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Old 05-31-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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Scared, almost ready--long post

I drove 1-1/2 hrs yesterday to see a pain specialist at his home. At his home? Yep, he doesn't have an office yet as he's "between positions. On the way to his place I added up how much I'm spending every month on legal pain rx's and was appalled when I realized it's around $600. I know I'll be filling his script today or tomorrow.

Including him, I've now got 4 docs each prescribing 90 Norcos or Watkins (hydrocodone 10/325). (3 from online referrals, + my PCP.) In total, I take 30 mg at a time, usually 2-3 x/day, IOW, 60-90 mg/day. A year ago it was just 10 mg/day! Then, intake went to 20 mgs, and about 3 months ago, I jumped it up to 30, and before 3 shakes of dog's tail, it was 2, or 3 times a day.

A month ago, one night I smoked some weed and had waves of anxiety wash over me about this abuse. Now, every time I smoke up I'm filled with the need to clean up my act before something terrible happens.

I'm afraid the hydro is going to permanently damage my brain chemistry. I've taken trazadone, lamictal, and abilify for years to manage major depressive disorder and can say it has been very successful, but now I'm afraid that eventually these meds won't work anymore and I'll plunge back into the dark side.

I'm a writer and worry that the abuse is going to destroy my creativity. I work 8-10 hours a day because I love what I do. I have 5 children, (2 adult, 3 at home--8, 12, 16). I'm a widow now for 8 years, and finally free of grief. I do a lot of self-analysis and just last night began to accept the fact that perhaps I'm using to fill the void found in being a single mom, in addition to having a biological weakness. I live in a very upscale community where the moms all seem like straight arrows who do tons of volunteer work and have no financial worries and sometimes I feel like an anchovy in a can of sardines.

So far, the use doesn't seem to have effected my family life or work, although I have to force myself to come inside (I have a detached-from-the- house office) and be with the kids for family time at 7:30 every night. I also seem to have developed some social reclusiveness, in that I just don't feel the need to socialize outside of my, granted, large family.

Yesterday, for the first time I deeply prayed that I'd just plain want to stop because up to now, I simply haven't felt like I wanted to give up the pills. By late last night, almost like a miracle, I'd begun to really feel like I was ready at last to start researching recovery options.

So, I began googling "hydrocodone treatment" and found this site around 11:30 PM. I wanted to know what to expect in terms of WD and any medication that might ease the symptoms, as well as the viability of out-patient treatment. My research also revealed that I'd been doing what I discovered is called "doctor shopping" and learned that that is a federal offence, which absolutely terrified me.

Although I have a housekeeper who can watch my children 4 days a week, there's no way I can leave for 30 days to 6 months for in-patient treatment. about 25 years ago I kicked a cocaine addiction cold-turkey with once a week therapy. I know I can do this again, especially with prayer, but again today I will pray that my new found "wanting to quit" feeling will be re-inforced to the point I can begin. My only brother, who was filled with promise for a productive life and the father of 3 very young children, died several years ago from a heroine OD and I never dreamed I'd end up in my own quiet midnight of addiction.

Today, I will begin by lowering my dose. My pattern is 10 AM, 1 PM, 3:30ish PM. What has really frightened me is that over the last week I've added an evening 30 mg "boost" around 10 PM--even though I know I'll be going to sleep in a couple of hours, and even though I don't get much of a high by then. I don't know if it's better to skip a "dose", or just cut back in 10 mg increments, IOW, 10 mg/day for 1 week, an so on.

I'm grateful you've managed to read through all of this. Writing about my problem seemed like a necessary step toward recovery.

If anyone has any suggestions about the gentlest way to detox, if there is such a thing, I'd sure appreciate hearing about them.

My name is R and I'm an addict. I'm afraid my life will become unmanageable. I am powerless in my addiction. I trust in my Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Thanks for listening.

 
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

i suggest the thomas recipe for detox if you can't go into a treatment center. i have used this in the past and tapered. but it is really for going cold turkey. I hope the best for you.

 
Old 05-31-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

hi R,
i know you believe in JC. trust me He does not want you to do this alone. get with a room full of people just like you and let Gods healing power take over your life.
this is not meant to be done alone.....

 
Old 05-31-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Smile Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

so i take it these are not for pain , you dont mention pain at all , just getting high , NA is in you local phone book or a drug crisis referal , i heared alot of those online md referals are not legal , well you put it out on the table , this is full blown addiction thanx for getting honest with us now get honest with yourself , it only gets worce, some will cottle you , but i will tell you like it is , that is how i got clean by getting honest , an doing what ever it takes even in house treatment , so many make up excuses why they cant do this or that , its up to you i noticed that 50 plus people look at your thread but only 3 respones , there are so many that will stand back after reading your thread an say nothing . not me or a few others we will help , so if your reading this thread help this women. just remember you are worth it , there are other alernatives, keep us updated , an read other threads an reply to them , its 1 hand helping another god bless you , you are doing the right thing , you will be ok , an just so you know i been there , i am a recovering addict, scott, read about suboxone

 
Old 05-31-2009, 10:02 PM   #5
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

Hello R - I have to agree with 56789 - you should look into NA where you live and work with a group to discuss your problem and get additional advice. There will be time when you need to talk to someone right away and people in the NA group can respond right away. Then start a tapering program to slowly get off of the drug and get yourself clean. Do it especially for your children, because the drug is not only affecting you, but your family. I realized that after I was off of the Percocets how much it hurt them.

Yes, oxycodone does change your brain's chemistry, as well as your whole body. It will take time for it to change - it is a long process that you have to set a goal to do and stick to it. Every time you look at your children, say to yourself that you are doing it for them.

Tapering is not reducing the number of pills a day, but reducing the total dose you are giving your body. Try lowering your dose from 90 mg/day to 85 or 80 and see how your body reacts. You make have to split pills in half or fourths to get the right dose. Try that for a few days before lowering again to 70 mg/day. You should drop about 10-20% depending on how your body adjust to the lower dose. Your body is expecting the 90 mg/day and you have to allow it time to adjust to the lower doses. For me going from 60 mg/day to 10 mg/day wasn't as hard as going fro 10 mg/day to 0. I tapered too fast (2 months) and I suffered severe withdrawals during the process, as well as having to go back up to a higher dose and taper again. If I had to do it over again, I would have listened to the people in this group to taper a bit more slowly and I would not have had the problems that I did.

Also, consult your doctor, even if they did not prescribe the meds, they are there to help you. There are meds that can make the withdrawals less severe (something I didn't find out until after I was clean). In-patient detox these days is a one week process, followed by recovery groups or NA meetings. You might be able to get some assistance from friend and family during the treatment to help out. It's something to consider and will knock many, many weeks off of the detox process.

I wish you the best and keep us informed how you are doing.

 
Old 06-01-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

Thank you all so very much for caring enough to reply.

56789, I got started using hydro due to a series of surgeries. I have degenerative disc disease and get terrible headaches, but that's no excuse for how deep I've gotten into this addiction.

Last night I downloaded the meeting directory for NA in my area. There are a lot to choose from and they are offered 7 days a week. There's a meeting tomorrow night I want to attend, and one at noon. I think I need to go to both.

I'm too ashamed to talk to my primary care doctor about this, but if suboxone really helps I want to take it. I'll have to do a little more research. I don't want to end up dependent on yet another substance. Meanwhile, I'll try to find the Thomas recipe.

Right now, at this very moment, it's the wanting to quit that's hard. I keep going back and forth, but overall my fear is getting worse than the jonesing.

No one, and I mean no one, knows about this. I'm going to tell two friends, a married couple, and that's it other than the folks at NA. He's got 25 years sobriety from alcohol and she's a very kind and perceptive person. I've known them for over 30 years and feel safe with them knowing this about me.

Denon, I'm not exactly clear on what you're saying will knock many weeks off the detox process. Talking to friends? Or doing in-patient for a week? Someone told me that good out-patient treatment with daily meetings and something like suboxone is as effective as in-patient. I can't separate myth from truth with this info.

I am so afraid right now. Afraid of failure. Afraid of going on like this. Afraid I'll get into terrible trouble. It's a long list of fears.

Today, so far, I cut back 10 mg out of 120. I can't believe my tolderance to this stuff.

 
Old 06-01-2009, 08:52 PM   #7
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

All I was saying is in-patient detox is one week (at least what I was going to go into was) followed up with out-patient visits and group meetings. It is faster than doing a 2+ month taper if you cannot afford to take that long. Personally, I would consider something other than suboxone - do your research though and make your own decision. Search on suboxone in this forum and see what some other people who were on it have to say. I would also consider talking to your PCP because there are other drugs like clonidine or Valium that can help with the w/d's symptoms to make the detox process a little more bearable. Good luck to you.

 
Old 06-01-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

good for you glad your going to meetings, i go offten my self ,as far as subox one, my friend after many times of trying to stop, he tryed this ,an it works for him ,without all the harsh side effects. personaly , iwas able to taper from oxy , he was not. he has a set time to stop the sub , its a tool not a substatute , my mind was closedto these type of drugs , if you sawmyfriend an how much it has helped him , you do what works for you, but i opened my mind to this med ,along with, other forms or tretament self help councleing , a plan,god luck to you keep us updated

 
Old 06-02-2009, 01:18 PM   #9
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post


Congratuations on your decision to quit!
I made that decision 5 years ago and have never regretted it! A bit of history so you know where I'm coming from. I drank alcoholically for 30 years and used varied substances for the last ten years of that, As a medical professional I had easy, no questions asked access to almost anything I wanted. It all started as a deep seated depression for which I was self-medicating. On the suface I was a highly functional successful, nurse, mother and wife. It all came crashing down in 2004 when I got tired of the whole thing and tried to kill myself. My husband not knowing what to do took me the the ER of the hospital where I worked. There was no hiding anything after that- all my cover's got pulled. I ended almost losing my license to practice, almost getting divorced and almost losing my son. Today those almosts are history. I live a beautiful life and you can too... I'd like to comment on some of your thoughts to help you feel less alone.....please allow me to share my experience, strength and hope with you and all who struggle.

Last night I downloaded the meeting directory for NA in my area. There are a lot to choose from and they are offered 7 days a week. There's a meeting tomorrow night I want to attend, and one at noon. I think I need to go to both. Good for you while the AA/NA community may not be for everyone I fervently believe I would not be alive today if not for those good people, attend , listen and don't be afraid to speak it can and will help if you want it too......

I'm too ashamed to talk to my primary care doctor about this, but if suboxone really helps I want to take it. I'll have to do a little more research. I don't want to end up dependent on yet another substance. Meanwhile, I'll try to find the Thomas recipe. Please don't be ashamed to talk about this with your doctor - trust me he/she's heard it before. There is a lot of debate about suboxone. I t is very helpful for some people and if managed by an addiction specialist can be a helpful part of your recovery. Shame and secrets are what keep us sick. There is a promise made to those in recovery that "We shall not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it..." Look toward that promise and many others in your future.

Right now, at this very moment, it's the wanting to quit that's hard. I keep going back and forth, but overall my fear is getting worse than the jonesing. What you are feeling is 100% normal it's your addiction talking to you, you can and will get through this.

When you look around you at all those perfect housewives remember that many of them look at you the same way. Many of us lead lives of quiet desperation. We really never know what goes on in another person's head.

As for treatment programs ... again there's lots of debate but the answer is you choose what's best for you.... I did an intensive outpatient program in conjunction with AA/NA meetings. I also worked with a psychiatrist and therapist for close to four years (We also had to take out a second mortgage on our home to pay for it all). In-patient programs are great and the only answer for many but they are tremendously expensive and with the current economy may not seem realistic to you. If you can afford in-patient and have someone to watch your kids I highly recommend it but don't beat yourself up if out-patient is all you can afford. The good news is that since addiction is recognized as a disease that needs treatment most expenses related to treatment are tax-deductible even if they aren't covered by insurance.

Take heart and keep praying, you will get through this and see the other side.
Write to me here anytime and I will write back.

Peace and Namaste my friend

Hppygr8ful

.

 
Old 06-03-2009, 08:51 AM   #10
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

Two days since I've had my NA list of meetings and I still haven't gone. I know that'll be the real moment of truth, but, Oh my, there have been a few other moments lately....

I managed to not "bump" up dose last night. I've got high blood pressure and started on meds for it about 6 weeks ago. Last night I had about half an hour of feeling a little dizzy, almost nauseous, and shakey. Maybe it was hypoglycemia, maybe it was that my BP dropped, but whatever it was it made me worry about a detox and all of the physical side-effects. I've thought that for me, the psychological need would be the biggest challenge, but after that weird episode last night, I have to accept the fact that, yes, I *am* worried about the physical aspect of detox. I'm hoping that with a long, slow tapering it's not going to be bad.

The fear of my addiction was so powerful last night I couldn't sit still. The fear was so bad I almost took another 30 mg, but I stayed away from the hidey-hole where I keep my stash.

I filled another Rx yesterday, sitting in the parking lot of a new pharmacy hoping there's no cross checking, thinking I can't wait any longer to start this process. I've got to go to a meeting today. I've just got to.

Late yesterday afternoon, after 120 mg, for the first time I really felt the hydro was having an impact on my work. It was harder to concentrate and I found myself reading something totally unrelated to the topic I was working on, and having to reread the same paragraph multiple times to just "get it".

Maybe writing about this will help.

My routine: 8AM I do a devotional. 8:30-9 I start my work. 9:30-10 I start thinking about taking some and forcing myself to wait as long as possible. I've made it to 1 PM by just immersing myself in my work, but usually I break down by 10:30-11AM and have my first 30 mg "dose". For some reason, in a couple of hours I'm thinking about it again and by around 12:30-1 I'll take next 30 mg. Sometimes, I can wait til 3:30. Then, for the third and last time of the day, it'll be around 5 PM and I'll keep working til 7:30 when I go inside for family time with the kids.

I seem to be able to go the next 16 hours or so without jonesing, then the routine starts all over again.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard some preaching that said the dark side, call it the Satan if you will, will often be found in our favorite place. Well, my office is my favorite place and that's where I keep my stash, hidden behind some files in a bottom drawer with the last empty bottles so I can keep track of which one is up for refill. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start keeping all of this out of my office to eliminate the association between work and pills. I don't want to not be able to work. I've even started writing down which doc/which pharmacy/which online referal for face2face so I won't get confused.

I've been thinking about my late brother lately and wishing I could talk to him, commiserate, go back to the time when I could have better held his hand. I know he'd understand where I'm at today and be there for me. Meanwhile, I *am* going to open up to my oldest son and that couple I mentioned in my original post. I think it's some kind of step in this whole process.

 
Old 06-03-2009, 09:34 AM   #11
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

Just go to the meeting - There was time when I was detoxing and in early recovery where I just sat for 4 hours in meetings. I was scared angry embarrased but when I went into the meeting room I felt "at home" and completely understood. Also go see your DR. today. Take your rcovering friend with you for support - Your doc can give you things that will help with the physical discomforts of detox. PLus if you already have blood pressure problems your detox should be medically supervised. It's bad but not nearly as bad as you think. Trust me this too shall pass.......

Hppy

 
Old 06-03-2009, 01:07 PM   #12
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

You REALLY need to go to a meeting. Just remember everyone in the meeting had a first day as well and they know that you will be scared, embarrassed and ashamed. They will support you and comfort you on your first trip.

You absolutely need to get rid of the meds at work. I don't know how big of a company you work for, but where I used to work that was an offense that I could have been fired for if someone did find it.

You need to map out a plan for your recovery. Set a plan on how much you will take everyday and when you will drop to a lower dose and stick to the plan. Set that goal and remind yourself of it every time you look at the prescription bottle.

You're doing good and you keep on the right path toward becoming clean.

 
Old 06-04-2009, 08:58 AM   #13
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

Another day, another opportunity.

I kept dose at 90 mg yesterday, but didn't lower that the 10%. I *did,* per someone's suggestion, start a little record of what I take and what that 10% would be. I'm not good with numbers, even something as simple as a nice round 10%, but I think to lower 90 mg by 10% would mean one of my 30 mg "doses" would be lowered by 9 mg, so that I'd actually take 21 mg (probably 20 mg) one of the three times I take it.

I think I'll stay at that for at least a week. It looks like at that rate, this will be a really long road. What amazes me after reading other people's posts is that this addiction can be as powerful on a 20 mg a day habit as 120. Hydro can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse and I'm definitely in the cursed phase.

Last night I googled addiction specialists in my area and found two. Today, I'm hoping I actually make the phone call because I do think I need medical attention to monitor WD. Also, I think I remember reading that hydro can actually cause high blood pressure. Wouldn't it be something if mine is related to that? There's no reasonable explanation for why I have it, no chloresterol issues, no weight issues, and I'm not *that* old (LOL), but my family does have a history of strokes and I don't want to invite that horror into my life.

I noticed I've begun to bite my fingernails! What's with that? It began about the time I acknowledged to myself that I had a problem.

I've begun thinking about sending all my kids to camp at the same time in August so I'd have a week to do the end stage--if I'm even at that point by August--as I didn't do a "projection" timeline I don't know when this will be over. Another thing to do today...

Oh, and in response to the good advice about not keeping meds at work, well, I have a home office, detached from the house, all mine, quiet and peaceful, so there's only myself to worry about. It's my refuge and for the most part everyone leaves me alone when I'm working, which is not to say the kids don't come out from time to time, but nonetheless, I keep the hydro hidden there, hidden like some dirty, dark secret. I've come to call the hydro, "mother's little helpers". Hah! help me to the Dark Side.

One frightening aspect of this abuse is that if I weren't so worried about a permanent impact on my brain chemistry and my creativity, I'd see no reason to stop. What a tricky drug this is; what a tricky condition addiction is. How it fools us. As I wrote earlier, at this point I can't see where it's had an impact on my family. I'm thinking that maybe at the NA meetings this will be pointed out to me as I've got a lot to learn about addiction.

I've wondered if not feeling like I need to spend much time with friends is a symptom, and the fact that I don't try to get the kids out and doing more stuff on weekends. I enjoy staying at home at night with the kids, and don't even seem to have a need to seek out a relationship. Maybe the hydro is shielding me from some kind of loneliness. I just don't know because being "alone" hasn't been a problem once I got over the acute grief of the loss of my husband 8 years ago. I was an only child for 13 years and developed "lonely-only" survival skills that have served me well.

OK. Enought for now. Gotta get the kids up and off to school. Thanks for reading through all of this. I don't seem to know how to keep it short and sweet.

 
Old 06-05-2009, 08:41 AM   #14
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

Well, looks like I'm replying to myself. I'm just going to keep writing even if I don't hear anything new. Hopefully, folks won't get tired of me.

Yesterday, I plotted out a 10% detox timeline and it looks like it'll be November before I'm clean, that is, if I've done the math right.

Last night I made it to a meeting. Frankly, although the speaker told a long and poignant story of his 20 year recovery, I felt sort of withdrawn and uninvolved. There was no other sharing by people, just the speech then the Serenity Prayer.

I'm going to try a different kind of meeting today at noon in the hope that I can interact in some way. I went prepared to make some big confession and then get a lot of pats on the back. I think my expectations were out of line. I *did* get a feeling being in a room of addicts that we're all in this together.

For some reason before I left, maybe fear and anxiety, I took a 30 mg dose, making intake 120 mg for the day. Yesterday, as I think I wrote, it was only 90. I did that by taking my first dose later in the day, around 11 or 12. Meanwhile, I have a prescription waiting to be picked up at one of my pharmacy--while I still have half a bottle in its secret place. Guilt is becoming like a jacket I put on everyday.

It's a quiet morning here, kids getting ready for school without protest so no stress at the beginning of the day. Day by day. . . . one day at a time, or in my case, one hour at a time. . . .

 
Old 06-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #15
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Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

You probably went to a speaker meeting you need to look for a smaller more intimate meeting for personal sharing, however you may not receive the pats on the back you expect! While you will find a lot of support at meetings you may also be confronted by hard truths about your method of detox. If you went to a Dr. and got on Suboxone you would be off and detoxed within two weeks then take 3-6months to get of the SUB. Many people in NA quit Cold turkey (not recomended) and suffer through it. My suggestioin stands - that because you have blood pressure issues your detox should be medically supervised. If someone can watch your kids for a few days this is what I would suggest. Get your recovering friend, Flush all your scrpits down the toilet and as soon as the symptoms start go to the nearest Emergency Room - Tell them up front about your addiction and say these words - "I feel so hopeless I want to die" That will buy you three days of medically supervised detox as they can't discharge you if you are making suicidal statements. They will give you medication for the pain and discomfort of detox and set you up with all kinds of resorces in your area. I know this system intimately <removed>. It's all completely confidential proctected by HIPPA and when you get out you pay what you can when you can.

You said before that you didn't think your addiction was affecting your kids but the truth is that as long as you are using you are shutting yourself off from being a fully present mother to your children. Kids are brighter than you think and believe me they know something is not right with you even if they don't ask about it or say anything.

There is a whole new world waiting for you but as long as you have a scripts to pick -up and a hidden bottle to tide you over you will never be free. Plus the tylenol in these drugs is killing you liver which is why your BP is messed up.

Recovery is great but addiction and your substance of choice is kind of like that bad friend we all had in high school - the one we knew we shouldn't hang out with but did anyway! Even when we broke it off he/she was always still around trying to insinuate back into our lives.

I am all too familiar with that feeling of ease and comfort that comes with the first pill or drink or whatever it is that gets you through the day. I know what it's like to NEED IT. BUt when you don't want to NEED it anymore you have to set real goals about GUitting - NOt taper plans that are going to take six months. Go to you doctoctor today - remember it's our secrets that keep us sick. You can and will be able to do this.

Peace and Namaste
I will have you in my prayers this weekend

Hppygr8ful

Last edited by mod-anon; 06-05-2009 at 01:01 PM. Reason: removed profession

 
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