Last Wednesday, I felt like a zombie all day. As many of you know, I've been going through some rough times in life particularly since mid 2018. At that time, I had been on anti-anxiety medications for approaching a decade and now over a decade. I am unable to sleep or function without them and also do get panic attacks that have occurred publically in the past.
TLDR: Though the backstory is critical to understanding my experience, yes, I was clinically dead. There's no bright lights, no hovering over your body "seeing" what's happening, no seeing angels, other beings, previously deceased people, etc.. It's just like you did not exist, nothing, complete blackness, no consciousness of anything, & I am a spiritual person so I found that odd. I am not saying OTHERS don't experience that; I just didn't. Maybe I need to "shape up" in the spiritual department. Made me question some other beliefs of mine too. Definitely some "come to Jesus" moment(s).
Back to the story....Little did I know being on benzodiazepines long term, and if you happen to run out or, are between docs without a script can cause severe rebound anxiety, insomnia, trigger PTSD flashbacks (PS I have PTSD), worsen depression, cause you to have a tremor - mostly in my arms and hands, increase suicidal thoughts, and perhaps worst of all can cause no warning, non-epileptic seizures.
I have a career and education within physical therapy and know a thing or two about drugs so I knew already some epileptic patients take the medication I am on for anxiety SOLELY FOR THEIR EPILEPSY.
Ironically, from the same med or class of meds you can also get non-epileptic seizures AKA, "pseudoseizures", AKA, PNES (psychogenic non epileptic seizures), AKA benzo withdrawal seizures.
They are not true seizures. I was once hospitalized 4 days after one. The doctor ran every test for EPILEPSY - MRI, EEG, CT scan. I do NOT have it. The only other test is a lumbar puncture test to withdraw spinal fluids but risk of infection is too high so no thanks. The best course of treatment is do not cold turkey the meds, learn effective and healthy ways to manage stress, & find a doctor that KNOWS WHAT PNES IS! The medical community at large is clueless about non-epileptic seizures. I can't tell you how many times I've been treated like I was just there for drugs. Believe it or not 10-12 years of med school doesn't necessarily make you the smartest tack or magically grant you common sense! Doctors are glorified and in my adult life at almost 32, I have had maybe 4 competent ones who actually listened and didn't act like I was making it up because they forgot about it or never encountered it.
I've had at least eight of these that I'm aware of. I had two this past Wednesday. My fiance took me straight from our place to the ER after the first one. MY MEDS WERE ARRIVING THE NEXT DAY, BUT THERE WAS A DAY SHIPMENT DELAY! Imagine if there was no delay, I wouldn't have went through this hell.
But, everything happens for a reason...
The first seizure I felt like I had been beat up. My left calf muscle went into such a contraction it was sore to the touch & I was limping. The doctor wrote me some meds to tide me over and we left to the 24hr CVS pharmacy to fill them. Short wait. But, when it's time to get it in your system seems like an eternity. You get really nauseous, along with shakiness, and alternating hot swings & cold chills, little to no concentration, and a wretched headache.
They called my name and I picked up the script. On my way out my fiance called my attention to something he thought I would find cute, which i did. That's the last thing I remember. Other than coming to, horrid nausea, wretched headache, and paramedics surrounding me. I was like "What?"
In case I forgot mention, I have no memory of the seizures themselves or the time right after and just prior.
My seizures have been described like typical looking seizures. I thrash around, bite my tongue & lip, some have said I drool. With epileptic seizures one typically bites the thickness of their mid tongue, with these it's the lateral or side portions. I've had multiple concussions, once requiring 5 staples.
Seizures, near death, really?, you might be thinking/ asking. This seizure at CVS, my face and lips turned blue, indicative of no oxygen. There happened to be both a retired nurse & medic shopping there. I lost a heart beat for 3 minutes. They started CPR on me. Fiance caught most of my fall. I landed hard on my butt and and my lower back hurts from the compressive force. I am afraid it could be injured. It was like voluntarily sitting down from a complete stand. Very jarring to the lower back. I will get it imaged soon to make sure I don't have permanent damage.
Again, yes, I was clinically dead as I indicated in my TLDR. There's no bright lights, no hovering over your body "seeing" what's happening, no seeing angels, other beings, previously deceased people, etc.. It's just like you did not exist, nothing, complete blackness, no consciousness of anything, & I am a spiritual person so I found that odd. I am not saying OTHERS don't experience that; I just didn't. Maybe I need to "shape up" in the spiritual department. Made me question some other beliefs of mine too. Definitely some "come to Jesus" moment(s).
If I could go back in time, I would've never let a doctor put me on a benzodiazepine med (xanax, klonopin, ativan, etc.) Unless your doc knows you can only be on it for a very short period of time and a supervised taper.
I am currently unemployed, on food stamps, soon unemployment, & free healthcare. My profession suffered a major slump last year thanks to awesome really dumb, unrealistic legislation by President Donald Dump. Today I got a call about what would be my dream job and informed that dumb legislation is going away because it doesn't work. They are moving me along and already negotiated a handsome salary with me. But until I have that position I am taking advantage of what my tax money the past seventeen years went towards!
I'd say it can't get worse but I have lived worse. My aim is, be my best self. Take advantage of opportunities even if they're not my top choice.
Well, thanks for reading. Be well and drop relevant comments below. Love hearing from all.
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