Category Archives: paxil

The Paxil Taper Caper

Since the beginning of July 2007 I have been diligently tapering off Paxil… ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. These past few weeks have been the roughest. The first few months of tapering were doable, tolerable and generally well received by my mind, body and soul.

Let me elaborate on the following from this post please:

2 – Tapering off Paxil without proper medical care due to inequalities in the Canadian Medicare system

Three weeks ago the diarrhea, nausea, headaches, brain zaps, lack of muscle coordination and a general malaise settled in.

I know these symptoms will pass as everything else in life does.

Not being able to move your eyes from side to side or look at something that catches your attention while walking without be ZAPPED behind your eyes up into your brain traveling down your neck then spine into your shoulder blades down through your arms only to exit your fingers tips and experience the fading remnant echoes all over again is annoying. Your body becomes a canyon trapping not noise but electricity. No one can see the zaps. Only the person experiencing them can feel them. Your insides tremble with vibration but not of the physical kind. This quiver is energy based. I knew they could happen during this taper. I hadn’t expected them to become a minute by minute play by and only when you are still do they seem to build up, no, store energy until you decide to use your eyes again or walk. DUH! How the hell is one to function? One needs one’s eyes for seeing and one needs to walk, in the least move from one task to another during their awake time.

I tapered off of Valium a year ago and had the support of a family doctor, a psychiatrist, a councilor, an acupuncturist and a support group full of other people who were tapering off Benzodiazapines. This time around; my family doctor whom I’ve seen once. I didn’t have a family doctor when I arrived back in Saint John from Vancouver. I only have a family doctor due to the persistence of my mother who regularly harassed (asked) hers to take me back on as a patient as I had been his patient as a teenager. I see this doctor again this Thursday.

I called the Saint John Chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association, left my number with them three months ago and as of today have not heard back from them. Great. I’m on my own. New Brunswick will not pay for your psychiatric meds as British Columbia does under their infamous Plan G. If there was one reason I would move back to Vancouver it is this: Superior Health Care for those with Mental Health Concerns. If anything living in Vancouver and receiving the treatment I got strengthened me for when I moved back here. Five of seven friends of mine do not have a family doctor here. Honest. Five out of seven is unacceptable in Canada. Saint John has a hotline you can call to place your name a waiting list for a family doctor. My friend Lisa has been on this list since it’s inception two years ago along with my grandmother. Grammie now goes to Mom’s doctor.

Other than Mental Health Care every other kind of Health care provided here in New Brunswick is at par with British Columbia. We have a long way to go before even beginning to resemble to sophisticated treatment people receive in BC for addiction and Mental Health issues.

This Friday will mark the last day I ingest Paxil. What a long road it has been from the prescribed 60mg’s to the current 2.5mg’s I swallow. I avoided websites of any kind on this subject during the taper to keep it simple. I live in a stable environment, work in a stable environment and have been filtering the craziness down on paper into my art.

There are things in life we cannot control. There are things in life we can take ownership for. I take ownership for my health. It is important to me to feel good. And most days I feel pretty damn good. And as I ended the last post I’ll end this one the same way.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhaahhaha!

Oh and a word to the wise; the slower you taper the better off you’ll be.

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You know what’s hard list

1 – Earning about a dollar more than minimum wage per hour when the Canadian dollar is worth a quizillion dollars on world markets today

2 – Tapering off Paxil without proper medical care due to inequalities in the Canadian Medicare system

3 – Having your friend / sex buddy move away to Northern Manitoba to work building ice bridges facing the danger of sour gas until late January

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Spirits

I find myself listening to Spirits again today. It is almost painful sometimes to listen, for it causes so much emotion to well up inside me that I need to release. Last week on Thursday I danced. Friday I awoke feeling the world is my playground and that my dreams are becoming reality because I am doing rather than just dreaming now. A little bit of fear sheds everyday for me. Then the phone rang. I answered it. It was a man. This man was from a collection agency. He told me what I was already very aware of; that my student loan from Scotiabank has not been payed upon for 6 monthes. He told me to call my parents for money. He told me they would take me to court if I did not pay the full amount. He told me it is not very often that he has to call someone with an “A” rating on their credit and that most of his day is spent calling “D” or “F” credit rating people demanding money in full. IN FULL. The full amount. I remained calm. I had woken feeling exuberant, alive and feeling alive, feeling I have so much to live for, that I am so close to trusting myself completely. I told this man I am not working, that I am artist. I told him I have been paying Scotiabank for 10 years since I first graduated college back in 1996. He asked me to phone my parents again and told me about the story of a girl who cried and cried because she couldn’t pay her student loan. He told me she called her parents and her parents peyed the full amount for her by the end of the weekend. He said your amount is not that high and that really it is not that hard to come by over a weekend. He told me of other people in collection had much much higher debt loads and that mine is EASY to pay. I told him I would call my family. I told him I would ask my boyfriend.
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No measurements, no stats and the diet continues on after a brief hiatus

My last weigh in at the doctor was a whopping ???lbs. Woot to me eh? So who and what can I blame my 32 year old bodies shape on? Paxil, Pepsi and a creative mind’s favorite word, procastination. At this moment in time I want to say I would still like to be a part of the diet, however I am not going to set a goal. I am just going to live and let living be my guide.

Pepsi - thanks for trying

Doing things to fast causes me to backtrack into the recesses of my mind. I began this diet very fast and very furiously. I was in hyper mode. LOL. Anxiety was ruling my daily activities rather than doing I was thinking and re-thinking myself into oblivion. I took a break from posting to The Diet and would like to resume posting to it today and hopefully in the least, write bi-weekly updates.

I have been active but not as physically active as I was before. My mind has changed from that of an anxiety ridden mind to that of a I can’t keep up with my ideas now mind. The paxil has done a good job of controlling my anxiety. I miss though anxious moments of thought that would drive me to create with all those ideas I have. My brain works pretty good. Lot’s of ideas. Procastination has become a way of life over the last couple of monthes in the sense that it is very very difficult to organize my thoughts coherantly and get them out. Maybe the paxil has relaxed me to a point where nothing matters anymore physically. Without physically acting on my mentally engineered ideas, how the hell am I to lose weight, write, paint…
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Two and a Half Pink Pills

Today I take a pill for happiness
swallowing it down down down
inside of me it twirls

As for the happiness part, let’s just say it’s more of a stability thing. There are some of us with whom SSRI’s actually benefit. I beleive I am one of those people.

Yes, it is still a drug but compared to the illegal drugs I was consuming at a staggering rate attempting to self medicate until last August, I’ll accept taking two and half pink pills upon waking in the morning to 50 caps of G all day every day. There is one basic difference between legal and illegal drugs, only one; legal drugs are dosage consistent as is the half life in your body where illegal drugs are neither.

It’s staggering to think about all the research and money corporations, governments and consumers spend on new and improved medications when we all only need to look in our backyards to find the best drugs to research; the ones the addicts use.

Sometime in an addicts life there existed a plateau, where she was neither taking to much or two little of her drug of choice and functioning well, stable in her day to day life. She took GHB because it worked. She’s been free of it for 235 days. She still thinks of it. She can’t find words to describe what 50 caps of G a day felt like or what it did to her at this moment. She feels guilty. She feels ashamed. She asks herself how did it happen? She answers it was a fight between heaven and hell.

If drug researchers could find purgatory…

Think about that for a while.