Friday, February 6, 2015

Still adjusting to life without klonopin

I have been totally off of klonopin for the past few days. The amazing thing is that I am not sleepy during the day anymore. I was so sure I had sleep apnea- and perhaps I do and perhaps klonopin made it worse- it is a muscle relaxant. But I now wake up refreshed and don't struggle to stay awake all day- it is amazing. Although I am still taking Provigil.

At first I had terrible tension headaches- I could feel the muscles in my neck and scalp were so tight. Yesterday was awful. But today, so far so good. I hope it is over. I expected that I would be more anxious than I have been, but really I haven't been that anxious, or at least not too much more than normal. But today I am- and I think it is because I had too much caffeine. I bought the large, unsweetened iced tea (with lemon) that I often buy at lunch- but apparently this is too much caffeine for me off of klonopin.

So I found myself tempted to take klonopin because I was anxious from the caffeine and didn't know how to stop feeling like my heart is racing. And then I thought- it is not worth it. Being awake-that is what is worth it. And klonopin has too long a half-life to use prn (for me).

I hope I have this resolve come springtime, when I am always more anxious. For some reason I haven't been feeling really anxious recently- more alternating between depressed and stoic. I also wonder if my lithium level is higher because I cut down on my caffeine. I actually wonder if I am taking too much lithium, if I am a little bit numb. But now is not the time to change things- it has been less than a week off of the klonopin. I want to see what my next level is.

I told my step-mother I am off of klonopin. She used to be one of my biggest supports, but now she has turned a little anti-med. She asked me what the next meds is, what I will come off of next. And she used to be so pro-med.

I don't want her to have any opinions on what meds I should or shouldn't be on. I don't want her to be pro or anti med. Maybe there will be another med I eventually get off of, maybe there won't be. But what could she know about what meds I need? She is the one who told me to take more klonopin, that I was taking such a low dose, etc. She didn't understand how sedating it was- I would tell her, and all she would tell me is that I am on a low dose.

There is a part of me that wants to ask my doctor for Xanax to use prn. I've never taken it- but it has a much shorter half-life, so it might not have as much of an effect the next day. Then again, it might have rebound effects- you can't win. I know if I keep klonopin around as a prn I will use it very sparingly because of the long half-life. But I also know that I will probably someday take it again prn, hopefully not very much. But not today.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

For me the shorter half-life benzos are harder to tolerate. I was given xanax in college when I was sent to get an antidepressant after giving in to that after months of fighting my psychologist about it. I took one at bedtime and it knocked me out. I went to my first class and fell sound asleep. My friend had the same professor the next class and he made a joke about boring someone to sleep and she thought "oh no, poor Jen". I slept for 3 days from taking only one. My friends had to drag me to eat and I missed classes. I had been so opposed to this at student health that they promised they'd consult the psychologist about it. So I was furious with him when I went to see him and of course they never talked to him (this was way before HiPAA. They got me on an AD then and I avoided xanax.

Years later I was put on ativan and took it for 8 or 9 years. I did fine on it, twice a day doses and a little more when things were bad. Then about the time I started Emsam it wasn't working as well so we changed to Klonopin. While adjusting to the MAOI and some stress at work I needed more so I was given valium to alternate with klonopin through the day. Valium knocks me out. I'm using it as a sleep med now and have been for a while. I need to get consistent with taking it so I get a better sleep schedule but it is quite long-acting for me.

So I'm weird with benzos. Perhpas your klonopin sensitivity is similar to my reactions to xanax and valium and another drug would work more easily for you. I can't remember much about ativan but since I took it every morning it must not have been too bad.

I've also had good luck with anxiety with hydroxyzine. You can't take it with zyrtec as zyrtec is a derivative and it made me very groggy to have too much but otherwise I was able to control the dose drastically and it was not that sedating unless I wanted it to be.