(03-26-2013 07:38 PM)DocWils Wrote: Remember that you need to wean off these meds, so slowly slowly under the supervised dosage reduction schedule.
Since you have not described why you have been taking these meds, I cannot suggest alternatives, but I am sure your doc has already given you some alternatives.
I greatly appreciate every ones support and comments.
To fill in some of the blanks from several caring members , I will expand on my Benzo use....
I origionally was prescribed Xanax 34 years ago for agorophobia / anxiety severe enough that it prevented me from participating in society. To stand in line at grocery store was agnoy and extreemly stress full to the poinT where I did not .....
With the use of Xanax, then Klonopin in later years, I was able to go to College at age 30, get a good job and suceded in participating in most of lifes mile stones, Travel, marriage, House, social gatherings, Activities, Hobies, etc.
With Xanax, I now understand.......... that I was intra-dose withdrawling after about 15 years. The doctors simply prescribed a Benzo with a longer half life........ Klonopin
No one ever told me that Benzo could cause major problems.
About 4 years ago, I had what was most likely a Seizure / eposodic Confusion that landed me in the Hosptal. It was ........ I think now....... interdose withdrawl and I had reached the tolerance level.
"they" raised my dosage of Klonopin........
"They" ran tons of test over the past 4 years, My cognitive functions were very impared, diagnoses ranged from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dementia, Sleep Apnea, Heart V-Tach, among other things. I had trouble walking, talking and doing the daily tasks of living.
I saw several Neuroligsts, Several Infectious Disease doctors, Geratric doctors, brain scans, blood work, Spinal Tap, and finally my primary care said "you need to get your things in order when you have a "good day" before you are unable to do so"
He called me his "million dollar" patient because the insurance had paid out in excess 1.3 millon dollars over the past 4 years........
Not to mention my costs and loss of income and more importantly the loss of my life as I knew it.
My weaning down and plan to leave the benzo world was my last ditch effort to eliminate the last variable as I had attempted many lifestyle, food, social, changes over the past 4 years.
I told my primary care doctor that I was going to try to get off the Klonopin. (that he had prescribed over the past 14 years).
He said could just stop taking it............ Wrong........!!!!!!!!
I went on line and learned all that I could about Benzo's
I slowly tapered the Klonopin down to .5 mg per day over 3 months and then after more research did the Valium interchange; I simply directed my Primary care what I wanted to take and he went along with what ever I wanted............. over another month I fully weaned off the Valium.
After 10 days of no Benzos, I had what they think was a Partial Seizure and ended up in the Hosiptal............ their solution was to give me more Benzos............ Clearly I was tapering off too fast. I most likely had 4 or 5 partial seizures before the big one............
The weanig process is .............. worse that Kidney stones, worse that a Spinal Tap............. physicall and emotionaly ...... I will simply call extreemly challenging
34 years and no one.............. ever told me long term Benzo use could be a big problem..........!
And to add fuel to the fire.......... "they" never reccomended a drug center or that tapering would be so hard.........
The three sleep doctors I saw, the center where I took two sleep studies.............. never indicated my Benzo use might be a problem.!!
I chose to go back to 5 mg of Valium, ( = to .25 mg Klonopin) and started a slower taper of about 20% reduction every week, or so .....all the time being very much in tune to what my body and mind was telling me.
Right now I am at 1 mg Valium / day , and still slowly tapering and plan on another month to be completely off Benzos................. FOR EVER!
I figure I will ask for another sleep study in about 3 to 6 months, as I have read that the effects of long term Benzo use can remain for 6 months to 2 years...........
The effects of My Sleep Apnea is much less now on my body....... and mind........ and improving to a point to where I have used only a Oral Device for the past 1.5 weeks and my recording Oximeter is indicating .......... I hope correctly........ that I am getting enough O2 and I am not having events that drop below 88 to 89%.
This story of my experiences is one of the reasons I question all doctors and have to understand for my self what, where and why .
I am doing much better now, I drive, and even rode a motorycle today and hope to get back to Hang gliding!
In Conslusion, I hope some one, or several people can learn from my experiences............ I will be glad to share my Journey with anyone who is in need or knows someone in need....
This group has been a god-send for me.