Jump to content
brassmonkey

Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

Recommended Posts

AmyK

I hope this night is better, Tom. And that you recover quickly from these coughs. I have had some bad nightmares too recently, thank god they are only dreams.

Hugs!

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Well the bad night seems to have been just a blip.  Things settled back in the next night and have been fine since.  The cough has been slowly working its way out.  The air conditioning seems to be playing a role in it which is making things a bit tricks as we are having a nice heatwave at 107F/42C. I do find myself doing the happy dance and singing "I don't have to go to work" every time I look at the thermometer.  Even though it was indoors, my little shop frequently broke the 100F mark during the summer and that doesn't mix well with safety equipment and toxic chemicals.

 

Dropped to 6mgpw this morning for a dose of .48mgai.  September here I come.

Share this post


Link to post
nz11

Wow Brass sounds like you will be singing and dancing over the finish line.

Gee that is a small amount. Must be tricky weighing that .

When do you break the news to the doctor...who thinks you are still on 20mg right.

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

It's an amazingly small amount of powder. A little less than half of a paper match head. It's not too bad scooping it out, but the scales are having a tough time with it even with the calibration weight.  They don't like weights less than 4mg or additions\subtractions of 1mg. Luckily 4mgpw will give me a dose of .32mgai which is a good place to jump from.

 

As for the doctor, he actually thinks I'm still on 40mg with some seroquil (sp) thrown in for good measure.  I guess I didn't mention I fired him when I retired.  Change insurance carriers and found someone closer to home that I really like. I think I'll just let that sleeping dog lie. (pun intended)

Share this post


Link to post
nz11

Just amazing!

 

Brass I don't know how the complaint system works in America. but i gently ask you if you have considered typing out your taper schedule and forwarding it to your ex doctor and regulatory authorities to show just what had to be done in order to get off paxil. I think doctors and others who peddle this stuff need to be told what they are putting people through.Whats the bet your ex doc has done this druggary to many others and i guarantee none of them have been blessed with your escape brilliance. Just a thought.

 

Regards

nz11 

Share this post


Link to post
Shep

That's a great idea, NZ.

 

And Tom, since you don't have a bipolar or schizophrenia diagnosis, the Seroquel that doctor prescribed was off label. The drug company was hit with a massive fine for this by the Justice Dept:

 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/pharmaceutical-giant-astrazeneca-pay-520-million-label-drug-marketing

 

I'm so glad you didn't take the Seroquel because it can be a very difficult drug to come off of. 

 

Glad to hear your cough is better. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

Share this post


Link to post
elbee

Glad you're feeling better, brass. I have a hard time sleeping in the heat too! Your path is inspirational ... a lesson in patience and perseverance!

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Looks like it's been a couple of weeks since I posted.  Things have been very busy here, what with several large projects going on at once.  I'm starting to wonder when my retirement will begin there's so much going on.

 

Taper wise things are progressing just fine. Very few symptoms and very spread out when they show up.  Still have some cognitive issues, mild intermittent fog, short term recall and finding words are all still bothersome.  

Share this post


Link to post
LexAnger

nice to hear you, Tom!

Glad things are continuously improving!

Share this post


Link to post
AmyK

Happy to hear all is going well! Hugs!

Share this post


Link to post
grandmaD

So pleased for you Brass, what a hero!

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

I can't believe it's time for another drop. I must be having too much fun the time is going so fast. Dropped to 5mgpw this morning that's an even 0.4mgai.  It's a total pain to weigh as the scales are only sensitive to 4mg and above.  Right now I'm trying to weigh 10mgpw and divide it visually in half.  I totally understand what you were talking about Aberdeen. 

 

Two nights ago I had a dream that should have been very upsetting, but I brushed it off as only being slightly weird and went back to sleep.  My dream quality is improving, but I sorta miss the really vivid ones I use to have.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Congratulations on almost being to the finish line, Brassmonkey!  You are such an inspiration.  I have read several of your posts and you seem to really have this whole tapering experience down.  I was curious to find out more about where you were at when you started your taper.  I have read you were in tolerance when you started your taper.  I don't know what is happening to me at the moment but am concerned I might be in tolerance if I can't stabilize from yet another updose.  I guess I am asking how unstable were you when you started tapering?  I am having high levels of anxiety and depression (hence the updose).  I have very little appetite and am waking up at 4-4:30 despite when I go to sleep.  Also feeling that is very difficult to do much of anything aside from somehow dragging myself to work.  Can't seem to get out the door to do anything (I suppose agoraphobia?).  My situation is also complicated by a benzo but at the moment I am pretty confident I am dealing with AD withdrawal (or tolerance?).  I just can't imagine tapering when feeling this sick but don't know if that is what you did?  I am hoping I can once again stabilize and taper either the AD or benzo from a better place but am thinking ahead in case this doesn't happen.  

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Hi Wantrelief-- Thanks for dropping by.  I posted this to DesertChild yesterday where I talk about poopout, stabilization and WDnormal.  I gives a bit of my background.

 

"You call it withdrawal normal, as said above when you have reached a base-line which is as good as it gets for you. Now I guess, I can start to think about that. "

 

As good as it gets for that moment.  WDnormal is a sliding scale of reference for tracking overall improvements in ones condition. As you're learning this is a very slow process and at first changes in WDnormal are very small and slow in coming. As time passes and ones body heals those changes become more pronounced and more frequent. But it can be frustratingly slow at first.

 

I'll bore you with a bit of my history so you can see how I came up with the idea of WDnrmal.  Many people find the time frames upsetting but I truly advocate going very slowly.   I'm one of the "lucky ones" in that I have only been on one drug, all be it for 23 years now, which makes things a lot easier to sort out. I originally started on Paxil for Spontaneous Outbursts of Violent Anger and it really helped.  In reality I should have been through counseling instead of being drugged, but that's an irrelevant part of the story.  After many years on the drug it wasn't working as well so I updosed.  That helped sorta but a few years later I needed to updose again.  That helped for a few months, then I started down hill.  It took a number of years and becoming totally messed up to figure out I was in severe tolerance, or what we lovingly call "poopout".

 

Just making the decision to do something about it was a terrifying experience but after 18 years of being drugged, my marriage on the rocks and about to lose everything (probably even my life) I decided to do something about it.     Again I was lucky and found a site called PaxilProgress before I made any changes. That started the entire process.  I liked the idea of the 10% taper, but made a couple of modifications to make it gentler, and started with that.

 

Nothing happened. I felt as bad as I had been.  Six weeks passed and I did my second drop. Nothing happened, except maybe I felt a bit worse.  This pattern kept up for about 18 months.  When one day it hit me, "I hadn't felt as c***** for the past several weeks".  It took another six months before I again noticed that things had improved.  During this whole time all I could do was move doggedly forward making the best of it and learning to put up with and work around the symptoms.  I really had no other choice.

 

A little after two years I had my first widow.  It lasted about fifteen minutes, and it wasn't until several hours later I realized it had happened.  That was the point that it sunk in that the process really did work.  Except for that window the rest of the time was heavy brain fog, DR, no short term memory, dizziness, all the symptoms we know and loath.  Another window opened briefly a few months later, and I noticed that I wasn't as "out of it" all the time and that I was gaining a little control over the symptoms by Acknowledging them, Accepting them and letting them Float off as I went about my life.

 

Finally after three years of tapering I felt like I was making progress. I could see that I was improved from where I had started even though I knew I was by no means better.  I also could see that I was doing better that I was just six months before.  I realized that my "base line of feeling like c***" was improving or how my WD symptoms normally felt was improving.  Hence WDnormal.

 

These last two years, it will be a total of five this fall, have brought fairly steady improvement.  I can see improvements on a month over month and sometimes week over week basis.  To the point that many people would say I'm back to normal by the way I function.  I know I'm not because I am still taking the drug and will be for the next several months. During my time on and tapering off of paxil I have learned a huge amount about myself, life and how to deal with things.  

 

​I feel like I'm rambling now, but I hope this helps explain some of the process and you don't find it too disheartening because of the time frames involved.

Share this post


Link to post
wantrelief

Thanks for your post on my thread and for describing where you began your process.  I know I am not in "WD normal" at the moment as I am quite unstable so it was good to confirm this with what you are saying.  I can't begin tapering in the state I am in....I am still trying to figure out if I am in "poopout" or not but I think going down right now would not be a good idea.

 

It must have felt so reassuring to feel better as you dropped.

 

Thanks for all you do on the site and being an inspiration for myself and others!

Share this post


Link to post
elbee

Thanks for elaborating on and summarizing your inspirational story brassmonkey.

Share this post


Link to post
reachingforthestars

Hi Brassmonkey :)

 

How would you describe the symptoms of poop out? Did the anhedonia started due to poop out? Did you have insomnia in the beginning before you started tapering?

 

 

It is so nice to read how you are continuously improving! :)

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Just wanted to note that I had some zaps last night after going to bed.

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

I've been very busy lately so haven't taken the time to post much. Which in a way is a good thing as WD seems to no longer be an important thing in my life. But it's also doing a disservice, because I wanted this thread to be an example of life after WD.  So I need to start talking about how I fill my days.

 

As I have mentioned several times I recently retired, so now I don't have the specter of work hanging over my head each day. It really does make it hard to remember what day it is, as everyday is Saturday.  This is where my phone comes in.  I hate telephones in general and find cellphones to be very intrusive into life.  I will, however, admit that they do have their uses.  Being a PDA is one of them, calendar, notes, camera, internet access are all useful.  With out the calendar Monica and I could never keep our lives straight, and just last week I was using the notes app to remember questions and answers for my latest doctor visit.  It also has one of the best point and shoot cameras on the market which I use a lot.  The wild bunnies in the back yard are getting use to my taking their pictures.

 

We're deep into the kitchen remodel.  The new cabinets arrive in just a few weeks. Leaving a very short time to get all the demo and electrical work done before hand. Guess who gets to do the demo?  But we can't just smash everything up and throw it out like on the DIY shows.  The old cabinets are still usable.  One set now resides over the washer/dryer and the others are being weather sealed to become tool storage on the back patio.

 

For the last 25 years Monica and I have been running a haunted house for halloween, our favorite holiday. Each year it has gotten bigger and more elaborate. We have to start setting things up the third weekend of August to get everything working in time for October 31st. It takes a lot of time, but is a labor of love and we get people from miles around coming to see it.

 

Today I'm working on repurposing cabinets and storing away unused props to make room for the arrival of the new cabinets.

Share this post


Link to post
Bruin

Thank you Brass for sharing your success story....it is a real inspiration.  Wonderful that you are enjoying your retirement....have a blast.

 

With Best Wishes 

 

Bruin..

Share this post


Link to post
elbee

"Normalcy" is probably a really good sign! Congrats :)

Share this post


Link to post
LexAnger

Great great great update, Tom!

 

Everyone will appreciate your thoughtful effort!

I will an all time loyal follower to your post WD life story.

 

Best wishes,

Lex

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Thanks for dropping is with the well wishes everyone.  I really appreciate it.

 

Got quite a bit done yesterday. Two of the old cabinets are refinished and the third most of the way. Made up some large swatches to help decide on the new color for painting the house. The wall behind the cabinets needs painted before they're installed, and if we do that we may as well do the entire house. There's logic in there some where.

 

Tuesday evening is for online video games.  It's the night for setting high scores for the weekly leader board. I started playing Bejeweled Blitz to help improve my concentration, and it's really working.  It was very frustrating for the first several weeks, but then I started getting the hang of it and now it's pretty fun.  Right now I have the high score for the week, but my cousin and friend in Portland haven't played yet and they frequently beat me.  It's all in fun as you usually play against yourself.  The leader board scores are just to get additional coins.

 

We finally have some electricians coming out to give bids on the kitchen.  That's how I'll spend most of the afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Chuck83

Nice after some years to see you again Brass, I hope U remember me and everything going well.

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

HI Chuck-- I recognize the name, but I'll have to read some of your posts to remember the details.  Welcome to the group.

 

Things are going very well Chuck, thanks for asking.  I'm psyching up to make the jump in less than a couple of months. I'm excited and nervous at the same time about it. In the mean time I'm trying to go about my life in as normal a way as possible.  Spent several hours yesterday getting the first bid for the kitchen electrical work.  Get to do the same today.  The rebuilt cabinets are just about ready to install so today is playing with power washers and buying paint to prep the area.  Along with talking to another electrician.

 

The government didn't like my new passport pictures so we had to redo those.  We still have plenty of time to get that finished up as the first foreign trip isn't until December.  Still it's all resubmitted and it should be here in a few weeks. 

Share this post


Link to post
LexAnger

Hi Tom, Every time I think of your plan of jumping off from the current dose, I would get a bit nervous too. You have been doing so great and you are surely the expert, and I also understand the difficulty splitting the last tiny bit dose.  

 

I am still so hoping you would consider buffering the last inch of the journey with just tiny bit of the meds for a while. I am so looking forward to your smooth taking off and complete success.

 

Just a thought that I feel hard to hold not to share.

 

Lex

Share this post


Link to post
Shep

I'm enjoying reading about your recent progress, Tom. I do understand the fear factor about jumping, but from your posts here and on other people's threads, you have so much insight into withdrawal as well as having a ton of non-drug coping skills, I think you're going to be more than ready to jump when the time comes. You did the hard work and that will pay off as you leave the world of meds and head toward full recovery. 

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Thank you ladies, that's the dilemma I'm facing. Do I jump from .32mg or try to get even smaller? It's down to a matter of how to measure to dose.  A switch to liquid at this late date isn't much of an option. Right now I'm weighting out a double dose and visually dividing it in two.  I could keep doing that but the pile of powder is getting so small it's hard to manipulate.  There's also the timing factor. We have two big trips coming up at the in December and January that I'd really like to not worry about medications on.  We'll see, each drop is still a new adventure.

 

Super busy this weekend. I have several very heavy pieces of the kitchen demo that need moved so I have to get that prepped because I have several helpers in working on the haunted house that can help move things. We pulled a lot of the halloween props out of storage, cleared the garage and are starting to set up the haunted maze.  We should get most of the walls up today which will keep us right on schedule. The weather is cooperating nicely too. Its been in the high 80sF/30C which is much nicer that the 103F/39C we've had the past several years.

Share this post


Link to post
mustangwoman

Hi Tom.  sometimes when the weight is close to zero the scale will count as zero, even though it's not.  Makes it hard to measure small doses.  My husband, the mathematician, has been putting a weight on the scale first and then measuring the current dose, subtracting the difference.  I don't know if that's helpful to you.  If I can ever help anyone else, I would really want to.  I am on 4.2 mg now of luvox, which is supposed to be equivalent to .84 of paxil, so the doses are getting very small.  Wish you the best my friend!

Share this post


Link to post
Chantingjo

Hi tom

Thought i would stop by and see how you are doing. You are nearly there. Thats great. It sounds like you are doing well too. It requires a lot of patience to go as slow as you have but definitely the right thing to do.jo

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Hi MW -- thanks for dropping in, it's always nice to see you.  I'm playing with several ideas on continuing my taper lower. Right now they center around weighing out a larger dose and visually splitting it smaller.  Boy, you're really getting down there, you should be seeing a big difference.

 

Hi Jo-- thanks for the support.  It's good seeing you, you've been away for ever. I hope everything is going well.

 

((((((((((((((((((((HuGS TO BOTH))))))))))))))))))

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Such a busy weekend.  Now I'm all achy and sore, that should clear up as I get moving around.  Worked on the haunted maze for three days and got a lot done.  We're about right where we should be on it.  Then spent a day pulling out the kitchen counters. They are HEAVY. The demo people wanted to just smash them with a lump hammer but we decided to carefully remove them and I will be making the largest piece into a patio table later this winter. Any way my friend Mitch and I didn't injure ourselves too badly trying to move the slab of Quarts from the kitchen to the back yard.  Like everything else, slow and careful and you can move mountains.  Also got the refinished cabinets set up to start making my new work shop, very excited about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Mammoth

Hi Tom,

 

It sounds like you have a lot of energy for your Halloween project and remodel. Good for you!

 

Thanks for commenting on my thread and welcoming me to SA. I noticed that you commented (somewhere in the vast number of threads here :) ) about Sam-E not playing well with AD's. Something about the receptors they work with. I wondered how you learned this & whether you could point me toward information about how various supplements work. My nutritionist is very knowledgeable about the supplements themselves, but she doesn't know much about antidepressants & interactions between the two. There are likely a lot of other supp's that don't play with with AD's or withdrawal.

 

I've been on an intensive supplement regime since April, but now am realizing

1. Some of these might not be very good for me since I had a "dip" beginning in June and sleep has been bad since then. 

2. Especially  if I am starting to bump my Cymbalta dose down (hopefully this week), it might be best to discontinue some of the supplements so as not to aggravate my CNS. 

3. I was kind of irresponsible to start a bunch of supp's while on other medicines! Eeek.

 

Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.