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Sigh....Still a struggle after 5 months....

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Old 10-07-2007, 08:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 83
Lou1 HB User
Sigh....Still a struggle after 5 months....

Hi everyone.,
The "old timers" on the board will remember when I detoxed off Hydros and Darvocet in May this year. Well, it has now been 5 months that I have been clean....but it is still far from easy. The only thing I take now is Cymbalta (for nerve pain) and Soma. I cannot believe that nearly every day I feel some sort of "withdrawal" symptom. Has anyone else experienced this? Mostly, I deal with those nasty chills with simultaneous sweating. Of course, the intensity is much less severe than when I detoxed...more of an annoyance than debilitating. But, I really thought that I would be feeling so much better after 5 months clean. I know that Soma is also addicting and I have started to worry that my body has developed a tolerance to THAT. I do take it exactly as prescribed.
My most serious threat to my sobriety is the severe back and neck pain that I endure daily (this is the monster that got me addicted in the first place 3 yrs ago). I do not know what to do. I simply cannot take the level of pain anymore. I am about ready to go back to the doctor and ask for pain meds again. I know that is not the right answer., but what else is there? I have done just about everything imaginable medically to resolve these ongoing issues, and I guess this pain level is where I will be for the rest of my life. Which is very depressing for me....kinda a catch 22 situation with no happy ending.
I don't mean my first post in a long time to come across as a whine session. I am grateful to be 5 months clean. And I thank all the members on this forum for giving me the strength and support to succeed. Now I just need the strength to face all this pain....


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Old 10-07-2007, 08:52 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2007
Location: cleveland, ohio, usa
Posts: 440
oh-notagain HB User
Re: Sigh....Still a struggle after 5 months....

hi lou,

congratulations on 5 months clean !!! when i got sober from heroin, it was a full 7months before the paws finally gave me a break, so hang in there, you're doing great !!
as far as the pain goes, i know a lot of people are taking suboxone, small doses, several times daily, to control their pain. you can look into it, at least you wont bear the risk of starting up what was already a very debilitating addiction. yes, you will become dependent and eventually, if ever, have to taper from this med also, but it could help.
just a suggestion.

and again, CONGRATULATIONS !!!!

God Bless You !!!


Old 10-07-2007, 09:23 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 838
emsmom HB User
Re: Sigh....Still a struggle after 5 months....

Hey Lou,

How are you? First of all...Congratulations!!! 5 months clean? Thats amazing.

Second, you CAN take pain meds. In fact, there are people who have detoxed after admitting addiction - and still taken narcotics. Fortunately, there are doctors who understand that some people (whether addicts or not) HAVE to take pain meds.

I know so many people who still take some form of pain meds even though they are an addict.

There are so many ways to go about this - Getting doses daily from a pharmacy (so there's no chance to mess up and take more) - having a family member keep your meds locked away (and give you your dose for each day) - applying for daily nurse home visits (he/she will bring your meds) etc...

If you are in that much pain, there's no need for you to suffer. I, unfortunately, am in the same position as you - I cannot have a rx for more than a few pills - or I'll take more than just one dose. I am currantly tapering ( I'm down to a very low dose - almost ready to stop completely), but will eventually have to begin all over again. My husband has my pills now - and will have them again when I figure out the right combination for pain relief (anti-inflammatories and percocets, most likely).

So, don't fret, and please don't accept that you'll live in pain for the rest of your life. Talk to your doctor, think long and hard whether its the right thing for you (starting up again with some form of pain med - narcotics) and take your time making that decision.

I hope it all works out for you - keep us posted and please let me know what happens. No one should have to live in pain - even if they screwed up at some point in their life

All the best,

Last edited by emsmom; 10-07-2007 at 09:29 PM.

Old 10-08-2007, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Sigh....Still a struggle after 5 months....

Hello Spidey

Buddy, I know it is still hard after five months. The truth is that it takes a full year to really have the body straighten out after detox and withdrawal. I believe this is true whether taper or cold turkey is employed. For me, when the tapers finally ended in June, I still experienced withdrawal symptoms. As for you, they certainly were not as debilitating as when I was tapering in the beeginning, but a hinderance to quality of life at times. The shivers, sweats, anxiety and agitation... yes, I understand. It is now October... I am around the year mark this week. Geeze, a year! Sleeplessness still plagues me, but the other symptoms are basically gone. A long time ago, Phil, an oldtimer before us, wrote that it takes a full year to totally be done with withdrawal and all. I nthought when I read it, "A year???? A YEAR???? A whole damn year???? I will never be able to do this." But the year has passed, Buddy, and most of the symptoms are totally gone. While some nights sleep eveades me, more and more nights I am starting to fall asleep and sleep through the night. Last night I did. Smiles.

Pain. Yes, Lou, withdrawal does not mean an end to the original pain we had, although for me the pain is less than I experienced on the drugs. Truly.

I have had to reevaluate how I think about pain. I had to learn to rethink, "What actually is a ten? Is it really only a six and in my want to be totally painfree, I am exaggerating it to be a ten? Is my mind messing with me a bit here?" To try and counter the pain, I actually have learned to accept that it is going to be a part of my life and I do little things to help cope with it. I wear good supportive shoes now so as not to put any extra stress on my leg. ( I had lost part of the thigh to cancer for those who are new). I take the time to ice and then apply heat when I am hurting. I do the exercises regularly that keep the remaining muscle strong. I use massage therapy. And I try to do these things with as much dedication as I used when I took the meds. Are you wearing a neck brace to help support the neck? Have you spoken with the doctor about physical therapy techniques that could help? Have you tried holistic supplements such as magnesium for the pain? ( It does help so much with the nerve damage!).

I know my life situation with my work now (private home.. a "grandnanny" sort of a few hours four days a week) lends itself to getting off my feet when need be and that your work is not as conducive to this pampering. however, on your break or lunch time, can you take advantage of the time to lay flat for 20 minutes or so and give the back and neck some needed relief? It could help you through the rest of the day.

Pain does hurt emotionally as well as physically, Spidey. We have to be careful always to be aware of it not dragging us down into depression. Please try or at least consider some of the things I have mentioned. I think it is dangerous to use meds just so we can push our bodies harder by masking the pain (See? I told you my thinking has changed. Chuckles). I believe we need to listen, really listen, to the pain from our bodies and take concrete steps such as a short rest when the pain levels soar. I know your work requires many hours of standing on your feet. Lou? Is this the best job for you? Is it a job that is going to force you back into the drug merry-go-round? I know you love your job, I know how good you are at it, I know management respects you and had promoted you. However, I also firmly know, and accept fully now, that we have but one go-round in this lifetime. We need to concentrate most fully on the quality of our lives and do what we must to accomodate whatever it takes for quality. For me to have to leave work I loved for so many, many years, waas devastating to me. However, while the door closed to some degree on that work, it has opened up so wide to me in similar work. And opportunities to teach are coming to me left and right on small, short duration jobs. In the Spring, I will teach for 8 Saturady mornings working with immigrants ( that was my long time work). Only four hours a morning, which is about the total limit of my stamina at a time. In the Summer, I will teach four hours a morning for 5 straight days. (it will not interfere with my grandnanny work). It will be a push for that week, but I will have the opportunity to do what I love best for a short stint.

So the doors close and open and I go with the flow. I employ the techniques that work for me to get the reprieves from the pain and lessen the levels throughout the day. Reflect on what techniques you can employ, Buddy. reflect on them without letting the depressive thoughts of woe interfere. Pain is woe, it can be a true torment, but when we must have it in our lives, we must also find coping mechanisms and those mechanisms quite often do not have to involve drugs. They just must be mechanisms that we employ as routinely and steadily as we did prescription meds.

Hugs and hope and still in my heart

Old 10-08-2007, 06:30 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 15
luvbnclean HB User
Re: Sigh....Still a struggle after 5 months....

Hey Lou,
I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm going thru the same thing as you except I haven't been clean near as long as you. Only 1 month for me. I am on suboxone which I truly believed has saved me life. However, the pain is so much now that its all I can think about most of the time. It's not even that I crave the pain pills anymore, so far, the sub has kept me from craving them at all. But now I want to take them for pain! I am so mad and disgusted at myself for abusing them because now I know I really need them. I have been eating motrin, tylenol, and aleve to keep the pain down and this barely gives me any relief. And that's the major reason I wanted off the percocets was because I knew I was killing my liver with all the tylenol. I watch closely and don't take more than 2000mg now. But the pain is still there, almost constantly.

I was like you, I was ready to say screw it, I'm going back on my pain pills and I will just take them as prescribed. But I know me and know that might last a day or two then I would be chasing the high again. And what really got to me the most was someone asked me if the pain I'm feeling now is worse than the pain of withdrawals. I thought about that and realized heck no, I never want to go thru them again! I don't know what to tell you. I'm very confused too. Just know I'm thinking about you.

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