the log- I'm entering this as a template to see if I can find a pattern. A pattern that will do me some good.

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Rockingchaircat

My Nightly Report for 02/18/2015

1)      Light therapy-Yes.

2)      Supplements- Vitamin D, Magnesium. B-complex. Warfarin, Pepto Bismol and anti-histamine. 

3)      Exercise- 30 minutes on the stationary bike.

4)      Diet- Hotel bar, sausage proteins, bread/jelly. Apple/grapes. Albacore tuna sandwich. Dinner- Gluten Free rice noodles with chicken and veggies (Korean, greasy as all get down). 

5)      Meditation- Some- managed to fall asleep.

6)      Naps- during meditation.

7)      Orgasm- yes

8)      Caffeine- some coffee low sugar, some sweetened tea.

9)      Sleep Type- Normal bed time 8 pm. Restless leg at 10. C/S at 1240 am. And dozes until 0345 .

10)   Day time stressors- Anxiety attacks. Extended driving.

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/19/2016

1)      Light therapy- Yes.

2)      Supplements-Usual. Added Omega 3 before bed. 

3)      Exercise- Home Gym

4)      Diet- Usual during the day, pork chops with rice and veggies.

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Yes- during meditation. Slept for 20 minutes.

7)      Orgasm-No.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type- C/S at 1250. Doze in and out of sleep until get up time 0345. Suppression of surges when possible. 

10)   Day time stressors- fairly busy day. Which is good. Cold, cloudy, rainy.

 

I woke up with a C/S about 10 minutes later than the previous night. Suppressed the initial surge, and managed to fall back asleep within a half hour. 2-3 more times until get up time. As soon as I start to sense the surges I work to suppress them.  This morning- headache. I took a diuretic before bed- in an effort to bring down my blood pressure and potassium. I took some omega 3 before bed to see if it would help with the C/S- so far- nothing.

I also picked up some taurine. I've not taken any. I'm ambivalent about that. Will even do me any good? And how would taking that be any different than taking a Benzo?  I think I'd like it too much if it did work.  My hope is that a single dose would at least knock down the cortisol surges to allow me a halfway decent night's sleep, once in a while.  Those damnable things just won't stop.

Lots of flatulence during the day yesterday- could be the tuna.

Middle of the night suppression of the C/S seems to have resulted in a drastic reduction of anxiety during the day- it's still there, but only barely perceptible if I think on it- which I don't really want to.

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AliG

I think it might be better not to focus , on all of this . Go with the flow , and relax , a bit !  Too intense.  I couldn't sleep either , with all this going on . LOL

Ali

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Rockingchaircat

Perhaps you're right AliG. But I feel that I'm oh so close to being free. The last couple of mornings- the morning anxiety has been the lowest for some time. And I've had more windows since I'd gotten the lightbox.  I just want to be free of this crap and get on with my life.

So if there is a pattern- I wanna find it.

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/20/2016

1)      Light therapy- Yes.

2)      Supplements-Usual.+ Two aspirin and two magnesium tabs.  Antihistamine tab before dinner.

3)      Exercise- None.

4)      Diet- Usual during the day, Korean- pot sticker soup. Some kimchi, mungbean pancake.

5)      Meditation-No.

6)      Naps- No.

7)      Orgasm-No.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type-Possible C/S, difficult to say- sleep was intermittent.  

10)   Day time stressors- fairly busy day. Which is good. Cold, cloudy, rainy.

 

It could've been a decent night's sleep. Busy afternoon/evening. No time for meditation or nap. After a short sleep I awoke with restless leg. After that bout- bedmate snored. And tossed and turned often. She developed a migraine at 3 in the morning. Possible C/S, difficult to say- but I was able to snooze in past the usual time a bit.

Preliminary- Aspirin may have helped. According to those who work out (far more often than I) aspirin knocks down cortisol. It's worth a try.

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/21/2016

1)      Light therapy- Yes, delayed.

2)      Supplements-Usual.+ One aspirin (325 mg) two magnesium tabs, one Omega 3, two hours before bed.

3)      Exercise- Bike.

4)      Diet- Usual during the day, Original Roadhouse steak sandwich.

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Yes.

7)      Orgasm-Yes.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type-Improved- no noticeable C/S. 

10)   Day time stressors- fairly busy day. Sun was out until I went for bike ride, then cold and overcast.

 

Surprisingly good night's sleep.  Yesterday afternoon- nap. I awake from a 15 minute nap with a Cortisol Surge. It's like it's determined to get me no matter what. I dream intensely during the night- including dreams that would've 'normally' have awakened me with a nightmare C/S. I awake anyways- but no C/S. First dream- intense, involving an airplane accident near where I work. I awake and notice that the night light in the bathroom seems like the bathroom has it's light on. Within a few seconds it's as normal as ever. Minor restless leg. I sleep the usual interrupted during the night- I awake at 4 with a gyroscope travel dream.  No C/S. I catch up with my sleep deficit instead. 

Lying in bed later I ruminate over whether to get up or not. Some arm burn/tingle similar to my benzo withdrawal. It goes away after a while.  Take wife out for brekky. I'm in a better mood than usual (amazing how getting an uninterrupted sleep will do that for ya. Not depressed, but melancholy. 

It's still preliminary- and it could very well be a placebo- but I think that the aspirin is helping. My blood pressure at night is indeed less.  Last night's sleep isn't refreshing, but it was uninterrupted by C/S.

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/22/2016

1)      Light therapy- Yes, delayed.

2)      Supplements-Usual.+ One aspirin (325 mg) two magnesium tabs, one Omega 3, two hours before bed.

3)      Exercise- Home Gym.

4)      Diet- Breakfast at Original Pancake house, lunch- bag of fruit jellies, dinner-Porkchops and rice. Some pretzels for snack.

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Yes.

7)      Orgasm-No.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type- no noticeable C/S, some excitability. 

10)   Day time stressors- fairly busy day. Rainy day after morning sun.

 

Busy- wife wanted to go out for breakfast. Grocery shopping, and then take family out for movie (Deadpool). My empathy isn't at full bore- thus all of the violence didn't affect me as much as I'd thought it would. Late afternoon workout. And a crying spell. I've been doing that a lot more of late. Just about every day. Not to the point of waterworks, but enough to make me sniffle and blow my nose- which appears to be my limit.

3rd night of not C/S. I think I may have stumbled over a way to combat at least ONE annoying symptom. The nice thing about Aspirin- is that it's NOT a psychotropic drug. I still feel some of the effects of an early cortisol surge in the night- just not the panic attacks. So yeah, I still wake up in the night, but it's far far easier to fall back asleep. It's been mostly physical symptoms of late- possible gastritis and definite diarrhea. I'm still salt starved, just for not as much or often. I steadfastly avoided any milk/product, result- no Nasty Fatigue this weekend- which is a definite improvement over the last month.  And yes- I still get edema in my legs regardless of how much salt or diuretic.

Anxiety isn't there so much, as I'm typing I'm getting some skin burn in an old and familiar spot (back of the arms). Pins and needles elsewhen. It's as if the brain/body is running through all of the other symptoms of w/d again because it cannot torment me with the anxiety as much as it'd like.

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/23/2016

1)      Light therapy- Yes, delayed.

2)      Supplements-Usual.+ Two aspirins (325 mg) two magnesium tabs, one Omega 3, two hours before bed.

3)      Exercise- Bike Ride

4)      Diet-a few slices of cinnamon raisin bread..

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Yes.

7)      Orgasm-Yes.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type- no noticeable C/S, some excitability. 

10)   Day time stressors- Cranky

 

Yesterday- I was tired enough to fall asleep during my lunch break. Instead of feeling a lightly bit better- instead I got slammed. It's been a round robin of just about every w/d symptom imaginable- in short order. I was cranky, fatigued, depersonalized, disassociated, clumsy, raging headache, depressed, anxious- all coming and going within 10-15 minute increments. I would be incredibly horny one minute- and then asexual minded within an hour. Brain fog, followed by clear thinking later.  Super smeller one second, then my tongue goes numb. Skin burn in one spot, then it's skin tingles in another.  WTF?!

Right now I just came to, after falling asleep at the computer. And I'm having problems focusing my eyes. I've been cranky most of the damnable day. Now? Not so much. I'd say that the aspirin is holding off most if not all of the c/s. But even so- I still managed to wake up (as usual) in the middle of the night- and while trying to allow myself to fall back asleep- I get an anxiety attack. Last night I was so tired, I was nodding off 15 minutes before the usual bed time.  The food isn't triggering me into gastroenteritis- yet. I've been taking a couple of probiotics and they FINALLY seem to be taking affect. 

At night- I'm not sure if my body is trying to 'catch up' with my sleep deficit, or is simply trying to compensate in another area to make up for the other crap it' cannot mess me up on because of the aspirin. I gave some serious thought to calling in sick for the day- now I'm glad I didn't. Breakfast was scant this morning. A few slices of cinnamon raisin bread and some coffee. For some reason I snapped over seeing a half sandwich in my lunch container and threw it and it's contents across the living room. 

Of course it didn't help that one of our cats decided at 2:30 in the morning to yodel for several minutes.  The weird part- the first few hours of sleeping I'm usually sleeping like a log. Then the inevitable time of the cortisol comes. Even with the aspirin...WHY can I NOT be allowed some rest?

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/24/2016

1)      Light therapy- Yes.

2)      Supplements-Usual.+  two magnesium tabs, one Omega 3, one 500 mg Niacinamide, two hours before bed, one baby aspirin at bed time.

3)      Exercise- home gym.

4)      Diet-a few slices of cinnamon raisin bread..

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Yes.

7)      Orgasm-No.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type- no noticeable C/S.

10)   Day time stressors- Cranky

Ok. Last night- I had no noticeable C/S. I was a bit concerned about taking too high a dose of aspirin, so I throttled back on the dosage. It seemed to have made a difference. I guess I could say I got some restful sleep. But instead of waking up with panic attacks, instead I awaken at 2:30 or so and stare at the ceiling for well over an hour.  Instead of pounding heart and fluctuating body temperatures- I end a stable body temperature and insomnia.   So far- no anxiety attack in the morning- yet.

Yesterday I was fatigued. I fell asleep at work ( :( ) for a bit, and was dragging for a while. I got home and took a nap. Now THEN i had a C/S. Did my workout, did my meditation (fell asleep again). 

I'm not feeling refreshed, but neither do I feel like I'm dragging (too much).  The Happy Light- helps.

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AliG

Rockingchaircat . I commend you for your vigilance  & patience.  You are doing well with your progress notes.  You think the " light - box " helps ?

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Rockingchaircat

Rockingchaircat . I commend you for your vigilance  & patience.  You are doing well with your progress notes.  You think the " light - box " helps ?

Yes.  It seems to help with the depression, at least during the morning hours. There are many times I simply don't want to do anything, but the lightbox seems to inspire me to do something, anything.

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Rockingchaircat
My Nightly Report for: 02/25/2016

1)      Light therapy- No. I forgot to turn it on today.

2)      Supplements-Usual.+  two magnesium tabs, one Omega 3, one 500 mg Niacinamide, two hours before bed, one 500 mg Vitamin C.

3)      Exercise- bike ride.

4)      Diet-one egg, some toast and coffee. The usual for lunch and dinner.

5)      Meditation-Yes.

6)      Naps- Meditation time.

7)      Orgasm-No.

8 )      Caffeine- Breakfast coffee, low sugar.

9)      Sleep Type- reduced- but still existent C/S.

10)   Day time stressors- Fatigue, depression.

I chose to take a Vitamin C tab instead of the aspirin. It made a difference. 2:30 in the morning and I wake up from a dream with some reduced, but still extant, C/S. So for the next hour- I got to enjoy attempting to relax enough to fall asleep and get woken up by C/S, time and again. Most of the night- good sleep. I had an entertaining dream that didn't trigger the C/S. I"m afraid I'm gonna have to go back to the aspirin again tonight. The Vitamin C seems to help, just not enough.  The morning anxiety is back, reduced, but still back. The last few mornings (under aspirin) I had minimal almost nonexistent anxiety. And the skin burn is back too.  It comes and goes. Right now it'll flare up if I have to think about anything for a while.

Libido? What's that?  

And I'm still waffling about Taurine. I don't wanna get onto it like I did the benzo. Dependent on it for any sleep with a nasty withdrawal. In the end, I may just have to simply try it and face the consequences. I don't have to get a prescription for it, so there's that.

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Rockingchaircat

Doing more research.

Taurine- thins the blood. Vitamin C- thins the blood. Magnesium- thins the blood. Omega 3- thins the blood. Niacin- thins the blood. Aspirin- thins the blood. Every single one of these, thins the blood, and every single one of them I was either taking or thinking of taking.

Because I"m on Warfarin for a Pulmonary Embolism I had several years ago.  It's just as well I'm supposed to meet with a doctor today.

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