Coping - I feel like calling the ambulance so I think I'll go for a walk. « on: March 30, 2018, 07:36:24 pm »
Hey Buddies! I’m an 83 year old geezer who was on 2.5 mg/day of Klonopin for 25 years as prescribed and have been off for about 22 months. I decided to wean off after realizing that the strange symptoms I had been experiencing for several years were due to tolerance withdrawal. The docs merrily prescribed this stuff without the slightest indication of the inherent risks involved. In any case, I thought it might be useful to my fellow sufferers to learn about my current circumstances given my history.
My typical day starts at about 6:30 AM after a night of fitful frequently interrupted sleep. My bed feels like a war zone. Feeling a bit dizzy and light-headed I make breakfast and sit down to read the paper. About an hour into it I begin to feel like a pall is settling over me; my brain feels leaden (physically) and my thinking becomes wooly. My whole body feels heavier and less responsive and my dizziness increases. I feel faint. An icy-hot sensation blooms over the skin of my arms and legs. With growing agitation I ask myself what the hell is going on? Do I have some horrible tumor like a carcinoid (which causes flushes) or pancreatic cancer? Do I have MS or lupus? I feel like I can hardly move, should I call the ambulance? Then, what’s left of my cerebral cortex sends a directive – Screw this! That’s no way to live! If you’re gonna go, go down swinging; get your ass in gear! (I need a bit of bravado at that point.) So I struggle to my feet, put on a jacket, unlimber my outdoor walker (My back is so bad I can no longer walk any significant distance without one. I wrecked my back running 12 miles/day in my 40s as a means of coping with job stress. I switched from running to Klonopin. Alas.) and head out. I take my driver’s license so I can be identified in case I keel over along the way. But amazingly I start to feel better almost immediately. My head clears, my spirits lift, and the leaden feeling disappears. I go as fast as I can up and down the hills in the neighborhood, covering about 2.5 miles in about 40 minutes, puffing all the way. People stare – who’s this decrepit old weirdo race-walking with his walker? But hey, when I get home I feel much better than when I started out and this exercise-induced window lasts for a few hours, after which that pall, somewhat less intense, begins to settle again. If I could only keep going flat out physically I think all my symptoms (except the skin sensations, which continue to come and go during the exercise) would be alleviated but, alas, this is impossible.
So folks, this is what one benzo sufferer’s life is like. It’s doable though not easy and at my age I don’t feel sanguine about the possibility of completely healing. The most beneficial coping strategy for me is to keep exercising as much as possible. Keep the blood flowing to all those damaged neurons! That will facilitate whatever healing is going to occur.
I don’t know if any of this will be helpful, but I hope so. Best of luck benzo-warriors!