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Day 47, Tramadol Detox and Withdrawal. Cold Turkey

Aug 05, 2008 - 288 comments
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withdrawals

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tramadol

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detox

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cold turkey

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withdrawal

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Pain



So I dug up some more info that I wanna share ... in case you are dying of curiousity. Or need more info like I do.
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http***mb.rxlist.com/rxboard/ultram.pl?noframes;read=3179

not just for breakfast anymore

Posted By: mkny
Date: Friday, 21 October 2005, at 3:53 a.m.

Hey, just stumbled into this list looking for some stuff on neurotransmitters. Started reading posts from May... now several hours later, gotta comment.
I am an addiction counselor for last 18 years on a hospital detox unit. My first acquaintance with "ultram" 12 years or so ago was when the drug rep brought us several cases of ultram samples. Told us how great it was. We read the literature, checked the PDR... near the end there was a short paragraph; something like "potential for abuse and dependence considered minimal." Went on to say that it had been used in Europe for a couple years and only 4 )if I recall correctly) caabuse/dependence had occured.
We thought it was great... we often DID have to detox people from opiates who had genuine pain. Great that at least we could do something about the pain while we tried to get them through withdrawal. Second day after we had been giving a couple folks ultram, started noticing that nurses didn't need to go find patients when time for their next dose of ultram... patients were at the nurses door eagerly awaiting it. "Uh-oh" We all said. We backed off on frequency of use, but still did use on occasion. Clue number two was when someone stole the remaining one and a half cases of ultram samples out of the MD's office on the unit. Presumeably it was a staff member. Old timers just shook their heads and said "yep, same thing when valium came out... and it won't be the last time, either." Then, a year or two later, got our first patient needing detox from tramadol.

I have watched and assisted aprox 25 people go through tramadol withdrawal. Though we did use another medication to assist them, withdrawal from anything physically addictive is pretty ugly regardless of how you go about it. Please allow me to offer some thoughts that occured to me while reading your posts.

FIRST: Theres a lot of conflicting information about seizures on the list. I've never seen anYone have a seizure in tramadol WITHDRAWAL. Have seen several people have seizures when TAKING tramadol. AND, every tramadol related seizure I saw did not seem related to how high a dose the person was taking; RATHER was in instances where someone markedly INCREASED their dose. I think the confusion is in that seizures are common when withdrawing from sedatives (alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazapines etc). Rare in opiate withdrawal. My experince has been that on talking to someone who had "seizures" during tramadol withdrawal, it turned out to be "tremors"... scary as hell, but definately not seizures.

NEXT, FOR THE DOCS (if any are still reading): My OPINION is based entirely on my observations these last 12 years... and worth every penny you're paying for it. Clinical picture of tramadol withdrawal is similar to any short acting opiate. Severity of withdrawal can be estimated by considering that each 100 mg tramadol oral (hx daily use) will be roughly equivalent of 10 mg morphine (IV daily use) in severity of withdrawal symptoms. Differences are that standard opiate withdrawal seems to cause more physical illness (vomitting, diarhea, bone pain etc.) Tramadol withdrawall seems to cause significantly more anxiety and emotional distress. Another difference is length of acute withdrawall period; 4-6 days for opiates, 5-9 days for tramadol. Secondary withdrawall varied widely, but though a matter of weeks or months, symptoms DO resolve and successfull recoverers report that in retrospect this period was "more a matter of patience, rather than the teeth grinding endurance" of the first week. Our best success for aleviating distress during tramadol detox has been to treat it medicinally the same as standard opiate detox, recognize these folks will take a few days more, and offer them your most sincere reassurance that it will get better. (I've had great success by connecting the current patient by phone with a volunteer former tramadol detox patient.)

NOW FOR THE REST of YOU FOLKS: I don't have much to offer you... pretty much everything you need is in these posts, in yourselves, and in your connections with other people.

I never took tramadol, but opiates were one of several substances I was addicted to when my sky fell some years before tramadol was introduced. I believe absolutely that the primary characteristics of tramadol withdrawall are substantially the same as opiate withdrawall. I remember years ago seeing a medical journal article that described recruiting a batch of "experienced drug users" and they were given "blind" doses of various medications to see how the experienced drug users would classify them. All readily identified tramadol as "an opiate." Until we start treating tramadol addiction seriously, we are doing lot of folks a serious diservice.

Suggestions: 1)If you are trying to get off tramadol and have medical insurance, call the insurance to find out about medical benifits for detox. 2)Open the yellow pages... addiction stuff usually found under "Alcoholism." Look for any ads that include reference to "detox" and call them asking specificly about tramadol detox (unfortunately, you guys are on the cutting edge of the truths about tramadol withdrawall. Afraid it's gonna be a while until most treatment facilities catch up). 3)If any way possible, taper rather than "cold turkey." The detox from tramadol won't kill you (unlike sedative detox might) but you're going to feel so bad you'll likely get real creative in finding ways to get more drugs. ***Talk to your Doc, or a new Doc, Explain what you're trying to do and why (so many of your were jut brilliant at that in your posts). Often even a Doc you've f***ed over before will work with you if they see you're sincere; tell him/her you'll come by daily to pick up that day's meds for the taper. It's a pain, but it demonstrates your sincerety to both the Doc and yourself. 4)Though you're tired of hearing it, once you're done with being so sick, get yourself to NA. Yeah, yeah, I know what you've heard about people in "12 Step" programs. What you'll really find is what you've already started to find on this list... a few jerks, and a bunch of the best folks you'll ever know.

You will all come through this. It's just hard to believe that when you're sitting in the blender. Thank you all, you've reminded me of things very important to me... mkny

________________________________________________________________________________________


Hi Friends;

Taking everything with a grain of salt, I read this and thought it was useful.

First this person seems very unaware of the fact that Tramadol also has an antidepressant in it. Which would account for the tremendous anxiety. Correction; "Dogs of H-E-Double toothpicks try and grab you and drag you back to their home and throw you in the fire."

I think it is interesting that this person didn't really have an idea that the pill was addictive. He's writing past tense and this post was written in 2005. So, we can assume "They" have known for a long period of time that it was trouble.

It was stolen en masse from their clinic.

He writes, "Old timers just shook their heads and said "yep, same thing when valium came out... and it won't be the last time, either." Then, a year or two later, got our first patient needing detox from tramadol."

Yeah. OKAY.

This part made me laugh with recognition, "Our best success for aleviating distress during tramadol detox has been to treat it medicinally the same as standard opiate detox, recognize these folks will take a few days more, and offer them your most sincere reassurance that it will get better. (I've had great success by connecting the current patient by phone with a volunteer former tramadol detox patient.)"

Not the first part. The second part rings a bell. I really want to talk to the people who have successfully detoxed from Tramadol The Devil Pill and are you know; not dead. And who don't have freaky withdrawal symptoms anymore. I wanna know how long they were on it and how they got better.

I don't have my energy back. The room in which I mainly hung out during detox looks like a bomb went off in there. No energy to clean. All energy has to be conserved to do basic get to work, get home, get groceries and supplies kinda stuff.

I think all of these ideas about going to a detox facility are ... not designed for me. Cause I have no insurance. I don't want another drug to get off this one. I just want them all GONE. I'm not planning on turning over my life or health to ANY doctor again. Not after this last 5 years of horrible side effects. Honestly, it was as if they just didn't care. I was treated with such cavalier ignorance that it makes me feel a little bit sick for people who can't stand up for themselves and who can't get off Tramadol.

I'm a smart woman, but I detoxed off EVERYTHING else, before even considering that Tramadol might be my problem. It never ever occurred to me. EVER. Now I see an empty script bottle and it make me nauseous!

Anyhow. This letter here seems like it comes from someone who has never had addiction and who hasn't taken Tramadol and been told how safe and harmless it was. I don't care much for the tone, but things are often misinterpreted on the Internet. Nonetheless, let us not throw out the Baby with the bath water. (weird expression)

Love and healing to all,
Emily

PS. I'd love to know why the mornings are so bad when it does get bad and why it seems almost like someone flipped a switch at about noon. It's such a trip. I wonder if it is the toxins building up overnight? Or the fact that I took two Tramadol before going to work or after awaking? It's curiousier and curiousier ...




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544292_tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Dec 31, 2008
HI EVERYONE!!! (yells)

Did everyone make it here ok? I am hoping you can all jump over here where the air is not 304 threads long, newbies who search Tramadol Withdrawal will PULL up the long thread. So if they reply there, hopefully we can direct them here? It'll move faster and NOT freeze on you.

Let's continue the Conversation.

Fred writes, "I am pretty sure that we both would both be better served by simply using that emotion and rage we sometimes feel to simply work to get  OFF THIS DARNED DRUG."

See, I remember being really weak in early withdrawal and all I could think was, "Just don't take any Tramadol and you will be ok." Yep. Don't start. It was all I could think about. It wasn't until I started to get better that I started to wonder who was to blame for slipping the Rascal bastage across the lines ... SO being angry is a good sign that you're thru the worst of it.

IzzWizz writes, "Malpractice suits are also impossible here unless you have video footage of a doctor randomly sawing your leg off for no reason. The minute malpractice is mentioned they all ban together and close ranks."

I have a really dark sense of humor, so the first part made me laugh Izz!

The second part is impossibly true. It seems to no longer matter that the true responsibility to KNOW about this drugs is in the hands of the people who are passing it out. I do not believe now, that Doctors are unaware of the side effects of this drug. This Tramadol brought me closer to death than I was even aware f. Getting off I had viscous blood horror film dreams. I was grateful. be
cause I hadn't dreamed in years. Which actually means I hadn't SLEPT in years\. Which means; How Am I NOT Insane?

Why am I saved? How grateful am I that I stared into that huge drawer of pills and thought, "Dude. I'm Outtie!"

Roddy you know so much about tapering. I wish I had was level headed enough to taper. But I was done. Like Fred, I didn't think of it as being strong, I merely thought of my own survival. I do not know which way is best. But basically whatever lead a person to water is good. Only THEY can drink right?

Ultrapest's first sentence, "I've been held ransom by Ultram for several years now."

That's it exactly. It holds you at ransom, it is a Terrorist.

Fred's Day 17 ... learning about the RANDOM side effects. You think you are OUT and OK and the BLAMMO! Tramadol does this like no other. It is the nature of the withdrawal. You learn to lie down, to rest, to make LISTS of what will make you feel better when the shelling begins. BECAUSE it will. So prepare. Prepare. It's a WAR man! You wouldn't walk into the middle of a war with no plan right? RIGHT!

And staying on Tramadol is not an option.

Roddy you write,"I'm so glad the un pleasantries have ceased, really do think we all have enough to deal with fighting this addiction and need to pull together and give as much support and information to each other as we can.  I can imagine Emily pulling out her hair reading some of the posts  Not that im criticising anyone i need to go on record saying this."

Yeah. At first i wasn't pulling my hair out because I am aware that whoever is typing is under the influence of substances I myself have been dependant on and have recovery from. So all I did at first was watch. There will be trolls. If one appears, please ether send me a private message so I can check it out, or it the REPORT THIS button. Most of the time I am around and can react. But the dangerous part of that particular interactions was the encouragement to Go Back On Tramadol. That is why I deleted it. It was unsafe advice, and gets people into The ER Room with Grand Mal Seizures.

People withdrawing and tapering don't have seizures. It is a reintroduction or serious increase in intake of the drug that causes seizures. SO in the interest of no one dying ... it had to go. And may God lead that person to the place he/she needs to be in order to recover.

Emergee ... the Hylands has Quinine in it. Tonic Water does as well. It really helps RLS ...or whole body restless syndrome ... or restless arms syndrome ....

Izz I'm laughing visualizing Santa coming down the Chimney and finding you awake. :D Made me laugh. As miserable as it is to be in w/d and have severe symptoms it is better than BEING ON TRAMADOL.

Kev writes, "I put my post-it notes up around the house again yesterday....ITS THE TRAMADOL TALKING!"

This is the second or third time I have mentioned it. Tramadol has a distinct evil horrible depressing undermining demonic type of voice. You may think those are YOUR thoughts, but they are NOT. That's the Tramadol Talking. And it has ALOT to say as it leaves the building, it'll try anything to just get you back on board.

Fred it is such a CLASSIC RETOART of the Medical Establishment to blame the patients MIND ... for making things UP that do not exist. Tramadol withdrawal does not exist, no no it is safe. Yep. I know. That's why I posted that little article up there a MILLION days ago. (Tramadol still messes a bit with my sense of time)

Idiot Tramadol. *Kicks it in the head*

Hope I adore you. You are so kind to the other people here, you are so dear and it really means so very much to have someone who understands and is kind. Perfectionism kills. I have to wonder if you grew up in an alcoholic Home? Because before I went thru Recovery for Food Addiction (6 years ago) I had such a major case of perfectionism. I was so kind to them, leaving noting for myself. Facing the demons of my childhood helped me understand who I was and why I was the way  was. If I am wrong, feel free to ignore. Not at all trying to make you feel bad. I'm so grateful you are here and telling your story and figuring out how to taper and get off. ((((Hope)))) And I believe in you! Validation is what saved me, ultimately. Knowing I was not Perfect, and it was ok. My feelings about xyz were Valid.

Organica, I can't imagine why you would have thought that .. any way here is a "strong way" or the Way of the Wuss. I consider people on long slow tapers to be the calmer path. See, I was out of my MIND. I was literally insane, so there was no choice. I was also about to run OUT any how. No health insurance left. Certainly no one to help me and I didn't have 10K to check into a rehab that probably woulda laughed me outta the waiting room. Anyhow I ADMIRE you so much and I am so pleased you are here. I am thankful to hear your story.

Anyhow I don't think either way is "best," they merely Are. Zen Tramadol Withdrawal. If you cannot have people "know" ... you probably don't wanna do what I did!!

Emergee yep ... 30 days out you would NOT find me in a Mall. OR by anything loud. OMG my sense of hearing went BONKERS! I had to FORCE myself to do the things that would make me feel better.

LivingwithAVN! Welcome. Allow me to apologize for the Idiots who invented Tramadol and the people who gave it to you. Yes, clearly it is a poison. I will never forget the FIRST time I stopped. I just stopped. I was doing a TON of yoga and was in awesome shape and I had no back pain so I stopped. In ... 3 days  think I was at "OMG!  AM DYING!!" Literally thought I was dying. It was ... really horrifying. You're in a situation I believe where it is hard to tell which is real pain and which is pain that is being caused by the VERY evil Tramadol. Tramadol makes pain WORSE over time. I am hoping you are ok. Let us hear more from you. (((HUGS)))

Kev your taper is going well! There's no easy way out; but there's multiple exits! So; whatever works sounds really good to me.

Coleen- Insomnia ... yes. Common. Uncomfortable and unrelenting for awhile. It gets better and better. The story about the graves is so sad.  hope they figure that out for you. I am glad your DH is with you now. Does he know about the withdrawal? My DH knew. He didn't understand but he knew. No one can understand unless they have been in our shoes. Yes, only take L-Tyrosine in the morning. I have never had L-Tyrosine work well for me. But that is me and is not a universal thing. Everyone has their own biochemistry.

Hope I am so proud of you for NOT resorting to Tramadol in an emotionally charged situation.

I'm going to post this and then update you all on me ...

Love and Healing,
Emily




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by suzipen, Dec 31, 2008
Hi Emily and All!!

I am glad I found you all.    By the way.........HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!   Its 40 minutes into  2009, and I want to wish all of you the very best. I truly feel this site saved me, from tramadol, and from myself as well. Because, I WAS tramadol.
Ya know?
I hope that makes sense. I couldnt seperate myself anymore from the drug. Everything I did and said and thought revolved around the pills.
BUT!!!!!!!!! This is a new beginning, and I feel great about it.( Of course there are those sneaky little moments that kinda throw me back to the beginning of w/d, but at least  I know they will go away, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.)

You all have become a part of my life now, and I truly care about each of you.  Amazing , huh? This internet thing.

Please, all of you, have a wonderful New Years Day!!

Positive thoughts to you all,

suzi

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by FinallyFred, Jan 01, 2009
Arrrg, my hard drive crashed some days back and naturally, my new one didn't know it's way back to the old site, let alone to this new site.  Great idea to move this over Emily.  But alas I am back with my "tramadol family"  Happy New Year all!  

I guess I am more than 30 days FREE of this devil drug now.  There isn't any way I would put the white pill back in my mouth at this point.  I wish I could say I am "symptom free", but I still do experience occassional neuropathy (like pins and needles still in my feet and random other places in my body).  Would anyone here know whether this might be a permanent result of taking tramadol for a long time, or might these symptoms eventually disappear?

All things considered though, I am sooo grateful to be off this terrible drug.  Gotta go catch some college football.  Fred

544292_tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jan 01, 2009
Hi! Hey Suzi!

Yes of course I know what you mean by "I WAS Tramadol."  Been there. It's such a very hard thing to accept. This drug stole from me, lied to me and cheated me out of many years. It showed me just how bad our system of Medicine is in the US. It showed me that chronic pain patients are ignored and neglected.

Sad, not numbed by Tramadol.

You're so sweet Suzi, thank you for posting and thank you for writing, "I couldnt seperate myself anymore from the drug. Everything I did and said and thought revolved around the pills."

Neither could I. Only the sudden Eureka moment, which suddenly tied it all together for me opened my eyes. Wide Open. Thank goodness I was spared. Thank goodness I had the sense to stop taking the one thing that multiple doctors told me was safe and was no causing any side effects.

Hi Fred! Happy you joined us, was worried people might get lost. In early withdrawal I remember not being able to figure out the simplest things. It really was like my brain had to reattach because Tramadol had fried it a bit. Sorry about your hard drive! That is not good!

There's no neuropathy that I can tell is a perminant fixture. 30 days is great! That's so good!

I actually would not expect that at 30 days out you would be symptom free, because I wasn't and many people who went thru it when I did were not. The neuropathy is not perminant. It's random. Random withdrawal. Not like the others, at all. This is due to Tramadol's "analgesic qualities" ... meaning it randomly effects the brain and the anti depressant having to come on out at the same time. It's a nasty cocktail.

I don't want to scare any newbies into thinking that they will have the same kind of withdrawal. And the severity of it varies. But with good nutrition and vitamins and aminos you will recover 100%. (and yeah, you'll be good and pissed off then) B-vitamins are very ver very good for Neuropathy.

All of my symptoms were GONE at day 77? 78? I forget ... (it's in here somewhere in the journal)

Happy New Year!

Love and Healing,
Emily

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not the light of The Tramadol Express shining straight into your face! :D You will recover. You will have Holidays without the Horrible Tramadol.

Avatar_f_tn
by emergee, Jan 01, 2009
I'd love to know why the mornings are so bad when it does get bad and why it seems almost like someone flipped a switch at about noon. It's such a trip. I wonder if it is the toxins building up overnight? Or the fact that I took two Tramadol before going to work or after awaking? It's curiousier and curiousier ...
emily

weeeellllll......... i have the exactly opposite problem.  i feel okay in the morning and then about 1 pm it strikes.   i am also really glad,  emily,  you said you had energy problems. i am just so grateful for that bit of news.   i just NEED the truth.  it makes feel much less isolated that i am the only one not feeling wonderful.   plus , we can compare notes.    i am wondering if it is an adrenal issue.  are there any medical people out there who understand what whacks the adrenals?   did this nasty chemical we all took,  poison some organs that are struggling to throw it off,  and are tired out by it?  
it day 33 or something for me and i had a relapse.  big time.  full on.  stomach symptoms back in force,  the sick, headachey , wierd , but intolerable feeling that doesn't go with anything but tram withdrawal.   i know emily said it could happen.  i am wondering if is because i overdid the garden clean up and pruning extravaganza i did yesterday.   does anyone have experience with this?  do certain things bring on the symptoms ,  or is it entirely random?

". I'm not planning on turning over my life or health to ANY doctor again"   ditto.  can't imagine it.  
i have some insight into the medical mind.  my father was one and i had a boyfriend who was one.  these two were good ones,  really cared alot,  and made sacrifices of their hearts and minds and lives.  BUT in my experience doctors  are deeply deeply programmed by their training.   i think it goes like this.  they are  sceptical of the patient,  but believe the medical literature.  they think they are being objective and scientific , but it is actually incredibly prejudiced.  they don't want to believe the patient,  because the want to maintain their objectivity, yet they tell themselves they are listening to the patient.   and then of of course there are the ones who don't give a **** and are trying to pay their overhead.


Avatar_f_tn
by emergee, Jan 01, 2009
has anyone had success with valerian?  i have run out and don't know whether to buy more.   if it does work,  how much do you need to take to get it to work?  
i believe i have had success with rhodiola for stamina.  l-tyrosine does get you awake and alert and some energy.   but i got through the garden cleanup day with rhodiola.  alot.   on a blog a woman said her husband came back from iraq with adrenal fatigue,  no suprise there,   and rhodiola was the only thing that helped.  that seemed pretty solid to me.  

544292_tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jan 01, 2009
Hi Emergee;

Yes, I would go with adrenal fatigue because treating it in the same way you'd treat adrenal fatigue worked. Lots of vitamins, and enough protein.

How odd that we're so different. Did you take Tramadol in the afternoon? I remember so well waking up for work feeling like I had been in a fight. Lots of dripping wet dirty sweaty clothes. *whispers* and the sweat smelled weird. Like it wasn't my sweat, but someone else's. Hard to say if that was my brain and olfactory noseth reaction or if I smelled different.

Ok so from my experience, when I felt really good and would do some gardening or exercise, I would pay for it .. sometimes. Sometimes no consequences. So I can't really see a pattern except this. When you have a bad day (or hours) 30 plus days in ... remember that this is normal for Tramadol withdrawal. Yes as far as I can tell it is stored in MANY places, including fat cells. Freaking FAT cells ... those are some mighty lazy slow turn over cells. Which explains alot.

It is stored in the brain (due to anti depressant effects) ... it is stored of course in the liver and kidneys ... def. in the intestine ... the random GUT pain was unbelievable ... People were telling me I was um ... lying or nuts when I complained at Day 17-20 of severe fold yourself in half intestinal pain.

Yes, energy problems ... I'll say. AND how! I have to be very careful with pacing myself. Part of that is that I have a legitimate inury, part of it is that I was in a car accident a mere 4 months back and part of it is that I took Tramadol. So, your mileage may vary.

What was the most insane to me in early withdrawal was my inability to predict HOW I would feel. My inability to say "force myself thru" ... my inability to perform at previous levels. I hated all of that. And I HAD to accept it. I had to do the smart thing. Which was to just stop trying to control the withdrawal.

The only control I had was to do the things I knew would help. Such as; rest when I could. Not beat myself up in my head (cause that's Tramadol's Voice, not mine) ... to SURRENDER basically.
So Emergee, I would say that you are having really normal reactions and symptoms that I also had. Some people who have contacted me have told me I had a very severe withdrawal. I don't think so. I thnk I am just ... very expressive. I was trying to explain symptoms that ... are very odd.

One woman wrote to me and asked, "Are Ducks Quacking in yur ears?" I replied, "No, but the are quacking right INTO my eyeballs."

LOL! Freakin' ... OK!? I mean how do you tell someone that you feel like your FACE is going to fall off and is not real, but made of clay? That was withdrawal. Pain in the middle of the night makes you clench your jaw. B5 at night (I took 2000 mg) will stop that.

It's just on the days when I was good and feeling great I was NOT here bragging about it. So you can assume ... Day 45 two posts .. horrible day ... then nothing musta been a good day ... then day 47 I am only moderately descriptive so .. I'm not as bad as day 45. It's not ... a straight upward curve which is what humans HAT s much about it. Naturally we want to get better every single day.

BUT the truth is ... the first 3-4 days were desperate horrible and I remember them. NOTHING will ever be as bad as that was.

BUT those days take alot out of you. So continuing symptoms or bad days get really scary. You start to ask, IS THIS PERMINANT.

Answer; No way. It all reverses.

All of it. You will be whole again and ok and not be poisoned daily by Tramadol .... girl scout's promise!

Love and healing,
Emily

544292_tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jan 01, 2009
Valerians capsules (which smell terrrrible) do work for me. I take them in large 1000 mg doseage.
tried
I have never tried rhodiola, but will now! TY!

Avatar_m_tn
by shaffekl, Jan 01, 2009
I am still having the w/d symptoms at random times during the day.  They last for maybe an hour or so then fade, but the can be very harsh.  At day 29 I was hopeful that the this would be over but I am happy with what I have accomplished.  This was the hardest fight that I have experienced and I'm sure I wouldn't have made it this far without the people in this forum.  I thank you all.

Fred, BTW the PAC-10 is killing everybody!

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by madtram, Jan 01, 2009
Rhodiola is an adaptogen a bit like ginseng in that it helps moderate the fight or flight response of the adrenal system to stress which is very useful.

Trying not to be too technical, the hypothalmic pituitary adrenal axis is a complex feedback system which acts to keep the body in homeostasis, {balance}  Any shock to the system be it chemical or physical, like a car crash, is liable to upset it for a time

In addition tramadol often seems to disrupt hypothalamus function resulting in disrupted sleep & no or insufficient REM sleep which your body needs for cell renewal & repair. {As Emily has observed, you really notice when those dreams come flooding back). These factors together with the drop in serotonin levels in withdrawal mean that some level of fatigue is unfortunately inevitable.

The more often your adrenals are called on, the more susceptible you are to adrenal exhaustion.   Cortisol is also involved & women have higher cortisol levels than men & can be more susceptible to fatigue if their cortisol levels fall too low because their adrenals are out of wack.  The very good news is that none of this permanent damage, your system just needs time to get back in balance.

The Thomas recipe includes ingredients for adrenal support.  You could also try a specific adrenal support  formula.  Vitamin Research Products have a good one called CortiTrophin.  5htp & St John's Wort are both good for restoring serotonin levels.

My own energy levels didn't increase meaningfully until my hypothalamus function  normalised & my REM sleep returned.  Valerian didn't seem to help me sleep at all & I took buckets of it when I was experimenting but it definitely works for some so it's worth seeing if the insomnia gets worse without it.  If it doesn't  work at the dose recommended on the bottle, it probably won't work for you at all.
Michelle

667826_tn?1233726740
by Organica, Jan 01, 2009
Hello everyone...

Emergee, I smiled when I saw "how much Valerian do you need to get it to work".. I had a MEAL of them, and it still didn't work.

On the morning issue, I'm the same as Emily.  In fact I still feel that facing the day is like walking into a slime pit.. My best time is later in the evening, which of course is when you have to go to sleep.. and so it goes.
I was never I morning coffee person, but I am now... strong and thick and laced with vanilla (which apparantly is a mood enhancer - even if it isn't it tastes goood).  I'll look into the Rhodiola, although I haven't heard of it and it may not be availabe in Australia.

We only have 50ml as our lowest tab here, so I open them up and just have a small amount of powder when the symptoms get to be too much... it is still happening  The tremors are the give-away. And the sleep issues... and the headaches (need I go on).  I use the physical as my rule of thumb, as the depression stuff I feel is very Tramal..  

When I was feeling like dirt, BTW (before T withdrawal - we need an 'anacronym list'!) I thought I had clinical depression - one of the lovely little side-effects.  I took SAMe, and for a time it worked, then stopped. Since I'm still feeling like a useless lump of humanity now, I may give it a go again and see it it helps.

In the years that I was on the drug, major life things happened - three deaths of people very close to me, for example (nursing my mother through her death being the biggest).  It is as though I didn't do the process right because of my addled Tramalled brain, and so I have to do it now.  It is awful.  

Just think, after going through all this, we'll be invincible!

Peace and strength everyone,

Sue  


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by emergee, Jan 01, 2009
i just realized that emily's first post was made back in august.  so i guess i can assume the energy problems are okay now.  well,  it still helped to read that at  day 47 ,  someone was still whacked .
i think it is incredibly humorous and very thoughtful too,  that emily  cited the new link 3 times on her post to this new thread.  just in case someone on day 2 or 3 missed the first two.  it would have been me that did.  
as per  noise,  i went to a christmas party ,  and was on my way to get my coat to leave when i met someone in the bedroom hiding from the noise.   i didn't tell her why it was flipping me out,  but we ended up having a great time talking about how we try to isolate ourselves from noise.  god,  they were singing CHRISTMAS CAROLS in the living room.   i cannot imagine how someone can have children and detox from this stuff.  someone here was giving a PARTY ,  and it was only like the 6th day or something.  yeah, so ducks in your eyeballs, i get it.  

and emily, if you are reading this still...
    do you know how in chinese medicine the organ systems correspond with the time of day?  so the fact that you got whacked the morning  and i got it at noon would mean that particular organ system is weak in each of us.    that just occurred to me.
i am trying not to write specifically to you because i imagine you have a life now,   but  i would love to know even briefly what helped you most in your taper from clonazepam.   i have making a half-assed attempt and it's not really working.   did you alternate benzos?   i believe you liked valerian,  how much did you take?  it may be too soon for me to do it but it is  definitely on the program.  

suzi,  how is your stomach?  i was so proud that mine was better.  NOT.

i am so glad emily said again how the tram voice is distinctly evil and dark.   it reminds me that even though i still have wd symptoms that darkness has lifted.  it's not that i feel great ,  no, not at all.  in fact,  i wrote someone recently that i was depressed.  but that darkness that made me feel i was hanging on by my eyelids,  that the only thing that kept from slipping over the side was my little white pills , is over.   i didn't even know i was addicted.  bizarre as that may seem.  i just thought i was dying slowly and i had some great headache pills that were a bit better than advil.   i thought that all the crying over my divorce was just my life ending .   and that the irritation and anger that would start the minute my last dose was wearing out was just my own personality going down the drain.  

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by Organica, Jan 01, 2009
Wow.. there were 4 posts while I wrote mine!
Madtram, can you get Rhodiola here?

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by madtram, Jan 01, 2009
I could only find one source http://www.biotestaustralia.com/products/rhodiola_rosea.html but it's crazy expensive.  I buy from the US in bulk from one of the following:

http://www.vitacost.com/productResults.aspx?Ntk=products&x=9&ss=1&y=5&Ntt=rhodiola

http://www.seacoastvitamins.com/topic.php?health=rhodiola

Still much cheaper even with the exchange rate.

M


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by EmilyPost, Jan 01, 2009
Thank you MadTram! Very helpful info! :D You're just a doll!

LMAO! Emergee you make me laugh. YES you noticed I linked it three times?

I figured maybe someone was in early withdrawal might notice 1 out of 3? LOL ... cause ... the brain is all whacked coming off Tramadol.

Ok so about Klonopin.

The Klonopin is the LAST of the cascade of drugs I was on. I am on 1.5 mg at night. I took 4 mg while on Tramadol. While w/d from Tramadol I took 4-6 mg. So I found this Psychiatrist who is all Doctor Groovy (he also practices in Hawaii)... I like him but, I don't trust him and he thinks I am on 2 mg because he doesn't know I have already tapered.

Last time I saw him, he didn't want me to start a taper because he said it was the Holidays and I was still healing from the accident. It's alot easier for me to just not argue. ESP since I am already tapering.

My plan originally was to be a good 90 days off Tramadol before tapering Klonopin. Unluckily I then got into a full on crazy front end smash up which totaled my car and reactivated my back pain. (I am so lucky really ... I could have died) ....So my plan ... didn't go my way.

Look at my freaking car!

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll223/Lazlo_8/PancakeHonda2.jpg

I sent these to my Older Brother and he replied, "Nothing a little Duct Tape can't fix!"

SO needless to say, this activated my back pain ... Ouchieeeeee .... It was awful timinmg cause I HAD NO BACK PAIN cause the Tramadol was causing the pain! So annoying ...

Sidetrack ... that accident was back in August ...

As you know the Benzos ... wowww wheee hard to get off. What I did was decrease from the higher levels to lower with .25 mg less. I only take it at night, so that helps. Doctor Groovy told me to take it twice a day, which I tried and it messed me up. So I went back to once a day. I decreased .25 mg every 2 weeks or until I "felt" like I could go lower. I feel like I was lucid enough to know when I could drop it down.

I have gone off Klonopin before. Because I thought it was the drug that was making me nuts. They put me on it because the Tramadol was causing me to have massive anxiety attacks. So I have been on Xanax (welcome to a land of reflex panic attacks when the short acting Xanax leaves) and Ativan which I swear was a sugar pill. It did nothing. Klonopin on the other hand ... worked.

So the last time I went off it I was NOT very careful with my taper, I had no Doc Groovy. So that was creepy and bad and I went back on after 60 days because I did not have lessening symptoms. BECAUSE I WAS STILL ON TRAMADOL.

So .......... taper really slow on a benzo.  Develop massively strong coping mechanisms? The timing has to be right? Yes Valerian works well. For me. So does B12. So does ... coffee laced with vanilla (thanks Sue) in the morning.

Also I think not be terrified abut tapering a benzo is important, that is why I found Doctor Groovy. He looks at me and assures me that I will not have a seizure if I taper ... That's what I needed.

Ok so you asked if I went on Valum or conazapem?(sp?) the blood pressure med ... He offered me both. I said, "May I just taper?" He said ok ... and then keeps my dose the same? ... eeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

So that's where I am with Klonopin ....

Sue writes, "On the morning issue, I'm the same as Emily.  In fact I still feel that facing the day is like walking into a slime pit.. My best time is later in the evening, which of course is when you have to go to sleep.. and so it goes."

Yep. Also sounds like Adrenal Fatigue ...

Sue I am so sorry for all your loss. So very sorry.

And Emergee you write, " didn't even know i was addicted.  bizarre as that may seem.  i just thought i was dying slowly and i had some great headache pills that were a bit better than advil.   i thought that all the crying over my divorce was just my life ending .   and that the irritation and anger that would start the minute my last dose was wearing out was just my own personality going down the drain."

I Know how you felt!! I know I know!!

Love and Healing,
Emily  


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by emergee, Jan 02, 2009
i would say the stomach "issues" started around day 17 to 20.   i finally had acupuncture which helped that part tremendously.   i also believe it helped with brain fog.  or it might have the healer who helped with brain fog.  

what might be interesting is to log our psychological symptoms.  like this starts at such and such date,  gets better by...
i never had anxiety.  but what is anxiety?  maybe i had it and didn't know it.   i definitely had overwhelm.  which i treated by staying inside.  i remember at one point i hadn't seen any humans for days.   but i heard a lot of complaints about anxiety.   is that like you are inside in a safe place yet you have panic?  ( how the hell can people give parties?)
i loved the image of the spider in the corner.  i don't know exactly what it means but i do know there is something bug-like in how you feel.   kind of like that story of kafka where one morning he wakes up and finds he has turned into a cockroach.  his family is appalled.  they try to be kind at first ,  but they are too repulsed.  they shove his food under the door,  he talks about what a relief it is for him to crawl up the walls and hang around on the wall or ceiling.   doesn't that ring a bell?
i had a relapse of restless leg.  i only had two hylands left.  i thought rls was over,  two aren't quite enough to quell it completely.  so i am up.  yakking into space.

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by Organica, Jan 02, 2009
Yes, thanks MadTram.. You're a gem! Any advice on SAMe??
Love the Kafka analogy, emergee.... creepy yet true!  I think 'anxiety' is a bit of a misnomer.. but then the terms shrinks use normally are. :-)  My psychological symptoms are still about despair.. futility.. and the type of depression where it feels like doing anything is the equivalent of climbing Everest.  It has been exacerbated by a really lousy virus which went, then returned this morning.              
BTW, Emily, ever since you called everyone chica-booms I have had that 70s song in my head.. on replay...  My mind has latched onto it and won't let go! The joys of withdrawal.  Could have been worse.. you could have mentioned achey breaky hearts......

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by 1113, Jan 02, 2009
all,

sorry i have been away for a couple of days...  i just didn't get on the computer for a couple of days while i was at home.  now on to my tramadol situation.

i have only been taking 100mgs a day.  where as of Dec. 13 i was taking 300 mgs a day.  I am still not off of them, but my days have been a hell of a lot better knowing that I don't have to take 6 of them to get by.  I know originally that i said that i was going to take my hydros's, but i really haven't had to take them while i have been on this low dose.  i took a hydro or two during the first few days of 100mgs, but now i am good......    i think that next week when I get back to work full time i am going to drop down to 50mg's a day.  If that is unbearable then i will try 75mgs.  i am getting closer, but i am a little scared of the unknown.  I know deep down inside that i feel alot better and can only imagine how much better I will feel once i am off of these things, but there is a little voice in my head that keeps telling me how awfull it is going to be.  IT IS A LIE.   that is what i need to tell meself.  


i have tried valarien root a couple times and i feel like it's kind of hit and miss.   there are a few nights that I can sleep, and like last night... I was tossing and turning all night.  I had a lot of anxiety.  Part of that is me worring about work, but i can't help but think that the tramadol withdrawal is not helping it one bit.

until tomorrow.

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by kevzx81, Jan 02, 2009
Hi everyone. sounds like everyone is doing really well. The determination in the room is palpable...which helps my confidence when the anxiety strikes (like now).

I think this has been mentioned before but FOR THOSE PEOPLE TAPERING:- Tramadol is available in soluble form (at least it is in the UK.) It is called Zydol.
This has been a great help to me as I use a 5ml syringe to exactly measure my dose and knowing exactly how much I'm taking makes me feel more in control. ( a comforting illusion perhaps but it works on me!)
It tastes like **** though!!!!!!!

My memory has gone walkabouts the last few days and is the most constant symptom recently.
Now what was I saying......
Where did I put the......
Did I drink my tea? Did I MAKE my tea??
I think we all know this routine!!!

The only positive thing to come out of taking Tramadol is that my back pain ( despite getting worse as I w/d) has become a secondary issue for a while. So why dont I feel grateful? Because once I'm off this **** it become the primary issue again...thanks for wasting my time Tramadol!!!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I went to see my doctor, cos I was feelin blue.
He said you take these pills boy, and you won't have a clue.
And I can get them for you wholesale;
We got an endless supply...
I said you're in it for the money, he said...
I dont wanna hear it, you know you dont get any less you try.

( a verse from ' Greedy England ' by The Yokels.)





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by emergee, Jan 02, 2009
it is a lie,  1113.   you will be amazed at how things change for the better when you are off.   and i am sure it will not be as bad for you as it has been for some of us who ct-ed.


the bad news is that i had a total relapse of wd symptoms.  thanksgiving was my first free day so whatever day that makes me tram-free.   horrid rls last night.   i ran out of my magic pills because i thought i was completely past rls.  i have a feeling i relapsed because i overdid physical work.  

i am beginning to look at this stuff as possibly adrenal related.   i haven't done the research yet but i wonder if the intense gardening i did taxed already weak adrenals and put them over the edge.  how that relates to rls i have no idea but i have not had rls since my third night.   hylands cured it , and i took hylands  prophylactically for several weeks.  for  2 or 3 weeks i since then i have needed no rls treatment at all.  then boom.  so bad i  had to take a hydro .  as fred said, i was using the bed as a rotisserie.  plus the feeling of them is indescibably intolerable.   i think it is the worst symptom of all.

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by suzipen, Jan 02, 2009
Hi All-

emergee-  thanx for asking about my stomach...........but, are you sure you really wanna know?
It  is AWFUL!  Last night I cried because it was sooo painful. By the end of the day, I am super bloated and cant sit or lay down comfortably. I have posted to other forums about stomach issues, but no answers. My dr. says I have irritable bowel syndrome  (IBS). Which I already knew. I am still gaining weight like crazy.sux!!!  Today I started an eating plan that is supposed to end alll symptoms of (IBS).  It is either that or go on meds forever. And I DONT want to do that. I have known I have stomach issues, reflux, etc. for years, but it has never flaired up like this in my entire life.
THANK YOU TRAMADOL!
And this weight gain? Where in the world is this coming from? Its like as soon as I went off tram, my whole body decided to really f*** with me! (excuse my language, but I am starting to get really really mad about this.)  I do something GOOD for my health and body, and look what happens.
THANK YOU TRAMADOL!
Oh no.......I am not going back on that stupid drug. Trust me. I am just annoyed with my body right now.
If I could just go to the bathroom like normal people????

Anyways, that is how my stomach is. I hope you're not sorry you asked.

How is yours emergee? If this eating plan works, I will let you know. Its a 4 day plan. Then, if it works, you can buy the rest of it. Books, recipes, etc. Yes, I will buy it if it works!!

probably should go now- I need to go meditate or something. I have never done yoga, but found some dvds that I had bought a long time ago. Thats for tomorrow.

Hugs, suzi








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by HOPEreturns, Jan 02, 2009
Hello to everyone!

Emily... as I have once said before.... YOU are an ANGEL to us all!  You mentioned something in your recent post.  You mentioned about possibly growing up in an alcoholic home.  Your observation is right on!  I was never physically abused, but the emotional abuse was there.  I guess it has made me who I am.  I never really thought about the perfectionism stemming from this, but as I sit here and post, I can remember being told many times that I did everything "half a ssed"..... life was such an emotional rollercoaster full of major co-dependency!  I now understand it more, and just simply acknowledging is sooooo HEALING.  Thank you for acknowledging this!!  YOU truly listen and respond to each and everyone of us as individuals.  Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift to us!

LOVE and BIG HUGS to you EMILY!

Hugs and Smiles to everyone today.... I hope that each of you are healing and hanging in there!

Hope

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by suzipen, Jan 02, 2009
To 1113-
Keep a positive attitude! You are doing great. Really!  It is normal to be afraid of the "unknown". look at it this way. You KNOW what harm tramadol is doing to you........so the unknown has to be better!     Right?
(I still have this thought sometimes that what I am trying to say doesnt make sense to anyone else, but me.)
Thanks again, tramadol.
I know, I know, my last post was kinda negative. But only negative about being ON tramadol.  And negative about how this drug causes major distress in our bodies.  I am soooooooooooo gald I am off this drug.
I tapered just like you.(Kinda fast tho) That is the only way I could do it. Everyone is different, and we all have to do what works for us.
Good luck, and remember , you are almost there!
I will send you positive thoughts,
suzi

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by suzipen, Jan 02, 2009
Hi Emily and everyone-
Ok, I know I am posting alot right now, but just this past few hours, I seem to be having major mood swings. This hasnt ever gone away, but it hasnt been quite as intense as today. Once again, my kids have to suffer. Its so cold outside, so they are playing inside, and I should be playing with them. Instead, I am getting mad at everything. The cats, the dogs, the dishwasher- Why does it take sooooo long to go thru a cycle?? And my washer is totally on my nerves as well.
Never mind the fact that my husband forgot to put out the trash today!!  And I still just wanna go to the bathroom like a normal person.
You get the picture.
Well, I just had to go break up an argument between my 6 & 8 year olds. And, actually I am feeling alittle better right now.
This is how it has been all day. One minute-Mad grrrrrrrrr!................the next minute-Happy yea!................
then, awwwwwwww, how sad. Tears galore.

THANK YOU TRAMADOL.



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by suzipen, Jan 02, 2009
........emily?.........emergee?...........fred?..........hope?...........kevzx81?..........organica?........madtram?........1113?...............shaffekl?..................anyone out there??????

I seriously dont know whats wrong with me today, but I could chat all day.

Oh, you guys probably have regular lives. Thats it, huh? Its not that your ignoring me or anything.  LOL

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by EmilyPost, Jan 02, 2009
((((suzi)))))

The mood swings are so extreme and so icky.  and my stomach symptoms matched yours. I got crazy painful bloated abdomen, gained weight but wasn't eating much. I couldn't wear my tight jeans. If I had gone to any DOC they would said I had IBS .... The weight is going down now and my intestines are normal now. But it took time. It is serious poison ths Tramadol. We're all very lucky to be here, although it may not feel like it.

Yes, tears galore. Tears at everrrrything. Totally pissed off, totally apathetic, so annoting. Yes, it is the Tramadol. My theory was that everything it prevented me from feeling (cause I was in the FOG) came back to me and I got to feel it all at once. bad

((((Suzi)))) I hate the days. But man o man my bad days were always 100% better than any day I had on Tramadol.

I'mma have some chamomile tea and look out the window at the fog. The winter grass is sprouting now. It's soooo green. :D

You have some tea with me Suzi?

Love and Healing,
Emily



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by suzipen, Jan 02, 2009
Emily,

Oh, thank you for that. I needed to hear your wisdom. Its so sad, but it makes me feel better just knowing someone else has been thru what I am going thru. I know there is an end to this.

I have read your journals, but my I dont always retain what I read for very long. So, if I repeat my questions to you, I apologize.
I so agree about tramadol preventing true feeling. I sometimes feel I am being bombarded with emotion. And I truly appreciate you guys listening.
I would also take a "bad" day anytime over a tramadol day. This I know FOR SURE!

And I would love to have tea with you.........

Love to you, suzi

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by emergee, Jan 02, 2009
suzi,  
   whatever you do please do not stop whining.   i really really do want to know.  i think i posted something yesterday that i want to know the TRUTH. yes, yes, we should stay positive.  we are positive already because we are doing something very life-affirming for ourselves.   and to supress the scary difficult and painful parts makes it so isolating and lonely.  i don't think complaining is being negative.  i know there are different opinions about that,  but in my experience,  i need to bounce off others.    btw my stomach thing came back with the relapse.   also brain fog and rls big time.  full on wd again.  it's really strange.  i want to figure it out why.
    suzi,  i don't know if you do acupuncture but that is the only thing that helped my stomach.  boiron gasalia helped a bit.   oh yeah,  also i am hopping mad at everything.  i need to stay away from people because i can get triggered so easily.  this is something that had gotten better,  and came back with a vengeance with the relapse.  


HERE IS AN EXPLANATION OF THE DIFFERENT NEUROTRANMITTORS.

http://createvibranthealth.com/NT.htm

this guy explains the nts in an interesting way.  he frames it as personality types.  of course he wants you to spend 75$ to call him for his advice but this link to his page is worth reading.  it totally explains why some of us get better with some supplements  more than others.

i have to go research more about dopamine and rls and why getting overtired made me relapse so badly.  

please keep posting a lot suzi.  i so know the space of yakking aimlessly into space because it's like all you can do.   you can't do anything else,  like wash the dishes.  

oh, and ps i got the psychologicals back too.  vicious self-loathing attacks.  

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by IzzWizz, Jan 02, 2009
Hello all and Happy New Year to everyone :)

Before I start there is so much I want to write about what everyone has been posting but I'm having real trouble focusing my thoughts today. Just want you all to know that I'm not being ignorant just foggy as hell.

I think I'm round about day 20 and I feeling ok although my sleeping is still shot to bits. And the wierdest thing is the dreams I've been having. I swear I haven't dreamt significantly in years but since I stopped the Tramadol I've been having the worst dreams. I've dreamt about my family dying in the worst ways, I've drowned and burned to death and been arrested night after night. I've woken up laughing hysterically and crying my eyes out. Its all very odd. I am getting some sleep but its disturbed at best and insane at worst..lol.

I was talking with my physiotherapist today and he said he had been prescribed tramadol a week or so ago after an op on his knee but hadn't started taking it yet. I told him about what had happened to me and all you guys and hes going to flush his script down the toilet. That made me smile :)

Emily, you suffer from chronic back pain? How do you manage it? Mine is getting better all the time but sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and take up taking heroin just to get some relief from it (ok..so its not that bad but you get the picture). I am interested in this as I know chronic pain management teams have a fairly bad rep.

Love to all :)

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by madtram, Jan 02, 2009
Poor Suzi,severe IBS , mood swings & mommy duties.  You have probably tried all of the following since you consulted your GP, but just in case:

For pain: OTC antispasmodics like buscopan; colofac or peppermint oil.  One study found that melatonin was effective for IBS pain.

On the prescription med side, low dose amitriptyline is considered to be the most effective.  It can cause some drowsiness initially but if you took it at night that could be helpful if you are still having disturbed sleep.

Something else to consider, if you took Immodium during withdrawal.  Immodium is also an opiate which does not cross the blood brain barrier so is not psychoactive but does have the same effect on the gut as other opiates.  I.e. while you are taking it, the opiate receptors in your gut are activated to cause your digestion process to slow right down which is great for diarrhea but you will get rebound constipation on withdrawal from Immodium until your receptors settle down again.

If you do have tea with Em suggest you make it peppermint or even better, green tea with peppermint so you can get some extra theanine.

Hang in there, your regular life is waiting for you as soon as your body has healed some more.
M


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by Organica, Jan 02, 2009
Oh, (((((Suzipen)))))...

We need a little beeper that goes off when someone is in crisis :-)   I know what it feels like.  It is like this drug works out all the nastiest withdrawals it can think of and hurls them at you..
I am very very bloated, and the weight gain is such that I don't even consider going swimming (I live near the beach, it's summer, I ALWAYS swim).  And normally that wouldn't worry me - I would do it anyway - but those snakey little self-loathings become bigger than Ben Hur!  But IT WILL PASS...

I was thinking last night (while 'not sleeping' :-) that Emily's post is so huge because it is just so necessary, and there is so much empathy..and it lets us know that the fight is not just worth it, it is essential.  
Sometimes I have a visualisation where I imagine I have left my body, see myself leave the house, watch everything around me (no pain, no nothing) and begin to fly. I look down on the world, just flying.
Hang in there... you are doing SO WELL!

Lots of Love
Sue


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by HOPEreturns, Jan 02, 2009
SUZI!!!!!!

How are you honey?  I hope you are feeling better.  Thank you for calling out to us!  That is what this room is all about!  I along with everyone is here for you anytime you are in need!  Sorry I took a little longer responding.  I really try to check the room on a daily basis.  Boy.... how I understand the mood swings!  Being a mom, along with trying to be a "perfect mom"makes it even more trying!  I will be jumpin off the Tram train January 28th (my days off).  I will probably be on here all day.  I can picture it now...... my head down on the keyboard..... me trying to pull my head up with permanent keyboard indentions on my cheek...... I am scared about the day, but everytime I think of you all..... I get strength.  I know that if I need to talk that you all will  be here!  Suzi...... I don't know about you, but I feel guilty sometimes if I am having a "mood meltdown" and every liitle noise just irritates "the ya know what" out of me!  Even if my husband sneezes, I come unglued!  AND YES SUZI.... the kids; I feel your pain.  Try not to feel guilty about not being able to play with them right now. Just know that this is temporary..... think how much healthier you will by physically and mentally!    After you are off of these little suckers... you will have plenty of time to play.  It's so good that you have realized that this med is no good while they are at a young age.  You won't loose out of their childhood.  I know for me..... the last few years..... I just went through the motions of life because of this drug.  My 2 1/2 yr old little girl was born and then I got back on these meds.... Most of that time was a fog.  I feel sick about that when I think back.  I actually remember more about my twelve year old being a baby than the 2 1/2 year old.  I try to keep telling myself that I will not feel bad about this, because I am going to get healthier and I WILL LIVE LIFE to the fullest!  Since I am weening, I have felt alot better and more clear minded than I did before.  I am waking up with a little more energy now.  I do feel a difference since I have been taking the supplements.  Have you been taking any yourself SUZI??  I used to be a little hesitant about supplements..... I thought hey.... I'm used to takin pills..... WHY NOT??  I have also notice that my short term memory is so much better.  I do not miss my husband getting frustrated with me and saying.... "Why don't you remember anything I tell you."  There were so many times when I would ask the same question over and over again.  I think most of it was because I was always thinking about my pills!!  I would go to sleep thinking about them.... sometimes dream about them... AND wake up thinking...... TIMES TO TAKE MY TRAMADOL!!  It feel so good to wake up.... and that NOT be the first thing I am thinking about!  SUZI....the day will be over soon.  CONGRATULATIONS for making one more!!  Well, my husband and my little girl are back home now.  The 2 1/2 yr old has found me! HA!  Starting to climb on me like a little monkey.  TAKE CARE SUZI!!  

Hope Suzi and the rest of my great friends have a very good evening!

Hugs
Hope

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by suzipen, Jan 03, 2009
thanks my dear friends. this site is my lifeline right now.

Emergee- I feel bad for you that rls and the mental issues have returned. It is so random, as Emily has told us all.'You never know when its gonna strike. once again, thanks tramadol.
RLS was always a mystery to me . I was given phenergan a few years ago while in the hospital. Within 20 minutes, I was going crazy. restless legs, restless body, restless mind to the 100th power!  I rang the nurse and she gave me something to counteract the phenergan. She said it was quite common to react like that. I had taken phenergan many times before that for nausea with no problem, and then all of a sudden it turned on me.
I still will have twinges when I get into bed, but it goes away before getting out of hand. I sooooooo feel for you. That is a horrible feeling.  Did you get more hylands? I know that was working for you.
My relapses tend to be more mental.  Like today..awful.  The stomach thing is just ongoing. That is an hourly battle.
But like Emily said- "my bad days were 100% better than any day I had on tramadol."  That quote is intense and helpful.
Acupunture is on my list, but I have to wait financially. we have to really prioritize right now until my husband goes back to work. I am planning on returning to work in Feb. I will be doing some traveling, so I want to take the month of jan.and really try to get my act together.
I love reading you posts as I really relate to you, and your w/d symptoms. OH YEA- I finished day 1 of this stomach diet. And it actually helped some today. At least I am not laying here crying in pain, and my stomach isnt quite as huge as it would be be by now.  
Google "Great Taste No Pain" and hopefully it will come up. Its basically a food combining way of eating. But it is geared for relieving IBS pain. I am gonna stick with it for 3 more days before I purchase anything . That will be a priority if it works. I am also gonna look into boiron gasalia.


Madtram-  I took note of your suggestions. I am going to a health food store tomorrow. we only have one in my area, but there is a GNC at our mall as well. Thanks for the advice. It is sooooo appreciated. I am taking ativan at night, as well as zoloft still. Been on both of those for a very long time. I have read horror stories about them both, but just cant seem to start a plan to get off them yet. Ativan used to work great for sleep, but now I think it is turning on me as well.
Oh..........yes, my regular life is just around the corner. I know it is.


Sue- a beeper would be great!  do you think the site would supply them?  lol
I probably would have drove you all nuts today, if we had them.
I like to do visualizations as well. I actually did them all the time before tram took over my mind. It didnt just seem possible to get thru the "fog".  OMG, I just had a visual of all of us running down the street being chased by huge white pills rolling after us!!!
That was weird. But I will say, we were winning!! YEA!
By the way, you should go swimming. I would love to be in a sunny climate right now. BUT, I totally understand the swimsuit thing. trust me, I do. But I agree, IT WILL PASS.

Hope- Its nice to hear from someone with little ones. The guilt can really get to ya. And I so get trying to be a perfect mom. I remember more of my 14 year old being a toddler than my other two. But that is all gonna change.
I felt better earlier, but my husband just came into bed, and he immediately started snoring. Not the really loud kind, just the kind that slowly grates on your nerves. And btw, HOW does a person fall asleep so fast? What planet is he from??
Probably the one where they dont make tramadol. lol
I used to get the same question all the time-"Why dont you remember anything I say?"  All I can say is thanks tramadol.

As for the day when you jump off the train- WE WILL ALL BE HERE FOR YOU. Know that and feel it. Dont be afarid, because you are not alone. And the indentions in your cheeks will go away!

Well, I am off to hopefully find a peaceful slumber. (anyone got earpugs?)

All of you helped me immensely today.
Much love, suzi

PS. to IzzWizz-
I have been having crazy-weird-dreams as well. I will wake up and think, wow-that would be a great horror movie!
I personally think this is because the tram fog is lifting, or lifted already, and all the pent up emotions are coming out in full force!  Dreams are amazing really, and usually dont mean what we think. I was told that when you wake up try to focus on exactly how you are FEELING, and not so much what the dream was about. That is supposed to be what your
subconcious mind was working out. The underlying feelings.

Again- Good night to all



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by FinallyFred, Jan 03, 2009
Shaffekl/Kev,  I was glad to see your posts here my friends.  I was beginning to think that the new site here was "all ladies/all the time", but I'll go ahead and stick my toe in the water tonight...

Shaffelk, I am SO proud of what you are accomplishing a day at a time.  When we began this journey, you and I,  a month or so ago, I am not sure anyone would have given EITHER of us as chance, but KUDOS to you for putting one more day between you and your last pill.

Emily,  thank you for letting me know that the neuropathy won't be permanent.  I tend to be a big time worrier and it's easy for me to extrapolate a random return of the terrible "pins" into thinking this will go on FOREVER.  But I'll be wiser the next time I am "pricked".  Thank you.

Hope, IzzWizz, and Suzi,  Thank you for your concern for me this past week, when I haven't been around much.  Work has been nuts busy and my hard drive crashed.  I am back but don't find I have anything terribly stellar to share tonight.

I remain tram free.

You guys are the BEST.  Fred

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by suzipen, Jan 03, 2009
So gald your back Fred!!!

BTW, You always have something important to say.  
When I am feeling bad or weird , I too tend to think it will last forever. But, it always manages to pass.
I , too am tram free.  
big hug, suzi

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by roddy132, Jan 03, 2009
Hi Folk,
          Managed to navigate myself back to you after a bit of a set back regarding my tapering. Having a bit of a torrid time at the mo, Xmas didnt help glad its all over for another year.  Found myself taking that one extra pill to get me through the day and feel really disappointed with myself  Came online to read your posts to get my motivation back and believe me it has helped me regroup to carry on.reading the coments of Emily, Izzy, Fred, Kev, Suzi, god the family is growing, just to mention a few.  Like some of you have mentioned im finding the psycological probs the most diffiult to handle especially the anxiety wow thats a nasty one. The random and comlexed nature of the drug is a real pain, one day feeling ok then all of a sudden i can feel the anxiety creeping up on me then Wham floored again.  Anyway not at my best at mo so typing is a pain in the butt but i will be back. Wishing you all every sucess in this New Year.

Take Care Rod

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by emergee, Jan 03, 2009
i think this is important stuff.   i am going to post just a bit of it so i don't take up too much space.  if anyone is interested in the whole thing i will put it in a journal in my area.   there is a lot more to it,  with recommendations for diet and supplements.  i thought it was fascinating that we all have common complaints about detox but often there will be an area that will stand out.  e.g. i don't have anxiety that much,   some people love valerian and it does nothing for others.  it seems to me that we are all hit by deficiencies in all of the nts,  but that over some time, our weak nt will start standing out.  

Serotonin types are often passionate about their relationships but are tend to be the most independent of the four types and have more difficulty in committed relationships. The serotonin type is interested in excitement whether it is skydiving, mountain climbing or an exciting passionate relationship.

The early warning signs of a serotonin deficiency may start with a loss of enthusiasm for your favorite activity or a lack of enjoying your favorite foods. Insomnia and lack of productivity may be the next level of manifestation of serotonin deficiency. Finally physical symptoms like weight gain or skin breakouts will get your attention that you have a biochemical imbalance.

Those individuals with a predominant dopamine nature who are balanced know what they want, are assertive, strong-willed, fast on their feet and self-confident. Dopamine personalities tend to like facts and figures are highly rational and are achievement oriented. Dopamine types gravitate toward occupations such as law, science, allopathic medicine, engineering, architecture and the military.

Producing too much dopamine can make one too intense, compulsive and driven. Overproduction of dopamine can also lead to violent behavior.

Those individuals with a predominant dopamine nature who are balanced know what they want, are assertive, strong-willed, fast on their feet and self-confident. Dopamine personalities tend to like facts and figures are highly rational and are achievement oriented. Dopamine types gravitate toward occupations such as law, science, allopathic medicine, engineering, architecture and the military.

Producing too much dopamine can make one too intense, compulsive and driven. Overproduction of dopamine can also lead to violent behavior.
Acetylcholine types are very sociable and charming. Relationships are natural to you, unlike dopamine dominants who often have trouble communicating their feelings. Occupations such as therapists, mediators, yoga teachers, social workers, writers, artists and advertising are natural occupations for the acetylcholine type.

Acetylcholine controls the brain’s speed of processing information and is a natural moisturizer that helps cells retain fluids and maintain their membrane coating. All acetylcholine deficiencies lead to dehydration. It is possible to have an overabundance of acetylcholine in which case an individual may feel paranoid and feel that life is taking advantage of them.


Acetylcholine levels can become depleted from the following sources:
· Aluminum toxicity
· Violent and pornographic films and TV shows
· PCBs, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and electromagnetic fields
· Lack of aerobic exercise

GABA is the brain’s natural valium providing calmness and aiding in the production of endorphins. When in balance the GABA dominant person is characterized by stability and reliability. These people are team players who thrive on organization and long-term relationships. Homemakers, administrators, technicians, nurses, security officers, accountants, bus drivers are all ideal occupations for GABA natured people. GABA natured people are nurturers and are tend to be very traditional. 50% of the world’s population is GABA dominant so it is very important to understand how to balance this vital brain neurotransmitter.

An excess of GABA can result in a person not taking care of their own needs at the expense of nurturing others.

Early signs that you are may be GABA deficient include: feeling anxious, nervous or irritable. You may start to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Other symptoms include: allergies, light-headedness, muscle aches. This is just the beginning of what could become serious health problems.



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by emergee, Jan 03, 2009
inositol for anxiety and depression.  in this study they took 6 grams 2x day.

http://www.geocities.com/spiroll2/inositol.html

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by madtram, Jan 03, 2009
Hey Fred, I think the tramadol army is a gender free zone, there's only one qualification for enlistment.

Emergee, I found inositol, (nb straight inositol, not inositol hexaphosphate), very effective for early withdrawal anxiety.   I did have to take at least the 12 grams per day but studies have shown no evidence of toxicity at much higher doses than this so you can experiment safely. At the higher doses, (this was during the worst of the brain fog, so not sure precisely how much I was taking), it did upset my stomach a lot, including bad cramps but if this happens to you, it can be avoided by dividing into smaller more frequent doses.  Inositol is one of the few supplements that tastes fine so you can take the powder dissolved in water or juice which is the most bioavailable form or tablets if you prefer.
M

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by kevzx81, Jan 03, 2009
Emergee:) That makes VERY interesting reading; I'm really identifying myself in those descriptors.
I'm reaching for the printer paper now and would love to hear any other info on the subject.

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by emergee, Jan 03, 2009
   the article on neurotransmitters and how to identify which ones you are deficient in,  is now posted in a journal in my area.  it gives the supplements you can take to balance yourself.   what foods are good and even what kind of exercise.  lots of lists of symptoms.  my post above was really only a teaser.  

   for example,  a lot of you T people have anxiety,  while what hits me it irritability, it shocks the hell out of me ,  hitting me in a wave very suddenly.      i would rather be tortured on the rack than have restless legs.  it was like an electic cattle prod applied directly to my spinal column.   it was fred's electric FAST rotisserie.   but i haven't even heard people here mention it.   my research tells me its a dopamine problem.   does this mean that i already had a dopamine problem and the wds just intensified it?   not sure, but it is intriguing.   tyrosine boosts dopamine and i had already started backing off the tyrosine and drinking less coffee.

i have a call in to a doctor friend to see if he can explain to me the connection between dopamine and the adrenals.   i already had adrenal exhaustion and actually come to think of it,  i was taking the T drug in order to cope with not having any energy.  and i mean,  none.  so i feel i have injured my adrenals even more taking this stupid poison.   but it is totally clear to me that i got the wds back because i overused my energy system.  i really pushed myself even though i was nearly ill with exhaustion.   SO DON'T PUSH YOURSELVES TO KEEP GOING when it's really clear your body is saying no.    it seemed to me i didn't have a choice.  but was it worth what happened? no.

suzi,  did you get peppermint oil?  i just looked it up.  it sounds heavenly.   please send info on your diet if you can.  



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by FinallyFred, Jan 04, 2009
Wow emergree, that was some interesting reading you provided on the four different personality types.

I'd have to say that of the four, I feel the most akin to the " dopamine nature", especially the knowing what I want,  assertive, and strong-willed parts.  While there may be a danger in classifying ourselves too tighty, it certainly provides insights to consider.  

I think that it fair to say that to a LARGE extent, our personality type may dictate what method we use to get off tramadol.  For my part, the notion of me tapering off tramadol seemed laughable.  I just knew enough about myself to know that I stood as much chance of tapering successfully, as an alcoholic would have in trying to taper his/her aocohol intake.  

Having said that, Roddy, please don't beat yourself up over a slip or two.  Heck, everyone here yielded to this lousy drug for years, without even making any pretense at attempting to stop.  Like someone said here before, we all did the best we could until we learned to do better.  Guilt isn't an emotion that ever MOVED my mountains.  You are back and please don't allow yesterday's actions to defeat you in the present HOUR.

Madtram, you said, "Hey Fred, I think the tramadol army is a gender free zone, there's only one qualification for enlistment."  BINGO.  You are right of course.  I guess I was in a silly mood last night when I posted.  

Tonight, my over riding emotion is graditude.    I don't pretend to suggest that we are the only ones who successfully get off tramadol.  I am sure that people are discovering life without tramadol who never post here at all.  But I am gratetful that I had that moment of clarity, coupled with the glimpse of HOPE that this room provided, such that I even ventured to believe that I could get off this lousy white pill.  

I mean think about it!  Millions of people right now are believing the lies that they are being fed that tramadol is a tolerance free/withdrawal free, innocent drug, that poses no risk of harm.  SAD SAD SAD.  So when I think of the millions of people who are still believing the lies, I am utterly grateful to longer be addicted to this drug.

No longer will I go to my doctor's office with my hat in my hand.

No longer will I count the pills left, divide by the days left in my RX cycle, and then take the quantity I wanted to anyway.  

No longer will I plan my vacations around my tramadol supply.

No longer will I FEAR withdrawal symptoms when the pharmacy is closed on the day I need my pills.

No longer will I become angry when my doctor chooses to take his vacation when I need my drug.

NOPE, I will gladly manage the lessening residual side affects that remain from taking this drug OVER living with the addiction to this lousy tramadol any time.  And I am grateful that my band of tramadol warriors have been here in my times of need.  Thank you to all.  

But let's not forget that we are in a war.  Establising that mindset is what made my withdrawal possible.  We cannot win the war if/when we would WINK at the enemy.  TRAMADOL IS the enemy that seeks to destroy us.  Never forget.

I am reminded of a story of Ivan the gorrilla.  Ivan lived in a cage in a town south of here and he was "housed" in a strip mall many years ago as an attraction - there to bring customers in.  Ivan was BIG and he was strong.  But the story goes that young kids saw him sitting lazily in a corner of his cage and fancied he could become their friend.  

The urban legend about Ivan is that one day, a teenager climbed into the cage with Ivan.  Ivan blew the teenager sweet kisses and the teenager returned the favor.  Before long, the teenager walked right up to Ivan.  For a time, Ivan combed the teenager's hair with his large pink brush.  Not appreciating the strength or potential anger of the gorrilla, the boy began petting the animal.  

And then it changed.  Ivan began tossing the boy around his cage.  Ivan climbed on the boy and jumped up and down on him.  Then Ivan started throwing chairs and tires at the boy.  Nope, once you get in the cage with Ivan, it isn't over until Ivan says it's over - or...until you can manage to get your butt out of the cage.

So it is with addiction to tramadol.  In the beginning, it beguiles you.  It let's us sing it's praises and we feel that we have found a mild mannered solution to what ailed us.  And then it begins to toss us around the cage of life.  And it won't let go until TRAMADOL TELLS US IT'S OVER -

OR until we find a way to climb out of the cage with this beast.

Courage and strength to all who are still in the cage.  

Fred


  

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by addic42long, Jan 04, 2009
i have been taking well everything i am an addict i am on 30 hrs now with no tram i would rather be coming off heroin havent slept in 30 hrs been taking 20-50 trams a day for 3 yrs now i have to be to work in 2 hrs as a waitress how and the **** am i going to get through this day? i am already having pins and needles and want to kill someone if they look at me wrong (not literally)  i of course ran out way too early 200 in 7 days supposed to last me 3 wks mydr is not on call so i cant get an early refill, of course i came up w/a lie that my car got repoed and my pills were in there im a big fat liar i ate everyone of those little white pills,im sick of lies and living the tram life i want to wake up and be me and i sit here balling my eyes out thinking of where does my dr live? this is really ******* sick **** and what a horrible way to live i just wiped my face of the tears and felt those electric shocks going through my face this ***** im i the worst i ve read so far and am i going to make it im done taking those stupid white pills anyone? what should i aspect over the next 5 days? complete hell?

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by EmilyPost, Jan 04, 2009
*emergency info!*

Addict42long I am so sorry! 30 hours into a cold turkey (forced) is really desperate and scary. I remember. I'm so sorry you have to go thru this. I am hoping you called in sick, Have you been able to sleep at all? I am really sorry you have all this pain and withdrawal. I remember tears over a sweaty electric face. NOT a good feeling at all!

Yes, Addiction makes us all into liars.

The complete Hell was 3-4 days long for me. By Day 7 I knew I would live. By Day 10  was "functioning."

If you can get into a hot bath and put mineral salt/Epsom salts into the water it will help.

I used The Thomas Recipe to get thru and it helped me.

http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Addiction/Thomas-Recipe-Re-Posted/show/16?cid=66

It's designed for Opiate withdrawal. It works with Tramadol. If you have anyone to help you (I hope) they can go to the store and get the basic supplies. It's like being really sick with the flu (worst you ever had), while having a migraine headache with neurological symptoms and having an emotional/spiritual breakdown. It really is true, if you need a smokescreen; having the flu will get you there. If that isn't enough, you can get fake Bronchitis. I know, more lies ... only if you can't tell anyone what is going on ... not sure of the situation you're in!

I found it was best to get extremely angry and approach it like a Full out War.

I also kept a file with copy and pasted info on withdrawal in my computer because I found I could NOT remember what to do when the symptoms started.

Massive Hugs. I will hope that you get off work and get into a bed with lots of supplies to ease withdrawal. It'll be 3-4 days if past examples have served ...

We're all here for you! Write as much and as often as you need to.

Love and Healing,
Emily

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by IzzWizz, Jan 04, 2009
OMG...I feel for you, I really do. I stopped feeling like the end was coming after 3 days I think but they were the longest 3 days of my life. I can't really think of anything to say that will make it any less frightening but we all know what you are going through and my thoughts are with you.

Keep warm and stay as brave as you can!

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by mtgoat911, Jan 04, 2009
great blog......i took ultram last summer when i was going through inerfuron
man, that stuff is definantly a wolf in sheeps clothing
not onlt did i feel like i was detoxing off an opiatte
i felt like i was detoxing of paxil too
strange med, ulrtam also made me psyco!!!
i do know several people in recovery who are taking ultram, i have no problem with that, one just had a masectomy, other back surgery, but they know the risks
xo

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by suzipen, Jan 04, 2009
To addic42long-

I just wanted to say that a lot of us have been where you are, and yes, it is he77!
BUT- you will make it!   you may not feel that way but you will.
Your probably feeling as bad as its gonna get at this point, so hang in there.  As hard as it is -try to post to us often.

You are among friends..........I dont know if you have a support system at home, but if there is someone you can trust, tell them so they can help.

I truly am sorry you have to go thru this.  This is just part od the big tramadol lie!

take care, rest when you can (I know, I know)

I am sending you positive thoughts right now.........

suzi


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by addic42long, Jan 05, 2009
i did go to work but would have like what i would call blackouts my mind was so foggy, god i hate these pills i always felt proud of saying im on a non-narcotic pain releiver like i got off of percocet,vicodin,cocaine,alcohol all by myself but these tramadol non habit forming as well lol is to even put it mildly is pure hell!!!!!!!!!!!!! it has been around48 hrs maybe since my last trammys  work was horrid i was so spaced out and slow like a moron came home called everyone i know to ask them if they had any trams sick sick **** isnt it no one did so my neighbor gave me 3 trazadones i took every vitamin i had in my house sucked down some cough syrup slept till 3 am and here i am the shocks or pins have actually subsided and so have the cold sweats i thought from 4pm till i took those trazadones at 7 i was gonna jump out my skin i couldnt sit still my body hurt so bad..... i fell asleep i was surprised. now here i sit wanna call my dr @ 7 am and ask him to fill my script early and tell him some lie as to why or finish going thru hell what to do ??????????? i was diagnosed w/fibro about 9 yrs ago when i lived in wi my doc had me on percs and vicodin (lortab) i came to fl abot  1 1/2 yrs ago quit the percs and vicodin and did not feel a pinch of what this feels like after 6 yrs of being on the "real narcotic" as the med proff would say. i ve been on thses stupid pills for a couple of yrs medicating myself of course. i cant beleive the diff in withdrawls id rather be coming of methadone or jump off a tall building lol. here it is 5 am and wondering if i shouldcall my dr at 7 am get another script for 200 pills and in 7-10 days i will be out again then what???  i have a husband and a son we got an eviction notice 2 days b4 x-mas my power will be shut off this week and i hope we dont get a 24 hr notice to be out of here. my husband is a bad diabetic dont work and is extremly over weight i use to weigh 230 i am now down to 145 wow from these devil pills, i lost my good job and am now back to waitressing so i am not making it at all **** here comes those cold sweats and my stomach feels like **** i know ive been rambling  but u know what i mean c ya  later and thank u so much emily for this site. love to all

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by FinallyFred, Jan 05, 2009
Dear addic42long,  My heart goes out to you.  I was at the crossroads where you sit right now... just a few days ago.  

I wanted to share some of the thoughts that went into MY my decision to stop taking these rat pills then.  Maybe you can relate and maybe not.  You will need to make your own decision.  But it's not at all unusual to be "conflicted" about whether to order more or tough it out.  Nobody here ewould citicize any choice that you decide to make.  We are not saints!  We get that this is the most terribly battle that most of us have ever gone through.  

Others here like Emily, emergee and others can provide much better TIPS than I on how to get through this easier.  My only TIP, it seems, is to acknowledge that it won't be EASY, no matter what you rub on your body or put into your mouth.  But I believe that you CAN get through this, if you determine to do battle with this terrible addiction.  Withdrawal won't last forever.  You are 50% through from what you have described.  And it won't get any worse than what you must be feeling right now.  

In one of my first posts on about 12/02, I described  that I actually thought I had just made my first ONLINE order of trams when I found this site...only to find out that I had not included my account number" on my debit card.  So this is all terriibly crossroady at the point you are at right now.  

FOG is absolutely normal, but it too will pass.  I could never perform adequately as a waitress in the BEST of my days, so how you could have done this in withdrawal is beyond me.  Hell, I can barely bring the salt and pepper out to our dining room table for my wife and I on the my best of days. Forget keeping orders straight.

For me, I was tired of going through "partial withdrawal" from tramadol EVERY month.  

For me, I figured I could either do this now (and contnue suffering for up to 4-5 days total and BE DONE) or I could put off the pain and suffering for another cycle.

For me, I knew that it wasn't a matter of IF I would have to come off tramadol eventually, but rather, it was a question of WHEN I would come off them.

Some people have worked during COLD TURKEY but I'd feign the flue or broncitus.  

You are 48 hours into the hell of withdrawal.  The question becomes, do you want to WASTE the 48 hours you already have investted (forced or otherwise) add on a couple more days and be DONE, or would you prefer to put an end to your temporary suffering today with a refill and know that you will need to relive the past 48 hours another time again?

For me, I told myself, push on and be done.  Of course your choice is up to you.  

If you can, go back and read Emily's journals from the other website, Day 45 Again.  If you can't find the other site, reach out and someone can get you the link.  

It sounds like you have a great # of other things happening in your life right now.  This withdrawal is one thing that is within YOUR control.  I think you can beat this addiction starting now.  Picture yourself a few days from now OFF this terrible drug.  VISION not being addicted to this tramadol at this time next week.  Think of other ways you may choose to spend the money besides feeding the demon tramadol.  You are in the middle of a WAR right now.  But you are already 1/2 way through the battle.  

I was where you are now just a few days ago and I am living proof that coming out the other side is possible.  Let us know how you are doing.  

Any way you look at it, I feel your pain...I truly really honestly do.  

Fred

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by FinallyFred, Jan 05, 2009
addic42long,  Emily's prior site was:

http***www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/20035

I think you will find some valuable information to read there was well.  

Fred

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by addic42long, Jan 05, 2009
im reading this and crying and my dr is going to ok another early refill i told them at the drs office everything i was feeling tooo easy just to ok the refill than to help me get off this **** i would rather be eating poison maybe i am? well that is crazy they just said to refill the med feild is so not caring fred u really made me think if i can at this point that i am 1/2 way through so i really have not decided if i should pick up the pills or not alright i have to go i will talk more later bathroom is screaming my name this **** is nuts its driving mecrazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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by Mercedes175, Jan 05, 2009
Why not try tapering.  Go ahead and get the refill but begin the process of recovery by TAPERING.  focus on reducing 1/4 of the amount you take on a given day week by week.  Some people give it about 3 /4 days between reducing.  Get your body "used" to the idea of stopping.

I think what you are battling is the cold turkey..not having any relief.  I am focusing on tapering. I was always a cold turkey personality..can definitly see why Emergee and Fred just "did it"..but I agree with you on the Trams..they are horrid in withdrwal. Not only are they misunderstood as a honest, friendly drug that is non-addicting. I actually believe the withdrawals are worse than percs and more serious narcotics.  I have heard this before.

I feel so sick in mornings just from my last dose the night before...I am choosing to stay positive..work down the meds.  I no longer get the high as before so just getting used to alittle less is not such a big deal.  Only reason to take more for me now is to get more of an upkick from the drug...I am satisfied with just not feeling the withdrawals.  So use it for your advantage...you don't have to feel guilty if you are tapering..it will help you get through your other responsibilities. do set a plan for the amount they gave you to when you get down to the last few that will be it.  Look at the last couple days as a learning experience of why you need to get off them forever.  God bless.

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by FinallyFred, Jan 05, 2009
I am so sorry that we get into these debates about cold turkey vs. tapering every time someone has already successfully made it through two full days of cold turkey and they are just two days away from becoming free.  Why NOT resume taking the tramadol?  (which is essentially what we are saying by suggesting "tapering" to someone who is in such straights)

How about this...they have gone through 1/2 of the battle already.  How about, cause if someone's addiction bears any resemblance to the addiction I "enjoyed", flirting with on and off of this drug will only wind up causing that person problems again.    How about, cause some don't desire to be "withdrawing" from this drug for months on end?  How about, because I had ATTEMPTED UNSUCCESSFULLY to reduce the amount I was taking to a "reasonable daily amount" for months/years without success.  How about, cause I was afraid that I would not have been able to successfully "taper" for fear that I would only want another "upkick" myself and before long, I would be right back where I started.  

In a perfect world with perfect people with non-addictive minds and souls, tapering may work out just fine.  But for this person l knew that I lacked the strength to flirt with tapering, risking resuming my old ways during the months that "tapering" still held me prisioner.  

Fred

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by 1113, Jan 05, 2009
ok all....
sorry i tend to dissappear over the weekends....  as I don't like to be on the pc when i am not at work.....


today is the day that I start to get serious about dropping this stuff...... i have been on around 100 mgs a day for a bout a week and half.  i plan on staying here until wednesday, then i am going to drop down to 50 mgs.  if i can handle it then i will stay there for about a week to 10 days.   that point i plan to "Jump".   You know, when i used to take this stuff to get a buzz i needed at least 4 pills, but now that i am taking only 2 i don't hardly feel a thing except a stop in the WD's....  at that point i can continue to operate for the rest of the day and just be myself.

Were as before i continued to dose untill i went to bed which keept me buzzed all day, and that is all that i would think about.  I can't wait until this is done, but i am not going to rush it.

hope all is well.......


pj

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by EmilyPost, Jan 05, 2009
Addic42long .. please excuse me for talking about you like you can't read what I am saying.

We're basically here to support and not to debate at all. Unless someone is doing something dangerous. Now that Addic42long has been off Tramadol for 2 days, to resume at a high level WILL put her at risk for Grand Mal Seizure and she could die.

Let me repeat this. Addic42long if you have been off Tramadol for a couple of days and you go back to your ways of taking 200 in 7 days; you will put yourself at risk for a seizure. This is just a fact. The people who have seizures, do because the dose got a wide variation.

OK? BIG RED FLASHING DANGER LIGHT!

HUGE BIG DEAL!

If she's already named herself "addict" and has told us about the mass amount she's taking we *might* be able to assume that she is like me or Fred and is not suited to a taper. Tapering means you have control. Addicts have no control over Tramadol.

Dependence versus addiction ... we could debate all day .. but we're not here for that.

I had to do a forced withdrawal (I tapered FAST off a high level of 10 50 mg pills a day) and the Cold Turkey was three days long. Even if Addic42long is half way there, there's other things to consider. Like being forced to go thru Tramadol withdrawal at a later date. Since she has told us she's being evicted; how will she afford enough Tramadol to get her thru if she is without a home? It's a Bad Situation I have THANKFULLY never been in but OMG I can really imagine it!

At least we're dealing with it, all of us the best way we can.

The most helpful thing for me was to read about other people who had successfully gotten off Tramadol and were OK now ...

I'm ok now. I sort of tapered and I "jumped off."

Just remember PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not vary your Tramadol in extreme amounts. It's inviting actual DEATH into the equation.

But she's in a very desperate situation.



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by Mercedes175, Jan 05, 2009
For the record, I was not debating at all. Never said cold turkey was not valid.   Not everyone can do cold turkey so tapering may work for some.  I couldnt taper EVER with alchohol..it was all or nothing but for some reason I can on Trams.  Maybe it is because I go to meetings, have a program and a very directional relationship with God.  I just don't feel like going cold turkey and no longer (if any) take the pills for a high.  Just tapering my withdrawal.  It is working for me. So..whatever.


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by ultraumatized, Jan 05, 2009
i was stumbling around looking for some answers & i found this site & have been reading, crying, freezing, sweating, twitching & basically just trying to survive for the past 3 or so hours.  today is my 2nd day of having none of this **** in my system...i feel like i'm going completely insane...& sadly this is not the first or even my up-teenth attempt at kicking. i have been taking pills since i was 13 years old, my dad died from a serious disease around that time...he had to take a lot of pills just to get thru the day & was heavily addicted.  when he died i went into his room, took all the pills i had watched him count every day since i could remember & hid them under my mattress...i have not stopped taking drugs, legal or or otherwise,  for more than a month at a time since then & that was almost 20 years ago.  i don't even remember how i came upon tramadol...it might have been legitimate in some way because i have had back pain, endometriosis(sp?) and other various little problems that sometimes validate an rx of some kind.  i've dealt with severe depression too for most of my life, so when i found the "perfect drug" that would not only alleviate my pain, kill my depression, get me in a nice fuzzy high place & not get me hooked i was sold...yeah...sold my soul more like it.  i know for certain that i have been on tramadol for at least 4 years, maybe 5...a lot of that time is a fog.  sometimes i get a doc to prescribe, sometimes i just go all out & order it online...it always starts so innocently...not gonna abuse it this time...just a little to get me going...and then i'm up to 16 a day and i've gone thru an rx twice as fast as i expected & it starts all over.  i've tried to quit so many times over the past couple of years...i got divorced & found a really great guy who used to be addicted to all kinds of stuff but gave it all up *poof* just like that...i thought i could start all over too & make everything better, but this is no little monkey i'm carrying on my back.  

i guess i took my last big dose on dec 30th...i had lost count on how many i was taking, but realized if i was going to taper i had better not take anymore...i looked in my bottle & saw that i only had 12 left...i tried to go down to 4, then 3 & on new years eve i was lying on my 9 year old daughter's bed at her grandma's house trying to pass off the nausea & stomach pains & chills as the flu...i felt like such a waste...i had to leave her there the next morning so she wouldn't "catch" what i had...saying this is so freakin' hard.  my bf was out of town visiting his little boy for the holidays & he got back the day i ran out...it's been absolute h*ll...he's the only person who knows what i'm going thru...i've been turning my phone off every time a call comes thru, i can't talk to anybody because i know there's a good chance they're gonna figure out what's happening with me.  i've tried to play it off as if i'm not a total pill-head, but i think the mania i put off when i'm on tramadol has to be pretty obvious by this time.  

when my bf got home we had a real long talk about all this.  i didn't realize what i've been putting him thru, ya know...he's a recovering addict himself...what the h*ll have i been thinking??? guess i haven't.  our talk was good tho...he's so supportive & i feel so inspired by him, but it doesn't change what i'm going thru.  i feel like this HAS TO BE the LAST TIME i do this.  i just can't function this way anymore.  i start my last semester of college next week...i have to go back to work sunday...i've got so much i need to do right now tho, for school, for my kid...it's all crashing hard on me.  i know i have a bad tendency to replace one problem with another so after my bf & i talked i got all the rx drugs, all the otc sleep aids, alcohol & well...other stuff...i had stashed away & dumped/flushed everything.  so i guess i'm just at a loss & freaking out.  i've never gone that far before...but i really want this time to be different.  i feel like i'm dying from the "ultrauma", i've tried to kick so many times & i know i'll get thru this part eventually, but what about a month from now?  that's when i always find that without even realizing it i've parked myself in the doc's office or i'm filling out the online rx form...does it ever stop???

sorry to just jump on here & spill all this out, but i don't know what else to do...

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by FinallyFred, Jan 05, 2009
Mercedes,  Please accept my apology.  I can see that my words called into question your own program of recovery and I didn't intend to do that.  

At the moment when I posted, my concern was only for adict42long, but I should have been more thoughtful.  

I am so sorry THAT I offended you.  No excuses from me.  I was thoughtless.

Fred

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by shaffekl, Jan 05, 2009
ultram, you can make it all stop, and congrats on wanting to make it stop.  you need to take it one day at a time.  days 3 and 4 were the worst days for me. after that everyday got better.  there are some great people on this forum with good advice.  I am on day 31 and the support i got here has made the difference for me.  I am so much better now that the tram fog has lifted.  you need to do it for yourself!  

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by emergee, Jan 06, 2009
ultratraumatized,  
    i am so glad you went "that far " this time.  it really can be done.  what many people say is that it gets better very quickly even though you may still feel withdrawals.  there is something inside that changes.  you get yourself back in a way that is impossible to describe.  this does not mean you don't feel like ****.  you realize what a fog you have been in for a long time,  how you have not been yourself.  there is something better about it once you get through the fear of the withdrawals and resign yourself to feeling awful and waiting it out.  if you can, watch movies and read journals on this site.  that keeps the inspiration up.  also write what is happening to you.
     it is fantastic you have the support of your bf who knows what it is like to go through what you are going through.  he can help you.  hot baths with epsom salt help.  heating pad helped me.  excedrin pm.  definitely tyrosine in the mornings. keep writing.

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by FinallyFred, Jan 06, 2009
Ultramatized,  Maybe I shouldn't, but I am LOL at the name you selected.  :) You have a good sense of humor anyway, which can go a long way about now.  You got here the EXACT same way any of the rest of us did, stumbling, looking for answers to our seemingly hopeless state.  But you can get through this - there is a light at the end of the tunnel - and it ain't tramadol.  

If classes and work won't begin for several more days, you have enough time to be through with the worst of the withdrawals if you can deal with getting care for your daughter.  BF?  Neighbors who would lend a hand?  

You won't be sleeping much the next few days, so if you haven't already done so,  click on Emily's first site,

www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/20035  too.

There you will find some helpful tips on getting through this.  I got a great deal out of what Emily had shared from someone by the name of Cadallic Jack.  And consider writing like a mad woman.  It helped me focus on the WAR I was in and since I wasn't much good for anything else in those days, it kept me occupied.  

You said, "when i found the "perfect drug" that would not only alleviate my pain, kill my depression, get me in a nice fuzzy high place & not get me hooked i was sold...yeah...sold my soul more like it.  i know for certain that i have been on tramadol for at least 4 years, maybe 5...a lot of that time is a fog.  sometimes i get a doc to prescribe, sometimes i just go all out & order it online...it always starts so innocently...not gonna abuse it this time...just a little to get me going...and then i'm up to 16 a day and i've gone thru an rx twice as fast as i expected & it starts all over".  

Well Ultramatized (I am still cracking up at the name you chose for yourself) you hit it right on the mark for how my "monthly withdrawals" were like for me too.  Always the best of intentions, yep, that was me too.  As my supply dwindled each month, I would realize that the jig was up and I had to do something or I would run out of pills before...So beginning about the 3rd week of a "supposed" four week supply of trams, I would count the number of pills I had left, divide by the # of days I had left to go, and I always intended to live with the remaining "allottment" for the next week.  By the next day I generally felt that I needed more than that to keep the withdrawal symptoms from kicking in.  I kept that up for six years.  Pretty much the better parat of the last week of every rx cycle was hell.  

So I think you will understand it when I talk about the regular MONTHLY withdrawals I went through.  When I got here, I knew I was in deep ****.  But the stories that the other good people here shared gave me the HOPE that this addiction can be beaten if I worked for it.  I pray that this same hope floods your soul right now.  

As you read these pages, you will observe that there are many different types of people and more than one approach to this.  S L O W L Y, I am beginning to see that people like me have been  "addicted" to these terrible pills, while others may only be "dependant" on the pills.  I'd suggest that you read all the posts, click on some icons and read peoples personal journal entries.  

What I think you will find is that if you read enough of other peoples stories, you will EVENTUALLY find one that will resemble your own - as though you could have written it from the beginning yourself.  

As much as possible, try to tackle things moment by moment and try not to freak out about what may or may not happen in 30 days.  

Courage and Strength to you Ultramatized.  I think you just might make it.  What do you think?

Fred

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by addic42long, Jan 06, 2009
well i caved in got the devil pills and only took 2 ive never taken just 2 ever b4 well my method after all this madness is to grt thru all my living problems get in a stable place then cold turkey i know i would not be able to taper myself ive still been up for 2 days it is 4 am here and i am wide awake when is the fda going to take another look at these demon pills??????????????????? thank you everyone for all supprt u all kept me sane somewhat lol gotta go love u all

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by harmony986, Jan 06, 2009
H all-

Wow, what an amazing group here.

I wanted to know if anyone started getting palpitations while coming off or their palpitations got worse?

I weaned myself down from neurontin and tramadol (over the last 2-3 weeks) after telling my dr that I wanted to see how I felt; I am just entering pre menopause and had to start taking atenolol and low dose birth control to control hemoraging and hopefully balance other hormones.  I have already been taking theanine and vits for menopausal symptoms like anxiety, palps, insomnia , moodiness,    now it is just 10 fold ...the palps and anxiety are the worst for me...i am only on day 2 of no pills  any help or comments will be greatly appreciated. On a side I had been greatfully put on these meds 5 yrs ago after gross implant rupture and I could not move my arms or neck for 2 yrs.  Then I felt I was addicted.  After many surgeries, I feel I just should not need them any longer.    Thanks.

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by roddy132, Jan 06, 2009
Hi Harmony
                 I am presently tapering my Tram dosage with the intention of stopping completely, this medication creates more problems than it cures as you can read above.  Dont worry regarding the heart palpatations this is a common side effect of Tramadol, that and irregular heart rhythms ie rapid heart beat or slow heart beat  After saying this it may be a good idea to visit your Doctor just to put your mind at ease.  All i can say is that i have been having the same problems whilst weaning myself off  the Trams and as i said earlier it is a very common side effect  Hope this puts your mind at ease but visit your Doctor i am sure he will say the same.  Take Care Rod

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by Mercedes175, Jan 06, 2009
Fred, thank you for your nice note to me but you didnt offend me I just wanted to be sure I was understood that I was not arguing or fighting the cold turkey method at all. That was not even in my mind as a problem.  But thank you for your words anyway.  I totally respect and admire your posts and what you are going through.

Addic42long, I am with you.  I am trying to taper to a point but I have come to the conclusion with Trams I dont think there is a tapering that will eliviate eventually a cold turkey at some point.  Whether you stop at 6/8 a day or down to 1/4 a pill a day..I think the withdrawals are inevitible.  Atleast that is what I am feeling.  But like you,,,need to work, I have a child and am all alone in this right now..so I just can't get the emotional and spiritual energy to just get rid of it completely and be left stranded with nothing.  My mornings are so bad before I take my first 2 pills I just cant imagine the day if I dont take the two right now.  For some reason, the thought of tapering makes me feel better that I have a plan and that I am not just taking these to be taking these.  I am not going to get any refills so I either do this or will end up cold turkey anyway..lol.

My struggle right now is going back to where I was. I just want to know that I will be ok post trams.  I am already in recovery from alchohol.  And yet I still started these pills. Never had a pill problem before.  I should have known better right.

I think I am one of those people too that just look for an excuse...I too thought this was a great pill while continuing to live sober..because it was ok'd by my doctor, classified as a non-narcotic for the most part..who am I kidding. I knew more than the doctor did just pursued it anyway with blinders on.

I guess I can qualify myself now as a true addict.  Can't do alchohol or drugs of any kind..I abuse them.  Thanks for all your support...this site is awesome.



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by ultraumatized, Jan 06, 2009
thank you guys for the encouragement, i felt pretty crazy just *blah blah blahing* about stuff to people i don't even know.  

i feel a little bit better this morning...after i posted last nite i forced myself to do the hot bath thing & just sat there & cried a lot. my bf came home w/some tylenol pm's & promised me he would just give me 2 before bed for the next few days & hang on to the rest so i wouldn't raid the bottle.  that helped a lot.  i slept a little bit better but kept waking up covered in sweat & i could not stay still!  i have never had rls from w/d...it's just the inability to get comfortable in any way...i start to sweat & then try to cool off & start to freeze...over & over...i am taking vitamins tho & trying to take it easy...i just have to be careful that i don't let other bad habits creep in while i try to lose this (THE WORST) one.

my daughter has been w/her grandparents & dad since i got *sick*.  she will be back home this evening tho...my bf will help i'm sure, but i'm hoping i can hold it together for her.  one thing that i want more than anything is to kick this not just for myself, but the 3 of us...i don't want my child to ever see me taking meds & think that it's okay because that is exactly what happened to me.  i don't blame my dad in any way, he was really sick & had to do what he had to do...but i watched that so intently when i was a kid...if i passed this to my own child it would kill me.  i also don't want to be a total hypocrite telling her not to take drugs while i'm high as a kite myself.  

i know i have to take things a day at a time, but it's hard to do that.  i had a month long break that i was supposed to use for some serious work before this upcoming semester.  i am...WAS...an artist & have a big final show in 4 months, but i have done absolutely nothing except go way up & crash way down during this time...i haven't been able to create anything...it has made me a nervous wreck.  i have no excuse to give my committee...i guess i have really been pushing my luck.

being patient isn't easy at this point, but i know i don't have a choice, i'm just going to have to do what i can when i can.

thanx for listening guys...it really is good to find people who know how bad this feeling can be & have made it thru to the other side...


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by harmony986, Jan 06, 2009
Thank you so much, Rod.  You put my mind at ease a bit.  I just went to my dr about the palps and he said it did not have anything to do with lowering my dose.  Now that I am off, I just disagree.  I also have an appt with a cardio in 2 weeks anyway, b/c I had a very bad episode that lasted an hr or so, and I had to take 2 atenolol to calm my heart.  I have them just in case, now I feel I need them every day.  

What do you do for your palpitations?  And do they subside as your body adjusts to the lower dose for yourself?  I believe you were on higher doses than myself, I was on 150mg day wth 1800mg day neurontin.  Just curious, do you believe that the tramadol over the years has caused me to develop anxiety and palps?  I keep thinking it is menopause.

Thanks,

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by FinallyFred, Jan 06, 2009
Harmony,  Yes, I too was aput on tr4amadol for "honest" purposes, but the pills turned on me.  I found that once I completely stopped taking tramadol and I got through the first days of withdrawal, the pain which seemed to be intensified WHILE taking tramadol... actually lessed.  Crazy but true stuff.  

As crazy as it sounds, I actually feel WAY better now than I did during ALL my years taking trams.

Ultramatized, you will get your groove back.  One thing at a time OK?  

Don't "guilt" yourself over being a hypocrite.  I suspect that you are a really good person and a great mom and you did the best you could until you learned to do better.  Maybe one day when your daughter get's older you can share these things with her and it will be a real life lesson for her too.  

You are doing great right now.  You are also so fortunate to have a friend who understands and cares.  

Take care, Fred

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by suzipen, Jan 06, 2009
To Harmony-
I just wanted to let you know , I too, have an issue with paplitations. I was put on meds years ago to control them, but went off of them due to other reasons. Since going off tramadol, I have episodes of major paplitations / anxiety that may last for hours. I will say, however, these "episodes" are happening less and less. My. Dr. says there is no relationship to tramadol (whatever......). But, then again tramadol doesnt cause any adverse effects.............RIGHT!!
I know my own body, and I am just waiting it out. That is all we can do when we are ridding ourselves of this horrible drug.
Good luck to you,
suzi

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by harmony986, Jan 06, 2009
Suzipen-

You have been off tramadol for 1 1/2 mos , right?  I am going to take my atenolol during this w/d to ease my anxiety and palps, although I still had a palp this morning.  I do feel I can deal with the sweats, stomach issues, etc, but the anxiety and palps and periods of depression are just terrible.  I am getting my strength from everyone on here.  Thanks.

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by emergee, Jan 06, 2009
suzi and others,
   it makes me furious your doctor said that about palpitations.  i have been researching neurotransmiiters and palpitations is a symtom of depletion of one of them.  i don't exactly remember if it is dopamine or not, but i have definitely connected rls to dopamine.  also depletion of dopmine causes add and adhd,  so has anyone had trouble with their concentration lately?  i think we are underestimating the MASSIVE effect this poison had on our brain chemicals,  and how that can massively compromise one's functioning and experience of life.  dopamine also has to do with pleasure.  so one thing that depletion can do is make people do risky things like gambling.  gambling changes the dopamine and gives you a sense of pleasure.  my friend who got off effexor recently ,  boutght a new house and spent all available cash that was in her retirement on new furniture and fixing it up.  she also had stomach problems to the point she had major tests done. also dopamine dominates the adrenals,  so if you have low energy , that could be a reason.  
     i wonder if anyone has noticed anything in regard to exercise.  i exercised again yesterday ,  the first time since my relapse on new year's eve.   again i experienced increasing rls and and an uncomfortable buzz feeling.   also difficulties concentrating,  and staying on one subject.  so now i am afraid of exercise,  which is a drag.  

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by ultraumatized, Jan 06, 2009
i have been reading some more & crying some more & freezing, sneezing, sweating & smelling really strange things (has that happened to anyone else thru this process?)  i am confused as to where i am at right now...3 days clean but 7 days of w/d...i wish it was over.  i have to drag myself out & do "stuff" this evening, so i think i am going to have to suck it up & try to pretend to be human for awhile.  

i had a recovering alcoholic-former actor-theatre professor who's favorite play is "long days journey into night". i have read it over & over again (not for the same reasons he did...i identify more with the morphine addicted mother) & it always makes me mad as h*ll, so i think i will read it again tonite.

i am taking your advice fred & i am writing down everything about what i'm going thru in my own private journal...i want to remember this time...i have shoved it away & pretended for way too long.

at lunch my b/f came home & i told him i wanted to go out & buy some bananas later...he said "who are you?  i've never heard such a thing come out of your mouth".  it made me laugh for the first time in what seems like forever & that felt really good.

sorry to kind of ramble...i guess you guys know how the brain sort of flips around during this time...

good luck to everyone who is suffering with this demon...



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by HOPEreturns, Jan 06, 2009
Hi everyone.... been at work for the past few days.

Emergee.... i love the info on the neurotransmitters... so interesting.  Gonna read more about it.  I have been taking several supplements for the past few weeks and already feel better.

ULTRA, ULTRA, ULTRA!!  I do hope you feel better soon!  Based on what these wonderful individuals in here say...... YOU WILL!  I am actually one that has to ween.  I know my limitations, and just don't feel that I could hold down my job and mother two children COLD TURKEY yet.  But I will be going COLD TURKEY Jan 28 due to my days off.  Like Fred had mentioned.  Don't waste those days that you have already withdrawaled..... if you take more.... you'll be startin all over again.  I had been taking an ENOURMOUS AMT of pills.  DANGEROUSLY HIGH amount and suffered a grand mal seizure.. WHILE i was driving.  I am scared everytime I drive now.  I don't drive my children around anymore.  I will when I am Tramadol free.  I have an addictive personality ( one would think that I need to go cold turkey).  I have weaned off of this stuff before when I was pregnant.  I had a reason and a goal.  I was terrified that it would have ill effects on my baby.  She turned out just fine.  MY POINT is that I had a reason so I forced myself to get off of it.  Now my reason is my family and the fact that I want to drive again without the anxiety of Tramadol!  Take it from EMILY and the others.... this pill can be deadly! Hang in there and just know that you have a "room full" of support!

You also mentioned that you laughed for the first time in forever..... Ya know.... I noticed now that I am on a much lower dose, I am feeling again.   It's wonderful to laugh and really feel it!  This medication numbs the soul!  It suppresses your feelings, and when your body doesnt have the drug anymore........ ALL OF THOSE feelings that werent dealt with.... come to the surface!  Yes, at the beginning you feel marvelous!  It doesnt take long for this "WONDER, NON ADDICTIVE DRUG" HA! to turn on you!  

Hope everyone else is doing great!!

Love to all!
Hope



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by harmony986, Jan 06, 2009
Has anyone tried 5 htp for their depression/anxiety?  I have been looking into it and am a bit confused.  Some say high doses can aggravate anxiety.  I have also read that it can "aggravate" anxiety in the beginning as the receptors are waking up , but then should settle down.  Anyone have any luck?

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by EmilyPost, Jan 06, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!

(gentle hugs and apple juice all around)

Mercedes you will be ok post-Tramadol. I don't think it is worth the guilt.  Tramadol is one of the biggest lies out there right now.  Some states have reclassified it. But what can you do if a Doctor tells you it is safe and non-narcotic? I believed them.  You actually at one point could NOT have known better. There was nothing online at all defaming Tramadol. Thru all my searches, this thread and journal is the longest running detailed Tramadol withdrawal group in existence. Pretty scary.  Anyhow, you have my support! And i am also sorry if I scared you or you felt snapped at yesterday by my warning to addic42long. (So glad to hear from you addic42long ...)

Mercedes I hope you are wrong about this, you wrote, " I am trying to taper to a point but I have come to the conclusion with Trams I dont think there is a tapering that will eliviate eventually a cold turkey at some point.  Whether you stop at 6/8 a day or down to 1/4 a pill a day..I think the withdrawals are inevitible.  Atleast that is what I am feeling."

Unfortuneatley ... eiiiiii ... I think you may be right. The question is; how much better is it when you taper? I hope it is better, but I do not know. I did a "I ran out of pills taper" and then "jumped off" ... straight into the Pit of Hell. Complete with horrible bloody dreams. I would wake up drenched in cold sweat ... if I slept at all. But I got say I was at least relieved to be dreaming again. I hadn't dreamed the whole time I was on Tramadol. Which means I had no SLEEP. No deep REM sleep. Which is restorative. It's amazing I did not go crazy.

Ultratraumatized (yes, it makes me smile too) ... I like the Banana Story :D ... I have a feeling you will be ok. I'm delighted and happy you have a support system. Thank goodness. Regardless of your past; nothing but what you do TODAY matters. As te beautiful Poet Rumi said, "Even if you have failed your vows a thousand times, come and try aga9in and again."  He also says, "If all you can do is crawl, start crawling."

So ... that's what i did .. I started crawling. You know that whole One Day at a Time thing? It's really very soothing when you live that way. You take care of today to the ver best of your ability. It guartees you that at the end of next month or next year, you will be able to TRULY say (and know it is real) that you did the very best you could.

Harmony you write, " I just went to my dr about the palps and he said it did not have anything to do with lowering my dose.  Now that I am off, I just disagree." He's wrong. Sorry. He is. If you look up straight up "Opiate Withdrawal" you will see massive heart/cardiac symptoms. Racing heart, blood pressure up and down ... all the opiate symptoms (in my experience) applied to the withdrawal from Tramadol.  am glad you will put your mind at ease by seeing a cardio specialist.

I do and did yogic breathing ... breathe in for a count of 5, breath out for a count 10. This actually drops your heart rate down.  I also do crunches if I feel like an anxiety attack is about to hit. Why? A. It works for me and B. The Eastern Medicine peeps say FEAR is stored in the stomach ... and I was given the advice by my acupuncturist.

Of course now I TRULY believe my anxiety was CAUSED by Tramadol.

Izz you Sweet thing! You fell down! Oh man, And what's odd is that you fell down abut 4 months ago. Which is about how long ago my last car accident was. So we're on a nice time frame recovery ... matching ... twins ... you know what I mean?

Anyhow you asked me about my lower back pain and "chronic lower back pain." Right now I am in a full on flare up of acute low back pain. What do I do about it? Well, first I stopped taking all the drugs. The drugs seem to make the pain level sky rocket. By which mechanism they do this? ... no freakin clue. BUT I can tell you that PRIOR to my accident in August '08, I have almost 60 days off TRAMADOL and I HAD NO BACK PAIN. It was ... crazy! I had no neuropathy. I had no pain. Bummer man total Bummer!

So .. it was a tough break to get into that car accident. It reactivated the pain-anxiety-pain cycle. This along with business and the Economy being INSANE and my Type A personality has made for alot of .. well ... alot of trouble.

I can tell you what it is like to detox of of alot of drugs. Tramadol (for me ... no one get all crazy on me) ... Tramadol was the worst of all of them.

Chronic back pain required that I never add any extra weight to my body. It meant losing all  the weight I had ever gained. I avoid stimulants (except coffee in the mornng and even that is slowly vanishing) ...

I try to pace myself. The problem is that during an acute flare up, the fact is I am down flat on my back with a great deal of pain. I have a Chiropractor and several physical therapy modalities. I use ALOT of ice packs.

Yoga is the best thing I have ever done for my health and well being. The exercise helps chronic low back pain. And it helps somewhat with acute low back pain. I use an elliptical trainer. It's in my house. Alot of people couldn't or wouldn't go that far, but I have little patience and little commute time for a gym. Plus I am in Southern California so alot of the gyms are ... icky,

I use Biofreeze. I was laughing with a friend about "Am I going to be the next person who dies of a muscle balm over application?" ... A little dark humor.

What does not work is for me alot easier to tell you. Drinking booze. It gives me a little relief from acute back pain. But the backlash is wicked bad. I am NOT a good drinker. I would even say I am either sugar sensitive or allergic to booze. Heat never ever works for my back pain. Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and steam rooms help.

Gaining any weight in my stomach, One pound on my belly is ten extra pounds thru a lumbar disc. Two of my discs are bad and I have S1 neuropathy. Right now the acute stage isn't over. It was a bad accident.

The lack of sleep an overall bummer. My stress level is way too high. Coping mechanisms are stretched too thin. I watch funny movies, that helps. But so does CRYING at sad movies. That also helps.

I hope any of the ideas help Izz. I know how you feel. I hope you are doing ok. I cannot believe they put you on Tramadol.  I wish they hadn't!

Love and healing to all,
Emily

Harmony Vitamin D helped my depression and so did sunlight on my skin. All the B's helped my depression. And so did KNOWING (as I did in my heart) that the depression was a chemical creation; courtesy of Tramadol ... and it went away ...

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by horselover65, Jan 06, 2009
Emily,
I want to thank you for writing this. I joined the bipolar community a while back, but have skimmed around periodically because I have other issues (including anxiety) and because I like to learn. The word "tramadol" caught my eye and your story has touched my heart.

I'd like to thank everyone else who has posted here, too. My sister has been through rehab multiple times for heroin and currently sits in prison. Everyone who is working to beat an addiction is fighting a noble battle.

My doctor in his infinite (lack of) wisdom decided tramadol was "safer" for my chronic back issues and periodic injuries than Vicodin. It didn't matter that I'd taken Vicodin off and on for over 30 years without ever becoming addicted. Nope, this was "better" and "safer". He echoed the idea that addiction risk was minimal. I will be having a long talk with him about this. I personally never seemed to feel much pain relief from the tramadol and took it occasionally hoping it was better than nothing. I think he did this because they can still get multiple refills without a doctor visit, unlike opiates. I had a different doctor until two years ago and I am seriously considering changing back. I don't trust this guy as much any more. Imagine if I'd taken all of the 60 or 90 pills a month he prescribed me for months on end. The last thing I need in my condition is an addiction. It's the last thing anyone needs. There is a lot of substance abuse in my family on both sides. I am ultra-careful because of it, so I am furious that I could have become addicted. I have been struggling so much with the mental illnesses already.

I hope that you continue to recover. I also go to acupuncture. I have a tendency to overdo it and lift things that are too heavy, along with being prone to falls, especially on the ice. This time of year in Colorado there's nearly always a patch of ice somewhere and I seem to find them pretty often. Acupuncture helps even when I can't handle physical therapy or massage. I also have a portable TENS unit that helps. My husband uses it, too. We've had relief for strained/pulled muscles, tendons, and ligaments; it even helped when we were trying to deal with that pinched nerve.

Best wishes and thanks again!

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by emergee, Jan 06, 2009
harmony,
    i am taking every single goddamed amino and supplement,  one of them being 5htp.  therefore it is a little hard to tell what does what.  but i do not have anxiety really.   i feel irritation at loud noises and i feel like my skin has been peeled off, making mingling with the public tricky.   the only things i can say for sure work are tyrosine for energy and alertness,  gaba in large doses for mellowness , and hylands for rls.   but i still take every single recommended supplement .  ah, hylands nerve tonic is mellowing as well.  ( i believe that was seconded by emily).  

ultra,  i had to laugh over "long days journey into night"  .   i have never made it past 5 minutes of that play.  i become so depressed instantly .   what a choice!!  i found that the T drug cast a nightmarish hue on everything around me when i was just coming off.  i stopped watching entourage because it got tram on it. ( i had gotten weeks of dvds for my wd)   it made me sick to ever see it again.  so the idea of compounding it with "long days" is interesting to say the least!
    and i had a major banana craving happen and i just found out it promotes gaba ( or is it another of them? but definitely one of them).  

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by Organica, Jan 07, 2009
Hi all...
Just checking in to tell you that after many many weeks of slow taper from 200mg right down to just 10mg or so daily, I've now been off for 3 days with very little effect.  I'm doing a lot of epsom salt baths with soothing essential oils, swimming in the ocean and sunshine on the body, and it all feels pretty good!  I have gradually become more energised, and the ability to exercise really helps sleeping issues. And yoga has helped enormously - not just postures, but breathing and specific meditations for releasing.
So, another one of us Tramal-free, and quite a few more on the way!
Peace and strength, everyone...
Sue


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by kevzx81, Jan 07, 2009
Hi everyone,been away for 2 days due to pc problems.
I dropped down to 3x15 mg yesterday and am now due to jump off in about 10 days. If I want to stretch it out any longer I need another refill and THAT aint happening.

Mercedes; My taper is about feeling in control(having a plan) too. I know I'm probably kidding myself;after all,we know how random w/d is from Tram. But right now even a false sense of control is welcome!!
Like you I doubt that stepping off will be trouble free. Good luck to us both.....

Emergee, my concentration has been reduced to the level of a goldfish at times these last few days. I'm ruining meals, forgetting all sorts of stuff.
I remember on the previous thread, someone( Fred?) mentioned putting cutlery in the bin!
I know now that you can't mix gravy salts with coca cola!!
I also know my living room waste basket is not suitable for liquids!
And I DARE NOT trim my beard LOL........

Aside from all this flippancy I see its been a busy few days here.
Addic42long: welcome and all power to you! I've never had a previous 'heavy' addiction myself so I have no basis for comparison with Tram against other opiates. The testimony that you bravely offer us is an important proof of how foul this drug really is!!
When I first joined this site it was the words of another long term addict that stripped away any remaining doubt I had about how bad Tram really is. Reading it scared me, but it woke me up. I finally SAW the enemy.
In sharing here we support each other. The ' babbling to strangers' you describe will be someone elses wake up call!!
Your story really moved me (I think it moved us all).
Thank you for putting it here where it can do so much good.




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by ultraumatized, Jan 07, 2009
hi everyone...just got up a bit ago to get my daughter ready for school.  i am absolutely relieved to say that, while i haven't slept for more than 45 minutes solid all nite, i never once woke up with the sweats or chills...this absolutely thrills me despite how tired & groggy i feel.

as hard as it was to drag myself back out into the world yesterday i did it.  i feel like it did a lot more good than i could have expected.  of course, the lights at the grocery store were too bright & talking to strangers was no fun, but i got thru it.  had to take my little one to chorus practice & could not manage to go inside to listen, so i sat in the car w/m bf & we read instead (yes, i know "long day's journey..." seems like a strange choice, but it always makes me feel like i have the power not to cave...) over all i feel like i got thru the whole evening in a much better state than i had started the day in.

i feel like maybe the very worst of the physical stuff may be over & now i just have to figure out how to keep myself busy & not let the emotional/mental stuff take over.  this site is so helpful & everyone is so caring...thanks again for listening & good luck to all.

oh & someone mentioned how a good cry can be helpful, as in watching sad movies or something i think?  i saw "the curious case of benjamin button" sunday w/m bf...i don't know how i got talked into such a thing...it was the worst time in the world to see a movie like that, but it was SO good, i cried my eyes out...& it has a message that i felt hit me directly in the heart...if you can handle the emotions i definitely recommend it.

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by emergee, Jan 07, 2009
kev,  
   here is the link:
    
            http://createvibranthealth.com/NT.htm

you have to search around on the site to find it.  don't give up because it is there.  i would be very interested to know if you go ahead with this process. i am positive there is something to it.  i feel as if i have kicked myself into a low dopamine state,  it feels like i can identify the state by how i feel.   i exercised (stair climbing ) again and it clearly made it worse.   the rls is seemingly here to stay , and there a pre-rls state  that i now feel all the time ; and low dopamine causes rls.     i wondered if you were a gaba person, i know that sounds silly, but reading your profile and the vibes i get ,  i just flashed on it.
          
I know now that you can't mix gravy salts with coca cola!!
I also know my living room waste basket is not suitable for liquids!
And I DARE NOT trim my beard

no kidding.  and after a weeks of it,  it's not funny at all.   i spent a couple of years i this fog without knowing it.

ultra, thank for the heads up on 'benjamin button'.   my bit tram catharthis movie was  'milk'.    congratulations on feeling better.  you too,  organica.

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by Mercedes175, Jan 07, 2009
Wow, Ultramitzed..I commend you for going "out" on your 4th day completely cold turkey.  May I ask if you are taking anything else to help you cope?  Are you taking any prescribed meds for anxiety or sleep?  The reason I ask is I don't think my cold turkey (when I get there that is) will be over in 4 days.  Something inside me tells me I am just way in over my head.  This morning I felt so bad I just cried and I am not really off this drug at all "yet".  That was just my normal morning..its getting worse.

You were taking about what I am up too...my initial dose was 6-8 a day but I did find myself in last couple weeks taking as many as 14/16...(I had my reasons that sounded good at the moment)..just a couple more..took the earlier dose too early...on my period..blah blah.  I don't want to drag this out but looking for people on high doses like me that can actually function.

To me, going to a moview, out with friends is normal life.  I conrats you on only 4 days.  I thought it would take a good 2 weeks to get to that point.  Any encouragement w/be appreicated.  today I am going to definitly concentrate on scaling back more..maybe I will end up going cold turkey as yesterday I started scaling back..moved out my doses to later in day..but I felt tired and listless all day with a nagging headache, nasueu and didnt feel like going out at all (blew off my evening plans).  This morning felt like I had a bad flu. the bad news is yesterday evening I ended up taking more again..didnt really help.  I think now my body is confused to what it wants.

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by 1113, Jan 07, 2009
i have a huge question that i need help on.....

so i have been tapering and i am down to 100mg day as apposed to 300mg (6pills/day to 2pills/day).  i take both pills at the sametime every night.  usually between 6-7 pm.  for tapering purposes, should i spread these two pills out....  like take one mid afternoon and take one at night...  if i do it this way then maybe i will be lessening the plasma spike in my bloodstream...  on the other hand i feel like i will be breaking one of my own rules, which is not to take anything while i am working....

any suggestions please.

i started taking l-theanine yesterday and i think i noticed a difference in my anxiety...  i could at least think past it....

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by FinallyFred, Jan 07, 2009
Untramatized,  You are doing SO GREAT!  Just another day or two MAX and you will be out the other side from the worst of the withdrawal - promise.  Maybe sooner.  But I was glad that Emily and others prepared me for the fact tht withdrawal is random.  As in little things can and will return even days after the worst of withdrawal has past.  Tramadol still has it's "hooks" in us and as Emily said, it doesn't want to leave the building without a fight.

Emotons?  Crying jags?  Click on my icon and go check out my "End of Day 5" personal journal entry.  I attended a wedding on my day 5 and I didn't just cry during the service, I cried right through the reception that followed.  My adult sons were looking at me like, "dad, get a grip, it isn't THAT beautiful!"   I think I could have cried at a rock that day.  

The minister who did the service went to my sister's church.  I was blabbering on and on about how GREAT he did after the wedding.  That was way over the top for me.  Now my sister is sending me copies of his sermon tapes.  Ye gads!  

And fog?   Day 7, I returned to work.  I could barely see my computer monitor and I was foggy as heck.  I recall just "going through the motions" of work but not making great headway or decisions due to the fog from days 7-14.  But it did get better over that next week and today,  a month later, I don't have any preceptable fog.  

Sue, wow, wowie wow wow.  Good for you.  Congrats!!!  

Movie Recomendations:  I saw Ben Button and agree with your comments, though for my money, "Doubt"  is FAB.  It is REALLY well acted and is the best film I have seen in the past year.  It won't win at the box office, but it is really well acted, it is intriguing,  and leaves you thinking.    

Warm Wishes to all.  Fred



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by ultraumatized, Jan 07, 2009
hi mercedes...

see, i'm kind of unsure at what day i'm really on...i dropped from taking 16 - 50mgs/day to only 4, to 3, 2 for 2 days & then just 1...i thought i had more to taper a little slower, but once i started getting to higher doses i quit paying attention & no way was i going to get more!  by the day i had dropped to 3 (new years eve) i was having the worst abdominal cramps i've had in my life & the chills started...by taking the little bit that i did i think i might have held some of the worst parts off at first because i really didn't get hit terrible hard until sunday evening.  my bf had recently gotten back home after a week long trip, i felt like **** because he had to come back to find me right in the middle of w/d's so i tried going out to see the movie...it might sound normal, but let me tell you, i had a stack of napkins that i brought in with me & none were dry when we left...and i continued to cry for at least a good 3 hours after we got out of the theater...it was really hard!  but i'd still recommend that movie...AFTER you feel better...there is something in it about how people do the best they can with what they are given, but if you wake up one day & realize you aren't happy with where you are, then start over & do whatever you have to to make it better...it seemed to me like somebody was trying to tell me something when i heard that...

anyhow...the only thing i am doing medication wise is taking 2 tylenol pm's at night before i go to bed, taking a multi-vitamin, flax oil & omega 3 tabs, drinking ensure & eating as healthy as i can manage (this is what my b/f does regularly & he has kicked some major bad habits in the past 2 years so i'm just jumping on the same wagon).  the tylenol hasn't helped me sleep at all, but i've been having killer headaches & it is alleviating that a little bit.  

what i first tried that failed completely...i tried both flexeril & some rx meds that the doc had prescribed my daughter when she went thru some anxiety issues a couple of years ago...i cannot for the life of me remember what the stuff is called tho...it's sometimes used in the same way as benadryl without the side affects benadryl can cause if you are allergic to it....i used both of those excessively for the first couple of days to sleep & calm down...didn't happen.  someone left a bottle of rum in my refrigerator from a little xmas get together & i had 2 drinks on one of those 2 pills a day days...it made me feel TERRIBLE to drink, tramadol always dried out my skin SO BAD to begin with...when i woke up the next morning after the rum my head was pounding, i was awful sick to my stomach & my skin felt like it had been stretched, dried & glued back to my body...not fun!  i guess i should admit also tried a little mary j on one of the days i was home alone as well, that was also a VERY BAD IDEA....it heightened every symptom i was having & made me an even more emotional paranoid mess. because of all the problems i've had in the past w/getting on another drug to get off one i ended up getting rid of ALL those things & am now just down to the pm's & vitamins.

i got up feeling pretty good this morning, but by the time i got my daughter 1/2 to school my stomach started to cramp up again & i ended up back home in bed for about 3 hours, the up side is that i did sleep a little finally.

i guess one thing you have to remember is that things DO hit VERY RANDOMLY.  when i was grocery shopping yesterday i thought my eyes were going to pop out from the lights & i felt like everything was spinning around...talking to the cashier made me so self-conscious  because everything seemed very, very loud...but it's possible to manage in little steps.  my b/f has been driving me & my daughter everywhere because i don't feel very confident being behind the wheel & that has also been a big relief...by the time we had done our errands & gotten home last nite i felt much better  & was able to function pretty well until bedtime.

all that said, after the first nite of no chills & sweats & minimal symptoms i can feel them creeping back up on me right now...my head is really starting to pound again...

the best i can say is just go for it & do whatever you feel you need to make yourself as comfortable as you can.  the sooner you take the leap the sooner it will be out of your system, i think putting it off just makes the anxiety worse.  also...do what you can WHEN you can...don't feel like you have to be a superhero...even after you start to feel better you may have to step back from everything for awhile because you start to feel like sh*t again, but i think it finally starts becoming less frequent & easier to work thru. it's hard to cope at first, but i think you can...i've been down this road more than a few times & it does go away after awhile...for me it's just KEEPING it away.

good luck! & thanks again to everyone...

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by Organica, Jan 07, 2009
(((113))) with your tablet issue... If it were me I would definitely take them at different times of the day, then taper each down.  I ended up with tiny amounts, about 3 times a day, then down to 2 times, once, then finished.  The 'not taking anything while working' I do understand, but it may not work so well with tapering.
Just my opinion - hope it helps..
Well done,
lots of strength to you,
Sue


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by Organica, Jan 07, 2009
Hi Mercedes.. You know, when the going got tough I think (or thought, although that is probably premature - I'm only 4 days t-free after my taper) of Tram as a big fat parasite sucking the life and soul out of me.  It is such a horrible visualisation that it works! Every time I took less, it shrank, until it was dead and gone.  Make it super gruesome... mine was on my chest, big and black with lots of sticky tentacles - you get the picture!!!  There was no way I was going to feed that thing more stuff!  I imagine it would work well with CT as well...
Kill the thing!
love and support,
Sue

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by suzipen, Jan 07, 2009
Hi everyone
Gosh-lots to read!! Its great.
First- Congrats to Sue!!  And Ultaumatized!!  Great Bug Hugs to you!!

And sooon ,oh so soon for Kev , Hope , 1113 , Rod and Mercedes!!   We will all be here when you "jump off!" Yes we will!
You are among true warriors here.

I hope I didnt miss anyone.

Its is a scary yet exciting time for all of you, and the rest of us as well.
I know "exciting" may not quite fit yet, but you will understand when you start getting glimpes of the real you. It feels so good when you start looking around at the most common of things , and feel like you havent seen it in a very long time. Like, I remember going outside one day, and it was kinda yucky out with overcast skys ( god ole ohio for ya),
    BUT, I actually saw the sky and the trees and really appreciated them. That may sound stupid, but I remember crying because I felt like I had blinders on for so long, and everything was either black or white. good or bad. There was no REAL feeling and seeing things.
Today I went to visit my mom in a nursing home,or as we prefer to call it "a long term physical rehab facility". The words nursing home can be quite depressing, especially when she is only 66.
ANYWAY, there was an Elvis impersonater there performing for the residents.  I decided to go with my mom to watch.
I have always LOVED Elvis, but the impersonaters- not so much.
Well, much to my surprise and delight- it was sooo much fun! I actually had tears in my eyes by the last song.  He took me down memory lane to my first (and only Elvis concert), which by the way I was 12. My whole point to this,  IF I was still on tramadol, I would not have reacted this way.  First, I probably wouldnt even have gone, and I sure wouldnt have been touched by his music.

I have also managed to make a pretty important decision in my life. For years (T years), I have not been able to concentrate on one path in my life. Example: I got my license to be an esthitician, I have my own candle business, I have been renting a building for 1 1/2 years to open a skin and nailcare salon(that I have yet to open), as well as a candle store, and I also work for a professional skincare company as an educator.  WOW! What a nut, right?
Well, like I said, I made a decision recently...............I am giving it all up and............. I am going to school to be an RN.

Insert applause here.

I feel my heart pulling me in this direction, even tho I would never have thought this is what I wanted to do. Its not the med part, or the surgery part, I actually want to help people. and there are so many different avenues I could take.
Let me say, once again, I could never have made this life changing decision while on tram.
My husband thinks I'll get fired for telling people what evil drugs they are being given LOL!! Or that I am gonna go on some kinda mission to change the whole medical system. Major LOL!

Now that it has been all about me,me,me- sorry, but I just wanted to share with all of you.
This where I am at in my life, amid all the random crazy w/d that still hits me right in the stomach whenever it feels like.  oh, and the brain, the legs, the back, the head, the tips of my fingers even. need i go on?

Isnt it weird how you start remembering things that you have either forgotten, or never knew at all? I do this a lot.
Is it just me?  I'd like to hear some of your memorys that were stifled by tramadol.

If you are debating if you think you can actually get off this stuff and make it, take my word for it:
YOU CAN!!

And to my rocks-
Emily, Emergee and Fred- much gratitude to you! BIG BIG HUG


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by FinallyFred, Jan 08, 2009
Suzi,  WOW, what a great decision and plans for you.  You'd laugh, but I am sitting here actually clapping my hands together and smiling for you.   I knew you had some big decisions to make.  There is so much stress, agnst, and inefficiency tied up in indecision.  Good for you Suzi!   And wow, another RN in the room.  Cool.

You asked about memories STIFFLED by tramadol?

How about things I was oblivious to while on tram?

Like my dear wife needing me while I was there in body only?

Like our cats wanting to be fed or cuddled and my mind was somewhere else?  

Like the number of times I made it home by unmerited favor from above - while driving in a tram fog?

Like staring out the window - while not looking at anything in particular that I could really recall if you had asked?

Like sitting at the dining room table with family and friends, and not realizing that the person next to me was trying to get me to pass the potatoes?

It's a TRAM-A-ZONE.

I'll tell you about a BIG TIME REGRET that I know was caused in large part by my TRAM-A-FOG.  It's a long story, so sit back.  

Until August, we had a beautiful manx cat that we had since she was a baby girl - or 13 years.  She had developed impacted bowls about a year before and our vet had to "unplug her" under G.A.  We gave her oral meds twice every day since.  She was a MANX and as is usual with the bred, she was more than a little cantancerous. Okay, some say she was "mean", but I never gave up on loving her into a more affectiate kitty.   Everyone we know was afraid to pet her, let alone give her meds with a syringe twice a day.  I even offered to pay both of our adult son's $50.00 if they would give her her oral medication just one, and they refused because they were afraid of her.  But we had arranged with her vet's assistant to care for her while we left on vacation for two weeks  late last August.  

We knew that our cat was showing signs of being impacted again 3-4 days before we were about to leave on vacation, but I discounted it (I feel now) in some part due to the TRAM-A-FOG.  I was going through the motions of readying for vacation the Friday before we were set to leave.  Haircut, bank, post office, wiper blades, etc.  I'd stop @ home periodically between errands and by about 3:30 p.m., two days before we were about to leave, my wife told me that our baby girl kitty was laying in her litter box - crying and constipated.  How could I have allowed this to go so dangerously near to the day when we were scheduled to leave on vacation?  DA FOG.

We called her vet, but it was too late in the day/week for her regular vet to see us.  We gathered our kitty up and took her to the "emergency vet place" and long story short, she never came home with us.  Had I been paying closer attention, I would have (1) noticed her condition sooner,  (2) responded to get her help sooner than I did, and (3) she would probably still be here sitting at the kitchen table as i write this post.  I could blame my busy errand day, but the fact of the matter is that I walked past her a dozen times that (last) day and NEVER NOTICED...through the fog.  ZONED...

Just like I have done dozens of other times while in my tramadol fog.

Like when I had I made it home by unmerited favor from above - while driving in a tram fog.

Like when I'd stare out the window - while not looking at anything in particular that I could recall?

Like when I sat at the dining room table with family and friends, and never realized that the person next to me was trying to get me to pass the potatoes.

Only that day, I needed to have been tram free and I wasn't.  

So yeah, fog kills, and I AM NOT SO SURE THAT WE EVEN WANT TO REMEMBER SOME OF THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES WE HAVE WALKED RIGHT BY while in that damned tramadol fog we existed under.

That fog we WELCOMED as we gobbled pills and thought the affect was so LOVELY.  

Possibly someone else has some HAPPIER memories that they have just recalled since being OUT of the fog?

We talk frequently about the fog we experience AFTER tramadol.  But when I think about it some times Suzi, I wonder if it isn't more of us being AWARE of the old FOG as it tries to leave us-  than it is a new fog hitting us?   Cause when I was really in the fog for six long years...I'm not sure that I noticed or would have thought to complain about it.  That was just the way it was.  At the time, I guess that's the way I wanted it.  Looking back...causes me so much pain.

But TODAY is a new day.  

Let's make a mutual promise you and me?  If I EVER consider putting another TRAMADOL in my mouth, I promise to tell you before I do it.  And if I tell you about it, please please please talk me down or bring a big gun over to my house and shoot me.  Because "living" with  tramadol fog is really no way to LIVE at all, is it?  

Good stuff in the room today.  Sorry if I bummed ANYONE out.

Fred

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by madtram, Jan 08, 2009
What an Up feeling on the board in this hopeful new year.   Sue, I'm so happy that your slow & steady has paid off, I'm sure your diligent yoga practice was a big contributor as well.  Em & Sue, I'm so impressed with your strong commitment to yoga.  I fully believe in its benefits but I'm a bit of a quick fix, run & pump iron kind of girl, which don't seem to require the same kind of mental stamina.  Did either of you find yoga a struggle at first?

SuziP, it's never too late, IMO, for a change of career direction.  I was an attorney when I left college, then a business director for 15 years & now I'm at med school.  The world so needs more nurses, particularly with great life experience, so go for it.

Fred, you are soooo funny.  Have you considered developing a stand up comedy routine, based on your experiences.  I would see you at open mike night for sure.

Re neurotransmitters, the creativehealth man has generally good information about what to take to provide support for the different neurotransmitters.  I think there is enough free info on his site that you wouldn't necessarily gain much more benefit from paying for his consultation, (a personal decision of course).  E.g. his claim that he has a "special form of GABA that is absorbed better.  There are many studies establishing that orally ingested GABA in any known formulation does not cross the blood brain barrier & therefore will not impact your brain chemistry.  That being said, there are anecdotal reports of people who have experienced relief from taking mega doses, so perhaps there is a point at which the bloodstream becomes so saturated that there is a small amount of leakage across to the brain.  Unfortunately, it never worked for me, I tried mega gram doses & didn't feel a thing.  For others who find oral GABA a washout, L-theanine is one precursor to GABA & does, (very subtly), contribute to increased levels of GABA in the brain.

Finally on this rant, remember that neurotransmitters have evolved to be highly cross-reactive with one another which is why pharmaceutical companies have had limited success with psychoactive drugs.  Messing with one neurotransmitter is, at a point, liable to upset others.  Too much GABA for instance, will have you comatose or worse, hence the problems with GHB & Heath Ledger's deadly combo of opiates & GABA receptor enhancers, aka sleeping pills.   Too much dopamine, (see cocaine addiction) & first you become manic, then your dopamine production poops out & in many cases never recovers.  Tragically, some people experimenting with cocaine are destroying their ability to ever be happy again, (without anti-depressants).

That's why the safest thing is to supplement with the precursor chemicals the body needs to assemble the neurotransmitters, e.g. 5htp or tryptophan for serotonin; tyrosine or phenylalanine for norepinephrine & dopamine & glutamate, glutamine and aspartate for GABA.   Serotonin also enhances the effect of GABA so 5htp & trytophan wll also assist.

Re bananas & brain chemistry, they are a source of potassium, although not the best, (potatoes & rock melon are better).   Potassium & magnesium are also critical to healthy brain function.  I also found Magnesium good for the heart palpitations, (four doses a day made a big difference).   For anyone who is still sweating a lot, you will also be losing too much of these essential minerals.  Get yourself a good electrolyte formula, (Gastrolyte; Musashi etc).

Truly finally, have just finished a term paper on addicition & came across this  information in a World Health Organisation paper on neuroscience:- "Heritability for opioid dependence is high, estimated at almost 70%".   Some of us have have built in neurochemistry which means we should avoid opiates like the plague.  Doctors who hand out the tramadol non-opiate, NOT!, like candy are condemning us to problems.  It also reminded me how many opiate receptors are scattered throughout the body, which explains the total body involvement in withdrawal.

Strength to all,
Michelle

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by madtram, Jan 08, 2009
Fred,

Bad case of timing on my part.  Your very sad post about your beloved pet, came on while I was posting mine.   I do have a quirky sense of humour but not so sick that it extends to the demise of family members.  We have two 15 year old devon rexes and I will be inconsolable when they pass on.

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by Organica, Jan 08, 2009
Suzipen... good on you! Doesn't it make a difference to come out of the fog!

Fred.. I was very touched by the story of your kitten.. I can think of many, many things I would never have done, thought, been, while in the grip of Tramadol, so, for whatever help it may be, you certainly arene't alone in that.

Madtram.. You have had an amazing career life - obviously your brain works wonderfully well :-)
I think when it comes to yoga there are many different styles.  Emma, I think, does Bikram, which would probably suit you more than what I do - I believe it is quite energetic, but Emily can fill you in on it.  
My style of yoga is gentle and meditative - very traditional.And it is really a lifestyle, although I do feel I have come unstuck while on the meds, and need to go to a retreat to make it work properly again.  The other day I was able to sit and experience a spontaneous meditative space, and afterwards I realised that I hadn't done that since before tramadol.

Ultraumatized.. "Do what you can, when you can"  is excellent advice - so simple but true.

Emily... once again, thank you for making this possible..

peace and strength,

Sue


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by Mercedes175, Jan 08, 2009
Ultramitized, I am so in awe of your note (to me). THANK YOU. You write very well BTW..lol.

I just read this this morning (Thursday), not sure when you wrote it.  UPDATE:  Yesterday my last Tram was at 12noon edt.  I was not initially planning to stop, have a whole truck load in my drawer by my bed but when it came time for my next dose, remembering the day before and that morning I just put it off, then off a alittle more till it was 11:00p last night. Decided if I went this far to just keep going. I must tell you it is from the grace of God and all you folk's.  If it wasnt for this board I would have taken the trams and/or felt like I was really sick.  All in all I am ok but it hasnt quite been 24hrs..will be at noon today.

I have no desire to take anymore so I guess I just went cold turkey. Was thinking about the whole tapering/ct discussion..my decision just came over me..I knew I had the trams if it got really worse so tried to last longer. It actually helped that the more I spread out the pills the less and less "good" it did..and when I had such a horrible morning yesterday felt..why take anymore and prolong this bs. When it was 11 last night and started to fill the body aches, chills, hot sweats...I just couldnt bring myself to take another 2..I thought why ruin all these hours.  I dont want to have to go through that again.  Im actually surprised I don't feel worse so just greatful at the moment to be up and typing.

Thanks for your encouragement and hopefully I will keep going.  As Fred said before, for me...today it is true.  Why take any more and start this process all over again later.  I thought tapering might make it easier to adjust..for some reason it didnt make sense yesterday when I found myself hours later thinking..oh, I can take my next dose now.  The more I spread them out, the less I felt from them so my own body told me it was time.  It wasn't worth the minor upkick I would feel to take 2 more...and I sure as hell didnt want to take 15/16 again..that really upset me when I did that.  

anyway, we'll see how this goes. Thanks everyone.

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by FinallyFred, Jan 08, 2009
Michelle/Madtram,  Please don't give the timing of your post another thot, okay?  I refreshed right after I had posted last night and saw yours posted about the same time and knew instantly that you were referencing something else I had said (not my kitty's demise).  So absolutely no worries.  And BTW, I enjoy reading all of your helpful posts -

Ultra, Harmony, Mercedes,  You guys are awesome.  Dog days of withdrawal huh?  Like has been said here so many times before, think of the pain you feel right now as a rite of passage.  Each of you are involved in a really big battle today, but stay in the moment, tomorrow will take care of itself.   This won't last forever, in fact a relatively short time in fact.  But I know it is hard.  Today is a hard important day.  

Sue,  thanks for your kind understanding.  You are my hero you know!  

Shaffekl, Roddy, Kev and others, your ongoing posts are an encouragement to us all.  

I feel like I have gained a new family here.  Cool beans.

Off to work and all that now.  

Stay strong.  Fred



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by ultraumatized, Jan 08, 2009
hi everyone...

things seem so much better right now...this is my 8th day from the first w/d symptoms-5th day clean.  i felt bad i guess for a couple hours after i last posted yesterday. my head was in bad shape but i took a regular otc naproxen & tried to rest for about 30 minutes & that was it - everything started to feel better & i've been pretty much okay since. i think the naproxen is a better idea than the tylenol pm's, it actually got rid of my headache & h*ll, i'm not sleeping either way so what's the point of trying to knock myself out? i didn't cry yesterday & haven't been overwhelmed by the urge this morning either, i think i'm finally getting some control over my emotions now...boy is that a change!  (still sneezing like a mad woman tho...what is up with that???)

thanks mercedes, i do like to write a lot...of course if i go back thru my old journals i've found that when i was on tramadol i didn't write a thing...& when i would get off it for brief periods i would write like crazy...hmmm wonder why?  hopefully i'll get back to doing other things that i want/need to do soon also...but i'm willing to take it as slow as i have to & do the best i can.  i think you've made the right decision to push forward & be done with it...even after doing this a zillion times before i am completely amazed that there is life after withdrawal...REAL life, not some foggy illusion of it...you will get there, just be strong & don't back down!

fred...i'm so sorry about your kitty...that story broke my heart.  i have to agree with you & others about the things we did or didn't do while on that awful drug.  there are things that i will take to my grave that happened while i was riding the demon tram...i honestly sometimes don't understand how on earth i've come out as well as i have with some of the stupid stunts i've pulled...all i can say is that i've had some d*mn patient people around me, that's for certain...& i owe them a lot for putting up w/my ****!  don't beat yourself up tho...any of you...we're all doing so much better for ourselves & those around us now & that has to count for something.

madtram...reading that "Heritability for opioid dependence is high, estimated at almost 70%" really hit me hard!  i guess i had an idea that was probably true, but i've twisted the perception of my dependence/addiction over the years...after seeing those words i feel like i have to fight twice as hard in committing to kick 100% this time...if there is the slightest chance my child could inherit such a burden it would be the worst outcome ever to have her follow in my footsteps by example...i WON'T let that happen.

to suzi...good luck with your plans!  i hope everything comes together for you!  it's inspiring to hear of others pursuing new things & bettering their lives without the affects of tramadol to interfere.

emily...i have to really thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experiences & helping us all to find the strength to take on such a terrible demon & fight for our lives!  if i had not come upon your story when i did, a new rx order form might have been in my future...i will always be grateful things have happened this way instead.

to any & every one else, i hope you all are well & that you stay strong!  thanks again for all the support!


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by 1113, Jan 08, 2009
ok....  i think that today i am going to try and take my pills at different times today.  i have work to attend to, but i will get back to guys later and let you know how it goes.

regards

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by roddy132, Jan 08, 2009
Hi 1113,
           Prob late sending this post but will post anyway.  If you have managed to taper your dosage down to say two 50mgs but you have been taking them together. its best now to split them one AM and the last one PM before bed.  This makes it a little easier for the next stage of taper eventually missing the AM dose or reducing to 25mgs AM then take 50mgs at night for a while, then perhaps reducing the PM dosage to 25mgs.  This is supposing you are on caps not tabs even then you can cut the tabs in half or if caps empty half the contents.  I hope this makes sense to you, just had a Tram moment and thought i was rambling.  Anyway hope your taper keeps on track, this is the method i am using and seems to be working quite well  

Good Luck & Take Care Rod

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by kevzx81, Jan 08, 2009
Hi everyone, I'm feelin restless today, a little background anxiety I think.

1113 - interesting post; If I go more than 12 hrs without a dose its c/t for sure. A good example of how Tram varies between individuals. Thats how I ended up accidentally c/t back in november.Your taper is going well though!

Its obvious by this point in my taper that I am particularly sensitive to Tram. I had hoped that taper would be easier than this, esp having only used Tram 2-3 months. This does'nt dent my resolve though, just makes me more thankful that I found this site when I did! My doc was telling me nothing, DENYING Tram w/ds!  How would I have got on, knowing nothing? I worry for those elsewhere doing c/t from Tram voluntary or not, who have no info or support. A cause for prayer if ever there was one.

I'm dropping down to 3x10mgs tomorrow and jumping off on tuesday( falling off really as my supply runs out then!).
I'm both impatient and a bit fearful for tuesday to come.

I also had a craving today. The ' take another one ' voice finally put in an appearance. shock, horror but NO surprise. I'm more surprised it did'nt happen earlier. I do have an 'addictive personality' which makes me doubly angry at my doc cos I already told him that. This craving met the SHARP STICK visualisation. POKE...POKE...GO AWAY!!!!
I find this works well for MILD cravings.

So good to see that everyone is doing so well.
I'm confident that I'll soon be rid of this demon, that we all will. Being in this room has been a MASSIVE aid to that confidence.

A big THANK YOU to everyone posting here.





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by HOPEreturns, Jan 08, 2009
Gosh!!.... I've got to either quit my job or carry my lap top with me to work!  I have missed so much while I was working yesterday.  Had a lot of reading to catch up on!  

FRED..... was really struck by the story about your kitten.  I too am an animal lover (5 dogs... two inside; three outside).  TRAM does put major fog into our souls.  It made me feel so empty.  So ashamed to say, but I will......... My poort animals have gone three days without food or water before.  I was using what energy I had to take care of everything else, that I just ignored their needs.  Ya wanna here another MAJOR foolish thing that I did?  You probably remember me mentioning the seizure that I experienced while I was driving.  I put my beautiful daughter' life in jeopardy.  Not to mention anyone in the mall parking lot walking to their car.  By the grace of god... We were all okay.  The guilt I have felt for that has been enourmous.  The thought that I could have killed my precious child and anyone else that would have been walking by.  Sometimes it takes situations like this to shake us back into reality.  I would say that both of our situations DID THIS!  I choose to thank God for allowing this to happen.  Allowing this to happen has saved my life!!  I hate the fact that you had to go through the pain of a great loss....... maybe this has helped save your life too.  Please continue to share your experiences.  I'm sure we all can relate in some way or another.  It's so beneficial for us all!

SUZI.... ULTRA.... HARMONY... MERCEDES.... KEV... RODDY.... ORGANICA.... 1113..... MADTRAM... FRED.... and EMILY..... I am continuting to wish nothing but great strength for each and every one of you.  Each of you are the reason that I am continuing to have strength myself!  I WILL BE FREE SOON!

Love, Smiles, and BIG HUG to all!
Hope


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by carolbee, Jan 08, 2009
Wow! Not crazy!  Been taking 50 mg Tramidol 3-4 tabs at a time 3 x day along with 7.5 mg hydrocodone, 30 mg Flexaril (mostly at night), and Celebrex.  Started feelig worse lately, rather than better.   Talked to doc and he wanted to ADD ANOTHER DRUG!  (he also upped my vicodin!)   Then I did a bright thing (not), and decided to just quit it all at once over Christmas. Figured hurting on drugs was the same as bieng in pain off of them. ( true, by the way)  Now it is Jan 8, and I feel like my joints are on fire, Flu like (x20), the bowels haven'tstopped yet, etc etc.  NOBODY told me about Ultram effects!   glad after Googling today that I know it isn't just me.  Going to bed is heck!  Up. Down. Up. Down.  It's like every time I get in my mind takes off and I'm back up, because I can't sleep untill I've taken care of ONE more thing.  I know this will get better now.  Bless you all.

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by Organica, Jan 08, 2009
Bless you too, Carolbee.  Post when you can, and know it gets better!!
Sue

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by WantMyLifeBack13, Jan 08, 2009
I am amazed at how many people are on this and feel incredibly blessed to have found this site.  I thought I'd tell my story and ask for the prayers like many others...

I am now 29 hours into my cold turkey detox from tramadol.  I took the drug for about 4 years...started because I somehow stumbled onto the pills from a doc and found they made me feel pretty good...about 3 or 4 months later I was addicted and have been ever since.  I don't really know why it took me this long to finally try to kick this, but the scares of withdrawals combined with the necessity to keep my life going, along with pure denial, are probably the culprits.  

Anyway, I am on my first real night without the medicine and I know it's not going to be pretty...luckily I have tomorrow off and then Saturday and Sunday to try to tough through it before life starts again on Monday.  If anyone has any advice about vitamins, OTC drugs, etc., that will help during this process let me know.  I have read about the Thomas Recipe but don't have access, and am frankly terrified, of Xanax, etc.  So, I'll be doing this the old fashioned way...

I thank God for this site and for all of you.  It helps to simply be able to talk to others who have been through this, or are currently going through it.

JR

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by WantMyLifeBack13, Jan 08, 2009
Oh and just to clarify, I did taper off to a couple of pills a day before quitting yesterday...just thought I'd throw that in to get the facts straight...

At least there is a good football game on tonight!

Good night to all,

JR

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by suzipen, Jan 08, 2009
Hi all-

I was brought to tears Fred about your kitty. Animals are true gifts, given to us for such a short time really. I have lost so many animals in my life but its never easy to let one go. I have 5 cats at the moment and 2 dogs. And I too, have neglected them while in a tram-a-zone.
Oh and then there is the major guilt I have about my kids. No one suffered more than them thru all of this. In one of my first posts, I think I talked about my 6 year old not knowing anything BUT tram mommy. The uncertainty they have felt about  "wonder if mommy will be happy today?" Those thoughts just about rip my heart out. I NEVER EVER physically hurt them, but the mental stuff they have had to deal with is just wrong.  

But, like you said  Fred,  TODAY IS A NEW DAY.
It sure is.

I try to explain or figure out why I am feeling a certain way, and the one word that comes to mind is RAW.
Everything feels so raw. Even at this stage of being clean, I still feel , well, raw.
I cry a lot, and feels things pretty deeply. BUT, that is how we are supposed to feel.
I am not a tram-a-bot anymore.  Hey, I just made up my first tram word. lol

Fred- I am right there with you. If you even have a smidge of a thought of ingesting one of those stupid little pills-
TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I will do the same.
Pinky Swear?
(thats not a joke)

For all of you going thru active w/d and for those getting ready to - I apologize if my posts are getting on your nerves,
I know what those first days are like, and I TRULY feel for you.
1113- i hope splitting your dose helps. Thats how I did it.
Kev- we will all be here for ya tuesday! and wed, and thur and well, everyday!!
Sue, I am amazed at your strength. you are a positive inspiration.
       I  have done yoga, and have tried meditation. Should I go somewhere to try yoga or do it at home? I have always been interested, but tended to do cardio and strength training. I just never fit yoga in. I would love any advice.

Hey Carolbee!!
Welcome to our little corner of the world. Here you will find a great bunch of people who want to listen to you, talk to you, share stories with you, cry with you, and may even occasionally annoy you alittle.
I hope you are feeling better. If not- you will soon. you had a lot on your plate, so it may take awhile.
(I was up and down at night for days and days. very common)      Hang in there!!


Big Hugs to you all.
suzi



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by suzipen, Jan 08, 2009
To Wantmylifeback-
WELCOME
I missed your post before I started writing mine.
Anyways- its a great thing that you have 3 days off to deal with this. I know others have sworn by hot baths with epsom salts, rylands for restless legs, ibuprofen for aches, ammodium, vit B, and tons of other stuff I dont remember right now.
Look back at all Emilys journals and she has tons of helpful info.
Just hang in there.
It DOES get better. I took 8-10 pills a day for almost 6 years.
Keep posting. Others will be along soon I'm sure to help as well.
Take care-suzi

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by suzipen, Jan 08, 2009
Also- just remembered heating pad, excederine pm

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by suzipen, Jan 08, 2009
Sue-in one of my last posts i was talking about yoga and mistakenly said I have done yoga. I meant I have never done yoga. just had to clarify that so i dont sound like a tram-a-bot! (thats my new word!)
thanx, suzi

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by Organica, Jan 08, 2009
Suzipen... You asked whether to go somewhere to do yoga, or do it at home.. I would definitely say 'both'.  
If you are interested, find a good teacher, do at least one class a week, and try to set aside some time daily to practice at home.
Make yourself a 'safe space' in your home to practice in - a designated space.  
And it is more important to do a small practice often, more than just do one big session occiasionally.  
It can transform you - all of you, not just your body.
I started it 20 years ago when I was very ill and very low.
Let me know if you want any more info...
peace, strength,
Sue


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by FinallyFred, Jan 09, 2009
In rereading this post I can see I wa a "bit" flip, though hopefully not unkind at times.  Apoligies in advance...

Suzi,  Yup, pinky square, I will tell you before I ever decide to take another tramadol.  Thanks Suzi and to ALLfor your care and your understanding re: my blabbering about my cat.  She was the loudest purr box you have ever heard.  

Carolbee - welcome.    Yeah, "going to bed is heck" up and down up and down.  I just told my wife tonight that I am fairly sure I wore out our matress during my own withdrawal from tram.  One person here recounted getting up and down 47 times in a night.  It can get rediculous.  And be thinking BATHS when you can't sleep.  But have plenty of towells on hand.  That one wet sucker get's pretty damp after the 5th or 6th dip!    Keep reading and posting so we know how you are doing, OK?.

Wantmylifeback13, Thank you for sharing your story.  Welcome to your first night of the best thing you ever did.  It won't feel like the "best thing" in the next 3-4 days, but from reading your posts, I am sensing that, like me, this isn't the first time you ran low on pills and suffered withdrawal symptoms, right?   So you know what to expect.  Glad to hear you have the next few days off for yourself though.  

And you said you are doing this" the old fashioned way".  As anyone here will tell you, that was basically my way too.   Settle in for the WAR of pain and don't give up until the hurting stops.  And IT WILL STOP, just not tonight or tomorrow.  

At the same time, there are people here who can offer you some suggestions to ease the certain pain of withdrawal.  I even listened to emergee and went out and bought buckets of Hylands Restful Legs, which you can pick up at any GNC or even Fred Meyers.  There won't be any style points awarded for your victory.  Just get through this the best you can and promise not to give in before it's over.  I don't think I have ever challenged anybody here before , like I just did with you - it must mean I think you are up to being challenged.  YES?

By the way, I have "the game" tivoed, so I am ditching out to catch the 2nd half.  

Hope, it was so nice to hear from you again today.  Seriously, I expect you have your hands full without your laptop at work!  We'll be here waiting for you when you get back.  :)  I was the benificary of kind people like you when I had my hips replaced 6 1/2 years ago and i know they need your attention there.  28th though, right?

Love you guys - Fred

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by FinallyFred, Jan 09, 2009
P.S., Suzi,  I like your new word, TRAM-A-BOT.  Sadly, it's pretty descriptive.  Fred

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by WantMyLifeBack13, Jan 09, 2009
Fred & Suzi, Thank you very much for the suggestions and kind words.  And Fred, no, challenging me isn't a problem and is definitely wanted.  

I tell you, it's sad, but you really learn a lot about yourself while going through something like this...

God bless you all,

JR


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by Mercedes175, Jan 09, 2009
Hi all, this is Mercedes.  I am working on my 2nd and 3rd day today...at noon I will be moving on to my 3rd day since my last trams was at noon on Wed.  All in all it is ok. I have flue like symptoms and most of yesterday afternoon/eve had terrible stomach extension (bloating)..all over soreness but that is the extent.  Thank God I have no bad headache, puking.  Mild chills and sweats off and on.  

I have not had any diareahh though (spelling)?  Now, I hope this doesnt upset all I have done but the one med I have taken to ward off the real severe joint/all over burning feeling from Trams is I had some left over codeine pills (30mg each).  I have been taking a couple every 4/6 hrs when it gets alittle bad.  I think it helps alot but dont misunderstand..I still have the all over aches.  This proves to me that Trams are stronger.  

But I just hope I am not delaying tram withdrawals with those  I realize codeine makes one constipated so that part may come later.  I plan to get off the codeine come Monday (maybe sooner) if I keep feeling better.  It is only when I feel really bad.

Anyway that is it.  I have been keeping things way simple.  Basically stay in bed.  I have not tried to do anything other than occassionally check mail and take dog out now and then. So I havent tried to do much more for now.

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by harmony986, Jan 09, 2009
Hi Mercedes,  I am on day 5 day, and also took 100mg neurontin, GABApentin to help my withdrawals.  I spoke to my dr and he really did think that I got off both too fast.  I had to also say to myself, THAT IS OKAY!  If I need to right now to take care of my family, etc. otherwise I really felt that I was either going to have a heart attack or end up on the mental ward.  Too much stress on the body plus stress of economy, etc.....just too overwhelming for me last night.  My thoughts are , if I can stay relaxed enough, I can keep the momentum going.  I got through the ,crying, sweats, aches, worse insomnia than I already have, etc.  I am also dealing with bloating right now and got some lovely gas pills and keep that immodium handy!  It is funny how we both feel we need to "confess" about our taking something else, instead of being proud of what we have already done!  We are no longer going to take tramadol, period.  That is something to be proud of!  And I am.  You should be also, Mercedes.  Keep up the good progress; we are really right at the same spot in this journey.

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by FinallyFred, Jan 09, 2009
Mercedes and Harmony - YAY, I am so proud of you both right about now.  

And yes, I found that Immobium was helpful with the stomach bloating/indigestion.  Nothing else is more important RIGHT NOW than to keep doing what you are doing.  Cover up and keep the momentum going.  

You are both totally committed this moment and that is what's important.  I can read your committment in the short sentences each of you write.  Keep talking.    Every painful moment is one moment closer to the withdrawal symptoms passing.  Like Emily as said, it won't leave the building without a fight.  TRAM is more powerful than any of those other things you mentioned Harmony.  But you are BOTH doing SO GREAT, tiny moment by tiny moment.  

You are keeping your eyes on the prize.  Keep the faith.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for...the evidence of things not seen.  A power greater than you (or tramadol) can (and is) restoring you to sanity.  

This drug doesn't like the thought of NOT possessing you.  It will LIE to you and tell you, "please come back, just a little, please come back."  But slowly by slowly, tramadol  IS loosing the battle.  You can and will win the WAR.  HATE that word, TRAMADOL. IT HAS DONE NONE OF US ANY FAVORS.  Tramadol has stolen from us precious time on the planet.  It's hooks are deep and wide, but they are and will continue to loosen as you focus on the prize.  There is a narrow way out and you are on the path.  Hugs for you both.

And Ultra and JR, you too are in the WAR.  People here like emergee, Emily, Suzi, Sue, Shaffelk, Fireman, and others have stuck it out and are living proof that the battle will not last forever.   Tomorrow will be tomorrow, but keep focused on this MOMENT.  

Love, Courage and strength to all who are in the fight this moment.  

Fred

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by 1113, Jan 09, 2009
hey everyone.  

yesterday was a good day, and today has been good so far....  i planned on breaking up my dosages yesterday like mentioned, but i completly forgot about taking one pill early b/c i was feeling just fine, but I know deep down inside that i am still on something...  it just doesnt' feel like it any more.  the only thing that taking 100 mgs a day does for me is keep the WD's away.  

When it comes to sleeping Valarien Root (1200 mgs has really help me get some of that deep sleep that i haven't had in a while)

Mercedes and Harmony...   i don't think there is anything wrong with taking these other things...  just as long as we are not taking something to try and get off on....  

good luck to all and keep fighting the good fight.

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by pwr6man, Jan 09, 2009
Hello,

I used 10/500 Hydro's for about 7 years.  Never used more than 60 tabs over a 45 day period, (that was my usual refill time).  I had chronic pain from car accident in '93 and found a Dr. that prescribed the Hydro's.   However, when that Dr. left the facility and moved back East, I was assigned to a different Dr. who refused to write me a prescription for any Hydro's.  That was about 1 1/2 years ago.  She only wrote me a prescription for a muscle relaxer called Methocarbanol.  They didn't work worth a damn.  I struggled with pain over that year and a half, and was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Now taking Lamictal one time a day.  

On Thanksgiving night this past November, I was involved in a 70 MPH crash which has left me dealing with severe pain.  The emergency room trauma Dr. did write a prescription for some 5/500 Hydro's.  I went through the original 30 tabs, and asked for some more.  He wrote script for another 20 tabs, but refused to write script for anymore refills.  

During my first appointment with my primary physician after the accident, she also refused to write me a prescription for any painkillers.  She did write me a prescription for some muscle relaxers, but that's it.  I can't even feel any affects when I take them.  

Went to Pain Clinic, and a Dr. there wrote me a prescription for Tramadol/Ultram.  Says to take 1-2 tabs up to three times a day.   Says its a painkiller similar to Hydro's, but not a narcotic.   I do not feel like this medication is working effectively enough.  

How do I get it across to any of these Dr's that the only thing that has worked good for me in the past was the Hydrocodone?  I certainly did not consider myself as an abuser of the 10/500's, and they can look up my past history and see that I wasn't ordering refills more often than 45-60 days, for 60 tabs.  

I'll admit that the "buzz" that I got from the Hydro's was part of what make me feel better when I was taking the Hydro's, but the bottom line is that they worked for my pain.  Not getting a "buzz" with the Tramadol may be why I don't "feel" like they are working.  Not sure about that....

Can anyone recommend a non-narcotic painkiller that works as well as the Hydro's??  Any experience by anyone out there?  

Thanks!

pwr6man

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by 1113, Jan 09, 2009
naproxen....   give it a try.  it's like a super dose of advil, i think

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by 1113, Jan 09, 2009
sorry,  aleve....  not advil

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by emergee, Jan 09, 2009
pwr6man,
   i want to urge you strongly not to take this ****.  vicodin is practically organic carrot juice compared to tram.   it would be much better to be addicted to real opiates if you have pain.  this stuff strips your brain chemicals and ***** with your whole life and personality and it takes a while to recover.  it was been 6 weeks free for me and i am not whole yet.  better, not whole.  take in a pile of pages of our emails to your doc.   real opiates are the only pain killers that work and don't hurt you.  okay, so what if you have to get off of them.  a week of distress.

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by emergee, Jan 09, 2009
has anyone tried  magnolia bark?  i am reading very good things about re stress...

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by FinallyFred, Jan 09, 2009
pw6man,  You asked, "How do I get it across to any of these Dr's that the only thing that has worked good for me in the past was the Hydrocodone?"  It is unclear whether your question was rhetorical or whether you really feel we may have an answer for you there.  But I for one can't help you with that one pal.

I do whole heartedly agree with emergee though.  Tramadol is NOTa  "non-addictive, opiate light"  so please don't get sucked into thinking that these tramadol pills are a "safe less powerful alternative to hydrocodine" or any other opiates.  It's easy for doctors to prescribe tramadol since in 45 states they are not YET a controlled substance in the US.

But consider how long opiates have been around - hundreds of centurys (and well researched I might add), while tramdaol was first marketed in this country about ten years ago...and precious little is known (or let on) about tramadol in the literature.  

I'm not a doctor, but for myself, I found that unless I wanted to go back on an opiate (which I do NOT want to do), the only option is OTC stuff like 1113 suggested or NASIDs, etc.  

You can get a "buzz" off of enough tramadol, but PLEASE don't go there.  If you are still taking them, try to get off them ASAP.  Like emergee said, "this stuff strips your brain chemicals and ***** with your whole life and personality".    

If you are having chronic pain, maybe they can offer you an MRI or otherwise diagnose the SOURCE of your pain - as in a neurological disc problem, ETC..    Yes, print some of these pages and show them to your doctor if he feels tramadol is a viable option.  But like I said at the top, your question seems more aimed at how to get more of the REAL opiate.  

Good luck.  Chronic pain is no fun for sure.

Fred

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by suzipen, Jan 09, 2009
Harmony and Mercedes-
I can feel your pain with the belly/bloating issues. That was the absolute worse thing I have ever experienced. I looked and felt 5-6 months pregnant all the time. Even when I was having diareah (spelling?), I was bloated beyond belief.
Heating pad may help some.
I still have some bloating, and constipation, but it is slowly getting better. This drug really messes with your stomach and digestive system. But I bet your dr. didnt tell you that one. My dr. still wont even relate my stomach problems to tramadol. or any other health issue................whatever.

On a more positive note- I am so proud of you both, and everyone else going thru this. It is the hardest thing to do, but one of the most rewarding in the end. and there is an end. Just keep doing what you are doing, and you will get there.
BIG HUGS to you both!
suzi

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by HOPEreturns, Jan 09, 2009
Hello all!

I am hurting like hell today!  This pain is so annoying!  I have tried everything possible EXCEPT more TRAMADOL.  Anyother time I would have just popped Tramadol like candy until the pain went away.  I know that I have to work though this pain and ibuprofen, tylenol, heating pad, and ice packs have disappointed me today!!  The good thing about today is that I have found out the I have no desire to take more Tramadol!!  I hope you all are having a good day.... Welcome to the new comers!!  You have found wonderful support!!


Love to all!
Hope

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by hcii, Jan 09, 2009
Hello everyone...

I, too, are one fo those that have been on the T drug for about 6 years now.  When I first had them prescribed to me, I heard the same thing that everyone else has....non-addictive, non-narcotic, blah-blah-blah.

What a bunch of BS....

Someone posted earlier about the debate between addiction and dependence.  I believe there is a difference.  But I think that sometimes the dependence can be worse than addiction.

I had developed a tolerance to the trams, and was increasing my dose just to feel "normal".  Like others, some days I was taking 12-15 50mg tablets a day.  I would run out early, and have used excuses with the pharmacy to get some.  I never developed your normal "drug-seeking behavior" as they refer to opiate addicts.  By that I mean that I was not going to steal, or do anything illegal to get them.  I would just suffer with the W/D's as best as I could.

I have tapered down to 6 tabs per day.  I take just enough to keep MOST of the withdrawals away.  I still have the inability to sleep, diarrhea, and the fatigue when I first taper down to a lower level.  I tolerate it though.

My problem is the mental anquish that I go through if for some reason I go cold-turkey.  I have gone cold-turkey a few times, due to lack of pills, not by choice.  The mental problems that I get are unreal.  Vivid dreams at night when I can sleep - severe panic attacks - anxiety - some paranoia, etc.  I can't stand the wierd feelings that I get when I am in the 4th day of withdrawals.  I pace the floor constantly....I am afraid to go to sleep for a fear of dying in my sleep.  It is the wierdest feeling on earth to me.  I just can't explain it.  I have to have my wife sometimes hold my hand, or rub me while I try to go to sleep.  I just KNOW that when I fall asleep I will quit breathing, my heart will quit beating, so I have her watch me to be sure.

How messed up is that?  Just from withdrawals?

I'm gonna get off these sunsabitches one way or the other.

My method that I am trying along with the taper is that my Doctor has prescribed me Wellbutrin for depression, and Valium for my panic attacks.  I had taken the Wellbutrin years ago for a situational bout of depression and tolerated them real well.  I know from experience that it takes 4-6 weeks of continual use of the anti-depressants before they really begin to kick in.  I have been on them a month now, along wiht the very small dose of Valium.  I was involved in a car accident a couple of months ago and was somewhat badly injured.  I had bruised my ribs, totally tore all 4 left shoulder tendons, and tore some groin tendons.  I was ejected from the vehicle, and very luckily I suffered NO broken bones, or major cuts that required stitches.  My Dr. prescribed Hydrocodone for my pain, and Valium as a muscle relaxer to get me to breathe better and easier.  My oxygen level in my blood was only 71 the day after the accident when as everyone knows should be in the mid to upper 90's.  It just hurt too much to take a normal breath.

Anyway, while on the narcotics I stopped the Tramadol.  I noticed a "tinge" of W/D's, but the narcotics along with the Valium kept me going.  So...there is the method I am going to try.  And I might add for a SHORT time after the final tablet of Tram.  Wellbutrin to keep the depression away, Valium for the SEVERE anxiety and panic attacks, and a Hydrocodone or two per day when the aches get severe enough to warrant them.

For the flu-like symptoms I intend on using OTC medicine such as Immodium, Tylenol PM, and sinus medication for the sneezing and runny nose.

But just enough to keep it tolerable, and to keep the wierd feeling in my head away.

I am going to do this.

Sorry for the rambling post, but I now know that there are MORE people having problems de-toxing off Tramadol than most professionals want to admit.

Increase that figure by 1.

Me.


HCII


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by hcii, Jan 09, 2009
I just wanted to add....

My reason for the start on Tramadol was for RLS.  All my life it would take me over an hour to fall asleep, and then after even 7-8 hours of sleep I felt like I didn't get any.  I tossed and turned constantly.  I had been that way as long as I can remember (since back in my early teens).  It would get so bad that sometimes my wife couldn't sleep with me and either her or I would have to sleep on the couch.

Looking at everything now, I really don't think that I have RLS.  I think that for some reason or another I have an "over-active" brain.  So overactive that I cant slow it down.  I was a child prodigy with a very high IQ.  I was reading at age 3, and was doing algebra at age 7.  Even in my adult years (I am now 47) my ability to learn new things is easier and faster than most.  I think the Valium does more than the Trams.

Just wanted to add that...

HCII


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by WantMyLifeBack13, Jan 09, 2009
All,

I wanted to update everyone as to my progress.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it last night.  I made it 36 hours into the W/D and had to take a few pills.  I had taken about 5 hot showers in 5 hours and paced around the house until 5 a.m.  At that point I hit my limit and just couldn't take it.  

So, I've decided to ween down a few more and then try it again.  I had gotten to 4 per day and am going to ween down to 1 or 1.5 before trying again.  In retrospect, I think I rushed the quitting and didn't do enough research into what my body would require to do this.  The fun tinglies just got unbearable and I had naively not gone to a doctor to get anything to help with sleep or gone to a GNC to get anything for restless legs / arms...

Anyway, I just wanted to tell everyone how appreciative I am for all of the support and advice.  I know this is not a very positive story, but I know I will be done with this drug soon...just not quite yet.  I really thought I could just tough it out with nothing but some vitamins, but boy was I wrong.  It was probably the lowest moment of my life taking the 2 pills at 5 a.m., but it is something I have to live with and learn from.

I would appreciate any other advice for how to best mitigate the W/D symptoms.  I know the process will be miserable and have accepted that...I just wasn't prepared for quite this much.  I'm on schedule to try again in 2-3 weeks when I've gotten down to 1-1.5 pills...so until then, I'll be geering up for the fun!

God Bless,

JR

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by suzipen, Jan 09, 2009
JR-
Please dont be too hard on yourself. This is a hard hard thing to do, and we all do it differently. Everyone has to do what is best and doable for them at the right time.
Go back and read Emilys journals thoroughly, and you will pick up some things you might want to have on hand when you do it again.
Go to your dr. and maybe ?? get something for sleep. I, personally, could not have done it without ativan. NOW, I am not advocating ativan, thats just my experience. It didnt do anything for Emily, so once again, we are all different.
Take care, and good-luck on your journey.

we are here for you now, and will still be here in 2-3 weeks.
hugs to you, suzi

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by madtram, Jan 09, 2009
Hi WMLB, don't get discouraged; sounds like you tried tapering too quickly for your body's needs.  Organica has just finished a slower taper & had minimal discomfort when she stopped completely.  I would try reducing by 1/4 tablet per week or even a fortnight.  With tramadol, the tortoise often wins the race.  Also while you are feeling better again, get hte ingredients for the Thomas recipe; odds are one of them will work well for you.
Cheers, M

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by carolbee, Jan 09, 2009
Hi- I'm back. Been bouncing around a couple of different forums here as I learn how to navigate this thing- and realised thatI'm a mess!  Been through a lot in life,  Haven't thought about any of that for the entire time that I have been on this drug.  I had forgotten.  A lot of things.  Tramafog.  Good word.  So now the words raw, and feel like I had my skin ripped off ring very true.  I've chewed the inside of my mouth raw today, going to get the B-5 in the morning.  The back pian and the shooting pains are coming back, but I am awake and alive.  Why I forgot that one on my vitamin trip today is beyond me- oh yea, Tramafog.  Got most of the rest of them and got some sleep last night. Not a lot, but for the first time since taking Tram, it was a restive sleep.  With dreams.  I did take a 1/2 a codene this morning, and another today at work, (I am responder to 911 calls at a large corporation in addition to my other duties) but as that was more for the nerves than the pain, and I can see the light.  With your help.  I too would rather be in pain than in a fog.   So if that is what it takes for you, ( to take something) then I say as long as it is less every day and not more- never more- it's o.k. Be carefull about cross- addicting yourself though) I wouldn't tell anyone to jump off like I did, I'm still freezing to death, and antsy as heck, but I also think, except for the nerves- the worst is over.  Anyone tried valerian for the nerves?  Also would like to know if anyone has found anything for natural pain relief.  Been looking around, and 5-LOXIN akba sounds promising.  Or cats claw?

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by FinallyFred, Jan 10, 2009
Carolbee,  Guess I am busted for trying the herbals now.  I've been taking 2 Valerian at night for the last week to help me sleep.  I'm really unsure how effective it is.  Obviously it hasn't knocked me out yet tonight though has it?  The bottle states it's for "temporary relief of occassional sleeplessness".  

That stuff sure stinks to high heaven though!  YOWZA sweet icky mother of Mary stink bombs SWEET.  And I could swear I smell it coming out my pores when I perspire.  

It contains a warning, "excessive consumption may impair your ability to operate heavy equipment" - so I am not.  

No driving any dump trucks or road graders FOR YOU either if you take it this weekend, OK?  And buy a pair of nose plugs and use em before you open the bottle.  Stinky stuff this Valerian.

Maybe others here have tried it during the day "for the nerves".  

Hopefully a good night to all!  

Fred

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by Organica, Jan 10, 2009
Just jumping on the Valerian discussion... I didn't find it that good on its ownl, but some of the herbal 'blends' that include valerian with passionflower, hops, oats, chamomile etc are more useful.  I found a couple of Kava tablets with this herbal sleepy blend pretty useful.  And a good old cup of hot milk with honey!

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by vegasgoddess, Jan 10, 2009
Help..is it possible to become dependent on Tram in a week? I feel like I am crazy. If someone in my house had been awake I would have had them take me to the psych ward. I have so many symptoms I feel there is no way it can be the Tramadol. Also, I had my third surgery 3 weeks ago and my Dr. again gave me Tram to get off the Oxy..I have had neither one for 2 days..and I think I am losing it. What should I do?

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by kevzx81, Jan 10, 2009
vegasgoddess- Tramadol can cause addiction very quickly. I had awful w/ds after only 6-7 wks (50mgx3 per day).It turns out I'm very sensitive to it. Don't doubt your sanity!!!!! Tram has many mental and emotional effects; anxiety, mood swings, weird dreams. Read all the posts here, you'll soon see your in good company. Doctors are not admitting anything about Tram, even denying in many cases that its addictive.

DONT PANIC.....you're in the right place here. I thought the same thing as you...'it cant be the Tram after so short a time' but it was(is). This forum gave me all the help I needed to fight this drug.....starting by showing me I was'nt mad!

WARNING---Do not suddenly increase your dose...it can cause seizures...you've been off for 2 days so if you panic and go back to your previous dose this could happen.

The worst of the w/ds last for about 5 days so you're already nearly half way through the worst of it!
Hang in there, read all the posts here and DO feel free to contact Emily, she is here and she does care!

We're all here for you.....Kev.

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by harmony986, Jan 10, 2009
Vegasgoddess-  I was given tram for pain and had many surgeries.  Quite frankly, I am happy I had something for the pain, b/c let's be honest, that was , and still is for you, no picnic. Surgery in itself is enormous stress on the body.  I hope you are not trying to do too much at once to your system.  My last surgery was 1 1/2 yrs ago.  Could I have gotten off my meds then, absolutely not.  I thanked god for them, b/c my meds helped me cope then.

I am day 6 today, with day 4 being my worst so far.  I certainly still have major w/d symptoms, but the first few days, I told my husband I thought I was having a nervous breakdown.  And I was not on such high doses as some; but boy have they affected me in every way, mentally being the worst.

Do hang in there.  We are here for you, like Kev said.

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by emergee, Jan 10, 2009
carolbee,
   don't think about anything when you are withdrawing.   of course you will think horrible thoughts but just know they are not you,  it's the poison leaving your system and coloring everything very strange and disturbing colors.  i took all the aminos so i can't tell you which absolutely works.  but i do know for sure that nerve tonic by hylands works.  you have to take it all day long whenever you think about it.  it's homeopathic.   and cheap.

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by ultraumatized, Jan 10, 2009
just wanted to share something with you guys really quick.  last night i got coaxed into going to a surprise birthday party for a friend who also happens to be a doc...while he & i were outside having a smoke break (*sigh* can't quit EVERYTHING at once now can i?) we had a little discussion about tramadol.  he said he prescribes it VERY often...i told him that despite what he might believe about it being a safer alternative to opiates i could give him my honest opinion that he needs to research it better.  he seemed genuinely shocked when i told him it is far more addictive than other pain killers & that the withdrawal is incomparable to anything i've ever experienced.  the conversation didn't last long...didn't want to be a downer on his b-day, but i truly hope i planted some seed of doubt in his mind about giving this stuff out like candy without knowing the consequences.

hope everyone is doing well...i for one feel a whole lot better...not great emotionally, but i think the worst is over for now.

take care!

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by failurenotanoption, Jan 10, 2009
Hi  everyone, I am so glad i have found this thread, I have been searching for along time. I have read alot here and am going to put together a taper down plan and then cold turkey once i get to a low dose,

I wont go in to why i started taking tramadol, Dose'nt seem to matter because it sounds like alot of  wonderfull souls here to help. Bare with me  because my head is in a pretty big fog.

My dose is up to 8_ 50mg tabs every 4 to 6 hours  36 a day thats 1800 mg a day, Just to feel normal, I should be dead.

I started low like everyone and added as the wityhdraws got worse, I have  beed on tramadol for about 10 yrs
I also have alcohol issues  but as of this week have stopped so far because ive just reallized how dagerous that is, (bonk) on the head, Im a real dumb *** for  doing this but thats all behind me i am tired of the past, Im ready to quit

heres what ive done so far, Two weeks ago i checked in to a government  run clinic  for detox with good intentions, They were  going to treat me with suboxin. A day and a half in they still said my withdrawal was not that bad and refused me any relief yet.

I walked out,

My biggest prblems among others  are sweating, I am self employed but i am around alot of people and they all wonder why i sweat so much, I have to change my shirt several times a day

constipation is bad so i have to take mag citrate once a week to stay cleaned out or i will feel like a beached whale.
Thats not good for the colon because  it forgets how to work after awhile, Exercise helps, I run a mile every other day so i dont have toi use the mag so much,

Im thankfull that my liver and kidneys are still in good shape after tests, I couldnt believ that, a fine mess aint i?


I have an oppointment with an outpatient clinic that treats with suboxon and i will let you all know how that goes,
So i have  bout 3 weeks to get dwn to a low dose as pos and then start the program

Thanks everyone
God bless you all

lee


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by FinallyFred, Jan 10, 2009
Vegas,  I have heard of others here who have become addicted after a week on tramadol.  Not sure exactly what you are feeling, but read the description of others' withdrawal symptoms here and compare notes.  YES, the symptoms can be TERRIBLE.  

The good news is that if you have gone more than two days without taking ANY tramadol, you should be 1/2 way through the worst of withdrawal symptoms.  Fred

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by carolbee, Jan 10, 2009
Thanks everyone for everything, youv'e really opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of the symptoms I have had over time were not so much the pain, but the Tram talking.  Yea, the constipation *****, I did find a couple of things that work great.  For the initial un-stop I used Miralax- then I took docolax- a softener,till it got better.  Not a laxative so it is WAY easier on your body.  Was taking 3-4 a day (at night) and I found that it works just fine all by itself.  On the plus side- thank goodness that isn't bothering me anymore.  The worst seems to be over.  Now the pain is back, thinking about just getting the nerves burned- 2 nerve blocks haven't done anything much so far, but nobody will touch it till I'm off all this junk anyhow.
Vegas- yes, I do believe that you can get hooked on this after a week.  Good news, as Fred said, it's probably almost over by now.  The mental stuff- I don't know.  Like everyone has told me- and it's true- those dark thoughts can creep up on you- watch them and know that it is the drug, NOT you.
Gonna do the Valerian for a while, the health store people said it takes a while, so we'll see.  Still cold, maybe all the vitamins will help.  Not eating much and maybe that's the problem there.

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by suzipen, Jan 10, 2009
Carolbee-
I am so there with you on the constipation thing. Yucky subject, but oh so real. I have been dealing with that for almost 2 months now. Had tests done, and everything has come back fine, so it has to be the stupid tram.
WHEN DOES IT END???? I am glad, however, you are over it.
I wish you the best with everything else. You're on the right track!
good night,
suzi

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by Organica, Jan 11, 2009
On the constipation issue: I swear by psyllium husk dietary fibre... the drinkable stuff, twice a day.  Good for your system and can manage cholesterol levels as an added bonus!

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by Krista915, Jan 11, 2009
Hello everyone,

Just wanted to say, I'm on my 8th day of being Tramadol-free and just as I thought I got over it and I was fine...BAM!!  It crept up to me like a thief in the night.  All of a sudden I am thinking about Tramadol and wanting it SOOOOO bad.  More than anything.  And even thinking about it,  I've lost pleasure in alot of things just because I don't have frikkin' Tramadol.  Can you believe it?!  Because of my addiction and my doctor finding out, she'll no longer prescribe Tramadol to me anymore and that's what makes this harder for me.  But then she put me on Neurontin and it's helping me sleep at night and has helped a bit with my withdrawal symptoms but damn it!  That Tramadol keeps coming back to me and urging me to even try and seek other pain killers(which I know I can't because I know no one that sells or has them anymore)but I just wanted to share that.

Btw, I was just curious.  Is Neurontin ok for Tramadol withdrawal symptoms?  Should I keep taking it?    

Thanks a bunch,
Krista

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by failurenotanoption, Jan 11, 2009
Has anyone had any luck with suboxin treatment for withdraws? I am starting an out patient program soon where they switch tram for suboxin and then reduce  until your well, From what i here suboxin does the same thing tram does but its easier to quit taking suboxin. Alot of rehab clinics are starting to use it

Also has anyone been on high doses of tramadol like me? ( 8 50mg every 4 to 6 hours, 32 per day)

Im down to 6 every 4 to 6 hours now  and want to try and get as low as possible before starting the suboxin program

any help?
lee

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by EmilyPost, Jan 11, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!

I went to a chronic pain Doc this week. Specifically on Thursday. Afternoon. The office had a cancellation and I went in. I took with me a huge stack of medical records. I have had three big car accidents. The last one was 5 ish months ago, a big accident. Demolished the car.

The first accident herniated two discs and gave me right leg S1 neuropathy. That was in the year 2008. So, yes, I would qualify as a chronic pain patient.

Let me just say. What.A.Waste.Of.Time.

Good news? I didn't rip the Doctors arms off. I really really really wanted to. But  ddn't.

I have been on so many different medications that ANY one of them that he thru out there, I could say, "Yes, I took that. It's in my records."

Then we got to Tramadol. And he looked thru his book ... (After I told him Tramadol was another name for Ultram) ... I told him the withdrawal was Horrific and that 57 days into withdrawal I had ZERO BACK PAIN.

He told me that was "impossible." Then the IDIOT told me that Tramadol is "just an analgesic."  "It's not addictive. No one has any problems with it." I had to stop myself. I could tell him exactly what Tramadol is, but since he wasn't listening to me ... why bother. The exam consisted of him taking my blood pressure (which was sky high because well ... when I want to rip off someone's arms .. my BP goes up.. it is like a variation of White Coat Hypertension) ... and then he did a "straight leg raise on me." Which was ridiculous as my whole leg was on fire from nerve pain. But I am So flexible that you could put my leg next to my ear. What a stupid Orthopedic test. So I stopped him, told him to STOP touching my Leg Of Fire.

And then he listened to my lungs.

I told him about the detox from the PILLS. He wasn't listening.

Then he asked if I had questions .. (Yes, I had them written down) .. he did not give me the time to ask the questions and he ACTUALY said, "Well, I am not a chronic pain specialist and I don't do detox-es. You would need rehab for that."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dude! Master Idiot of the Universe I JUST TOLD YOU how many pills I have come off of and ... wth? Your CARD says CHRONIC PAIN SPECIALIST! I am already detox-ed you complete Tool!

So. The good news is I didn't use my good leg to kick him?

This encounter angered me so much that it has taken me a couple days to calm down. It was like talking to a mentally ill person dressed in a Doctor Coat. So annoying.

Ok so ... I see alot of new friends. Hi new friends!

You can use the Thomas Recipe with no Benzo. It still works.

ANYTHNG you use to get off Tramadol is A-Ok. Like Mercedes, I used some codeine to get off and it helped. And getting off codeine is not as bad at ALL as getting off Tramadol. In my experience.

Lee- We heard of one lady who was going on Suboxone to help her get off Tramadol, but hen no follow up. You are correct; you should be dead. So. That's pretty amazing that you aren't. There MUST be a reason huh?

Fred, your kitteh story about your Purr Box kitteh made me cry. In my experience Tramadol makes you feel everything you missed while you were a Trama-Bot. It stores up medicinally in the tissues, and the emotions store up as well. Cellular memory. The Body doesn't forget. Tramadol is a trippy withdrawal. Brutal.

The only way to approach is to declare WAR.

Being afraid is useless. Get Mad. Make a plan. No one here is going to tell you what you use to get off Tramadol is wrong. You will find your own way. None of us expect you to be a saint. People do the best they can. Honestly.

There is only one thing. Try to get off Tramadol. Because it is BIG POISON. You will heal. You will recover. It merely takes time. The withdrawal symptoms are terrible, but they are also a reminder that you are going to recover.

Organica So happy you are off!

Emergee's statement that Vicodin is like organic carrot Juice compared to Tramadol made me laugh because it is so true, so ... wrong but so true.

Why won't Doctors give you "real" opiates instead of muscle relaxants and Tramadol? BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO GET INTO TROUBLE WITH THE DEA. At least in the USA.

Love and Healing,
Emily



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by Organica, Jan 11, 2009
Hi Emily... I could feel how p**ssed you are about what happened, and it raises my hackles to read it.  There is something very very wrong about going through so much, to then be treated with what seems to be thinly disguised contempt.
But what you CAN know is that you have done something INCREDIBLY constructive as a result of all your trials.. Look at the information you have accumulated, the knowledge shared, and the community of people you have brought together to help each other.
The 'bad' can really bring out the good.

Sue

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by emergee, Jan 11, 2009
let's settle this once and for all.   don't put your health and trust in the hands of a medical "professional".   please.  ever.  research.  gather information.  get information from THEM.  but don't trust them.   only trust yourself ,  your decision based on your information,  your gut,  and your body.  it has bugged me all along when people give the advice,  "ask your doctor".   people,  please believe me ,  THEY DON'T KNOW .     emily's doctor probably had no idea how to help,  had no tools to help,  but could not just tell her that,  and then wanted to make it her fault somehow that he could not help.   these people are deeply programmed to trust their own system's information, the drug companies,  the journals.   in other words,  not you.  they will not believe you over what they have been taught to believe.   it makes me crazy to hear over and over the suffering people endure from their doctor's hurried , ill-considered opinions.  
and this is not to say i am anti-medical.  i am pro-patient choice, patient-research.

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by madtram, Jan 11, 2009
Dear Emily, I second Sue's comments.   Without your words of wisdom, even with my science training, I probably would still not have believed that one or two little pills could fink me over so thoroughly.  So sorry you still have to endure this incredibly frustrating "health" system.  Extra healing thoughts to you,
M

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by suzipen, Jan 11, 2009
Hi Emily,
I am so sorry you have to endure the ignorance of the medical community. I say that, and yet I am super excited to start nursing school. I feel completely different about what I am about to embark on. Western medicine does not impress me , but I am thankful for emergency medicine when neccesary.
My husband laughs and tells me I probably will get fired for telling people not to listen to their dr.s., or try to redirect them to a holistic practice. LOL whatever.......
You are such a strong person, and you have helped so many on this forum, and I am sure so many more we dont even know about.
I am sorry you suffer everyday with pain, and yet you come here and give wonderful advice to those in need.

I do agree with emergee in that we need to take our health in our own hands. To some degree.
BUT, I liken that to my kids education.
YES, I need to be an active participant in their education, BUT at the same time I trust the teachers to also do their part. They went to school to learn to be a teacher, and with that comes responsibility.
WEll, dr.s go to school to be dr.s. And with that comes a lot of responsibility and accountability! They need to be AWAKENED and realize they are not God. They have a responsibility to provide care for their patients. And part of that care is to treat people with respect, and provide information that is in the best interest of that person.
They maybe need to quit worrying so much about their egos, and worry more about peoples quality of living.
This being said, I know wonderful doctors who are amazing with patients.
But, they are far and few between, sad to say.

Now I will  jump off my soapbox.
Once again, Emily, you ARE amazing, as are so many others here.

Thanks , suzi


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by kevzx81, Jan 12, 2009
Emily- so sorry your doctor treats you like a moron. Thats how mine treats me. So did my previous doc.I'm hearing the same thing everywhere..ie, we're mostly on our own in caring for our healh needs. I am PROFOUNDLY DISTURBED by this. And a bit frightened too!

The only course of satisfaction I can think of is to ask my doctor whether he is;-
a) Unaware of the nature of the drug he is prescribing. Or..
b) Deciding for me which drugs I should take. Or..
c) commonly gives out antidepressants when patients ask for pain control meds.

I know better than to seek material recompense but I'm gonna make him squirm. And I do mean SQUIRM.
But I'll be waiting a while, until I'm feeling more level, when I can serve it up to him COLD.
Apart from my own satisfaction I feel duty bound to make some attempt to sound a 'Tramadol Alert' to the only medical practitioner I have easy access too. I'll be printing all the posts from this forum and taking them with me. But will it be enough? Truthfully I'm not optimistic.

Commiserations Emily.






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by ultraumatized, Jan 12, 2009
after reading all this & having the conversation i had with my doc friend i can't help but wonder...isn't there something that people like us (who have been through the hell of tramadol addiction, dependancy, withdrawal) can do to make others more aware of the dangers?  

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by FinallyFred, Jan 12, 2009
Hello Everyone.  I actually had written a fairly long post last night but when I clicked "post" I got a message saying that this system was "down" for repairs and it didn't "post".  Oh well.  I guess it "wasn't meant to be posted".  

How about the serenity prayer to start off our week?  God grant me the serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.  

May we each be WISE about focusing our limited energy in this tiny small moment we call the present.

Fred

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by kevzx81, Jan 12, 2009
Ultra- I think that unless we could get support from within the medical community theres little we can do. I think canvassing our GPs (or US equivalent) might hold some potential and would'nt be too costly. If enough of us did this we might achieve some scatter effect. I think the real problem here is ' deaf ears '. ie too many doctors seem to have them.
Even the great sufi and daoist masters concede that this condition cannot be overcome without the use of force!
We would have to win the support of someone who has the authority to apply force of some kind wether legislative, economic or moral.
Anyone know any friendly news editors or politicians?



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by 1113, Jan 12, 2009
thanks fred... needed that prayer this morning.....

emily that ***** about the pain doctor...   it's one of those things that make you not want to tell a doctor that we were addictied to particular type of drug.  b/c no matter what you were going to say he already had his mind made up.


today i am going to down to 75mgs.  wish me luck

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by 1113, Jan 12, 2009
also,

to all of you who put a couple of notes on my profile page......   thanks.  today is the first day that i actually thought about checking out my own profile.   I didn't mean to ignore anyone.   :)

75mgs....   here we go.

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by suzipen, Jan 12, 2009
Thank you Fred.........
I needed to hear that , for quite a few different reasons today. It helps put things into perspective.
BIg big hug to you, suzi

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by carolbee, Jan 12, 2009
EmilyPost
So sorry to hear about the Dr.  Yea, I too have been there. and gave up & took the ***** pills because he said that "if I don't know that you are going to give this treatment a chance, then you must not be in that much pain"  We all know where THAT rosy path led.  2 nerve blocks and 2 years later,-and not much releif.  So yea, things like this could land you in an anger  management class, or the cardiac/psycho wing!  Pain management clinics in my experiance are a joke!  Maybe they think that by driving you crazy/ hurting you more- that you will think you are either not as bad off as you think (or say)  or they want you to think it's all in your head.  Personaly I am seriously thinking about having some of the nerves "burned" with radio frequency.   Possible side effects- the nerves WILL try to re-grow producing phantom pain elsewhere, and not bieng able to feel a large chunk of the body.  Have you heard/tried any of these yourself I wonder?  would be fascinated to hear of them.  From the rest of you as well.  Am better today, just in pain- which at this point is normal.  Hope you are all doing well.  Finaly got some snow today- it's hard on the pain but the trees are very happy :) as  it has been very dry out here.  

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by roddy132, Jan 12, 2009
Hi Folks,
            I am still tapering down my Tram intake down to 150mgs but gotta admit the anxiety is causing me big problems at the moment. sometimes feel like im jumping out of my skin its the weirdest feeling.  Have any of you got any ideas to help with this?

Got talking to a Psychiatrist at work the other day and mentioned the probs im having with Tramadol and he reacted in a surprised way, saying what we have all heard before, that its a safe non opioid pain reiever.  After saying this he mentioned that it is rapidly growing in popularity as a street drug!!!!   It is a serious problem that most health care professionals know so little about the drug, after saying that i feel the main problem is the multi billion pound / dollar pharmaceutical companies that after doing random tests and research peddle these drugs to Hospitals and Doctors surgeries as a revolutionary form of pain relief.  If anyone should be held accountable it is these people.

Anyway i do hope everyone is doing well with there personal battles and thank everyone of you for being so supportive This is a brilliant site full of caring thoughtful people..  Take Care Rod

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by Organica, Jan 12, 2009
Hi Rod.. What did you taper down from?  I went from 200 to 100, found it unbearable, went back to 150, but it still took a while to 'settle'.  I certainly recognise the feelings you descibe. Epsom salt baths with soothing essential oils (I found cedarwood especially useful), large amounts of herbal insomnia blends, and Kava tablets all helped at this stage.
There will be more advice in previous posts..
All strength to you!
Sue

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by madtram, Jan 13, 2009
Hi Rod,
For anxiety, you can take inositol safely, (try 12 grams, yes grams per day in 2 divided doses).  The serotonin precursors are also helpful, (5htp & trytophan) but start at a low dose, say 50mg to establish tolerance as there is a risk of serotonin syndrome if you supplement serotonin while taking tram.

Lots of l-theanine is helpful & you might also try natural lithium orotate which is an overall mood stabiliser, with no side effects at the recommended dose.

I notice that even the addiction medical expert on this site thinks that perhaps only people of a certain personality type have problems with tramadol, (he hasn't said what the type is, perhaps I should ask).  Interesting theory but just from the cross-section of people posting here, the problems seem a bit more wide-spread.

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by suzipen, Jan 13, 2009
Hi all-
I feel compelled to write this morning. I have been awake thinking about this , and I must share .
I am sure I have written my initial reasons for taking tramadol to begin with at some point. Just a summary: I have endometriosis, which is a chronic condition for some, with pain ranging from mild to severe. When I started taking tramadol, I was having pretty severe pain 2-3 weeks each month. 4 to 5 days of that I felt as tho I was in the midst of childbirth. Nothing worked to ease the pain except tram. Well, here I am , no tramadol, and miraculously, not as much pain.I was TERRIFIED of my first cycle with out tramadol, but I survived.Then the next time was even better. WOW!
It is really true that sometimes the pain gets better after tram.
My whole point to this is, I am AMAZED and in awe of those of you who live with chronic, severe pain everyday of your life.
My own husband does this. He has had 2 back surgeries, nerve damage, degenerative disc disease. and the list goes on. He has a prescription of percocet and might take one a day, maybe.
I CANT EVEN RAP MY HEAD AROUND THAT.
Him and I are soooooooooo different in that respect. Lets just say,they wouldnt last that long around me. ( He actually hides them from me.)

Anyway, to all of you on this site, who have gone off of, or are going off of, and still live with the severe pain that you started with, I am absolutely amazed by you.
I get up every day, and feel pretty darn good. With the exception now of a few days a month, I am pain free from endo.
I feel almost guilty, because some of you are struggling to get thru each and every day with no pain, and I dont have to do that.  I guess I just want to say I have so much respect  for you. I honestly dont know if I could have done that, if I was in as much pain as some of you are.
It Is such a shame that the medical leaders havent addressed this problem. People get off of drugs they are addicted to , and still live with pain.
Wap! I guess I was just smacked in the face with what some of you have been saying all along.

You are all in my prayers , and thoughts everyday. I feel that I have another family here, and I truly appreciate all of you.

Have a good day (or night) depemding where you are,
Love, suzi


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by roddy132, Jan 13, 2009
Hi All,
         Just want to thank you for all your suggestions regarding the nightmarish anxiety.  I will defo be looking into them must admit i do need something at the mo.  Thanks again and i truly do hope you are all doing well with your own personal battles

Take Care Rod

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by Organica, Jan 13, 2009
Thank you, Suzi.. This is certainly an issue for me, but it is worth it to be off the drug..and a drug that had become ineffective anyway.
Madtram, regarding the "certain personality types" school of thought.. my gut reaction is that that is is just another excuse for the drug - blame it on the people who take it.. And it makes me angry. But that is an emotional response and not based on something I can prove. However, the plethora of very real,extreme physical reactions to this drug flies in the face of the arguement.
Perhaps at some stage the experiences here could be documented in some kind of sequential way (or as sequential as the randomness of Tramal problems allow).  There is just so much good information here.

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by Mercedes175, Jan 13, 2009
Hi all, ok..I am working on day 7 I guess (last Tram was noon Wed of last week).  I am very greatful that Saturday on have felt good enough to walk 4miles in morning and actually do housework.  My issue now is that I seem to still have the body aches just in a low end sort of way.  No burning of feet when they hit the floor and feeling like you are going to pass out..but a low grade fever kind of thing.  I sweat alittle but not extreme cold/sweat like I used too.

I have this ongoing head "ache" to the lower half of my head all around..kinda like a fog feeling. I equate this to when my dose was about to happen..ya know..when you start to feel like its time for the next dose.  Only I have not taken any Trams for almost a week.  I have no energy.

Not sure what people mean when they say anxiety.  I am just "sloooowwwwwww".  That is not anxious to me at all. I started taking Trams mostly for the energy...could use a good dose right now. But I am working and progressing.

Could you all remind me if this is typical 7 day feeling..to have low grade body ache (flu aches in your joints and under skin) and this low grade headache..empty feeling..like you are low on electrolytes.

I also still have the infamous bloating. Would love to feel that go away.

NEVER had any runs.  Still kinda constipated but have weaned down to my last 2 codeine's last night before bed.  Have not had any RLS or nervous condition..but again..have had a light codeine pill for before bed so that may have warded that off.  Don't have any left so I guess I'll see if I get diareahh and sleep issues now.  So far that has not been a problem.

Have had tremendous sugar cravings...I actually could go all day without food on the Trams ..now I feel hungary alot which *****...cause when I eat doesnt help with my bloating..and just feel more sluggish instead of getting energy.  Excercise is on my side..have always been an avid excerciser but miss the high end energy I had on the excercise with trams. .Oh well, can't have everything.

Will my energy come back..please say yes....:)

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by harmony986, Jan 13, 2009
I for one, can say at day 9 for me, I have felt the extreme fatigue.  I seem to alternate between no energy and then get the anxiety.  I don't know which is worse!

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by FinallyFred, Jan 13, 2009
Madtram and Sue,  I agree with both of you.  The "personality type" may not be as important as the fact that tramadol raises PHYSICAL havoc with the various receptors in our body.  

The constollation of symptoms that we ALL experience in withdrawal seems to be very common, almost exact, though in varying degrees.  Flu-like-symptoms, pins and needles in the feet, common bloating, lack of energy, sometimes anxiety and depression, over the top emotions, fog, and SNEEZING to name but a few of the COMMON  symptoms we all share.  It does seem difficult to understand how we could ALL experience these SAME symptoms if this was a "personality"  based problem.  CAUSE THESE PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF WITHDRAWAL SEEM TOO CLOSELY GATHERED TO REFLECT only the occassional "weak mind".  

The symptoms we all encounter sound a great deal more like physical reactions to the drug leaving our bodies.  

I'd like to put some of the doctors who prescribed this devil pill ON the drug for a few months and see how their tunes would CERTAINLY change as they stopped taking it.   Cause I am fairly certain that their withdrawal syptoms would be IDENTICAL to the symptoms we have all have experienced.  

Maybe then they would change their tunes.  Maybe then they would come to realize that this drug isn't the harmless non-opiate analgesic they like to tell us about.  I'd like them all to take this for a few months and then lock them all in a gym for four days and let them compare notes!   HA!

Maybe then they would come to realize that withdrawal from this drug isn't exactly a piece of cake.  That most assuredly, there are terrible physical withdrawal symptoms common to ALL who eventually stop taking this drug...regardless of a persons personality type, vocation, age, background, the number of degrees held.  

I know I said this once before, but it bears repeating...if a drug that powerful wants me, it can't have me.  

If a drug causes so much havoc as we withdraw, IMAGINE what havoc it is doing to us when we are on it?  

The harm caused by taking this drug is terribly misunderstood.  

I read an article yesterday by the Associated Press, which talked about the FDA's drug oversite being unreliable.  it said that "missing information, loopholes and weak oversight hamper efforts to uncover financial conflicts by researchers who test experimental drugs before companies seek governmental approval..."  The article went on to report that "(Of) the 118 new drug applications approved by the FDA in 2007, 42% of the applications lacked complete financial information and not even 1% of researchers disclosed possible conflicts."

Roddy, you meantioned that your doc told you that this tramadol is rapidly gaining "popularity" as as street drug.

We have been blessed by having encounters with some here who have used this as a "street drug" and who now want to get off it.  But by and large, most of us here thus far were prescribed tramadol by well meaning doctors for real health problems including chronic pain.  

I am afraid that we are on the "cutting edge " of the masses who may follow after our desire to be rid of this drug.

Today FEDEX trucks are pulling into the driveways of (who really knows) how many homes or apartments dropping of small packages of little white pills to people yet unaware of the potentially dangerous problems this drug is creating as they gulp handfulls of the drug.

Today, we have been granted a reprieve from taking this terrible drug, based on our new found knowledge of this drug and our spiritual condition.  But HOW SAD for those millions of people out there who have not yet come to a knowledge of the power of this drug.

One day each of us WILL STOP taking tramadol.  It might be today or next week, or ten years from now.  And sadly, the longer we put handfuls of this drug.into our body - the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be.  

Today, it has been six weeks since I put this devil pill into my body.  And I still have difficulty sleeping some nights and random other symptoms, like the occassional "jab" of pins and needles throughout my body.  Yet it is by far not as bad as it was those first four days of withdrawal.  

But I can't help but wonder about others, who are taking up to 30 of these "harmless non-opiate analgesics" a day.  (that would be nearly $100.00 for a three day supply.)  That's $1,000.00/month gang!  Yikes.  But the financial cost is NOTHING compared to the havoced lives that are wrecked.  

I don't know how or when "REGULATORS" will wake up to this problem.  But I for one want to be around to offer my experience, strength and hope to all those millions who will one day be coming off this nasty drug.  Because regardless of how or why a person get's on this drug, each one will one day need our help as they try and withdraw.  

Fred

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by FinallyFred, Jan 13, 2009
Dear sweet Mercedes, yes your energy WILL return.  I recall being where you are now, having to work yet hardly doing more than filling a space on a chair. Being barely able to focus on seeing my computer monitor at work, let alone moving my caes forward in a meaningful way.  I was talking with people, yet unable to pull the pin on decisions that had to be made.  But slowly, energy, focus and the like did return.  Hang in there.  Fred

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by kevzx81, Jan 13, 2009
I refuse to accept that sweats and shakes, nightmares , anxiety, restless legs, total energy loss, violent mood swings, depression, bloating, sneezing, vomitiming , nausea, suicidal thoughts and all else are caused by personality.WITH OR WITHOUT TRAMADOL. I also refuse to believe that if there were such a type that all in this room ARE that type. I mean. lets get serious!!! I believe this is a variation of the 'psychological symptoms' argument.

This being day 1 of no Tramadol for me, no doubt my viewpoint is invalid because I'm suffering w/ds because of my personality type!!
THIS KIND OF BS MAKES ME MAD AS H**L.
These so-called professionals would have us believe anything just so long as nothing occurs to rock their financially secure( albeit spiritually impoverished) world.

I hold these professionals in the same esteem as I would a heroin or crack cocaine dealer preying on children.
Poisoning is poisoning.
Lying is lying.
Profit is profit.....

AND SOPHISTRY IS SOPHISTRY!!!!









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by kevzx81, Jan 13, 2009
On the subject of symptoms- Has anyone else had food cravings? I've been loading up on all the vitamins, eating more fruit than usual as well as my regular diet. No matter what I eat or drink,this craving persists and has been going on for for over a month now.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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by emergee, Jan 13, 2009
i gained weight.  no i don't have a suggestion. still trying to take it off.

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by Organica, Jan 13, 2009
Yep, me too...

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by suzipen, Jan 13, 2009
Sorry Kev,
I have gained 15 plus pounds coming off tram. The sweet cravings were insane. I am STILL fighting this everyday. The bloating is just now starting to subside, but I have to watch every bite I take. I could eat sugar and nothing else all day, but I wont let myself.              ( I really cant afford a whole new wardrobe at this time.)
All I can say is , you had tramendous willpower to stop taking those pills- USE that same WILLPOWER now.
Day one alomost over! YEA!!!!
You will beat this! Just really baby yourself for the next few days. You need and deserve it.

I am sending you positive thoughts and a big hug,
suzi

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by suzipen, Jan 13, 2009
Hi FRED!!!  I missed your very special posts that I have come to COUNT ON.
I want to be right there beside you offering my experience as well.

Mercedes- Your energy will come back................When?? I dont know, and neither does anyone else on here. IT is such a random thing as we have heard so many times. I go back and forth between low energy and anxiety all day long STILL.
I dont want to discourage you, but that is my experience. Others say they have energy at a week off.
The worst for me is " low energy mixed in with some nice heart palpitations, while I feel like a wet noodle on the inside."
That really sux!! BUT it is getting better and I dont feel that way as often.

Afterall, I signed up for my first nursing classs today!! YEA!!  I honestly couldnt have done that while on tram. Didnt have the motivation or drive. Had lots of nervous energy, where I didnt actually accomplish anything.

So, hang in there! DONT give into the temptation of taking a pill. It is soooooooooo not worth it. It wont give you the kind of energy you want .

Good luck!
Hugs, suzi


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by emergee, Jan 13, 2009
i have also had extreme low energy.  everytime i remember to take it,  the rhodiola really comes through.  it changed my whole day today...

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by Mercedes175, Jan 13, 2009
Emergee, can you tell me where you get your Rhodiola and how much you take and when?  I am interested in anything for mental and physical energy at this point.

I will tell ya'all that I "force" myself in the mornings to walk my usual work out distance (for me it is 3 to 4 miles).  It is not as high end now that I feel everything (before on Trams I was enjoying my walks again like I used to years ago..less pain and more fun)...today I barely put a step in front of another but I did it. That seems to be helping my appetite.  Yesterday I was craving everything under the sun..today was alittle better and more in control.  I try to keep my meals around same time and as healthy as possible.  I too craved the sweets..ate cakes and sweets like crazy the last few weeks on the trams and still remained a bean pole despite.  So I can feel my legs and stuff start to retain water again and fill out a bit..but excercise is so key if you can do it.

I liked what Suzi said about nervous energy not accomplishing much. That was me the last few weeks..aside from a day here and there..I had just what she described.."nervous" energy..but didnt have much a desire to put it anywhere...that is when I started to see myself pop more pills earlier and earlier..  Had to stop. GLAD I did.  I had a good day today so it is getting better.  Even my head has cleared alittle..but it comes and goes.

Blessings everyone..talk soon.

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by FinallyFred, Jan 13, 2009
Mercedes, You have come one heck of a LONG ways in the past eight days.  Congratualtions!  You should be button busting, call the neighbors, and rejoice proud right now.  YAY Mercedes.

Suzi,  Yeah, I'll keep posting here.  Are you nuts?  And like a lot of others here I suspect, I am following everyone else's progress even WHEN  I don't post myself.  Nuf said about that.  

Kev, Wow, jump off day today.  Yikes.  Well if you are pacing the floors, grab a keyborad and keep posting friend and we'll be here.  

Cravings Kev?  Yup, like Organica, Suzi and emergee said, I have gained weight since coming off this darned stuff as well.  10-15 pounds in six weeks.  Like Suzi says, we will need to use the same will power to loose the weight as we did to get off trams.  But Kev, don't worry too much about eating a cake or candy this week for yourself.   If you can get off these darned pills this week, you shouldn't be too concerned about a few pounds amongst friends at this stage in the fight.   Hell, maybe we will all need to jump on over the next MedHelp line for overeaters next month, but first things first.

I am learning that there is a difference between the way boys and girls talk about things.  For example, I was listoning to you girls talk about bloating.  I was feeling fat as hell, but couldn't understand what you meant with all that "bloating" talk.  I would have related to "feeling stuffed" or even to talk about extended stomaches, but bloating isn't a word I have ever heard a guy use.  Now I get it.  

So too is the subject of depression.  I think girls are quicker to use that term to describe their feelings than boys are.  I might feel listless, blue, have no energy or drive, but not depressed.  Hmmmm.

Suzi, was that you who signed off once last month saying, "Goodnight to all - I hope"?  That still cracks me up.

So I'll clsoe by saying "Good night to all - I hope.

Fred



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by emergee, Jan 13, 2009
my only suggestion re eating too much would be to stock up with stuff that isn't too disgraceful.  maybe not even that tasty.  i got into toast and cheese.  or apple and cheese.  you could say,  that's not so bad.  well it woulnd't be except i did it every 15 minutes for 5 weeks.  also i ate salad and a whole lot of frozen microwave chicken that i could eat with a lot of ketchup.   SUGAR IS BAD BAD BAD.

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by emergee, Jan 13, 2009
FOR THOSE WITH ANXIETY , CHECK THIS OUT:;

http://www.restoreunity.org/panic_attacks.htm

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by madtram, Jan 14, 2009
For those bad sugar cravings, try substituting with Xylitol, a completely natural low GI alternative, (made from Birch trees).  Stevia is also natural low cal but I haven't found a brand I can stand the taste of, (apparently there are some out there).  It's important for your mood stabilisation not to send your blood sugar spiking up & down, so aim for small frequent low GI meals; plenty of protein to feed neurotransmitters & lots & lots of water.

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by ultraumatized, Jan 14, 2009
i have had problems with the weight gain thing in the past.  it seems like i had a steady -10 pounds when on tramadol and +10  when off.  it was totally easy to go all day without eating while taking the drug & the food cravings seem to start just after the worst of the withdrawal are over.  i haven't found a way to stop this either...i suspect some of weight gain is water weight, tramadol always completely dried me out.

this is my 11th day without the meds & i'm still having mild headaches that seems to drone on in the back of my head & neck all day long...sometimes i get really sharp stabbing pains that only last a few seconds. naproxen really seems to be the best thing to get rid of this for me.  my energy levels are up & down, as are the emotions.  anxiety hasn't been too bad, but there has been some...with me i think it's just knowing there are important things i have coming up in the future that i'm not ready to tackle just yet.

overall things do seem much better tho, just hang in there guys...best of luck to you all!

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by kevzx81, Jan 14, 2009
Emergee- I think you have the answer; less appealing food. The fruit option has worn thin as I'm now spiking on natural sugars. I'm going to try plain crackers and lots of water. As usual you're a mine of useful information!

Fred- I agree with everything you say about how to get through this. But its SO GOOD to hear someone else say it! Funny isnt it, how we often need to be reminded to be kind/gentle to ourselves. Yes, maybe we'll meet again on the weightwatchers forum! When it does come time to move on I'm going to miss everyone here. I see an emotional seperation on the horizon! But hey, at least I can see the horizon; and thanks to all for helping to keep it in sight!

I am getting kicked around a bit, little sleep, anxiety et al but I'm feeling solid about this. It just feels so good to sit here and type and see the empty space on the desk where those pills USED to be. USED to be. Yes, that feels good all right.

This whole experience has been so emotional. What with the Tram emotions, the empathy I feel when seeing others struggle and the friendships that are forming here its  overwhelming!!!!



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by FinallyFred, Jan 14, 2009
Kev,  look at you - you are doing great man.

On the "horizen goodbyes"  -  nobody will kick you out of here just because you are tram free and have no lingering problems Kev.  When it is time to "move on" with other things in life, you will.  And if you MISS us, come back and tell us how life is on the other side.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves at the MOMENT.  

Keep writing to say how this week is going for you.

Fred

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by kevzx81, Jan 14, 2009
(((THANKS))) Fred.

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by 1113, Jan 14, 2009
Kev....

you sould great.  I think that the people that are still tappering would like to know how your first few days go.  i for one would like to know what your are experiencing.

keep up posted.

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by Mercedes175, Jan 14, 2009
Ok, this will sound bad.  I actually feel absolutely sick today.  The advil and Excederin are not working enough.  My skin hurts all over,joints everything.  Forced myself t walk today...have had soup..next thing is a hot bath.  Im actually in tears.  Its like the low grade boy aches are now significant.  I was doint ok yesterday..but today I need something to help me relax.

Question, I am calling my doctor to see if he can take me in. For all I know I have a legitimate flu now..have a history of this which is why I became acquainted with trams..one doc prescirbed this instead of T-3's once.  It was how I found this drug.

Anyway, question..if I took a tram now to help with these aches will that ruin everything?  I have about 8 days But I am miserable. Literally.  But I am scared that will ruin everything.  Can I take just a little to get me through these aches so I can then get in to my internist to help me with something else. They are not open. Any thoughts?  UGHHHHHH

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by emergee, Jan 14, 2009
i am having a bit of a problem with concentration.   since i started researching dopamine i found out it the lack of it causes add and adhd.   now i understand what that's like.   super hard to bear down on a subject.  the irritablity is better but i can still get the most amazing surges of rage at nothing.

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by EmilyPost, Jan 14, 2009
Don't take any Tamadol Mercedes.

It won't make you feel better, I don't think. Wthdrawal is bad. I'm not amazed that you were ok and now you are not. I wasn't really untl Day 10 that I knew I'd be ok.

Try to breathe to drop down your heart rate.  5 counts n, 10 counts out. You ddn't ask, but II think you are pushng your body too hard. Body needs calm smooth deep rest.

Miserable will pass. And then you'll be closer to no longer beng hooked.

Love and healing,
Emily


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by EmilyPost, Jan 14, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!

Hello to everyone, even the people who we never see. Hello! Hi!

Kev;

I have never thought of this quite this way ....

You write,

"I hold these professionals in the same esteem as I would a heroin or crack cocaine dealer preying on children.
Poisoning is poisoning.
Lying is lying.
Profit is profit.....

AND SOPHISTRY IS SOPHISTRY!!!!"

Yeppers. I read this a few times Kev. The pain and withdrawal makes things clear that before were not in focus.

Thanks all of you for your empathy and kindness over Thursdays now entertaning Doctor's Visit to the guy who has "Chronic Pain Specialist" on his card and then tells me, "I am no chronic pain specialist." Okies!

And yes, "Be sure to see your Doctor about ...." is a hilarious saying. People should just say, "I don't want to get involved or in trouble... i don't even want to offer simple kindness or empathy regarding where you are because it scares me too much."

Also I just had to delete because the Med-Help censor doesn't censor you if you write Counts without an "o" accidentally ... ;-) Which is astonishing and oddly hilarious to me at the moment. If  had know I'd coulda been calling Tramadol that ...

(I'm kidding. Kind of)

Ok small update for those of you looking ahead. There's alot that gets neglected in the Trama-Bot phase. Working thru FOG is a complete nightmare! Nervous energy and getting absolutely nothing done was about right for me.

So yesterday I went to the Dentist to have my teeth cleaned. Not fun, easy to postpone ESP as my back has been bugging me. But I now have nice clean white teeth and the Dentist showed me stains on my teeth from 2004 (I was deep in Tramadol land then) and she asked why I had zero stains yesterday. Weird. I'm blaming Tramadol ... Officially, I blame YOU Tramadol you ... you ... you little teeth stainer! In truth the Tramadol made me NEED huge amounts of coffee. Now that I am off, that amount is decreasing and I would not be amazed if coffee vanished one day from my life.

Yes, I am in agreement about the Doctors not listening. I'm very creditable. I don't look or act unreliable. So to have a Doctor cut me off, not let me ask questions ... and ignore me was astounding. But it has happened enough times now that my expectations need to change.

On Monday Morning I went to See Dr. Groovy my Psychiatrist who keeps me on Klonopin and I told him about stopping Codeine all together on December 12th. This means no pain meds are in my system.  I was taking a small amount of codeine (Less than one T3 or T4 daily) since a few weeks after said car accident. Was it rough to detox from?

Yes. That one actually has a "high" involved for a short period of time. So I craved it for a few days. I'm feeling really a real relief not having to wonder if I am feeling pain, or if it is a side effect of _______ (insert drug name here) coming out of my system.

So Dr. Groovy approved a taper plan (which since he is Dr. Groovy was frst completely crazy .. he said drop .5 every week .... yeah ok NO ... mabe .25 every 2 weeks ... I start to get really upset when i know a tapering schedule better than the people who are my Doctors ... I have no idea why it upsets me since I cannot control it ..

(Insert Serenity Prayer)

He eventually said, "Just try to take less ok?" Ummm ok ... that's what I was doing ....

For those of you who have just jumped off ... write as much as you can! Talk to us ... write it out. Push; but not too hard. When you start to lose a battle ... retreat and fight another day.

Your life is waiting for you to come back to it. And you will. It will all be ok. Your symptoms will vanish in Time. Patience and a plan helps.

Fred you said it again, "If the drug is this strong that it wants me THAT bad; it can't have me." EXACTLY!! YEP! Correct!

Love and Healing,
Emily



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by going_nowhere, Jan 14, 2009
Hey everyone- i have a question....i am ten days off of my hydro addiction.  my neurologist gave me tramadol for my migraines........am i going to get addicted???

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by FinallyFred, Jan 14, 2009
going_nowhere,    Are you serious?  Start from the beginning here and read the posts of people like you (and me) who have gotten addicted to tramadol after it was prescribed as the safe alternative to the "real opiates".  Answer: Yes probably positively definately.    Fred

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by EmilyPost, Jan 14, 2009
I thnk we had someone here who got hooked after three weeks, and it was a low low dose.

FYI

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by kevzx81, Jan 14, 2009
Going nowhere- You have no idea!!!! This drug can addict Very quickly( 1 week in some cases). And its hard to get off it.
Dont take my word for it, I have heard ex heroin addicts describe tramadol as FAR WORSE to get off than Heroin, cocaine.... Read the posts above. Take a look at the symptoms. This is a NIGHTMARE DRUG!!!

1113-
This was my taper regime- starting at 3x50mg per day. (times are as accurate as I can remember!)after taking Tramadol for 3 months.
                                                       3x35mg for 7 days
                                                       3x20mg for 3 days
                                                       3x15mg for 6 days
                                                       3x10mg for 5 days
                                                       3x 5mg for 2 days.
So far its been the usual symptoms in varying degree, though much milder than in c/t.
Anxiety tops the ' I want my mum ' chart. nausea, restless energy, depression type thoughts, ANGER!, food cravings, occasional nightmares, exhaustion; they've all been present off and on. The severity and frequency of symptoms shows no pattern relative to the taper.

Since I stopped taking Tramadol (insert applause here) lack of sleep has been a problem. I've only had 8hrs in 3 days at time of posting.
There was no visible ' bump' at the jump off point(yet!). I'm 2 days in now and other than the anxiety I'm coping well.
I think the reason so many of us name anxiety as worst symptom is'nt only because it feels so utterly horrid but also because its seems impossible to eirher CHANGE or ACCEPT it. Its one of the greatest challenges to acceptance I've come up against. AND because its so nerve smashing even submission does not offer any rest. I walked 6 miles last night as the sun came up ( I live near the beach) and returned home to a hot bath. I figured maybe a combination of exhaustion and relaxation might wear it down. Anxiety burns a LOT of energy. No such luck. I still only slept a couple of hours. I"M EXHAUSTED....but my anxiety isnt! ( Insert sound of rattle thrown from pram here).
So I'm back to trying to accept it.

I was once told that suffering is discomfort that we either cannot accept or will not let go of.
If we see ourselves as sufferers we identify ourselves as victims. Victims are powerless.
The loving people here have saved me from that dreaded pit by costantly reminding me that I'm not weak, I can win, its not just me. WE ALL UNDERSTAND.  The power of this knowledge is GREATER THAN MY SYMPTOMS. And I can prove it... anxiety may or may not accompany me through tomorrow, but my friends here will.

What I'm trying to say is...we cant predict this monster, it goes its own way. It is treachorous and unreliable.
Which makes my friends here the PERFECT ANTIDOTE.

While its healing to talk out our symptoms with each other we should not mistake the wood for the trees. This WAR is not about symptoms, its about winning back our authentic lives,our freedom and our health.
Tramadol wants to defeat my belief in my ability to recover. Thats where the fear comes in. My friends want me to believe I will recover. Those brave souls,especially Emily ,who fought this thing from a far worse position have provided the proof that I CAN recover.

If my symptoms flare up tomorrow it will only harden my resolve. I will take it as a sign that the TRAMADOL is scared. YES....SCARED; As it should be . Because me and my good friends here are going to KICK ITS SORRY *SS.

(INSERT SOUND OF WAR DRUMS HERE)











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by going_nowhere, Jan 14, 2009
wow, i for sure don't want withdrawl symptoms again.....hydros were bad enough.  i have only taken for 6 days so should i still taper or just stop?

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by suzipen, Jan 14, 2009
WAR DRUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by suzipen, Jan 14, 2009
To going nowhere-
In MY OPINION at this stage, I would just stop. You will still feel like cra*, but, thats what i would do. Others will probably be along to offer advice as well. Do what you can handle.
I am soooooooo glad you found this site when you did.
good luck,
suzi

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by EmilyPost, Jan 14, 2009
There was also the Mother who popped in here and said she'd rather give birth again than suffer Tramadol withdrawal. But I agree that comparisons from people who have been on every type of drug, street legal or otherwise is reassuring. You feel less insane when you read that.

No we should not mistake the woods for the trees. The most important thing is to get off this Tramadol drug and then rebuild. The rebuilding goes slow. But I assure you with 100% assurance that the symptoms vanish. In my case, it got complicated. But I can assure you; the symptoms of Tramadol withdrawal go away.

The thing is, many times, if you were treating some kind of physical pain, the Tramadol WILL try to fool up you by spiking the pain. Not constantly; just like a last ditch attempt to get you to ingest it.   In that way it is like a straight up Opiate. BUT Tramadol has some characteristics that I believe make it unique.

The sensation and mental psych OUT of "I am going to DIE ..." is just a lie. It'll tell you anything it can to get you to cave in and take it again. It's a demoralizing and demonic voice. The dreams are part of it. The dreams are startling, but they will also remind you that you have NOT been dreaming. Which is scary. To not have deep sleep for months or even years is a huge aspect of Tramadol.

The trick it also plays is the ... "Just take more ..." The Doctors up the dose and add other drugs to control what are in fact, side effects of taking Tramadol. Which can leave you on a cascade of drugs.

I remember (and it is actually in the first post there) that I really wanted to find people who had been on Tramadol and had escaped. I wanted to know they were ok now.

So .. again. You will be ok. The symptoms are very hard. But you take it slowly. If it gets hard, slow down. You do NOT have to do this "perfectly" or "My Way" or "Fred's Way".. You already know what is right for you. Being assured you will recover (and you will!) ... is magic.

Love and healing,
Emily





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by emergee, Jan 14, 2009
"feels so utterly horrid but also because its seems impossible to eirher CHANGE or ACCEPT it. Its one of the greatest challenges to acceptance I've come up against. AND because its so nerve smashing even submission does not offer any rest."
i
i was really glad to read this,  kev.   an acknowledgement that some forms of suffering are impossible to accept.  the intolerable thing, the thing that just puts you up against the wall.  

i wonder how many of us had anxiety as the worst symptom.  

for me ,all these super acute symptoms have morphed into this on going concern if i will ever be normal again.  i am really scared.  i know most people are fine after a few weeks or a month so please don't be concerned those of you just stepping off.


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by Amysdone, Jan 14, 2009
Hi everyone!  I've been lurking here for several days and have been so thankful for all of those that have gone before me and how they showed me that there is hope after getting off of the tram.  I spent the last week tapering and now I'm 2 days tram free.  I know that I'm still a baby as far as getting clean goes, but I'm with emergee, I'm scared that I will never be "normal" again.  

Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in over a week and I had high hopes (though I knew it wouldn't always be like that).  Today was an other day from hell as far as anxiety and no energy goes.  I think what hit me hard today was the lack of understanding from well meaning family members who think that just because I've stopped taking the pills that I should be "okay" and back to normal already.  Has anyone else experienced this from others as well?  

I agree that there are some forms of suffering that are impossible to accept.  I've had chronic pain for over 5 years and I've done that whole "I'm okay with it now, I'm accepting it, this is my life.."...blah..blah..blah!  And to tell you the truth, it NEVER made my life any easier by trying to convince myself that I had accepted it.  For some reason I truly believe it made me fall deeper into the tramahell because in some way they made my emotions numb.  I look back now and I know that I never fully accepted the chronic pain and I don't think I ever will.  Getting off the tram has been the best thing I could have done, but at the same time, I am scared that I may never be normal again. What ever that is!  Or possibly it's the fear that I won't be "normal" according to what others think I should be.  Is that just rambling or what..lol?

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by Organica, Jan 15, 2009
Not rambline, Amysdone... just very very familiar :-)
Of course you will be normal - I am sure it is part of the Tramal thing that makes us think we won't be.. it just takes time.
When you strike the people who simply don't understand how bad it is (and most don't because it seems so incredibly bad to them that they don't believe it) just show them the masses and masses of people from this site alone who have been or are going through it.
It is wonderful that you are now Tramal-free, but please be gentle on yourself..
Strength and peace,
Sue

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by IzzWizz, Jan 15, 2009
Hi Everyone

Not posted for a while but I'm still looking in every night. I swear that Tramadol has destroyed my ability to sleep properly and for me is by far the worst symptom of the rotten pills. I have been clear for more then a month now but still I only sleep for 4 hours at a time and that 4 hours is littered with nightmares and madness. I went to see my GP and he tried to tell me I was depressed which is complete rubbish. I wasn't depressed before I started taking Tramadol and I'm not now...I just want to sleeeeeeeeep! He tried to put me on antidepressants but I refuse to take them at least until I know I'm 100% clear of the poison. Anyone else have this problem?

Emily, thanks for that long post about your back pain...I admire you I really do. I am currently waiting for an MRI to see if I have any disc damage or anything that can be operated on but we shall see. Thanks to the good old Britsh NHS I could be waiting for 4 weeks for the scan but we shall see. For the moment I will stay strapped to my hot water bottle and hope for the best...no more drugs.

Nice to see so many new people taking the steps to free from possibly one of the most disgusting and lied about pharmacological agents in existence. Hope and support to all of you and thanks to everyone :)

Izzy

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by FinallyFred, Jan 15, 2009
Yay Amy,  I am so glad that you decided to FINALLY post here.   At 2 days free, I wouldn't be TOO worried about being "normal" again.  Just take things moment by moment for the time being.  Withdrawal (as Kev and others have pointed out ) is random.  I attended a mediation on my day 1 and felt pretty good, but by the next day, I couldn't get up off the couch.  

Random is - as in one minute you feel OK and the next not so OK.  Keep posting Amy.  You are such an excellent communicator using the written form.  One day soon, the words that you post today will be someone else's  "words by those who went befoer them".  Make sense?  Like Emily just said, "The most important thing is to get off this Tramadol drug and THEN rebuild".  

But yeah Amy, unless a family member has actually gone through this withdrawal themselves, there is NO WAY that they CAN understand what it's like.  Can't really expect them to understand.  Even the most supportive, loving people we know can't figure out what all the fuss is.

I recall in early withdrawal my wife (who is very darling and caring, I might add) would often ask, "how are you doing now?"  It was that word "NOW" that told me that despite her care and concern for me, she expected this nonesense to be over pretty darned quick.  But I finally figured out that by about the 10th time she inquired, she probably wouldn't really want to hear the truth.  No, I didn't tell her, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"...Nope, my mother didn't raise no fools.  So instead of going into a long explanation about how miserable I was (right NOW), I took to simply forcing the best smile I could muster and I'd respond, "I'm OK sweetheart, thanks for asking".   And pretty soon she stopped asking and I was alone with you monkeys!  

To emergee's point...at some point, the "super acute symptoms morphed into this on going concern if i will ever be normal again".  I have wondered that myself emergee.  Not on a linear constant basis, but at random times over the past six weeks Iv'e wondered taht too.  

I would say that I still have 3 nights a week that I can't sleep well and I still get pins and needles (mostly in the feet) in very random places in my body (hands, arms feet,and  legs mostly).  

I know that just a few weeks ago I asked you, Emily, whether neuropathy pain is permanent and you assured me that these things too will pass.  So I figure that I must still be withdrawing...we must still have receptors that are WACKED by years of tramadol use or something emergee.  So darn it, I am afraid that we STILL must still take this one moment by one moment, even with a couple of clean weeks behind us.    

Emily, I haven't been ignoring your plight with the folks (idiots) in the white coats.  I just saw so many others here commisurating that I didn't want to innundate you with words of concern and care.  You Emily are our tramadol mamma without whom, I for one would never have caught the vision that beating this terrible drug was possible.  And you know the old saying, "when mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!  It works applies here, right?  :)    Seriously, I hope you find a solution to your aggrevated pain from the August MVA.  

I know it must be very upseting to NOT be listoned to by people we are paying good money to - to "care for us".  Sad Sad Sad.

Kev, you are sounding so VERY determined these days to beat this thing.  

Love, Courage and Strength to you guys.  

Fred



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by FinallyFred, Jan 15, 2009
I totally agree with Organica's comments about being gentle on your self Amy.

And Izzy, It's SO VERY nice for you to drop in and say hello.  Didn't see your post before I went on about my own ongoing problems with sleep.  You are not alone Izzy on teh sleep difficulties Izzy.  The tylenol P.M's aren't cutting it for me and I am about to make an appointment with my doc to ask for some sleeping pills or something.  Madtram, do you are anyone else know a presription sleeping pill that is "safe".  Sounds like the are all "habit forming".

What does that mean, "sleeping pills that are habit forming"?  Unless such a drug was doing harm, I could get into the habit of taking something every night to sleep soundly.   Just wondering...

Fred

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by madtram, Jan 15, 2009
The so-called "Z" drugs, (zolpidem & zopiclone, aka Ambien & Lunesta) were supposed to preserve sleep architecture, although some people have reported strange reactions to them.  Having developed a very scary chronic fatigue syndrome, which went on for months, following  withdrawal from u know what, I resorted to Lunesta, in desperation.  I didn't feel that my tenuous grasp on sanity would survive insomnia on top of everything else.  I had first tried all the non-drug solutions, valerian by the truck-load; passion flower; tryptophan; melatonin; meditation; belly breathing, unfortunately, I still couldn't sleep.

The Lunesta did work for me & I didn't have any identifiable side effects.  However,  I was nervous about taking anything for too long so decided I had better stop the sleep meds even though they were still working.  I then had a period, (can't remember now whether it was more than a week or two), of insomnia & dodgy sleep, before my sleep returned to normal, (for which I still remain extremely grateful & joyous).

So, Fred, I may have just put off the inevitable, compulsory period of insomnia by taking the z meds but I was better equipped to deal with the insomnia again after a period of regular sleep.  The only other reservation is that because they act on the GABA neuro-circuitry which is already messed up by tramadol, you may be adding to the confusion. I agree that "habit forming" is  your body becoming accustomed to needing the pill to fall asleep.  I haven't seen any scientific evidence that they change your system in the many fundamental ways that tramadol does.

Bottom line, I would go for say a two week script & assuming they are working for you, start tapering off at the end of the first week.

Hoping that everyone can soon celebrate a good night's sleep.

M

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by Organica, Jan 15, 2009
M, you know that I have CFS, and I used sleep meds during my very slow taper, for exactly that reason. CFS, no sleep, and withdrawal was like hell on earth.  The fibromyalgia aspect of CFS was a nightmare in itself.. add  Akathesia (I get that when I have Stemetil, so I know what it feels like, and T withdrawal has got it in bucketloads) and it is the ultimate torment.
Sleep is just too important.

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by harmony986, Jan 15, 2009
My current dr is a DO/Naturopath.  When I went to him last yr with my "sleep issues", he recommended a RX for Rozerum.  It is supposed to be high doses of melatonin.  He believes that people that take the others will only become dependent forever, so he will not prescribe them.  Personally I find the only thing I can sleep with is UNISOM, it is like benadryl.  And it is much less expensive.  

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by Mercedes175, Jan 15, 2009
Hi,,wow I shushed everyone on my plight.  Fred/Emily...when I first read your posts awhile back on the "randam"..non-linear progression Tramadol has I thought that may be over-stating..maybe just emotionally it felt that way.  BUT..I am a prime example (as myself as the reference) yep..your right.  I am still fluish but I did NOT take any more Trams and made it to the doc last night.  Actually, Emily...after I posted last night had a good cry...laid down on my bed and fell asleep for about 30minutes and felt so much bettr when I got up.

Anyway, I think (for me) the crazy thing is that you can feel better than have a complete "relapse" of symptoms the next day.  Its like it was the first day or something.  

Question, my doctor did say that flu is going around. I didnt have a temp and still eating like a horse so not sure if that applies to me.  But..how do you know the difference betwee withdrawal body aches and real "sick" body aches?  Anyone know?

Anyway..Im on day 9 if that means anything.  Still have aches, food cravings.  I also noticed I can't drink coffee like I used too.  It just makes me feel sick.  I have mild nervousness at night but am an avid walker so have not had RLS (thank God). But do get occassional nervous feeling in my neck/arms.  For me, atleast right now with all the aches..Nyquil helps me sleep.

take care.



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by Mercedes175, Jan 15, 2009
To clarify,,you can have a complete "relapse" of symptoms the next day..or next HOUR with tramadol.  There is no "making sense" or map to recovery.  Just time...time takes time.  


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by EmilyPost, Jan 15, 2009
((((Mercedes))

So glad you made it thru!!

My opinion is that you have Tramadol wthdrawal symptoms. Whch you could treat in a supportive way as if you have the flu ;-)

A long tme ago, when myself and my fellow Tramadol Warriors dscovered it was Random, it was pretty startlng. But it makes sense, based on what is mixed up n this dangerous and horrible Tramadol!

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by 1113, Jan 15, 2009
another day down.... my mind is starting to play tricks on my... you know, "come on just one night let's dose up and have a good time", but i am also remembering how i feel the next day (dazed and confused and guilty as hell). to me right now the feelings of guilt and hangover are winning so that is good.

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by Amysdone, Jan 15, 2009
Yes, an other day down 1113!  WE are all still here fighting and I think that's a good thing!  My mind is still playing tricks on me as well and I know everyone else here has had the same thoughts at one point or an other.  Yesterday was a bad day for me and I had those crazy thoughts too!  Only, I had NOTHING to dose with because I got rid of the last of my pills.  But believe me, yesterday I was wishing that I had even 1/4 of a pill to take just to get through.  Keep coming here when you feel like giving up and we will all be here to support you!  

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by kim715, Jan 15, 2009
Bumping up for goingnowhere.

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by going_nowhere, Jan 15, 2009
i am just nervous to go off....i have been suffering from migraines for YEARS and i am so freaking tired of the pain and besides hydros this has been the only thing to help them.....why do dr.'s prescribe them so freely if the are addictive?  ahhhh, life as an addict *****.

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by emergee, Jan 15, 2009
i just had lunch with a doc friend of mine.  he is retired , very nice,  likes me a lot.  i want to get across something to people who expect their doctors to respond in a certain way.    so this man and i chatted about this and that , and then i asked him if he would prescribe something for me ( he had already said he would do that for me as a favor) and it was an experimental treatment.  i tried to describe it.  i have cfs and hashimoto's and i learned about this from the adrenal exhaustion forum.  he switched into this incredibly scoffing , skeptical mode instantly.   no openness, totally assuming he knew everything that needed to be known.  if i wasn't already familiar with this mode i would have been offended personally, as it was a social lunch.   i am trying to get across that this is a problem in the medical profession,  there is probably a reason for it that we dont' know,  and we need to just expect it and work around it.  

he discounted chronic fatigue and told me to take a nap.  and he said that thyroid was thyroid and it made no difference to the body if it came from a bottle or from a gland inside your own body.   no awarenss of a holistic body,  or concept of health of the entire organism.  

when we stopped talking about that he returned to being quite pleasant and agreeable.   my father was a doc and was this way and so was a long term partner i had.   i know my father cared deeply about people being taken advantage of by 'QUACKS'  and would get quite angry that i would take vitamins.  ( this was in the eighties)   so they aren't bad people but they are so specialized in their field that something in their vision is occluded permanently.  

i am so angry at my own  doctor that i want to find this medication some other way.   and doctors are leaving the area because they can't make a living here in my town in california.    mine has an asst that you see who is a by the numbers machine.  like paint by numbers, well this is medicine by numbers.  she won't even bother to listen unless  you fit into her handbook's description.


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by EmilyPost, Jan 15, 2009
Hi Going Nowhere ..

In answer to your question; Tramadol has been percieved for years as a "safe non opiate" and the Doctors do NOT get into any trouble when they pass it out like candy.

SOme say it is not widely known that Tramadol is a Demon by the Medical ommunity. I say; That's impossible.

If you google the DEA arrestng Doctors you will see a picture that is terrifying. Doctors get arrested for "over-doing" opiates or anything that needs triplicate ... No Joke, they can walk into an MD's off and take him out in chains. It's a serious thing.

So Tramadol has been passed thru the schedual, and now several Countries and a few states are beginning to recognize there is a large problem. But hey .. Ignorance is Bliss?

Personally, I'd like to have the people who made the drug and lied about this drug have to TAKE IT.I 'd like all the Doctors to take it. But understnad ths is an emotoinal reactoin.

Love and healing,
Emily

If you go off Tramadol, your pain may get alot better. It did for me.




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by Victor322, Jan 15, 2009
My pain also got a lot better after getting clean from trams, never thought it would be possible but found it to be true as my body had adjusted to the pain maybe by developing it's own coping mechanism, I dunno how it happened but it did.  Today it's no longer an issue nor is it used an excuse to keep getting high.

I'm just very grateful for breaking free of the opiates and when the temptation had arisen (very very rare now) I just had to remind myself that I didn't ever want to have to go through an opiate withdrawal process again...as it had really sucked!

-Vic  

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by kevzx81, Jan 15, 2009
Hi All and thanks for all your kind words of support in these first 3 days of TRAMADOL FREE life.

I managed to sleep ok last night (15 hours!!)  so I'm a bit blurry what with the fog and the oversleep.
Does anyone else get ringing in the ears as a symptom? Not that I'm complaining as I'm relieved(no doubt temporary) of anxiety today( well tonight anyway-slept all day)
I've been getting hit hard by depression feelings though as well as the suicide voice( for me these always go together,no surprise.) Feeling VERY foggy and low energy. Maybe we should do a poll, have an award for the longest time taken to write a post! we could call it the golden foghorn award!!

I'm finding that while the anxiety is impossible to negotiate with, the depression feelings can be lessened with breathing/visualization exercises.

too much fog....more later


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by IzzWizz, Jan 15, 2009
Hello All,

Lovely that you got some sleep Kev..Im so jealous! I did get ringing in my ears and also this wierd facial pain..like a headache in my face. It only lasted a few days though. Hang in there..you are doing great!

I HATE that attitude that you speak of Emergee, its total BS. I spend my working life surrounded by doctors and its really difficult to find one that treats hollistically. Most of them look at their patients as a group of systems rather then a whole person. I went to see my own GP the other day for a check up and to talk about my back problems. He actually wrote me a prescription for Trams (400mg a day no less) without even asking me! I told him I didn't want it (he is aware of the problems I have had with it) and he actually laughed at me. I could have punched him in the head right there and then. Where the hell does he get off? How F******* dare he laugh at me?!?!? I was so angry that I burst into tears. He just couldn't understand why I was so upset. He treats me like a child and I hate it and him for doing it. I am a medical professional and an adult and I believe i deserve to be treated as such. Hes lucky I didn't make him eat his prescription! What an a-hole.

Rant aside...peaceful dreams to all and goodnight :)

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by ultrapest2, Jan 15, 2009
Hi Everyone;
     Several weeks ago I posted on this site, and tried to open up and share how I got to be where I am today, but I felt embarassed, and ashamed. Now I sit here at my computer and live with being a slave to this f***ing drug. Every time I enter a public place I look at all the other people. I look at them with jealousy because I know the majority of them are smiling, and enjoying themselves without a drug ruling their lives. I want to just stop, cold turkey like so many of you before me. I simply don't have it in me. I know the withdrawals are going to be complete torture. I've experienced them before, and they didn't get any better after almost a week.
     Maybe my withdrawals are far worse than the norm. Could you folks please shed some light on your symptoms of withdrawl and how long they last, and how can I reduce them? Here's my list of what I experience.

1.  I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin. I get so uncomfortable I can't sit still for a minute.
2.  My arms and legs become restless. I can't stop twitching them
3.  I get exhausted, but can't sleep because of the restlessness
4.  I have to pee every 15 minutes or so for a few hours
5.  I get irritable. I don't want to talk to anybody, and that's tough especially with my two young ones.

Those are the main ones from what I could remember. I just can't be a slave anymore. For once in my life I want to go through with something I started, and i don't want to look back. Unfortunately, I lost a very good job recently, and my insurance has run out, so going to a Dr right now isn't economical. Of course i could order my Tramadol online, but I so want to avoid that.

This whole addiction started 13 years ago. I was very sick with bronchitis. My Doctor ordered me Hycodan syrup for the cough. I got home and took one teaspoon, and I felt it. I wasn't sure, but I think I was high (of course i was), and i loved it. I had two refills left, and used every one. I had pain in my back from lifting something at aork, so I got some Percocet. I wouldn't take it during the day at all, but at night I would only need 1. Then a short time later I needed two etc. I went back to the doctor (it is now 2000) and he prescribed Ultram. That's where my addiction to Ultram started. In 2003 I ordered for the first time online, and have been doing it faithfully ever since. My tolerance has increased from 100mg/ day to now up to 750mg/ day. Although I can take 500 comfortably. I still enjoy the feeling it gives me, the energy, the light head. That's what scares me. I'm fighting two demons over here. I hate it, but love it at the same time.

My wife has no clue, neither do my kids. I remember the days when i used to be able to function, and have fun without Tramadol. I want my life back. I want to be me again. I can't do rehab, I'm far to ashamed, and I can't afford it right now. I need to do it on my own. IS tapering effective? How long will withdrawals last for? How long until i become me again? I appreciate all of you, and the help you give. I read through a-lot of posts over the past week or so, and only realized yesterday that you moved to here. It's so hard to find this site. Anyway, I'm here, and hopefully someday soon somebody will be asking me for advice. It's good to have goals right?

With Due Respect
Dom

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by FinallyFred, Jan 15, 2009
In defense of the docs...sort of:

I'm not sure that anything I can say or do will materially change the practice of medicine in 2009.

Okay,  here's a surprise for you.  My dad was an M.D. too emergee.  OB/GYN by specialty.  I might have gone into medicine as well, except that my 2nd or 3 quarters of calculus was cutting into my other "college life" interests so I eventually switched to pre-law stuff.  My dad passed away 20 years ago.  His patients loved him as I find out on occassion when I step up to a bank teller or store clerk and she asks, are you any relation to (insert dad's name). Outside of his practice, he built a beach house for us with his own hands, he was a talented musician, he liked to paint, and his sense of humor was wickedly funny.

I have had enough of my own (usually bad) experiences with doctors to form my own  opinions about the profession.  Aside from their general arrogance, I think they are trained to QUICKLY collect data/information that THEY feel is important, tune out the rest, and then whip out a diagnosis and "plan" .  "Managed care" has caused them to feel like they must work even quicker I am afraid.  This may be a partial explanation though DEFINATELY not an excuse.

An auto mechanic does much the same, S.O.A.P  though the consequences are NOT as dire when a mechanic installs a starter instead of an alternator in my car.  Mistakes in mechanical diagnostics  seem much less personal under the hood of my car.

I think the problem is all about "production medicine".  Getting the patients in and out under whatever the time the system says an "average" patient, with the average problem, of the average age, of the average sex, and with the average history takes to move in and out of the office.  And I do fault the doctors who sign up to practice as part of a "managed care HMO"?  Yes, because in doing so, they turn over their own time management practices to the administrators holding the stop watches.  

Which brings us back to Emily's point about why doctors are so willing to prescribe a non-scheduled drug like tramadol.  There aren't any consequences for over-prescribing a non-scheduled drug like T.  I think that there shoud be.  I think those passing out this drug like candy ought to be forced to take this stuff for a few months and find out how much fun withdrawal is.  And what's the solution for the online sellers of T?  

Not sure.  Doubt that I will materially change the prescption and/or distribution practices associated with this rat drug in my lifetime.  I am afraid that these things largely fall under the category of "things I cannot change", in large part because of my limited time and resources.  

Just the same, to the extent that anger can be motivational to getting off these drugs, I AM MAD AS HECK!  

So while I doubt that anything I can say or do will materially change the practice of medicine in 2009, I can refuse to put any more of those demonic drugs into my own body at this moment on January 15, 2009.

Fred

Vic, thank you for posting today.  Very good for you.

Kev,  Sleeping like a baby, eh?  Keep it going man!  1

1113, yep, those feelings of "come on just one night let's dose up and have a good time" are common to most of us.  But what got me through (and still does) without doing what you describe is the memory of what fun those early withdrawal symptoms are like and how much I do NOT want to EVER go through that again.  

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by suzipen, Jan 16, 2009
Hi Dom,
I have been off for 57 days. I would love to tell you that it will be easy, but it wont. I had every symptom you mentioned and  MORE. (major mood swings,stomach issues such as bloating and constipation,heart palpitations,nervous energy followed by depression, etc.etc.)  
As you have read, the first few days are the worst. It seems to be common that at 4-5 days, you start feeling better. Not great, but better. 7-10 days are even better.
Its is a waiting game really.
Some taper successfully, while others need to go c/t.  This was my second time to go off tram. The first time, a couple of years ago, I did a very fast taper (one pill less each day for 2 weeks). This last time I did a slower taper, and I will tell you MY EXPERIENCE. The faster taper was much better for me. Looking back, this time I feel I prolonged the agony. For ME. I  think I should have done c/t and went thru 4-5 days of pure he**,such as a really bad flu, and then got on with it.
Everyone is different, and unfortunately, you may not know ahead of time which will be better for you.

As far as loving the feeling and energy it gives you, you will get over that. IT IS A FALSE GOOD FEELING. It really is.
I thought just like you for years, and now that I am getting my head back on straight, I CANNOT believe that I lived in the tramfog for so long.  It is amazing how you will feel as tho you are just waking up. Tramadol is the big lie!!

While on it, you THINK you feel great and energetic, but when you get off of it, you realize what feeling good is really like.
Its weird I know, but soooooooo true.

Basically, there is no way to determine how long withdrawls will last for you. We are all different, and the w/d is so random. You will have good days and bad days.

You asked "How long until i become me again?"
Well, a lot of that is entirely up to you    .I can tell you, it wont even start to happen until you stop taking the pills.
Once the initial really yucky "am i gonna make it?" w/d sypmtoms start going away, you will slowly start getting little pieces of your old self back. And that is motivation to keep going.

You obviously have the interest to stop, and somewhere deep inside of you, you have the desire to stop.........now you have to dig even deeper and find the power that is within you, to act upon it.

While you are finding the strength that I know you have, think about your wife and kids. There is no better motivation than a family. You want to be the best you can for them. But, you cant be the best if you're not alive. And I firmly believe that tramadol kills. It kills your spirit, and it slowly kills your body.

I hope, with all my heart, that I do not sound harsh. I truly wish you, and every other soul that gets taken in by this stupid drug, the very best.

You need to read posts and journals from emily and many others to find remedies that will help you thru the worst of it.  I didnt do a lot of it, but I should have done it to make it easier on myself.

PLEASE PLEASE take the next step. Figure out how you are gonna do it,
                                                         Stock up on supplies to get you thru the first week,
                                                         If possible take time off work to get thru the first few days
                                                          And then, do it.

Bless you and your family. Keep us posted, heck post all the time. It will help you tons.
Big hug to you,
suzi


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by suzipen, Jan 16, 2009
Dom- I forgot to say to you DONT ever ever feel embarassed or ashamed EVER

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by FinallyFred, Jan 16, 2009
Dom,  Suzi said it all really.  But I did want to address your question on whether you should taper or try to stop c/t.

This may surprise some here, but I think tapering could be easier on the old system.  So like Suzi said, when you get ready to do this again, set up a pre-set schedule of what your taper will look like.  Write it down...and then write down how many pills you are taking on each day.  No harm in trying a taper.  Go for it.  

About 20 years ago I was overweight and someone suggested that I should take a picture of myself in shorts and then post it on the mirror where I would see myself every morning when I was getting ready for work.  Well...I looked at that darned picture of myself in shorts every morning for about a month.  And then one day, I realized that I was still as heavy as I had been when I began my grand weight loss plan.   It was worth a try I suppose, but I abandoned the first plan and got more aggressive.

Pesonally, I would bring my wife into this aspect of my life.  That's just me tho.  But in any event,  tape your "plan" up where you will see it (and if you don't want to tell your spouse, put it where she won't see it) and after a few weeks or a month, compare your "projected" taper to the "actual"  # of trams you have been taking.  And if like me and my grand ole weight loss idea, nothing has changed, consider changing the plan and consider cold turkey.  There is no painless way out in either event.

Candidly, from what you described, I am not sure that a taper will work for you, but I'd give it a go.  I only say this because you have described yourself as being "addicted" to the drug.  By the grace of God, trams were the FIRST drug I was ever ADDICTED TO.  I can't say the same for the booze unfortunately.  

When I had tried to "taper" off the booze, it never worked for me.  It might work for some, but not for this person.  I tried to drink only after 7 p.m., I switched from wine to beer and I tried to "drink like a gentleman".  None of that worked. I guess I am a real alcohlic.  So until I realized that I was "defenseless against the first drink" tapering wasn't working for me.  Finally, about eight years ago, I STOPPED but I  STILL know full well that if I flirted with a drink again, I'd be toast fast.  

So I sort of applied what I had learned about myself with alcohol and applied it to my addiction to tramadol.  Maybe this explains a lot about myself.  PLUS, if you are like me, you take more of the drug when the RX cycle starts and then suffer through withdrawal symptoms as the cycle is winding down.  I never ordered online, but I thought about it.  Regardless of how you get the drug, it is evil.  

Regrdless of why you started taking this rat drug, it hooks you.  And you know as well as I do that it takes more and more of the drug to make you feel LESS UNWELL feeling.  I had pain in places in my body thatt I didn't know I had...and the drug told me that IT was keeping me from fully experiencing to full manefetation of those new found pains.  

The crazy (but true) thing about this drug, is that once you stop taking it, those random pains go away.  And even the places in your body that hurt - which were the original reason you started taking the drug, feel better OFF than while ON tramadol.  How crazy is that?

I expect others here have different opinions on how you might do with a taper, so stay tuned.     I just don't think an addict has the will power to gradually taper.  Just my opinion Dom.

Good luck to you and keep us posted in any event.  

Fred

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by kevzx81, Jan 16, 2009
Hi Everyone.
A big thanks to all for your support and sorry if my marathon sleep raised too many sighs of envy!

A special thanks to Fred for some much needed balance re the way docs operate. I'm sure you're right and we ought not to take it so personally, even though it feels personal, even though in some ways it is personal. Emily wrote about the need to adjust expectations and this I think is the best ( albeit tragic) way to alleviate(somewhat) the rage,disapointment, anguish etc that seems certain to re-occur in future, similar situations.

And a second thanks go to Fred for taking the risk of sharing what could be an unwelcome message on that subject.
I won't be shooting the messenger, or my doctor(just!) but I am adjusting my expectations.I do it with a heavy heart though. I feel I have a right to expect more. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

-------------------------------

Today is a respite fore me (so far!) just some ringing in my ears and fogginess.
If I had one wish it would be to share it.........


DOM- Welcome and dont go away. This is a good place to be to do what you must do.
I can see from your post that you're judging yourself harshly for getting in such a mess.
Dont feel you've let anyone down, I'm sure your motives in accepting this drug included being fitter and better able to support your family yes? I'm also sure no-one told you the facts?
My first reaction was " what a fool I've been ". But when I stopped to think about it, it just wasnt true. You have no reason to feel ashamed or embarassed. NONE OF US DO.










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by Mercedes175, Jan 16, 2009
Hi all, I am on day 9/10...after 12noon Im working on day 10.  I just wanted to add my input to Dom.  First, THANK YOU Dom for your post. I was thinking about posting something similar.  It helps to understand that our symptoms that seem to go on and on..are not "unique" to us.  I too have had the depression..it comes and goes but just late yesterday even though I feel 100 times better than Wednesday's relapse of symptoms I started to really, really question..am I different?  I dont feel like I am getting better..just "different" at times.  And, of course, woke up this morning with bad body aches..flu.  

The good news, I already feel better now that I have gotten up and just "kept moving".  Emergee said it right awhile back to me that when you are "on" this drug..the symptoms of withdrawal are worse...yep, that is what I said, worse.  I remember complaining how bad my mornings were when I was still taking the Trams..by morning when I woke up that was usually a good 12 hours after my last dose...I slept real deep on Trams...and when I woke up, my feet were so sore when I hit the floor, the need to go the bathroom even hurt..every receptor, cell under my skin was sore.  

But here is the thing,,,when you finally stop. and I mean have that mindset that I see in your post..your done..angry, determined..."desperate" to get better.  I can tell you when I took my last dose (12noon last Wednesday)..I was expecting the worst.. I determined if my mornings were that "sick" when I was just inbetween doses, actively using the drug..then when I stop pure hell will break out.  I am not one to tolerate feeling sick.  Especially if when I lay down I can't relax. I have to have some sort of "way out" to feel better...usually when really sick I would find respite in laying down, head propped up...cold washclth on head and sleep.  When I cant get that..is when I panic.

But here is the thing..it wasnt really as bad. Emergee was right.  It hurts, it is bad when you take your eyes/heart off the goal (recovery) and start to look to much to the symptoms..try not to do that.  But all in all it was overcomeable.  

I do hear you though..on day 9(ish) when I woke up this morning at 5:00a with sick body aches (I felt again like I wasnt recovering at all)..I felt..am I even getting better ..who am I kidding. I must have really did a number on myself.  I don't feel like going out..bloated, can't stop eating..feel down. But then I got up, prayed (yes, prayed), and feel better all over.

What I have been doing maybe alittle taboo but it is working.  My doc gave me Tylenol 3's to help when the aches get really bad.  Trust me, they are nothing to my system as the Trams..just when the aches get bad..feeling like you are goinb out of your skin..calms that, regulates your temp and helps you sleep.  He gave me a few more the other night.  I don't "eat" them like I did the trams and quite frankly..it is a mild transistion for me to feel better. I am worried alittle that when these are gone (he only gave me a few)...am I just delaying the real withdrawals? As for me, no diareahha everyone talks about..no throwing up ..I have still been able to feel good enough to walk 5miles a day.  My aches and down times come randomly. But I have noticed a pattern when I start to notice Im feeling sick is when it takes a turn and gets better..never too much.  So just tell yourself that.  Don't believe the LIE in your head that it will not let up.  I DO FEEL BETTER AND FEEL I AM RECOVERING.

Another thing is I was troubled to go back to where I was before the Trams too.  One of the largest reasons I started taking trams was for energy, focus.  I have always struggled with that which in my case encourages depression.  When I got the green light from my doc to take trams I was actually very happy.  then I found this website..faught it for awhile..was angry as if I need to stop..then what.  BUT, I actually think I am better than I was before. I learned new patterns of efficiency ..not sure what but last night (for example) I found myself productive with house stuff like I used to be on Trams where before the Trams I would put off..be too lazy to get too.  And this time I was NOT on the Trams, but the behavior was ingrained..I didnt struggle, felt good about it.  I feel something has changed for the better in me..maybe my new appreciation to where I am now.  Also, again, God of course.

Anyway, here are my symptoms:

1)  Body aches - where you can't get comfortable..sheets hurt
2)  Extreme cravings for food then when you eat, still not satisfied
3)  extended stomache..meaning (I have a flast stomache - work out daily) however there is a definite bloating and I can tell my digestion is off..it is slightly painful on the top of my stomache..
4)  Peeing alot..yep..I hate this too.  I liked the fact Trams dried me up...but not too terribly bad (it is tolerable)
5) In the beginning hot/cold was bad..cold sweat..now I don't have that ..just mild temp fluctuations. Not as cold and chilled to cold air as when I was on trams
6)  I used to sleep hard and long on Trams..this was not good.  I slept too much..could not get up and get going.  
7)  Restless nervous of neck/arms..me too but the codeine in the T-3s has helped with that.  So Im sure Ill have more when I stop.  I had one night w/out the T-3's (Tues night before my crash of symptoms) and I took Hylands Restless leg..it did stop and I got back to sleep.  

sorry for long post.  One last POSITIVE to get off these pills was although I may be eating more..I do feel like my schedule is more positive to get out and walk, eat right, sleep..I am more determined to take care of myself. Didnt think that would happen..thought I would go back to being sluggish and depressed more..but I have changed for the better..learned and gained some skills to when I was productive on the pills..it did transfer over and my body is adapting.  There is hope . You can be a better you.  Blessing, Mercedes




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by emergee, Jan 16, 2009
fred,
   i appreciate that you love your father,  i loved my father too.  he was a wonderful caring man who sacrificed many nights and weekends to sick people.  i have had the same experience you have,  old ladies have come up to me telling me what a wonderful man my father was.  and it's true,  he was.   he died before this insane medical non-system we have now so the same pressures did not apply.   he even cut his patients down to a few in the last few years so he could come home early so it wasn't about time.    but the phenomena i am talking about is different than the triage that they do with a roomful of waiting patients.  it is a kind of arrogance that i am sure they don't realize they have.  i have seen it so much and it's so identical between them that i feel it is something they pick up in med school.   ( i did pre-med too).  it is like a switch off of normal human way of being.  it can actually feel sort of hostile, esp.  if you are describing something they don't immediately grab onto ,  somehow it is as if they decide quickly that your problem isn't that serious or something. it's patronizing as hell.   i mean this friend of mine told me to take a nap for my chronic fatigue!  
   if you are actually bleeding or shivering with fever or screaming in pain ,  then it's different.  i think most of them really want to help people and it is so wonderful when they can.   with stuff that doesn't show up on their radar , that isnt' in their textbook , or the medical journals say doesn't exist,  then you are toast.    i find it especially bad if you suggest a treatment yourself.  the scoffing comes out. the closedmindedness.  




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by kevzx81, Jan 16, 2009
Emergee- You've named what scares me the most about these docs ie the zero empathy non-humaness. I find it hard to grasp how they can be 100% non self-aware. I struggle to think of them as human beings at all. I think thats why I appreciated Fred offering some positives, I don't really want to start thinking of anyone that way.

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by ultraumatized, Jan 16, 2009
wow, missing a couple days here has left me a lot to read.  13 days now & i still feel wonky all around.  depression hit me really hard day before yesterday & i've had that & a complete lack of energy since...had to literally force myself to do little things that needed to be taken care of.  i've felt tired all the time & really down on myself for no specific reason.  i've heard about the rebound effect from stopping ssri's & keep trying to convince myself this is just coming from the lack of tramadol, i just wish it would pass!

for dom, here's a list of the symptoms i've had & some i'm still dealing with:

1.  sweating & chills (1-5 days)
2.  crying all the time over every little thing
3.  body aches & stomach aches
4.  peeing a lot (this isn't so bad since it was such an effort when i was on the drug)
5.  not sleeping well
6.  lack of energy
7.  severe depression, some anxiety
8.  sneezing constantly (still hasn't stopped!) & smelling things very strongly
9.  food cravings & stomach bloating

i've also had an issue dealing with relapse...it wasn't with tramadol specifically & i  DIDN'T take anything, but i found myself in a "drug seeking behavior" situation & it was VERY scary.  i was practically in the situation before i even realized what i was doing & that really put some fear into me...i've done this in the past with tramadol, promised i wouldn't use & then another part of my mind has taken over & *boom* i've got the pills in hand...this episode made me realize how much deeper this thing has it's hooks in me...i'm going to have to be VERY careful, especially with the mood swings i'm having.

one thing i realized last nite tho...i've really isolated myself thru this process...i think that's a negative thing.  the few times i've been out & social have been really beneficial, but it's just bringing myself to make that effort that i'm finding so hard.  

no time to write more now, but hopefully this will help a bit.

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by FinallyFred, Jan 16, 2009
emergee,  I have no disagreements with ANYTHING you just said in yours an hour ago.  :)

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by suzipen, Jan 16, 2009
Hi everyone,
I just wanted to vent about how I am feeling today. I feel absolutly horrible. Its like I am on day 5 or something. My head hurts ,my face hurts, my stomach hurts , my skin hurts. What is going on? I know the w/d is random, but, its been almost 2 months now. So, I am confused as to whether this is even tram related. Maybe I am just having a bad day. Tying to get the strength up to exercise, but also have a complete lack of motivation.
I want to stay positive for others here, but I also think its important to be honest.
Just let me say, TODAY I REALLY hate tramadol.

Hope you all are faring better,
suzi

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by carolbee, Jan 16, 2009
Hi All!  Glad to hear everyone is still with the program- it helps so much to know you're not alone in this.  I thought the sugar thing was just me!  I've read all the way through the old site posts and all of these, now that you guys said it, THAT explaind the 1/2 a box of cookie a night thing.  I did find an interesting couple of things to help that, if you crave sweet- eat salt. (popcorn is GREAT, it also cleans you out)  Either that or a big cup of herbal tea- sweetened with splenda of course! Mostly both.  Here I thought I was doing really great, and the old tramaftereffects roll back in.  3 weeks after I quit using it?!   I've quit a few things in my (many) days here on earth, but this is the most unpredictable devil drug out there.  If you guys weren't here, I would probably be in a padded room somewhere!  
And still I go to bed and jump back up every night (maybe only 4 times a night now) and the sleep you do get isn't restfull.  Then the chills/aching came back yesterday.  If I hadn't read the posts I'da sworn this was some wierd, uncurable, recurring flu!  I may not post much, but I read everything!  Keep posting- it helps a lot!

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by ultrapest2, Jan 16, 2009
Fred,
  You hit the nail right on the head when you said " PLUS, if you are like me, you take more of the drug when the RX cycle starts and then suffer through withdrawal symptoms as the cycle is winding down". That's exactly what I do.

To All:
     I've begun a rather agressive taper today. I take between 10 to 15 Trams per day. My first dose is noon, then 5, then 8, in bed at about 2 and up at 7:15 with the kids. I have not taken anything today. I'm feeling a little edgy, but I'm ok as long as I keep busy. I won't take any until I can't stand it any more. I'm not sure if this is a taper, but my goal is to take fewer and fewer later and later until I don't take any. Instead of 10 a day for a week, then 9, 8 and so on. I want this, and I want it now. As I said, I want to be me again, and Ultrams make an alternate me. I've been held prisoner by that little bottle every day for years, and I'm fed up, and I'm done.

     Thanks to KEVZ, Mercedes, and Emergee for sharing, and welcoming me. I have no intention on going anywhere, and I'll stay honest, and update on my progress daily.

     Thankyou for being there everyone. I don't know how I found this place, but I'm very grateful I did. So many of us all over the place are in the same boat. I had no idea. I thought I was all alone. Maybe this question is too personal, but are we all in the USA? If so, what part. Personally, I live in beautiful New Jersey in my overpriced, traffic ridden town. How about the rest of you? Are we neighbors?

     With Respect as Always

     DOM.
     January 16, 2008
     4:47pm Eastern Time
    


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by harmony986, Jan 16, 2009
Hi Dom!  I live in Freehold, NJ (beautiful Monmouth County).  Where are you??  And you are definitely not alone in this withdrawal process.  I am only 12 days off today, and I could not have gotten through without the hope and knowledge of the people on here who have already gone through it, and the strength of the people withdrawing from it now.  You are in good hands here.

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by ultrapest2, Jan 16, 2009
Harmony;
     I live in Dover (Morris County). I took my last 250mg Yesterday around 9pm. I was ok all day until just about an hour ago. I can feel myself jumping out of my skin, and for some reason I feel freezing. My arms are beginning to feel restless too, but right now i can take it. I know if I take only 5 or 6 Ultrams I'll be fine for quite some time. My body is used to so much more I'm afraid I'll need more in order to get rid of this cruddy feeling. See, I committed to taper down, but in an unconventionable way. I want to hold off until bed time. I'm going to try some steam therapy (my shower is a steam room also) I got a great deal on the mechanism last year from a wholesaler who was going oit of business. Anyway, That will help according to some earlier posts. Too bad i can only take it for 10 minutes or so or I feel like I'm suffocating.

To My Other Experienced Friends:

     I read somewhere that Dextromethorphan (The DM in Robitussin DM) may help with withdrawal. Is opiate withdrawal and Tramadol withdrawal pretty much the same? They work on the same receptors in my fried brain, but as far as cleaning them out, is the withdrawal the same? Here goes another question. What causes withdrawal, and the symptoms associated with it? I'm thinking education will help me. Sorry about the rambling on and on.

Thanks to all:
I'll be back at some point later tonite. I have a date with our weekly WII competition.


With Due respect as Always:

Dom

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by emergee, Jan 16, 2009
'I struggle to think of them as human beings at all."
bingo, kev.  when you said that it came to me... THAT is what they learn in med school- how to switch off being human.  they probably have to do it or they would go insane.  can you imagine the kind of abuse they endure going through the process of becoming doctors?  no sleep,  arrogant professors , people dying in their hands.   okay, now i feel better about it.   and of course , they would have to cling to some certainty somewhere, like ambiguity is too too stressful.  they HAVE to be arrogant or they couldn't function.


suzi,  i am in the same boat as you.  i feel i shouldn't complain because i have been off a while.  i think actually i was taking tram to cover up my other health problems and of course all it did was make them worse.  i am learning that instead of pushing myself , i have to listen to my body.  i don't want to do that,  i want to push and do stuff.  i don't want to be patient .  

so please,  keep complaining, your doing it gives me permission to do it.   my energy is so low it's outrageous.   that is why i keep checking in to this forum.   i am so beat up by 2 pm that there is nothing i want to do but check in here and whine.
it's especially useful for people to keep talking about the depression.  it is so easy to think it is only you that is isolating, eating too much,  watching too much tv,  can't think of any really interesting to read or do, or that you ever will.  headachy too.  

dom,  it's a gorgeous gorgeous day in marin county , ca,  springtime really.   so perfect that you really want to feel good so you can be happy and enjoy it.  

it's still better than being an addict.  it's way better than the first two weeks.  and i am cleaning up my act.  quit coffee, quit nutrasweet, taking chronic fatigue seriously.  



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by Mercedes175, Jan 16, 2009
Dom, I guess my comment is separate the truth from the lies.  You act on what you "believe" not on what you know.  You know you need to stop the Trams then ACT on that truth and not the lie.  The lie is that if you take 5/6 you will be fine.  Your not fine.  You have to spend money (not sure if you use insurance or go over internet) to get those 5/6..but for a dose of 5/6 in one sitting is not fine.  You are changing your mood temporarily but also increasing your tolerance and withdrawal potential on a daily basis just to "exist".  That is NOT fine.

To stop is fine.  You will regain your energy, your temperance to pain will increase, not decrease in time.  You will not need to scavange and spend money to exist.  You will no longer be jelous..you will not need to compare actually, the TRUTH is you are doing this for YOU and not for someone else.  Your well being, your health.  Your FREEDOM.  Think on that when the restlessness comes.  The pills are an easy diversion but your still on the WRONG road so unless you completely do a Uturn, any progress that includes pills is not progress at all.

I had this master tapering plan as well..just one afternoon I decided I didnt feel that bad so decided to forego my usual "timed" dose...then went alittle longer till it was time to go to bed..figured if I went this far how about more..and here I am 10 days later.  I still have a drawer full of Trams as I wasnt intending to stop. But I can tell you I do NOT want to go back.  What a mistake to take them in the first place but it wasnt all bad.  As I learned to appreciate that not all pain is bad...that I can make my day better by my relationship to God, priorities, others... I dont wake up anymore with burning under my sking and joints.  although I still have a mild ache..I feel the worst is over.

At any rate..keep the positive thinking and do away with the lies.  Blessings, m



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by Mercedes175, Jan 16, 2009
Correction to my last sentence above..keep believing the TRUTH (different than positive thinking) and expose the lies.  BTW, I live in NJ too.  funny...

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by ultrapest2, Jan 16, 2009
Emergee; I'm jealous. It's exactly 1 degree outside, which doesn't make this withdrawal thing any easier.
It's been 27 hours since I've taken any Tramadol, and I'm definitely feeling the withdrawal. My arms and legs can't sit still, and that feeling of crawling out of my skin is creeping up too. I want to avoid taking anything for as long as i can. If it gets unbearable I'll start with 100mg and see how that works. Usually, I would have taken anywhere from 8 to 15 depending how much I have. I'm not quite sure how to go about tapering. I've had time to write down some different tapering schedules, but decided they would all involve too much time until I'm completely done. The cut the dose down by 1 pill every week method seems the logical way to get the drug out of my body. I've decided to see how long i could go and increase the time every day until I'm not taking Tramadol any more. I've also decided that if I do need it (which is inevitable) I'll only take enough to let the withdrawal go away, which should be 200 to 300mg. The problem i see with this method is that I may end up depending on them for comfort around bed time, which is rapidly approaching. I don't know maybe I'm a hypocrite, by kidding myself. I know one thing and that is I don't want to be in prison anymore.I want to function without this aweful drug. I wonder if heroin addicts have it this bad? Quitting smoking on New Years day 2007 was hard, but it wasn't painful. I remember having cravings that were terrible, but they went away in a few minutes. I don't have any cravings for Tramadol at all. I just know I need it to keep from feeling bad. I'm beyond the getting high phase, and ba**s deep into the just functioning phase.
     Well, so far so good. It's about 11:30pm. I feel cruddy, but it's bearable. Tick Tock. Could time go any slower?

Respectfully:

Dom

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by ultrapest2, Jan 16, 2009
Mercedes: That was very powerful what you just said. It's been more than 27 hours now, why not go another 27. You are 100% correct about what you said. I'm kidding myself. I have all these feelings inside. I have conflict, sorrow, jealousy, sadness, and most of all hope. I'm going to do this and finally follow through with something I started. I quit smoking because i had to, so it wasn't a will power thing. When the choices were smoke,  or risk a stroke, I chose the obvious. With the Tramadol, it's my choice. I'm a young guy, and want to live drug free from now on. I'm just so terribly afraid. The withdrawals I seem to get are unbearable. The restlessness gets severe. I get pain in my joints that makes me have to move, it's hard to explain. The crawling feelings are there, but bearable. It's the restlessness in my arms that's getting tough now. At Emergees suggestion I bought The Hylands Restless Leg Formula with Quinine, and at the pharmacists recommendation All Calm with Magnesium Citrate.
Ok, now it's about Midnight and I'm onto day two. One Day at A Time.
Thanks for everything friends.

Respect as Always
DOM

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by kevzx81, Jan 16, 2009
DOM-------DANGER
If you stop taking tramadol and suddenly start up again( ie suddenly increase your dose) you are at risk of Grand mal seizures. POSSIBLY FATAL!!!!!!  
I see you are considering taking 200-300mg after stopping completely. I am concerned that this could put you in danger.

Please check with others here for further info, but as I recall, this warning has been posted before, by Emily.

UNQUALIFIED OPINION..... If you could obtain another opiate or similar you could use it in the way you describe.

2 days is a big achievement, try focusing on making it three. Live through it a MINUTE at a time if you have to.Every second that passes is a victory.

courage to you, Kev

PS: I live in England, UK. East Coast. similar climate to yours this time of year. COLD!!!





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by kevzx81, Jan 16, 2009
Dom- I have sent a note to Emily (re seizures) for clarification.

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by kevzx81, Jan 16, 2009
A note to all... sorry for so many posts but I think its important to bear in mind that any new arrivals here are at risk of seizures if they have stopped and dont know the risks of starting again. This could have happened to me. I went into c/t accidentally after missing a dose, tried to bear it out but folded after 5 days and resumed my previous dose! A lucky escape!! I did'nt know I was playing Russian roulette at the time!!






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by emergee, Jan 16, 2009
dom,   you got the wrong stuff.  i sent you messages.  it is restful legs,  not the quinine stuff.  it will work.  check your email,  and pick up your notes.  we are pulling for you.  rls is nasty,  but relief is coming soon.

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by carolbee, Jan 17, 2009
Dom-
I'm looking at my patient info in front of me- it says amongst other things- that rapidly increasing your dose will put you at a high risk of siezures.  If I may make a sugestion- try taking 1 -25 mg. dose-then give it 45 minues to an hour. If you feel you must try another dose- then take it. (with a set value of no more than say 75 mg.  Remember, you have been off of them for two days- so your dose right now is zero.  Any rapid upward change in dose puts you at high risk!  We all know that this is one sneaky drug, you think youre doing great, and here comes the worst flu in the world, only you can't sleep, you are agitated, anxious, and your mind is messing with you.  The first day I tried to quit-I don't count it- I took 1 Tramidal, it helped for a while, but the rebound set me back far enough I didn't do it again.  But whatever works for you.  Just be carefull. Please. We like hearing from you.

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by emergee, Jan 17, 2009
dom,
   yes,  cough syrup helps.  so does excedrin pm and benedryl to sleep.  the amino acids work.  i never had anxiety and everyone seemed to complain bitterly about it.   my theory is that i was taking handfuls of calming aminos.  tyrosine helps in the morning a lot.  some people liked immodium as it has an opiate for the gut ,  i guess you have to take a lot of it.
    that was very gutsy of mercedes to say that to you.  she's right but then some people get into a successful taper and feel it's very important to them to go slow.   i think mercedes instinct was right on for you.
     i found it very helpful to read the posts for hours.  there are a lot of them .  try day 45 again, emilypost.   and there is always someone up on the main forum.
     take tons of b vitamins, c too. and fish oil is mucho imortant.

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by kevzx81, Jan 17, 2009
Dom-Emily informs me its ok to vary your dose as long as you are tapering or doing c/t. Its only when taking Tram regularly that the seizures risk applies. My aplogies if I alrmed you. Kev.

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by ultraumatized, Jan 17, 2009
dom-hang in there!  you will make it thru...i understand about the cold weather making it a bad time, it's only been between 4-20 degrees here in TN for the past couple of days...the cold just seems to make everything worse! i had to force myself out yesterday to start classes again...the cold irritated my sneezing problem SO bad...i sat thru my first class sneezing repeatedly every 5 minutes w/everyone looking at me like i had the plague...i'm starting to think maybe i do have a little bug that is helping sap my energy along with the leftover withdrawal symptoms.

don't take more trams if you can possibly help it...you've already come so far, just know that it will get better as the days go by & try to hold out!

good luck to everyone!

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by EmilyPost, Jan 17, 2009
I passed out cold last night after replying to Kev's concern re; DOM.

Yes, going CT and then putting Tramadol back in your system is Varying Your Dose. That is when most people could have a seizure. Stoke is not an issue, as far as  know. Seizure is. Most people have seizure while on Tramadol, and they throw in a few extra. Speaking from experience I am 100% sure I did that. It got so darn foggy in my head that I couldn't remember WHAT and how much of ANYTHING I was taking. Honestly; that's crazy. I am so lucky to be here.

So that means if you stop, Cold Turkey, please STOP. Stop and do not for anything put the rat poison back in your system. It will only prolong your agony and possibly harm you.

Love and Healing,
Emily

PS. Dom don't take any more Tramadol ... You have a full 48 hours out ...

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by emergee, Jan 17, 2009
i wonder how the people who seized fared .  i can't remember who you are.  i would really like to have some follow up. are you whole again?  

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by ultrapest2, Jan 17, 2009
Wow, Thanks for all the support. Kev, you scared me. Seizures, I definately don't need that. Anyway, I'm absolutely miserable. Although it's been pretty much 48 hours, the night before last I slept well because i had the Tramadol in me. Now it's gone, and I didn't sleep one minute last night. I'm shaking like a leaf, and although my heat is up to 72, I'm freezing. My legs are running a marathon they're so restless, and my arms aren't much better. I read just about every post overnight, and it seems as if the first 72 hours are the worst. I've always been quite hypersensitive to any symptom. I think I border on hypochondriac. At least the peeing every 15 minutes stopped about 6am. Ironically i don't feel tired, just exhausted if that makes any sense.
I am in debt to all of you for the advice, and just being there. It's amazing that we're from all over the place, and yet we're so close. Tennessee, California, United kingdom, New Jersey, that still amazes me. I've confided in my sister who is doing her residency in NYC. She's 8 years my junior, and graduated from Medical School in July. I told her what was going on, and although she wasn't too familiar with Tramadol, she's going to confront her boyfriend who is a Pharm D.
I'm really having a tough time here folks. I'm achy, cold, twitching, exhausted etc. I just keep telling myself it will all be worth it once I get past the withdrawal. I'll tell you, just knowing that you are just a keyboard stroke away certainly shows that there's light at the end of the tunnel.I'm going to go walking around the neighborhood with my Lab a little to stretch the legs and do some needed thinking.

Same respect as always

DOM

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by IzzWizz, Jan 17, 2009
Dom you are so close! Just a few more hours and you will start to feel better. I know they feel like the longest few hours ever but soon you will be able to see through it. Hang in there!

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by suzipen, Jan 17, 2009
Dom,
Wishing you well from Ohio!
You have come a long way......keep going. You will start feeling better soon.

I am sending you postive thoughts, (yes, I really think that helps)
suzi

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by ultrapest2, Jan 17, 2009
Well, I'm still here. and thankyou for your well wishes. I went out and bought the Hylands Restless Leg Formula (no Quinine). I took a few sublinguals with hope the leg pain will go away. My restlessness has increased to restlessness with pain, but I can take it. I don't trust myself, so I put the trams in a locked gun cabinet and gave my wife the key. She is working until 8am so I have no choice now. Eventually I'll sleep, don't really have much of a choice right? The steam shower seemed to help for a short time, and the brisk walk in 3 degree weather with my crazy dog actually took my mind off the withdrawals.
My sister called me about 90 minutes ago. She said she could have a colleague order me some Xanax, and Mirapex for the RLS. Most of the literature she read, and her Pharmacist boyfriend said a taper would be best to gradually get the drug out of the system. He said I'm putting my body through unnecessary stress. He's faxing me a tapering schedule, and my sister is off for 5 days for exam prep or something, so she's staying with me. She offered to hang on to the pills, and give me the tapered dose every couple of days or so. We may need to work that out. Right now I'm sticking with cold turkey. New symptoms are coming on now. Here they are from worse to least.

The most agravating, uncomfortable, twitching, throbbing case of restless legs, and arms. My right arm is the worst.

I feel like I'm living in an ice house. I'm freezing, and my temp is normal (97.2)

I'm crawling out of my skin. I can't get even remotely comfortable

My whole body hurts, like I have a flu or something (I haven't had even a sniffle for 3 years)

I feel irritable, but haven't been snappy toward my family

That's it, pretty much. I'm hanging in, and suffering through this. I took a couple of Benedryl, and bought Delsyum to see if that helps. So, I have my pharmacy by my side. I'm going to sit and watch my favorite movie of all time, and keep pounding my favorite sparkling water San Pellegrino. I read online some crock that said the carbonation in seltzer, or similar helps to excrete the opioid toxins from the body quicker. Complete BS I'm sure, after all the last time i checked we don't absorb carbon Dioxide, we only secrete it. Heck at this point if someone said "If you jump up and down on one foot while patting your head with one hand and rubbing your belly with the other" I'd try it just to get this over with. 53 hours and counting
Thanks again everyone.
FYI: tomorrow is Sunday. I probably won't be online all day until later in the evening. We do the brunch thing with another family, and then go to have dinner with family. I want to get out of it, but maybe I'll be able to keep my mind off of the withdrawal. I'm a little worried they may notice that I'm more jittery, or something.

Happy Sunday Everyone
With Due respect
Dominic


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by FinallyFred, Jan 18, 2009
Dom,  On the OFF HAND  chance that you aren't sleeping tonight, thought I'd drop you a note from Seattle.  Forcing yourself to be busy Sunday will be a good thing.  The art of distraction is a marvelous thing.  

You mentioned that "(your sister's boyfriend) said that  a taper would be best to gradually get the drug out of the system. He said I'm putting my body through unnecessary stress."  In a perfect world, he's right of course, but I would question whether this fellow really knows the history you have describved to us with this drug.  Does he know that you have been taking nearly TWICE to maximum recommended dose (which is 400 mg/day)?  Does he know that you have tired and failed before to "reduce" the number of pills per day that you were taking?  Have you told him of the FEDEX trucks and the withdrawal symptoms you felt month after month as you waitedfor the truck to pull up to your door?  Have you described yourself to this fellow as being "addicted" to the drug?  I know that I have never told my sister ANYTHING about my addiction to this drug. And if I had ever gotten up the nearve to talk to her about my history, I think I would have left some of these details out.  

I see a great deal of common characteristics with your addiction to my own with this drug.  And when you are addicted to this drug like we have been, half measures just won't cut it.  Not now...not this time, OK?

I have a close friend who takes 5 trams/day and her dose hasn't gone up in more than six months.  but that isn't me and I don't think that was you either.  It seems doubtful that your sister's friend would  really suggest a kindly gentler way if he fully understood your history with this drug.  Make sense?  

Additionally,  you have been OFF trams  now for 2 days, and I would hate to see you forfeit the investment you have made to this point.  I would hate to see you get back on any amount of the drug  now.   I won't be surprised to hear that you will still have a couple more rocky days ahead of you here, but if at all possible stay the course if you can.  

Use that passion you have written with recently and the anger I know you must feel toward this lousy drug, to put together just  a few more days and you will be so glad you did.  It won't get any easier with more time.

Here's the carzy thing.  That first 4 days or so is truly misserable.  But maybe not so much more miserable as those last days of every month while taking tramadol.  I went through much the same misery toward the end of EVERY rx cycle while I was on the drug.  You aren't working righ now right?  If that is the case, what a perfect opportunity to use some of that time off to kick this once and for all.  I tacked a week long vacation onto the long Thanksgiving Day weekend to withdraw.  I understand that some people have withdrawan while still working those first four or five days.  Without getting much, if any sleep, I KNOW that I could not have worked myself while withdrawing.  

You have a chance now to make a clean break with the defeats of the past.  

You have a chance now to show yourself that this time will be different than all your the past attempts to STOP this drug.

You did a smart thing to have your wife lock up the pills.  Unlocking the gun cabinet where the pills are at now will lock you to that cabinet going forward.  

You are showing such resolve.   And I even saw a heathy sense of humor in one of your last posts.  

I appreciate that your sister's boyfriend wants to find a kinder, softer way for you now.  Unless you tell him SPECIFICALLY about how deep into the woods you were with this drug, don't expect his advice to apply to you...because he can't truly know what may be best for you unless you tell him everything.  

Be of good courage.  I have faith in you Don.  

Fred


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by kevzx81, Jan 18, 2009
DOM- May I refer you to Emilys earlier post re seizures. Please consult her before re-taking tramadol.Its my understanding that you wont be safe to take more until the drug has completely left your system ie several weeks hence.

I also underscore everything Fred has said re the addictive personality and taper. I know you're suffering like H**L right now, but youre NEARLY THERE. YOURE SO CLOSE. It feels like it will last forever. IT WONT. Youve shown plenty enough fight already to demonstrate you can finish this job. Youve faced up to this huge demon, youve kicked its a** for , what, 3-4days? HANG IN, youre so close to the turnaround point now.

I went c/t accidentally back in november by missing a dose through oversleeping. After 5 days of h**l I gave up because I did'nt understand what was happening. The anxiety symptom totally freaked me so I jumped back on the Tram(NO pun intended) went online and found this site. Only to discover that if I'd stuck it out 24hrs more I'd have been through the worst. I WAS GUTTED. PLEASE DONT DO IT TO YOURSELF!!!!!!!

Dont ask yourself "can I handle 2 more days" ask yourself "do I want to do the last few days again AND the next few days" And please watch out for signs of the chemical anxiety common to Tram w/d. It can sneak up on you and persuade you ,through fear, to make unbalanced decisions. Same with the mood swings. Ive used post it notes round the house to remind me 'its the Tramadol talking'.

Wishing you strength, Kev.

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by jekorb, Jan 18, 2009
I am totally scared out of my wits right now; reading all these posts has frightened the bejeezus out of me.  I am in my mid-50s and have been on Tramadol for a little over a year, first from a doctor's scripts, then, when the Dr. wanted to count my pills and it pissed me off, from on-line source, which is expensive and despicable, I know.  However, I can afford it and started buying them on-line last Jan. after my husband suggested it (thanks, dear), and now I have to face the fact that I will again have to taper or c/t or die.  Again?  Yes, b/c I went through a w/d 7 years ago after just a regular double-script of Trams.  The w/d was awful and what I remember most about it was the sneezing (which infuriated me for some reason) and the fact that everything smelled like rotting flesh!  It was so awful.  Two years ago, I w/drew from Tylenol #3; it took me 5 days, and it, too, was terrible, but my MD put me on Bentyl for my colitis, and I guess as the T3 leached from my body, the Bentyl helped with cramping/diarrhea, so by Day 7, I felt so very good and thankful.

Now, here I am yet again.  What the hell is the matter with me??  Don't I ever learn any lessons?  I never thought of myself as a slow learner but obviously I AM!  I don't know when I'll do my w/d, as I would have to make preparations.  But it will happen, just not now, as my husband has to have surgery for two aneurysms in his legs.  I'm frightened enough without having to wean off Tramadol in the interim.

Here is something I have been worried about, too.  What does a seizure feel like?  Two weeks ago, I was watching TV when I started feeling like an elastic band was being tightened around my head above my eyes.  As I began to panic about this, a weird feeling of pins-and-needles and coldness crept down my neck and shoulders, down my arms to my fingertips.  I deep-breathed and felt like I was struggling to stay upright!  What was it??  What triggered it??  I was so frightened, I just went to bed and covered up.  I told my husband about it a week later; he had no idea what it was, either.  BTW, I take 8 Trams a day and am struggling with tapering.  I'll keep trying, but it looks like c/t may be awaiting me.

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by EmilyPost, Jan 18, 2009
Dom,

Freakin Two Days Down! Hang on and don't take more! (I can always wish you'd be able to hear me) ... Tramadol Free Life is AMAZING. You know how much darn MONEY was going into pills? All the stress and worry ... GONE! It's so great. Plus my pain went from a 9-10 to a 1-5 ... if t flares up, t never ever ever approaches a 9-10 rolling on the floor begging DH to take me to the ER. Cause see; Tramadol increases PAIN. AND HOW! Plus it makes you bat sheet KKKrazy!

There's huge risks in stopping CT and then going back on Tramadol. You are the only one who can do this. Giving your pills to someone else ... in my opinion that may mean that you can't control this substance and are dependant and addicted. Aren't you already two sold days out? You are ether 50 or 75% of the way OUT ... My hard withdrawal was three days. Why go thru it again? What real good will a taper do now?

f you are an addict, eventually a locked cabinet will NOT stop you. I had to LOCK UP the part of me that believed in Tramadol. I had to lock up some serious smack down energy on the drug itself ... I had to HATE Tramadol ... recognize that this was poison and I wasn't willing to poison myself. Dom,  lost YEARS of my life to Tramadol and I basically do not want to see anyone waste even a single DAY more ...

But that's just me ...i

And of course I wonder if your sister's Boyfriend knows about the Seizure risk. Varied doses ... you're playing wth fire ... I have already said that though! Please know that no matter what .. you have our support. Frankly if I were in your shoes I'd take freakin' Xanax over a single other pill of Tramadol. But only you truly know what will work for you. AND I want to add that  am currently tapering off Klonopin which is a Benzo like Xanax. I add it because the docs gave me a Benzo to deal with the anxiety that Tramadol use caused.

Jekorb - So happy you posted. Taper or CT; just make a plan. Being scared is ... useless and will drain your energy.  Make a plan and go to War. Nothing abut your past determines your future. One day at a time Honey Bunny!

Love and healing,
Emily

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by suzipen, Jan 18, 2009
Hi Emily
My computer is starting to act up again when I come to this page and try to scroll down. Are there too many posts again?

If you go somehere else-dont forget to let me know. I dont wanna be left behind. Please!
Do I sound paranoid? I kinda feel that way today!!
You guys arent trying to get rid of me are ya?????

LOL   Just kidding......................kinda

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by harmony986, Jan 18, 2009
i agree, my computer can't handle this anymore!

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by emergee, Jan 18, 2009
this is a description of some of the signs of liver distress from a chinese medicine perspective:

Fatigue, irritability, lack of determination, being easily upset, short tempered, feeling nervous sensitivity and attention to trivial matters are all psychological "states of being" associated with an aggravated or depleted liver. The emotion typically associated with the liver is anger, flashing, aggressive outbursts or just a plain mad-at-the world attitude. Dreaming of war, fights, fighting and destruction are liver symptoms that reveal themselves while we sleep.

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by suzipen, Jan 18, 2009
I have not mentioned this here yet, but my dr. took some bloodwork right as I was w/ding from tram. He said my liver enzymes were elevated.But not to worry too much. Well, I had an appt last week and saw the nurse practitioner, and when he pulled my chart, he had a fit that I hadnt had a few more blood tests to monitor this. He said my enzymes were way off, and  I needed to be checked right now. Well, I am a total procrastinator when it comes to medical testing.
Anyways, I am now wondering if this could be related Emergee?? I know we should research on our own, but I havent yet.
Anyone know of symptoms you might have with elevated liver enzymes. I guess I also have 5 spots on my liver. But, my dr. only told me he could see a small spot...once again not to worry. So, I didnt.
I know I can google this, but really havent thought too much about it until this last post.

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by suzipen, Jan 18, 2009
BTW, the only reason I am even going to the dr. is to get my prescriptions. BUT not tramadol any longer!!  

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by HOPEreturns, Jan 18, 2009
Hello everybody..... I have been working for several days!  However, you all have been in my thoughts each day!  Hope you all are having happy and healthy days!!  

Jekorb I noticed that you had asked what a seizure feels like.  I am not sure what the petit mal seizure feel like, but I did have a grand mal seizure; you know that feeling when you are asleep and you feel like you are falling?? I kept having that type of feeling on and off the week before.  I also felt like I was having an electrical impulse-like feeling through my body as well.  The actual grand mal seizure cannot be felt.  After I had the seizure I just felt like I was waking up from a very deep sleep.  I was groggy and had alot of short term memory loss for about a week.  I was taking waaaaaayyyy to much tramadol.   That is the reason for my seizure.  I wouldnt think that eight pills per day would do it unless you are also on an antidepressant as well.  That combo can cause the seizure for sure!  

My how I have missed reading the posts!  CONGRATULATIONS KEV!!!! you did it.  You are tram free!  SOOOOOOO happy for you!  Keep up the good work.  Everything will fall into place!

In between working, my doc wanted me to have another MRI..... They found that I have three discs that are pushing on nerves.  WONDERFUL HUH!?  C5-C7; C-5 and C-7 are protruding bilaterally; pushing on nerves and C-6 has more of left sided protrusion.  (explains the left arm going numb) I'm just glad nothing is pushing on spinal cord!!   Anyway, I guess the reason I am mentioning it is becuase I know some of you have nerve pain, and am wondering what some of the alternative pain management interventions are.

Still weening pills; CANT WAIT until I am TRAM FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope all of you have a very good week!

Love
Hope

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by ultrapest2, Jan 18, 2009
Hello Everyone;
     Thanks to fred, Kev, and Emily. Fred, I opened up to my sister about everything today. She has had similar issues in her past. I'm 75 hours into this misery now. Nothing has changed about the way I'm feeling physically. Still restless, still haven't really slept. I did manage to grab about 2 hours off and on last night. I'm still wide awake, but exhausted at the same time.
     Let me tell you all something I know as pure fact. There is no way in hell that I want to experience this again. I'm sticking it out no matter what, and no better time than the present. I wouldn't start at day 1 again if i was paid. I know I'm going to be me, and it's right around that corner.
     I took my nutty Lab for a walk about 10:30 tonite. It snowed about 4" over the past couple of hours and the plows haven't been through yet. I was walking on the street that parallels mine and a plow came through. I saw him, he didn't see me. All I saw was a wall of white. I had snow in places that haven't seen light yet. My dog looked like a white popsicle. poor thing had snow in ner nose, and a little white snow beard. The plow operator stopped, and we were just laughing. Moral of the story is for those brief minutes I didn't have symptoms, I was just me, and it felt great to just be free and clear. I'm sticking with this, and I'm not letting go.
     Emily, and Kev you're right about starting the drug after having been abstinant could increase the chance for seizures, so could taking more than 8 per day. Wow, I doubled that dose in about a 12 hour stretch. Ironically, I'm watching a movie called 28 days. It's about an alcoholic girl (Sandra Bullock) who ends up in rehab for 28 days. It's a very good movie. It's on HBO on Demand this month.

     Thanks Everybody. I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

With Due Respect
Dominic

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by suzipen, Jan 18, 2009
Good for you Dom,
I also have a nutty lab, well actually 2 nutty labs. And they have been therapy for me more than once. No matter what you are going thru, you can always count on your pets, huh?

Good-luck,
you're on the home stetch!
suzi

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by emergee, Jan 19, 2009
congratulations dom.  
  

wow, suzi,  that's INTENSE about the liver enzymes.  it makes me think i should get checked too.  

i've been doing all sorts of research.  i am into vitamin d3 now.   they are recommending we take a lot more than they used to.  4000 iu  instead of 400.  low vitamin d can cause pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia.   it's very serious.  especially for you guys who are in a real winter with no sun.  



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by emergee, Jan 19, 2009

another list of liver symptoms:

here is very limited flexibility. Knees, shoulders, hips and other joints do not articulate well. Aching joints upon waking in the morning and arthritis also fall into this category.

The nails reflect the quality of the liver. Split, flaking, ridged, pale or brittle nails indicate liver disharmony.

Painful swelling of the breasts and pain on the left and right sides of the body in the lower rib area indicate a potential liver problem. A bruised or full tightness of the area just under the lower curve of the bottom ribs on the right side of the body is a good indication of liver problems by Western criteria.

Headaches, and in particular a "liver full" headache (this type of headache involves sharp excruciating pain, nausea and vomiting) vascular, unilateral headaches called migraines, flushed face, bright "apples" in the cheeks, hot flushed feeling, and hot flashes are "liver excess" symptoms. Acne, psoriasis and eczema, clear to white mucous discharge from the nose typical of allergies and hayfever, also ringing in the ears, middle ear infection (otitis media), and dizzy spells are also linked to the liver.

Bitter taste in the mouth, dry mouth, a craving for sour foods: green apples, lemons or vinegars, indicate an irritated liver. According to folk and Chinese medicine, sour will soothe the liver and appears to be the reason for the craving.

Waking between 1 and 3 a.m., sometimes sweaty and agitated, and unable to return to sleep for sometime, is a form of insomnia typical of liver dysfunction. Centuries ago, the Chinese developed a "celestial clock", based on when the flow of energy is at its peak for each organ system. According to this clock, and Western clinical research, the liver is most active at these early morning hours. Waking at this time is recognized by some physicians as a typical symptom of stress and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). In CFS, the liver is inflamed. Because of this, the liver responds to normal daily rhythms of function with excess activity.

The liver would like to wind down from 3 p.m. until Midnight. Bile production is at its lowest rate in the late afternoon into the evening. This is the root of the practice in rural and traditional areas of the world that the main meal of the day is eaten midday with a light meal in the evening and signifies an innate wisdom that has been lost as the Industrial Age has progressed. At near midnight, bile production is increased and in cases where the liver is inflamed, the patient will be disturbed by this increase of liver activity causing the patient to wake and be unable to fall back to sleep immediately. The "liver- friendly" practice of retiring early and rising early is reflected in the liver's physiological rhythms. Liver repair is only successfully accomplished when the patient sleeps. The need for good adequate rest for healing becomes apparent. Late evening meals and keeping late hours regularly burden the body dramatically, especially as the body ages.

Read more about Nutrition and Proper Food Combining

Fatigue, irritability, lack of determination, being easily upset, short tempered, feeling nervous sensitivity and attention to trivial matters are all psychological "states of being" associated with an aggravated or depleted liver. The emotion typically associated with the liver is anger, flashing, aggressive outbursts or just a plain mad-at-the world attitude. Dreaming of war, fights, fighting and destruction are liver symptoms that reveal themselves while we sleep.

Fear of exercise, making excuses or not desiring to commit to an exercise routine or not wanting to be involved in physical activity; depleted sexual desire, white, mucousy, fishy smelling discharge of the vagina, whitish discharge of the penis can also be indicative of liver problems. Menstrual activity is greatly influenced by the health of the liver which means that menstrual irregularities including excessive bleeding, cramps, light menses or the lack of menses all have a liver connection.

This is a partial list of symptoms associated with liver pathology. In Chinese medicine, there are 6 main possibilities of pathology or disharmony. Some symptoms from all the possibilities have been included. Not a single symptom mentioned above is considered a normal occurrence for a healthy body.

Healing the liver means reducing toxic encounters in diet, emotions, environment and lifestyle.



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by kevzx81, Jan 19, 2009
Dom-Ultimate respect to you for braving the revelations with your sister. Owning up to someone we trust gives force to our intent to take responsibility. And it usually feels a h**l of a lot better afterwards. Did you feel the weight lessen inside you?  Its not called enLIGHTENment for nothing!

Well done, keep it going and you'll soon be free.

Hope..(((I missed you)))..let me know how you're doing.

Its day 6 for me without Tramadol and things are levelling out a bit now. Just some slight chills and sleeplessness today.
I'm now realising I might have become dependant on Tram to get to sleep and stay asleep. My back pain is waking me up, but,just like others have observed,the expected increase in pain HAS NOT OCCURRED!

Emergee and Suzie- Thanks for giving me food for thought via your lively health discussion. Its given me new approaches to try for a healthier 2009 and feeds into the issue of changing expectations about medical services. ie the more resposibility I can take for my health, the less I'll need them!

OK so lets try sleeping again.......


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by jekorb, Jan 19, 2009
Thank you so much, HOPE and Emily; your comments helped me and I love this thread, but am having a terrible time scrolling down, and this is a brand-new computer!!  Time to move to another location, maybe?

Thanks for your words, Emily, on fear being a huge waste of time and energy.  I agree 100%, but I am such a gigantic coward.  However, I will keep your words with me and do my best to act on them.

I'm still wondering if I had a petit mal seizure.  I am not on an antidepressant, but I understand there is one in Tramadol already.  Is this true??  The only other thing other than Tram that I take is a Bentyl, maybe 2 per week.  When I decide to w/d, I will be taking them several times a day to help with the terrible pain in my gut from colitis, no doubt that will be compounded by my attempt to leave Tramadol behind.  I am definitely the type of person who will need to go to Narc-Anon, or some other support group, as I will not be strong enough to talk myself out of taking Trams again someday.

I admire and respect all of you who have struggled and conquered, and are now clean.  Please send some of that determination to me in your thoughts!  Can't tell you how much it helps to know I am not standing in the cold alone.  I think I'll go cry now.  Blessings to all of you.

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by 1113, Jan 19, 2009
hi all,

sorry i tend to disappear over the weekend, but life calls.  this weekend we good as i stayed on my usauall dose, but now i am ready to drop a little bit more...   i am thinking of droping down to just 1 pill a day for about 10-14 days and see where that get's me.

over all i see we have a couple of new comers over the weekend.....  Welcome and may i wish you luck in your tramadol journey.  Keep fighting the good fight people.

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by suzipen, Jan 19, 2009
I have been wondering around the various forums lately, and stop in the addiction one periodically. There are people who will post and ask random questions about tramadol. I will answer if I feel comfortable, but I always refer them to emilys journals.
Just alittle while ago, there was a new person asking about it, and someone told them to go to the search box at the top right of the screen and type in tramadol. Good answer!!  Well, I decided to do that, and was surprised to see the posts that showed up first. They were from the pregnancy forum, depression forum, and liver  forum.  WHAT????
WHAT???
It would take a person a long time to get any answers if they were new here. And I am not really talking about the people who post on the addiction forum with questions, but what the ones that dont post, who search the word tramadol first?

Shouldnt the very first posts that come up be from the addiction forum? I am just thinking about the tons of poor souls searching for advice on tram.       Some have never taken it, and wonder if they should!

Emily- is there something you can do??   Personally, and I think all here would agree with me, YOUR  journals should come up first!  It could really save someone.


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by madtram, Jan 20, 2009
I agree with Suzi.  This is the only place to be for tramadol withdrawal, IMO.  Whenever I get the chance, I direct newcomers to the links for day 45 & 47 but it would be much more reliable to have a permanent link on the Addiction page, a bit like the Thomas Recipe.

I am feeling all sorry for myself. More than six months post withdrawal & for the last two days, I have had a return of the same old creepy & cr*ppy chronic fatigue symptoms.  More randomness some of us humans don't deal well with.  I have been working like a demon trying to make up for last year's lost time, at summer school, so I guess that maybe my body is just not quite ready to deal with less sleep & more stress. I really don't want to hear this message, it raises the scary question of whether I have the stamina to get through med school.  You guys are right about the training we get, it's so intense & tough that you don't have time for reflection or human weaknesses.  Another reason why there are so many substance abusing doctors.

Time for the serenity prayer for me, then back to the term papers.

On a closing note, your new president has brought much needed hope & light to the world, (IMO, of course).

Best to all,

M


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by suzipen, Jan 20, 2009
Hi madtram-
I am so sorry to hear about your symptoms. I am at 2 months and feeling the same way.
How did I miss that you are in med school? My brain has had quite a time absorbing and holding onto information.
So, I am sure I knew , but forgot?
I am actually scared because I am starting the RN program soon, and I hope I will be able to do it.
I wish you the best with your term papers.

The serenity prayer for me too....................
And I am soooooooo excited about our new president!  I know not all will agree, but at this time, I am more hopeful for this country in many ways. I feel much more hopeful for my childrens futures.

Hope you feel better soon,
suzi




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by EmilyPost, Jan 21, 2009
Let's MOVE ....

Go here .........

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/16650?personal_page_id=142

come on over here ---------------------->

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/16650?personal_page_id=142

we moved ... copy and paste this link for more space ....

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by RAJ1969, Jan 19, 2010
I'm glad I've done my research on Tramadol.  I just came off of Suboxone & went through more hell than I was told.  Of course my idiot Sub Doctor gave me too much & kept me on it for 3 years. It was intended to bee used short term. I laid in bed for 10 days in a hospital unable to eat until day 8 & couldn't even hold down 2oz of fluids for the first 4 days.  Nothing but IV fluids, severe gut pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dry heaves etc. Finally I'm over 13 years of opiate addiction & I feel great.  Now about the Tramadol.  I was just given a script for 180 a month, but before taking my first pill, I researched it.  Next I tried ONE single 50mg pill & I liked it, but I wasn't certain if it was the Tram or something else, so I took another since my dose was set at 100mg every 6 to 8 hrs.   Uh, NO ******* WAY!  After 10 years on Hydros & Oxys before getting clean on Subs, this Tramadol felt way too good for a non scheduled drug.  So what did I do?  I poured the pills down the toilet, then I called my Pharmacist (with whom I have a good rapport) and I asked him to delete the refill.  I can't take NSAIDS due to heart problems, but I'll just take 2 xtra strength Tylenol & 2 aspirin together.  ADDICTION NO MORE!!!!

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by pharma9, Jan 19, 2010
Raj..I came within a hairsbreath of also taking tramadol,I had gone through about a week withdrawal from Tylenol#3 and thought tramacet would be a good non narcotic substitute.I did try a couple of tablets and remember not eating all day and being a bit dizzy at first.I did not take any more,I am a pharmacist and did not really believe that this drug is a non narcotic and researched it even more fully.That was when I learned about the antidepressant action and potential addicting properies of this "glorified tylenol"I inform every patient that gets it about its sneaky properties and try to discourage most people from getting it.I now take extrastrength tylenol and ibuprofen if needed.I have rheumatoid arthritis and keep pain under control using otc pain meds.

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by Whittypooh18, Feb 26, 2010
Hi I am whitney, I am 18 and was put on tamadol at age 14, I was blacking out and having lots weird symptoms so my mom started me on it and my family doc, I was also on fentynel but easily got off it after two years, My doctors keep saying if i could get of such a strong drug like fentynel then tramidol should be easy, I have been getting severe restless body feelings since i started, I have had tons of symptoms, I now have a failing thyroid and my heart has been irregular and i have Posural orthostatic tachycardia now, My heart feels as if its going to stop, I have been trying to get off the tramadol but the withdrawls make things too bad to handle for me. Even while taking it i feel my hearts palpitating every second of everyday, racing, skipping, I have purple legs and hands that stay cold and clammy and i get hot flashes, senstive skin, and the urge to tighten my muscles, i get cold sensations down my left arm and side of my neck and in my ears, I start to laugh for no reason when i have the muscle tightening things, I twitch like i'm having a stroke or seizure, I get headaches, visual problems, I lose my vision and hearing when i stand up even when i do very slowly, I get skin dryness, acne, horrible menstral periods and developed endometriosis, my skin feels sore, i get leg aches alot and have since i was little so idk if that is the tram or not, I have always had stomach problems, constipation and stuff so idk about that either, I feel like i'm going crazy, i hear things and see things somtimes but i know its me, I get pushy towards my fiance and can't snap out of it, once it stops i cry and feel so horrible He knows i am an optimistic person and always smile but the past five months i've changed, I get so mean and its not me I sometimes get shaky and over hyper and giggly but feel alot of pain as well, I can't cosentrate and get pushy and don't want anyone near me cuz my skin hurts, this usually happens before i have seizure like symptoms, My doctors say my heart is at risk of stroke and failure, as well as my thyroid idk what to do, i am scared of what will happen when i try getting off this again, The first time i got too sick but its killing me, i have brain damage, i lost my gallbladder when i was 14, i had a tumor at age 12, chronic pollups, spinal damage and brain damage due to an accident, I have osteoarthritis in my hips and knees before i started this medication, I know it made it all worse and i'm hoping i will feel better once i'm off it. Any suggestions on helping me get off this? I know i'm not going to live long on this medication! I need advice asap, doctors don't care.

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by evanrude, Mar 10, 2010
hello, all.  echoing many others, i've come across this site/journal in quiet desperation; i am posting this quick post to determine whether i'm posting in the correct area.  i'm on about 400mg tramadol/day for five years--the maximum daily dosage--and am very depressed, lethargic, and just...in a severe malaise.  i've tapered to this amount over a month.  i know what i am in for after reading posts here--and from mini-withdrawals i've experienced over the years.  the worst part, for me, is the stomach pain, cramping, and stomach-"nervousness."  it's as if the tramadol has masked some kind of severe peptic ulcer, though i realize it's most certainly just a part of the withdrawal hell.  i'll close here, in case i'm posting on an old thread.  if i'm in the right place, will someone kindly let me know?  the "good" news is that i am unemployed, so i have *time* to do this without the incredible burden of having to function at work, which i can't imagine doing.  i am waiting for my next unemployment cheque to pay for some rxs i have waiting (clonazepam, prozac, soma), which i've taken for many, many, many years (clonazepam prn, prozac 40mg/day, though i became so lax about taking it when on tramadol, that i'd all but stopped it after being on it for 14 years).

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by buttons44, Jul 21, 2010
Hello.  I have been on a very low dose of Tramadol that started with a back injury a few years ago.  That has healed up but I can't seem to give up taking a 1/4 to half of a 50 mg tab once a day.  I have tried stopping completely but get the restless leg thing so always go back to my little amount which also gives me an energy boost in the afternoon.  I have had severe diarrhea problems for 7 months that no one seems to be able to figure out.  I'm supposed to have a colonoscopy on Friday. After reading many of these posts I'm wondering if this drug could be what is causing it. I know I should give it up.  When I try I feel blue and have not much motivation.  Silly that this small amount could be causing that. I guess I need the encouragement to quit totally!  Thanks for listening!

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by jpc05, Sep 15, 2010
I've have been on tramadol for about 3 years. I started taking it as prescribed (1 pill every 4 hours 37.5mg). Soon I was taking 16 pills a day. I new then I was addicted. I am having a very hard time comming off the pills. I have tried to get off it several times. Right now I have started to ween myself off the pills. I went from 16 pils to 10 a day. I am having a very hard time with this. Can anyone tell me if I am going about this correctly. My doctor is helping me, so I think that was the first step in the right direction. Please tell me I can get off this drug, it has taken over my life. It seems I can't be happy anymore if I don't take the pills.



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by sabrina36, Nov 18, 2010
hello, my name is sabrina. after a knee operation about a yr and half ago I was prescribed tramadol... I thought it was great, it took away my pain , gave me energy, and seemed to make me feel alot happier. when i realized my pain was gone but I was still taking this for my own comfort i knew i had a problem, I have stopped twice before in the last 6 months, then got more. I now am out completely and wont get any more. the restless leg thing is the worse. and mood swings and being irratable is bad also. I was taking 4 to 6 a day not allowing more, i weined myself down to 1 a day till they were all gone. its been a few days now and mentally i am strong but physically this *****. it helps to soak your legs in hot water. i also take over the counter headache pills for the migraines that im recieveing. its hard yes but you must remeber once you get past this part of it, being back to normal, waking up and not feeling like a mack truck hit you is where your heading. each day will get better, the worse you feel comming off shows exactly why you need to be off of it, for me anyway. i just wanna be back to my happy self and not need a pill to make it through my day. i urge ppl to please mentally prepare yourself, the body and mind is alot stronger then you give credit for.we dont need this pill to survive it just wants you to think that. we control our own being by choice... choose to live free,happy,unaddicted. life will be that much better then before this pill. ty love to all

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by rt35630, Nov 19, 2010
Hey...my name is Randy. I've been taking Tramadol for a year. I am addicted. I am taking 50mg tabs, 15 a day, Sometimes more, sometimes less. I was hooked on Hydrocodone before. I got fed up after blowing $6,000 in a 4 month summer, and stopped cold turkey after taking up to 12 10mg tabs a day. The detox was not pleasant, but by a week and a half it was done. My father was on Tramadol - his doctor said the same thing, not addictive, non-narcotic. The pill popper in me tried some and while there was no obvious high or anything, I felt good. Easy to get online, cheap on the street.

I realized after running out about 6 months ago I was hooked and bad. I can stand one night, but way worse than the Hydro w/d, and I've never gone more than a day without. I now have a plan to keep my maintenance dose between online script and the street. After reading online how horrible this drug is, I told myself I would taper down. I am spending $300+ a month, but the main thing is I don't like the feeling of being controlled by a substance.

Currently, I usually take 4-6 pills when I wake up, then no trouble with less at midday and bedtime. I work at two important local churches, and I am concerned about the stigma. They can handle the fact I am gay, but I don't know about this. At any rate, I've decided to start going to one of the local N/A groups. I am going to try and get serious about my taper-down. There are times when the pill-freak in me will take 8 at once hoping for a high that doesn't exist for me any more, but I am powerless at times to control the urge to take these pills in large qty when I know they won't get me high.

My partner knows and is supportive, but I know I have a big problem, bigger than just the physical tramadol addiction. I don't know what will happen, but I am sick and tired of being controlled by a drug. Please pray for me! I will post daily if any of you will keep posting your experiences and encourage me.

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by kbittles, Jan 23, 2011
I'm female , 45 been taking tramadol for ?18 years. The last 7 have been a constant repeat. Month after month I go through withdraws. Ive  been addicted to whatever was available until Tramadol came into my life. I was happy to be taking a drug that wasn't going to get me addicted. I worked as a nurse when the drug came to the USA. Reps pushed it on the Dr. And we ate them up thinking , wow finally , something I can take for RLS. when I was a kid I suffered every night with RLS . But I dared to say anything was wrong because, self masturbation helped me to stop kicking, plus I was an incest victim and didn't know it at the time. So here I lay with the heating blanket on high going through it again with the tramadol. I've tried everything. I've read all night. I'm quitting , but I'm going to take it easy on myself , I've been taking between 6-12 50mg. for all these years. Time and money were invested in those years , its not going to be easy. Right now I'm down to 4 50mg a day. I don't have running water for hot baths and I can't afford vitamins and so forth. They  say vinegar is useful I'm many ways. I'm going to try a half cup balsmic sounds better but there is none in the house. I have Degenerate disc # ? I can't remembers all. Arthritis, gout, carpel tunnel, ulcers and es. hophigus  damage , lower intestinal ulcers and 3 hernia s I also have Hep  C . High cholesterol, and my. blood sugar is borderline. No gall bladder. I'm going to be tapering off. pray all that read this for me. Remember nobody can do it but u. Kathleen ***@****

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by hnkmom, Apr 11, 2011
I came across this page cause I was looking for ways to get off of tramadol easily, and after reading these posts I now know that there is not going to be any easy way to get off of this stupid drug that has taken over my life, I knew how addicting pain killers were cause my dad has been taking them for many many years since I was in the 5th grade and I am now 26 years old, He got off once and I was there to help him and it was hard really hard, soon after he got off he got into it again when his life started to fall apart.  It was lorcet, One year ago I found myself falling and hurting my back really bad, and they put me on lorcet and percocet, cause the lorcet would give me so much energy that I wouldn't go to sleep so he gave me percocet so I could sleep at night comfortable.  I knew that taking it was a big gamble but thought that I wouldn't be on it long enough to let my body get addicted to it.  Well my back pain persisted and I found myslef taking hydrocodone and other types of pain killers perscribe from all different doctors cause he were moving so I hadn't found one specific doctor so I was going to urgent care centers.  I finally found a doctor, ( my perminant doctor) and she perscribed me tramadol, never ever heard of it before then, I asked her if it was addiciting and all these questions, she told me that she was giving it to me cause she was affraid that I was becoming dependant on the other pain killers and that his wasn't a narcotic and that it was not addictive, bull ****, after about 5 months of taking it as perscribed, my husband left to work with my purse and my pills, I instantly starting feeling sick and hurting everywhere, this was in the morning after waking up, I knew right then that I was addicted to it not my choice but by putting my life in another persons hands, someone I thought that was a well trained doctor and had my health at her best interest.  My husband came to my rescue and I took my pill and felt so much better 5 minutes later, I knew from that point on I needed to get off.  When it rains it pours, cause after I decided to stop taking them and just to deal with the pain in my back, I started to get massive pains in my stomach, they could figure it out and started to treat it with percocet, it was the only thing that would take the pain away, found out later I had a gall stone and some big ulcers in my upper gi tract, took out my gall stone 2 months later cause of complications and I am still having the pain in my stomach and back and found myself on tramadol once again, this time my husband deployed and I found out that you can order them online, I started to do this cause i was taking more then then I probably needed but I was emotionally trying to make the pain of his deployment and me being left alone with the kid go away, I am now so ready to be rid of this stupid drug but I am so scared.  I know that it is going to be so hard but I am not sure that i am strong enough to do it. I find inspiration in knowing that others have done it and that I am not alone.

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by quinn507, Jul 11, 2011
hnkmom, my name is Quinn, and I am currently 72 hours w/out tramadol. It's pure hell, but.... this is my second time. I've been taking 300 mg daily for nearly 6 years. This drug is wonderful for pain relief, but it is so very addictive. Everyone I know who has taken it, w/in 1 week they are addicted. You will survive this, although it will be very difficult, just remember, it won't kill you, you will wish you would die, but you won't. Take it slow, and let it run it's course. Drink gallons and gallons of pure filtered water. The less you can eat, the better. Tramadol stores in your fat cells. I am going to pray for you. Hang in there, I believe in you. Vilerian root and some red wine helps me to sleep, and dream - what a wonderful thing, dreaming.

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by LotusAnna, Mar 11, 2012
I found this today after receiving quite a shock today. I was injured in an auto wreck in 2006. 3 herniated discs in my neck and low back put me into horrific, relentless pain. The pain never resolved and although I am a candidate for surgery that could have helped, the insurance money was not sufficient so I was left with chronic pain for life.

I was a fitness and dance professional for most of my life, and adhere to a healthy meat free organic diet. I don't take drugs and have a integrative physician who is an MD but treats via natural methods first, and usually exclusively. My pain from the accident was so severe that I was partially incapacitated, and it did not abate. I refuse to take opiates, and told this doctor at the time at that time that I NEVER wanted to be put on opiates or anything that could become addictive. She agreed with me and wrote me a prescription for Tramadol six years ago.

At that time I guess literature on the drug minimized the potential for addiction, and it looked attractive. It certainly helped the pain! But the bottom line is that she did exactly what I did not want, and I just found out this morning that I am addicted to this awful drug because I ran out 2 days ago and suddenly had none, then had horrible symptoms and felt sick... so this led me to search for an answer and my discovery about Tramadol today.

As I'm reading here and elsewhere, it's also apparent that detoxing from this is going to take 3-9 months realistically, and that I may have depression symptoms for a longer time. So I am truly upset, like many of you. But I've healed myself before using natural methods so I have hope.

I have fortunately been a student of natural remedies and alternative medicine for decades, so I am armed with some information that is missing on this site... and which I hope may help others who find themselves here. I have successfully used the natural supplements I list below to cure myself of an incurable adrenal failure, depression, and chronic fatigue. The properties of what I use are such that they will likely work for detoxing now. So I'm sharing this...

VItamins will be essential, as has been discussed, and B12 is excellent for stress, which detoxing from anything certainly creates. The best vitamins I've found are from Thorne Research in Canada. Since I owned a fitness center for many years and taught nutrition, I got to test a lot of product lines and Thorne is the tops I've found.

One of their formulations, AR-Encaps, has boswellia, turmeric, and curcumin in it. This will help pain, and inflammation. Take up to double the dosage they recommend. If one combines high dosages of these three herbs, with 4 grams of high quality EFA fish oil, this combo is extremely effective for pain and inflammation, and helps brain function too. This is essential since it seems that Tramadol actually alters the receptors in the brain, so the brain needs to heal and rebalance this when one stops the drug. This can help the brain repair potentially, as well as alleviate pain.

I was able to stop Tramadol last year after being on this combination for one month. There were some symptoms, mostly depression and anxiety related, but other symptoms were greatly reduced. I will be going back on this combo right away, and tapering off Tramadol. The only reason I didn't stay on it then was to save about $60 a month in the cost difference between the that and Tramadol. I didn't know it was addictive then, obviously.

Water to flush it out is also a great idea. I'd add to this using saunas, infar-red if possible. Saunas will go deep into the body and helps cells get rid of all types of chemicals, drugs, and toxins. Some day spas have infar-red saunas that you can go to ... or if you have the cash and own a home you can buy a kit online for about $1200 and install one in your home. Or you can do hot epsom salt baths at home daily.

I started my detox today. I didn't have a sauna and felt too ill to drive to one nearby, so instead I made a very hot bath with over 2 cups of epsom salts in it. This bath helped muscle pain, was relaxing to the skin crawling sensations, and seemed to reduce the chills and sweats that made last night truly miserable. Hot epsom salt baths will be part of my daily detox regimen.

For anxiety and depression... Valerian can be OK, but it's not strong enough for some. Here are some other options to try. L-Tryptophan can be purchased from Thorne Research, a precursor to serotonin, melatonin, and niacin. Serotonin is anti-depressant, and melatonin helps regulate sleep cycles. Older people especially benefit from melatonin since your body's natural production of it decreases with age. Thorne has other things mentioned like Rhodiola, and other mood enhancing formulas that do work well.

SamE is excellent as an anti-depressant, but is a stimulant so it should be taken in the AM, and may help with pain too. Too much will cause headaches. 5HTP is another natural supplement that be used to help depression, but again one for daytime.

Night time anti-depressant and calming effects can be had from GABA in a dosage of at least 500mg in the evening. GABA also helps people who experience epilepsy, and seems to have a calming effect on the whole body. It makes me drowsy personally.

If you have a serious anxiety problem then I recommend you find a doctor who knows about prescribing beta-blockers to cure anxiety disorders. I have PTSD. Beta blockers, taken once at night, work to change the brain physically while you sleep, repairing the parts that have developed incorrectly and are likely causing the ongoing anxiety problem. This regimen, done for a year or two, has reversed chronic PTSD and other anxiety disorders PERMANENTLY. It is only taken for a year or two and then can be discontinued, yet the results are permanent.

All of these work better than St. John's Wart, Valerian, Kava Kava, and Passion Flower in my own experience. Green tea works better for me than coffee for fatigue and is very good for you. I do think a cup of valerian tea is relaxing in the evening, but it's not enough to get me through the night. So here is the formula I'll be using as I taper off Tramadol. I hope it helps someone else out there!

Bodywork:
Hot epsom salt baths 1-2 (let the salts dry on your skin, then shower a few hours later for best results.)
Saunas when I can
Massage after saunas when I can (after the sauna is better to remove toxins but can make you feel sick for a day)
Extra rest and nurturing

AM:
400 mg SamE (anti-depressant with stimulant properties)
250 mg GABA (calming, anti anxiety)
1 Nature Thyroid (supplements thyroid: extremely helpful for women over 40 for fatigue and weight problems)
1 IsoCort (supplements adrenals: extremely helpful for women over 40 for fatigue and weight problems)
Thorne Multi Vitamin
AR-Encaps
2 Grams Fish Oil

PM:
3 mg Melatonin (helps sleep)
L-Tryptophan (calming and anti-depressant
750 mg GABA
AR-Encaps
2 Grams Fish Oil

Tramadol Reduction:
Was on 400 mg day, 8 tablets. 2 tabs 4 x per day

Week 1-2: cut 1 tab in half so 1.5 tabs 4 x per day (this has symptoms mostly under control for me currently)
Weeks 2-4: 1 tab 4 x per day
Weeks 5-6: half tab 4 x per day
Weeks 7-8:  half tab 3 x per day
Weeks 9-10: half tab 2 x per day
Weeks 11-12: .25 tab in AM and half tab in PM
Weeks 13-14: .25 tab in AM and PM
Weeks 15-16: .25 tab in PM only

DONE! May each of you find your way... Peace.



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by artistsandie, Apr 21, 2012
I have been on tramadol for almost five years for pain. I have made improvements in my health and felt it was time to get off the drug. I have always taken less than I could and was thinking this would be no problem.  Well I am down to 1 pill a day and it is not easy and today is the day i am to quit that does, yet i have had such withdrawal symptoms I just cut that pill in half and am struggling. I take showers all the time and sleep is hard to come by.  I am so afraid I will get even more ill, just struggling here all night every night for the past 5 nights.

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by HoneybeeLee, May 17, 2012
Thanks LotusAnna, This is really good info to have. I too am struggling with the awful effects of w/d symptoms from this evil drug. I am currently at 3; 50 mg pills a day coming from at least 8-10 pills day habit for 4 years. So this is great seeing it may get me over this massive hump of darkness,pain and misery! Thanks!

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by fancynancy84, Jan 18, 2013
is miss emily still around?!?

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by rtmatty, Feb 01, 2013
Help I'm on day two of tramadol withdrawal. I am trying to quit cold turkey and I was taking arounnd 15 50mg pills a day. Iv been hiding my addiction from everyone cause I accually quit for over a year and was doing great unroll I went to the Dr for a cold and knew darn well the reaspon I was going was to get tramadol. So for six months iv been hiding it. Now I want to quit again because it didn't take long before it was controlling me again. But this withdrawal is killing me. I am fighting the thought of going back to the Dr to get more pills. I need help.

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