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Hello,

I was reading back on a thead that I had started about beginning my Valium taper and I'm directing this post to you because you had mentioned that you were tapering from Valium. Just to get you back to speed on my history (I will make a blog soon)...I was on Klonopin 3mg/day for 5 yrs. Tapered WAY too fast and after getting to 0.5mg/day could take no more and talked my unsympathetic shrink  :muscle: into letting me cross-over to Valium. I have 10mg tabs and take one in the a.m and one at bedtime. I've been on this regimen since 12/31/07 (20 days). The torture that the Klonopin withdrawal did to my body is completely gone now as I have gained all my weight back and have no "left-over" symptoms except tinnitus. I'm sleeping about 6hrs/night now too. MUCH BETTER!!! I wanted to start my Valium taper about 5 days ago, but I'm hesitating because I'm afraid of all the nasties coming back that I went through with the Klonopin taper. I worked myself into a crying fit yesterday just thinking about starting the process. I'm PETRIFIED!! I've done alot of reading on Dr. Heather Ashton's method, but like I said, my shrink is a b**** and I KNOW she won't give me a refill past the 2 that I have on the script. So, I have no choice but to get this going. *SIGH* I greatly would appreciate your help in getting me started. The smallest cut I can manage with my pills is 1/4 of a pill because they are 10mg. Knowing Valium has a long half-life eases my worries as well as makes me anxious because I'll make a cut and think everything is fine and VOILA....8 days later I will be in the throws of a meltdown. How did you taper? I prefer a dry cut as apposed to the liquid titration because it's to confusing for me to figure out. Also, if I were to crush my 10mg tabs into a powder and separate doses with a razor to perhaps get a 1.25mg cut as apposed to a 2.5mg cut, how will I know how to separate the powder equally??? I hope you can help me. I cannot go through withdrawals again......my marriage is on the line from the last one and I lost my job. Thanks for reading. Peace be with you.

Tracy (tlw)

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10mg. Knowing Valium has a long half-life eases my worries as well as makes me anxious because I'll make a cut and think everything is fine and VOILA....8 days later I will be in the throws of a meltdown.

 

Hi Tracy,

Bluemoth isn't here right now, but she'll be here today im sure. Since valium slowly leaves your body over this period after a cut, it won't be an abrupt meltdown like you are imagining. It will be gradual, and may not be bad at all.

 

 

 

Also, if I were to crush my 10mg tabs into a powder and separate doses with a razor to perhaps get a 1.25mg cut as apposed to a 2.5mg cut, how will I know how to separate the powder equally???

 

You just have to eyball it, and get as close as you can. I've been quartering my klono with a pill cutter, and my cuts are always uneven. I think crushing and making piles may be more accurate than cutting!

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Thanks for your encouraging words Eljay. Everything I've read leads me to believe that if I taper slowly, it won't be as bad as the klonopin taper because of the longer half-life. Although my mind registers this; I'm still scared. Add that to the fact that I will be limited on supply. I'm trying very hard to be optimistic, but I truly thought I was going to die when I was tapering from klonopin. I was never so sick in my entire life!! I went too fast and took hefty cuts. My fear of starting the Valium taper is magnified by the idea that the klonopin is still in on my GABAS, yet the Valium is hiding them and they will emerge along with the old horrid withdrawals and the additional withdrawal from the Valium. I don't want to be a pessimist because I don't want to scare anyone. I'm just not in any position financially or emotionally to deal with another withdrawal nightmare. Thanks for writing. Hope you have a peaceful day :)
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Hi Tracy,

 

  The first thing you need to do is calm down, ok?  What you are planning to do is perfectly workable.  If you have a razor blade you CAN do a dry split that is less than 1/4 of a pill.  Here is how. Take your razor and split your 10 mg pill into half. That will give you two 5 mg pieces.  Split it again and you have four 2.5 mg.  Now you have quartered the pill.  Take one of the quarters, and set the rest aside.  Take that quarter of a pill and crush it with your razor, now you have a little pile of 2.5 mg  valium dust (LOL).  Take that pile and cut it in half with your razor.  Now you have two piles of 1.25 mg powder. Now you have something to taper with. Don't sneeze on it, LOL

 

  So you have two refills on the bottle?  That should be enough to get you through the taper.  Don't discard any of the valium crumbs from when you split the pills.  

 

  This is how I did my taper all the way through. I only had 10 mg pills for the longest time.  It wasn't until the end, when my shrink saw that I was in ernest about getting off of this crap that he caved in and prescribed me some 2 mg pills.  

 

  Does your shrink know the dangers and risks involved in a too rapid taper?  Does she just want to cut you off cold after two refills??? It is highly unethical IMO for her not to work with you on this. WHY is she being unsympathetic?  Does she WANT you to stay on benzos?  Or does she think you are benzo shopping?  

 

   I know that you had a horrible time with the Klonopin withdrawal. Don't think of it in regard to tapering the valium.  Lets work with what you have to work with and believe that you are going to come out on top of this.  I think you will be fine.  If there is anything here you don't understand or a question I didn't answer, let me know.

 

 XXXXX

 Christine/BlueMoth

 

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Oh Christine....you've just taken a load off of my brain!! Thank you so much for explaining how to make smaller cuts by crushing the pill. That is so reassuring to know that I can do that. Now, about my shrink. She has zero sympathy for all that I've been through. I got referred to her by my GP to help me taper off of Klonopin that was prescribed to me 5yrs ago by a shrink who recently passed away. I knew I was in tolerance withdrawal based on symptoms, research and this board; and when I first went to this new shrink, I explained everything that I had learned. Her response was that all the "crap" I was reading on the internet was just a bunch of scientologists trying to downgrade the medical community. Of course I knew better and just ignored her statement. In my mind I think she felt I was wasting her time because I made it clear to her from day one that my goal was to be completely free of ALL drugs. Being a shrink, that likely registered in her brain as less $$$$$$$ once I was off the Klonopin. So she gave me a tapering schedule of 0.5mg/wk cut.(I was on 3mg/day for 5 yrs.) Well it only took 4 days before the the horrible withdrawals started and my body wasted away to nothing. I couldn't sleep either. I put up with this for 6 weeks and in desperation BEGGED her to switch me to Valium so I could sleep and taper more comfortably. Reluctantly she agreed.....and the rest you already know. Is she aware of the risks of too fast of a taper???? I believe she truly doesn't give a flying rats rear-end because the 4 times I've been to her she just rolls her eyes at the things I tell her and tells me she doesn't understand why I'm having such a hard time. WELL HELLO !!! She might as well have c/t me off the klonopin for that barbaric fast taper she put me on was a living nightmare. Anyway, she told me she would only give me 2 refills on the Valium and that's it. So, now I have to start this process. I can't wait for the day that I won't have to see her again. Okay, I'm going to take your advice and crush my little round poison accordingly so I can do this slowly. Thank you ever so much for getting back to me. I'm forever grateful. Take Care and I'll keep you updated.  :thumbsup:

Tracy

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 Take one of the quarters, and set the rest aside.  Take that quarter of a pill and crush it with your razor, now you have a little pile of 2.5 mg  valium dust (LOL).  Take that pile and cut it in half with your razor.  Now you have two piles of 1.25 mg powder. Now you have something to taper with. Don't sneeze on it, LOL

 

 

 

cool, Christine! I never even THOUGHT about doing it that way! LOL. How much better is that?!

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Tracy,

 

  It just burns me, it just frys my feet red when I think of the stupidity of doctors who expect that people can jump off benzos so quickly.  I actually had one doctor tell me this is the way to get off my valium:  "Take 10 mg for two weeks, lower the dose to 5 mg, take 5 mg for two weeks.  Take 5 mg every other day for one week. Stop".  Can you believe that one??!!!  This is from a woman doctor who also practices natural medicine.  ::)

 

  So is this shrink lady expecting you to do a 2.5 mg valium cut per week?  Do you have enough pills to go slower, say a 1.25 cut every week or two weeks? How many pills do you have and how many are in your refills?

 

  Look, about your shrink, maybe you should just tell her that SOME people are able to get off of benzos with no problems and SOME people are not. The latter may be in the minority, but that doesn't negate the problems they have with tapering and their bodies re-adjusting to being benzo free. 

 

  Anyway, I am glad that I could help you figure this out and set your mind at ease. Just take it one step at a time.  If you can get off Klonopin, you can get off valium. 

 

  Linda, glad to know that you approve of my method! I have been tapering this way off one bottle of 2 mg pills forever it seems.  I will still have some left over when I am done, which I happily am going to burn.

 

  XXXXX

  Christine/BlueMoth

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So is this shrink lady expecting you to do a 2.5 mg valium cut per week?  Do you have enough pills to go slower, say a 1.25 cut every week or two weeks? How many pills do you have and how many are in your refills?

 

 

Hi Christine:

    I don't know what she is expecting, but I do know that she absolutely will not refill past what I have. Right now I have 22-10mg pills in this bottle. I have 2 refills on it. That will give me 120 more pills. I would like to cut at 1.25mg of my daily dose every 2 weeks because I want this to be as smooth as possible. I'm going to crush the pill and divide it like you adviced. I suppose I'd better get out my calculator and figure out if that will be enough pills to allow me to taper that slowly. One more question...if I'm substracting 1.25mg of my daily dose, do I cut that out of just the the morning pill and hold the 10mg at night for 2 weeks and then make the next 1.25mg cut out of the night dose and hold that cut for another 2 weeks....and back and forth from there? Sorry to be a bother with this, but since you tapered valium yourself, I figured you would know better. Again, I thank you dearly for all the advice you've given me. You've restored hope in my heart that I indeed can do this. I just got a little tripped-out thinking back on the klonopin withdrawal :o  I'm going to go ahead and shave off 1.25mg from this morning's dose and I'll check back on the boards at supper time to see if you've had a chance to get back to me about the bedtime dose. Thanks "doc" !! Just wanted to lighten things up  :yippee:

Tracy

 

   

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LOL Tracy,

 

    What you have planned in terms of your cutting schedule is exactly how I would approach it.  Alternating the 1.25 cuts between morning and evening. Yes, that is the way to go until the taper is over. 

 

  On your refills, I did a quick calculation in my head and I think you may be ok for yyour taper plan.  Colin or some other math wizz will have to figure it out more exactly for you. 

 

  Tracy, I am glad that you have renewed hope. I know you can do this. Don't be afraid of the psych witch.  You are stronger than she is and stronger than these drugs. Hugs :smitten:

 

  XXXXX

  Christine/BlueMoth

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Thanks SO MUCH Christine!! You are truly a beacon of light for me.  :angel: As far as my shrink goes...I just ignore her ignorance and arrogance because I know what her agenda really is; and it's not about helping me get well.....it's about fattening her purse. I take solace in knowing that one day I WILL be well again and this will all have been just a bad dream. Okay, I'm now on the road to getting "ME" back. YEAH  :yippee: I can't thank you enough for your help and support. It means more to me than I could ever express. I'll be staying in touch for sure. Oh, I got an email from an old friend today with an attachment that read "Life isn't about the breaths you take, it's about the moments that take your breath away". I look forward to those moments returning to my life. Peace be with you.

Tracy

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Tracy,

 

  I don't want to scare you dear, but I had my mathematician husband calculate this out for me. If you have 144 pills and are tapering at the rate of 1.25 every two weeks or 14 days, your pills are going to run out in 20 weeks and your stopping dose will still be at 10 3/4 mg.  Don't freak out just yet though.

 

  The best scenario he could come up with is that if you have 144 pills and taper at 1.25 mg every NINE days you will have enough pills and be done at the end of 135 days. You will still have 9 pills left over.

 

  I think this is totally doable.  The valium should be out of you system within nine days and the extra nine pills can give you a little wiggle room if you need to hold a cut for a day or two longer. 

 

  Do you think you can try this?  The only other alternative I see is going back to the witch doctor and demanding some 2 mg pills to finish you taper with, or finding someone else who will help you out to the end.  Get back to me and tell me what you think. 

 

  Hugs  :smitten:

 

  XXXX

  Christine/BlueMoth

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Tracy,

 

   I don't want to scare you dear, but I had my mathematician husband calculate this out for me. If you have 144 pills and are tapering at the rate of 1.25 every two weeks or 14 days, your pills are going to run out in 20 weeks and your stopping dose will still be at 10 3/4 mg.  Don't freak out just yet though.

 

 

 

C, that was so nice of your husband! Colin needs to put him on the payroll. :laugh:

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Hi

Sorry I jumped into this late, I came up with different numbers, however its irrelevant, because as Christine said you will run out well before your taper is over at the rate at which you wish to taper, That is if I understand you, you take 20 mg a day and plan to do that for 2 weeks then take, 18.75 per day for 2 weeks then 17.5 per day for 2 weeks etc, As it stands now you have access to 144 pills at 10mg each which equalls 1440mg in the first 2 week period at 20mg a day for 14 days you will have used 280 mg. Sorry to clog this up with math. It is important to get more for your taper or adjust your taper rate.

Bobers

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C, that was so nice of your husband! Colin needs to put him on the payroll. :laugh:

 

  Linda, he always does calculations like this in his head.  8)

 

  Tracy, we went over several scenarios of different tapering schedules and different cutting rates for you and think this is the best one for you to try. You are cutting a relatively small amount of valium, and you are getting to hold the cut for longer than a week.  Don't be afraid of not getting to hold for 14 days, it is possible to go faster. When I got down to under 2 mg, I was able to step it up a bit.  If you are over the Klonopin withdrawal, I don't think you will have trouble with the valium. It is a milder benzo, has a longer half life and will give you an easy ride down. You also have the cushion at the end of having an extra 9 pills if you want to jump off at a lower dose than 1.25. 

 

  Hugs. :smitten:

 

  XXXX

  Christine/BlueMoth

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Hi Christine....first of all please thank your husband for figuring that out for me. That was really kind of him  :thumbsup: I am always amazed at folks who can do math in their head.....it's a challenge for me even with a calculator..LOL

I have to admit that stepping it up scares me, but I suppose I have no choice because of the limited supply. *SIGH* I refuse to let this freak me out though......9 days isn't as bad as 7, so I'll just have to keep telling myself that. Plus, having the few extra pills for wiggle room helps too. Hey, if I can get off of Klonopoison then this can't possibly be any worse. Finges crossed. Okay then, I'm off to the races. Place your bets....place your bets  :2funny: I'll keep you all updated on my progress.

Big hugs to you and your hubby  :smitten:

Tracy

 

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christine is on vacation - but another moderator will be by to help you.

 

you have a limited supply - life is always going to be happening no matter what - that is the way life is.

 

so you may want to begin before you have less to deal with then you already do.

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Hi Tracy,

 

My suggestion would be to go ahead and do your first cut. It's not too big of a cut and even though you've got some life issues going on, I think you should be able to handle it. I had to deal with a wacky thyroid before, during and after my taper/titration and even ended up having to taper off my anti-thyroid med at the same time as I was titrating off the valium. (My thyroid finally decided to die off and I was going rapidly hypothyroid.)

 

You can do this and we'll be here with you all the way!!!!

 

rufus

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Thanks Rufus....I actually took my morning dose already (10mg) and I don't want to start my taper with the bedtime dose because of sleep issues, so I'll start tomorrow. I removed the post about my taper chart because after re-calculating I realized that I had made a HUGE mistake in my calculations and that Christine's WAS correct. So, in any event, with the help she and her husband gave me I'll still be able to taper fairly comfortably after-all. Nine day cuts aren't so bad.....particularly since Valium has such a long half-life and it's a heck of alot less potent than the Klonopoison that I crossed over from. It's all good. I'm keeping my chin up. I know I have to deal with stress no matter if I'm tapering or not, so I may as well just get on with it. Thanks for your concern. Much appreciated. Peace to you  :)

Tracy

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Tracy, You will do just fine, cuz you are going into it with the right attitude, and that's half the battle. Those who are more fearful just seem to have a harder time of it. The mind-body connection is very strong!
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Hi eljay....thanks for your kind support. You seem like a very sweet person and I truly appreciate your confidence in me. I finally realized after the hell I was living trying to get of Klonopoison that I had to be extremely resourceful and rise above the physical and psychological symptoms that were destroying my life in order to get relief, and I found two outlets for that. One was FINALLY getting my doc to cross me over to Valium via educating myself. She's a tuff cookie. And the other was stumbling upon this board and starting to develop an understanding with certain members about my plight. I know some folks have suffered greatly with their withdrawals, and some breezed right through it. I was not so lucky. But, now I have a great tapering schedule extended to me by Christine and her husband based on my available doses and lots of understanding and support by folks like yourself. I don't have much support from my husband and I lost my job because of withdrawals, but I KNOW I can do this regardless of those things!!! I'm going to get me back and even have decided to go back to college at the ripe old age of 45yrs. I've wanted to be a nurse since I was a young child and I'm going to get my RN !!! I'm so grateful for finding this site and for the wonderful support I've been shown in the short time that I've been here. Well, this is getting long-winded. Time for some supper and hopefully some sleep. You take good care of yourself. I plan on keeping up with this board for the rest of my life. In a way that I can't explain and shouldn't.....this board saved my life :) Peace be with you and yours :angel:

Tracy

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Aw Tracy, you made me cry! You sound like a beautiful person, and you will make a terrific nurse. It's amazing how life can turn around and out of the ashes come great, positive changes. Do you realize how valuable your benzo experience and all it entails will be to your nursing career? Invaluable.  I"m a nurse too by the way. Not working as one, but I do keep my license current.

I'm so glad you found this board!  :smitten:

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