Friday, March 16, 2012

Post 47 - Breakng Up is Hard to Do *

After 46 entries to this blog dating back to August of 2009, I had just about run out of topics when something unusual happened a few days ago which has provided me with a whole bunch of fresh material.

Last Tuesday was an unusually busy day for me: first a car trip to a town about 15 miles away to check out a power wheelchair, then lunch at a local restaurant, a return home to clean up in preparation for a monthly Condo Board meeting where a proposal of mine was to be discussed.

The meeting began promptly at 4 pm and progressed as usual. The next thing I remember was coming around in the ER of our local hospital. I remembered bits and pieces of the meeting but nothing of what took place afterward or going to or being treated in the ER. Fran tells me I was exhibiting most of the classic signs of a stroke, except the numbness - but definitely the slurred speech (more than usual), the forgetfulness, the blank stare, and a lack of awareness about one’s surroundings. After comprehensive blood tests and a CAT scan (neither of which I remember) and a call to my GP by the ER doctor, I was sent home with an order to see my GP soon to evaluate what happened.

My GP saw me yesterday morning and he did a full neurological workup that, along with the tests at the ER, pretty well ruled out a stroke. What probably happened, and why I titled this entry, ‘Breaking Up is Hard to Do’, is because I forgot to refill my prescription for Paxil and decided, on my own, to replace it with a some of my surplus supply of Citalopram which is in the same SSRI family as Paxil. Naturally, I didn’t check with my GP first, or I would have learned that Paxil is very “hard to break up with.”

BTW – My GP has written me an order to refill the Paxil which I have already filled and starting taking. Hopefully this foggy sensation, which comes and goes, will clear up completely. I’ll report back next entry.

Note:(4-6-12) Concerning Post 47 - I've resumed taking the prescribed dosage of Paxil and everything is back to normal. Lesson learned!
*My apologies to Neil Sedaka, the Julliard graduate and popular singer from the 60s and 70s who twice had a Top 40 hit with a song of this same name.


  1. Whoa! I'm so glad that wasn't a stroke. I didn't realize that could be a side effect of stopping Paxil suddenly. It must have been terrifying for the family.

    If you felt like blogging about another topic (please don't abandon us!), I would love to hear about the early days when you met your wife or had your kids or hear more about your life.

  2. Dear Steve and Fran, I thought this article might be helpful for you.
    Best wishes.

  3. Hi Steve, I've been following your blog for a couple years now, and for some reason find it really cathartic. My mother has MSA and hasn't found a healthy outlet like your blog. I check this site on almost a weekly basis, and when I read the title of your last entry, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," before I read the entire entry, I was afraid you were going to quit blogging. I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your insight and really look forward to reading your blogs, I hope you don't quit anytime soon. I'm not much of a blogger, and I don't normally read or write on them, but I wanted to let you know I appreciate yours. Family members of those who have MSA need an outlet also, and I guess reading your blog is my outlet. Can't really explain why. Thank you Steve, for sharing.

    1. "Following for a couple of years." Wow! You deserve award or something!

  4. Hi Steve,
    i am from iran, my mom is suffering from MSA since 2009, what did u have done to get better? does stem cell treatment work for this disease?
    i am very worried,please let me know how we can do for her?

    1. Mahboub - Sorry my reply has taken so long. Nothing has worked for me, including stem cell treatment. Stem cells may cure MSA in the future but they need to do more study and research now. How is your mother doing?