The Joy of Detox

Things have been a little hairy at our house lately. The kitchen renos have come to an abrupt halt due to the fact that PD is dealing with some issues.

In case you don’t know, my husband suffers from Meniere’s Disease. He was diagnosed, if I remember correctly, in 2003.  He’s been a Bilateral Meniere’s patient since 2000.  He’s on a pretty good selection of medications for the dizziness and other symptoms that go along with the disease.  He’s had surgeries that were temporary fixes.  Meniere’s isn’t a well-known disease and there is not a lot of research being done.  There is no cure but it can go into remission.

Sleep disturbances are a big part of life for PD.  He’s was on 4 medications alone to deal with that issue.  We’ve been trying to get him off some of his meds which don’t seem to be helping and/or are not covered by his medical insurance plan.  One of those meds is Clonazepam (Klonipin) and he’s been taking it for about 10 years.  After discussing it with his doctor, he followed her instructions for weaning off the drug.  That was three weeks ago and he’s been having a terrible time since.  It breaks my heart to see him come downstairs, bleary-eyed and edgy from spending hours trying to get some sleep. I now know first-hand what drug users must go through in detox, except without the benefit of other drugs to help with the withdrawal.  He’s adamant about not going back on the Klonopin and is limited in what he can take to ease the symptoms because of the other drugs he must stay on.  Just today I came across this article and will be giving it a good read.

I’m not only concerned about the hell he’s going through, as the days go by I’m getting more and more irate with the non-chalance with which some doctors prescribe these drugs.  From all the research I’ve been doing it seems to be a common problem.  I’ve also learned that he probably should not have been taking the drug for as long as he has been.  It was a low dose but taking it for so long has made the withdrawal that much more difficult.

I could make this a more lengthy diatribe on the insensitivity of the medical community but I won’t.  And don’t even get me started on the negligence of drug companies or the FDA.  What I need to stress to you is that before you start taking any medication, please please please discuss it in depth with your doctor and do some research.  Often times the “fix” is more dire than the actual problem.

And if you are so inclined, a prayer or two for PD would be much appreciated.

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6 responses to “The Joy of Detox

  1. It does make one wonder just how detached they’re trained to be. I mean, you can still acknowledge that the patient is human. If you want to treat something that has not feelings, go into computers and apply hotfixes and updates, instead of treating humans and throwing drugs at them with no other considerations.

    I’m sorry to hear PD’s having such a rough time right now (relative to his “normal.”) And, of course, even though you’re not the one going through it directly, it impacts you. You don’t feel like you should complain about that, however, lest you seem insensitive to his suffering. Hang in there.

  2. PD is in my prayers. I take klonipin to ease some of my issues and know there will come a day when they take me off of it. I am not looking forward to that day at all.

  3. Mark,
    I think it’s important to note that I shouldn’t have made such a generalization as I did. There are plenty of good doctors out there. And, ultimately it is up to the patient to ask questions. It’s just that sometimes patients are overwhelmed and/or not able to make decisions… Pharmacists also have a responsibility. I’ve recently learned that there are two sets of print-outs for medication and the usual patient gets the abridged version unless he/she asks for the complete information. Good to know, huh. I know this concerns you on a personal level too.

    Jeff,
    Thank you sincerely for the prayers. Please read the links I posted and above all, if/when the time comes, ask lots of questions. PD is drinking loads of water with lemon added to help flush out toxins in his system. The lower the dosage and the shorter period that you take it, the better your chances seem to be for having an easier withdrawal. Prayers for you, always.

  4. We all have Jerry in our thoughts and hope everyday is alittle easier…please let me know if the trip will be too much for him, I don’t want him to feel like he needs to be a hero…will call you this evening. xoxo

  5. Ju,
    Thanks Daughter of Mine. It would be optimistic to think he won’t have problems with the trip. We will stop as often as he needs. But he’s looking forward to it so much, that to cancel would do more harm than good. Seeing
    the five of you, I’m sure, would be the very best thing for him. xxoo

  6. Prayers for the both of you….

    I agree with prescribing-happy doctors. I think I could go to mine and get a script for just about anything, written on the spot.

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