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Regretfully, I’m stopping my Norco taper for now :(
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Regretfully, I’m stopping my Norco taper for now :(

I posted earlier (yesterday rather) about my conflict with tapering more and I got so many amazing responses from you all. I was overwhelmed with encouragement and kind words. Today was one of the hardest days of my Norco taper. Anyone that read my post probably sensed I was frantic, scared, and full of anxiety. I became that girl that loses her sh*t and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit embarrassed looking back.

For anyone reading this and wasn’t involved in the last post or can’t remember — I was struggling if I could taper down to 5 Norco/day this Wednesday as that was my original goal. I had started at 15 pills/day and jumped to 6 pills/day – and that’s where I’ve been for almost a week. Today I couldn’t get over the fact my body was still shooting darts out of me and head was spinning like ‘Death Becomes Her.’  I wasn’t feeling good about another taper, even though I so badly wanted to do it this week…. and it was driving me crazy.

Thanks to a couple people here that are Suboxone gurus, I learned this afternoon that I was not just taking 15 pills/day a day when I began my taper. Because I was not accounting for the Suboxone I was given 3 weeks before my surgery. I was taking 4mg (sometimes 6mg) of Suboxone/day in ADDITION to my 15 Norco/day habit. I was not well informed about this medication and didn’t realize how powerful it was… My doctor told me it was strong, but easy to get off of. I just learned 1mg of Suboxone = 6 pills of Norco (or 60mg)… that means I was taking anywhere from 39 pills (360mg) up to 51 pills (510mg) a day in opiate potency. That’s a tad bit more than 15 Norcos/day. And now I understand, because of you all, why I was starting to lose my mind. This crap is still oozing out of my body. And my body… well, it’s just had enough for now.

My husband came home from a work dinner earlier and saw me changing into my clean sweats, as opposed to my typical dirty sweats (ha!) and said, “You look so thin. Are you ok?” “NO I’M NOT OK” I SNIPPED “I’M GOING THROUGH WITHDRAWAL.” Standard female reaction, right? I thought so! So when he left I went to weigh myself and I had dropped 11 pounds in under 2 weeks. That might sound amazing for some folks, but not for me. I am 5’7” and was already underweight at 118lbs. Now I weigh 107lbs. This is not the body of a thin, desirable woman.  This is the body of someone whom looks very, very ill. This is becoming the body of a woman that won’t have the strength to heal from her injuries.    

My point is… in our journey to get healthy, we cannot forget the importance of being healthy along the way. If the stress and anxiety is truly too much, please watch for the signs and slow it down. We are going to feel sick, hell we are going to feel like death… But I think deep down we know when a detox is going down in a way that’s still safe, and when it’s not. And we know if we are just making up excuses, or if we are making decisions that are truly in our best interests.    

As I continue on this bumpy road, there is no longer a set plan on how long it will take me to taper and get fully clean. My only goal now is simple: NEVER take steps back. Never ruin the taper I have achieved. And don't stall when I'm good to start again. That’s a promise I have kept thus far and will continue to keep. My husband I are still moving forward with my detox… we’re just gonna let my body catch up to my fighting spirit. They don’t always go hand-in-hand.  

I don’t know if I should have posted this in my journal or here… I decided to put it on here for newcomers mostly as this is my first doing this and I’ve learned some lessons: If you truly want this, don’t hold anything back when it comes to your meds, your feelings, your symptoms, and your past. There’s a good chance someone here will understand what you’ve done to your body more than you know yourself. And those people will help you stay on the right track. And secondly, don’t get frustrated if you have to readjust your plan…  if it’s for the best, you can’t go wrong.

I know some of you might not agree with my decision to string this out longer… that’s Ok, I’ll still love ya! Sweet dreams to you all and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!
12 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I respect your decision.  You had a setback, you readjusted, and now are back on track to getting clean.  Awesome!

When my hydro use was high, a friend of mine gave me a suboxone for fun.  The drug was so powerful that I layed in bed sick for hours.  Yes, subs are very powerful, be careful and good luck to you.
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2107676_tn?1388977459
A good taper plan is one where you shouldn't feel the withdrawals.  You cut back way too fast and adding the subs just made it worse.  You need to get to a comfortable point and then continue your taper.  It isn't a race and I truly believe the slower the better.  That is why I suggested just decreasing a half a pill at a time but only when you are ready.  
The whole point of tapering is so it is easier on you and it obviously hasn't been for you.  Just do what you need to do to feel well and don't worry about it.  You need to eat and get healthy.
Try drinking some boosts or ensures to get some weight back on.  They are full of vitamins and minerals.  Even carnation instant breakfasts are great and they taste good too.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
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3092482_tn?1412261602
I honestly think you have a better plan now. Nothing is set in stone. Progress over perfection. Not going back up is great, but wait until you feel okay first. Like Pat said, it's not a race, if it is, then the tortoise beats the hare, right? Slow and steady wins the race. Definitely get some muscle milk, ensure, spiru-tien, or some amino acid drink, it really helps. The subs are out of your system in 21 days after last dose, they may be what helped you make such a huge drop in the beginning, they really linger in the brain. Do what works, it works if you work it.
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4626633_tn?1382600722
I think you made a good decision!!  I agree with Weaver, you should get some Muscle Milk, or similar. I started using that after reading a comment on here. It has so many vitamins and minerals in it, and it's high in precious protein that your body needs.
It's not bad to drink, it's actually pretty good. The pre mixed kind is a little better, but it's expensive. So I bought the powder. It's been a life savor.

You would have to eat pounds of food to get all you get in the Muscle Milk.

Truly glad your hubby is there for you. :)
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4407520_tn?1363015465
i cant figure out why you are even taking the norcos, the suboxone covers all your receptors in your brain and doesnt let the norco on them, too me its pointless to take both, i was under the impression suboxone would block opiods, am i wrong??
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Avatar_f_tn
Blotout...you aren't wrong, one of the components in suboxone blocks the effects of narcotics so you can't get high...so I also don't understand the use of norco as well.  However, there is nothing to be ashamed of here. You know you have a problem and you are making plans to deal with it...you're not ignoring it or setting it aside and that's commendable. Enjoy your trip and when you get back begin again when you are well enough to. You are a very brave women to come here and share your story...I'm sure it's helped someone else in your position....
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4823849_tn?1373661429
Hi Blotout! I was still taking the Norco everyday because I'm an addict and stupid - ahahaha! (I joke) I honestly thought that the Subs "helped" the Norco take affect more to stop pain - I thought it I quit the Norco suddenly, the knee pain would come back... AND I was advised by a medical professional that I needed to taper UP on the Subs, and eventually down on the Norcos or else I would start barfing and have a lot of anxiety. I was given bad advice from a doctor... it happens.  
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4823849_tn?1373661429
Thanks Everyone! I started drinking a bunch of Odwalla protein shakes yesterday and will look into Muscle Milk and your other suggestions today :) I should probably get some Joint Juice as well for the ol' knee surgery. The real problem, and I do know this about my body, is anxiety... When I am anxious my heart rate soars. I got it checked it check last week and it was at 180. The months leading up to my wedding, the same thing happened. I don't understand the physical reasons why I drop weight so quickly when I'm a nervous wreck, I just do. I've been eating a lot of food since I just sit around... pizzas, soup, In-and-Out burger even! It's just one of those things... I look gross right now - really unhealthy. Need to let my body adjust. The nerves are getting to me. I know surgery and being in pain makes you anxious as well, so that - too - could be part of the problem. It's a perfect storm right now! Thank you again!!!
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271792_tn?1334983257
Are you still taking the pain meds with the Suboxone? Sorry, I am so lost here...
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3092482_tn?1412261602
Buprenorphine is the second strongest opioid on the market, it also has a high affinity for brain receptor sites, meaning it is near the same exact shape as your natural pain killers, and will kick all other drugs out to get plugged in.  That's why the norcos where doing nothing for you. There is a misconception that it is the naloxone in suboxone that blocks other opiates, but naloxone is rendered inert when taken orally. Naloxone's only purpose in suboxone is to prevent iv use. Used iv, naloxone causes severe withdrawal symptoms. Subutex, pure buprenorphine, block receptor sites the same as suboxone. Strength combined with affinity make buprenorphine stay in the body longer and dominate brain chemistry. Anyway, enough science lesson. Now you know a little more about what you where taking.

It makes sense to take norco as you decrease the subs, as the bupe leaves, the norco plug into the receptors. So it wasn't a totally bad move, even on the doctors part. Increasing the subs would have been a huge mistake. From what I can tell sub withdrawal runs second only to methadone and fentanyl. Norco, or hydrocodone, is one of the easier, fast acting opiates to taper and withdraw from. That doesn't make it easy, but it could be worse, I'm glad you found us. You are doing great, keep it up.
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4823849_tn?1373661429
No sweetie - I only took Suboxone for 3 weeks... and that was almost 4 weeks ago. It should be getting out of my system now... That's why my withdrawals have been a bit more than I could chew. And why I'm slowing my taper for a bit... holding strong on just 6 Norcos/day. My doctor at the time told me to take the Subs and the Norcos and made it sounds like Subs were nothing to be of any concern, that they would help me cut down on Norco someday and calm my pain. I wish I never took them.
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4823849_tn?1373661429
Weaver, such useful info - you need to write an "Opiate Addiction for Dummies" book! Thanks for filling me in. And it's good to know I'm on an easier drug to taper off of than others. That gives me a sense of calmness. So glad I'm off the Subs now and just trying to deal with the yellow devils. I just pray now that I don't need another surgery! That would mess everything up... I've come this far...
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