A Little Breakthrough For Me? Maybe?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by joeb7th, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I hope I articulate this well enough that it doesn't confuse anybody.

    I have posted so many angry at our medical system messages and talked about being so mistreated in my smaller medical community.

    Those were real and honest and I still feel that way, but I always said I would love to post a more positive message on this board...and this may be one of those.

    Getting out-of-the-blue, mind-blowing, life changing illnesses like what you and I have experienced throws your mind and thinking for a loop.

    You get confused with all the scary body paining and draining symptoms...and scared too.

    Lately, I have been mentioning on this board that I was getting worse. I was rushing back to ER's ( 4 to 5 times in last two months!) telling them that certain areas of my body were just so painful and I felt like was dying (true) and I wasn't sleeping for two nights and I was so weak and sick and fainty and tensed neck and back and sweaty and panicky with heart jumps and symptoms I can't even describe, just haywire and scary all over like bladder urges that wouldn't stop, skin itching, you name it. I was crying. I just couldn't take anymore. And you know how embarrassing this is for a 55 year old guy who has never acted this way in his life?

    I would be looked at in these ER's and then given 2 mgs of ativan and sent home in one or two hours with actual angry irritated toned orders from the GI docs. " There's nothing wrong with you!" "The urine and blood and heart test all come up normal!" Get dressed, call your wife and leave!"

    So humiliating I'm afraid to go back to these ERs now even if I actually pass out.

    And yet, yesterday was "another" one of these worst physical days for me again. Mind blowingly bad. And I never felt so deeply depressed. Head paining and pressured depressed. No appetite, all the other feelings, feeling like I could just die and wanting to cry again.

    A year and a half ago if I felt like I did yesterday I would be racing to the ER at 80 miles an hour. But all I did yesterday was curl up on my bed at 6 in the evening and moan and pray. I didn't want to be humiliated again at our ER.

    Then I took my own 2 mgs of Lorazepam at about 8 or 9 PM and slowly I made it through the night. I actually slept some and felt better today.

    But in the last two or three days I have come to a theory about what is happening to me that has been driving me to life shaking feelings and panicky tears and even a one and one half day, first time stay in our hospital's mental facility.

    My theory is that I am having extreme withdrawal symptoms from Lorazepam.

    I do not know how I have missed this. Actually I do know how. When your mind is so absorbed in unprecedented pain and soreness and weakness it doesn't think straight too often.

    But, I have taken a lot of Lorazepam in the last few months. I was first on Valium the first 5 or 6 months, then Lexipro and valium then on Lorazepam without Lexipro. Last few months just on straight Lorazepam. My psychiatrist really pushes this lorazepam.

    I have been carrying a bottle of 2 mg pills of this stuff around for months. But in my wanting to be manly and gut out all my symptoms and be the tough guy I would take one 2 mg tablet or two halves of these 2 mgs of Lorazepams in a day and then not take anything for 4 to 5 days after. This has been almost a pattern for me. Talk about an uneven dosage!

    And each visit to these ERs meant even more Lorazepam (ativan)

    But I finally saw a pattern here. The longer I would go without taking this Lorazepam I would for sure go into these "I'm dying" complete body pain and haywire feeling explosions with extreme anxiety and panic and more and more depression.

    Hey, this stuff is potent! It works well. It is much more potent than Valium. But it hits you and leaves in a matter of one day or more. Up until recently, I didn't know what a benzo withdrawal was.

    I have looked up 25 different sites on benzo withdrawals and almost everyone says that Lorazepam is the hardest hitting one for withdrawals with some controversy that Xanax is worse.

    And because Lorazepam hits you so hard ( what is it 4 to 8 tims more potent than Valium? ) and then leaves your system so quickly, the withdrawals start quickly also!

    One well known Benzo doctor in England equated Lorazepam withdrawals to heroin withdrawals, only heroin is mostly out of your system in two weeks. Lorazepam last longer.

    Besides my general fibro type pain and weakness and weird feelings, I think the extreme stuff I have been suffering through lately, what has been driving me to these ER's in a crazy depressing panic so much could very well be...lorazepam withdrawals.

    I know all of you are thinking, why the uneven approach in taking this stuff. It is so stupid I know. I can't explain it anymore than my macho trying to get by without it feelings.

    But you can't do that with these benzo's once your body is dependent on them. Now, I MUST take these every day to avoid these almost siezure like withdrawals.

    I just talked to my psychiatrist today and told him of my theory and he said " What you are saying might be valid."

    And I told him I want off of this Mount Everest high, Death Valley low Lorazepam benzo. I don't know how to kick this stuff, but I want to go back to a longer lasting benzo like Valium. One that doesn't make you feel like you know what within 2 days of not taking it. And not so potent either.

    He mentioned Klonopin which last a bit longer than Lorazepam, but it better not give me the heroin type withdrawal symptoms of Lorazepam if I miss a few doses.

    So, I may be on to something here, I may be not. But so far it is making sense. I sure hope so anyway. I am going to really watch not having gaps of taking these super benzo lorazepam until I can get switched to another one.

    Also, I just started a new medicine therapy. Besides taking B-12 shots, my endocrinologist called me back with another blood test result and demanded I start using this testosterone gel called "androgel" immediately. She said my testosterone levels was 8 from a normal scale of 10 to 30.

    So now I'm doing this. Hope it helps and doesn't turn me into a hairy, chest pounding gorilla. Or hurt my already enlarged prostate. But she said I must get those testosterone levels up or else.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/04/2007]
  2. Engel

    Engel New Member

    (((((((((( hug )))))))))) don't tell your wife ;-) I went a little nutty coming off some meds too. Very tearful. I hope you feel better soon.
  3. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Engel, thank you. But as you can see there are worse off people on this board and I'm sure so many who don't even have a computer.

    But maybe this theory about my recent problems being Lorazepam withdrawals will help me in the longer run of getting "somewhat" of a little better handle on this over-all fibro thing. I am hopeful that it will.

    It was so frightening to wonder why I was feeling like I was going to die and nobody would believe me. And even if this lorazepam withdawal theory turns out to be true...it was me that found it...not the docs...you'd have thought that maybe one of the ER docs would have caught this when I told them about my uneven dosage of this drug.

    But we carry on, we must. Thanks again for you empathic kind message.
  4. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member


    It sounds like you are on to something...thankgoodness!
    I hope you start feeling better soon, I have worried about you and your plight. I can sure picture a hairy chested gorilla, they are kinda cute! Keep us all posted....((hugs))
  5. Didoe

    Didoe New Member

    Your self analysis and medical analysis is not only eloquent its heroic.

    But please consider, if you think withdrawal problems from Lorazepam is difficult, dont even start with Klonopin, its very hard to kick.
    My ex mother n law was in her 70s secretly eating Valium for years, no one knew why she would shriek from rage and stare wide eyed, we just thought life in Poland had been a royal horror...a woman in her 70s had to be hospitalized to withdraw

    Please Joe, think really hard before substituting one problem with another.

  6. obrnlc

    obrnlc New Member

    hi joe, glad to hear that you have possibly found a "black and white" reason for your recent symptoms.
    No matter how tough those symptoms are, it feels so good to be able to put your finger on it and say "this is it"!
    (It will feel even better to push down with that finger and squash this problem like a bug)
    Can you just taper down SLOWLY but STEADY from the ativan, with 1/day for a week, then 1/2 /day /a week/ then 1/2 every other day for a week,then every third, etc.
    perhaps it will be less traumatic for you rather than to put yourself thru cold turkey withdrawals every so often.
    AND-maybe work on one thing at a time, get off the problem med before trying the testosterone, so you know what is causing what symptoms.
    glad to see your positive post---L
    [This Message was Edited on 04/04/2007]
  7. revlcb

    revlcb New Member

    That you may have found your culprit. Medication can have some terrible side effects, not to mention withdrawl symptoms, as you yourself have experienced.

    Good luck to you on getting off this med. May the road be free of bumps.
  8. pika

    pika New Member


    i am glad for the hope (and self-revelation) you are experiencing. also, i believe you will have so much less panic and anxiety -- just knowing what is causing these exacerbated FM symptoms!

    so many say it: we HAVE to be aware of our own bodies and listen to what they are telling us.

    you have listened to your own body, instead of the mal-advice of those ER doctors who (repeatedly) missed the mark! bravo!!

    oh, and i totally understand your not taking the full amount. with some of my meds, i've done the same thing. i do discuss this with my doctors, making sure they know exactly how i take it and why.

    i am just awed by your own wisdom surfacing in this! again, bravo!!
  9. janie056

    janie056 New Member

    I can only tell you about Klonopin, I was on this twice in my life , the first time I was on .05 2x day for about three years, I told the doc I wanted to get off of them, he just cut me down for two weeks and I never had a withdrawl problem.
    I have now again been put on Klonopin 3xday, for about three years again.
    Jut wanted to let you know if I do miss a dose I'm fine if I want to stop the doc just helps me cut down.

    Take Care,
  10. Fmandy

    Fmandy New Member

    Joe, I am sure glad to hear you have figured out your main "nerve" problem. You already sound better. The reason I think you have it figured out is because I became addicted to ativan in 1985.

    I know exactly how you feel when you try to stop taking them. I could go for about 8 days and then my world, body and mind would fall apart. I had to go through rehab.

    I have tried the Androgel also. It affected my enlarged prostate and made me a tad aggressive. I am already a hairy gorilla, lol.

    My urologist made me stop the Androgel. It is made from a bull. That's cool though :)

    I wish you the very best in whatever you decide to do. Ativan really calmed me down and let me live my life, but I was obtaining it illegally after having it prescribed to me 4 times by my old family doctor, and then NO, it is addictive. Oh really kind sir? I was already addicted.

    Hang in there,

  11. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    This site is a God send. Someday the entire nation is going to know just how great this website is and all the people on it.

    You get the most kind, generous, carng and "sincere" words and encouragement. And shared experiences and advice, that help lead you to your own discoveries. All of this is absolute gold , manna from heaven for other suffering, confused, scared, dismissed and downplayed or left alone victims of these ailments whose personal lives are in many cases just devastated.

    Thank you all...forever.

    Makes doctors seem like prison guards in their by-and-large rushed unsympathetic coldness and over-blown egos.
  12. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    You have the greatest ability to explain your situation. I love reading your posts. The support and encouragement here from everyone is truly a godsent.

    You are definitely on the right track with increasing your B12, testosterone and getting some sleep. I know for myself increasing low estrogen/progesterone made a big difference.


  13. sascha

    sascha Member

    getting some constructive information for yourself at long last. you have way more than enough paid your dues. keep the board informed. i am watching for your name- best of luck, sascha
  14. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    This is where I learned about the potency of Lorazepam and how difficult the withdrawals are from it. It also has a reducing schedule and procedure for getting of it but it includes switching to Vlaium with my psyhciatrist doesn't like.

    So I have to work on this with him.
  15. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    Light-bulb moment for me reading your post!!!

    I, too, am on benzos and up and down the doses crazily - only just figured out the severe anxiety/panic attacks/racing heart might be because of doing this.

    Your post confirms my suspicions but, like you, my doc doesn't like the Valium taper idea.

    Not sure how to approach her about this again.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Hugs and complete understanding,

    Bunchy xx
  16. Ginner

    Ginner New Member

    thanks, so much good info.
  17. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    My pscyhe said he would write me a prescription for klonopin tomorrow. But what I really want is Valium and to wean off of that gradually, but he wants me to try to wean off klonopin first.

    Lorazepam does work well, it's potent...it's just a Mount Everest high and a quick Death Valley withdrawal low because it hits you more potently and then leaves your system so quickly. That is a sure set up for strong addiction and powerful withdrawals.

    If you don't moniter your doses and time taking tables perfectly with Lorazepam you can really get hit hard.

    But, again, this is all just a theory of mine after 1 and 1/2 year of taking sedatives and or anti-depressants.
  18. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    Hi again,

    Someone from a benzo support line said to me you can convert to Klonopin, stabilise on it and then convert that gradually to Diazepam.

    For example, you start off on 2mg Klonopin, stabilize, then take 1.5mg Klonopin and 10mg Diazepam (I think that's the equiv of .5mg Klonopin - can't be sure, foggy brain) and wean off of the Diaz gradually. Then go to 1mg Klonopin add another 10mg Diazepam and wean off the Diaz slowly again and so on.

    I might try that approach if my doc agrees.

    Totally agree with you about the dramatic highs and lows with Lorazepam and those shorter-acting drugs.

    Keep in touch and let me know how you go.

    Hugs Bunchy x

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