Christmas 2008

My husband said to me a bit ago, “I guess we can just pretend Christmas 2008 never happened.” It made me sad even though I’m not a big fan of Christmas as far as the commercialism goes and have never done a bit of decorating my whole adult life. I avoid all things Christmas out in the public. But, I do enjoy a gathering and meal. And that’s not going to happen this year.

It’s Christmas Eve right now and it’s 6 pm as I begin to write this. I had a really bad night last night. I woke up twice in horrible pain. Nausea, gut pain, and a flu-like sensation all over my body. I had only made a 5% cut in my Klonopin two days ago and it had been a few weeks since I made the last cut. 5% was one tenth of a milligram. It boggles my mind that such a tiny amount can make one so awesomely sick. I left our bed both times and writhed on the couch in the living room so that Daniel could sleep. He had to work today. He is a journalist and a writer and writes about *very* current events, like as they are happening, so he does not have the day off.

Tomorrow, Christmas, he does have the day off. His days off are always Thursday and Friday.

Anyway I was up two times in the night in horrible pain with the nausea that had me pleading out loud to no one, (we have white-noise maker in the bedroom, so Daniel couldn’t hear me) “help me, help me, help me.” I was in a sort of delirium because I remember it only vaguely. I think sometimes I was saying more than just that.

In spite of this I did manage to get some sleep and was not out of bed this morning until 11:30. That is much later than I usually sleep. I had sent a note by email in the middle of the night to a benzo friend. Someone who is done with her taper and withdrawal and who is recovering in tangible ways now. I had told her I felt like I was dying. That I could barely move and my body simply felt like it was going to give out. I meant it. I’ve also felt like that most of the day. Today in fact there were times when I could only mumble if Daniel asked me something and I needed help to get to the bathroom.  I could not live alone right now. Being this dependent is very difficult but I’m profoundly grateful I have a partner.

My benzo friend first said she’d been there many times, the weakness and debiliation totally familar, and suggested I updose. She said she had updosed by large amounts a few times. Usually just for a couple of days, to get a break.

I did what she said and took and additional .25 mg of Klonopin upon waking. Last night I was down to 1.8 mg. The .25 mg updose made me  get worse…much worse as noted above. I felt like my body was paralyzed and I was only semi-conscious. I started functioning a tiny bit around 4pm. Now it’s 6 pm and I’m writing this, so there has been some improvement. But what it means I don’t know. Am I toxic from the Klonopin or do I need to make another taper. I’ve been tapering ridiculously slowly. This may take many more months. I havent’ decided how I’m going to continue yet. What to take tonight?? The big question??

Anyway. This is my Christmas Eve. Daniel had to take care of me all day so he’ll be working until midnight if not later. The newspaper he works for is overseas. Blessedly overseas at this point. It allowed him to be there for me when I couldn’t function at all.

On a more pleasant note, Daniel also managed to go to the store and bought me a dozen red roses. The first red roses I’ve ever received in my life! And now they are sitting where I can see them. A few days ago I commented to him that he had never bought me flowers.

It’s very sweet that he knew that they would mean a lot today.

And so, even if there is pain and debilitation, there is still love in this house today.

Maybe tomorrow will bring a day in which I can manage to cook the leg of lamb I bought for our Christmas meal. I hope so. I can’t cook every day, but it is the last thing I still try to do no matter what—cooking makes me feel like the real me. I probably manage about 50% of the time.

So that is my Christmas wish. That I can cook that leg of lamb for Christmas dinner.

Best wishes to all of you.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

18 Responses

  1. Ana

    “I felt like my body was paralyzed and I was only semi-conscious.”
    That’s exactly the way I felt when I didn’t took clonazepam for three days.
    If I had read this post 14 years ago it would have saved me. As I already told you I’ve searched for a psychiatrist to help me withdraw clonazepam and he prescribed me Tofranil.
    I got extreme anxious and another psychiatrist started “diagnosing” side effects.
    Today I’ve started making a list of the drugs I’ve taken:
    Effexor, Paxil, Anafranil, Tofranil, Remeron, Tryptanol, Parnate, Depakote, Geodon, Neurontin, Stelazine, Topamax, Seroquel, Lamictal, Zyprexa, Lexotan, Rohypnol, Xanax, Valium, Halcion, Ativan
    The list is not read.
    I hope it helps other people.
    This is a very important post Gianna.
    I’mvery sorry you’re going through all this.
    I’m glad for the flowers.
    Be at peace and… Merry Christmas.

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  2. Dearest Gianna,

    I am so sorry you are feeling poorly from the Klonepin.

    It’s great hubby is there with you and loves you, the flowers sound lovely!

    I will keep my fingers crossed you can make your lamb tomorrow. With or without mint jelly as you prefer.

    Love to you, Daniel, Kali, Jezebel and Pippin.

    Susan and Holly cat

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  3. kim

    sorry you’ve been in so much pain. i’m dreading my xanax withdrawal process although it will be a while because they’re helping me through this very rough time right now.

    funny you mentioned red roses. when i was in high school (a long time ago!) my boyfriend and i were fighting…he went out and bought me a dozen red roses, came over to my best friend’s house where she was helping me cope with a silly, young broken heart….anyway, he came to her house and threw the dozen roses at me. i swore off roses that day. years later i would fill my home (during dark, sad times) with fresh cut flowers of all varieties. and last year, the love of my life, the man who opened my heart, brought me roses one day for no particular reason. roses of all colors and it was then my heart healed just a bit more from years and years of pain and emptiness.

    that was a very kind thing daniel did and i’m so happy we both have love in our homes.

    my best to you and happy holidays.
    xo

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  4. We decided to have lamb, this year, just for a change!..

    It’s 2.30 am. The kids’ stockings have been done, and I’m sitting with a glass of gin and tonic, scouring the net for something to say! I dunno, some kind of impulse to offload, or something!

    It’s at times like this that I wonder to myself if I’m truly as mad as everybody seems to want to believe!!! Because to me, my life looks emminently sensible! In fact, when looked at in those terms, life is as simple as a relaxing drink and a computer keyboard!

    Actually, what I dropped by to say was “congrats on winning A Hoy.” I see that Tracy has awarded you the most prestigious honour in the blogosphere (and if it’s not, then it soon will be!)! The winged figure was her idea, if I remember aright – a derivative of the bird of prey on the Bolivian flag, I think, which I’d wanted to incorporate…

    Matt

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  5. So it is! Incidentally, just to complete the picture, I should mention that I’m listening to Dion Warwick’s “Heartbreaker,” a compilation of greatest hits. Internet, G&T, classic soul. Get the essentials sorted, and the rest falls into place!

    Matt

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  6. Dear Gianna,
    I can’t think of how many times I’ve said, “Help me, help me, help me” when I was having similar difficulties with medication. And I can’t think of how many times I had the same symptoms you’re experiencing. It brings tears to my eyes that you’re having such a tough time, and great compassion.

    And now that I’m suffering a severe depression, the other night, I held a photograph of my parents–who have both died–and whispered “Help me mama and daddy. Can you hear me? Can you help me? I love you so and miss you so terribly.”

    Yet, despite all this, you managed to write a lovely comment on my blog. Gianna, you’re a dear person and a thoughtful friend, and I’m glad you’re a part of my life.

    Love,
    Susan

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  7. Morning Gianna,

    I just woke up and checked on you- I hope you are sleeping right now snuggly with Daniel- and kitties and dog are dreaming of the lamb dinner.

    Can you send any left overs through the computer for my girl? She has never had lamb.

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  8. Deborah

    Gianna – I hope you got some relief last night. May you have a lovely day with your husband, the fur babies, and that lamb.

    Merry Christmas, and thanks for this lifeline of a blog.

    Deborah

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  9. Today is Christmas. I almost spent it alone due to the fact that i am on klonopin, my boyfriend and i fight every other day over this. It is ruining my relationship. I know i need help but don’t know how to go about getting off of it.

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  10. Val

    Oh honey – these wishes are belated but heartfelt nonetheless…
    Merry Christmas & I certainly hope you are feeling a little better today!
    I’m on the knife-edge of waiting to get my boy back today, using the IN to calm my nerves.
    Take care of yourself (& let Daniel help!)
    luv Val

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  11. Sara

    So sorry you are suffering like this with the withdrawal. I hope you did get that lamb cooked. May 2009 bring you the end to your medication withdrawal and some improvement in your health! Very best wishes!!!

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