Report at four months out

12/25/10—Merry Christmas everyone. I’m in sunny, southern California celebrating the holiday with my extended family. We did the big dinner and gift opening last night because the nieces do Christmas with their other grandparents today, so it’s a quiet and uneventful Christmas Day.

That suits me just fine as I’m recovering from a very quick stomach virus. It hit after the hors d’oeuvres and before dinner last night. I ended up skipping dinner and missing the beginning of gift opening, but was able to sit out with my family for the rest of the evening. As this is the first time my mother, my sisters and I have been together for the holiday in over 20 years, I’m very grateful that the bug didn’t ruin that for us.

Besides being Christmas Eve, yesterday was also my four months off Klonopin anniversary. Before I run down the symptom list, I thought I’d mention things I’ve done recently that were noteworthy.

I ventured into a mall for Christmas shopping. It was almost too much for me, but fortunately I was in front of a Brookstone when a wave of pain and fatigue hit, so I went in and commandeered one of their demo massage chairs. The rest of that day included a haircut and a Christmas party. I paid for all of that activity the next day, but I’m still glad I did it. I think pushing myself some is essential to progress.

Most noteworthy, of course, was getting on a plane and flying out to spend the holidays with my family. It remains to be seen whether I can keep up with them for the rest of the vacation, but I’m looking forward to trying.

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—6.5 (at three months off was a 7)
Muscle spasms in my neck, jaw and upper body.

Muscle tension headaches—5 (at three months off was a 7)
The headaches are driven mostly by muscle tension, but light sensitivity contributes to them as well. Sometimes I notice that I’m less light sensitive the more time I spend in the light. (More evidence that it’s good to push myself?) My headaches can be 7s, but they’re not a constant symptom so they get a 5.

Internal pressure & heaviness—5 (at three months off was a 6)

Dizziness, light-headedness & poor balance—4.5 (at three months off was a 5 )

Insomnia—4.5 (at three months off was a 5)

These all rank a 3 or lower …

Tinnitus (ringing in my ears), sore and/or dry eyes, excitability (easily startled).

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