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    1. #11
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      160mg/day now for 3 days, with an unintentional dip to 120 on day 2.

      I drank too much the first day (about 6oz more than the usual bottle) and spent the next day in bed. Self indulgence for sure, but I was definitely dizzy and out of it. And I slept like a rock, for 15 of the next 24 hours.

      A bitter, metallic taste in my mouth has returned. I threw out $50 worth of crabmeat on day 3, because it tasted ?off?. Next batch wasn?t any good either, but husband found nothing wrong with it and guests have not gotten sick, yet!

      It?s pretty clear to me, rather suddenly (?! I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes), that a lot of my SEs are more directly related to drinking, or drinking and taking bac, than the bac itself. I have been managing the SEs from alcohol abuse for almost two decades. They?re like old and hateful friends at this point. I?ve always been very hesitant to add new drugs into the mix, even supplements, because they come with their own risk/reward ratio. By the time I introduced baclofen, I was ?managing? AL by drinking only a bottle and a half of wine every night, with more on the weekends. I wonder now if my dramatic SEs, particularly in the beginning, didn?t have more to do with either AL withdrawal and/or AL abuse exacerbated by bac?

      I will add that one possible SE seems to be that on occasion I can drink significantly more than my usual and stay relatively coherent. This leads to really severe symptoms the next day. However, there are other nights when bac seems to amplify the affects of AL, and I wake up to find a glass with wine left in it. (Unheard of in days gone by) I hesitate to call either one an SE and wonder if it doesn?t have more to do with diet/sleep/exercise?

      The sense of calm bac has introduced into my life is worth the whole process in and of itself. The crisis last week? It was really, really bad. Though it turned out okay, I would normally have been frantic beyond description. My husband said talking to me throughout the day was like talking to a different person because I was so calm and matter of fact. Which is not to say I wasn?t feeling desperate? I don?t know how to describe it.
      Sometimes the calm borders on sedation. But mostly it?s just a lack of anxiousness. I startle very easily, and have since I was a child. Close friends and loved ones know that they need to make noise when entering a room so I don?t ?jump?. On Saturday, completely hung over and out of sorts, my husband startled me and that in turn startled him! Ha. Very subtle changes, but my over-all quality of life is improving and for that I?m grateful.

      I?m going to go up to 180/mg day a couple of days early, I think. My family knows about this, and will understand if I just stare off into space or want some extra sleep time. I'll also be forced to be sober for two days, and look forward to the interruption!

      Even though it?s relatively quiet around here atm, I?m really enjoying the thought provoking discussions/debates on the various threads. The introduction of so many new people is also really exciting. I hope everyone will continue to weigh in, even when it seems contentious. We are, after all, in the same park and on the same ride.
      :groupluv:

    2. #12
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      If my cats don't come in for their supper, I guess it's cos they heard there's a big pile of crabmeat up for grabs somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic... (they have no idea how far it is, the fools!)

      I vaguely relate to your side effects, re: drinking on baclofen. As today is my b'day (don't ask, it was crap!) my wife and mother in law opened a bottle of plonk last night, and I, against my better judgement, opened a beer. The beer sat there for about an hour before I took a sip, then I was away. I stopped after 5 bottles - and usually I'd be celebrating my restraint - but this morning I had a sucker of a hangover, thanks to baclofen. This is always the case - I know before I drink I'll have a crappy hangover, and I still do it, albeit with far less frequency than usual. What I never do now is drink more than once a week, and usually once every two weeks.

      You sound very positive, even though you're not getting big results just yet. I suppose the only advice I can give you is to soldier on, though as you are aware you're taking far more baclofen than I've ever had to take. A day or two sober will also do you a lot of good. As I am sure I've mentioned before it was a two day break from alcohol that gave baclofen the chance to do its magic on me; after that my whole attitude to booze was palpably different.

      I'm thinking of buying some running shoes. My brain is telling me it wants something - not alcohol, just something to break the monotony of breathing - and I think gasping lungfuls of oxygen might do it. Since I haven't broken into a sweat for, uh, twenty years, this could be amusing.

      But first I think I'll eat some mincepies.

    3. #13
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      neva eva;1026253 wrote:
      Even though it?s relatively quiet around here atm, I?m really enjoying the thought provoking discussions/debates on the various threads. The introduction of so many new people is also really exciting. I hope everyone will continue to weigh in, even when it seems contentious. We are, after all, in the same park and on the same ride.
      :groupluv:
      :l

    4. #14
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      Nev, despite the SEs, it seems like you are progressing well. I know what you mean about handling stressful situations better with bac. I went through my own crisis recently, and while it was still really shitty, I think I dealt with it relatively well. AND I didn't turn to the bottle as I normally would have. If that isn't a testament to bac, I don't know what is.

    5. #15
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      Don't know what happened there. I had the intention of saying more, but somehow posted the above without meaning to. At least it was all a coherent thought and not half of a sentence. Anyway, as I was saying...

      I think you are on to something with the idea that some of the SEs might me more attributable to drinking on bac rather than just the bac itself. The 2 forced sober days will be a good opportunity to test it out! I have heard from others that exercise helps to minimize the SEs from bac. I have yet to really try this out yet though, even though I have been itching to. Just too much else going on with work and Christmas fast approaching, among other things! I'm looking forward to getting to work on that after the holidays. I'll report back if I find it helpful for the SEs! I'll take whatever relief I can get, so long as it doesn't involve titrating down to a point that I start drinking like I used to again!

      See, your post gave me the giggles! Like you, I'm starting to crave an outlet and am anxious to start doing some exercise soon. Let us know how the running turns out! After the mincepies, of course.

    6. #16
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Seethepony;1026543 wrote: I'm thinking of buying some running shoes. My brain is telling me it wants something - not alcohol, just something to break the monotony of breathing - and I think gasping lungfuls of oxygen might do it.
      pony- a pack a day habit and a predilection for couch-potato-ness hasn't kept me from lacing mine up. When I say I 'run' I should qualify and say that I run for short distances, and then walk. walk. walk. Then run again. The new development for me is that I can run further, without the groaning joints or the next day soreness for the most part. And I definitely get to the happy place--the runner's high. Getting ready to find the leash and head out the door, as a matter of fact. Dog won't be very happy since it's 530am and dark and cold.
      I so wish I'd put the crabmeat to good use and at the very least fed it to the neighborhood cats.

      Is, yes. I'm trudging along and the abstinence will do me good. Even with all of the well meaning advice on here about trying to moderate or abstain, I haven't done it. It seemed/seems futile since it's never worked in the past and always made me feel like a colossal failure. I'm waiting for the bac to work, even if it's the harder, longer route. And I believe it is, but I also know that baclofen will work regardless. I've never been one to take the 'easier, softer' path, regardless of what my failure with the 12 steps would indicate. :H
      Hope it's a good day one and all.

    7. #17
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      Ne,
      I am not sure that the bac will work"regardless". It can enhance a decision to abstain but not substitute for one. In a sense it is your primitive, sub cortical, brain that is addicted. It is your neocortex (developed human decision making brain) that must decide your goals. The bac only helps the decision making. It doesn't substitute for it. You have both tools. Why not use them both. A nail isn't very helpful without a hammer to drive it.
      Sunny

    8. #18
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      Sunnyvalenting;1026959 wrote: Ne,
      In a sense it is your primitive, sub cortical, brain that is addicted. It is your neocortex (developed human decision making brain) that must decide your goals. The bac only helps the decision making. It doesn't substitute for it. You have both tools. Why not use them both. A nail isn't very helpful without a hammer to drive it.
      Sunny
      Actually it's not just my reptilian brain that's addicted to alcohol. It's my entire physical body. It's not the habit. It's not psychological. It's a physical addiction that is based on the way my brain is hard wired. Or at least that's my understanding for the reason we are taking baclofen to correct this disease and not turning to AA, shrinks and shaman. The habit, the psychological stuff? It plays a role of course... but that's not the point of high dose baclofen treatment for addiction. And my executive decision maker decided to take baclofen. The rest will follow.

      Sunny, I want you to know that I appreciate your participation here, and have learned from your experience, and your wisdom and your sobriety.
      About six months ago you responded to one of my first posts. I had had my first ever panic attack and was frantic, looking for support and maybe some guidance. You thoughtfully responded that perhaps something else was going on, that maybe it was a medical issue unrelated to the bac. And I spent months thinking that there was some underlying condition that made it more difficult for me to take baclofen than other people. That there was something fundamentally wrong with me, physically or mentally that meant I couldn't follow this path.
      That's not on you. I am thoroughly versed in, and vexed by the AA model that I couldn't succeed at that because I didn't want it enough, wasn't able to be honest, couldn't do the work. Which is...I don't think I can say without resorting to blistering expletives atm.

      I spent the summer having every test I could convince my doctor to give me, and to the tune of thousands of dollars, which I'm still battling with the insurance company about. The tests/specialists were not medically necessary from their perspective, and truth be told they weren't. I'm an alcoholic and have been for 20 years. That's enough wrong to account for all of the things going on in my body and brain.

      One of the results is that I felt very strongly about getting the guidance of a doctor and a legal prescription. And reinvestigating the things I'd dismissed in the past. And supplements, too. So I did. Then I started the process again. And taking bac has been brutal at times. I find a great deal of comfort here, among the heretics, that my SEs and concerns have been experienced by others.

      I take even more comfort from this fact: We are all here, presumably, because we cannot control our drinking (or have a loved one who can't.) The promise of baclofen is that one does not have to white-knuckle through the often excruciating pain of craving and withdrawal in order to achieve long term sobriety. There is ample evidence here that many have reached that goal drinking and worrying about it all the way up to indifference. In fact I would argue that they're the rule here, not the exception. And Dr. L concurs with that notion, based on the conversations we've had about baclofen/titration/the goal. I think he said that it just doesn't matter if I continue to drink, the baclofen will work regardless.
      Which is not to say that it doesn't make sense to try some moderation or abstinence if one is able. Just to avoid the hangovers if nothing else.

      One final thought: I had to skip my 4pm bac dose today--driving situation etc... I got done with work late and left with a white hot need for alcohol. I don't know if you can tap into what that feels like, but at your pre-rehab/pre-bac liter of booze a day, I know you've been there. Literally run-the-red-light, don't-read-the-mail, don't-pet-the-dog, shoes and bra still on, head straight for the kitchen and pour a glass of something. But here's the thing: THERE'S NO WINE IN THE HOUSE!!! That's not exactly true, of course. There is wine and booze we reserve for special occasions/company. There's husband's beer. But my wine? Which I buy by the case and has been a solid fixture in the fridge for years? I forgot to get some.
      And instead of panic/anxiety/heading straight out to the store, I was pretty darn excited. I don't forget wine.
      So atm, I'm drinking v. expensive red wine with lots of ice in it. After a shot of vodka to quell the panic. And that is my bac success story for the week.
      I hope you won't quit participating when you reach a year next month. But I also hope that you will stop suggesting that, for instance, somnolence is self-created and one need only look at their behavior to find a solution. That particular side effect is well-documented and definitely related to baclofen. Not AL, not diet, not sleep patterns or dosage levels. It's important to monitor those things, but the newbies are looking for support and the ones who've been here for more than a minute know that they should be monitoring those things in order to stay with the path. IMHO.
      best

    9. #19
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      NE,
      I am glad you are making progress here.
      I agree that addiction is not the same as habit. It is neurochemical. The primitive reward circuitry in the brain interacts both up and down the pathways. Our entire physical bodies are not addicted, as far as I can tell, the brain is the problem and the body just suffers the collateral damage, (think friendly fire?!). I agree that the AA and other similar "tough it out" and spiritual based models miss the point to a large extent. But I understand, after doing a lot of reading about this that will power is not something to dismiss altogether. I presume that anyone on these boards is here freely and wishes to address this problem sincerely. I also feel a need to "calls em as I sees em" if I believe someone may benefit. I drank for 42 years. I attempted to stop the last 15-20 without success. Then finally baclofen along with other tools I picked up along the way (or just dumb luck maybe?) Who knows. I am a study of ONE. I share my experience in case anyone finds it useful.
      I certainly did not mean for you to worry about all sorts of thing and have all those tests. I only wanted to have you consider possibilities. I was concerned. I guess your doc was too, as he/she ordered them on you. I am glad, actually, that they seem to all have turned out OK. I hope you take at least some encouragement from that.
      I find it encouraging that you forgot to buy your case of wine!. That means that at least some of the compulsive drug seeking is being modified. This is great news. I wonder what might have happened this evening if you had taken a baclofen instead of the wine. I still take a 10 mg pill with me wherever I go so that if I get in a pinch I have an alternate plan.
      My abstinence is one of my most valuable posessions. It is my key to a free life. It is my way out. I hope you continue to move in that direction. I believe you will as you are still here in spite of all the side effects and In the end you will find it to all be worth all the time, money and energy you gave it. I'm just saying be "all in".
      My best to you,
      Sunny

    10. #20
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      PS,
      Where did I say or indicate that somnolence was self created? If I did so that is not what I intended to say.

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