Author Topic: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...  (Read 1088 times)

[Buddie]

Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« on: June 14, 2021, 09:15:33 pm »
This all started from a sinus infection, which then became an ear infection, which then became a ruptured ear drum. And when I mean ruptured I mean fully ruptured, lots of pain and pus. I could not hear out of my ear for over a week and tinnitus, due to the lack of sound, reared its ugly head to compensate for the lack of regular noise. I've managed my depression and anxiety very well up until this point but I was an absolute mess once I got to the ENT's office. I wasn't sleeping due to the noise as well as the anxiety from being deaf in one ear for over a week. I was relieved that the diagnosis was a ruptured ear drum but crying hysterically the entire time - probably from the lack of sleep.

The audiologist recommended I ask the ENT for some sleep medicine, and this is where my story begins. I remarked how Ambien made me hallucinate when I had the flu back in college, so she suggested a benzo. I took Klonopin during a health crisis I had in 2008 when I had an adverse reaction to a supplement as needed. It was prescribed by my older GP but I used it sparingly and tossed it back in 2008. This usage probably attributed to what was to happen next.

Flash forward and I asked the ENT for klonopin to help me sleep. Little did I know that she prescribed 1mg tabs. I didn't know anything about this drug - I thought it was just a sleep med. I didn't know the hell I was about to enter.

I broke the tab in half, knowing they were addictive, and got my first night of sleep in over a week. I was taking halves or quarters the rest of the week, not realizing nor was I warned about creating a dependency. When you hear "addictive" you think craving it like a cigarette. Not having interdose withdrawals!  When I took a quarter tab on the sixth night I started having heart palps. I was like, no way can I be physically dependent on this.

I went to this forum and read about the Ashton Manual. I ran to my GP with Manual and she dismissed it, saying I needed to cut the dose in half and offered me six .125mg ODT tablets to taper from. The ENT only prescribed a handful of pills with zero refills so I was screwed. It was essentially a cold turkey and it nearly killed me. I called the doctor in tears after quitting and went back to both her and the visiting grad student who were denying I was "addicted" and that the symptoms would subside in a couple of weeks. They didn't. I went to another GP and she wanted to prescribe me antidepressants and didn't believe in benzo withdrawal. I was being gaslit and essentially gave up, thinking withdrawal would last a month or so given my short usage.

Well, I was wrong.

I entered a hell I don't even want to discuss. I basically had everything. My gut said to reinstate to ease the symptoms but I needed a supply for x amount of months I simply did not have. I was assured on here that symptoms would subside soon but that was incorrect. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist but he didn't want me to go back on and instead wanted to give me Prozac.

I'm here to tell you that things do improve. They do get better. I was off of this forum since March of 2020 when I encountered an exercise setback. This is my one major symptom remaining and it does affect my quality of life. In fact, I'm back on here for the first time because I had another setback yesterday simply from a two mile walk. I used to do weight training and run 2-3x a week, I was in peak physical shape prior to this. I did my typical weight training routine during acute thinking it would help me sleep (because it usually does) and it sent me into a full blown panic attack where I nearly crashed my car while driving home. I didn't know what was happening.

Now I have a brain injury because the medical field failed me. I was walking quarter miles, then half miles, etc. I finally worked up to two miles and apparently that was too much and has caused a flare-up in symptoms. It truly sucks because I haven't had a major wave since February 2020.

Outside of this current wave, my sleep is about seven hours per night. It took nearly 2.5 years to get to that point. I didn't sleep at all the first few months and maybe averaged 4-5 the first year. It was horrific.

I can laugh again. I am into hobbies again. I got into smoking meats and building up my vinyl collection. I had a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and felt 100% mentally. No depression, SI, crying spells, mental akethesia. I wanted to have a beer so badly but I abstained, not knowing if I ever will again - which truly sucks because I was a craft beer hobbyist.

I just pray that I can exercise - I was an active husband and father and I have two young kids. I couldn't even lift my daughter a couple of months ago because my CNS couldn't handle the load. It was heartbreaking. Exercise was my natural anti-depressant and stress relief mechanism. Not being able to exercise for three years has been demoralizing to say the least.

My journey isn't over yet, but I think the worst is behind me god willing.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 02:59:46 am »
Wow, it breaks my heart to read your story, for the hell you went through after such a short time use, and the sadness of losing the ability to work out!  In the meantime, so great to hear your recovery otherwise!

I'm like you, exercise is main part of my life, if anything remains positive, that is! So I totally know your feeling!

I was bed ridden since day 5 on 2.5mg valium and been in bed 95% time for almost 3 yrs! Just 2 months ago, I started walking outside, little by little, I regained streghth walking more each day. I made the longest walk yesterday to 3miles, and did a hike for the first time a few days ago.

I believe you will regain your ability to exercise, and it can happen suddenly and improve quickly.

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 03:11:11 pm »
[...],

I am relating to your very short-term use that ended with being propelled into hell.  I am so so sorry. 

Thank you for sharing your story and milestone, illustrating how some of us are so negatively affected after minimal exposure.  Sometimes it feels very lonely on the boards with only a short backstory, really a blip on the calendar, of benzo use yet thrown into a horrid affair that has completely disrupted our lives.  Like you, I was gaslighted by my provider who assured me there was no way I was in any kind of withdrawal or tolerance, along with the ER staff who said I was just experiencing a "panic attack" and prescribed yet another benzo when I told them it was the benzo causing it, that none of this started until I began consecutive use.  I also was reassured by some here that my healing would be fast given my short-term use.  Fast forward 10 months and I'm still dealing with the fallout.  It's just all so upsetting. 

Your exercise intolerance is hitting home for me right now as well.  Like you, I was a very fit person for my age, and regular exercise and running was a fixture in my life before all this happened.  I was able to begin slowly exercising around month 4 and built myself up to be able to jog around 1 1/2 to 2 miles and do some low impact HITT workouts at home with some light weights, and while it was a far cry from my life before the benzo nightmare, it was a boon to my overall morale in hope and healing.  Then I was hit with an acute-like wave in month 9 that brought me back to my knees.  I'm still recovering from it.  Within the past 2 weeks I've been able to manage some walks again, but I am so desperate to regain that ability to workout, to exercise without fear or without any setback, to also keep up with my active kids without the benzo injury claws keeping me down. 

While I know that all of our journeys are different and no 2 experiences are or will be the same, it's hard not to make some comparisons when certain stories resonate so completely.  Yours absolutely hits home.  I am happy that you are improving, feeling the worst is behind you.  It's just beyond unfair that it is taking this long for you.  When you do experience your waves from exercise-intolerance, what are they like and what symptoms do you end up having?  Does it take long to recover from them?  I hope so much for you that this comes back completely because exercise is indeed that natural anti-depressant and stress reliever, the one thing that I should have just kept doing instead of listening to my Dr. saying I was experiencing anxiety and needed something to help it out. 

Please do continue to offer an update here, if you don't mind, because I think our short-term stories matter so much.   Happy belated birthday to you--and, yet again, you have my complete empathy in understanding the loss of enjoying a craft beer to help you celebrate.

Sending you light and may that final leg of healing be right around the corner for you. 
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2021, 03:42:34 pm »
Wow [...] your story resonates with me so much. As such short term users we get overlooked for suffering this long. I cannot explain the exercise phenomenon - to me it does not make sense. I am now back in an acute like wave because of a gentle two mile walk, some of which was uphill. I was working my way up without issue and I can usually notice if I'm pushing too hard. I wasn't that day so it completely threw me off-guard when I started having heart palps and all the other fun side effects that have been gone for months.

And as a parent I relate to all that you're saying - we want to be there for our kids and it scares me if I'll ever be able to go skiing with them or play golf again. I try to keep a positive mindset but these setbacks are just brutal for me. 

It usually starts with heart palps, then anxiety, then feeling wired and dealing with insomnia, headaches, and panic. My last one took about two weeks to clear up but my threshold for physical exertion was limited for a long time. It's heartbreaking because there's times I just want to say f it and go for a run because I felt so good doing it, but if I do it now it brings on a horror show of misery.

I hope this wave passes for you quickly. After being in a window for an extended period of time it absolutely sucks to be thrown back into the belly of the beast.

I honestly don't know how I've soldiered on for three years. No one deserves this.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2021, 05:45:10 pm »
[...]

I wish you complete 100 percent healing and the ability to do all the things that make your life complete symptom free.

Best

kb
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2021, 05:58:35 pm »
Thank you KB. I donít wish this on anyone, not even my worst enemy. 36 months is a long time to suffer from something I was exposed to for a damn week. One person put it best saying that I am ďa minority of minorityísĒ

I think my GABA receptors were already damaged prior to this fiasco since I would get racing heart early in the morning if I drank too much (which wasnít often). But I didnít know better at the time.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2021, 06:23:46 pm »
If this brings you any solace, I completely one hundred percent believe the  damage you speak of from such a low amount of time using Klonopin. If it's any reward, I have reached out to my psychiatrist to email her and let her know the damage she has to done to especially avoid another case like yours, it is truly heartbreaking and no one but a benzo survivor could understand you- let alone your short term use.

Deep down I believe you will heal one hundred percent.

Light and healing

KB
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2021, 09:14:04 pm »
I am right there with you - short term user here too, CT, suffering so much. I hope that you find healing soon. I understand the exercise intolerance. I was a skier, climber, lifted weights, calisthenics, runner. I hope I can return to it one day.

What symptoms do you get when you exercise? My symptoms are all mental torture. I feel paralyzed from fear of them.

Keep us posted on your progress - hope to see your success story soon!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2021, 04:19:50 pm »
I am right there with you - short term user here too, CT, suffering so much. I hope that you find healing soon. I understand the exercise intolerance. I was a skier, climber, lifted weights, calisthenics, runner. I hope I can return to it one day.

What symptoms do you get when you exercise? My symptoms are all mental torture. I feel paralyzed from fear of them.

Keep us posted on your progress - hope to see your success story soon!

Basically my body goes haywire. Heart rate skyrockets, feeling wired, insomnia, headaches, frequent urination, anxiety, panic. I'm so concerned if this is permanent or not. I've tried to not let it bother me but walking two miles, some of which is uphill, to be thrown into a wave is so upsetting.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Three years free from less than two weeks of use...
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2021, 06:35:26 pm »
[...], I am so sorry. I think a lot of this is due to HPA axis dysfunction. After reading articles on PTSD and lack of cortisol responsiveness, this is my suspicion. If you haven't have a full panel of hormones, thyroid and cortisol, maybe consider it. There may be something that needs to be addressed there. I hope this passes for you soon.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.