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  • Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)



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    Old 01-23-2009, 05:54 PM   #1
    mel486
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    Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Hello, I am new to this group, but I have been lurking for about a week.

    Long story short... I was injured on September 1st and ended up with 3 bulging discs and a bone spur at the C5-C7 level in my neck. I'm not going to tell you how I got injured because you may hurt yourself laughing, but I experienced a new level of pain that I never thought a person could achieve. Breaking my foot or ripping the ligaments in my ankle when it was bent backwards lost their level 10 position and dropped to a level 4 pain. I spent 6 weeks in bed and was put on Lyrica (50 mg/day - I increased to 150 mg/day), Cymbolta (60 mg), Skelaxin (800 mg 3x/day), and good ole Percocet (10/325 4x/day, but increased to 6x/day).

    Four months later I woke up one day pain free. Go figure!! Don't know why, but I'm not complaining!!! I still have nerve problems, but no pain. I started tapering down off of most of the drugs about a week afterward once I was sure it wasn't some sort of fluke or I found out that I was dreaming. I keep taking the Lyrica because it stops the ringing in my ears (cool unexpected side effect), also I'm still taking the Cymbolta, because it makes the assh*les in the world more tolerable. I stopped the Skelaxin completely and for the last 3+ weeks I have been down to one Percocet a day. Even at the one-a-day level, I'm having moderate withdrawal symptoms throughout the day and especially at night (extreme chills, goosebumps, anxiety and agitation, hot flashes where I sweat in buckets, stomach muscle shivers and contractions (these are the most annoying) and involuntary leg movements).

    Not realizing what I was doing and w/o doctor's advice, last week I tried going cold turkey and spent the worst 50 hours of my life! I broke after 50 hours and went back on the Percocet. Yesterday the Pain Management doctor told me that he doesn't handle long term pain management and he basically said I was on my own when I asked about what I could do about my withdrawal symptoms (that should be criminal!). I absolutely dread going back into the withdrawal stage, but I know I will eventually have to do it. So, I'm at Day Zero and trying for Day One.

    The best part is I have full support from my wife and family once I do decide to detox. My wife helped me during my 50 hour episode and gave up sleep after working an 11 hour day to help me cope with the withdrawals. I don't want to put her through that if I can help it.

    Questions, questions, questions! Boy, do I have questions. The biggest question I have is what are the physical/physiological/psychological dangers of going cold turkey other than the extreme discomfort, massive mental and physical craving and my inability to climb walls adequately? Is there anything dangerous that I need to be aware of? Are people capable of going from 10 mg/day of Oxycodone to 0 mg/day, or am I kidding myself thinking it's achievable? The various drug councilors that I talked to yesterday, as well as my family doctor recommend tapering down even further before I try to drop it completely. Will the withdrawals be any less severe going to 0 mg from 2.5 mg or 1.25 mg? Or, will the withdrawals be basically the same? My HMO plan wanted me to do the 5-day, in-house detox, but I'm sure they are talking about using Suboxone as a substitute and I'm not going that route if I can help it. Any help or education would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post - I love to write. :-) Thanks!

     
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    Old 01-23-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Hello Denon

    Welcome aboard. Many blessings on you as you work your way off the opiate. I tapered off Oxycodone first and then Xanax. I was on straight oxycodone, about 12 fivemgs tablets per day. In my own experience, the slower the taper the better. I pretty much followed the 55-10% Rule.... tapering only that small a portion each time and then gicing my body 1-2 weeks to just before I dropped again. (not every drop was the same symptom wise). Using this rule... suggested to me by those who had gone before me, I actually had to smash pills and pick up the proper amount with a wet finger and lick to ingest. I was determined to stick to the procedure and not waver, so it came down to crumbs before I finally walked off. I am not going to suggest that it was an easy thing, but it was able to be done. I had many other problems ocurring at the same time ( I had had a complete breakdown), but still was able to taper successfully.

    As long as we continue to move forward, never upping a dose once a cut has been made, the ending is pretty anti-climatic.

    I wish you all the best and know that you will succeed with the help of your family ( I read another post of yours).

    With all hope
    reach

     
    Old 01-23-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    denon,

    Welcome! I agree with Reach.. The best was to taper is slowly.. I felt my taper looking back was a little quick but I was able to get thru it. I suffered the whole way thru but it's doable... Sounds like you have gone thru a lot... most of us have.. That is what got us all in this boat to begin with.

    It sounds like you have a great support system and that is awesome. I know it seems scary and the withdrawals really SUCK BIG TIME but it's so worth it.. I think for you... If they taper you nice and easy.. it will not be NEAR as bad as the 50 hours of hell you went thru.

    Stick around... I love reading long posts... Usually I am writing long posts. To answer your question about the aftermath of ending the pill cycle.. I am over 70 days clean and I still struggle.. The mental part of this process has been a tough one.. I still miss taking the pills.. However, I fight the cravings and move past them and you can too... Thru my taper program and after it for about a month I fought some bad depression but that does eventually get better too.. After a while... you see things more clearly again and the fog starts to lift.

    Good luck on your journey and stick around and make yourself at home! You will be in my thoughts and prayers!
    ~Secrets

     
    Old 01-23-2009, 11:17 PM   #4
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Thank you Secret1983 and reachout for replying.

    I'm taking the taper down approach and I only took 5 mg last night and so far none today. I've had some of the withdrawals, but they have not been as severe (although I have not tried to lay down yet). What I plan on doing is pushing through the withdrawal effects until I can't stand it any more instead of popping a pill every day at the same time. I figure that this might push me further along down the recovery path.

    Last night I went 28 hours before I convinced myself that the right thing to do was to taper off and not go cold turkey. I fell to the mental craving while I was dealing OK with the physical craving. Disappointing, but I'll feel better about it if I can make 28 hours again tonight.

    Two symptoms that have appeared that I don't know if they are withdrawal related or not are a tickling, irritating cough (irritating that it irritates my wife) and I @%$# ache all over. My lower back, my legs, my shoulders all ache. Is it that now that the drugs are wearing off that the aches and pains that it was covering up are reappearing? If I take a Skelaxin, the muscle aches go away. Skelaxin is a muscle relaxer.

    Well... I'm heading to bed and see what happens. Thanks again!

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 06:30 AM   #5
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Yeah, those mighty leg pains and back aches are a *****! I would lay in a tub of extremely hot water. Till one day I had a seizure, didn't stop me from doing it again, but my husband pulled the bath tub out and put a shower only. I still stand in the shower and let the water pulsate my back. The only problem with this is I have a huge electricity bill and the hot water eventually runs out. Get help! Don't think the hospitals will help you. Cuz they didn't. I found a doctor who prescribed suboxone and with in 15 minutes my life changed. Suboxone is another drug, but it doesn't have the effect like taking a loratab or oxy or percacet. YOU DON"T GET HIGH! But instead you feel ok.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 06:35 AM   #6
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    No one understands how you feel especially hospitals. They think 5 days in a rehab will cure you. You have the rest of your life to deal with your addiction. Your mood swings, your pain, man everything is controlled by that pill. Suboxone helped me and got me back on my feet. Right now I am dealing with running out myself. It is my fault but it is still a *****. If you think that someone understands your pain your wrong. Anyone who has not been down the road of addiction and DT's is no help! Stick with this site, It is good to have someone there that understands you, and says "man I've been there!"

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 06:43 AM   #7
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    I don't have much more advice to give (everyone here is so amazing and helpful) but I wanted to lend my support. Day 6 here - and yes, the muscle aches suck ***. I started exercising - that way when I hurt - I knew it was from more than the w/d symptoms. I'm sore today but I know a big chunk of it is exercising and that helps tremendously mentally.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 01:22 PM   #8
    mel486
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Well, I met my goal yesterday and I barely made it to the 28 hour mark. 22 hours after my last tapering down pill I was sleeping and suddenly woke up from a dead sleep, jumped out of bed in full crave mode. I had all of the mental and physical withdrawal symptoms in full blown mode, as well. I started my walking routine around the house.

    My wife woke up and asked how I was doing and I didn't have to answer because she saw it. She just had an operation three days ago and she's my number one priority right now making sure she's taken care of. Of course, the doctor put her on Percocet also. :-( She needed to get up and I helped her and then she started walking with me. She feels that the walking helps her deal with the surgery pain. She is also very conservative on taking the Percocet pills. So we walked around the house together, her with her pillow tucked against her stomach, walking and talking. If a peeping tom looked in our window he would think we were crazy. My wife realizes now after her surgery, other people don't know what you are going through until they have experienced it themselves. We talked about smith9 and the comments she made about dying and she told me that even though she didn't know who this person was, she was praying for her.

    Since I have so much idle time on my hands (while walking), I think a lot. I found out that the cravings lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour, so I try to stay busy during those time periods. Lately, I spend it mostly on this forum reading about other people's dependencies. Once the physical withdrawals begin though, stay with me until I take another pill. So, I'm Day 2 into my tapering down. I'm going to stick to my 28 hour goal for the time being before bumping it up to 30 hours. It totally screws up my life's schedule, but I'm not working right now, so going to bed at 6AM isn't hurting me too much.

    Since I'm completely new at this whole thing, I learn more and more each day, especially from the people on this forum. This is my support group. When I was placed on Percocet for my pain, I was totally naive about the complications once I needed to stop taking them. That part was never explained to me, but when you are in excruciating pain you don't care. If the doctor said rubbing dog crap on my neck would ease the pain I would have followed my dog around the backyard waiting for a fresh load. You just don't care other than relieving the pain! One day my wife and I were shopping about the time I started tapering down off of the 60 mg/day dose and I told her that I needed to go home. Once I got home, she went back to shopping again for about another hour. I was cold and shaking, so I went to bed under the covers and quilt. I don't really recall the whole incident, but I do remember thrashing my head back and forth. When my wife got home, the dog met her at the door and immediately walked fast to the bedroom, basically telling my wife to follow. He knew that something was wrong. I heard her say, "Are you alright honey?" and I came out of whatever state I was in. I now know that I had experienced my first withdrawal and I was totally baffled by what had just happened. I didn't even tell her what I thought I just had experienced. I still didn't know anything about the drug I was taking.

    The withdrawals started coming more frequently and more severe, even though I was still taking moderate doses of Percocet. I got down and stayed at 10 mg/day for a few weeks, fighting daily withdrawals, when I realized I needed help. The doctor that put me on Percocet just turned his back - sorry - no help! I turned to my family doctor for help and he is willing to help me slowly get off of the drugs. He was ready to write me another lower dose script. I'm just more aggressive about it and that was why I posted in my original post about going from 10 mg/day to 0mg/day. I've subsequently determined from the people on this forum, that I need to taper down further before jumping off the cliff. Thanks for everyone's support!! Again, sorry for the long post - I STILL like to write :-)

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Thanks for the prayers guys, I got chills when I heard someone out there was praying for me. I know the feeling of being turned away from your doctor. I am doing okay right now. But I do want my medicine sooo badly. I will keep you guys informed. Take care.

     
    Old 01-29-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    A few years ago when I was just taking one 5-MG oxy per day (geez, to have those days back!), I had to get off them because I was interviewing for a new job and knew I'd have to take a drug test. I split the pills and tapered down a quarter-pill at a time. I ended up having no withdrawal symptoms that way. Ahhh, it felt soooo good to be off them. As soon as the job thing didn't work out, I went back on them.

    When I got into long-term pain management, that doctor gave me a larger monthly supply, so naturally I started taking them earlier in the day, then a higher MG each dose, etc., to the point I am now -- four to six 15-MG pills a day, split into various doses.

    Yes, I remember the irritating cough from heroin withdrawal. Also, sneezing like 10 times in a row. I did that this morning (because I hadn't had my morning dose yet) and my new puppy looked at me like I was crazy. It's hard for me to take showers during withdrawal because my skin gets creepy-crawly.

    Anyway, Denon, I wish you luck and I actually wish I were in your position of tapering from such a low daily dosage.

     
    Old 01-29-2009, 01:21 PM   #11
    mel486
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    NotPerky - it's a mind over matter thing. You just have to decide that you are stronger than the drug you are taking. Read the little story I wrote on the forum called "Hello, My name is Oxy." That is how I felt with my battle. I am soooooo close to being drug-free right now I can almost count the days on one hand. I'm pushing myself hard and I have a very determined mind. You can do it too. You just have to decide that you are stronger and more determined than your drug is. I wish the best for you!!

     
    Old 01-31-2009, 05:57 PM   #12
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    What I really should do is tell the doctor my situation and have him cut me off (after I'm done tapering). But I'm too afraid. If I know I can't get any oxy, I may want them more. If I have a supply of them, and can control the taper schedule myself, I think psychologically it will make me stronger. I am so looking forward to the day when I can re-join the "normal" people who don't live their lives around their narcotics....don't have to count pills, because they don't take any....can take a vacation without worrying about whether they have enough pills....don't have a razor blade on the kitchen counter so they can split their pills....etc. etc. etc.

     
    Old 01-31-2009, 08:32 PM   #13
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    I think you need to be honest with yourself and your doctor. The doctor isn't going to judge you. They are there to help people. It sounds like you're at the point of desperation and that is when the honesty with yourself needs to shine.

    The reality is, you need to say that you ARE going to quit. Not taper down to a lower dose, but tell yourself that you want to stopping taking the Oxy all together. You can't do it alone. I can't do it alone either. We both need help from other people to get us through this.

    I talked to my Insurance company's Substance Abuse people today. They wanted me to check into a hospital right then because of the level of my withdrawals. My wife and I agree that Monday I will probably go in-patient for detox if I don't see any improvement. My withdrawals are too much to handle anymore and they are getting more severe by the hour. Do I feel shame? Yes! But, I am going to do whatever it takes to get the hell off of this drug so I can lead a normal life. I didn't ask to be this way - I was given a drug that I had no idea what its effects would be to stop my pain. Now I have to deal with it, just like you have to deal with yours and make the decision to come clean and completely detox no matter what it takes. I know you can do it. Please take the steps to do what you have to to say enough is enough and I want to be normal again. I want to do what I want, go where I want, and be completely free. You can do it!!!! I am.

     
    Old 01-31-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    Denon, I wish you the best, whatever you decide to do. I have stuck to my schedule today and have another 7% cut scheduled for tomorrow. I have gotten through methadone withdrawal (the WORST and LONGEST, IMO)....that was 30 years ago and I was straight for all those years until all this back pain started...but anyway, I know we both can get through this! Keep us posted so we don't worry if we don't hear from you for awhile, OK?

     
    Old 01-31-2009, 09:17 PM   #15
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    Re: Day Zero, trying for Day One (Percocet)

    I'm still toughing it out. My wife is extremely supportive and helpful. If I have to increase my dose temporarily to get the withdrawals to stop, I will. Then I'll start all over again. I'm tougher than this drug. One way or another I will detox completely and start living my life w/o worrying about the withdrawals.

     
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