Glen’s Story: Oprah’s piano man talks about putting a plastic bag over his head

The stigma of the madness.
« on: Yesterday at 11:49:25 pm »

glenthepianoman

Hi everyone.

One of the things I’ve struggled with, personally, over the last few years is communicating to friends and family just what the addiction was all about. Why did I “choose to become addicted”, and looking at all sorts of misconceptions and a general inability to understand withdrawal unless you’ve been through it. So I made a document.. a pdf.. a ‘letter’, of sorts, that I think does a good job of allowing a non-addict to at least understand what some of the hell is like, and exactly why we can flail so much and in such a self-desctructive way.

Hopefully my experience and words can help someone else communicate just what it’s all truly about.

It’s called “To Breathe or not to Breathe”.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cp4a6vq9p9y5wlb/ToBreatheOrNot.pdf

This is about my own personal experience, but I hope it can be in some way helpful to others.

Thanks,
Glen

8 thoughts on “Glen’s Story: Oprah’s piano man talks about putting a plastic bag over his head

  1. Wow! Is Glen a horror writer? This would really freek out a person in acute WD. This was meant to help people?!?!

    I clicked on his link and nothing was there, is there more to it? Please post it all if there is more to it. Just curious.

  2. I would like to know more about this fellow.

    Did he use drugs and alcohol prior to benzos? How much anxiety did he have prior to his first pill? Has he had nasal surgery or any other respiratory issues?

    .5 mg klon for 1 year caused this bad of WD? There must be more to the story…..right?
    Did a doctor really prescribe 24 mgs a day of klon? How long did it take to increase his dose to 24 mg a day?

  3. @ White Knight: It’s not unheard of for those who w/d from Ativan and Klon to stop breathing. They don’t realize it until it happens. I’m not sure why either. It only happened to me when I was awake, so it wasn’t sleep apnea. It was almost like… I would have to remind myself to breathe. Ativan is a strange one, because sometimes it helps people with COPD and asthma. Yet it’s contradicted for those reasons as well. I know that both asthma and COPD can cause anxiety, so it’s patient dependent. And Klon? I have no idea, but when I “tried” to w/d .25 mgs every 3-6 days when I was on BB, I caught myself doing the same– not breathing. Anxiety? Probably. (Amazing… I leave a benzo forum and *don’t* try to w/d and end up taking less, if any–go figure.) All benzos can cause Resp. depression, but X and A didn’t make me stop breathing when I c/t’d/w/d or switched. Maybe I explained the weird oxygen association? I haven’t found any research on the topic, so I assume it might be anxiety-related. (But again– why K and not A and X? There’s gotta be some other association that I just haven’t found.)

    20 mgs of Klon/day is the max recommended dosage for epilepsy; for anxiety it’s 10 mgs/day. Both are still very high, and hardly anyone is ever Rx’d at that amount, unless say– you’re allergic to the other 50+ meds, the add-on meds *and* find an MD who would Rx that much. Although MDs don’t have to legally stick to max recommended dosages, I’ve never seen ones who are comfortable with Rx’ing outside of that amount unless there’s good reason–quite rare and uncommon. Oh, and just because he was on that much doesn’t mean he was Rx’d that, of course. But… It’s difficult to believe with Klon’s 1/2 life that someone would need, get Rx’d or even feel the need to up-dose to that amount, with or without it being an actual Rx’d dosage. Unless he’s got some strange 12 hour:24 hour 1/2 life ratio (doubtful unless he’s taking a few certain other meds or uses yeast medication meds and creams like crazy, which decrease K’s effectiveness), it doesn’t make sense. Also, he says 1 year and 5 years. It is confusing. No time frame, no amount given every __ hours. Hmm. And he just “stopped” taking (what I’m assuming to be 24 mgs of K after) “1 year” in 2007 and somehow didn’t expect to feel like that? Huh?!

    Doubt that they would have given him K for alcohol w/d or if he was an alcoholic in the past. Ativan is the “booze detox go-to benzo” because it damages the liver less than any of them to prevent alcohol w/d seizures and DT’s. Also, it doesn’t matter how much alcohol someone used before taking benzos. Yes, same GABA receptors, but different binding site sububits. This is kinda why I could take 10 mgs+ of Kpin and not feel a thing, yet if I drink 2 beers in an hour, I’m pretty drunk. Benzos are strange meds. Chemistry-wise, complicated as hell, and even though alcohol and benzos don’t effect the same subunits, you can swap one for another to prevent a seizure. Maybe it’s just a case of “close enough”? Again, very odd medications.

    They usually Rx .5 mgs of K/2-3x a day for mild to moderate anxiety. This is a starting dose and/or dose used short-term. For severe anxiety, the “average” Rx is 3mgs/day. Nope, never heard of more than 12 mgs being Rx’d, even in epilepsy.

  4. Ah… I don’t have accounts there, so it’s just [Name Hidden] for me. Makes more sense now. I didn’t think any MD would Rx anyone a10 mgs, let alone 24/day. Holy crap– he “out-benzo’d” even us. I think the “world record” when I last looked was about 28 mgs of X a day for years for some man– not on any benzo forum.

    Thought you’d have more sympathy. Dunno if this guy ever said he was an alcoholic or was just preventing benzo w/d’s. I guess when you’re combining both, who knows. You were always telling me to have more sympathy for my sister due to her alcoholism. I know it’s a disease. But now she’s doing the AA cult crap, and she’s a TOTALLY different person. I’ve read the orange papers before and I agree. I’m glad she’s alive (she was at a pretty bad point; a whole 98 pounds, if that much, drinking on Antabuse and Ativan, stealing some from me; blacking out every day–for years, drinking in the morning, having DT’s… it was life or death). I kinda just want “my” sister back, but that will never happen. So I have to be grateful that she’s at least alive, although she’ll never be the person I knew.

    I have NO IDEA how people blame “that first .5 mg Kpin” they took took for what happened to them nowadays with PI sheets and the internet. I don’t know why people can’t say “I self-medicated for _______ reason.” Big deal, everyone does it, in healthy and non healthy ways. Too many people just can’t put the blame on themselves? I will NEVER understand that. I don’t know his story; if he drank in excess before the Kpins or not, etc. If he did, I doubt he told his MD the truth, because they would have never been Rx’d to him. I just HATE when people blame a useful (and yes, potentially addictive) medication on THEIR decisions and mistakes. We’re not taking Tylenol off the market for those who CHOSE not to read “4,000mgs MAX a day” and end up dying. It’s been mentioned, but most people read the damn instructions. Why mess it up for the normal people who need it for migraines and arthritis?

    I’ll easily say, “I fucked up”. Do I blame myself? Yes. I blame myself for getting up to that many mgs, and for not asking for better medical treatment. I *knew* it was Lyme and knew my sxs were neurological (and I repeatedly told ALL of them) but after so long, I said screw it. I also knew a 3 WEEK “taper” from 10-12 mgs of X was not a damn “taper”. But…. I didn’t care if I had a seizure and died. Once you’re told you’re crazy, then you have MS; you can’t walk or see, people treat you like you’re nuts… Who would want to live?!

    Was my GP negligent? Yes. But it was not malicious, and I should have gone elsewhere. That was MY fault. It might be a different story if I had any long-term damage, but MD’s make mistakes too, so I’m not sure. I might write him a letter. I think he’s getting tired of my snarky “Do you think we should add acupuncture to this?” suggestion every time, lol… He still doesn’t know that he failed to read the 2nd page of the test and probably wonders why I’m such a bitch. I don’t want to sue him. I just want to make sure it never happens to anyone else.

    You’ll never see me saying: “It all started with 1/2 mg of Ativan that I allowed myself to be Rx’d”… Because I asked for–and needed– something. Whatever happened before or after that point is my responsibility.

  5. Hi Mike and Banana,

    Thanks for the info on Glen…..what a mess he was!

    Banana, I am glad for your sisters recovery. Sometimes a non abusive (IMHO) “cult” like most of the AA groups, can save a persons life. For some, beginning to use drugs or alcohol again can mean a rapid and painful trip towards insanity, incarceration, and death.

    It seems that we can have a “good run” using drugs and/or alcohol, but gradually the benefits start to dissipate and the negative side effects begin to increase. To deny this would be rather naive, don’t you think?

    Merry Christmas

  6. Thanks, WK, who ever you are. I don’t like AA because it’s alleged success rate is just as fallacious as Narconon’s. It didn’t save her life. The 30K rehab she went to did, which used medications. She needed it, or she would have died.

    I had an awful Xmas. I usually do my own thing, because it’s my birthday as well. I decided to be “social” and hang out with my family. Bad idea. My sister goes… at least 2-4x a week, yet has been sober for over 12 months. She made a disgusting comment to me. My L4 disc is about to slip and it’s compressing 2 nerves. I don’t take anything for it. And U’m not about to get an EMG and NC studies done on my shin. It’s numb. Tibial nerve> same area. No foot drop, it doesn’t hurt me. But my back does, and I’m allergic to opiates, so I take Advil. I was getting some Xmas food to take home (I bought it all anyways) so I moved a chair closer to the fridge. Before this point, it was 2 PM, the time I’m supposed to take Adderall for narcolepsy, which I did. I’m not going to hide it. My sister got out her fancy camera and started to take a picture of me. I said, what are you doing? All she said was “You’ll know when your sober”. I flipped out, and told her that I needed medications, and I didn’t cause my illness, so before she gets herself involved in the AA cult, to watch her judgements towards others. She’s gone on AA “vacations” and has become someone I don’t even know. It’s a loss– she was my best friend for years. And then everyone in my family attacked ME for defendig myself and asking her, “PLEASE tell me, wtf am I on?”. I didn’t take Klonopin in days. I take that, and it’s PRN at this point, Adderall which I refuse to go up in dosage, and a b12 pill hopefully (but doubtful) correct this left shin numbness thing. I know I need to see a neuro, but I’m on so many waiting lists.

    But that was the end my family for me. I have MY family. My 2 cats and my son. The old family is not what they were and they’re very toxic and attack me. You don’t even wanna know about their problems! Non-drug or alcohol (my father adopted my sister– she’s the only one with alcolhism in my family), they’re messed up. My mother engages me in these power trip battles, it’s ridiculous. That’s why I stay away!

    Good run with D&A? I never really did that. Yeah, drank in college, but the only “addiction” I had was on Xanax and seriously– I think about 1/2 of it was in my head from reading the drivel on benzo.org,uk. Sure, negative effects become more prominent, but that’s not in every case and many of us fail to recognize BNZ’s true addiction incidence rate, over all. Something like 1-2%. My D&A are caffeine and nicotine. I’ve never done or wanted to do hard drugs. I could have in college, for free at that, but no thanks. They just don’t mix with GAD. Tried smoking pot when they said I had MS– like 1 or 2 hits. It helped the muscle spasms but made me way too “pot paranoid”. Benefits didn’t out-risk the risks for me. It threw me into a panic attack. I don’t care what others chose to use. It’s their body, and as long as no one is being hurt (SOs, children, society), and safe, I could care less.

    I never relly got into many things, drug-wise. I wish I could understand alcolhom, but I can’t when AA turns people into anti-med people, you know?

    But lol@pot being addictive. Psychologically? Sure. But what isn’t? Total Reefer Madness. M59 hates pot, lol.. But I do have friends who have MS who took meds which nearly killed them. They smoked pot and were a lot better. I don’t like it myself, but if something helps, people should use it. Sure, there’s lung cancer risk and it’s illegal. But that doesn’t make it wrong by any means. We’d all laugh at the stuff that was illegal 100 years ago.

    Happy New Year to you.

  7. Hi Banana

    I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive your sister and your family. You only have one family and you can not choose them. Remember they are flawed, just like we all are.

    Have a happy new year.

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