I Wuz Drugged!

Three days ago I went back to Ativan. I woke up tired. The tired stayed with me all day. Then came nausea. And dizziness. And headache. I e-mailed my primary care doc. I don’t have the flu. My tzuris is likely a reaction to Ativan.  Oy! I’ve been drugging myself courtesy of Big Pharma!

My primary care doc says neither Xanax or Ativan are good for anyone over 65.

Diazepam has active metabolites that stay in the system a long time and can build up and cause confusion and other side effects. A recent study showed increased risk of dementia with use over 3 months. All of the benzo family can cause increase risk of confusion and falls, but not as bad. All can be habit forming and sometimes stop working and get into slippery slope of needing higher doses and then those stop working. If physical dependency develops the withdrawal can be very difficult.

Here is Kaiser’s message to their docs: ” Just say no to benzo’s over 65. ” But then my doc confessed she had a number of patients who stay on benzos & seem fine with it.  I wrote her back that  the Just Say No campaign produced poor outcomes because it did nothing to address the cause or issue that initially created the problem. And I would stop taking Ativan and go back to the smallest dose of Xanax (1/4 of a .5 mg tab) that will relieve my anxiety but not drug me.  This morning I felt  a lot more like myself –  almost high, in fact. But as soon as I thought about David, Stew,  my friend Nancy & her late husband Steve,  I teared up. My therapist says grieving takes at least two years. She also says that having down periods at this phase of grieving is pretty normal. Like Simon says, up, down, up down.

Today got hijacked by the Berkeley Barb 50th anniversary. www.berkeleybarb.net .  I gave what I think will turn out to be a pretty good interview with a reporter from the Chronicle, I meet a reporter from California Magazine tomorrow, I solved a bunch of problems with then recruited 2 people to the panel I’m moderating on August 13,  yadda yadda yadda.  The old Yippie our detractors used to label as media whores kicked in.  Feels like I am retrieving the trust I had in myself for the things I know how to do.  It’s both a good and a distracting thing.

 

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