Thursday, March 31, 2016

Withdrawing from a Benzodiazepine

       This helped me.  Withdrawing from a benzodiazepine, Klonopin

I.                    Prepare, prepare, prepare

~Plan for at least 2 months of withdrawal symptoms

~Do not make plans (you’ll only feel worse if you’re not ready)

~Enlist support from family or friends

Let them know what you plan to do and accept any offers for transportation or meals, etc.

~Shop ahead, at least two weeks

~Make someone else responsible for managing your personal affairs temporarily (pay bills,     return phone calls, make emergency decisions with you)

II.                  Checklist


Raw food & microwavable (food requiring little or no preparation)

GABA rice (comfort food for your brain) – either prepare ahead or ask someone to make it for you, especially the first two weeks

Get a variety of different milder foods (it’s not unusual for your taste to change—I found chocolate distasteful!)

Protein!  Fish, nuts, dark leafy greens

Avoid processed foods

Avoid sugar & concentrated sweets


In addition to lots of water, herbal teas and juices

Tension Tamer tea helps anxiety and Sleepy Time tea helps insomnia (some feel these make things worse, but they helped me)

Tart cherry juice helps insomnia (a couple ounces at bedtime)

Avoid caffeine and sugar (be kind to your brain)
Pepperment tea helps nausea
 ~Vitamins & Supplements
Omega 3 Fish oil or Krill oil (I like MegaRed) caps (for brain health) 
All B vitamins
Melatonin plus for sleep
I.                    Attitude

~Allow yourself to put yourself first during this process
~Make a commitment to take good care of your brain through the process
~Be aware that you are building new, healthier habits while you go through the process
~Know that you are doing something good for yourself and be proud
I.                    The Process
~Take it SLOW  (I took twice as long to decrease my doses compared to the doctor’s recommendation and wish I had gone even slower-discuss this with your doctor)
~The slower the withdrawal, the less severe the withdrawal symptoms will be
~You may expect to experience: nausea and vomiting the first day or two, tremors, dizziness, chills, fever, hot flashes, headaches, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, weight loss

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

                     10 Signs That You May Be Addicted
                       To Cooking Shows  

1.  Your dinner is incomplete without pickled vegetables.

2.  Your pantry could get you on an episode of "Hoarders."

3.  You have plastic squeeze bottles and washed-out tuna
     cans on the shelf next to your dishes.

4.  Your pantry is bare when stocked with less than five kinds  
      of cooking oil.

5.  Instead of saying, "good dinner," Hubby says, "nice plating" 
     and "well-seasoned."

6.  You buy six mussels, Google the recipe, and fix them for
      yourself, just to see if you like them.         
7.  You are growing "recycled" baby bok choy in a flower pot 
      on your deck.

8.   If you can't find your camera, it's usually in the kitchen.

9.   You can identify at least four kinds of hot peppers.

10.  If you're lucky, you got a good chef's knife and mandoline
       for Christmas.     

Friday, March 21, 2014

And, My Doctor Kept On Talking

Yesterday, at a routine visit, my family doctor casually commented, "That was when we thought you had bipolar disorder." It was the first time she acknowledged the error made by 5 psychiatrists and accepted by 3 family doctors. I was on psychotropic drugs for 14 years because of a misdiagnosis.

She kept right on talking. I could think of nothing else...

And then she tried to prescribe Lyrica.

Homemade Tortillas...Ole'!

     Last night I went a little nuts in the kitchen and not only made a new Mexican cabbage slaw, I tackled flour tortillas from scratch.  And they turned out great!  I thought to myself, you're getting pretty good with these kitchen experiments, maybe you should start a blog.  But, duh, I have a blog. 

     My husband loved these.  In fact, he loved the whole simple meal.  And he's really picky.  This morning he confessed to eating two tortillas after I went to bed, one with butter and one with peanut butter.  I consider that a success!  I thought the tortillas were a little dry, so I will experiment with a little more oil next time.  But, like I said, he loved them!

     My first tortillas from scratch: 

I borrowed this recipe from food blogger extraordinaire, Tasty Kitchen. (


  • 3 cups Organic, Unbleached Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ⅓ cups Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Hot Water

Preparation Instructions

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder with a whisk. Add the canola oil and mix with your fingers until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add 1 cup of hot water and mix until a ball is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. (I have also refrigerated it overnight).
Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out one at a time on a floured surface. Brush off excess flour. Cook on a hot, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Turn the tortilla when brown blisters form on the first side. Stack the tortillas and serve warm.

For the meal, I fixed a couple things for inside the tortillas.  I poached a couple of chicken thighs for my husband, in the crockpot.  (I don't eat meat.)  I added a half teaspoon each, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder to the water.  When they were tender, I just removed the bones and shredded the meat with my fingers.  For moisture, freshness, and "pop," as they say, I made some Mexican slaw.  I used a recipe to give me ideas, but I didn't have the right ingredients.  My slaw was just shredded green cabbage, frozen corn (thawed), 1/4 teas. minced Serrano pepper, diced snap peas, a handful of canned diced tomatoes, and thinly sliced green onions.  For the dressing, I had to use a lemon for juice, instead of limes, olive oil, salt and pepper. This is where I found the recipe I used for ideas:

My Mexican Slaw:

So, I took warm tortillas, (made from scratch!) and filled them with seasoned chicken and the Mexican Slaw,  I put a little shredded cheddar cheese, too,  Next time, I would like to add a creamy avocado sauce.  Oh my, my, my.  I'm getting hungry again.  But, back to last night.  By the time I realized this meal was a big success, it was too late to capture it in a photo.  This will have to do. ;)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


If only it was as easy as tearing up the paper printed with words, and letting it fly up to the sky, a wish to be granted.


The Perfect Doctor:

[Sung to the tune of “The Perfect Nanny” ~Mary Poppins]

Wanted a Doctor for an adorable woman.
If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
No games, no sorts!

You must be kind, you must be smart,
Very wise and listen with your heart.
Take your time, lend an ear,
Know meds, have reasonable fear.
Never be cross or cruel
Never treat me like a fool.

Across the years, we’ll work as a team
Together, a healthy goal, a healthy dream.
If you won't scold and dominate me
I hope to never give you cause to hate me

I won't hide your spectacles
So you can't see
Put toads in your bed
Or pepper in your tea
Hurry, Doctor!
Many thanks
Well, you know…


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Not Just Pissed Because It Happened To Me, or, my adventures with C. diff

I'm presently taking a medication called, Vancomycin, for my second bout of C. diff. colitis in 4 months.  I've always thought of myself as "healthier than average," however, now I find myself trying to shake a potentially chronic and debilitating illness.  It only took a second time to get me online doing some serious research. 

According to the CDC, C. diff sickens about half a million people a year in the U.S. 

"In recent years, many in the infectious disease community have seen an increase in the number of cases of people with C. difficile infection," Edward Cox, MD, MPH, of the FDA, says in a news release.  (Source:
In June, 2011, the FDA approved a drug called Dificid for the treatment of C. diff.
 "Dificid is an effective new treatment option for patients who develop Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea." (Source:
"The FDA says. The drug is the first antibiotic in nearly 30 years to be approved to fight the sometimes deadly C. diff-caused disease."
SO, WHY ISN'T THIS MEDICATION COVERED BY U.S. HEALTH INSURANCE?  (Because the insurance companies are still in charge.)

Medical treatment and hospital stays associated with C. diff cost the U.S. health care system as much as $3.8 billion a year. Also, the company says a recent survey of the incidence and severity of C. diff in U.S. hospitals found that C. diff patients had lengths of hospital stay nearly three times longer than average, with mortality rates more than four times higher than for the average person who is hospitalized. In the trials, more patients treated with Dificid were considered cured after three weeks of treatment, compared with people taking Vancomycin, the FDA says.


Yes. I'm pissed.  Why didn't I get to take the best drug out there for what I have?  Maybe not the first time, but what about the second?  But it's not just about me.  This infection is a current U.S. healthcare problem with the drug and insurance companies holding the best treatment hostage.  How will we ever eradicate this horrible (trust me!) infection when we don't have access to the best antibiotic?  I'm pissed, but not just for me.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Informed Consent

It's about INFORMED CONSENT. Psychotropic drugs--anti-depressants, tranquilizers, and others, are being prescribed en mass, to mentally weak and susceptible patients. In 1989, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I asked my doctor for Valium. He prescribed it and after she died, I kept taking it. In 1999, I had, what I now know, was my first full-blown panic attack. I was hospitalized in a psych. hospital for 6 days. In that brief time, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was put on Klonopin and other psych. meds. Over the last 14 years, I sure did act bipolar. I experienced severe depression coupled with violent rages. Five doctors later, I'm told to stop Klonopin, "it's bad for you," by a new pdoc. I am now 13 months off ALL MEDS. I have suffered severe withdrawal symptoms, as well as protracted withdrawal symptoms. However, since stopping Klonopin, NO MOOD SWINGS, NO DEPRESSION, NO RAGES. I've been an RN for over 30 years. I believed the doctors. In spite of all the side-effects I religiously took my medicine. Eventually, I was robbed of my career and my lifestyle. Today, emotionally, I feel the best I've felt in 14 years. Physically, I’m still suffering. I feel like shouting from the rooftops, "Walk away from this poison!" I know some are genuinely helped by medication, but how many are HARMED? Pros and cons of psychotropic medications aside, I believe there needs to be more education—for doctors and patients and more warnings. Patients are in a very vulnerable place when they’re prescribed these medications. Patients' rights include “informed consent.” If I wasn’t fully aware of the dangers as an RN, what chance does a lay person have?