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#1 Wagtail

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:05 PM

Hello everyone,
I spent months first withdrawing & then going through the discontinuation a total of almost 9 months .
I thought I was going to be a success story but sadly I am back on a roller coaster ride .
I can only guess what the trigger was but that doesn't help my situation now .

Physically I suffered the whole basket full of s/e's ... Then it hit me mentally with a return of the emotional hell.
I put up with the dreaded 24/7 anxiety & FEAR by dulling it with firstly Ativan & when I became or ride about the addiction I switched to Valium .
I spent approx 4 weeks just being @ home trying to cope . I saw my old therapist ( from 10 years ago.) & had a few sessions with her . I just went downhill fast & admitted myself to a clinic that deals with all emotional problems.
I was put under the care of one of the psychiatrists & he put me on an old type antidepressant after a blood test & a ECG ... started with the lowest dose 25mg & then slowly increased it to 100 mg . At 75 mg I had a blood test done to see if the drug was staying in my blood . This takes 7 days for the results so he raised the level to the 100 mg that I am currently on .
The test came back that it wasn't working ( @ 75 mg ) .

I've been on the 100mg now for 6 days & I am still very depressed so my guess is that it's still not working
I have to have another blood test done & the 7 day wait before it can be increased to 125 mg.

Together with our family We had booked a 2 week holiday to the top of Australia to a place called Port Douglas .
The plane left on Saturday without me & my husband .... I couldn't do it !... I had a panic attack trying to pack a suitcase.
I feel so bad & guilty but even the 5 mgs of Valium 3xa day & the 100mg of Nortriptaline ( antidepressant ) that isn't working , could help me .
I feel as if I have chronic fatigue & can't get myself off the lounge chair ...

Just thinking about it & typing it on here is causing my anxiety to a high level .

WE CAN STILL GO IF I CAN GET RID OF THE DEBILITATING FEAR THATS IS MAKING ME A VIRTUAL INVALID .

DOES ANYONE THINK I SHOULD SWITCH TO ATIVAN JUST FOR THE TWO WEEKS , TO GET & keep me there for the remainder of the 2 weeks ?????????.

ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE ... WE HAVE PRAYED TO HAVE A TWO WEEK BREAK FOR YEARS & I am ruining it .... I can't stop crying ...

Your beloved WAGTAIL xxxx

#2 fishinghat

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:16 PM

I would not switch to the Ativan nor go on the trip. You are a long way from being stable right now. First your health and then a vacation. It really sounds like this dr has his/her act together. It can be a slow process to work in a new drug. He is doing the right thing with the blood tests. Just be sure he knows it is still not working for you.


#3 TryinginFL

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:12 PM

Oh, Wagtail...    My heart aches for you.  I know how you feel with the anxiety about the trip and I am happy that you did not go.  Please don't misunderstand me - I had the same feelings and took the trip along with the anxiety.  It was definitely the wrong decision.  

 

I started by crying for the 3 days I spent with my oldest son in Seattle and then tried to hold it together for the next 6 days for my other son's wedding.  I felt like a small child - all I wanted was to go home.  It was one of the most horrendous experiences of my life - definitely ranks up in the top 5 :(  I spent the last day before I came home also crying in Seattle (pretty much sleepless too!) When I finally got home, all hell broke loose and I am still fighting unbelievable anxiety.  I have been home a little more than a week and hope that things will settle down soon as I am taking slightly more of my Xanax than the RX states, but I cannot deal with it.

 

I saw my therapist on Thursday and he felt I would come out of this but needed much rest - too much going on in my mind.  I am trying to not think about the trip and remain in the present and now - as you know, this is not easy to do.

 

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you will be healing soon, but please, don't blame yourself for not going on this trip.  This is apparently not the right time.  You must take care of you - and that MUST come first.

 

Remember -  I am holding your hand across the globe - hold tight!

 

Love and hugs,

Liz :hug:


#4 brzghoff

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:51 PM

wagtail,

 

how it hurts to hear how you hurt. i can understand why you might feel guilty about not taking the trip, but if you are not confident in your ability to keep it together so to speak, than by all means do not make the trip. you just got out of the hospital. i had to cancel a flight/vacation , the hour i was wheeled into the ER was when we should have been going through security at the airport. we lost $400 in non refundable air fare and i lost all my vacation time off. your situation is no different just because it involves mental health. i hope your family understands that it may not be the best time for you to travel given the difficulties you have had before being admitted to the hospital, during your stay and now that you've been out for barely a week. as you describe, they are still having difficulties stabilizing you on new meds. a week out of the hospital  i was still not able to return to work, much less board a plane for vacation

 

i must defer to others when it comes to a discussion about ativan and other benzos, i have almost no experience taking them. i am certainly familiar with anxiety, but doubtful that mine has ever come near the severity that you describe. 

 

God bless you


#5 brzghoff

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:58 PM

TFL,

 

i know you were having a tough time when you returned but had no idea that the severe difficulties remained. you must do what you must to take care of yourself. while i don't take benzos, benedryl has been my go-to for sleep, i can manage my anxiety during the day but it makes it almost impossible to go to sleep at night. i've been trying to go without it because i don't like the idea of having to take something just to sleep and don't want to build a tolerance, but the last several days i've said &%$ it! you gotta do what you gotta do

 

its really kicking in, so i better go try and take advantage of the chance to sleep

 

g'nite!


#6 ShadyLady

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 12:03 AM

Oh, Wagtail, I feel sad for you and your situation about your family trip, but your mental health is at stake here!! You are cycling with guilt and disappointment which is only going to aggravate your anxiety:...( You have been through hell & back, please remember your family loves you and wants you well. You would suffer much worse and be miserable even if you were able to get there. I don't think that's a memory worth making! Listen to TFL and what she just went through...there will be better days, but you must take of yourself first. Your family, which sound so loving & concerned from your posts, will understand and you WILL get past this.

Stick with the advice of your doctor & don't look for a 'magic pill' to make this trip happen. We all would swallow a handful of them if it were so easy, right??!!

Prayers & 'hands across the waters'
Reba

#7 gail

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:28 AM

Hello Wagtail,

I am so sorry to see you in this pain.

Not being a person of many words,I will pray for you.

Try, I know this is very difficult, try to hang on to faith.

At 3 months i thought that I was out of the woods.
At 4 months and a half, went back in.

Now, 6 months, in and out.

We will see the light when the time is right, love, Gail

#8 DoneWithCrap

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 07:26 AM

Dear Wagtail, please don't go.

My family had our annual camping trip last week. I was too anxious to go for a week and told them I would meet them in a few days. It seems that for me, vacations and packing trigger terrible anxiety/physical/neurological symptoms. I meet up with them on the 3rd day. I got so angry with them over, nothing really, and wound up needing to pack up and drive back home in the middle of the night.

Australia would be more difficult to leave if your anxiety got to the point where you needed to leave..

As for taking a benzo/Ativan, I feel that you should not take it "just for two weeks to get you there" but I would consider trying an Ativan PRN it help you through the tough days at home. I'm just giving my 2 cents as I'm not a Dr. and can only share my personal experiences and what has helped for me. If you are not currently using a benzo, a low dose as needed should not cause you to become dependant on it. Sometimes you need you take a step aside (notice I didn't say backwards) in order to go forward.

There will be other opportunities to go on holiday when you will be able to enjoy yourself. It just sounds like it would not be fun and stressful for you to try to got at this time.

Best wishes from Renee and Benzo, my Wonder Dog

#9 FiveNotions

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:15 AM

Wagtail, I'm right here with all your other friends and supporters ... holding you and loving you and praying for you ... I've started a Novena for Healing for you... I don't know if you're one for prayer, but if you are, here's a link to a prayer by St. Frances de Salles .. "Be at Peace" ... I have it printed out and keep it beside me to read several times a day ... it does help me to "be at peace" ... http://www.appleseed...ace_DeSales.htm   :hug:

 

I will add my voice to the chorus here ... do not go on that trip ... and do not beat up on yourself about it ... it was your family who encouraged you to spend some time in the hospital ... they want to help you heal, so they are going to understand if this trip isn't part of what's healing for you!

 

And perhaps you are still in need of the real "cocoon" you had while in the hospital ... give yourself permission to go back there for a bit more time if you'd like to ... you felt safe and secure there, and were surrounded by people who were dedicated to your healing ... that's what you need now ...

 

Also, stick with your doctor, check with her/him about the meds ... we shouldn't be the ones to give you advice at this point, as it's clear that your doc is excellent and does indeed have your best interests and healing at heart and in mind ...

Your screen name is "Wagtail" ... does that mean that you have a "fur baby"? If not, maybe you need your own "Benzo" Rx like Renee ... a dog ... or cat ... to be your warm furry constant companion and provider of unconditional love, slobbery kisses and comfort ...  :P

 

You are part of us here, Wagtail ... do not leave us, do not let go of us ... please stay close, and keep posting so we know how you are doing/feeling ... :)


#10 tria

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 04:54 PM

Wagtail - If you really feel you can't go, it's OK TO NOT GO.  Can you go and have a good time?  Is it worth the stress you'll be putting yourself through?  Anxiety and all these withdrawal symptoms are like dealing with a "regular" illness.  You wouldn't be questioning yourself if you were sick to your stomach or had a fever of 102.  And yes, you could take medicine for nausea or to bring your fever down, but would it really be an enjoyable trip?   Don't beat yourself up over this!  I know that's soooo much easier said than done but you have no reason to feel guilty about it.  It's ok to feel bad that you can't go but don't apologize or feel guilty for it.  My wise sister recently gave me some very good advice.  I called her when I was really sick and started crying and kept apologizing.   She stopped me and said "You only apologize when you've done something wrong, and you've done nothing wrong."  And you've done nothing wrong by staying home.  You're dealing with a lot of issues that are greatly out of your control.

 

Another question I ask myself - would I feel better going somewhere despite my symptoms? Would I get satisfaction out of just forcing myself to do something?  Sometimes the answer is yes, and I do whatever I'm debating about and can deal with it ok.  Other times, I force myself into something and it's a disaster.  I don't know if I've been any help, these are all the questions you're probably struggling with already!  One more suggestion - try to keep things in perspective.  VERY hard to do, I know!! I can turn anything into a catastrophe.  It seems like a huge deal now but in the grand scheme of things, it's "just" a vacation.  Ups and downs happen all the time, to everyone.  There will most likely be time for vacations in the future when you're feeling better, if you choose not to go.  Take care of yourself first, do what you honestly think is best for you - that's what's most important.


#11 tria

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:13 PM

TFL - I'm so sorry you had such a rough trip! I had been thinking about you and wondering if you went and how you made out.  I'm sorry also that the anxiety has continued and worsened since you're home.  You're right, it is very difficult to remain in the present.  Why do our brains always want to keep reliving the bad events?  (At least mine does.)   My doctor suggested to me that I talk to my myself (or to my brain, if it helps to think of it that way).  Like when you start thinking about the trip, tell yourself it's over and done with and you will not expend any more energy on it.  If you need to repeat it over and over, then do that.  She also suggested that I focus on what's right in front of me at any given moment.  It seems to help when I'm anxious or extremely fatigued.  For example, I would think "right now, I am posting on the forum. That is all I need to think about."  I do better with this technique than the first one (I'm always dwelling on negative things, especially when my anxiety is bad).  But I've found both to be helpful.  Be well - I will be thinking about you!!


#12 Wagtail

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:23 PM

Thanks to everyone of you & your advice . I have decided that I. can't go & have let my family know , they are all sorry but understand my predicament .
We will repay our daughter for the loss on the air fair tickets .... The house they rented is a little too large for them now that we won't be joining them , but that's not a problem .

I will be going back into hospital for a revision on my medication , they may have to try a different one ...

#13 TryinginFL

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:29 PM

Wagtail,

 

A wonderful decision - you felt me holding your hand!  I pray for a new and wonderful update on your medication which will put you on the path to healing.

 

Actually, you are already healing - you made the right choice and your family will be happy for you! (As are we all here!)  Believe me, you have avoided a situation that you did not need and would not have been enjoyable for you -  wish I had done the same!

 

Please keep us posted as we continue to think of you and hope for good news!

 

Love, hugs and prayers,

Liz :hug:


#14 FiveNotions

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:43 PM

Awesome decisions Wagtail, just awesome !! BRAVO !!! :)


#15 Wagtail

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 07:36 PM

I wish I felt as confident , I have high anxiety ATM & my depression has left me sitting on our lounge searching the internet for any advice I can get .
They won't have a bed for me until possibly tomorrow so I need to get through today any way possible ... I took 1 mg of Ativan 3 1/2 hours ago & Im still anxious !!!!!.
I'm becoming worried that even though I haven't taken any CYMBALTA for 9 months , that it is still lurking inside me somewhere & causing my new medications not to work .

It's morning here & the sun is shining but I feel like I'm caught in a spiders web ... & trying desperately for someone to pull me out of this never ending sticky mess ..

One thing I forgot to mention to you all is " NONE OF THE PYSCHIATRSITS IN THE CLINIC , I WAS IN KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT CYMBALTA DISCONTINUATION THEORY ."
THEY WERE NOT EVEN INTERESTED .... SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS ...

#16 FiveNotions

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 08:09 PM

Well Wagtail ... take your iPad with you, and show them some of our posts ... and some of the articles that FH and others have posted in the "Cymbalta in the News" forum ... you are living proof that this is an issue ... and if they don't believe it, as my mom used to say to idiots ... "go piss in a hat" ... :D


#17 TryinginFL

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 08:12 PM

FN....     another "like"   -   you are in rare form tonite!!! :rolleyes: :P :lol:


#18 tria

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 08:19 PM

Wagtail - I'm glad you made the decision you felt was best for YOU.  And if going back to the hospital is what you feel you need, then another good decision on your part.  FN had a good point, that just being in the "cocoon" of the hospital may help you. You can focus solely on healing. I know it's all scary, that's the anxiety getting it's grip and not letting go.  But you should feel confident in your decisions.  You are taking steps to help yourself get better and that is no small feat!!


#19 Carleeta

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 09:34 PM

Wagail, it's wonderful that you were able to express yourself here on the forum, where you felt safe enough to do so.  There are many of us here who care about your immensely.  I'm sorry to hear you are having such of a difficult time with all of this.  It does bring tears to my eyes and my heart is saddened because you are suffering so.  Getting back into the hospital where you did feel safe and positive is a good move on your part.  You will be monitored there with all testing to make sure this new medication is sufficiently in your system. 

 

As you know, I'm always shooting out positives, and doing things 'inspite of my anxiety".  Well this is going to surprise you....about 5 months ago I was invited to a Christening where my son's in laws were coming in from out of town.  This was the first, and I mean the first time, I had to say "No, I cannot attend (of course this was due to extreme anxiety).  It was difficult to say "No" as they family members were coming all this way and wanted to see me because they hadn't seen me since my son's wedding.  Then came the next time they were coming in and my son had everyone at his home.  I again, had to say "No" with these same individuals coming and for the same reasons.  I knew I could not attend physically and emotionally.  Natutally, they immediately knew I had to have a very good reason for not attending.  Actually, everyone understood and they made sure to send flowers and cards to me in hopes to cheer me up, and wish for good health soon.  The reason for this story, Wagtail, is sometimes we don't realize how much others people realize we sometimes just cannot do things.  Therefore, I'm glad you realized you could not make this trip and took your health before making others happy.  I have the feeling  you might have just had this trip on your mind when you came home from the hospital last time, and keep wondering if you would be ok by the time of this trip.  Infact, I'm almost certain you had this trip on your mind since you came home.  Now, it's almost like a relief you don't have to make the trip and getting the appropriate medical care which you need at this time. 

 

Wishing you the best.  I put you way up on a pedestal for making the decision to do what will help you.  God Bless.... As FiveNotions stated; she is saying a Novena for you and I will say a special prayer to the Blessed Mother for you.

 

hugs to you....


#20 Wagtail

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:03 PM

Carleeta , all their beds are @ full capacity so I can't get admitted today ... I don't understand why I am so anxious !.... & feeling @ rock bottom .
It's as if I haven't already spent two weeks in hospital & nothing had changed .... Getting confused now :-(

Thank you for you lovely reply , I appreciate it greatly ..xxx

#21 thismoment

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:32 PM

Wagtail

I'm so sorry you are struggling so. I do hope you find some peace soon. Take care dear.

#22 FiveNotions

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:02 PM

Well, dear Wagtail, I'd be anxious too ... if it were me, I'd be absolutely eager eager eager to get back there ... and I wouldn't want to have to sit and wait another day, because I'd want to get back to where I was feeling safe and secure and "cocooned" so that I could focus completely on my healing ... soon, very soon, you'll be back in a lovely bed with clean fresh sheets (that someone else washes and changes for you), and everyone on the staff that you got to know and who, I'm absolutely sure, got to just love having you to care for will be delighted to see you and have you back ... you've got to be an absolutely wonderful "patient" who ends up making your caregivers feel better just by being around you!

And once you're back in that lovely little bed, in your own little room, just settle in and stay for as long as you need to ... this is your vacation .... your "me time" .... don't you dare vacate that cocoon until you feel good and ready to ... !

 

I've said it several times before.... I really do envy you Wagtail ... how often during the last 8 months, almost 9, I've wished I could go someplace for some residential care and treatment ... figuring it all out while simultaneously trying to live in the world "out here" is sometimes just such a horrible and painful burden ... and my bet is that each and every one of us on this forum has felt like that ... does feel like that ...

 

TM uses that great phrase / image of "tying ourselves to the mast" .... which is, I know, meant to convey that the mast, when we're tied to it, keeps us straight and strong and moving forward, or at least able to hold fast in the water and withstand the gale force winds ... but frankly, there are many many times when I feel that yes, I'm tied to the mast, but it's me holding the mast up, helping the mast withstand the winds... quite the reverse of the intended metaphor ... that's when I give up, give in, and accept the storm as it happens ... let it happen around me and in me ... and that act of allowing it ... rather than fighting it ... is when the peace and healing arrives ...

 

Your peace and healing is on the way to you ... and you to it ... I guarantee it!


#23 Wagtail

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:59 PM

Five Notions , what a lovely way to put it!.
Although it isn't quite as glamourous as you imagine , depending on which room I get it can be sometimes quite gloomy .
One room is shared by 4 people with curtains used to divide personal space . My last room I had the pleasure of sharing with 3 young woman who loved keeping themselves in the dark & sleeping a lot . I spent most of my time in the lounge area or in classes.
I wish I could think positively ... There is no access for my iPad , so I will missing in action again until I come home again ...good luck to each & every one of you ...& thank you for your prayers for my healing .....xxxxx

#24 kathyms3150

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:58 PM

Wagtail, I'm so sorry that you're having such bad anxiety and depression. I can relate. Please know that you're in my prayers.

#25 Carleeta

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:47 PM

Wagtail, you do what you feel is best for you.  We are all so different and suffer different levels of withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and the like.  When you are able to get back in the hospital, when a bed is available, you do, say, and act, whatever way you find to express yourself and keep on them with every symptom you have, and get this under control for the best of your quality of life.......


#26 tomitsu

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 05:02 AM

Oh wagtail! I wept whilst reading your posts. I too was there exactly like you are. Anxiety and depression even a year after stopping cymbalta. I had windows where I could get out of bed and drive. Then the days of depression, suicide ideation, the numbness and anxiety AND the insomnia!! I was going mad. Emotional symptoms along with all the physical symptoms like tinnitus and brain shocks, the stomach pains. I too looked for help at a hospital or center but I was scared. I knew that time would heal and it was risky considering I was thinking suicide. But I somehow was able to fight each day....,I had my husband sometimes but mostly I was alone. It's weird but old 1930's and 1940's films helped me a lot. I stopped watching news or anything violent or sad. I weep thinking back on how close I was to ending my life.....how could a drug have this power over us? It's terrible. Wagtail be strong. This video also helped me:

#27 gail

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 05:57 AM

Tomitsu, what a beautiful and inspiring video, thank you.

How are you doing?

Keep going, or keep trucking as Claire Weekes says.

I will watch that video again, gives hope and strength in high tides.

Simply loved it.

#28 tomitsu

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 01:45 PM

Hi Gail, I'm here as we all are bruised but limping along. I look back at my worse days and my eyes tear up. I cry and cry. It sends chills up my spine knowing I WAS THINKING OF ENDING MY LIFE. I was so close. I want to live as I always thought I did. This video is special to me because it's so basic. Keep Going...one step at a time. I took this message to heart. I decided that for me time would get me past some of the suffering BUT here I am today still suffering with many symptoms and a bunch of doctors who don't believe that it's related to withdrawals. How can it not be if these symptoms all started when I ceased taking Cymbalta ?

#29 TryinginFL

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    Now that I have been off this poison for over 5 years, I hope to help others as they join us

Posted 02 September 2014 - 02:13 PM

tomitsu...

 

We have never met as I am only 8 months off the poison but my heart goes out to you as I read your posts.  It is unbelievable how many symptoms you are still suffering after all this time.

 

Yes, what happened to us?  It seems so unfair - we took the Dr. at his word that this was a helpful drug and so many of us are now experiencing such a worse quality of life than before we ever started it. I am in somewhat of a relapse (due, I think to taking a long trip that I should not have taken)  I have been crying most of today and have this terrible feeling that I will end up in a hospital if things continue at this pace.  I am afraid and alone.  My 2 sons both live on the west coast and I have no family here.  I have been home 2 1/2 weeks now and thought that I would be in a much better frame of mind but am beginning to feel that I just want to crawl into bed and stay there.  Thankfully, I  have 2 dogs who can be of great comfort.

 

I'm sorry to unload all of this stuff, but I had to get it out and it seems that after all the time you have been free of this drug you would understand.

 

Thanks so much for reading all this...  I pray that you will slowly begin to lose some of your awful symptoms - it has taken long enough... 

 

Liz


#30 thismoment

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 02:20 PM

tomitsu

 

So sorry to hear you are still suffering. I am off Cymbalta 25 months now, and still have some residual symptoms including a headache 24-7-365 since beginning to wean off in June of 2012. Hopefully it will go away. I have a few other minor symptoms and still wave-like episodes of joint and muscle pain that come and go; they are becoming less frequent, thankfully.

 

It's clear to me that I am continuing to improve subtly after 2 years. I am definitely altered by the exposure, but not intolerably so. I bear no guilt for this history because I didn't intend it. It is what it is, and I accept it; it's water under the bridge, spilled milk, yesterday's news-- whatever cliche metaphor anyone might choose to apply. There is only one direction available to us, and that is forward, and we do that by lily-pad hopping moment to moment: it just unfolds in front of us and we walk the path.

 

I wrote Dr. Stuart Shipko and asked about long-term improvement in discontinuation, and he assured me that patients continue to improve well beyond 2 years! 

 

Take care.





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