First I want to publicly thank MadeInPa for his well written posts that ooze hope, wisdom and grace. I look forward to reading them, just as much as you all do.

Here’s my story to share. Last Monday, my 26-year-old daughter contracted strep throat. Over the course of a week I took her to three doctor visits. By Saturday, she was worse off and I took her to the ER. (You don’t want to know what they did to her.) By Sunday, she was horrible. Another all night ER visit and admittance to the hospital at 7 a.m. Monday morning. She had a tonsillectomy due to a peritonsillar abscess Monday night. I didn’t sleep a wink Sunday, and Monday was a blur of comforting her fear and pain pre and post surgery.

I held up pretty well. I was pleased. I was able to be fully present for her and seemingly calm. It wasn’t until I got home late Monday night when it all hit me. My sx came on like an avalanche, fast, furious and not at all concerned with whatever was in its way. The old burning, bee stings, burning tongue/mouth, dizzy, head pressure, racing heart, muscle cramps, twitches, formication, dr, bone pain, and heat flushes were back.

I did my breathing techniques, and I utilized some of the CNS calming things I am training Emma, my service dog, to do for me. I am more able to ride the waves of sx, as I know that it is simply a sign that my nervous system is still not working well due to the down regulation of my GABA receptors. I am much more able to tell myself a positive story about my symptoms instead of the doom and gloom I used to believe. I know I am healing. I know I will be more functional in another 6 months, or a year or two. I trust that my healing is taking the right course.

I’m confident that my sx will return to where they were before this long week of attending to my daughter revved things up. I still have a ways to go before I am healed, but things are improving. I wouldn’t have been able to be of much help to my daughter if she had gotten ill a few months ago. Back then I was still struggling with some fairly intense symptoms. I am disappointed that my sx flared up again, but I am happy that even in a wave, the sx are not as bad as they used to be. 

My daughter will recover in a few weeks. I may take longer, but that’s ok. I am used to the marathon of healing from benzo withdrawal syndrome. I know one day, I won’t be in this long journey to the finish line forever. I am grateful I was able to cope with real life. I am happy I can at last be the mom my four children remember me to be. I was in such bad shape from withdrawal for so long, that I almost lost hope of ever being able to be of much good to my family.

We can’t stop life from happening. We have to attend to things that may flare our symptoms. I hope that when we do, we can all take good care of ourselves. I hope too, we can set boundaries. I was so fried Monday night, that one of my son’s relieved me at the hospital and stayed with his sister. I needed desperately to come home and rest and calm down my CNS. Hopefully as we all heal, we learn what helps us restore our CNS to some state of calm, that we ask for help when we need it, and that we have the courage to say “No” when we need to, without feeling guilty.

Keep fighting the good fight. It really does get better.