May 11, 2011
I don't know how much help I can be to the average person, I can't decide for you on what steps to take or when to take them. I can however relate to the gnawing feeling and the choice to white knuckle the impending doom. Today marks 14 days of c/t (cold turkey) detox from methadone for myself. I did it alone, without help and while raising 2 children.
I detoxed off of what I thought was 10mgs but turned out to be 22mgs (in wafter form)
To make it simple on what to expect:
Days 1 & 2 = no real discomfort or symptoms -for me (this is because of methadone's half life).
Days 3-6 were the worst. They were 3 anxiety, sleepy and scared days. I received meds during this time which helped immensely. I wasn't in pain, I was simply exhausted and nervous. I didn't take any OC (over the counter) pain relievers at this time. If it only lasted 4 days, I could have gone without medication but because I knew otherwise, I sought out professional help.
Days 7- 10 were the steady climb up the wellness hill. Every other day felt amazing, then I'd get an energy crash. I did do all I could on good days, rested on bad days. My stomach issues began here as well as severe bone pain (back) at day 8&9. It was manageable with 500 mg tylenol every 4-6 hours (I mean, it went away with it.).
Days 11 - 14 All are great except I can't sleep :(
So, what's the "energy crash"? Everyone gets exhausted and when you're sick, it just seems to be amplified. The problem with detox is that you can't make yourself sleep. No matter how tired and sometimes (such as my case) no matter the strength of the sleep aide, there's no sleep to be had. You have to just realize that it's not happening, not by force and not by nature. It's all based on timing. You'll feel lethargic and it mimics the feeling of 3 days without sleep. Most people get 20 minutes to 4 hours of sleep from days 3-20. After day 10 you'll get hours and it will be very comforting to have. It's not all lost though. When you get the crash, just lay down and while it's frustrating - just realize "it's only till the kids go to bed" or "this is only for a while"
If you do have a DR, I advise you to speak to them about going cold turkey. If you can't or won't, then go to the ER. You'll need to get set up for the entire event. Getting the following scripts will not only make this manageable but shorten the duration of bed rest.
This is a blood pressure medication which is taken twice a day for 7 days, then 1 time a day after. It will eliminate restless leg, heart pounding, muscle twitching and headaches. Make sure to watch your dosage and know the signs of overdose as it lowers your heart rate. You cannot abuse this drug or get addicted but you can get so frustrated with restless leg (in the beginning) that you'll want 4 per day instead of 2. If you do this, you'll prolong your recovery and the energy crashes will be tidal waves. White knuckle the in-between because you aren't going to sleep anyway.
Simply put, you'll be able to possibly take naps, not lose your mind and this will aid in your recovery. Some dr's do not send patients home with things like valium, xanax or ativan. If your Dr will not give you a 2 week script then ask what you can take. Remember not to mix any OC meds with a blood pressure medication
Ambien and lunesta are popular in being prescribed however having taken Ambien for 5 days, it did 0. No sleep just feeling even worse for wear. I don't advise seeking this till post 10 days.
Protein shakes, a prenatal once a day and eating fresh veggies and fruit will massively increase your health
Lots of showers / baths will ease in discomfort and make sure to get 500mg tylenol. You will have some bone pain at some point. Imodium is a life saver however I haven't bothered, I rather get the toxins out. I find that imodium is only needed if you must work or you are going too frequently. loose stools are "normal" for this situation but frequent ones aren't good for you.
To make the situation easy on house upkeep, I had to hire a maid for a day (day 7) because the mess was driving me crazy. I hadn't a sitter either. If I could do one thing differently it would be the meals, laundry and other basics. I would have created meals in advanced, bagged them and froze them. You won't want to cook from day 3-10.
To prepare with the kids:
1. Tell them that you have a severe case of the flu and require help from the eldest children. *If you have help or family, make sure they are there for the evening to get the kids ready for bed (and have had dinner / baths)
2. Make many many meals. Brown meat so that you can make tacos (from kits)/ hamburger helper etc. Brown it and then freeze it. Doing so will allow you min. time standing and dealing with it. Make lasagna and other things. Bake cookies and cakes so they have snacks. Granted it's not GOOD food but at least they're eating. It's just a week.
3. Do all the laundry including your linens
4. Put near your bed: your meds, your cellphone charger, jugs of gatorade, crackers, dry cereal and bags from grocery stores (line a trash can with them) and a towel on the floor. You may not need all of this but at least it's there.
5. pay all the bills and if you can find a sitter (teen etc) that will home set the kids, do it! I know this is going to cost a lot of money but it's greatly required.
All of the above can be done for under $200, provided you already have groceries. This does include the maid and sitter. Without insurance your meds will be between 20-80.00. Ambien is your most expensive if you do choose to get it.
I don't have insurance either and my meds were: Clondine/buspar/Ambien $80.00 : My maid was $40.00 : Laundry $20:
I do have an updated and almost daily account of my withdrawal on here. Again, I'm only at day 14 and not out of the woods as far as sleep is concerned but I have my wits and strength about me now. You can find the link by visiting my profile.
Do what you CAN do and remember, it's just 2 weeks out of a life time. At some point you will have to do this. It's better to do it on your terms than someone else's.