Report at one month out

9/24/10—I’m exactly one month off of Klonopin today. I’d like to do more of a narrative sort of update—my thoughts on various things and milestones achieved since my one week off update—but I want to make sure I get this technical update done. So I’ll post it first and follow up with the other one soon.

These are my symptoms, listed in order of severity (most to least), each rated with a number 0-10 (0 = nonexistent, 10 = unbearable) …

Muscle symptoms & resulting pain—8 (at one week off was a 9)
At one week off I reported spasticity and rigidity in my neck, upper back and jaw. At one month off, my neck and jaw are a little calmer, but my upper left trapezius … aargh! <—I decided to go with this instead of with one of several colorful metaphors which I tried and discarded. This is my most hated symptom and the one most likely to stay with me the longest.

Internal pressure & heaviness—7-8 (at one week off was a 9)
I’ve previously described this as similar to a head cold, but not confined to my head. I’m adding “heaviness” to this category, though that might be part of muscle symptoms & resulting pain or deserving of a category of its own. By heaviness I mean it feels like the weight of the world is resting on my shoulders and trying to slam me into the ground.

Dizziness, light-headedness & poor balance—7 (at one week off was a 8 )
I don’t think I visibly stagger, but if I were pulled over and told to do the drunk “walk the line” test, I’d tell the officer to just let me blow into the breathalyzer. I couldn’t walk that line if my life depended on it! I haven’t walked into any door frames lately, but my legs are still covered with bruises I don’t remember collecting. I’m not dropping as much, though today I tipped my juice over right after cleaning the previous one up.

Muscle Tension Headaches—5 (at one week off was a 7)
Usually I can rein these in with two Excedrin if I take them quickly enough. The caffeine in the Excedrin is tolerable or, in any event, more tolerable than the headaches. They can be 7s, but they’re not a constant symptom so they only get a 5.

Insomnia—5 (at one week off was a 6)
It takes a long time to get to sleep (hours), but since others recovering from benzodiazepine withdrawal get next to no sleep, I know better than to complain.

Tinnitus—4 (at one week off was a 5)
Ringing in the ears: I’m frequently not aware of this unless I think about it.

Poor memory and cognition—3 (at one week off was a 4)

Dry mouth—6 (at one week off was a 7)
My lips aren’t peeling as much. I continue to rank this symptom lower than its number because it’s annoying rather than debilitating and provides the benefit of making me drink more water which I need.

These all rank a 3 or lower …
Sore and/or dry eyes, excitability (easily startled), hypersensitivity (light and sound). Dropping off this list since last time are muscle twitches, tingling and numbness (mostly my tongue).

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