Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Letter to my doctor

My parents went to go see that doctor about me on April 20th. With them they brought a print out with them that I wrote for him. I see that doctor next Monday at 5:15pm after his office closes. He wants to talk to me and said he would spend an hour with me. Besides that print out he already has I am bring with me a few other print outs from medical journals about protracted benzo withdrawal. I also made an audio CD of doctors in England discussing the protracted withdrawal and how it effects 10-15% of people on benzo's when they come off after being on for an extended period of time.

I am still deep down inside pretty sure that 80% of what is wrong with me is caused by xanax withdrawal. At this point the whole world could tell me I was wrong and I know damn well I am right and my suffering is caused by this pill. I am happy in away that all this is being documented by all these different ER visits and now I will be seeing a new doctor because I am seriously considering if and when I get better suing a pharmaceutical company as a class action (I have found 1000's of people suffering like me online that have come off these drugs) or suing my old doctor. I will see suing takes a lot of time and energy, I doubt I will do it, but I feel like someone should pay for doing this to me and to other people.

The following is the note that went to the doctor I see next Monday.


On Jan. 21st 2009 I reduced my dose of xanax because I was experiencing a thumping in my throat that lasted a month and was starting to have anxiety between doses. I had been on .5mg-.75mg every day for over a year. Soon as I reduced the dose I started throwing up and could no longer eat solid food.

I tapered off .75mg of xanax from Jan 21st - Feb 14th.

The following were my symptoms:

Tingling arms and legs on and off.
Increased Anxiety.
No hunger.
Vivid dreams.
Insomnia (more than normal for me)
Moments that last a few second to a few mins where I felt like I was going to completely crack and lose my mind.
Waves of crying that would come and go.
Feeling half dead.
Hot and cold flashes on and off.
Feeling feverish.

March 4th in the morning I took 10mg of Paxil because I had been feeling so awful and was told I could start and SSRI. Several hours later I fainted. (That day I had been able to eat more food than I had been able too up till that point). By 4am the following morning my heart rate was 140 beats a min. I went to Albany Meds ER. I was told it was a panic attack and to follow up with my doctor. Later that same day I saw my doctor and he told me I hyperventilated (which I didn't) and that is why I passed out. He refused to listen to how sick I had been since tapering of xanax.

From March 4th-March 30th My heart rate stayed high and I was vomiting and feeling like I had the flu. I was waking up covered in sweat and having several panic attacks a day. My blood pressure would be 150/104 if I even just got up to get some water or juice.

March 30th I went to St. Peters ER because my heart rate was 158 and I had not been able to eat much since Jan 21st. I was living mostly on milk, V8 and juice. At St. Peters they ran a bunch of blood work, checked my urine and did a chest x-ray.

Chest X-ray and Urine was normal. EKG was normal but showing sinus tachycardia

Blood work was:
TSH (Reflex) - Normal
Amylase - Normal
Lipase - Normal
Comprehensive Panel - Normal
H. Pylori AB IGG Quant- Positive for antibodies.
PTT test - Normal
Prothrombin time- Normal
CBC5D test - Normal

March 29th (Before first St. Peters ER visit) I was desperate and took 0.5mg of xanax to see if it would stop. My heart rate stayed high, but I was able to eat a little. Soon as that pill wore off all the symptoms returned. However for a few days after taking that pill I was jolted out of my sleep with anxiety/adrenaline rushes. That lasted about 5 days and then stopped.

St. Peters had me schedule a 24 hour holter monitor and an echocardiogram.

April 1st. Was back in St. Peters ER because I got close to fainting once and woke up later in a cold sweat with my heart back up to 140. They did an EKG and told me to follow up with a primary care and to do the heart tests.

April 9th I did the heart echo and the 24 hour monitor. I have an appointment with the cardiologist May 1st.


When I stopped drinking milk after my last ER visit my heart rate stopped going to 120+ and has stayed between 96-118. (My normal heart rate before I took the paxil (or been off xanax) that day was 73-96 depending) My blood pressure now seems to be more normal I get readings of 113/76 sometimes as low as 90/60 which is a bit low for me. The highest I have seen recently is 130/88, but mostly it is normal now.

After I took that single dose of paxil, for almost 2 weeks I had loud Tinnitus in both ears. Which has now gone away.

However I am still unable to eat very much food. I am still vomiting and having constant rapid heart rate. I feel like I have a bad flu and very wore out. My anxiety before I ever took xanax was high, but since coming off xanax my anxiety is at least 10 times stronger than it was before.


Please Note** In Nov. 2007 after being on xanax .25mg for a month I came off. I could not eat, I felt very sick all the time and my bowels became pale. I saw the nurse practitioner because I was so sick and she had me do a liver enzyme panel which came back normal and she sent me to have an ultrasound of my gallbladder, pancreas and liver which came back normal. She said since I was nervous to go back on xanax and to up the dose since I was having such a hard time with being sick. I did and all illness went away within 24 hours. Bowel color returned to normal and I no longer was sick. I did not at the time really put that together and stayed on xanax till I started to come off Jan 21st of this year.

Also Note** Jan 2006 I was living in FL and put on 5mg of valium everyday for a week and hydrocodone for tooth pain and anxiety about dental visits. Early February a few weeks after taking those pills I crashed into a major depression, I could not eat, I was vomiting and ended up in the ER. Liver test was run and that was normal and they checked for pancreatitis which was also normal as was my CBC. In the ER my pulse was 140 and they said that was nerves. I was so sick and depressed I ended up moving back to NY in April 2006 and was sick till the middle of May 2006.

I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks with agoraphobia. However my heart rate has never naturally been this high. This is like my old disorder times 10 mixed with being unable to eat, vomiting, rapid pulse and anxiety off the charts and some depression because I am so ill. I have a blood/needle and fainting phobia normally, that also seems to be on hyperdrive right now.

The vomiting is not being caused by nausea it is caused by a complete lack of wanting any food and when I do eat my heart pounds and races and it just comes back up. I started for awhile taking pepcid to see if that would help any and I still threw up just as much on that as I did without it.

I am a smoker and cigarettes now make me sick so I tried not to smoke and I got sicker, plus the stress from all of this has made it incredibly hard to stop. The cigarettes now sometimes trigger vomiting.

When this all started I was 155 lbs I am now 143 lbs.

Current Symptoms:
Lack of appetite
Increased Anxiety
Crying (mostly over how sick I feel and fear of what is wrong with me)

I am not interested on going back on a Benzodiazepine since I seem to have a bad reaction coming off these. And I am too scared right now to take an SSRI drug since the last one I took I fainted and since that day had a rapid pulse. I would just like to know why this is happening to me and when will it end?

I do not drink alcohol I gave that up in Nov. 2007

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