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Hi benzogirl, Chris, and others.
Thank you again for all of the kind help and advice. I still have a lot of questions. I do appreciate the advice given. I did look up the Heather Ashton manuel and found lots of good information there. It will help me to know what to say to the PM doctor about Valium this Tuesday. I am wondering what he was thinking telling me to "take the Ambien instead of the Klonopin." Nothing said about the Soma (whether to take or not to take) nothing about tapering off and the Ambien was only for 10 mg. The only thing that did disappoint me about the Ashton taper was the length of time. This is the first time in many years that I will have time to rest and recuperate. School is out Monday. I will go in for the last teacher's day to help in the classroom on Tues, but then we don't go back until Aug. I had hoped to get through the withdrawals in a couple of weeks and then have an enjoyable summer working in my garden, catching up on housework, sewing, scrapbooking, etc. Maybe I can still do that to take my mind off of the miserable feelings of wd, but I am afraid I will be too sick to do much physically.

Another doubt I have is about the sleep issue. We owned a health food store for 8 years and I tried just about every natural sleep aid out there to no avail. (thanks anyway to Betrade (sp?) for your suggestion :) )

If I could not sleep before the Klonopin and Soma, what will I do now especially during wds? It felt sooo wonderful to take something and know I was going to pleasantly drift off to sleep shortly after years of lying awake until 2 or 3 a.m. Benadryl did not work; just made me feel groggy the next day. Melatonin worked for a while, but then did not even at the highest dose of 10 mg.

Also, I am wondering what my frame of mind should be going into this. One side of me says, "Don't allow yourself to even think of the possibility of ever taking any of these again." The other side says, "Leave it open to the possibility that you may need medication for chronic pain and/or sleep."

I was offered the option of a spinal fusion, but the prognosis was that it "may help your back pain." Not good enough for me. I am thinking I did okay w/o pain medication for 30 years, so maybe I can again. It was added stress and pain that made me turn to the meds about 3 years ago. Situations have changed for the better, so maybe I could cope now.

I have not read or posted on the pain management boards for a long time because reading on there makes me feel it so easy to justify taking the medication.

It is true, I do have legitimate pain that sometimes is severe, but not every day. I question myself how much of my taking the oxycodone is physical and how much is mental. The doctor wanted to switch me to OxyContin because of the "roller coaster" effect of the short-acting form, but I felt nervous about that. Is it possible to take something strong like an opiate just when I need it, say if that were maybe 3 days a week?

Benzogirl, I think you mentioned the possibility of doing a shorter taper and doing all three at once. I know it would be hard, but I do not want to drag this thing out.

You asked how long I have been on the benzos. It's been about 2 years. I started with 0.25 Xanax prn and then Valium 10 mg 1/2 to 1 tablet nightly at night. The doctor switched me to Klonopin over a year ago as I am on now 1 mg 1/2 to 1 tablet at night. I had to change doctors as my doctor went out of practice and the new doctor never did like the Klonopin. I have not had an increase, though, in well over a year.

I am sorry for such a long post, but I just have a lot of questions and doubts and I do appreciate the input and advice you all give.

wren





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