Saturday, March 1, 2003

Withdrawal Inventory

I was taking a 'withdrawal inventory' in the wee hours of the morning, during one of my wakeful periods, and I'd say, discounting sleep irregularities, I'm better than 90% recovered:

  • My weight loss has stabilized, and I've even gained some of it back. Since I don't want to pursue the bad karma of losing weight by Lorazepam withdrawal, I'm fine with going all the way back up to where I was before this fiasco, but I think I'll probably retain some of the trimback. For instance, my morning body fat percentage seems to be a pretty steady 18.5%, where it was closer to 19-20 pre-crash.

  • My appetite is more or less entirely back. Some mornings are touch and go, but by the time I get to work, I'm back in the game and able to eat my usual breakfast items. Lunch and dinner are no problem.

  • Digestion still seems a little slow. I think that's why I haven't snapped back to 190 pounds as quickly as my eating might suggest. Still, it's tons better than it was in the beginning.

  • Temperature sensitivity is still there, but I don't launch into a volley of shivers if the house is 69 degrees. The underlying thrumming of the nerves is still noticable sometimes, and I do notice occasionally that my shoulders are bunched up even when I'm sitting relaxed, and I have to force myself to unwind. You could say that I have superior muscle tone right now.

  • That really only leaves sleep. In the beginning of this journey, I was getting 3-4 hours a night. More recently it's been 5-6 hours. The last two nights, it's been at least six, and quite possibly seven hours a night. I've been taking melatonin those two nights, so it's not unaided, but I'm hoping that now, around four weeks after starting withdrawal, that I'm seeing the final stages here. Some of my reading suggests that I can expect a couple of months of irregularities, so I'm not going to set myself up for disappointment, but I feel better all around already.

As for the root cause of all this, the nerve twitch that caused Dr. Winans to ignorantly prescribe a large dose of Lorazepam in the first place, it is still there. Something changed with the period of meds though, as it is now weaker, thready and random, rather than chronic, strong and cyclical. I can pretty much ignore it when trying to sleep. This is not saying that it won't get worse again. None of the doctors were sure of the cause, so nobody can say how it will progress.

I'm going to follow Dr. Devere's advice and buy a better bike seat, though. And while I have no evidence that Neurontin would help, it's nice to know there is a fallback strategy should the problem worsen again.

Gotta take Kelly to her swim class now, so enough rambling!

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