What Fresh Hell Is This?

Well, I’ll never do THAT again.

I forgot to renew my Klonopin prescription last week and was out, completely, for several days. I didn’t know for sure that Vitamin K was actually what puts me to sleep; I thought it was the anti-psychotics. Needless to say, I was wrong. I’ve been up till after 2 AM for the past three nights, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. I’m not manic, I’m not mixed, and I’m certainly not depressed. But what I went through last night will not be forgotten soon.

I was lying in bed, wide awake despite having taken all my other meds, when a squeamish, squirmy feeling came over me. Suddenly I couldn’t get enough air; my legs became restless and I kept moving them around, unable to get comfortable. I was hot and cold at the same time. I was also itchy all over, but it was the kind of itch you can’t scratch—it felt like it was internal, like bugs crawling under my skin. I felt as though I was on the verge of a panic attack. In short, I was a hot mess, and if I hadn’t figured out what the trouble was I probably wouldn’t have slept at all.

The answer came as I was staring wide-eyed into the dark, racking my brain for possible causes. I’d had only two Klonopin tablets left when I filled my med minders Sunday night, which meant I didn’t take it Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I’d renewed my prescription on Monday but forgot to put the pills in the boxes; the new bottle was still in my purse, unopened, as of three o’clock this morning. That was when I finally remembered. Unwilling to wait long enough to get a glass of water, I dry-swallowed that sucker in the blink of an eye; it took over an hour, but eventually the medication worked its magic and I fell asleep around 4.

Now I realize that I was experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. It’s no wonder; I’ve been on benzodiazepines for over a dozen years and you just don’t go off them cold turkey, even if you’re purposely trying to stop. Which of course I wasn’t. I may not always like having to take meds, but obviously if I’m going to forget one, Klonopin isn’t the one I want to skip. Not that I want to miss ANY of them—I still remember the night back in April when I didn’t take my nighttime meds and experienced the entire bipolar spectrum in one day.  What a cluster that was…up and down and all around, all at the same time. That was another misstep I never want to repeat, so I’m extra careful to make sure I take my bedtime meds. And now I need to make sure I take all of them.

Live and learn…sigh…

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

8 thoughts on “What Fresh Hell Is This?

  1. I’m happy you were aware about what was going on with your medications and had the ability to fix the problem. That can happen to us caregivers too. When I’m concerned about Tom and really anxious, I can forget about taking care of myself and am learning to be more aware of what I have to do. It’s really hard some times. This is an important post and one everyone needs to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you had refilled your prescription! I went off Xanax about 6 years ago, deliberately and with the help of my psychiatrist. Even titrating down slowly was a living hell for about 3 months. No sleep to speak of, the sleep meds they gave me just didn’t work more than a day or so. The worse it got, the more determined I was to get off it. I loved benzos at first, but eventually, even at large doses, they stopped working. So we switched to an SSRI, I’d just been taking Welbutrin. Not as good as when the benzos were new to me, but adequate. I’m glad that Klonopin keeps working for you, it’s great when it works.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I take Klonopin as needed. I don’t know what I’d do without it. It slows down the Abilify anxiety. I have forgotten various meds before and it always takes me a while to figure out why I am feeling REALLY weird. Sorry you went through it but at least you figured it out and it wasn’t some new problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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