Discussions that mention methadone

Addiction & Recovery board


Hi Dallas Alice:

For so long now...I have been meaning to post a message to you....

First of all, let me say I am SO PROUD of you for choosing a recovery "plan" and taking such a big step toward a whole new life. In reading your posts on other threads, I can tell you that what you are experiencing with the methadone is really quite common. For some people, it can take a while to find their adequate, or stabilized dose. I know that you just want to get there...but try to be patient, you will get there. It sounds like the clinic you go to is run very similar to the clinic I go to. In the beginning of my treatment, I thought I was never going to get stabilized. The nurses and doctor reassured me that I would, and they were right. I really can't remember the exact length of time it took, but if I had to guess, I would say it may have taken 4-5 months. I seemed to have several wd symptoms that would not go away. One of them was the runny nose and eyes, especially my eyes. The corners of my eyes were completely cracked from constantly wiping them. Now, this isn't the most painful symptom, but terribly annoying! My sleep pattern left much to be desired. My doctor ended up giving me something for that (trazadone, I think?) that did help for a while. I eventually went off of that, it seems once I was stabilized on the methadone, I didn't need it anymore. I also had an awful time with getting hot and sweating profusely (pretty picture, huh?....woman drenched in her own sweat with cracked nose and eyes looking like she was in a state of constant confusion from lack of sleep) Oh well, I'd take all of this over the addiction to the pain pills any old day. The doctor told me that I had been on "so many pills for so long", it may take some time to get me to a stabilized dose.

I think you are doing really well, and I hope you can hang in there until you feel comfortable at a dose that works for you. I think Rockingam mentioned the "no right dose for all"....don't get caught up in too low or too high?? Just be concerned about the dose that works for you, if it seems high to somebody else, oh well, maybe it is for them, but not for you. You seem to have an honest rapport going with the staff, that's more important than anything. They need to know they can trust you, and if they can, it will only be of advantage to you.

As far as "take homes", I really don't remember the guidelines, or timelines that are used to determine when a patient can start getting take homes. I have been in the program for some time now, have always had clean UA's, have complied with all treatment requirements, and kept all appts...so at this point I only go into the clinic every other Thursday, which is just about twice a month. I (seemingly) lead a very normal life, with very little inconvenience or hinderence from the methadone treatment.

I really wanted to get into your new job!! But unfortunately, my little one has wakened and is looking for me. I just want to say for now that I am so happy for you that things seem to be falling into place for you. It sounds as though you like it, and I bet you have stories that most would love to hear (including me). It's like you've had this strong, guiding hand hovering over you in the last couple of months. I'll bet it was the same guiding hand that led me to a life of recovery, which in turn led me to a life filled with joy, and laughter, and pure, genuine appreciation for life's blessings.

I want to close by saying that I will do anything I can to help you in your recovery journey. If you have any questions, any at all, whether about methadone or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask me. I think of you often, and I know others on this board do as well. Please take good care, and I hope to hear from you....................... Fondly ~ Jen
Rockingham, I am sorry if I haven't mentioned and properly thanked you for your input and the support you have extended to me, and for being "right there for the asking" on this board ever since I made my first post. I sincerely appreciate your posts to me so much, and when you mentioned methadone to me that night I first posted when I was feeling so yucky, I did keep the idea of it, as well as the words you wrote ("you sound like an excellent candidate for methadone,") going round and round in my head ever since.

I truly feel that all of what you and Jen have said and done has stayed there with me as I work with the MMT program. So two months ago, with the thought that "I could be an excellent candidate for methadone" in my mind as I pondered the clinic from the outside while I was still not brave enough, strong enough, or "whatever" enough--well, then along came Jen and her willingness to tell her once-private story with her reason being to help a complete and total cyber-stranger, that was the push it took to send me through the clinic door and into a place of help and medical treatment.

I had absolutely no idea my life could be like this...feeling real feelings, finding joy in intangible things, enjoying having a job (what...?!?), having a different mindset and goals, no more pill counts, pill seeking, spending money I didn't have, lieing to doctors, not being completely "there" for my kids...and although I haven't told them about the addiction, the methadone, or the clinic...they've noticed a change in me, and it makes me want to cry for them for how I must have been in the past and didn't even notice it! I thought I was a super mom with my feelings in check, but now they tell me I seem happier and have asked me why...I know I have to be acting different because I FEEL different, I just didn't think it would be noticeable to others, sheesh, what a dufus!

So Jen, I went to my clinic doctor on Weds., and he upped me to 110 mgs., after I told him the mildly weird things I was feeling. The main thing that was bothering me was this horrific achiness I would wake up feeling, like I'd been through a ten-round bout with a pro boxer the night before. I felt like I was over 100 years old! Hobbling, moving so slow, just a deep-down-in-my-bones achiness I'd never felt. Well, I found out the reason I never felt it before, apparently that's a withdrawal feeling, and I'd never gotten far enough into any of my c/t attempts to feel it! Then there were the smaller things...boy did I laugh at your description of a "woman drenched in her own sweat with cracked nose and eyes looking like she was in a state of constant confusion from lack of sleep." OMG, we could have been twins! I sweated like I was in a sauna even while standing directly under the air conditioning! My makeup ran (I actually bought as many waterproof makeup items as I could find...mascara wasn't enough,) and I went through a couple t-shirts a night, it was so icky. Our cracking was in different places, though, as mine was the corner of my mouth. I couldn't smile or take a big bite of anything! Big, red, split corners of my mouth cracking open every time I tried to have a conversation and then slathered with vaseline at night! Then it was a toss up of either nodding off at 2:00 in the afternoon, or being wide awake at 2:00 a.m. wishing I could go dose at 5:00 right when they open and then come home and go back to sleep for quite a few hours! I just couldn't get my sleep right.

So I've now gone up a total of 10 mgs. in a week, and on the 3rd day of being at 110, I finally think I've hit the jackpot. You and Rockingham were right on when you said there is no "right" dose. My clinic dr. and I talked about that, and I told him I felt I was at the high end, he just laughed and said he had some folks in the upper 200 mg. range! But he also said that the textbook average for the majority of people is 80 - 120 mgs. a day before they feel "right." And at 110, I feel right. Didn't at 100 or at 105, but I think this is it. He said to journal things, and we'll just keep on going by how I feel, but he was concerned about my afternoon drowsiness. The first day I went to 110, by 3:00 in the afternoon, I fell asleep for 3 hours, and I don't like that. I get real groggy after about 8-10 hours after my dose...? He wants to re-evaluate things on Monday after I've been at 110 for 5 days, and see if it's lasting me the whole 24 hours without this incredible feeling of sleepiness in the afternoon/early evening. If I keep feeling that way, he suspects I'm just one of those who metabolizes it a bit differently, and he may want to do a blood test...one in the a.m., and then again later in the day, so he can determine my "peak" and my "trough" (I'm sorry, I think those are the terms?). Because I feel really good for the first part of the day, and then get the big old nod that isn't going away, I might be one of those patients who needs to "split dose." Have you ever heard of that? I would take half my dose in the a.m., and then he'd send the rest of it with me to take at some point later in the day. The State, however, doesn't like it, and they try to do them as few as possible (something to do with it being somewhat like a "takehome.") But he also said if I'm that kind of person who needs it split, then that's what we'll do. He's so cool, and I really trust him. I told myself when I started all this that I had to trust these people, and it's nice to kind of put yourself in the care of someone who tends to things yet still listens to my thoughts and opinions. Much better than the world of self-medicating, that's for sure!

Well, Jen, sorry for this super-long post, but I knew once I started "talking" to you, I'd go on and on...you're so easy to talk to, and I know you know what I'm talking about when I talk about the methadone, so I just hope you know how dear you've become to me, and how much I have learned from you, my friend...

Always,
Dallas

p.s. Did I tell you the new movie story? How there can be "life after vicodin" ones as well? Ok, so my kids and I went to see Alien vs. Predator, and I'm all excited that this is the first time in forever that I'm going without any pills! Thankfully the theatre was dark and they were so engrossed in the movie, they didn't notice my awakening when the lights came on! I had made it almost all the way, and then boom, a big old nod on hit me about half an hour away from the end...geesh, thank goodness it was one of those movies I could bluff my way through post-movie talk like "wow, wasn't that fight scene cool!" Now if it had been some deep, thought-provoking flick, I might not have skated through that one. Do you ever nod out like that?! I am realizing more and more it's going to be my largest obstacle...

Oh, and before I go, I've got to tell you the story of the nurse at the meth clinic who did the TB test! So I go to get my dose, right? But not knowing I would be having a TB test that day, I started to get all panicky like I'm going to be busted or something! I started asking her all kinds of things like "Can't we wait till the weekend?" "Won't it show?" and "What if the people at work or my kids see th bandaid and ask what it's for?" To which she simply said, "tell them you had a TB test." Uh, gee, why didn't I think of that?! Why do I still feel like I have to lie about things? The next day I thanked her for what she had said, I mean, it was true--I had a bandaid on my arm because I had a TB test! So I told her she did a wonderful thing for me without probably knowing it as I told her how that little scenario reminded me I still have alot of work to do when it comes to my line of thinking. One of the best parts of all this is that I love telling the truth and not having to keep track of all my stories, and I was so scared of being found out now about the meth, that I almost let a bandaid cause me to begin a tale of lies!

Thanks again for helping me through this Jen...and Rockingham, you too. Your encouragement and posts mean the world to me.
Hey there Jen! Just ~bumping this up so it doesn't disappear!~

I was hoping to hear back from you about the talk my clinic doc and I had. I've been at 115 mgs. now for 5 days, and I am soooo tired all the time, but especially in the early to mid afternoon timeframe. Tomorrow we're going to talk about maybe doing something called a "split dose" because I really am feeling better as far as the w/d-like feelings I was having, so I think I'm at the right dose (I gave 100 mgs. 10 days to see if that was it; gave 105 mgs. 7 days; and by day 5 at 115 mgs., I'm finally not feeling the aches and pains nor the sweating and out-of-the-blue goosebumps and chills.)

I am sleeping at night...and during the day, too! This nodding off feeling is the biggest thing in the way of my furthering treatment right now. If I don't get my stuff done early in the day, forget it! I'm worthless in the afternoon and evening. My social life is non-existent...seems not too many guys want to go out to the "early-bird" special for dinner...LOL! I can't EVEN make it through a movie, so when it's "hey wanna rent a movie tonight?" I always say, "sure, but YOU pick it out, I'm awfully tired from my loooooooong day today, and I might fall out early (ok, a white lie, but still a lie nonetheless--I didn't have a looooooong day, I probably slept too much of it away! Don't know why I allow myself to place a stigma on using methadone, but I'm just not ready to tell some people about it yet...so confusing.)

Jen, I hope you post soon...where are you, my friend? I sure hope everything is okay, I remember you saying you still have some outstanding legalities--if I'm recalling what you wrote correctly--so I am trying not to let my mind wander to bad thoughts.

We need you, Jen...I need you, Jen. Come back when you can, and (just like you told me ;)) even if it's just to let us know you're alright. I'm ready to catch the bone I hope you are gong to throw me!

Miss you,

Dallas
Hi there Dallas Alice:

So sorry I wasn't around to respond in time for your appt on the 13th (right?) No big problems (although thank you for your concern)...it was just a case of being really busy these past couple days and not having the time to sit at the computer....We had a little "accident" on Sunday, thought our little girl broke her arm, so she was on my lap for hours, not wanting to move an inch. Long story short, we think it's just been "twisted" the wrong way and we have it wrapped up in an ace bandage. She's still not using the arm/hand at all yet, but she's in great spirits and certainly nothing is holding her back from playing at full speed ahead. I might take her in for an x-ray today, but from what everyone has said watching her, there's no way it could be broken, or she wouldn't be able to do what she's doing. So, we'll see what today brings.

Okay, so you've been told about split-dosing.....and yes, I've not only heard about it, I tried it, for about a month or so. If I remember correctly, my doctor felt it would be beneficial to me because at the time, I was having "breakthrough wd symptoms" early in the evenings. Also, when I got up in the mornings, sometimes I would feel like my wd symptoms were even stronger....in other words...my single dose (can't remember the amount) wasn't holding me. I did have the blood test (Peak and Trough) at that time and the levels were not what they should have been, indicating an inadequate dose. It sounds as though you may be starting to feel a little frustrated, and I know how you feel. When I first started the methadone, I was amazed at how much better I felt (I was in severe wd's when I started). There's almost like this honeymoon period where you're feeling SO relieved and downright grateful that the methadone seemingly is as effective as it is. Then...about a few weeks into it, maybe longer, you start to level off a little, and you may begin to feel some wd symptoms creeping back in, it's scary.

All I can tell you is to stay with it, especially if you feel it is helping you. Don't get discouraged....not yet. Think of how long you were taking all those pills, almost 20 years. It's not going to be that easy to put a little medicine in your system and achieve complete success without some adjustments here and there. I understand the nodding thing...I hate it too. It was far worse for me in the earlier part of my treatment. I too, was always the worst in the late afternoon...if I sat down...I was out cold. The only way I could avoid it was to keep moving, literally. I would have to do something physical (not reading, or working on the computer etc...) but more like...walking, or yard work, or something. I would never drive in the late afternoon because I felt way too sleepy. After a while, my doctor instructed me to try the split-dose. I really feel as though I needed to be open to different things, I absolutely wanted (and needed) to stay clean. In all honesty....it was...okay. I didn't necessarily like the way I felt during the day, because in a way, my dose was cut in half. I got the other half of my dose, but not until later in the day. It did help a little with how I felt in the mornings, but I didn't see a huge change in how I felt (tired) in the late afternoons. From what I understand, this split-dosing is very successful for some people, as it evens out the dose over a 24 hour period. The truth is, I probably should have given it more time to see if it would help, but after a month or so, I went back to my single dose is the mornings. It was merely for legistic purposes, we were getting ready to go overseas for about a month, and the thought of not only taking 30 bottles, but 60 bottles with me was going to be a little burdensome. Once we arrived back home, I just never went back to the split-dose. I felt as though I was doing okay where I was at, so things were left as they were.

I don't know what to tell you as far as the nodding off feeling, because I understand what a problem it can be. I was under the assumption that it meant I was on too high of a dose, but was told by the staff that it meant that I probably wasn't at the right dose, not necessarily meaning too high. If I were you, I would be tempted to have that blood test done, a lot can be learned from those results. I just had that blood test done last weekend, even after all this time. My doctor orders it on his patients every so often to ensure they are on a correct and effective dose. (and no, it is not an additional charge, it's included in the regular charge that you pay weekly or monthly) If your doctor is offering the P & T test, I would do it. It won't be bad for you to have it done because you live so close to the clinic. At the clinic I go to, I have the first blood draw at approx 24 hrs after my last dose, but you have to work around when the tech will be there. I had my first blood draw at 7:30 am and then took my regular dose after the blood was drawn. I go back to the clinic about 3 hours later, or 10:30 am for the second blood draw. Apparently, this is about when the methadone level peaks after dosing. The doctor compares the 2 levels and I guess can tell quite a bit from this test. (How you are metabolizing the methadone, how long it is staying in your system) Try to remain open and honest with your doctor, it seems like you have a good relationship with him. If he can trust you, he will do his best to make this work for you. I know it can get terribly frustrating, but it still is better than what you were doing before, right??

Oh crap, excuse me......I want to write some more but it appears my "quiet time" has just ended. My little one is awake and calling for me. I sure hope this helps you somewhat, and I sure hope it makes sense because I don't have time to go back and proof read it (Yikes) Anyway....please, please continue to ask anything you want...I will try to check the board once a day at a minimum. There are so many other things I want to comment on....I have had very similar experiences in a movie theater (falling asleep). I also wanted to comment on how once I stopped all the pill popping, I too had suddenly started to "pay attention" to the many, many previously ignored medical check ups/and or preventative medicine, ie: mammogram (we are very close in age, I had never had one either until last year) So...we have much in common. Until next time, please take care and hang on...Fondly~ Jen
Hi Jen,

Thank you so much for getting back to me...I'm so sorry to hear about your little girl's arm! When you watch your child in pain or when they are sick, it is such a strong feeling of wanting to take it away and put it on ourselves, isn't it? It's also a very helpless feeling, but I find at those times when our kids are hurt or sick, that mothering becomes an even more rewarding experience. I hope she's feeling better. And your father, too?! I just read on Sara's thread that you had an emergency situation happen...is everything alright? I don't think you said exactly what was going on (will go back and read it again), but I hope you will let us know how he is. Amazing how this thing called life keeps us so busy when we are an active participant in it and we re-establish our family and friend relationships. You certainly do not ever need to apologize for letting life get in the way of making a post, okay :)?!

Well, Jen, I did what you have been suggesting and encouraging all along, which was to not get discouraged with trying to find the right dose and just keep working it. In other places I've read, too, that is the hardest thing to do as we are all different in the way we metabolize drugs as well as being different in our addictive behaviors and thought patterns, so there is no way I could say, ask you what dose you are at, and then compare that to mine and how I feel at it...it was good to finally "get" that! So I gave being at the 110 mg. dose a full 10 days (I think I mistakenly wrote you that I was at 115, but I went up in 5 mg. increments, so it was 100, 105 and now I'm at the 110 mgs.)

I was going to talk to the dr. about the split dosing early this week, but I found he is leaving the clinic to go to a VA clinic and will only be available for appts. from 5-7:00 a.m. 3 days a week starting next week, and since I was feeling better, I decided I didn't want to start the split dosing if he wasn't going to be around more frequently. I was interested in the peak and trough test (thank you for clarifying what that was called, by the way!) even if I didn't end up split dosing as it seems it provides a lot of information about how our bodies handle the methadone, so I might still do it, I just don't know. From what I have learned in my experience, is that it takes--for me--almost a full 7 or even 10 days to know how a specific dose really makes me feel--especially after that initial period of starting methadone and being in the lower 30-50 mg. area passes and the dose gets up into the higher numbers.

When I say I was feeling better, what I mean is that after being at 110 for about 5 days or so and feeling very, very tired duing the day, which was truly "bumming me out, man" the most about the whole methadone program in general--so sleepy during the day :yawn: that I felt that was all I could do, I literally thought "is this what my life has become now, just sleeping it away?!" But then, on about day 7, I started to feel different...along with feeling way less achey in the morning, I mean like a complete turnaround in that area, the nodding began to lift. I don't know if you felt that achey feeling upon waking? If you did, how long did it last? For me, at the first 8 weeks I was waking up with these terrible, deep muscle aches and pains. I had never felt that before, ever, so I knew it had to be connected to either going on the methadone or coming off the vicodin. It turned out to be a result of withdrawal from the vicodin, and after a week of the 5 mg. increase, it has finally all but gone away. I still feel it in my ankles and feet a bit, but nothing near to what it was before.

But about the nodding, for so many weeks I felt like a literal "bobble-head" while sitting at the computer or reading (just as you described), and I would simply conk out! Now, though, especially if I do what you also said and remain active, my fatigue has lifted enormously. I've learned that it is greatly affected by the amount of sleep I get the night before, too. Remember in the old days when it didn't matter if we only slept a few hours because we were either younger or we had some vicodin (or maybe something else) to help us with the next-day blahs after a sleepless night?! Well, now I have to get 7-8 hours as that greatly affects it, so I've become the most boring person I know now, LOL...!

Much to my (pleasant) surprise, the nodding off began to ease up a little bit, too. Touchy times are still reading or sitting at the computer, but I no longer have fears of driving home in the afternoon after picking my kids up from school, or of not being able to go out to dinner with someone for fear I'll be doing a face plant in my plate.

To sum it all up, I don't have the sweats or the goosebumps anymore, the aches and pains have gotten down to where I feel pretty normal (can't deny that I'm getting older and that can be part of how I feel, too!), the nodding off is not an afternoon/early evening concern, I'm back to sleeping the same as when I first started this, and for 3 weeks now, I haven't thought about the pills or tried to recall the feeling of being high...which I guess is really more of an indication I've found the stable zone I have been so impatiently hoping for.

Thanks so much for being so available for my questions and concerns, and it's good (in an odd sort of way) to know I'm not the only one who has fallen asleep in the movies! Really, it is nice to know I'm not alone in this and others have experienced similar feelings and thoughts. I appreciate you more than I think you know, Jen...

Love,
Dallas
silly girls and their big posts. you guys are too kewl. :bouncing:

i feel a togetherness with you too because were all in MMT together. thats a nice feeling to know your not alone. i always look forward to reading your alls posts. for so long i had to wait to read the seldom posts about methadone on this board. i know there are some more with methadone experience out there but the posts were few and far in between. we all are posting pretty regularly now. i was slow in between posts there for a while but with you guys here its been great. my interest in this board has definitely perked up with more methadone discussions.

have a great day :wave:
Hey Rockingham :wave:,

For your sake, and the sake of any others who may stumble across this, I'll try not make this too long...HA! It is true though, that when we get to "talking," our conversation can fill a whole page with only one post and one reply! Imagine if we were able to talk on the phone what our bills would be, Yikes...

Well, I do want to say hi and thanks again to you. It's great to have some folks who have gone through or are going through getting off the opiates via methadone on here. You were the first one to even mention it to me, and then came Jen and the deal was sealed. It has truly been amazing in that I feel things that--before finding the help I have on this board, and now with the clinic--I would have told you were impossible for me to ever feel again. To be off the vikes is sometimes so surprising to me that I still don't really believe it, and then to be able to factor in the turn around in thought process and money and souls saved is something I am thankful for absolutely every day now. That is an odd feeling when in the past, I was only thankful for a credit card and a script.

While at the worst headgame places during my addiction, I would think about things like how long I could keep it up and if I would be like 70 yrs. old and still doc shopping and all the rest that goes along with finding the drugs. I really thought I would lose my house because of finances...I went through my inheritance, my savings, and soon it was going to be the equity. Thankfully, the lurking here eventually turned into a post, and I was so happy and relieved at the replies I got, you know? And I will tell you again, it was your words of "you are an excellent candidate for methadone" that--along with the obvious, 'you will die if you don't change' thoughts and the realization that I didn't consider death an option anymore--that were going through my head the day I bucked up enough to go in to the clinic.

I had read about this methadone/suboxone clinic in a very small independent little newspaper, and although I've lived in my town for 38 years, I had no idea that only a mile and a half away from my house was a building that housed my chance and a hope for breaking out of this mess. That article stayed tucked away in my dresser drawer for a month before I posted here...and then after dissolving the info I rec'd, I finally made the call on a Friday. Even then, I still had to wait thru the weekend before I could go in, and I was so afraid with that time inbetween, that I wouldn't follow through and go...so when my car died on me, AND my order of 120 pills came in the very next day on Saturday, I was set! It was quite the inner battle as I could so easily, (and wanted to so badly) have unplugged the phone, shut the blinds, locked the door, turned off the answering machine, kept the computer off, and have just hunkered down with my "120 guests," and some cocktails for a friendly and familiar hydro party like I was so used to throwing. But...I didn't, and I really don't know how I kept from caving and not using the car as an excuse and the pills as a reason for not going in. I know I've already told you, but a call to my one remaining friend, and one rental car later, was when I found myself walking in the clinic door...defenses and head held high! Once again, though, I guess I was trying to sabotage myself in a sense, as I went in with 80 mgs. of hydro in me and an attitude on my sleeve. But fortunately they seen\med to genuinely care and took me in and started talking with me, and then they asked me to only make two promises which were "doable." One, no more hydro after midnight so that two, I could come in and dose the next day and get started. I said yes, and 11 weeks later, I couldn't be happier with my decision.

I know there is still so much more to do to remain disciplined and stay on track with staying off the pills, and then there will be the inevitable...getting off the methadone, but if I can give 20 years of my life to drug addiction, surely I can give myself whatever amount of time it takes to see my way through this till the end. I will admit, Rockingham...and Jen, I am scared of a lot, and I am scared about going through this virtually alone except for this board and the clinic dr. and counselor, so I know the answer is to make my next step putting aside the excuses, find a meeting and just go to one. I go to bed afraid and wake up scared of the process and wish I had someone to talk to--hence the long posts, LOL! Well, I know I told you this wouldn't be one, but when I get to "talking" this is what happens :eek: , sorry! and look out meeting and folks there, once I get comfortable with you all, it could be fillibuster!

Take care, Rockingham...you have a great day, too :)!

Dallas