I was on Vicodin and Methadone for chronic pain prescribed by a pain doctor for 11 years. I was crushed from the head down in an MVA and had a severe TBI in 2003. I still see this doctor. However without his consent I decided to taper off my pain meds on my own 3 months ago. I slowly tapered down over 3 months. Yesterday at 8 am was my last dose of both these meds. That last dose was 2.5 mg of each.
I have been very sick for the last week, deep bone pain, agitation and sleeplessness, stomach pain and diarrhea. I was already very thin. 5'6 and about 115 lbs, but I am now down to 106 lbs because I cannot keep food down, I feel awful! Weight loss was not my goal! I am staying hydrated but I am so weak I can barely walk around my house. I am trying to eat but I lose the food every time. I am being racked with chills and sweats. This is hell. I am wearing mountains of clothes in a 72 degree house and am freezing as if I were in an ice cave!
I found that using Voltaren Gel on painful body areas helps somewhat but it is very very messy and as soon as you put it on in one area the deep aches just move elsewhere in your body. I feel like I am dying! I'm not depressed. I am just very uncomfortable. I am actually quite proud of myself that I have come this far. Voltaren Gell is only available by RX.
Yesterday I gave all my remaining pain meds to a friend to take halfway across town so that I cannot have any second thoughts. Just in case. I had big bottles of these prescription pain meds left over.
Going off methadone is real hell. I do not advise anyone to ever use it for any reason. I was regularly monitored by a pain doctor - every 2 months I had to go in and pay him a shitload of money because he does not take any of my insurances. I am very well insured but pain doctors often do not take insurance and operate on a cash only basis.
This guy has the best reputation in my city and state. However this is not working for me. I have grown to resent paying him so much for 5 minutes of his time when he asks me a few questions and then sends me out with a prescription and to get another drug test. About every 2 months this dr. takes a 2 week trip to an exotic location. I am smart. I know that his chronic pain patients are financing his vacations. His wife travels with him. I am tired of financing these. You cannot talk to him without paying the $150 fee for 5 minutes. You are ushered right out the door after 5 minutes which is sometimes also interrupted by other patients needs.
It is very hard to get to his office as well. It is 2 hours from where I live and takes me all day to go both ways.
I saw 300 doctors after my MVA, I was required to go to so many for my legal case. I have tons of experience with the medical community. I actually hate doctors and hospitals. I have had terrible experiences with being misdiagnosed etc. I was finally properly diagnosed but it took forever.
I also have stayed with two people in the past who were going through heroin withdrawal. To give them support and help. They managed to kick it and have both been sober for 14 years. This was after 10 years of addiction for one. I saw what they went through and listened to all their descriptions.
I am afraid that Methadone withdrawal is the absolute worst withdrawal thing I have ever experienced. Of course it must be taken into consideration that I have gone off of Methadone and Vicodin at the same time. Guaranteed Hell! Note I was also given morphine in the trauma ward after my MVA and the headaches were hell. I hated morphine. Due to the extreme nature of my full body injuries it was necessary that I be on pain meds for some of these times. I also had to have extensive surgeries. During one of them - an extensive neck surgery my heart stopped while I was recovering alone in my room. I tried to ring for help right before but passed out and was told afterward that I was rushed to the Cardiac Unit to be jolted back into reality. I was unconscious and do not remember going through it. I was so weak afterward I felt as if I were going to die. Apparently I did "die" for a short time.
I would never have taken opiates by personal choice. I would never have stated them unless I had been injured severely in an MVA. So for those out there who have a choice and are only doing it for "recreational reasons" DON'T! It is hell to go off of when even you have been given it for medical reasons as I have. If you are suffering depression get professional help. If you do not have insurance look into state aid programs. There is help available.
Me and Narcotics - Why do I want to go off? I want to see how my body feels when it is free of drugs and foreign substances. I honestly do not know because I have been in chronic pain for many years since 2003 and have taken these drugs while medically supervised throughout that time.
I know what I am going through now is due to opiate withdrawal. I may also be suffering from chronic body pain as well. I have FMS and HMJS since car accident. Both are considered disabling chronic pain conditions. I also suffer from post head trauma migraines that I manage via Maxalt 10 and Botox injections. These are all covered by my insurance.
I am in his for the long haul. I have never relapsed since I made up my mind to taper down to nothing. I have a lot of self discipline.
My question. Has anyone been where I am coming from? If so - after completely going off the pain meds which I did yesterday at 8am, how long did the body pain and stomach pain, nausea, chills, sweats and diarrhea symptoms persist? 30 days? 90 days? Just curious. Remember, I have been on these pain drugs for 11 years.
If you are concerned. I will be seeing my GP for a complete physical on Apr. 30. And I have an appt. with the expensive pain doctor on May 5th. For my safety. I have written him that I was tapering off on my own. These were the soonest apts. I could get. By the way I was not interested in taking any other drugs to "help" me get away from methadone because I know from watching others go through it that this just prolongs the withdrawal experience giving you another drug to battle getting off of.
Fortunately, throughout all my problems I have not experienced depression. Maybe I have but I am not aware of it! I do not need to take medication for that! I am grateful for this as I fear it would complicate my situation even more.
PS: My 2 dear friends who went off hard drugs cold turkey in my apartment have stayed sober with the help of NA and AA. They are doing very well now in their personal lives and their careers. They had failed several first rate treatment programs and relapsed after short times. What they say now, and have demonstrated to me, is that when you decide to stop in your mind and soul is when you will succeed. You have to reach the point that you really really want to and it can be done. Both of these people were nearly dead. I was afraid they were going to die. It was very hard for me to watch the entire experience. I saw firsthand how heroin can ravage people. Do Not do it! Do Not try it! One of them told me he was addicted after the first time he tried it because he felt so good. That led to 10 years of sordid hell.
Hi and Welcome..You came to a wonderful site here..many of us came off the Methadone and had experience with other opiates as well. I too got prescribe the hydo/oxys that lead up to the Methadone being prescribed for 12 years. I had my surgery and did not have any pain issues any more. Got so hooked on this med that I snorted it with Adderral and took a Klon at night. Well everything you are describing up here is part of the Detox for sure. You came off 2 meds and I came off 3 meds..That there makes it a bit tougher too. I do not know how old you are, but that makes it a bit harder when we are older too. I remember those Bone aches..OMG I did not have them with the other opiates. From High ash Anxiety to a Big drop in being so weak I could hardly walk across my room.
You say you have 3 months in and I want to tell you CONGRATULATIONS on that. Right at 3months was when I dropped so bad to the weak and no interest in a thing..It seems like we go months and months through these so called stages as we heal. I got in to really studying this in a more Scientific way and it all seems to be right!
What I did was I would take the Epsom salt bath to help draw out the poisions. Then I would get under a Heating Blanket for the Bone aches and such. Meanwhile I had got some Great Natural Vit/Min that is tarted to take. I would take the Magnisum, Potasium, Cals and Ds at night. The rest I took for the Day for some energy. I tired to push myself as hard as I could to get out and do something to re-direct my thinking. I already had 3 months in before I joined on here..BUT at the bottom is a Thomas recipe. I never used it because I did my own thing with my type of plant based vit/min. Today I am walking in 19 months and I could not have done this with out my outside Support and/or being on here too has helped. As far as your pain we do have LOTS of people on here that still deal with so much pain but they will not go back down the opiate road. I sure wish you the Best and just give this more TIME and with Time comes so much Patience. Ha! to this day I still work on the Patience thing. Heck, I think I just turned my best corner yet. Keep checking your post because other will chime in.
PS. I just re-read your post..So you Tapered for 3 months and now you are done..OK Drink LOTS of Water right now and try adding some Electrolyte powders to it plus the other powders like Bs, Cs and some Protein Powder that you can mix with some Berries. Now you are on your way and you should Bounce back quick if you are experiencing this already. I wish you the Best and keep on trucking.
Thanks - have been doing all that already. The leg aching is the worst hell, but today I had less stomach pain. Fortunately I have been able to drink an electrolyte juice from day one and have gone thru a big pitcher of it every day.
Am doing everything I know I should.
Thanks, I am so weak I can barely walk around my house. The leg cramps/aches are horrible. I have a numbing cream I am using given to me by my orthopedist for use with knee pain after surgery. It helps for 2 hours, then begins to wear off but I do not think I could survive without it.
I am not trying to do anything but get through each day now. That is enough. Fortunately I do not have to take care of children or go to a job right now! That would be very difficult and I can see that it is when I read what others have posted. Currently I only have to take care of myself and that is hard enough!
I am hanging in!
Last night was horrible, again, No sleep, hives all over my body, terrifying leg cramps, hip and pelvic bone pain and lower back pain, sweating until soaked followed by body ripping chills... I have had 2 children via natural childbirth ( no anesthetics ) and it was tough due to 76 and 72 hour labors. This withdrawal experience is reminding me of that! The cramping that you cannot control and the violence of it. So men who are going through opiate withdrawal - you will be better able to relate to your lady when she is in childbirth as a result of the experience! LOL!
This is Easter Sunday. Early in the morning I actually slept for 1/2 hour. Miraculously, when I woke up I felt better, my leg and pelvic and hip cramping and stomach pain had 90% ceased. This is an important point.
I have tapered down for 3 months, Took my last dose of 2.5 mg of Methadone and 2.5 mg Vicodin Apr. 18th at 8am. Now about 53 hours later I feel human again! Exhausted, but as if I have gotten past the worst of it.
I am so tired! But every time I lie down and try to sleep now my mind starts racing and I cannot relax, yet. I have a theory that the human body can only take so much exhaustion and it will eventually crash and sleep for a while. I can hardly wait for that to happen! We will see.
I took a hot bath and then a shower to beat heat onto my back. That really felt good. Except that I felt a bit dizzy from the steam. Perhaps due to not having been able to eat for days as well.
I have lost so much weight! I have not been this thin since I was 15 and a growing skinny adolescent. I still don't feel like eating . The sight and smell of food is yucky. However, I plan to force myself to eat small snacks and meals for the rest of the day.
Hi..You are right about the sleep. It took me a while to get in some solid sleep. Then out of know where all I wanted to do is sleep so I called it my "Catch up Sleep".
I am very concerned about you not eating. Can you get any Yogurt or some Toast down at least..What about a Protein Drink? It makes it a bit harder on our body when we can not put the vit/min in that we get from food too.
You are doing a good job so far and best you can..Just take it min by min and just know in Time this will pass. As far as some of your pain, well I did not have it that bad. It was the other way around. As time went bye the Body pain and such went away but it took many Months to do so. When I used I thought for sure I had some kind of Fibro or Mr Art.lol I read on here a lot from people who say there pain level goes way down after they Stop. This is due to letting our own pain Chems finally do the Job. The receptors get blocked or plugged up and nothing natural can work up stairs in our Brain. After awhile they clear up and things start to balance back. Just keep pushing forward and try to Eat!!!
Bless & have a Happy Easter Today..EAT Something!!
Hi congratulations for taking you life back well out of the 2 your probably feeling the brunt of the methadone detox a lot depends on how long you where on it how much you where taking and your age all come into play doing this once your off it can be a wile to recover the first thing is no sleep and I mean no sleep at all the second thing is the energy crash it cal last a wile I remember not even having enough energy to go to the bathroom and that is also all messed up you need to force the fluids if it wont stay down try gator aid and do a shot glass every 15 min that will keep you hydrated what ever you do is do not become dehydrated wile doing this try mild things to eat I found roman noodle stayed down this is just hit or miss at this point the worst of it will be over in 2 weeks but the sleep and energy crash can hang on a lot longer some recover in 30 days usually young people with a mild habit some recover in 60 days for me it was a good 90 day recovery keep posting for support vic gave you some good advise there will be more to come just check your post a few times a day.......Gnarly
OK Everybody - thanks for writing! It is good to hear that theses symptoms are to be expected. I am 78 hrs with no opiates now. I feel as if I am through the worst part of it though still experiencing body racking sneezing about 15 - 30x in a row. the leg pain is subsiding a bit. It comes on but is not as often or as intense. I am still cold. I am very very tired.
I took an Ambien (Dr. Prescribed) last night and it kicked in and helped me sleep. So I got a good 8 hrs or so last night.
Was able to eat a yogurt at 10 am and keep it down, am now at 106 lbs at 5'6" tall. Pretty skinny.
I wrote my doctor a long letter on Apr 15th which he got today telling him what I was doing and my symptoms. His nurse called this am saying he wanted to see me if I feel like coming in before my next scheduled appt. on May 5th. Saying he can give you things to help with the symptoms. I bet!
Like other things I will have to withdraw from knowing him! I told her I am feeling somewhat better today, am 3 days off opiates and still do not feel up to driving into their office. I said I would call if I change my mind and/or can find someone to drive me in. It is a long long trip - about 2 hrs each way. I feel I should stay home and rest instead. I also do not want to spend the money as he is not covered by insurance. He only accepts cash and it is very expensive. As previously explained.
I'm through the very worst part I think, now it is a matter of regaining strength. I know that requires eating. Usually I eat well so this is not my normal behavior not to eat much. This only happening because of withdrawal symptoms.
I am staying hydrated. My family were all medical professionals so I grew up well educated in the basics.
Plus I have extensive personal medical experience from my "MVA medical career" in which I was forced to see over 300 doctors. I was forced to do this because I was in an enormous legal case ( 6 yrs after the MVA injuries occurred) and a 5 week jury trial. I had a terrible Personal Injury Lawyer who put me through hell. He lost the case because he was a total wimp. I believe that he sold out to the other side. The man who hit me was a high ranking retired government official who sped through a stop sign and T-boned me on the driver's side at a high speed in a Dodge 4x4 crushing my car around me - a Toyota Celica. I was wearing a seatbelt. I received a TBI and had to extracted by the jaws of life. Then I was taken to the trauma ward of a local hospital. I was xrayed and examined all over very carefully. They were surprised I think that I was alive. I experienced a terrible whiplash. My front teeth were broken, but they didn't note that as they didn't know if they had been broken off before. I had had perfect beautiful teeth before. A talented orthodontist repaired them for me and now no one but me can tell the difference. I still know of course.
I was black with bruises all over my body from being crushed, My knees were both torn up and my feet were crushed, I had extensive vascular and nerve damage from the crushing. My right shoulder was nearly ripped off. Extensive permanent ligament damage.
No orthopedists would treat me because I received the injuries in an MVA. I was blacklisted by he orthopedists in the entire state. I tried to visit many of them and it was always the same. This is because these jerks do not want to participate in legal cases. I had massive soft tissue and nerve injuries. I was in horrible pain all over my body and my head screamed. My general practitioner also dropped me as a patient. Again because their practice does not participate in court cases.
I had a terrible time finding doctors to diagnose and treat me. While in the trauma ward one told me "You're worst experience is going to be pain." he was right, but after they sent me home I never saw him again.
I had no broken bones because I had exercised heavily all my life and have a very strong skeleton - freakishly strong. They eventually sent me for a bone density test from a lady doctor at a university. She was very nice to me. I was 52 years old and she told me and testified in court that I had the bone density of a 19 yr old due to having exercised everyday of my life and growing up on an organic dairy farm where I was fed milk and eggs and organic meats and vegetables everyday of my life while I was growing.
My injuries were extensive,. More than my own body could repair on its own but no one would help me. MY joints began spontaneously dislocating throughout my body and this had never happened to me before in my life. I finally found a doctor at a Pain Clinic who liked me and took an interest in my case. He had studied Hyper Mobile Join Syndrome and concluded that I was a classic case. He tested me, then sent me half way around the world to London the see the world's specialist in this condition. It is a chronic pain condition that has no cure and often shows up after a high impact injury making people who were previously heathy go through hell. Until you are severely injured the condition is an asset as an athlete because you have the capacity to be very flexible. I was both strong and flexible. However this condition also known as EDS 3 is genetic and is characterized by weak collagen which you can do nothing about. Weak collagen does not allow soft tissue to heal normally or ever in the normal way. This is a real problem. You cannot heal your soft tissue injuries. You have to be very careful of your body because of the dislocations which can cause you to fall and develop other injuries. It does not matter how well trained you are to avoid this. It happens spontaneously for no obvious reason ..... It was good to learn what the problem was. However they RX a lot of physical therapy which therapists in England and other UK countries are trained in but not those in the US. IN the US they don't really believe this very real condition exists and many people are put through hell because the medical profession does not understand it. There is no medical training given in the US for this condition. Because there are no drugs with which to treat it research for it will never be financed ..... that is a tragedy. The doctor I saw in London Dr. Rodney Grahame is a wonderful kind man and a rheumatologist who has studied this disease for decades due to his own interest. He was actually knighted by the Queen for his contribution to the world in British Medicine for his study of EDS 3. You can Google EDS 3 or Hyper Mobility Syndrome to learn more about it.
I am posting this so that the condition will be understood, learned about by more people.
That is all for now as I have a visitor.
To be continued..... later
I am feeling a bit better today. and I am finally able to eat normally again for the last 2 days. I am on day 5 without any opiate painkillers.
This is interesting. I wrote my GP about what I am doing and got a furious email back from her denouncing me for going off the pain meds too quickly since I had been on them so long (11 Years) She is not the one who prescribes them.
I tapered for RX painkillers, Methadone and Vicodin for 3 months, then yanked myself off on Apr 18th at 8am. She is mad. She feels I should have taken a year to taper off and it would have been easier on my body.
I wrote back saying that I have personally witnessed other people go off opiates - one an RX prescription case of many years, and several people who were addicted to Heroin or Cocaine for years. Ten years to be specific. In every case I have personally experienced via being with them to watch out for them and help them through they all had a terrible time with the final week. In my experience you just have to bite the bullet on the final days on your own.
In the 1990s I also attended Hazelton Recovery Center for a week( very expensive) as a supportive friend/ family member and got an education about addiction. It didn't stick for my friend. He relapsed a few months later, but finally went cold turkey on his own and has now been sober and active in NA and AA for 12 years. He is healthy as can be and runs barefoot 10 miles a day. He discovered running on his own and it really helps him. Not sure about the barefoot thing personally, but this guy hates shoes.
My problem was not addiction to street drugs which I have never done and never will try! I've seen too much! Not worth it.
I was dependent on RX painkillers after a severe MVA carefully supervised by a doctor. I just decided, on my own, that I had had enough. I was having too many frightening side effects which are beginning to go away now. This is a major relief.
Still not sure how I will ultimately adjust but remain curious enough to find out to see this experiment through.
The prescribing doctor wants to examine me. I wrote him back, if you want to see me free of charge, since he is expensive and takes no insurance, consider giving me one free appointment and I will come in when I feel strong enough. Right now I want to stay close to home to recover my strength although I went out for a bit both yesterday and today. I was very tired when I got home.
It is really cold here and I can feel it! In my bones! 39 degrees, Awful! I can hardly wait for warm sunny weather. All perceptions seem exaggerated - taste, smell, cold, hot, etc. Everything feels like a tremendous effort.
Am taking one day at a time. Very interesting to see how the medical doctors are responding. Not particularly supportive are they? Very strange!
Yesterday felt like that when I was driving. Like everything was in HD. All the lights hurt my eyes. It was the first time I left my house in almost a week. I had to go to the cardiologist . I have finally slept and ate but my yesterday my body felt so heavy. Like there were a ton of bricks on my legs when I tried to walk. I was able to get more accomplished yesterday housework wise then in the in the last few months. I see my primary care doctor tomorrow and plan on explaining everything that has happened.
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