Hey everyone! Just found these message boards tonight <removed>. I started reading and couldn't stop for hours. I was so inspired that I had to come on and thank everyone for their wonderful words of wisdom and advice. Advice that I feel may be the only thing that gets me through this horrible, awful, scary process. I'd like to introduce myself to the group. I'll try and give the short version of my story. To start off I am 24 years of age. I was injured at the age of 21 in August of 2005 at work. Messed up my neck and back pretty bad. My neck healed after about six months. My back was a whole other story. It just kept getting worse and worse and worse. I was able to work until December, 2005 when I was forced to move back in with my parents (that live in a different state) to get by. I hate it here. It's like a completely different world. I miss my home. I miss it so much it physically hurts most of the time. I miss my friends, my job, my other family members and just life in that state. I had a pretty good life there. I had an independent life there. I don't have a life here. I hardly have any friends and I don't get along with my family members that live here AT ALL. We are always fighting about something. After 2 years of fighting the system I finally was able to get my back surgery. It has helped a little, but 16 weeks into my recovery I haven't felt too much relief...which scares me more than anyone will EVER know. My average pain level has only gone down 1 point, making it at it's very best a 5 out of 10. I am doing physical therapy twice a day. I am getting a little stronger but nothing too amazing yet. And now the scariest part of my story. I will be starting the tapering off of my meds process in two weeks. I am TERRIFIED. It's all I can think about sometimes. I am absolutely more scared of this than I think I ever will be of anything else for the rest of my life. Giving birth to my future children will be a breeze compared to what I am about to face, as you all know a little too well. I'm really scared of the unknown part of it. I HATE not knowing every little detail of what is going to happen to me and not knowing how long it's going to take and not knowing that on this day this symptom will stop and a few days later this symptom will stop and a few WEEKS later these symptoms will stop. I'm used to being in control of my life and I hate that I will not be in control of what is happening to my body. I hate it. And the worst part is that whenever I try and talk to my doctor about it and ask him about the process he won't talk to me about it. He actually gets mad at me sometimes because he feels I shouldn't be worrying about this until I have to and his approach to help me to stop worrying about it is to yell at me and not answer ANY of my questions. So ALL I know about the w/d process is what I've seen "people" go through in movies or in reality shows on TV. I mean I have had w/d symptoms before from my meds but the actual process of getting off meds and the detox process and all of that I don't have a clue! I do know that my doctor thinks it is going to take 2-3 months to get off completely. Thank goodness I've found all of you wonderful people. Reading all of the messages people have written and the replies have helped A LOT. Knowing there is a community out there that can help with problems, concerns and questions is a HUGE comfort. Because at this moment I don't have much of a support system AT ALL. I mean I have my parents around, but they aren't much help. I have friends that are wonderful friends but they all live in a different state. So other than my parents being around to help with things around the house like grocery shopping and cleaning, I don't actually have a real support system. How about I put it this way, I don't have an EMOTIONAL support system. I have my doctor who is of no help when it comes to this but I do have a therapist that I see once a week, a person that I love and adore. She is willing to help any way she can. I'm glad I've found you all and found this wonderful community that can be there to help me through this ugly process. I see how supportive you are to each other and it just amazes me. Thank you for being there and sharing your stories with me and others like me. It's given me the strength to know that while yes, it's going to be hard....I can do this. I WILL do this. It's going to be a long, long, hard process but I will make it through. Good luck to you all and if I can do anything for anyone just let me know. Good Night!
P.S. I wanted to say an extra thank you to "jam338" for writing the Sample Home Detox Plan. The tips in it have really helped me to not be so worried about the whole process. I'm sure I'll being using some if not all of them. Thanks!
Last edited by mod-anon; 07-04-2008 at 10:12 PM.
Reason: Do not post commercial websites. Please read and follow the posting rules.
Nice to meet you First of all, thank you for your reply to my post.
You will get so much info from this board - answers to all your questions, support along the way, encouragement from so many wise folks on here - so just ask the questions you need answers to and know you've come to the right place!
Yes, Toronto is lovely eh? One of my favorite things to do here is walk around downtown (for hours) and shop! LOL.
Tapering and detox can be so rough on a person, however your doctor did tell you it would take 2-3 months to taper so TAKE YOUR TIME as much as possible. The longer your taper, the better. I don't have the option to slow things down, as I'm entering Rehab on July 14th. So if you're going to take any advice from me, please go as slowly as possible, follow your taper and stick to it no matter what!
Reachout tapered over the course of a year, and she learned so much about herself (body and soul) so I'd suggest waiting for her to reply to you. She has such a wonderful, delicate way of explaining things - it feels as if she's sitting right beside you, sharing a pot of tea
So again, nice to meet you - I look forward to reading about your journey.
As far as tapering slowly... my mindset about it always was that I wanted to do it as fast as possible so that it will be done faster. If I wasn't on such a high dose I'd just do it cold turkey. The thought of taking a year to get off my meds isn't even an option for me. I'd lose my mind! I'm just not that tough. The thought of going through w/d for 2-3 mouths is freaking me out...BAD. I can't imagine going through it for a year. I would really like to do it the way you were..every 3 days go down by 1/2. That is one option my doctor and I have talked about. Unfortunately he wouldn't really explain the whole process to me, but he did mention that would be one way to go. Not sure if that's how he still wants to proceed though. I understand that most of the people on the board say to do is slowly, but I don't quite understand why. Why is prolonging the w/d a good thing??? Why not just do it quickly so that you don't have to experience the w/d as long?? Maybe you or someone else could explain it to me because I just don't understand it.
As far as Toronto goes...you are NOT the first person to say that is their favorite thing to do. My ex-fiance who lives there (well woodbridge) would take the subway into Toronto EVERY day and just walk around for at least 3 hours each day just walking and listening to his ipod and thinking. I've done it a few times and it's just so relaxing! One of my favorite parts of the city is how a few buildings have cars either coming out of them or "driving" down them. I think it is so funny!
In regards to Reachout I know EXACTLY what you mean. I'm just hoping she responds to my messages. She really seems to know exactly what to say and exactly how to say it so that you really hear it and understand it. She seems so full of wisdom and I'm hoping she'll be kind enough to take me under her wing and explain things to me as she so kindly has done to others.
I was wondering how you're feeling today?? Oh and I'm not sure about protocol. Should I be asking you how you are on your message thread?? Or is it okay to ask you on this one?? I'm not sure how things are to be done...but either way, how are you?? Are you glad you have your bro's house? Are you feeling up to seeing your kids at all? I hope today is better day for you than yesterday!
Re: Confirmed date for Rehab, drastic taper starts tomorrow...
Everyone keeps saying to make sure and get Clonidine. What is a good dosage amount to be on during detox?? I'm at a pretty high dose of morphine and percocet. I just started taking Clonidine in March at .1 mg - should I up it when I start tapering in less than 2 weeks??
First, yes you respond to my questions on my post, ask me how I'm doing on a thread that I've started. If you're dicsussing something to do with your taper (or new things about you) you do that on this thread. Also keep in mind, if you're going to change topics, its a good idea to start a completely new thread (ex. clonidine)
As for clonidine, I have it every day. I take .1 mg 2-4 times a day depending how bad the w/d's are.
Ok, why would you slow down a taper?.....
You won't feel the w/d's nearly as much as if you tapered every 3 days, down by half. Going slower allows your body to adjust to that level before you come down again. Going every 3 days, you will be in full w/d and it will suck SO bad.
Lets say you're taking 200 mg of Oxycontin a day. You'd start by taking 180 for two weeks, then 160 for two weeks, then 140 for two weeks etc. The body doesn't notice it nearly as much. You will feel very little, if any, w/d.
I understand why you're wanting to do it quick like I am - it makes sense to just "get it over with" however, if I had sufficient time to taper, I'd slow WAY down. This is so rough on me. I've actually slowed mine down to every 6 days cause I was starting to freak out, and I don't want to do that until I'm at Rehab (well I don't want to do it at all lol, but thats my option )
That place in Toronto you're talking about is the BMW dealership on the DVP (Don Valley Parkway - Highway). It has a BMW built into the concrete on one side, and a car driving down the building on the other side I've always thought that was kinda neat.
My older brother lives in Woodbridge Now "thats" a beautiful place. Its 20 mins from my house, is a great place to shop (lol yep, I'm female, that had to come out) and has the best Italian restaurants! Actually, my brother is only two blocks from Canada's Wonderland (we can see it from his backyard).
You asked how I'm feeling today. Well its 4:30am and I'm awake lol. I woke up with those dreaded night sweats. It rips through your skin, hurts actually, cause you're sweating but you're freezing at the same time. Its hard to put on a sweater cause its so hot here (just like 85 degrees in the states) but you can't just wear a t-shirt or tank top cause you have goose-bumps. Trust me M, the slower you can go, the better. You don't have to take up to a year, I was just telling you how Reach did it. Some people take a few weeks, some a few months, some more than a year. Everyone is different, and everyone reacts different, but if you have the option to NOT do it every 3 days (down by half) than I'd definitely take that hand-out
I'm going to go choose a DVD to watch, as I'm sure there's nothing on TV this early in the morning lol.
I hope you have a great day Thanks for your encouragment, friend.
P.s I do see my kids every day. There's a park across the street, so I venture out when my hubby calls to say they're going out to play. He does it about 6 times a day lol (not normal) cause he knows I miss them terribly. The first night, I brought my older daughter (she's 5) with me to have a jaccuzzi. Her and I read books together, then I walked her home and went back.
Last edited by emsmom; 07-05-2008 at 02:46 AM.
Reason: I type way too fast :) Fixed my errors.
Tonight I am starting to panic...a lot. I meet with my doctor this Thursday to start my taper process. I don't actually run out of my meds though until next Thursday, so I won't start my taper until then. I don't think anyway. Usually he'll wait until my previous script has run out. I'm really starting to get very anxious and nervous. My doctor normally does a pretty good job of explaining things but when it's come to my tapering he for some reason won't explain it to me and practically yells at me when I ask him to. Not sure why though. Anyway, so I'm not sure how this really works or how bad it will be. I have lowered my dosage before and it was absolute hell. I can't imagine doing it for the 2-3 months he says it will take.
My family is trying really hard to be supportive and ask me questions about it but it seems like the very minute I stop thinking about my taper is the very minute someone decides to ask me about it. I can't seem to be able to stop thinking about it. It's in my head 24/7. I just wish I could escape it until the day it actually happens.
Last night I went to Walmart and got the majority of the things on the list from the Sample Home Detox. It wasn't 100% clear on what to take 1-2 weeks before. Does anyone know for sure what from that list I should start taking tonight?? I hope someone knows cause I'll just be guessing.
I have another question I'm hoping people will know the answer to. People have said that the first 1-4 days are the hardest in detox but I think it means if you're doing it cold turkey. I'll be slowly tapering throughout a 2-3 month period and so does that mean that I'll be feeling what most people only feel in the first 1-4 days the entire 2-3 months??? Oh my gosh I hope not.
Okay, I thought writing on here might calm me down but I'm starting to make myself freak out....so if anyone knows the answers to any of these questions please, please tell me. I'd really appreciate it.
Yes, it sure can feel scary facing a taper from narcotics. The 'first four days' thing is definitely when we go cold turkey or when we do a taper where the cut is too drastic. When I first started tapering, it was from two different meds... the opiate Oxycodone and the benzo Xanax. It was a huge mistake to begin tapers from both at the same time as they worked on two different brain systems. I went into full withdrawals and it was pretty horrible for the first week or so. Sat back down with my doctor and we revised the plan. I would continue on the oxycodone taper and finish it, take a short break and then begin the taper from Xanax. A major disadvantage for me was that before I started any tapering, I had had a complete breakdown. I was totally out of whack physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.... basically non-functioning. It was not a strong place to start from. However, even with that in play, I was able to make it and am happy, pill free and living my life pretty well.
Yes, I did taper over the course of a year, but that does not have to be your course. It took about four months to get off the Oxycodone and the rest of the time to come off the Xanax. The Xanax was much harder and must be a long, slow taper. Coming off a benzo presents some degree of danger so long and slow is the way to go.
I would start taking the vitamins from The Sample Home Detox now to build yourself up. Opiates deplete us of a lot of nutrients and we want to be as strong as possible when we start.
In tapering, we make a cut and then give it a week to ten days for the body and mind to level out before making the next cut. Sometimes I was able to make the next cut earlier and one time I had to wait almost 3 weeks to level out enough to do it. I never did find any totally predictable pattern. What I did find as I went along, though, were skills that made it possible to endure the symptoms. I learned and practiced breathing techniques to combat the anxiety that would peak a few times a day. I learned to take short walks for this also. Things that distract us from the anxiety. The anxirty would start in the pit of my stomach and if I could remember the breathing techniques and use them, I was able to calm it down in ten minutes or so.
There was also an increase in pain while tapering. This is not the primary pain we were dealing with, but a pain caused by the brain doing body searches for remnants of drugs in and looking everywhere for them. The brain also sends out a lot of signals because it wants the drugs it is used to us ingesting. This will occur until the brain begins to restore itself ( it does that, isn't that amazing???!!) As it restores itself, it will again begin producing its own feel good and pain relieveing chemicals. Understanding this made it easier to bear the symptoms. I began to be able to face down each symptom with the knowledge that it was not only a symptom of withdrawal, but also a symptom of healing.
It can all be an extremely emotional time for us. Accept the emotion on as practical a level as possible. The emotions come with the territory, but will settle down again. This is a process we go through in coming off the meds. Just have to go through it. The process does come to completeion if we follow through and we come to a place finally where all seems normal again.
I wish you well as you work through this. I went back pages and pages and pages here on this board as I tapered. It helped me to gain a lot of skills as I read how others coped. I asked a lot of questions also and took from what I read what seemed workable for me.
In response to your question - will I feel the w/d's that a person feels the first 1-4 days, for the entire 2-3 months?
The answer is no. Depending on how much you go down each time, you'll feel very little w/d. If you go down just a bit each time, the w/d will be so minimal, you'll never have to go through violent w/d (something you WILL go through if you went cold turkey).
Reach explained it great - tapering - It really is the best way to go, in my opinion.
I wish you lots of luck, take a deep breath and smile - it won't be so bad. You've come to the right place, so let us know how it goes and we're all here to help you along the way
Thank you so much for your kind words of wisdom and advice to both emsmom and Reach. I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy lives to help me deal with mine. It helps more than you'll ever know. I keep trying to think of words that will express to you how much I appreciate it but everything just sounds so stupid. So just know that I'm absolutely terrified of what I'm about to go thru and your tips and advice help so much to calm me down. You both always know exactly what to say and how to say it.
I am trying to keep myself busy until I meet with my doctor on Thursday. Both with physical and mental activities. I'm afraid once I start the taper that I won't be able to continue my physical therapy. I just had back surgery 16 weeks ago so I'm trying to get back in shape. I do PT usually twice a day and I'm worried I won't be feeling up to do any of it once I start. I'm hoping that isn't the case since my taper is going to last 2-3 months (according to my doctor). But after hearing all the advice from the kind people on here I might take it a little longer so the taper isn't so fast. My mindset was always to do it as fast as I could but now I know that isn't always the best way to do it. Guess I'll find out how my doctor feels about it on Thursday.
Thanks again everyone. I hope you're all having a good night.