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Ready ... set ... jump!!!


[Mi...]

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Well, I jumped on Saturday, and don't feel too bad ... but don't feel that great either. I'm relieved to finally be off this junk!!! The good news is no anxiety or depression (which I never suffered from anyway, except for when I had a bad reaction to high doses of Prednisone, which is why I got on Xanax). I still have a little muscle twitching and heart palpitations, but not too bad. I also have Tinnitus, which annoys the heck out of me ... I'm hoping it gets better. My worst symptom right now is fatigue! I slept most of the day yesterday, and didn't feel like getting up today. I'm a little surprised, since that was never a problem during tapering.

 

I want to thank all my Benzo Buddies for their support, wisdom and sharing of their experiences! I had no idea of what a Benzo was, or how to get off of it, before finding this site!  :smitten:

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Congratulations on your freedom from Benzos Mikie-Mike!!!  :yippee::clap:

 

It seems like things are going OK for you, I'm so happy. There is so much to look forward to being benzo free and no longer tethered to a prescription bottle.

 

pianogirl  :smitten:

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Thanks Pianogirl!

 

While this wasn't a great experienced, I certainly learned a lot about the dangers of prescription drugs. I also developed a lot more empathy for people suffering from addiction, as well as chronic depression and anxiety. The Cipro/prednisone I took, that started this journey,  really messed me up, and I suddenly realized what it meant to have a "chemical imbalance".  I had anxiety attacks, and was depressed, and crying every day ... and even though I realized it was the prescription drugs doing it, I couldn't help it. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting back to the "ole" Mike, who is laid back and a pretty happy guy!  :thumbsup:

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Thanks Existentiallyspeaking! Heart palpitations and tinnitus are sorta bad today, but it usually takes about 5 days after I cut for things to settle down. Hope that is still the case! I guess compared to others, it isn't that bad. I am able to work and rode my bike 16 miles this afternoon. Hope you're doing well!
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Thanks Existentiallyspeaking! Heart palpitations and tinnitus are sorta bad today, but it usually takes about 5 days after I cut for things to settle down. Hope that is still the case! I guess compared to others, it isn't that bad. I am able to work and rode my bike 16 miles this afternoon. Hope you're doing well!

 

Mikie-Mike I'm proud of you, Welcome to the other side! Sounds like you are doing great! 16 miles, wow that is amazing, I'm jealous :'(  Yes, the heart palpitations and tinnitus are to be expected, but just remember to tell yourself it's all part of your body healing. A little over 2 months and I'm feeling great. still have tingles, numbness some days, dizzy spells, but nothing I can't handle. I worked through the entire process, and it was as struggle every day, but the good news is, I'm getting better every second and so are you. Keep up the great work Mikie-Mike.

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Thanks for the words of encouragement CeCe and Existentiallyspeaking!  :smitten:

 

I actually got in decent shape during the taper, so 16 miles isn't too big of a deal ... but, I was surprised at the intensity of the heart palpitations before and during the ride! My heart did finally calm down near the end of the ride. I've read about other people's experiences, and I'm use to the palpitations, so they don't really bother or concern me. If they didn't stop I'd be concern!  :)

 

And like you Existentiallyspeaking, my hands started tingling during the ride ... which is a new development ... but overall, I feel decent! I'm so glad you're improving everyday!!  By the way, I believe I read that you were a counselor, so you might be interested in a book titled, "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" by John J. Ratey.

 

Both you guys hang in there!! I'm pulling for you and will be checking on your progress as we move forward!!  :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the words of encouragement CeCe and Existentiallyspeaking!  :smitten:

 

I actually got in decent shape during the taper, so 16 miles isn't too big of a deal ... but, I was surprised at the intensity of the heart palpitations before and during the ride! My heart did finally calm down near the end of the ride. I've read about other people's experiences, and I'm use to the palpitations, so they don't really bother or concern me. If they didn't stop I'd be concern!  :)

 

And like you Existentiallyspeaking, my hands started tingling during the ride ... which is a new development ... but overall, I feel decent! I'm so glad you're improving everyday!!  By the way, I believe I read that you were a counselor, so you might be interested in a book titled, "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" by John J. Ratey.

 

Both you guys hang in there!! I'm pulling for you and will be checking on your progress as we move forward!!  :thumbsup:

 

I have a bike I ride sometimes, but its more of a cruiser, I might go check out another bike today. I often ride through dowtown and it's harder on my bike, probably will not be riding 16 miles, but I'm thinking I can pump out at least 5 or 6...lol. Yes, I will look into getting that book. I like you, have become very sensitive to other's struggle with anxiety and depression. I'm able to offer very helpful tips on coping with anxiety and I've become well versed in benzo withdrawal, so I'm reading more about it, in hopes that I can help others understand what's going on and how to cope through the process, so thanks for recommending that book. Its good to hear you're doing well, makes me happy to hear about your positive experiences.

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Thanks for the words of encouragement everyone! I was going through my medicine cabinet this morning, and threw out the remaining Xanax! Never again!  :thumbsup:
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Existentiallyspeaking - since our histories with Prednisone/Xanax are very similar, I'd like to ask you a question about sleep. While I'm actually doing pretty well, and have had "good windows", I think I've hit the insomnia phase. When I first got off the Xanax 5 days ago, I felt exhausted, and slept a lot for the first couple of days. These past 2 days, I haven't been able to sleep much at all. It occurs to me that this may correspond to my exercising, and I will admit to drinking a coke last night, so it might be as simple as having some off days where I don't do as much, but I just wanted to see what your experiences were and what you've done to help with sleep.

 

On a separate topic, my dad is 80, with various issues including spinal stenosis and  cancer ... and he's been taking percocet/oxycontin for years. I think as a combination of how the drugs make him feel now, and what I just went through, he told me last night that he wants to get off them. Because of his age and illnesses, I want to be very careful and go slow with him, but was wondering if you knew of a site similar to Benzo Buddies, where I could get information on getting off this class of drugs.

 

Finally, 5 or 6 miles on a cruiser would be great! I have a road bike, so I'm sure it's much easier for me. I live a couple of blocks from a city park, that has a lake, so I can either ride around the lake (~9 miles), take a side trail to downtown Dallas, or actually I could take a different trail to work. All these trails are paved! The only bad thing about riding a bike in Texas is the heat, but it has really cooled off this week ... thank goodness!  :)

 

 

 

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Existentiallyspeaking - since our histories with Prednisone/Xanax are very similar, I'd like to ask you a question about sleep. While I'm actually doing pretty well, and have had "good windows", I think I've hit the insomnia phase. When I first got off the Xanax 5 days ago, I felt exhausted, and slept a lot for the first couple of days. These past 2 days, I haven't been able to sleep much at all. It occurs to me that this may correspond to my exercising, and I will admit to drinking a coke last night, so it might be as simple as having some off days where I don't do as much, but I just wanted to see what your experiences were and what you've done to help with sleep.

 

On a separate topic, my dad is 80, with various issues including spinal stenosis and  cancer ... and he's been taking percocet/oxycontin for years. I think as a combination of how the drugs make him feel now, and what I just went through, he told me last night that he wants to get off them. Because of his age and illnesses, I want to be very careful and go slow with him, but was wondering if you knew of a site similar to Benzo Buddies, where I could get information on getting off this class of drugs.

 

Finally, 5 or 6 miles on a cruiser would be great! I have a road bike, so I'm sure it's much easier for me. I live a couple of blocks from a city park, that has a lake, so I can either ride around the lake (~9 miles), take a side trail to downtown Dallas, or actually I could take a different trail to work. All these trails are paved! The only bad thing about riding a bike in Texas is the heat, but it has really cooled off this week ... thank goodness!  :)

 

Morning Mikie-Mike. Hope all is well. Immediately after my jump I was not able to sleep well. I would sweat most of the night, and I would fall asleep only to wake up a couple of hours later. I recall eating a ice treat with ice cream at the bottom of it right before I went to bed, and I had an all out panic attack, so I would say for a while longer, stay away from any sweets especially at night, including soda. As your body prepares to rest at night, do all you can to let it rest. Meaning, don't excite your system with any sweets, and try maybe to calm on the riding. I know you enjoy it,but I found when I was running I experienced more symptoms at night. So now I work out for only 30 minutes each day, and I workout only in the early morning. You can continue to ride, but maybe just cutting your riding time in half, for a few weeks. When I changed my workout time, and stopped eating the sweets, sleep improved. However, for the first months or so, I drank some calming tea at night, with no sugar, but just a drop or two of honey. The tea would slowly calm me, and about 30 minutes I'm out. I do still wake up sometimes, but not as often. So cut back on the exercise, don't stop just cut back, and by all means no sugar especially at night.

 

Next, I'm sorry to hear about all your dad is going through. He can find sites like this one :http://www.bluelight.org/vb/threads/666793-The-quot-I-Quit-Oxycodone-quot-Success-Stories-Thread to help him find others that are going through similar situations. However, due to his age, and illnesses, I would recommend him speaking with his Doctor prior to attempting to taper. There are factors that will play a huge part in how he needs to taper including current illnesses, how long he used, other medications he's currently taking etc. To be on the safe side, I would speak with his Doctor first. Unfortunately he may experience what you are experiencing or maybe even worse just depending on the factors mentioned above. The good news is, he has you, and just having someone in your life that understand makes things so much easier. I'm glad he has decided to get off of them, and I'm sure after the process of withdrawing he will feel better. But just make sure its a very slow taper, and stay in contact with his Doctors.

 

So while I'm talking about you cutting back on exercise, I love that fact that you are bike riding. It's inspiring me a great deal. I went to look at a bike yesterday and I think I will be getting it on Friday. I'm still only going to ride for about 30 minutes and later I can increase my ride time. I'm close to downtown Fort Worth, so i often ride around downtown and its amazing how I feel when I'm done. There is also a huge park near downtown and I can ride there as well, I'm eager to ride at the park close to the water and all the trees. You're right it has cooled down, and I'm excited about that. I'm planning a family ride this Sat. around downtown with my dad and a few others. So keep up the good work, and I'm so happy you're hanging in there. Cut down the exercise, stay away from the sweets, try to calming tea prior to bedtime, make sure your dad tapers slow with his Docs assistance. Your sleep will improve in a few weeks, so don't worry too much about that, just ride the wave for a minute. Sounds like you are exactly where you are suppose to be as far as the way your healing. Stay motivated, you're on your way back to something like normalcy.  ;)

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Thanks for sharing your experiences Existentiallyspeaking! I think you're right about the exercise, and sugar, and I'll also refrain from any caffeine. My experience with exercise was a little different during the taper. It would actually help me sleep, but I was also taking a small dose of Xanax before bed, and I guess that was enough to off set the exercise, because I didn't have any problem sleeping. Anyway, I'll cut the exercise in half, and just drink water at night.

 

Thanks for the advice on my dad. I will certainly look at the site when I get home. He actually lives in Atlanta, and I fly him out here, and we drive down to MD Anderson in Houston to treat the cancer. They have done a fantastic job! They aren't ranked #1 (US News and World Report) in cancer treatment for nothing. I'll probably have my sister talk initially to his doctor's in Atlanta to see what the say. He's also on Trazodone (50 mg), which I think is causing a lot of his issues.

 

If you decide to get a new road bike, you might check with the store to see if they have used bikes. You can get a bigger bang for your buck if you buy a used one that is a recent model! A lot of serious riders trade in their bikes, to get newer models, and the bikes they trade in aren't very oid, and are often in excellent shape. Years ago, I got a "Litespeed" that was about $4500 new, for 1/3rd that price. It's still going strong, and people often comment on what a nice bike it is. Just an idea ...  :thumbsup:

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Thanks for sharing your experiences Existentiallyspeaking! I think you're right about the exercise, and sugar, and I'll also refrain from any caffeine. My experience with exercise was a little different during the taper. It would actually help me sleep, but I was also taking a small dose of Xanax before bed, and I guess that was enough to off set the exercise, because I didn't have any problem sleeping. Anyway, I'll cut the exercise in half, and just drink water at night.

 

Thanks for the advice on my dad. I will certainly look at the site when I get home. He actually lives in Atlanta, and I fly him out here, and we drive down to MD Anderson in Houston to treat the cancer. They have done a fantastic job! They aren't ranked #1 (US News and World Report) in cancer treatment for nothing. I'll probably have my sister talk initially to his doctor's in Atlanta to see what the say. He's also on Trazodone (50 mg), which I think is causing a lot of his issues.

 

If you decide to get a new road bike, you might check with the store to see if they have used bikes. You can get a bigger bang for your buck if you buy a used one that is a recent model! A lot of serious riders trade in their bikes, to get newer models, and the bikes they trade in aren't very oid, and are often in excellent shape. Years ago, I got a "Litespeed" that was about $4500 new, for 1/3rd that price. It's still going strong, and people often comment on what a nice bike it is. Just an idea ...  :thumbsup:

 

No prob Mike, we are on this journey together, and helping each other is the way out of this hell..

 

So that's a good idea about the bike. I will ask about that on Friday. The bike I chose have to be assembled so he said it should be Friday, so I will ask when I get there. I'm a new rider so this is all still foreign to me, but along with the bike is there anything else you suggest I get?

 

Sounds like a good plan for your dad, keep me posted.

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And what a long strange journey its been!  ;)

 

Specific to the bike, I'd just recommend you make sure they fit it to your body. That not only means having the seat at the correct height, but the handle bars at the right distance so you're at the correct angle when riding. Below is a basic bike fit, and while you don't have to worry about getting it exact, this gives you an idea:

 

 

I'd also recommend getting bike shorts, because the padding helps a lot. Also, I *wouldn't* recommend getting the shoes that lock in, because they are sometimes hard to unlock when you stop. Let me know how your ride goes!

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And what a long strange journey its been!  ;)

 

Specific to the bike, I'd just recommend you make sure they fit it to your body. That not only means having the seat at the correct height, but the handle bars at the right distance so you're at the correct angle when riding. Below is a basic bike fit, and while you don't have to worry about getting it exact, this gives you an idea:

 

 

I'd also recommend getting bike shorts, because the padding helps a lot. Also, I *wouldn't* recommend getting the shoes that lock in, because they are sometimes hard to unlock when you stop. Let me know how your ride goes!

 

Good morning Mikie-Mike, thanks for the info. I will get the ride pants/shorts. I got an extra small bike. I'm 5'0 so it seems every bike is too big. But I will make sure they adjust it for me before I leave. I will ride Sat, so I will let you know how it goes, wish me luck cause I have no idea what I'm doing.  :(

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You'll do fine! Pretty soon it'll be second nature!

 

Just be careful of cars! If you ride on the road, take up your lane, and don't ride on the side .... because cars will try to squeeze around you, and that can be dangerous. They can bump you or hit you with their mirrors ... especially trucks on that second item. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the road for pot holes and cracks. I got my tire caught in a wide crack once, and almost wrecked trying to steer out of it. Also hit a few pot holes because I wasn't paying close enough attention ... quite jarring, but didn't wreck. Anyway, be careful and have fun!  :)

 

Oh, and  on the sleep front ... not exercising yesterday, and watching what I ate last night, did the trick. I slept really well! I'll try to ride earlier in the day when possible (weekends) and cut the amount of riding when I have to do it after work. This will be different from when I was tapering. I could ride  a lot, and slept fine, but as noted, I'd always take a cut of Xanax before bed, and I guess that was enough to overcome being "wired" from exercising!  :thumbsup:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update ... I'm 3.5 weeks out, and doing well. I still have some muscle twitching, heart palpitations and hypnic jerks, but they're extremely minor compared to what I was experiencing during the tapering and right after I jumped. And my Tinnitus seems to slowly be getting better! My focus has really been on trying to exercise, and specific to the Tinnitus, minimizing salt.

 

Anyway, I just hope this can help encourage others! It definitely has gotten a lot better for me, and I'm sure if you're patient, you too will end up in a much better place!!! Good luck everyone!!!

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