Sunday, November 13, 2011

drowning in my bed

Things have been just really hard since overseas family left... that is the time things were supposed to get back to normal. Well, normal for me, before the Bar Mitzvah, was that I was trying to wean off a medicine that was proving to be a hellish wean, remember? I stopped tapering it off a few weeks before the Bar Mitzvah so I could feel stable again.

It worked... I felt great! Only Hashem can lift up someone from pain and fatigue in order to celebrate; to celebrate a child who came of age in Torah mitzvot. And what a child he is. He recited the entire Torah portion (by heart), the Haftorah, and wrote his own wise words in public speeches. And then we all danced!! He spun around with friends, was lifted up on chairs, lifted up in his friends' arms without a chair. I watched my own boy/man play, and celebrate, and deliver Torah wisdom, all while wearing a goofy party hat. (thanks for the hats, J!)

I *will* post pictures!!

After sleeping long hours every day of last week, recovering from the festivities, this Friday night I picked up again with the weaning off the Lamictal. All the bad stuff that was happening before is happening again. I just have to live it and go through it.

Last night, 2nd night of weaning: crazy night. Migraine, throwing up.
As a consequence, I slept really late into today:
I had the most *insane* vivid dreams, like as if I were on acid or something. But I never did acid, so it's not like flshbacks or anything, just crazy. I felt like I was drowning in my bed, with tremendously vivid colors and balnkets with fringes and weird places to place arms and legs. Then the person directing the dream told us to do a Tsunami, and the whole "class" went nuts and threw blankets and bodies all over the bed. Then the teacher singled me out for some reason and I was sent back to the changing room, I was done with the class. I was confused. I went to the changing room and could barely figure out how to put on the clothes that were there for me to put on. Then there was a path to walk down to get home, but it was like in the middle of Manhattan, and everyone in this "school" and on the path was on the same acid trip I was on. Teachers, other students, all so bizarre and freakish. Geez it was insane.

Then, waking out of that dream-cycle, I tried to get up and dress and be human for my kids... I got up at 2:30pm (today). It was soon clear that I am not able to be human for the kids. I felt too off-balance and out-of-it to drive the kids to the friends they wanted to play with. While trying to put away a plastic bottle of pancake syrup into a high cabinet, my balance got off and it dropped. Syrup ~everywhere~. I lost it, I started crying and falling apart like someone completely incompetent. Ya'akov and Shifra cleaned it all up. Angels. Shifra told me everything is Ok, I can go to bed and she will take care of it all..... Gd how did I get such amazing children? She's 8.

Then I got on the phone to get help. None of my babysitters were available, so I started calling my own friends to help. Thank Gd when I called one friend and told her what is happening, and I needed brainstorming help as to what to do, she came to pick up my kids and take care of them for the afternoon. Robert will come get them on his way back from work in Mitzpe Ramon.

We're going to get through this.
There are testimonials on the internet from people who weaned off Lamictal who say it was weeks of living hell. It is an *awful* drug to wean from. I have been on 150mils for four years, originally started on it for 'mood stabilization' when I was going through the worst of the PTSD. I had to go off because it is contraindicated with the high dose of Lyrica I take for the nerve pain.

You see, both Lamictal and Lyrica are anti-epileptic drugs. However, they both are commonly used for the benefit of their side effects. Lamictal's side effect is that it helps with mood stabilization, and Lyrica's side effect is that is helps with nerve pain. *But*, if someone is on both, for the purpose of benefiting from their side effects only, the fact that they are both anti-epileptics is bad for that person. My doctor said that it could even *create* seizure disorders where there weren't any before. SO, I am going off the Lamictal. I need the Lyrica for the nerve pain, that is non-negotiable. Presumably my PTSD is in control and I no longer need a mood stabilizer, please Gd. I have weaned from Lamictal starting at 150, so far I'm down to 15mg, now for two nights. Tonight I go down to 10mg for two more nights, then a week of 5mg, then ZERO. Again, the testimonials that Robert researched all say the last bit was the worst... even from 5 to zero.

But then I'm done. One less drug in my body. Then I am left with the anti-depressant (from the PTSD as well), the Lyrica, and 37.5 mmg of Fentanyl (narcotic) patches.

One less drug here... hopefully in another few weeks I can feel free of the weaning effects.
But this is ****HARD.****

(check out this website for the info on Lamictal withdrawal... I have so many of these symptoms including jumpy leg muscles in bed, nausea, brain zaps, loss of focus, balance problems, feeling lopsided, vivid hallucinating-type dreams... this is one *nasty* drug, I want it out of my body, but it isn't going to be an easy end.)


  1. Your comparison of your dream to what you would imaging an acid trip to be like, and of the presence of teachers in your dream, remind me of a book that I partially read about LSD. I recall that the author claimed that it was important for the person on the trip to have an experienced guide, and that this guiding person could steer the person on the trip to avoid a harrowing bad trip. Perhaps it would be helpful for you to have someone to guide you through this demanding withdrawal with its effects. There may be people well experienced either with helping others through hallucinogenic trips, or through drug withdrawals, who could fill that role. Larry

  2. just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and your lovely family. stay strong and we hope the weaning off of the drugs will pass swiftly . lots of hugs! rochel.