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    1. #1
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Hey all... longtime lurker, I've read much of the forums and have finally decided to jump in, take the plunge, and document my recovery journey...

      :new:

      I've been up since 3 am with insomnia (my main bac SE) so decided to get up and and start my progress thread.

      My plan is to be titrating up on bac, and I am considering pairing it with Nal/TSM when drinking. On top of those, I'm considering adding the occasional 3-5 day stint of antabuse for when travelling for work/attending conventions (basically times where I can't be hungover and feeling like death, and so taking away the choice to drink altogether).

      Doing all this with the careful approval and support (and so far, scripts) of my MD. She's also having me do monthly liver panels (which are elevated right now, causing concern...)

      About me-
      male, USA, 36 years old.
      Alcoholic for 15 years, last 10 years worse and worse.
      Binge drinker, 1 to 3 nights per week. Heavy hangovers next day keep me from working, eating right, pursuing passion projects, exercising, or doing much of anything.
      Drink of choice- beer, sometimes red wine, anything else around after those are done.
      Smoke when I drink.
      Often have intense depression/despair, sometimes leading to suicidal thoughts.
      When sober, am generally postitive and motivated towards recovery and healthy behaviors.
      Poor health that I'm trying to work on- overweight by approx 40 lbs, high cholesterol, high CRP, high blood pressure, elevated liver.

      Have tried Naltrexone/TSM but didn't give it much of a fair shot to take hold (only did a couple months before the drunk in me decided that it'd rather have the buzz back)

      Since the cravings themselves are what usually take me down the dark path, I'm now trying to combat them with baclofen at low doses. Have noticed a VERY slight (maybe placebo effect?) decrease in craving, enough to have hope to titrate up.

      Presently at only 30 mg bac/day and hope to get up to 80 in a few weeks and reassess.

      SE's- most problematic SE by far is insomnia, paired with the feeling of shortness of breath/gasping for air constantly through the night, keeping me awake. Also, some somnolence but can deal with that fine. The insomnia/breath thing is irritating and exasperating and keeps me from sleep which really bums me out. Sometimes melatonin (10 mg) helps, sometimes benadryl (50-100 mg), sometimes they don't help at all.

      Being at only low doses so far, I do expect SE's to get much worse as I titrate up. But I guess I'll just bear it and soldier on cuz I can't keep going this way... I do worry, though, about taking too many medications. In addition to the drinking recovery meds I mentioned above, and for the record, I currently take daily-

      10 mg lisinopril (for high blood pressure- may go up to 20 mg/day)
      20 mg omeprazole (for esophagitis/GERD)
      120 mg armour thyroid (for hypothyroidism)
      75 mg effexor (for depression/anxiety)

      very occasionally, 0.25 or 0.5 mg (i half pill or 1 pill) xanax for anxiety/hangover anxiety (no more than approximately once a month on average)

      daily supplements-
      1000 mg Vit C
      daily multivitamin
      calcium, magnesium
      Vit D
      Vit B
      lots of fish oil/Omega 3

      So... that's kind of a big cocktail... I'm really hoping that I'm making the right choices with all these meds (and supps etc).

      That said, I'm willing to try this stuff because the alternative is just too heavy. If I don't find the switch/extinction/combination to help me moderate/cut down drinking, I don't think my life will really have much value. Drinking pretty much ruins my quality of life.

      As a side note, I've also found a bit of hope in exercise- I hired a personal trainer to keep me motivated and on track, and we're lifting weights two to three times per week, and that helps me eat healthier too (on sober days).

      Much much much heartfelt thanks to all you posters and active MWOers, bac-ers, TSMers, and recovering drunks in general... I've felt hope for the first time in years by reading your experiences and knowledge.

    2. #2
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      forgot to add one detail... another SE of the bac so far...

      The other thing that interrupts my sleep is a weird tickly feeling at the back of my throat, combined with a gross nasal blocked feeling that takes a while to clear, if it does at all.

      So far, very bummed about these SE's as I've always valued my sleep.... oh well, we'll see what happens...

    3. #3
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Hey! I know you!

      Here's a link for you: http://www.mywayout.org/community/f2...ise-39134.html


    4. #4
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Hey skullbabyland...

      Baclofen messes with my nasal passage as well. I sort of try and sleep with my mouth open as breathing can be a problem. The sleep think should get better with time. It has for me. I'm getting good sleep 25 days in. I fall a sleep quicker (never used to). I still wake about 2-3 time over the night but I get back to sleep soon enough. I went to bed at 9pm last night and didn't get out of bed until 8am this morning.

      I don't lift weights but cardio has become easier except for terrible nausea afterwards. Its probably just easier because I'm not hung over though.

      My 2 SEs that caused me real problems were nausea and other sleep related problems. The sleep had sorted itself out (touch wood). I sort of have the nausea under control through anti-nausea meds.

      I sweat like ******* during the night though.

    5. #5
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Touch wood you might not even be still drinking long enough for TSM to be of use but it could be an option. Antabuse might help to get you off to a good start if you find yourself still drinking in the early stages as the hangovers might cause you problems. I was lucky enough to cut back on my booze intact from the off. I couldn't imagine drinking through the 200mg+ stage. I considered Antabuse to give me a good base to start off. You might only need it for a month or two.

    6. #6
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Lo0p;1512753 wrote: Hey! I know you!

      Here's a link for you: http://www.mywayout.org/community/f2...ise-39134.html

      Thanks Loop! I've actually read that thread a few times, and the seeming exercise-boost seems like the one SE that I could actually enjoy

    7. #7
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      john doe;1512767 wrote: Hey skullbabyland...

      Baclofen messes with my nasal passage as well. I sort of try and sleep with my mouth open as breathing can be a problem. The sleep think should get better with time. It has for me. I'm getting good sleep 25 days in. I fall a sleep quicker (never used to). I still wake about 2-3 time over the night but I get back to sleep soon enough. I went to bed at 9pm last night and didn't get out of bed until 8am this morning.

      I don't lift weights but cardio has become easier except for terrible nausea afterwards. Its probably just easier because I'm not hung over though.

      My 2 SEs that caused me real problems were nausea and other sleep related problems. The sleep had sorted itself out (touch wood). I sort of have the nausea under control through anti-nausea meds.

      I sweat like ******* during the night though.
      Hey JD, thanks for the posts. Yeah, man... the sleep issues are such a drag. I'm really glad to hear that you're getting better sleep though, and that the SE's have subsided for you. I can't imagine what it'll be like if the insomnia continues. Scary.

      I wish you good luck with the nausea SE... sounds like you've got it mostly under control... Great to hear.

    8. #8
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      john doe;1512768 wrote: Touch wood you might not even be still drinking long enough for TSM to be of use but it could be an option. Antabuse might help to get you off to a good start if you find yourself still drinking in the early stages as the hangovers might cause you problems. I was lucky enough to cut back on my booze intact from the off. I couldn't imagine drinking through the 200mg+ stage. I considered Antabuse to give me a good base to start off. You might only need it for a month or two.
      Yeah I hear you. At the moment I'm not ruling anything out... The drunken fool in me is mighty indeed and I may need multiple weapons (ie, meds) to combat it...

      Glad to hear you were able to cut back on the booze early on!

    9. #9
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Thanks man. Sleep should come soon enough. A lot of members had sleep issues before using Baclofen but you seem to have had a good cycle before hand. Thins makes me think it should sort itself out. I had no luck with sleep meds. I've had major trouble with benzo's in the past and would rather have insomnia than go down that road again.

    10. #10
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      Skullbaby's Progress

      Hey, skullbaby,

      Welcome to the party!

      I had the SEs of messed up sleep and the breathing issue. The nasal/breathing problems happen, IMO, because the bac relaxes the muscles involved in breathing. Try sleeping on your side.

      The great news is that the SEs don't always get worse as you titrate up. Plus it sounds like you're going up slowly so maybe your body will adjust to the bac better. My SEs got worse after I hit my threshold and came down--or maybe I just better accepted them going up. Once I stayed at my current dose for a month my sleep seems to have straightened out. Now I just have a buzzing in my hands (a new SE in the last few weeks).

      Good luck and I'm glad you posted.

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