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Old 01-13-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

Good evening,

I am a white male, early 40's that has suffered from chronic/nagging back aches for the last 8 or so years. After every test under the sun (MRI's, CAT scans, x-rays, bone density testing, and the list goes on and on - the docs have determined that there's nothing "structurally" wrong with my back and that it's strictly a muscular tension issue. I've been on every muscle relaxer, anti imflam.'s, etc. there is. The only consistent, effective relief are the addictive narcotics - hydrocodone to be specific. I've been taking 3 of the 7.5/500 per day for the first two years and for the last two years (due to the tolerance factor), I've had to take 1.5 three times per day. I can clearly see where this is going and drew a line in the sand w/myself 12 days ago to completely rid my self of these pills and start treating my aching back w/exercise, diet, more rest and generally taking better care of myself.

OK - having the above, I will describe these last 12 days with no hydros in hopes that some of the more experienced folks here and give me some input as far as if I'm on track or not.

Day #1-#3 Back ached real bad and was very nervous/anxieous. Took Xanax these day. Little sleep at night.
Day #4-#5 Back didn't ache as bad but began to feel depressed. Didn't take any Xanax today but still very little sleep at night.
Day #6-#7 Back ached real bad but had little to know depression. Took Xanax and still little sleep at night.
Day #8-#9 Back mildly ached but still had the depression. Took Xanax with little sleep at night.
Day #10 This was the day I've waited for - no aches and very little depression. Didn't take any Xanax but still hard to sleep and stay aspleep.
Day #11-#12 Back not aching at all but depression still prevelent, taking Xanax and still little sleep.

Any all posts to this w/advice, tips, etc. will be throughly read and studied. Am I on track with this cold turkey dropping of the hydros? Am I doing the right thing by treating my depression w/Xanax? At present, the real issue is my depression and spontaneous crying which happens a few times per day.

Thanks so much and God bless,

Hydronomore

 
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

Wow! You're doing great. When do you plan on dropping the xanax?

mk

 
Old 01-13-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

yeah man! keep it up - not long to go till you're toally there - ive no idea what xanax are - but as mk has said - when you dropping them??

keep going mate!!

yoss

"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

It sounds like you are doing as well as can be expected....Congrats on day 12....that is GREAT! It sounds like you are being careful with the benzo and only using as needed...that's a good idea for the first few weeks. You should now work on an exercise routine, even if you start with walking a mile every day. Exercise is the best way to jump start your natural endorphins, which have been asleep for some time now. By the end of the month you should be starting to feel real good and sleeping through the night...maybe you could get a sleep aid for the next week or two, so you don't need as much benzo. And ibuprofen (Advil) seems to work much better than acetaminophen for this type of discomfort.

Congrats on making a really smart decision to get clean...my last advice for now is throw away any pills you may have stashed...too much of a temptation for you if you have any around.

Keep up the great work, and welcome...I'm new here too!

mano

 
Old 01-13-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

Sounds like to me you're doing awesome!! I know that you're not feeling that way yet, but every day will get better. Just try to taper down off the Xanax, and you'll be great! We're all here supporting you! Let us know how you're doing...

g8trgrl

 
Old 01-13-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

Hello Nomore

Nice to see you posting. Before I address anything else, I want to comment on what a wise man you are for seeing so early on where the tolerance so easily leads us when using opiates as pain relief. It took me nearly 11 years to understand that with opiate use for pain relief, there is no place but to up on dosages and on to even stronger and stronger opiates to gain the same relief. Good for you, good for you. I hope others in the early stages read your words as words from the wise for the wise.

The depression and spontaneous crying is a totally typical symptom of withdrawal from opiates. Opiates do mask pain, but also do some sinister things to our brain chemistry. They take the place of naturally produced chemicals whose purpose it to keep us feeling balanced and keep a sense of well-being in us. When we take them in, the brain stops producing its own chemicals for this purpose. What is happening to you now is that the brain is readjusting and in the process of repairing itself ( quite a wondrous ability!). Until that process is completed, the depression, the spontaneous crying, will occur. I hated, hated, hated it! However, once I understood what was happening to me, it was easier to endure. Understanding that it is a process of rpair was very helpful to me.

As Mano has written, we can actually sped up the brain into producing what it needs again with as much exercise as possible. Not being able to exercise vigorously, I also did other things that help. bear with me as these techniques may sound kooky, but they are tried and true. Sing out loud, really loud. Peppy songs. Dance and move in rhythym to music with a perky beat. Paste a smile on your face even if if is not a sincere one. The physical smile actually stimulates the brain into a happier state.

I know this is a very trying time in withdrawal. I feel your pain, but assure you that you will come out totally better and okay again. It takes time. Small improvement can happen daily, but with certainity, it can be felt week by week. I would urge the utmost caution with the Xanax. It is in the Benzo Family and benzos are a much more difficult withdrawal. ( I came off oxycodone first and then Xanax.).

For sleep, try Melatonin for a cpule of weeks. Can be found at any healthfood or drugstore and is what our bodies produce to help us know it is time for sleep. Try a 1.5 mg tab first. Do not take more than 3 mg a night. Take it about one hour before bedtime. Know that sleep is ofte the last thing to fall into balance again. Lack of sleep sure can be trying and exhausting, but long before we drop dead from lack of sleep, we will fall asleep.

I am so very, very happy to read your post. While I am sorry for your suffering now, it is going to be far less than it is for those of us who followed the opiate and benzo trail for far too long. I sure wish I had had your smarts a lot of years ago. Be well.

Many, many good wishes
reach

 
Old 01-13-2008, 06:58 PM   #7
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

hey nomore sounds like your doing great. keep on track man and nomatter how tired you get don't give in. i am only going into day 4 after a six week taper and i really think i am starting to notice the difference. i am not there but i can see it and its lookin pretty good. have a good night and keep posting, it helps

 
Old 01-13-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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Talking Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

greetings and welcome ! you are to be commended for your wisdom and strength. many of us have been or are still traveling the same road as yourself. YOU HAVE MADE IT 12 DAYS !!! (applause) that's great. be aware that there are such a thing as "phantom pains". the opiods are so powerful that your body may burden you with painful symptoms that initially led to the taking of meds. try to wait them out. ALLEVE was the best over the counter pain med for my back ( two ruptured discs w/ leg nerve pain). the withdrawl symptoms will subside but be aware that it is a slippery slope that is easily fallen into again. don't allow yourself to rationalize why it is okay to start taking them again with the common mentality: "i am in pain so i deserve to be pain free (*disclaimer*i recognize in some patients case is actually a very true statement), they make me happier, they give me energy that I need to be productive, i kicked it once so i can quit again if i need to, etc..." seek out the proper doctor that will help you and honor your goals of not taking opiod based pain medication. be careful with the XANAX because it has been documented that "people who consume "X amount" of mgs per day for "6 months" or longer may have seizures, coma, or death as a result of withdrawl much like DT's from alcohol. i don't recall how much xanax you are taking. cymbalta helped me with pain and depression. it is non-narcotic but as with any medicine there are pros and cons. HANG IN THERE ! we are proud of you. i have been rid the medicinal monkey of hydrocodone (70 to 130 mgs per day) for almost 4 months and life is better. i had to recognize the problems associated with the meds and turn my love/ hate relationship w/ them into a sentiment of pure disdain but impulses and cravings can arise spontaneously. we are here for you and congratulations !!!! ...... ms1

 
Old 01-14-2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

You sound very similar to me as far as the back pain goes and the addiction to opiates. I sure wish I had 12 clean days under my belt! Congrats, you are through the very worst of the withdrawal symptoms, though I suspect each case is different and unique for a variety of reasons. I'm on Oxycontin (80 mg every 8 hrs) and Hydrocodone (30 mg every 4 to 6 hrs) and started taking them about 10 or so years ago after surgery for a herniated disc. My back pain and back problems all began soon after a car accident 25 years ago. I went from doctor, to doctor, including several of the area's best Orthopod's, a Reumatologist, several Chiropractors and 3 Physical Therapists over the course of 15 years and each one had either a different opinion or none at all, which was very depressing and discouraging to say the least. Because of the absence of any definitive diagnosis, my supervisors within the Federal government agency that I was employed with, labeled me as some lazy, lying malingerer who was trying to get out of doing his work and you cannot believe the emotional abuse and constant harrassment that I was continually subjected to in an effort to try to get me to quit my job before I had in enough tenure to qualify for disability retirement benefits. Thankfully MRI technology had just been developed and was becoming available, which gave me and my doctors a first clue as to where the problem that was causing my pain was located. Naturally the government wasn't interested in that either, being a new and "untested diagnostic tool"! That should serve to show you all what insightful visionaries are involved in government management! No wonder we're going down the toilet!

Anyway as you can see from my doseage's and length of time that I've been taking these pain meds, I was resolved to be taking them for the rest of my life. Having been through a week of withdrawal several years ago, I've never been so sick in all my life, including the time I had Salmonella, and you ain't been sick until you've experienced that! After a week of being so sick I was contemplating ending my life, I decided that I'd never intentionally place myself in such a situation as that ever again. I'd sooner die than go through that again! Had it not been for my love for my wife, children and family I may well have taken my life I was so sick. Now I may be faced with that exact decision as I've had some blood tests come back showing a decrease in my kidney function. I'm now scared to death that my doctors are going to yank me off my pain meds and I'm going to have to endure a most hellish nightmare of a withdrawl. I'm tempted to just cancel my kidney tests and not do anything to disrupt my flow of pain meds, but I want to be around to see my children all graduate from high school and college and have families of their own one day. Ideally I'd like to go through the rapid detox as I've heard lots of good things about that method in reducing and managing the withdrawl symptoms, but my **** it's so expensive that I know I'd never be able to afford the treatments much less the plane fare to one of the few centers that offer it. I am impressed with this board and the people here and hope to learn a lot from you all. My hat is off to you all for your courage and your determination to pry this opioid monkey off your backs. Perhaps I will find in you the same wisdom, strength and courage to do what I know I must do before this crap kills me. Hang in there and may God Bless you all!

another Steve

 
Old 01-14-2008, 02:44 PM   #10
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

Ladies and guys,

Thanks so much for posting a reply to this. I assure you that I've read every word over and over again. Some great advice, tips and etc.

To be honest the last few days haven't been too good as I will "break" into crying spells sometimes and sink deep into the bowels of depression. I immediately take my Xanax and before long I'm back on my feet again. I'm weighing the risk of the Xanax and for a very brief period of time that I will take it, I feel very confident no addiction should arise here. As a matter of fact, I'm seeing a dr. in a few days to confirm/deny this.

I look at the people on this board and I am amazed at the folks (like myself) that are going through this hell but am more amazed at those willing to help. And I can tell by their word choice, etc. that they've been there before and my hat's off to you.

I keep thinking of two phrases from the bible that says, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me." As well as, "With God on my side, who (or what) can be against me?" The older that I get, the more that I realize the truth behind these two verses.

Without the Lord, I would have never gotten this far. I'm saying a prayer as I type this for the others out there struggling. May He be you all.

God bless,

hydronomore

 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:25 PM   #11
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

Good evening,

Day 15 is about to wrap up here and I just thought that I would drop a line or two. The last few days I've done reasonably easy but for some reason today took forever to end. I am still suffering from chronic insomnia. I went to the family dr. this afternoon and he told me that I was doing very well and he seemed somewhat taken back that I'm doing this cold turkey. He prescribed me 3mg of Lunesta. We'll see how that works tonight. Need some good sleep soon as I can tell I'm starting to get worn which I can always tell when I start having leg cramps for apparently no reason. Spririts are as good as I feel can be expected as I try to stay busy at work and as "upbeat" and as "positive" as I can be when at home w/the family. The dr. told me that I should be completely out of the woods in another few weeks. I don't know about that. I'm sure that I will be much better but question the "completely out of the woods" part.

Is a month apart from my last hydro enough time to completely be "out of the woods?"

Most importantly, I pray constantly. As a matter of fact, I talk to God in my head all day long. He and I have had many, many conversations here lately. My two favorite versus "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me." and "With God on my side, who (what) can be against me?" None of my "quit" efforts are of my own. They are truely heaven sent.

All my best,

hydronomore

 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #12
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

hello hydro, I am from herriman,ut just down the road from you. Lunesta will help but take it as prescibed. It leaves a very bad taste in your mouth. You are doing a great thing going cold turkey and admitting you have a problem and doing something about. Just remember what you went through if you are ever tempted by pain pills again.

 
Old 01-26-2008, 06:46 PM   #13
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Re: First time poster - Day 12 w/no hydro - Am I on track?

hang in there buddy. you are doing great. we are proud of you. the lunesta is good for sleep. don't expect it to stop you in your tracks but if you take it and lie down and try to relay it will lull you to a nice state of sleep. let it happen and don't think " is it working? how about now?" red is right about the taste. i always said that i wake up and it tastes like i've been sucking on a roll of pennies all night . it has a distinct metallic taste. be sure to have 7-8 hours to sleep and be easy on the alcohol because the mix of the two WILL stop you dead in your tracks. i hated the ambien. the amnesia they speak of is the real deal and it was not a fit for me. anyway, keep it up. take it one day at a time. ...... ms1
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