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Need serious help with Xanax taper


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Hi,

I am from Canada, and a senior and suffered with anxiety/panic disorder all my life.

I am currently tapering off of Xanax 0.5mg @ about 8 mg a day, which was prescribed to me 20+yrs ago and am now being forced off them by a new doctor as my old doctor moved  in 2021.(( I seem to be adding up the mg per day I was on and currently on.... wrong, I was going by tablets per day.))  :-[ Any one with good math skills needed! :-[

I was suddenly told this past July  that I had to come off the Xanax as my new doctor is telling me they cause dementia in people over 60. I will be 65 soon and have never had any issues with my meds until this recent abrupt change. The doctor reduced my daily script from roughly ,6-8 mg a day down to 2 mg a day in July of this year. He expected me to be at this daily dose by Nov 2022 from July 2022(4 mths) He had forced me into withdrawal and I am not doing very well. He assumes that I should have no withdrawals his way, but I have been on these darn things for 20+ yrs, so yes, I am having withdrawal symptoms .

I came across Heather Ashtons manual by a complete accident and after reading almost the whole manual, I am finding that help with my tapering is near impossible to find here. I am in  phone sessions with a therapist once bi-weekly, but not really finding a lot of actual support with that and not a lot of support from my doctor.

I have managed to lower my daily dose down to about 3.5- 4 mg , spread out through the day , but still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Shakes, nervousness,jaw clenching,bouts of extreme fear, worse anxiety, panic attacks almost daily, brain zaps,some odd feeling of jitters from a sudden loud noise/noises and light sensitivity which are both new to me, increase in the volume of my tinnitus, along with the worries of failing in my efforts to get my daily dose to almost zero by the doctors instructions of ""no further scripts after Spring 2023''. After a recent conversation with him Nov 8  via phone appointment, I told him that the way he was tapering me would end up failing and causing far too much in withdrawals and my fears of possibly a seizure or worse . I begged him to please taper me slower as Ive obviously been on these meds for far too long and was totally unaware that there could be terrible consequences if I continued. he had also said he was going to change or switch me over to Clonazepam 2 X's a day ( no idea of what dose) which was suppose to start last month but never did as I found out that that was too quick of a switch. I could have had a bad reaction with the sudden change and these withdrawal symptoms were and are still there from the X.

I unfortunately got loud and upset with him. I told him about Dr Ashton and her manual but he never heard of it or Dr Ashton and was going by the medical guides in Canada and the U.S. ( And they are way off plus Ive learned a ton of other information through the benzoinfo site recently). He is pretty much sounding like he has no interest in helping me get through this properly. As of late it sounds to me like he wants to be rid of me since I can't seem to tolerate these horrid withdrawals and cutting back as rapidly as he wants me to. He actually said to me, "that if I didn't like the way he was doing this that I was free to look for another doctor, no hard feelings , he said", and THAT just put me in a state of shock & panic. Going to a new doctor ( if I can find one) would mean starting all over again with this crazy tapering, which this old body would not be able to handle.Yet he still expects me to be down to zero mg of this X by spring 2023, than said he would only prescribe enough to last  6 mths or to about April 2023, but I was to REDUCE my daily by one tablet per month until I was down to 2 or less by then. That would be about 1mg or less a day or 30 mg a month ( if my math is right.) The scripts are as follows...Dec 2022--30 0.5 mg tabs taken 1-2 3x's a day, then 5 a day for the next 30 days ( January 2023), then 4 tabs a day for the next 30 days( February2023 and so on.)

I am trying and its really got my body and my mind in a huge whirlwind. I had to stop in early August with his crazy taper program, and went back to the way I was taking it minus 2 mg a day. So that would have been about 7mg a day. ( still think my math is buggered up )I know that sounds like a lot and it is, but none of my previous doctors bothered me with this, never said a word about withdrawals ,  or the possibility of a seizure,that scared the heck out of me.

But I have managed to reduce my daily dose to approximately 3.5mg-4mg a day since about late Oct 2022. A very slow taper of sorts.This so far has been very hard. I can't believe Ive even made it this far. I read that a slower taper is needed and I will be going in to see the doctor in person rather than these uneventful phone chats. I have some good info sheets that I printed out and am now trying to keep a good daily dose diary. I know all this  is probably the worst way to go about it, but I am so unsure how I should be doing this. The doctor is saying and continues to say that I should have NO withdrawal symptoms at all, but I am.

As of this past week or so, I am remaining on a steady daily dose of the 3.5 mg -4mg daily until I can get this right without having to suffer all these horrid sensations and feelings. My sleep is not too bad but I wake early, around 4 am or 5 a.m. every morning now. I am getting late to bed (12am) and not getting the decent sleep I need. My weight has dropped and I'm not eating as much as I used to although I do need to lose some unwanted weight anyway since covid started. :/

I am trying and doing my best to keep busy. I am still speaking with a therapist but she sometimes just keeps cutting me off when I am trying to get out all this pent up anguish and stress from this whole thing. I have a few meditation apps on my tablet and music that I use to help me relax at night. I hate night time and Christmas has me a nervous wreck as I continue to worry about whats to come in the new year. I am terrified. I dont have anyone to talk to about it and am feeling pretty isolated, even though my husband is here, but he doesnt quite see the problem. he also assumes I can just quit like I did my smoking. I quite smoking about 4 yrs ago now , but I did that without any smoke aids , I just tapered them slow. I counted every cigarette butt in the ash tray each day and removed one a week until the cravings and withdrawals slowed down. Eventually quitting completely. This was done in my own way and I wish to GOD that this doctor would allow me the same privilege with my tapering of the X. ( Sighs) I am hoping I can get this right from someone here. I could use the help. Thank you and sorry for the long drawn post. :(

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I'm so disappointed in your doctor, why does he discount your pain, why is he insisting on torturing you, why is he so callous about your misery, I don't understand!

 

We know your pain, we understand how horrific this process is and how badly you feel, I'm so very sorry you're in this situation, how can we help?

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Hi,

 

I need a plan, something that will guide me through this tapering without all this horrible withdrawal symptoms. I know there are lot of people here that have gone through this and may be able to help me with this crazy tapering. Its just a matter of getting through to my doctor.

I have NO idea how he will respond to me asking him to go over the info I printed out for him to read about slower tapering and allowing me to lead my way through it as symptoms dictate, I've already had to beg him not to cut me off by the end of last month. I had to literally inform him that the way he wanted to do this was all wrong. I told him that there is others out there that are suffering needlessly, and I said that his way would drive me into a downward spiral. So he would only budge to giving me enough to have 6mg a dayfor Dec. 2022 and then after that I will have to go down one tablet per month, which in essence and rough calculations, at least be about 30mg a month less until spring 2023. I was told this is too fast or rapid. I know it and now I am lost so much right now ,Ive no idea what to do. Can this change hurt me, or  add back a small amount for now and wait and see what he says?

I was told I need to go slower. So does this mean going back to some what of a higher dose..as in close to where i was a few months ago?

Or do i continue as I am now and ride out these horrible feelings and sensations?

Im just a mess right now. And I am scared. Please forgive me if at times I make no sense as Im getting that brain fog that was never there until all this began a few months ago with the new doctor. :'(

 

Thank you for any help.

 

presently taking 5.5-6mg daily of X. that I reduced from 8mg daily since 1997.

 

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Okay, lets work on that plan but I'm going to need you to help me by being specific.

 

What size are your pills and how many times a day do you dose?

 

What information did you print for him to look at?

 

 

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Im taking 0.5 mg tablets of X several times daily...., morning i take 1/2  0.5 mg tab, then 2 tabs midday..1 mg,  then 2 tabs ...1 mg, late afternoon,  then 3/4 - 1mg  tablet late evening. Its hard to stabilize on the morning and late evening dose as my withdrawals seem worse then , so i may increase those by a very small amount, like a tiny piece of the shaved edge of a 0.5 mg tablet. So at this point since about Nov 8 2022, im taking approximately 3.5 - 4 mg daily, in spite of the miserable withdrawal symptoms. Its been a jumbled mess actually trying to taper since July of this year. Ive been going down to fast and then having to go back up to a regular dose, so im attempting to keep them steady, dose wise. Very hard doing this the way I am since the doctor said i have no options but to follow his rapid tapering. Its exhausting. I think most will notice this from previous posts. Im just so bloody stressed trying to stick to one regimen. I am now keeping a diary of sorts on how many i take and what time during the day. Its what keeps me going but some days , its overwhelmingly hard,  at my age, sorry for any confusion. :/

 

Ive printed out the Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidance document from the Colorado  Consortium which WS suggested. Ive also the Withdrawing Prescribed Benzodiazepine Patients pamplet from the benzoinfo.com site, which has some clear points for clinicians on deprescribing and withdrawal symptoms better explained. I also found a myriad of info to help me get my points across to the doctor when i see him next week. Another one is from the Benzoreform.org site that has a lot of helpful insight on the withdrawals symptoms,  benzo tapering etc.

 

I wrote some of my own points on his rapid tapering and the long term effects on my body and brain. I know theres more to learn and understand but this is my * arsenal* so to speak for now. Hes been very non supportive with my pleas for his help by reading something , like the Ashton manual,  and i am worried he may not budge much more . Hes already made that clear last we spoke , but im hoping that this appointment with him in his office will be somehow be  more productive than just phone appointments alone. Hes suggested i see a psychiatrist last time, as well, but im slighlty hesitant about this. 

 

Trying to be positive,  but its hard.

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I'm still in disbelief he's being so cruel, you're not drug seeking, you're not an addict, you're someone who is asking for help, I don't get it.  The information you've printed out is good, I hope he'll read it and treat you like with dignity.

 

I'm glad you're keeping a journal, this is very important.  Keeping track of your symptom severity and reductions will help guide your taper, if your doctor lets you go at your own speed.  If he doesn't, we'll have to work this out.

 

I suggest for now getting on a steady dose and you don't seem to be doing that yet.  There is a huge difference between 3.5 and 4 mgs so if you decide to steadily take 3.5 mgs a day, we'd consider that your first reduction.  Its very important to not go back up in dose after a reduction so maybe your first reduction after holding the 3.5 mgs should be around the 5% range to prevent anymore updosing, what do you think?

 

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Hi Pamster,

 

Yes  I think this old body can handle the 3.5 mg per day. I mentioned the 3.5 -4 mg as I was having to take an extra piece of one 0.5 mg tab, but a very small piece. Its hard to tell exactly the amount since i don't have a scale or any proper way to truly calculate. I am merely going by the number of the whole tablet and the halves and the quarters. How much would 5% be of the 3.5 mg? I feel very dumb asking. ;/

 

I am still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms and as i said, mornings and early afternoons seem to be particularly difficult. I do get out and try to keep myself busy as much as I am able. Im also noticing some brain zaps, as Ive read some describe them. They have been coming and going. Also my tinnitus is much louder as of the past few weeks. Another crippling symptom.

 

I dont know why this doctor is being so hard on me but the doctors in the clinic where I go , are all the same. They must have convinced him that it was his job or duty to get me off these X's asap, who knows. TBH I think I would be better off getting away from there but Ive no one else to help me through this and he's the prescriber. Ive no idea whats to happen next week but right now I am terrified of the whole thing. I know I have to go as I understand that its my health and sanity at stake and I am determined to beat this and I hope I come out of it with very little scars.

 

Thank you for your help and guidance. :)

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I have a terrible time with math and since I didn't taper so its difficult for me to advise others so I'll usually start like I have with you then ask someone else to step in, hopefully I can find someone for you but we'll give it a shot for now.

 

I've used this website to figure out percentages. https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/math/percentage.php

 

We can figure out the percentage but then comes the task of cutting and measuring.  You could cut one of your .5 tablets into quarters and discard one of the quarters, this would give you a reduction of 5% (.175) and your dose would be 3.325 a day.

 

I'm surprised to hear afternoons are tough for you, typically mornings are the worst, is there anything about your dosing schedule that you feel you could manipulate to improve things?

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The calculator is confusing for me too , lol.

 

Im kind of going by breaking the tabs in half, and then quarters. Ive been having a little trouble during the day, early morning until i take the 1/2 tab, then usually fall asleep because my sleep is messed up. I have no problem getting to sleep, its waking up too early, after only getting 4 hours or so, and just feeling so tired i need to go back to sleep for another hour. Sometimes 1 1/2 hrs, then my day begins. I should mention that i don't always go back to sleep. I pretty much drag my butt out of bed and drag it some more through out the day.  :laugh:

 

I will thrn take 2 tabs around noonish, between 11am to 12pm, then my nerves are just wreaking havoc with me, jumpy, anxious bloody bug eyed, kind of feeling. My tinnitus is louder, and has been driving me batty. Muscles tense up  jaw clenching.  I sometimes find myself wondering if this is worth all this suffering,  but i keep going, and read or get out and window shop. 

 

Manipulate my dose is one thing i have sometimes done.  I may scrape off a small bit from one whole tab so i can keep track of the amount, roughly. I suppose its best to keep track of the amount i ingest since the taper could possibly end up in disaster,  which i really dont want to happen. I am hoping to make it to the end of this and get through this dark, heavy , sickly mess of hell. Im so grim in my explanations so far, my gosh!  :-X

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Hi Pamster,

 

Yes  I think this old body can handle the 3.5 mg per day. I mentioned the 3.5 -4 mg as I was having to take an extra piece of one 0.5 mg tab, but a very small piece. Its hard to tell exactly the amount since i don't have a scale or any proper way to truly calculate. I am merely going by the number of the whole tablet and the halves and the quarters. How much would 5% be of the 3.5 mg? I feel very dumb asking. ;/

 

I am still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms and as i said, mornings and early afternoons seem to be particularly difficult. I do get out and try to keep myself busy as much as I am able. Im also noticing some brain zaps, as Ive read some describe them. They have been coming and going. Also my tinnitus is much louder as of the past few weeks. Another crippling symptom.

 

I dont know why this doctor is being so hard on me but the doctors in the clinic where I go , are all the same. They must have convinced him that it was his job or duty to get me off these X's asap, who knows. TBH I think I would be better off getting away from there but Ive no one else to help me through this and he's the prescriber. Ive no idea whats to happen next week but right now I am terrified of the whole thing. I know I have to go as I understand that its my health and sanity at stake and I am determined to beat this and I hope I come out of it with very little scars.

 

Thank you for your help and guidance. :)

 

Hi moojoo22

 

I think the best thing for you to do is to just stabilise as best you can on the 3.5mg right now, and then you can make a reduction somewhere between 5-10% using a symptoms based taper, only reducing again once symptoms from your previous reduction have settled to a tolerable baseline level.

 

As Pamster mentioned in her last post, calculating reductions isn’t exactly her forte, as she never tapered, she c/t’d, and so I just noticed a slight miscalculation (so very easy to do), which is why we only provide taper advice and calculations on the open forum, so mistakes can be spotted by others.

 

At the moment, while you are reducing by halves or quarters of tablets (one half a 0.5mg tab (0.25) from a total daily dose of 3.5mg is about an 8% reduction, and one quarter of a 0.5mg tab (0.125) from that same total daily dose is about a 4% reduction), I think because you seem to be experiencing considerable withdrawal symptoms, the 4% (quarter tab) reduction seems to be the most sensible taper. You can start out your reductions this way, simply reducing by a quarter, but it’s important to understand that the percentage you are reducing by should be recalculated from each new lower daily dose so the overall reduction percentage never increases as your dose lowers. So I think it only makes sense for you to purchase a precision jewellers scale from Amazon so you can begin calculating your 4 or 5% reductions by the scale weight of the total daily dose of your tablets. This is a much easier way to reduce. If it sounds a little complicated, please know that it isn’t, and we will provide all the information you need to calculate your reductions using the scales as you move forward. Let’s just take one step at a time and begin with a 1/4 tablet reduction once you feel your symptoms have subsided and levelled out enough to allow you to do so. We can sort out the scales as we move forward. I’ll provide you with a link to some scales on Amazon. They aren’t expensive, so don’t be concerned with the price. One step at a time  :thumbsup:

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Thank you  WS for this. I knew i was actually tapering too fast, no wonder I feel so messed up physically and emotionally.  Im in tears right now and no idea why. After i tried to get my profile sig done on where i started on this journey through hell and where I am now, the mgs are probably much less than I previously thought.  I know the script was originally written for 1 3xs a day..0.5 mg tabs. The doctor  increased the dose as my anxiety/panic attacks increased along with so many other things.

 

Its a long story but  i do want to get down slow, as im sick of waking up sick and feeling horrid every day since July. I think I  see your point on using a scale.  I need to get one.  The only other issue thats got me worried now is how this new doc of mine is going to respond to the information i give him regarding his rapid tapering and allowing me to lead this process in my own way, as symptoms dictate.  His way has actually messed me up in a bad way. Im getting too old for this crud. :/

 

Thanks  again  for the help and i am soooo glad i found this site. God Bless you all. ❤

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I’m grateful Winters sun dropped by, I told you I’m terrible at math!  :laugh:

 

You’re going to be okay moojoo22m we’re going to help you through this, there is reason for hope because you’re not the only senior who has faced this and we recovered so you can too!

 

I’m out of town until tomorrow but wanted to log on to make sure you’re okay but I can see you’re in very good hands.  I’ll pop in when I get back but in the meantime, keep learning all you can so you won’t be so afraid and keep your eye on the prize which is freedom from these pills and the pain they cause.

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Thank you  WS for this. I knew i was actually tapering too fast, no wonder I feel so messed up physically and emotionally.  Im in tears right now and no idea why. After i tried to get my profile sig done on where i started on this journey through hell and where I am now, the mgs are probably much less than I previously thought.  I know the script was originally written for 1 3xs a day..0.5 mg tabs. The doctor  increased the dose as my anxiety/panic attacks increased along with so many other things.

 

Its a long story but  i do want to get down slow, as im sick of waking up sick and feeling horrid every day since July. I think I  see your point on using a scale.  I need to get one.  The only other issue thats got me worried now is how this new doc of mine is going to respond to the information i give him regarding his rapid tapering and allowing me to lead this process in my own way, as symptoms dictate.  His way has actually messed me up in a bad way. Im getting too old for this crud. :/

 

Thanks  again  for the help and i am soooo glad i found this site. God Bless you all. ❤

 

Hi moojoo22

 

You may or may not remember when I did your intro, I mentioned the Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidance Document and provided the link in that post. If you can print that document, circle section 3 (tapering principles) on page 2, your doctor can see how you would like to go about your taper. Just tell him that you just can’t function at all in your daily life at the taper rate he suggested and you need to follow a slower taper model. The tapering principles will explain the 5-10% monthly reductions, how it should be based on the patients tolerability, therefore guided by the patient, and also how those 5-10% reduction should decrease in weight to maintain then percentage as you taper down. I’m sure if your doctor could see that you’re unable to function on a day to day basis at the taper rate he has you on, he wouldn’t want you to suffer that kind of torment, so hopefully it will make sense to him to slow you down to a much more sensible taper rate, as they swear an oath to do no harm to their patients. Tell him you can no longer manage to make meals, shower, or take care of any daily chores on the current taper rate. He needs to hear how bad this taper is affecting your ability to care for yourself. You don’t have to tell hi/m his taper rate is wrong, you simply have to let him know that his taper plan is just too much and too fast for your system at your age, and show him the taper procedure in the CCBDG.

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Yes i did print out the CCBDG document and circled section 3 and i also found a pamphlet from the benzoinfo.com website,  Withdrawing Prescribed Benzodiazepine Patients.  It shows some critical points for clinicians on the second part of it. Also the fact that BIC has medical professionals on board, which he doesnt believe.  Also theres a QR code to download Dr Ashton's manual in pdf form.

 

Im wanting to go in next week with as much as i can muster and get this information out, hopefully encouraging him to get interested and involve as many other doctors in this clinic as im hoping he will. These doctors need to get on board. They need the education and knowledge for others that come after me, and God knows there are probably more. I abhor the thought of more unawares of people like me who go in to see a  doctor or psychiatrist and are prescribed any benzo medications, physicians are  definitely in need of better education in this area.  At least in areas of safer tapering/ desprescribing etc.

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Yes i did print out the CCBDG document and circled section 3 and i also found a pamphlet from the benzoinfo.com website,  Withdrawing Prescribed Benzodiazepine Patients.  It shows some critical points for clinicians on the second part of it. Also the fact that BIC has medical professionals on board, which he doesnt believe.  Also theres a QR code to download Dr Ashton's manual in pdf form.

 

Im wanting to go in next week with as much as i can muster and get this information out, hopefully encouraging him to get interested and involve as many other doctors in this clinic as im hoping he will. These doctors need to get on board. They need the education and knowledge for others that come after me, and God knows there are probably more. I abhor the thought of more unawares of people like me who go in to see a  doctor or psychiatrist and are prescribed any benzo medications, physicians are  definitely in need of better education in this area.  At least in areas of safer tapering/ desprescribing etc.

 

Great to hear, moojoo!

 

Let’s cross our fingers and hope that he’s ‘open’ and willing to jump aboard for the sake of all those patients who often blindly put so much trust in a doctors knowledge of these medications.

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Im getting nervous the closer Wed comes. Im trying to get my questions,  what have you, ready on paper , to ask him when i go.

Ive been seriously concerned how to approach him, since previous conversations with him ended in him doing all the talking and me trying to budge in whatever jumbled words i could . He started this ball rolling a few mths ago and with me being completely  caught off guard,  i really haven't been able to communicate how im feeling, or trying to understand whats happening.

Now that I've read all i can from the Ashton manual and so much more from benzoinfo along with benzoreform, i think ive gained so much more knowledge since this started.

Hes already ignored my pleas to slow down on my rapid taper,  assuming he is right by telling me ** withdrawals aren't happening with me, and that its just my being "" hyper- concentrated "" on the whole process.  He has no clue who Dr Heather Ashton is, which kind of surprises me because he went to medical school in the U.S.  and he began practicing there. I found this out from a couple people in the clinic and a family member who also has him as a their doctor.

I keep thinking about certain things he said to  me since July, e.g.  he didnt want me seeing a psychiatrist as , in his words, " they only prescribe the medications" , not much else. Now he wants me to see one since i got ticked off at him for ignoring my nervous , screwed up sentences explaining what rapid tapering does to the brain and body. Im suppose to be over reacting.  Which i know I am not. He made snide remarks about how i " managed to get down from 8 tablets a day to 6, and i didn't die!!! ". GAH!!

 

I always assumed physicians and psychiatrists etc, are always learning,  even after they graduate. Why do we have to  suffer so much before they get it? Im much older and wiser than he, and i swear, if he was my son i would crack him one upside his head.  :tickedoff:

 

Sorry for the rant, i had to get that off my chest.

 

Hopefully he doesn't come across this site and figure out who this is,  :-X

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You made me chuckle moojoo22, but I know it's your frustration talking.  Do you have anyone who could go with you to your appointment, maybe he wouldn't be so dismissive if it were two against one.

 

I'm so impressed with how much you've learned but I can see that communicating it can be difficult, I had trouble forming words not to mention my thoughts were jumbled and cloudy.

 

I hope your nerves aren't making your symptoms worse.

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Unfortunately my husband is the only one I can take in with me but he would do more than crack him upside his head, LOL!

 

Ive no one else that understands this and yes I think my nerves are exacerbating the symptoms. I have been a bundle of nerves for weeks.

Its so bloody frustrating. But I am determined to hold this dose for a bit longer. I cant handle much more at my age.  :crazy:;D

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Unfortunately my husband is the only one I can take in with me but he would do more than crack him upside his head, LOL!

 

Ive no one else that understands this and yes I think my nerves are exacerbating the symptoms. I have been a bundle of nerves for weeks.

Its so bloody frustrating. But I am determined to hold this dose for a bit longer. I cant handle much more at my age.  :crazy:;D

 

Hi moojoo22

 

I agree with Pam, and also appreciate your ability to find humour.

 

I’m wondering if you could show your husband all the points you want to make, possibly give him a copy of those points and ask him to step in, put those points forward to the doctor if you are thrown of kilter and feel overwhelmed. Pick out the important points and ask your husband to make sure he shuts the doctor down if he won’t allow you the space to talk (they love the sound of their own voices :), and then get a couple of points across. I once went with my sister, and honestly, it was the only time the doctor didn’t try and dominate over me.

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I really do want my husband to come in with me and have him step in if I need him to, he knows that, but hes very impatient and already despises this doctor for all the pain he has caused me as well as the stress that we both feel at home and trying to get through all my bouncing mood swings. So I would really be making things worse by bringing him in with me. It would probably end up in disaster, which I am trying to avoid at all costs right now.

I have written all my valid points on paper that I stapled to the  CCBDG document.I figure if the doctor takes a minute to read it, he may get my points, hopefully.

I've gone over it all and am just praying he listens this time. Remember, all my other appointments were over the phone since I hadn't gotten my last Covid booster or flu shot yet so phone appointments were all I could muster. I now understand that an in office visit may produce more positive results.

I'm so bloody nervous right now and I'm not sure I will sleep much tonight. Thinking of all hes said to me these last few months is kind of giving me a lot of yammering in my head. "" what if he says that again, or what if he refuses to listen...again"??I just want to shut it all off. SO hard to do.

First thing I'm doing is handing him that paper. I'll wait and see if he bothers to read it. If he sets it aside, I'm going to ask him to please take a minute to read that document, since we will have 1/2 hr to go over it together. Fingers are crossed and so are my toes. Wish me luck , say a prayer or 2, whatever..I need all the mental and spiritual support I can get.

 

 

 

 

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I really do want my husband to come in with me and have him step in if I need him to, he knows that, but hes very impatient and already despises this doctor for all the pain he has caused me as well as the stress that we both feel at home and trying to get through all my bouncing mood swings. So I would really be making things worse by bringing him in with me. It would probably end up in disaster, which I am trying to avoid at all costs right now.

I have written all my valid points on paper that I stapled to the  CCBDG document.I figure if the doctor takes a minute to read it, he may get my points, hopefully.

I've gone over it all and am just praying he listens this time. Remember, all my other appointments were over the phone since I hadn't gotten my last Covid booster or flu shot yet so phone appointments were all I could muster. I now understand that an in office visit may produce more positive results.

I'm so bloody nervous right now and I'm not sure I will sleep much tonight. Thinking of all hes said to me these last few months is kind of giving me a lot of yammering in my head. "" what if he says that again, or what if he refuses to listen...again"??I just want to shut it all off. SO hard to do.

First thing I'm doing is handing him that paper. I'll wait and see if he bothers to read it. If he sets it aside, I'm going to ask him to please take a minute to read that document, since we will have 1/2 hr to go over it together. Fingers are crossed and so are my toes. Wish me luck , say a prayer or 2, whatever..I need all the mental and spiritual support I can get.

 

It sounds like you have a very good plan together, and there’s not much more you can do than that. 30 minutes is a good amount of time for him to at least go through the document and points with you. Mostly I’m limited by 10 min appointments, but so far I’ve been allowed to just drift along at my own steady pace. Best of luck, moojoo, I’m visualising a positive outcome for you!

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Sorry for my late update of my appointment.  i was going over everything and writing it all down, then giving myself a much needed rest yesterday.

 

So the appointment went ok. Not as good as i was hoping, but im hoping its not going to end up as a complete waste of time neither. I handed him the document with all my points written out,  but he said he'd file it on my records, and said this appointment  wasnt for that. Right off the bat I'm thinking the worst.  I told him that what is in that document WAS the main reason for my visit, and he listened but i felt like he wasn't hearing me,  at least not entirely. He just left them there,sitting on his desk next to me,  NOTE:....he didnt even look at them during this whole half hour conversation. So it left me explaining it all to him. AND i was scrambling for all the right words i had gone over and over in my head the night and days before that appointment.

The doctor essentially understood the main points of the withdrawals and whats happening in my system. Although he does seem to want to help, he also seems  unwilling to accept my self led tapering. He sounded hesitant at any possibility that I may need extra time in months or possibly a year, to successfully get off the X completely. Hes mentioned the psychiatrist guiding my tapering,  but this may not even get to that, as any psychiatrist in my area, only has 10 to 15 minutes tops, to speak with,  plus it’s at least a 4 month wait to even see one . Hes also still assuming there will be no problems getting me off the benzos by spring. Its somewhat frustrating and kind of scary, not knowing how I end up in the ensuing months ahead. Whether I get down to 5 even by January 2023, is questionable because of the length of time ive been on them, and the amount I was taking. Plus the withdrawal symptoms are the other road block. He also mentioned something about worrying he may not be there for my entire tapering period, which im thinking he might leave the clinic and move on to some other one.  If hes talking about it now,  then what does he mean??

He also said no other doctor there would even give me the script,  so im getting worried that this is why hes so  adamant on getting me off these dam things by spring. He started this whole thing, and now its as if he wants to end it quickly. This has me concerned so I will be raising that question to him on my next in office visit, in a few weeks maybe sooner.

He did say if I have problems getting down to 5 by January 2023, he would change the script for another or rather extend it one month only. Think this is still his  “mission”, to rapid taper and im not accepting that. Finding another  doctor now, after all this, is going to make all my effort's and half assed success to date , with my tapering, a waste of time if I end up having to go cold turkey all of a sudden , knowing full well it will end badly for me at my age. Im just hoping he does in fact go over those docs and reads my notes , as he said he would , when he has time. I dont have time to waste on any stall tactics  or ignoring extremely valid points.  I hope he gets my drift and doent push me backwards,  as im not willing to go that route at all.

 

Still in this frustrating hamster wheel. ** heavy sighs** :brickwall:

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Sorry for my late update of my appointment.  i was going over everything and writing it all down, then giving myself a much needed rest yesterday.

 

So the appointment went ok. Not as good as i was hoping, but im hoping its not going to end up as a complete waste of time neither. I handed him the document with all my points written out,  but he said he'd file it on my records, and said this appointment  wasnt for that. Right off the bat I'm thinking the worst.  I told him that what is in that document WAS the main reason for my visit, and he listened but i felt like he wasn't hearing me,  at least not entirely. He just left them there,sitting on his desk next to me,  NOTE:....he didnt even look at them during this whole half hour conversation. So it left me explaining it all to him. AND i was scrambling for all the right words i had gone over and over in my head the night and days before that appointment.

The doctor essentially understood the main points of the withdrawals and whats happening in my system. Although he does seem to want to help, he also seems  unwilling to accept my self led tapering. He sounded hesitant at any possibility that I may need extra time in months or possibly a year, to successfully get off the X completely. Hes mentioned the psychiatrist guiding my tapering,  but this may not even get to that, as any psychiatrist in my area, only has 10 to 15 minutes tops, to speak with,  plus it’s at least a 4 month wait to even see one . Hes also still assuming there will be no problems getting me off the benzos by spring. Its somewhat frustrating and kind of scary, not knowing how I end up in the ensuing months ahead. Whether I get down to 5 even by January 2023, is questionable because of the length of time ive been on them, and the amount I was taking. Plus the withdrawal symptoms are the other road block. He also mentioned something about worrying he may not be there for my entire tapering period, which im thinking he might leave the clinic and move on to some other one.  If hes talking about it now,  then what does he mean??

He also said no other doctor there would even give me the script,  so im getting worried that this is why hes so  adamant on getting me off these dam things by spring. He started this whole thing, and now its as if he wants to end it quickly. This has me concerned so I will be raising that question to him on my next in office visit, in a few weeks maybe sooner.

He did say if I have problems getting down to 5 by January 2023, he would change the script for another or rather extend it one month only. Think this is still his  “mission”, to rapid taper and im not accepting that. Finding another  doctor now, after all this, is going to make all my effort's and half assed success to date , with my tapering, a waste of time if I end up having to go cold turkey all of a sudden , knowing full well it will end badly for me at my age. Im just hoping he does in fact go over those docs and reads my notes , as he said he would , when he has time. I dont have time to waste on any stall tactics  or ignoring extremely valid points.  I hope he gets my drift and doent push me backwards,  as im not willing to go that route at all.

 

Still in this frustrating hamster wheel. ** heavy sighs** :brickwall:

 

Hi moojoo

 

It sounds like you got some of your points across, and maybe that’s the best we can hope for at the moment. I guess all you can do is continue to wear him down over time. He has an oath to do no harm to his patients, all doctors do, so I would be inclined to be as subtle as possible in getting that point across. There is an old saying - ignorance is no excuse… and this should clearly apply to doctors more than anyone else, as it’s your health in their hands, and they have absolutely no right to put your health at risk through ignorance. In the meantime, seek out another doctor. Leave no stone unturned in finding one who is much more benzo wise. Hopefully your doctor will actually read the document and understand the reason why the taper should be patient led. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that they cannot understand or know the suffering you are experiencing at a particular taper rate.

 

I often wonder how many of these doctors will sit down and watch the Netflix documentary Xanax - take your pills. Clearly, they should be the first ones to watch these documentaries.

 

Stay strong and positive, moojoo!

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Forgive me if im repeating myself WS, I'm just not myself today at all. Ive thought about that appt again , and i have a bad feeling.

 

As i said previously,  right at the start he wouldnt look at the papers i printed out for him to read to understand the true tapering process.  Showing me he has no interest in what I had learned.  Hes assuming,  STILL, that i will be off the X by March or  April of next year. He said he would scan the documents into my file, but i asked him nicely, if he would please read them, since i made points or notes of how i need to lead the tapering,  and he then said he would TRY to read them after his other patients were seen at the end of the day. Again , when HE had time and didn't HAVE TO RUSH??? WTH is he doing to me?? Isnt he rushing me into this rapid taper of his?

When i tried to explain what ive learned about all this, especially about the withdrawal symptoms,  he interrupts me about how these benzos can cause DEMENTIA, really, but what about all this other stuff we suffer trying to get off of them, and how long wd symptoms last? Or more so, what benzos or ANY mind altering or psychotic drug does to your brain and body?

I know some of these medications are life saving, for those who need them for many good reasons, but i dont know what good it does , placing a young uneducated person , on benzos even  for short term use? He had the gull to tell me he still prescribes them short term. These poor people are going to suffer just as much as we are or have when they have to come off them suddenly or taper off.  This is one screwed up circle we're all in.  :crazy:

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Forgive me if im repeating myself WS, I'm just not myself today at all. Ive thought about that appt again , and i have a bad feeling.

 

As i said previously,  right at the start he wouldnt look at the papers i printed out for him to read to understand the true tapering process.  Showing me he has no interest in what I had learned.  Hes assuming,  STILL, that i will be off the X by March or  April of next year. He said he would scan the documents into my file, but i asked him nicely, if he would please read them, since i made points or notes of how i need to lead the tapering,  and he then said he would TRY to read them after his other patients were seen at the end of the day. Again , when HE had time and didn't HAVE TO RUSH??? WTH is he doing to me?? Isnt he rushing me into this rapid taper of his?

When i tried to explain what ive learned about all this, especially about the withdrawal symptoms,  he interrupts me about how these benzos can cause DEMENTIA, really, but what about all this other stuff we suffer trying to get off of them, and how long wd symptoms last? Or more so, what benzos or ANY mind altering or psychotic drug does to your brain and body?

I know some of these medications are life saving, for those who need them for many good reasons, but i dont know what good it does , placing a young uneducated person , on benzos even  for short term use? He had the gull to tell me he still prescribes them short term. These poor people are going to suffer just as much as we are or have when they have to come off them suddenly or taper off.  This is one screwed up circle we're all in.  :crazy:

 

I know exactly where you’re at, moojoo, and I completely understand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself reliving a doctors appointment and continually feeding the anger towards them. Unfortunately the stress has a terrible affect on our central nervous systems and sends us into a downward spiral. The best thing you can do (speaking from personal experience) is to avoid being pulled into those looping negative thoughts and emotions, as your mental/emotional bodies have a profound affect on your physical body. The one thing I would do is to print out another copy of the CCBDG and take it again next time, so if your doctor says he’s read it, you can hand it to him (in case he’s lying) and say you’d like to discuss section 3 (tapering principles) with him because you have no intention of risking your health with a fast taper.

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