Report at one week out

She’s kicking Klonopin’s ass and taking names!

I created my benzo warrior here. Have some mindless fun and make one for yourself.

8/30/10—I’m exactly one week off of Klonopin today, my final dose being on August 23. I’m far more symptomatic than I thought I would be considering that I did a slow, careful taper this time around. I invested eleven months of my life in this taper hoping for three rewards: 1) success, 2) an easier taper and 3) a quicker recovery. I have One. I’m off successfully. Two? Well, it was easier than the first time around, though the final month was terribly difficult. As for Three, only time will tell.

I’m not really up to a lengthy blog entry, but I want to document my symptoms at one week off so I can track the rate at which they ease up and depart. I’m listing them in order of severity (most to least) and rating them each with a number 0-10 (0 = nonexistent, 10 = unbearable).

Muscle symptoms & resulting pain—9
I have spasticity and rigidity, particularly in my neck, upper back and jaw.

Internal pressure—9
If you’ve ever had a bad head cold and thought your head would just pop from the pressure, then you know what this feels like. Now picture this sensation at the back of your neck as well as inside your head.

Dizziness, light-headedness & poor balance—8
If you’ve ever spent the day aboard a small boat, come ashore and felt like the land was moving, then you know what this feels like. I stagger, walk into door frames and drop things. I look and feel like a drunk.

Headaches—7
I get both muscle tension headaches and migraines. They can be 9s, but they’re not a constant symptom so they only get a 7.

Insomnia—6
It takes a long time to get to sleep (hours) and it’s difficult to stay asleep.

Tinnitus—5
Ringing in the ears

Poor memory and cognition—4
Also known as “benzo brain,” when this one cranks up on me, I can forget very basic stuff; stuff I should know. I reach for words in conversation and they just aren’t there. I substitute the wrong words. I make basic grammar mistakes. “There,” “their” and “they’re” become interchangeable. Since I’m quite the grammar cop, this symptom is particularly disturbing to me.

Dry mouth—7
Even though I rate this a 7, I put it low on the list because it’s not such a bad thing my body prompting me to drink more water. I could live without the peeling lips though.

These all rank a 3 or lower …
Sore and/or dry eyes, excitability (easily startled), hypersensitivity (light and sound), muscle twitches (very occasional), tingling and numbness (mostly my tongue … this is transient).

I’ve had other symptoms as well, but these are the ones I have right now.

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