Four weeks into the drastic Xanax taper I had a stroke.

I am a chronic pain patient. I have been harmed by the current governmental push restricting opioids. Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia after becoming ill in 2001, my pain had been effectively and safely treated since 2003. I have had pain since my teen years, long before I knew what opiates were.

In January of 2018 the Xanax I had been safely taking since 2001 for severe sleep issues was suddenly, unexpectedly, forcefully, rapidly tapered. Four weeks into the drastic taper I had a stroke. My son took me to the doctor with confusion and altered consciousness. Instead of looking for a cause the doctor assumed I had mis-taken medications, wrote a refill for the pain medication I was on, and a small amount of Xanax, and told my son to take me home. Later that same day my son took me to the hospital. I was there four days. A gross mistake was made on my intake history, a medication I had been prescribed for sleep, Seroquel, was recorded as being taken “100 MILLIGRAMS FOUR TIMES A DAY” instead of the correct “one 100 milligram tablet at bedtime”. With this wrong assumption in place it was, again, assumed I was having a medication problem and assumed, again, wrongly, that I had a psychiatric disorder such as bipolar.

When I awoke in the hospital my right hand was curled in a fist and I could not straighten my right leg. In the hospital records it is recorded that I had “drooping on the right side of my face.” In the political push to demonize opiates proper diagnosis of the stroke I experienced was not done. Once I could eat, drink, and walk, with stable vital signs, I was discharged. It was suggested I stop two medications. I did, not understanding all the mistakes made in my “care”. After the hospital stay I had to find a new primary care doctor, my old physician had dismissed me because he suspected, wrongly, that I mis-took my medications. The new physician did not know me. I was struggling to understand what had happened. About 8 weeks after the hospital stay an MRI was done. The new primary care physician told me I had two small strokes. I asked for physical therapy to help me walk better and to help the pain. I also asked for a neurologist appointment and pain management. The doctor said, “We don’t know when the strokes occurred, physical therapy won’t be covered, do you want to see a chiropractor?” What? Really? I know when it happened…

Did the rapid, forced taper of Xanax contribute to, or cause, the strokes?

That was just over a year ago. I have had zero stroke care, no PT, no neurologist appointment, and no pain management. This current governmental push to limit opioids has many victims. I am one. My 23 year old daughter moved back here from another state to help me, her life also altered by these events. After going to a few doctor’s appointments with me she believes, as do I, that what was written in my medical records has drastically altered my ability to get rational medical care.

I have been slandered by a doctor, mistreated by a hospital, denied care by the system and, with no pain medications I am now housebound. I cannot drive, I cannot go shopping by myself, it is very painful to just get around in the house. With the pain medications I can walk, shop, even ride my bike on a good day, as well as look for part-time work. If doctors had not been pushed to drop chronic pain patients I don’t think this would happening to me. These policies are a nightmare for many people. This ILLEGAL DRUG CRISIS should have never been allowed to interfere in the doctor patient relationship. People are dying and I am trying to not be a casualty of this war.

7 Responses

  1. The Wall will not stop drugs from coming into this country, they will find other ways, they always have and they always will. Legalize it and it will stop the drug lords in their tracks, stop the violence and stop the black market. Follow Portugal’s lead, it is the only way to win the war on drugs, Many state have already seen this and started safe injection sites, as long as someone is still alive there is hope for them, be it sister , brother, father mother etc..Canada is doing now as well, the US. why are US soldiers guarding the poppy field in Afghanistan ???? SO much money is made on illegal things.

  2. Hi, I can so relate, I am soo sorry for what has happened to you, we all need to continue to fight and have a voice in this horrific devastating effects of this opioid and other drugs crisis, as we know it is fake, but the drug issue is from street drugs, yes there were a few bad cos out there but they are long gone and we are left with the total fear in all doctor now in prescribing any kind of scheduled class drugs. Xanax included. It is important that each and every person on here write to Conf=gress, Senate and to the Attorney General letting them know your feelings on this. We should not be made to jump through hoop after hoop and be denied medications for real pain and anxiety and sleep issues. It is proven that Fibro stops the brain from going into REM sleep. Over time the sleep deprivation adds up and has major issues on our bodies. So Please make your voices heard !!!I hope you are getting the care you need now, and are progressing well. Very sad that we are hurt so badly because some choose to be irresponsible with their medications and street drugs. Pain patients are responsible.

  3. Please find an attorney. Keep trying till you find one. If you have been harmed, that’s what is sounds like to me, you have a good case. I’m angry and I’m very sad reading all you’ve suffered at the hands of incompetent medical staff in both hospital and doctor’s office. God bless you with justice and with that justice you can afford proper medical care. You deserve the best!

  4. The Presidents “build the wall”It is all mexican,iranian garage lab produced fake fentanyl shipped into America!!!These people in govt.are needing all those sedatives for themselves as they panic over ‘what to do’they arent fooling anyone!!

    • Do you really think all illegal drugs are coming across the border?

      • Actually a legally produced pharma opiate when it gets into the hands of someone that has the legal right to possess it – pt with a Rx, pharmacy, wholesaler, pharma – it AUTOMATICALLY BECOMES A ILLEGAL DRUG IF you notice on the label of your Rx it probably states …CAUTION: Federal Law Prohibits the transfer of this drug to any person, other than the patient for whom it was prescribed.

  5. Doctor and the Government both now believe everyone just takes Xanax to get high as they say with other drug to get a better high. They have forgotten there are many illnesses that people take them for Anixity, Panic Attacks and Sleep disorders just to name a few. It is true and sad the drug addicts do take them just to get higher but for the patients that do take them for the right reasons are being in a situation are being killed. Tapering a patient off Xanax that truly need them is very dangerous it is 100 times harder than a addict getting clean the if they do survive it, they are left with the same illness they started taking them for. There are going to be many more suicides to come for this reason people with Anixty and Panic Disorder or GAD would rather die than have to live with the torture it causes. We are smart enough not to take Pain medicine and Xanax at the same times you have to take them at separate time when you take them to be safe. I truly believe the Government is trying to get rid of the Drug Addicts, CP Patients and Elderly at the same time to make the United States a all healthy Country. We all worked to try and make this a great country and the Government is letting us all down. We need to live not die we love our Country and just want to live out our lives as much as we can without Pain and the stress it is causing us all. We want to matter and enjoy our Families please.

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