I just posted this as a reply but then thought maybe this might help y'all.
Part of what is helping my taper is seeing when I feel like I need Norco - when are the weak/rough times. I've heard of this for people dieting, too - think of this as like a "food diary". I call it my Norco Diary.
Each Monday I take an index card and divide into 7 columns with the days of the week across the top. Everytime I take a Norco, I write down how many, and at what time. I also use the following codes to help me pinpoint the WHY. I keep this card on my desk at work, right in front of me, so I can see it and reassure myself that I'm doing so much better than the day before, etc. Seeing the whole week at a time is proof positive that I can beat yesterday and aim higher for tomorrow. It's sure helping.
When I first started doing this, it was to keep me below the 4,000mg daily amount of acetaminaphen (Tylenol) that is part of Norco. I used to think I could remember how many I had taken during the day. I don't know if I was just deluding myself, or really had such a poor memory but I realized just how many times I exceeded that limit and was putting my liver in serious danger.
So, the codes I use are:
A = Anxious
S = Shaky
WD = Withdrawal symptoms (for me, runny nose and goosebumps)
PL = Painful Legs - this is mostly at wake up time - I've posted about this before - I get intensely burning pains in my calf bones.
B = Bored
BP = Backpain - the reason I started the dang pills to begin with!
It is mind boggling how few times I truly have back pain.
Anyway, I know how simplistic this sounds, but if you want a true picture of how many and WHY, try this for a day or 2. But I'm really posting this to hopefully keep all of us safe from liver damage.
Now that I'm tapering, it keeps me on the time schedule much more accurately, and thus keep my body on an even keel.
Last edited by DroopyEyes; 01-31-2008 at 05:27 PM.
A diary like that is an excellent tool to help us through tapering. I kept a log also and it really, really helped me. I kept it for the first six weeks or so. Like you, I marked when I took my dose and how I was feeling throughout the day.
I kept to a really strict schedule of when I could take a dose. As the days and then the weeks wnet by, I could look back and see that the ymptoms started just a bit later each time. Day by day. I suffered withdrawal between doses and it was really, really rough sometimes, but I forced myself to endure them until it was time for a dose again. We acclimate the body and brain little by little that way.
I guess the truth is that we are going to have some pretty miserable times on a taper, but those times start to become shorter in length and farther apart little by little, baby step by baby step. I wish it could be less exhausting, but the truth is we either suffer between schedule doses and bear with it or we stay forever stuck in drug limbo. The time to fight unfortunately comes when we least feel like fighting. Push, push at these times. Fight those withdrawal symptoms consistently and eventually it is all over.
Those burning calves, Droopy? The aching legs? These were maddening symptoms for me, too. However, they were one of the first symptoms to go. Severe when withdrawing, but quick to leave once I was done. I used lots and lots of Saln Pas patches and pasted them up and down my legs. The menthol sensation seemed to distract me from the pain and I could rest then.
I wish you well, Droopy. I know the struggle well. I am past it now, but it hangs there in my memory for sure. It will end, my friend. All the symptoms do go away. My head started to clear more and more as I went along. Now I even fall asleep pretty well and stay asleep for the most part. It is a natural and refreshing sleep.
Stay strong. There is sunshine for your life again at the end of this tunnel.
that is such a great idea. I was thinking of starting one a few months ago but never "got around" to doing it but now I think I will start one tomorrow morning.
How did you find time to constantly keep writing in it tho?
I work alot and i'm a driver for a company so i'm on the road every day all day so i'm wondering how i'm going to find time to pull over and write what i'm feeling.
only five more days left till I have my first appointment at the clinic!
Hi there Joaquim, I still laugh thinking of that time I thought Joaquim was the name of your loser ex, not your fabulous present!
sorry if confusing, but this isn't a diary, per se -- it's just the index card, with those 1-2 letter codes. As I take the Norco bottle out of my workbag, I can't take the pills (which I lay on the index card on my desk) until I write them down. So for example, a day could look like this:
2-0530PL (I took 2 at 530am for painful legs)
2-1000A (I took 2 at 10am bec I was anxious)
2-1545WD (I took 2 at 345pm bec the withdrawal symptoms were too much)
etc etc. Then I just tally up the total for the day and move onto the next day. Simple, quick, routine.
Reach --- I get what you're saying and as always, you keep me/us motivated and proud of the baby steps, which become normal, healthy habits as time goes on.
Thanks to you both.
Last edited by DroopyEyes; 01-31-2008 at 06:58 PM.