Alas, I can say I’ve improved. What does improvement mean when I still can’t stand for more than ten minutes, I cannot drive, I am so weak that phone conversations or company wears me out within 1/2 an hour and that’s when I’m doing well? What does improvement mean when I wake up nauseous and unable to communicate or care for myself at all for several hours every day when I wake up?
Improvement means that while I’m still greatly disabled many of the most acute symptoms I’ve had are disappearing.
I have not had convulsive like activity in my limbs and body for several weeks. I have not had long periods of several hours where I lie in bed in a dissociative state, also for several weeks. I do not wake up with acute nausea in the middle of the night. I’m talking nausea so acute it’s like a sort of horrible pain. It’s an experience I’d never had in my life even with a stomach virus. I was waking with that pain every single night for a very long time. It’s now been at least a couple of weeks since it’s happened.
And most recently. My last crossover from Klonopin to Valium has passed me by with only a little bit more of the exhaustion striking me. No acute pain in my spine, which just the last time I did the switch lasted for 6 days. And every switch before that has been agony. It’s not been a process I could have done with great faith that eventually it would pay off and it’s possible it is.
We have suspected that it was the Klonopin causing a lot of these acute problems (though it’s also most likely been an accumulation of all the drug withdrawal I’ve been doing for the last 4 or 5 years—certainly the horrible fatigue I deal with seems to have been mostly triggered by and associated with the Lamictal withdrawal) and now it’s looking like maybe the Valium switch was indeed the right thing to do. I certainly didn’t know that it was and many many times I’ve despaired that it would not help and maybe even make things worse as I suffered through the spinal pain and overwhelming sedation, but that does not seem to be the case at all. Improvement in the level of my experienced misery is undeniable. The spinal pain not even here this time and the overwhelming sedation seemingly a bit less overwhelming.
I have to hope it’s a trend and that it will continue. There is a saying in the withdrawal communities that “recovery is not linear.” In other words things get better, they get worse. But I will continue to hope that overall the trend is towards better. I have a long way to go before I could be called anything but seriously disabled, but the absence of acute symptoms is something I can be joyful about.
And really, that doesn’t mean I don’t still feel like major crap physically most of the time. So again. It’s just a small improvement in terms of the overall quality of my life—but it’s potentially the sign of some major shifts as well…