Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Necrotizing Fasciitis recovery: the ten year plan

If you had told me what would transpire after I had NF, and how many years I'd be really deep in medical problems, how many surgeries, how many seriously scary/dangerous medicines I'd go through in the subsequent ten years, I'd be stunned, and be convinced I'd die before all that stuff came about.

Well, it's good we have no crystal balls in our lives, because I get to be alive, I got to re-make that decision many times over the years (to stay alive).

At this time in recovery, I have "only" three prescription medicines I am on. That is pretty amazing considering some of the pharmacological insanity that has taken place over these years. I am actively in withdrawal from one of those three medicines- Lamictal. It is a hard one. Depression is hitting hard, I do not own my emotions. I haven't laughed or even smiled much recently. Those of you know know me well know that that is a very rare condition. Almost no matter what is happening, I always have some humor, and laugh out loud easily. Now, it all seems so dark. I know the Lamictal withdrawal is in the driver's seat. I can't do much about it these days. Tears are always close to the surface. Always. Of course, this time period lends itself to depression, too, even without the effects of going off the Lamictal (which is a mood stabilizer).

Taking into account that my heart has a Big Hole in it where my mother used to be, it is very hard to be in mourning. I am of course, also still dealing with discovering more things that were stolen in the robbery (more things with deep sentimental value. I'd rather have given the robbers the cash it was all worth, than have so many sentimental items taken. Now we only get the cash back from the insurance. Robbers, if you are reading this (which I *highly doubt*), here's the deal I am prepared to offer: The insurance check in exchange for our stuff. OK? No questions asked, no police. Just return what we deeply miss, that's all. Deal?

Then there's the frequent headaches. Withdrawal headaches, possibly. They come often, and although they are very difficult to go through my day with, the recent ones have not gone to Epic proportions, thank Gd. I have had one all day today, and still have it now, so I will make this short.

I dream about the next withdrawal being the sleeping pills. A *very scary* withdrawal. The more I read about withdrawing from Valium-based drugs, the more scared I get. My body cannot get into anything even close to deep sleep without a pill. It's been almost 9 years of that... every. night.
When I started it, I needed it. Raging PTSD had me not able to fall asleep, or when I could fall asleep I would often wake up screaming from terrifying dreams. I needed the pills then. My nervous system was in overdrive and there was no foreseeable way to tune it down without pharmacological assistance.

So, theoretically, the plan is to take the next few months to get completely off Lamictal, then take a break, then start with the sleeping pills, if I am in a space in life that will allow for it.

That would leave me only with one prescription drug... Cymbalta. It is for depression as well as helping the nerve pain I have regularly. So far in my 10 year plan, I don't foresee going off that. I think it is synergistic with my body's needs.

At some point in there I will decide if I will go on the daily-preventative-migraine medicine my neurologist recommended. I was already supposed to have started it. My gut instinct is to hold off. If my headaches are under control with the occasional swallow-full of analgesics (Excedrin + Advil together), I am allowed to take them twice a week, but not two days in a row. If the headaches don't get worse than that, I don't want another medicine permanently in my system. On the other hand, it may stop the migraines completely and I'm being narrow visioned here. I am just reticent of starting up a whole new drug. I want detox. I don't want to be a lab rat. I don't know what the new medicine might do to me with the side effects, and after all these years, I'm kinda 'over it' with experimentation. So, we're putting the new migraine medicine to the side. I don't have to decide about that today.

So, as I see it, with the ten year mark coming up in May 2017, I may be off two out of the three remaining prescriptions. The ten year plan.

I am already starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still very, very dark in here.
I started working out again at the gym, though, and that is very positive. Still doing Tai Chi, and I'm getting into more consistently writing my book, as well.

Weaning from the meds is the home stretch... with the help of God.

And with the help of all your support. Thank you, guys, for hanging in here with me. You mean the world to me. You are all manifestations of Hashem in my life. Support comes from Him in many forms. You, my caring friends, are certainly one such form of support. I am presently looking you in the eyes and thanking you.


  1. Consider using EMDR under the guidance of a gifted professional. It can end the PTSD in moments.

    You can locate a gifted professional via

    1. I have done EMDR, and it really helped me a lot. I have a very wonderful practitioner in Jerusalem. I am not weighed down with PTSD anymore, thank Gd. I don't need it these days.
      The sleeping pills *started* with the PTSD, but I never went off them.