I'm so ashamed. Really, I am. I've known I needed to do something about this for some time. Now, I have no choice.
My mother died yesterday. For the past 2 and a half years, she had an ample supply of Hydrocodone 10/650 given to her by her doctor, first for leg pain, and at the end, for cancer pain. Since I have had hip replacement surgery that didn't take all my pain away, degenerative disc disease, mild scoliosis and sciatica, and doctors that would only give me meds like Neurontin or occasionally Toradol, my mother freely shared her hydro with me. I started out small... one a day. And, according to some of what I have read online, it's still a relatively small addiction... 6 or 7 on a bad day.
Now, my supply is almost gone.And, there is no way to get more. I don't think my doctors would give me any no matter how much I begged. I have 14 pills left. What I am thinking of doing is doing a slow tapering off with these. Maybe 1 pill only for 7 days, half a pill for 7 days, and 1/4 a pill for 14 days. Would this work? I am terrified of withdrawals. I am terrified of pain, too, but at this point, I have to do what I have to do. And, all this while making funeral preparations and mourning the loss of my mother.
Please help me figure out how I can wean myself off of hydro with the pills I have left!
I took one or two a day up until around 4 months ago. I found that more than 2 helped not only the pain, but also helped me to cope with what was happening with my mother. No other drugs right now except thyroid medication. Average # per day since around October is 4-7.
I'm very sorry for the loss of your mother.
This shouldn't be too bad for you really..It's only been a few months with very moderate use and you could probably just stop and make it through with flu like symtoms for 4-5 days is all.
I'd say maybe take 2 a day for the next 3-4 days, then 1 a day (split in half) til they are gone, and try to end it when you have a few days to recuperate. You shouldn't have to mess around going less than 1 pill a day. It would just prolong the suffering.
There's a thead here that has detoxing ideas....don't make this out to be too big a deal ...you'll get through fine, this time...but learn your lesson because you were on your way to bad times if you kept it up....and it is really important NOT to take any more after these are gone, even if your doctor does offer them. Keep us posted how you do.
If you're taking between 4 and 7 per day and have for some time now, a good tapering program needs more than 14 pills. Without knowing any other information, I think you have these choices:
(1) Taper the best you can...Say 3 the first day or two, then 2 for several days, then 1 for a couple, then a half. Once you get down to 1, you should be in good shape. Just as an fyi, your body will have the most trouble with the first part of the tapering since you're adjusting downward quickly, so use most of your pills on that end of the spectrum. Ideally, you'd like to be able to taper more slowly, but that isn't an option here. There will be some WD with this option, but some form of tapering will help a lot, but you'll have to fight through some of it inevitably.
(2) Check yourself into some type of rehab. They will help you taper and give you meds for all the WD side effects as well as the stress. The big advantage here is that they'll also give you meds to help you sleep. One of the big WD symptoms is the disruption of your sleep cycle. Many of the rehabs available today are extensions or "wards" of hospitals. I'd be willing to bet your local hospital has an addiction and recovery ward. You can also look up "narcotics assistance" in the phone book...There will be a 24hr # and someone you can talk to and get advice, especially about treatment options. If things get bad enough, you can always to the ER and they will route you to the right place from there.
The good news is that you are correct in saying that your addiction isn't nearly as bad as many others. Hydro isn't nearly as addictive as many of the schedule II drugs. The bad news is that it's still addictive and it isn't easy by any means AND you're going through an awful lot right now....The stress of your mother dying only complicates things. If you feel that you are very strong or can't go to rehab, then option one will work. Otherwise, I'd suggest option 2 which will undoubtedly address all your issues.
Cat, I am so sorry about your mother. If it is any consolation I am going through a taper right now with a usage about the same as yours. Mano is right about getting through this in a few days. The physical symptoms are not really bad. Some anxiety that can be handled with a beer (or 2) if need be. The real pain will be in your heart. Try to pass on being ashamed, that won't help you with the true healing you have in front of you. Good luck and blessings to you.
I have a standing script that limits me to 3 -7.5 hydros a day and I take 5-6. So I am out for about 6 weeks which will give me plenty of time to think about quitting the hydros all together. I still take Tramadol and that helps. I had major back surgery 1 1/2 years ago and that really helped. I have degenerative disc, and the list goes on. I can feel the disease moving up my spine and that scares me. I use my pills to prevent pain and also to keep an even keel. I take 1/2 a pill usually at a time every couple of hours. Well now they are gone and I only had 1 yesterday, I do have 1/2 left for today but I have to wait until this afternoon when I have to sit through 3 hours of meetings. Sitting kills me. (I also have an chubby 8 month old grandson who I can't keep my hands off and he kills my back , neck and shoulder, and it is so worth it.) I do have legitimate pain but is it really bad enough to warrant what and how I use? No! So in 6 weeks I will see if I can control my usage or just be stong enough to stop using and see if I can't find another way. Thanks for asking YP. You have a lot of good information.
Cat, I hope you are managing today. Keep moving, you might even ask you Dr. for some sedative to help you sleep because of your loss. That is not too much to ask and it will help with your withdrawls. Take care and know we are thinking about you.
Cat - I'm so sorry about your Mom!!! You have so much on your plate right now I want to say I know you feel but I have no idea the pain you have in your heart right now. I mean it's your mom!! Hugs to you
From the sounds of it you have a pretty good plan set for yourself. I would stick to what you had planned and you should be ok. The part that worries me is the depression that sets in. This is so hard that I finally had to get some help wth it. With all that you are going through I would highley suggest it!! I was taking the same meds you were only I took them for eight years. I am three weeks clean and here to say you can do it. The first week or so is the hardest part becuase you can't sleep, your restless, you just don't feel good but it does pass. In many of my posts I talk about picking my butt up off the floor and dragging it with me and thats what I had to do everyday. Be strong and let us know how you are doing!
Im sorry to hear about your loss. I can relate somewhat. My mom passed away in November of 2005 from stage 4 lung cancer. It had spread to internal organs and bones, She was on extremely high doses of any and every pain killer you can imagine. OC, Morphine, Perc....
It was hard for me to have that many meds in the house with my husband who has a pill addiction. Not only did I have to look after my mother who was dying, but had the added stress of counting the numerous pills everyday, sometimes 2x a day.
I hope your road to recovery is one paved with encouragement and relentlessness pursuit.
Red- You have a standing script with refills, I assume you are PM patient. Since you have regular pain, have you thought about asking your Doc for a higher qty, higher dose, or different med? You might want to consider a long acting med like Oxy or the patch. If you've been on hydros for a while, you've probably built up some tolerance and the pills more through your system pretty quickly. Before I moved to long acting meds, my lortabs would only work for about 2 hours, max! This is where the long acting meds come in. The patch is great, but gets a little itchy...At least for me. But if you think you can live without meds for good, then god bless you. I guess it comes down to the lesser of two evils. For me, I have chosen the meds. But, I have to admit the thought of stopping and seeing if I can tolerate the pain crosses my mind.
Six weeks is a long time to wait! Best of luck to you and hope all will be ok.
I got through the day fairly well. I had only 2 pills. The worst thing was aching legs, like all the muscles in them were extremely tired. Hot baths and a couple of jiggers of Old Charter helped that! I am not a drinker at all, so those two were taken little by little over the course of the day. Tomorrow is my mother's funeral, and I am sorry to say I am glad to still have the crutch of two pills to help me through it all. I think once this is all over, it will be easier for me.
My mom had fentanyl pain patches,too - 25 mg. I was never even tempted to try them after reading the literature in the box! She had a few of those left, but I discarded them by flushing them down the toilet as the literature suggested. She also had oxycodone. Tried one of them once... didn't like it. I flushed those too. The few little blue hydro that are left seem like gold. It's the euphoria of the hydro that I like. They gave me energy and made me alert... something I needed when caring for someone who was sick. And, they relieved my pain so much. On my last doctor visit, last week, he mentioned Ultram, Cymbalta, and Topamax as things that might help my pain. That was when he gave me the Toradol I mentioned in my first post, but you can only take that for 5 days. That was my 3rd time to have the Toradol, and I did not mix it with the hydro. It's really funny how someone as leery of drugs as I am could get addicted! I know to be careful of Ultram, but what about Cymbalta and Topamax... are they addictive? I know I will need something else for this pain, and at least these would be my own scripts. I was supposed to see the doctor again today, but with everything that is going on after my mother's death, I rescheduled for next week. I took Neurontin with hydro for a long time, but from now on, I am going to be very cautious about what kind of medicine I take, as I know how easily I can get too fond of pills. Anyone ever taken Cymbalta or Topamax?
I don't think I will have a problem sleeping since I have gone on 4 hours of sleep each night for the past couple of weeks because of caring for my mother. I can tell with less hydro in my body today that the lack of sleep is catching up with me!
Hi Cat, I am so sorry about your mother. I lost my Dad when he was 43 to cancer and I know what you must be going through.
Reading your post I know you think you are addicting to the hydros because you like the way they make you feel. But, do they not help you with your pain as well? When you take one and life seems to "get better" maybe that's because your pain has eased up and that in itself makes life easier to deal with . My opinion is that if you need them for pain, don't feel guilty for taking them. Go and see your doctor and tell him/her about your pain issues and your fear of addiction. I think narcotic pain meds are out there for a reason and that being many people truly need them.
Don't be so hard on yourself and try to get through these next few days. God Bless and take care!!