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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room Part 53

Jul 06, 2012 - 243 comments
Tags:

tramadol

,

withdrawal

,

Recovery



Hi Tramadol Warriors!

Welcome to Part 53.  This thread is full of helpful and kind people who want to help you get off this terrible drug.

Please snuggle in and make yourself comfy.

I know you can do it!

Love & Healing,
Emily

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by DamTram, Jul 08, 2012
Hello, Friends!

Did everyone make it over okay?  Medhelp no longer works with Firefox for me, but Safari seems to be fine.  Sorry I've been MIA.  I miraculously developed a social life and have been busy, but need to come back here!  I accepted a codeine from someone the other day, so I know I've strayed too far.  It's a year since my 1st relapse, so the cravings have been bad.  I just have to remember how awful Tramadol makes me feel...

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by serenenow, Jul 09, 2012
Hi DamTram glad to see you and yes I made it over.  My suggestion to you is to find some support along with this room.  The 12-step group has helped me and I've developed alot of relationships with those who have my best interest at heart.  Plus the books and literature they offer keep me in touch with the nature of the disease of addiction.  If it werent for that group, and this forum, plus faith in God, I'd be dead right now.  That's just the brutal, honest truth.  
Hang in there girly!

I'm still doing good.  Been dealing with some of the wreckage from this recent past but I am dealing with it and moving forward.  For me, it's been the inner spiritual and emotional pain that I've not dealt with that has kept me allowing this drug, or any drug to be put into my body.  Most definitely have I had alot of physical pain with multiple, large, kidney stones and surgeries but in the same sense, it kept the disease of addiction alive inside of my thinking and behaviors.  I justified taking pills because of the physical health issues and grew into deep denial about how active addiction was in my life again.  The old saying is right, "The truth shall set you free."

Hugs,

Serenenow




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by Sarabie, Jul 09, 2012
Hey guys and welcome to the new faces :-)

Just checking in to say hi, telling I got the cast off today and it's my birthday tomorrow. My first tramfree birthday in 6 years :-) I bet I Can eat the whole cake this year.


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by Sarabie, Jul 09, 2012
Wow - just realized it's my 300 day tomorrow as well. Must be my lucky day :-)

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by dalzona, Jul 09, 2012
Newbie here.  On day 3, and it's been hellish, to say the least.  I'm taking zanax for the anxiety but sleep is diffiult and I have no energy whatsoever.

I ordered the tram from the internet, and as of last week, the internet pharmacies no longer accepted AX.  So here I was, knowing I'd be without my crutch, so I decided it was time to quit.  My husband as a VISA, but decided to quit afterall.  I'm miserable, but that's to be expected.  I'm working from home, because I'm not sure I want to be out of the house.  God, I feel like a huge failure because of my addiction!  My DH is supportive, helping care for our 5 yr. old.  

I hope I make it!

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by dalzona, Jul 10, 2012
Today is so much better!  I'm on day 4, and finally slept a whole night, 9pm-8:30am, without waking up, and the restless leg syndrome stayed away.  I have a dr. appt. this afternoon, and am requesting to be put on an anti-depressent, in addition to the zanax.  Hope this is the right track!!!  I just don't know because I've never been addicted to anything before my tram addiction.  

I only want to feel normal again, enjoy my child, and look forward to each and every day without drugs. I'm almost thankful those damn internet pharmacies stopped taking MC and AX, and only take Visa, which I don't have.  

On a side note, in one my panic attacks last week, I found an internet pharmacy that accepted AX, so I ordered 120 pills for $300 (yes, you read that right) with a delivery date of 5-12 days later.  AX flagged the charge, and yesterday my husband asked me if I wanted to let it go through, and I said NO, NO, NO, let me go through this pain, cancel the order and card.  It was a hard decision, and I questioned my decision, but this morning, I know I made the right decision!!!  I"d blow through 120 pills within a week or so, so what's the point???  Good luck everyone  in their quest for a drug free life!

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by dalzona, Jul 10, 2012
I'm back again today, day 4 without tramadol, and feelig ok.  I saw my GP today, told her how weepy I was, depressed (pre-menopausal), so she called in an script for an anti-depressent, which I'm sure will help, along with the zanax.  I hope day 5 goes as well!  She also called in a script for celebrex for pain managment, I have tendonitus in my joints - they swell and are painful to touch and move - so hopefully by the end of tomorrow, I'll feel as good as new!  I sure hope there are others still around, I'm still reading the posts, and have so much sympathy for everyone who has ever gone through this.

I also walked the dog 3 miles this afternoon, and I actually enjoyed the walk.  That's positive, right???

Good night :)

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by BJP123, Jul 11, 2012
I recently had to detox "cold turkey" off of Tramadol (300-500mg/day), Clonazepam (3-4mg/day), and Subutex (2-8mg/day). I was arrested and put in jail for three weeks and it was three weeks of hell. I have cold turkey'd Tramadol before and had awful hallucinations but luckily not this time. I was, however, shaking so bad I couldn't hold a spoon, couldn't even hold water because my stomach was so upset, had awful diarrhea (and there was 1 toilet for 12 men!) I had never been so uncomfortable in my life, I thought to myself I would either have a seizure or stroke or both. After three weeks I still felt bad but I believe it was because I was taken off Clonazepam. My depression was gone so I think the Tramadol w/d's were done with. I believe that withdrawals from this drug is different for everyone, depending on how good your liver enzymes converts Tramadol into the narcotic. I switched to Norco for my pain but only take them as needed and I don't feel any w/d symptoms. In my opinion, Tramadol really messes with your brain function horribly. For those of you who are currently tampering or going cold turkey off of Tramadol, just remember, it could be A LOT WORSE, as in stuck in jail feeling like you are a crazy person. I would recommend just walking or running as much as possible. I posted this in thread 52 & 51, I didn't realize at first that the threads kept changing!


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by serenenow, Jul 11, 2012
Hello Sarabie and Denise, good to see you.  Also hello to the rest of you who have found this forum.  Give yourselves a break and consider NOT beating your bodies up with Tramadol or any other narcotic.  I'm feeling good today.  Body feels closer to normal each day.  The residual "brain zaps" are rare and the sneezing has calmed down greatly.  I've said it over and over again, this is a "horrible drug."  For me, it affected me alot differently than other "narcotics" in pill form.  Especially as far as withdrawals are concerned.  I will never allow it back into my body.  Mentally I've had some depression, mainly due to the wreckage I've created as a result of being on this drug but I'm also working on making things right to the best of my ability.  That in itself has helped.  I've had to forgive myself for allowing the drug to take hold of my life in the manner that it had.  So much unmanageability in my life as a result but no more.

Life is too precious :)

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by BJP123, Jul 11, 2012
Dalzona, I am no doctor, but I personally wouldn't recommend any antidepressents that are classified as SNRI or SSRI's. They carry awful withdrawals with them as well. Paxil withdrawal felt about as bad as Tramadol withdrawal. They get very addicting. I'm currently taking a Tricyclic antidepressant called amitriptyline for headaches. Side effects seem minimal and if I skip doses it doesn't seem to effect me one bit, where as if I didn't take my dose of Paxil at the same time, I would start to go nuts and feel awful! All i'm saying is do your research before taking anykind of antidepressant. Some are black boxed by the FDA (like mine) and some have even been recalled. I have heard a lot of positive stories about melatonin (a natural occuring substance) for depression/sleep/anxiety. I'm thinking I might give it a try, but I believe it is RX only.

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 11, 2012
I can't believe I am in this situation too but I am!  I have kidney stones and was prescribed ultram 4 yrs ago.  I loved the pain control and sense of well being and energy I got from them so I asked my migraine doctor if I could take them for my migraines- she said yes.  Up until then I was using maxalt, beta blockers, etc- all non narcartic meds. So I am prescribed 60 pills every 30 days.  Well of course, I realized quickly that I needed more than that to get that great feeling I craved, so I was pleasantly surprised they were available quite easily thru internet pharmacies.

Thus began my struggle (must I say addiction?!?!) to these evil little pills.  I got up to taking 9 pills a day~ (450 mg)  and knew I was in trouble.  The thing is- NO ONE KNOWS!!  Not my husband of 20 years, my 3 kids, my close knit family or friends.  I am completely functional- yet this shame is unbearable.  About 3 months ago I decided this has got to stop.  I am quite sure I am killing my liver, I have become forgetful, and I have heart palpatations.  So I cut myself down to 5 pills a day from 9.  It was tough, but not as bad as I had feared.  I went threw withrawal for a few days but then was able to maintin my 5 pill a day routine (3 when I woke up, 2 later in the afternoon- to get me over that mid afternoon slump).  My intention was to keep cutting back but I told myself that maybe I needed to do it REALLY slowly, so I stayed at 5 pills for quite a while.  Fast forward to last week.  I went to my trusted online pharmacy and realized they do not ship to my state anymore.  I panicked!  I spent all evening and morning perusing the internet for a new supplier.  I quickly found out that things are changing- alot do not accept credit cards, only echecks or money orders and ask for a ton of personal info which I won't give out.  I was shaking like a true addict who was about to face withdrawal. I am so embrarrassed and ashamed.

I finally came to the conclusion that this might be my time to truly kick this habit. Its been a long time coming.  So I cut down to two pills a day. I am on day 5 with only 2 pills a day (my true prescription from my doc)  and so far its been a balance of feeling scared out of my mind that I can't handle going thru withdrawal to then feeling like its okay I can DO this!  I am taking B12 vitamins, St Johns Wort for mood, multivitamin, motrin for aches and pains, and klonopin and seroquel to sleep.  I feel if I can sleep than I can better manage my withdrawals- I have seen a counselor in the past for anxiety and thankfully I have these pills on hand to get me through the worst. I also have been taking long bike rides with my kids in the evenings when I feel my worst, and surprisingly I actually forget about the withdrawal for awhile.  It is true that exercise does help!     The first 2 days were the worst (brain zaps, no energy, crying spells), the last 2 days have actually been okay (no depression and doing normal everday things, although still not feeling normal of course!).  So now, comes the hard part of cutting out those last 2 little pills! I have 60 pills sitting in my purse, but I know I can do it!  I REFUSE to live life like an addict any longer.

  I am wondering how many tram addicts will be facing their addictions head on now that the pharmacies are making it more and more difficult for purchasing and shipping this drug (I am sure there have been alot of crackdowns going on- which is good).  Anyway- thanks for listening to my story and its such a relief to know there are others out there.  Like I said NO ONE knows in my real life, and its hard to do it alone!

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 11, 2012
DALZONA:only want to feel normal again, enjoy my child, and look forward to each and every day without drugs. I'm almost thankful those damn internet pharmacies stopped taking MC and AX, and only take Visa, which I don't have.

I ditto that Dalzona!  I just want to be NORMAL and enjoy my children, husband, and family without digging into my purse constantly and popping those little white pills to get by.  I am also grateful (horrified at first though!!  lol) that the pharmacies are cracking down and its not so easy anymore to get Tram.  It sounds like it is OUR time to finally kick this habit once and for all!  ☺

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 11, 2012
Serenenow- your post is very uplifting- thank you for that! ☺  I do have a horrible sense of shame and embarrasment of my addiction- so much so that I haven't told a soul.  I too, will try to remember to not be so hard on myself.  Also I kinda had to laugh about your sneezing comment- is that why I have been sneezing for 4 days straight???  I didn't know it was part of withdrawal!! Crazy.

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by BJP123, Jul 11, 2012
The problem is that a lot of Doctors have no idea that Tramadol has any withdrawal. They will cut you off cold turkey after 6 years of use. I pretty much got laughed at by a so-called Dr. and he said that it was all in my head! I hope he goes on Tramadol some day and tries to quit.

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by dalzona, Jul 11, 2012
Hopingforbetter:  Your story sounds so similar to mine!  And I am so ashamed that I let this happen.  I have this great life, a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, a house miles from one of the most fantastic cities in the world, and yet, I could have lost it all.  My husband now knows, and has been very very supportive!  I've been sleep walking all day long, so he stayed home from work to take care of me.  

Personally, I wouldn't be able to cut down, but that's me. I had to go cold turkey or I'd never recover.  Once the internet pharms stopped accepting MC and Amex, I knew it was time.  Today is day 4, and I actually laughed a little while ago - my husband was telling me all the crap I did while I was sleep walking.  

I think it's great that you are able to cut down, I've tried to several times, but then something would happen and I'd be popping more once again.  Good Luck!!!!!

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 12, 2012
Dalzona- I am so glad your husband is supportive- that is wonderful.  And it sounds like you may be getting over the hump if you are able to laugh a bit again- that is a good sign ☺  I admire you that you just went C/T- I am such a chicken to do that.  I have migraines -really bad ones- and I fear it would send me into a tail spin if I just went cold turkey.  

So my best bet is to cut back.  It seems something has to "happen" to make me have the willpower to do it.  When I was taking 9 pills a day and cut back to 5 my reasons were that I had to face myself and look in the mirror and know I was not taking them for my headaches- I was taking them to feel "high". I had heart palpatations and had no memory and just felt "ditzy".  So I just knew, I had to taper.

And currently, I am faced with difficulties ordering more pills (although I did find a decent pharmacy that takes cc and ships to my state) BUT its my sign that I need to slow down and stop.  The way I felt when I was saying to my kids "one more minute and I will play with you" or "mommy is busy" so that I could surf the web and find different pharmacies and online pharmacy review sites made me ill.  It made me truly look at myself and realize what I was doing.  SAD!!!  I know that I can't be on this tramadol train forever and its time to get off.

So, I realize I still have hurdles- the big one will be cutting down from 2 a day to none.  My plan is to keep it at 2 a day for 2 weeks and then 1 a day for a week and then 1/2 a day for a week and then nothing. After being on them for 4+ years, I think this kind of tapering will be the best for me. I have enough pills to allow me to do this.

Good luck to all of us!!  We CAN DO IT!!  Keep us posted on how you are all doing!!

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 12, 2012
I have one thought/question for all of you....I kept saying to myself through my Tram addiction that what I was doing was LEGAL- its not like I could get into trouble for ordering Tram online.  My thoughts were- "Its legal so it must be okay".  Am I correct in my thinking?  I almost wish I knew it was ILLEGAL to order Tram online and then it would have made it easier to stop.  I have never been in trouble with the law/ taken any illegal drugs/ etc- but when I was dealing with these shady online pharmacies it still did not feel right and it scared me.  Hope this question makes sense!!??

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by dalzona, Jul 12, 2012
I don't think it's illegal but I have heard/read that the government is trying to crack down on drugs bought on the internet.  Oh, do know what it's like to surf the net, trying to find my fix, while my child is watching TV.  He's my biggest motivator, I had him much later in life, and want to be around as long as I can.

You'll be able to taper, and when you're down to 1 pill a day, that's it!  Today is day 5, and I feel pretty good.  Not sure what happened yesterday, I guess the combination of the new drugs (from my dr.) had a weird affect on me.  But I just woke up, and don't feel crappy, maybe the worst is over?  Those first few days were hell, and I don't want to ever feel like that again.

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by dalzona, Jul 12, 2012
I also get migraines. A side effect of Tram for me, if I took more than 8 in one day, is a HUGE migraine. I had to be careful to not take more than 8!

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by denised1982, Jul 12, 2012
Hey everyone.  How is everyone? I see that we have a bunch of new faces. Welcome everyone! Well, I'm going on a weekend vacation! I'm going to six flags with my husband and stepson. I'm real excited because it's the first thing we actually got to do as a family since my husband and I got married this year.

Went to the doctor and we decided for me to stay on the celexa and augment with Wellbutrin. I hope it helps me with my energy! If it does I will try to look for a second job to help out with the bills and whatnot. Energy has been my biggest problem since I work graveyard shift.

Well, I just wanted to stop in and say hello. I have a ton of work to do in an itty bitty timeframe because we are leaving in a few hours. I wanted to also check out my ticker! Take care everybody!

Love and strength,

Denise

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by DamTram, Jul 13, 2012
Hello, new friends!

This is quite a rapid influx, so I would definitely say the crackdown on online pharmacies is having an effect.  That makes me so happy!!  Part of what keeps me craving, at times, is that I know I could get it so easily.  My 5th thought after reading your posts was: I should order some before Visa catches on, in case I need them in the future!  Bad, bad, and more bad.  I hope they catch on, and fast.  And thank you to the government for finally taking action!!  Finally.

As for SSRI's, I avoided getting on one for a year and a half after quitting tramadol.  I didn't want to need to take anything, again.  In that time, I relapsed twice.  In that time, I was never able to feel better physically or emotionally.  I started Prozac 3 months ago, and it has allowed me to go back to living...something I hadn't been able to do for years before tramadol.  I'm glad that I waited, so that I knew it was a decision that was right for me.  But I'm sad that I suffered so much longer than I needed to.  I have also been on nortriptyline and amitriptyline for chronic bladder pain, but they never helped with mood and full body pain.  I stopped them a long time ago.  So, please do not discourage the use of SSRI's.  It's not the right choice for everyone, but it is life-saving for those that it is.

Hopingforbetter: the way you're speaking about tramadol is that which an older member of this forum referred to as 'pre-relapse'.  You know that it's bad, you still want to stop, but are still not sure if you will and continue to drug-seek.  I know you're tapering, but please be careful not to order more.  When you finally can't take anymore, you will not even consider it.  I hope that happens soon, for you. :)

Serene: posting to this forum definitely helps! I tried NA and it was not for me.  I know it works for many, but I couldn't get behind the logic.  Also, I am pretty agnostic and am uncomfortable with most of the credit going to and strength coming from God.  I'm glad that it's helped so many million people, though.  There just really aren't any good recovery options for agnostics.

Denise: enjoy six flags! I spent 14 hours at disneyland in Monday and I didn't die! It was a triumph over both fibromyalgia and tramadol, that I was able to last so long.  Congrats on your ticker! I'm so happy for you.  :)

Stay strong, fighters.  The only way off of this drug is to stop taking it.  Your reward is the life you've been missing.

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 13, 2012
Good morning!!! ☺

Dalzona- Yes, I hear ya, when I was up to 9 pills a day I would get wicked migraines and is one of the reasons I decided to cut back to 5/day.  In my heart of hearts I KNEW that the pills were hurting me, not helping my migraines, but its easy to get sucked into thinking I needed them to survive!  UGH.  I am really looking forward to seeing if the reduction and elimination of Tram will actually help my headaches- I really believe it will.  And you are doing awesome!!  Congrats on being off for 5 days ☺  Do you have any depression symptoms yet?  Those are what I fear the most I think....

Denised- Have fun on your trip and congrats on 223 days clean- WOW!!  That is inspiring!

DamTram- Glad to hear that your found an SSRI to help.  That is very helpful info for me- thanks for sharing your experience..  I have had depression/anxiety over the years and wonder if my craving for Tram was because of the SSRI component.  I won't hesitate to see a psych if I feel my depression won't lift after awhile off Tram.  I just started taking St Johns Wart this week to help with my mood (only with 2 trams a day- never more because of serotonin syndrome). Did you ever try St Johns Wart by any chance?

And yes, I think there will be an influx of new people here- not only have alot of pharmacies stopped taking VISA- but also credit cards all together- and only accept money orders or E checks (yeah right- NOT giving out my banking info!!!).  So it is becoming harder and harder to come by...which is horrifying as an addict to realize at first, but really will be a life saver for SOOOOO many.

As for me 'pre- relapsing', I really hope I won't.  The reason I asked  if buying Tram is illegal is because no one knows about my addiction in IRL, and just posting on this forum has me scared.  I am an older mom who has never been in trouble with the law, taken any illegal drugs, had an addiction to anything else...so this whole scenerio just scares me. I have pictures in my head of cops swooping in, confiscating my computer and busting me for drugs!!  I know that might sound silly to some, but I honestly have never been sure of the consequences of buying this drug online.  When I think about it- just being free of the constant fear of "being found out" will be such a wonderful freeing experience and something I look forward to.

I do have a legitimite script from my doctor for 2 pills a day and I have been maintaining that dose for almost a week now, which hasn't happened in 4+ years.  I AM DETERMINED!   My plan is one more week on 2 pills a day (so I can vacation with my family and function) and then 1 week on 1 pill a day.  Or I may decide to C/T at that point.     I hope and pray I will remain strong!  Its hard to go thru these withdrawals without anyone in my life knowing what I am going through, but I am making the best of it.

Good luck to us all!!!!!  

  

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 13, 2012
After reading some more posts on here, I see a lot of talk of B12 taken sublinguilly.  I have small pink B12 vitamins I purchased and have been swallowing them- should I be putting them under my tongue instead?  Will that help with the lack of energy?  Not sure if you have to purchase a special sublingual B12 vitamin or not.  Any insight would be awesome!  Thank you!

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by ullr, Jul 13, 2012
Hi, I just pop in to say hello.

For those of you new ones: I wrote here in time when I stopped my abuse of tramadol. I used it for a pain in the elbow after an accident. I spent about 2000-3000 mg daily for 4-5 years. Stopped cold turkey, but spent some codeine and benzodiazepines in a transition period.

I was very sick for a long period when I stopped. I was away from work for almost half a year. Had serious depression, a lot of brain zapping, dizzyness and absence of energy.

But, as you all have learned: it will be okay in the end :-)

I thought I would manage without any medication. But my pain is so strong that I must use something. Now the pain clinic and I concluded that Fentanyl patch is what works best. I tried something called Norpan as well, but it didnt work as well.

So where I am today. The patches works great, I am almost completely pain free, and I do not have to count pills.
Fentanyl, despite the fact that there is a strong opiate, gives me no euphoria like other opiaths. It is quite strange. I'm just painless. ! (And a little bit sleepy..) Well: I had hoped that I could be totally free from drugs, but I know that I wil never again use tramadol... It really was hell getting off...

So, I hope you all are strong and make it through the hell it it is to quit. Use this forum for help. I dont know if I would have made it without.

Take care!


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by serenenow, Jul 13, 2012
Wow good to see everyone.  I'm agreeing with the reasoning behind the influx of others getting off the evil drug.  I too longed for the government to put a stop to it but I think they need to go one further and make Tramadol become classified as a narcotic.  That in itself would send it onto a new level to where more legal action would have be taken against it being permitted to be sold through the internet.  The effects that this drug has done on others has spiraled way out of control in the last 15 years.  I personally know 1 person who overdosed on it and died.  None of us know if we would be the next one to die if we put just one more in us.  That's the craziness of the disease of addiction.

hopingforbetter, I completely understand your logic behind wishing that the internet thing was illegal.  Sometimes the motivating factor for an addict to stop is either catching legal charges or knowing they will be arrested.  But at the same time there are addicts who aren't ready to quit and will use the drug regardless if they get arrested or have that threat hanging over their head.  That's when the progression of the disease of addiction has taken over.  Getting down to as little as 2 per day and not wanting to let them go right now is your addiction's way of keeping that "hold" on you.  I tried several times to wean down...did not work ever.  I had to quit cold turkey.

damtram, I understand your dilema with NA.  NA is supposed to be spiritual, not religious, and I do know some agnostics in the fellowship.  It's the "looking to a power great than ourselves to restore us to sanity" logic that is supposed to be supported in NA.  At one point my "power greater than myself" was jail and the legal system because I was so out of control that I could not stop, and would not have stopped, until I killed myself.  The point is, whatever is working for you now, I hope it continues to work.  Your posts inspire me!

I will share this...Tramadol caused me more physical, mental, and emotional pain than what I was actually dealing with outside of all the kidney stones I'd had surgeries on over the last 6 years.  Once I stopped permanently, I don't have any physical pain.  If I get another stone, I'm requesting to be kept into the hospital until it either passes or I have surgery.  No more taking prescriptions home with me.  

Hugs,

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by dalzona, Jul 13, 2012
Day 7!!!  I feel good and am working from home again today, and have all week.  I have no recollection of Wednesday, apparantly I had a bad reaction to the drugs my dr. scripted.  My husband said I was sleep walking,and during my sleep walking I was making plans, baking cupcakes, trying to find the keys to my car, so he actually worked from home on Wednesday while I slept.  When I woke up, I thought it was Tuesday night, and it was Wednesday!  But the good news is that I feel normal, today, and don't feel depressed.  I'm really thankful that it all came crashing down, because I was really ashamed of my habit.  

I have to push through, and will.  I feel good again :)

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by rushwolf, Jul 13, 2012
Hi Everyone,

Long time follower, first time poster. Thought I'd share my own Tramadol experience and provide some general thoughts on the detox/withdrawal:

I was originally prescribed Tramadol for a lower back injury. Like many others, the Tramadol initially helped the pain and gave me quite the mood lift and energy kick. 4 years later, I had a 400-500 mg daily habit and was a slave to the drug. I'm on day 4 of a c/t detox. For me, tapering just didn't work. I could never get below 200 mg a day before finding some excuse to take more and then I was right back at 8-10 pills daily. I was also taking ativan/xanax regularly (in low doses > 1mg) and was took Ambien nightly for 5 years to sleep. I'm 31 years old and realized that between drinking and drugging I haven't had 3 days of sobreity since I was 15 years old. So...for me, it was clear that I'm an addict and the Tramadol was just my next progression of drug use. And it's damn easy to get!

So today is day 4 c/t off everything. Days 1-3 were quite miserable as other posters here have discussed. My physical pain has since subsided but the energy sap is killing me! One savior for me was clonadine. It is a blood pressure med commonly used for opiate withdrawals. Your PCP can prescibe it if you are open with them about your abuse a plan. Clonodine is commonly used for opiate withdrawal. My blood pressure and heart rate were racing days 1-3. The clonadine is a god send for the "I-want-to-crawl-out-of-my-skin-cold-sweat-anxiety" feelings during the initial withdrawal. It's not an addictive drug and much safer than going for a soboxone-route which, if you're coming off Tramadol, would be a terrible replacement IMHO. Suboxone has it's own withdrawal issues...

While I'm only day 4, my only advice to others thinking about stopping the tram use is top do it and hang in there. The first few days are difficult but it WILL get better. If you are comfortable sharing your issues with someone, do so! I cannot imagine trying to kick this with no support. And by god, talk to your Primary Care about clonodine. It made all the difference in my experience. And take some time to learn about addiction. The disease is the same, the drug of choice makes little difference. If you are addicted to Tramadol, you mighty consider abstaining from all drugs...including alcohol (which doesn't play nice with Tramadol anyway). The disease is progressive. Don't beat yourself up. We all feel guilt about our drug use, but you should not feel ashamed. Substance abuse is, quite simply, not a socially excepted disease. We often feel ashamed about our use...that we have some moral defect and aren't "strong" like everybody else, but there is much more going on than we realize. Addiction is a disease, not always a choice. Some have it, some don't. Try to remember this and don't hold onto the guilt and shame, it will tear you up from the inside.

Strength to all and hang in there!

ps. Everyone is different and tapering vs. c/t is a personal choice. However, if you find yourself using more than just Tramadol, be sure to understand the withdrawal for different drugs. Benzos (like ativan, klonopin, xanax) can have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you are a heavy-user. Understand the risks of each drug if you, like me, are looking for a complete detox and pill-free life. There are others here who found sleep aids/benzos to be helpful during withdrawal and I am not knocking that choice. To each his own. But if you have an addiction to Tramadol, then you are at risk of moving one addiction (Tramadol) to another (Klonopin/Lorazepam, etc). Be careful. Be safe. Much love.

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 13, 2012
Serenenow- I think that is great that you have a plan in place should you get another kidney stone attack. I have kidney stones myself and that is what initially hooked me on Tram (and then my chronic migraines kept me on it).  I too believe that Tram causes more pain than it alleves after time.....

Rushwolf- thanks for sharing your story~ 4 days C/T that is awesome!  Keep it up!  I am similar to you -at my highest point I was taking 9 pills/day and could not imagine going C/T.  I admire that.  For me, tapering seems to be the way to go.  Maybe because no one knows about my addiction, and therefore I have to keep my withdrawal symptoms to a minimum....I just don't think I could do it cold turkey and be in the throws of withdrawal and hide it..  But here I am on 2 pills a day and surviving...and being strong.  I am determined to come all the way off.  I do take .5 mg klonopin and 12.5 mg seroquel to sleep at night and this has helped immensly.  I also realized I have clonodine available because my son has ADHD and his non stimulant medication is Kapvay (which is clonodine)- what a stroke of luck!  I will most likely give that a try when I go down to zero pills a day and will be going thru the worst of the withdrawals- thanks for that helpful tip.  I have taken an extra klonopin here and there over this past difficult week, but I will be vigilent to not abuse it .

ULLR- glad to hear you have your pain under control !!!  What a relief that must be.


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by dalzona, Jul 13, 2012
It's so great to know there is help out there for us going CT.  As scared as I was, and came clean with husband, I'm feeling on solid ground on day 7.  I am though, taking 1/5 .5 xanax to take the edge off.  The first 2 days were extremely difficult and there wasn't any way to hide my pain - I would sit, get up, sit somewhere else, get up, scream at someone, and sit back down.  If I hadn't told my husband, he might have thought I was going mad! (which I felt like I was).  So I understand hopingforbetter, if you haven't told anyone, the withdrawal might be difficult to hide.  Hey - if you're down to 2 day, and can continue that pattern for a few weeks, I do believe you'll be able to give it up.  I really do!  

Gosh, today, I washed my hair, put make up on, am dressed, and actually feel pretty.  We have an outside hot tub, so I've been soaking in it at night before going to bed and didn't have the energy to wash my hair.  My skin looked blotchy all week, and today was the first day it looked smooth.  I will NEVER go back to that EVIL TRAMADOL, it could have wrecked me and my life. I also would like to have another baby, and don't think having a drug addiction would be a good idea while being pregnant - I wouldn't be able to do it mentally, it would feel like child abuse to me.  

Thanks everyone for their stories!  You have no idea how much they help.

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 14, 2012
Dalzona- thanks for the encouragement!!  You are so kind!  Yes I can't imagine going through cold turkey withdrawal and being able to hide it.  After reading your experience it just re affirms it for me.  

Congrats on day 7!  You have the worst behind you- that must be an amazing, powerful feeling.  And its good that you are not craving it but instead are realizing how evil it is.  Yes it can wreck your life and if you want another baby its best to be off before you get pregnant.  Can you imagine trying to wearn off this stuff while being pregnant?  That would be a nightmare.  Stay strong and thanks for sharing your updates with us!!!

As for me, last night I had 2 glasses of wine with our friends and it was actually nice because evening time is when I feel the withdrawals the most (I take my 2 trams early morning).  So it felt nice to relax and socialize.  Well, I was up at 4 am with a migraine and for the first time didn't know what to do!  Normally I pop 3-4 trams without a throught.  So I got up and paced a bit and took some Motrin but the pain did not let up.  At 5 am I ended up taking my 2 trams for the day and sure enough my headache is almost gone now.  I have been taking my last 2 trams at 7 am so I am hoping it won't throw me off too much for today.  But I do need to rethink and have a plan when I get these darn migraines.  I am allergic to immitrex and anything in the triptans family.   I hate opiates, and thought Trams were the safe way to go.   But now those are out.  UGH.  I need to see my neurologist and form a new game plan!

I realize I need to be extra careful today with this headache and be sure not to self medicate.....

Anyway thanks for listening:)  

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by DamTram, Jul 14, 2012
Tramadol is a synthetic, partially acting opioid analgesic.  Opiates are actually derived from opium, but they act on the mu opioid receptors just like tramadol.  Only Tramadol was 100% created in a laboratory and, because it is only partially acting, irritates your opioid receptors more than pure opiates because it activates in a random fashion.  

Hopingforbetter: You're right that your migraines will improve after Tramadol.  They are also being triggered by you putting yourself into withdrawal for 12 hours a day.  Because of Tramadol's half-life, you are essentially in the first stages of acute withdrawal from 7pm to 7am, every single day.  You could try splitting your dose so as to take 1 pill at 7am and another at 7pm.  But, essentially, you are drawing out this process and torturing yourself if your migraines are continually triggered.  Serenenow was in the EXACT same place that you were less than 2 months ago.  She hadn't told anyone of her addiction.  As she knows now, secrets keep people sick.  When she finally withdrew and told her close family/friends, she found out that they all already knew of her addiction!  I don't know if that would be the case for you, but seeking support from those close to you may be the way for you to get through this.  You're either going to get sick, every day, for a very long time, or you can be really sick for a few days and finally start to get better.  Like Serenenow said, she tried to complete her taper over and over, but in the end it wasn't worth the daily pain and she just wanted her life back.  I'm so proud of her for getting it back. =) I hope that you can find a way to taper the rest, or that you consider seeking support from your loved ones.  Whether tapering or cold turkey, you need that support more than you know.  Sending healing thoughts your way. =)

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by serenenow, Jul 14, 2012
Well said Dam Tram and thank you :)

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by Sarabie, Jul 15, 2012
Welcome rushwolf :-) day 4 is great and quite the accomplishment actually !! I hope you are proud of yourself. I too went CT after 5 years of tram. The last year my dosage was between 20-24 pills a day (50 mg) and I felt like a zombie. One day I just decided to quit. You are on day 4 which means you'll soon discover that you are able to really laugh and feel again. When that happens you'll know that All the strugling was worth it.

Hopingforbetter - you too are doing great!!! I keep up with your posts even though I don't post much anylonger.

Urll - great seing you again !

Serenenow - you've come a long way !!

Damtram - I'm really glad you Can enjoy stuff like theme parks again.

I'm doing good. Selling a lot of paintings these days which motivates me to paint everyday.

Love Susie

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 15, 2012
Dam Tram and Serenenow- I see what you are saying.  And you are right I am probably going thru withdrawal overnight because I am taking my 2 pills at 7 am.  I  guess I am just trying to be a normal person and take a dose of meds in the morning and not HAVE to take them at night to prevent withdrawals.  Does that make sense?  I am trying to control IT and not let IT control ME.  But I guess there is no "normal"  whatsoever with this drug is there???  ARRGGHHH- I am learning that pretty quickly here.....

So I am taking your advice ~and this morning at 7 am I just took one tablet and so far it is 4 pm (and have survived!)  and will take another soon to prevent a withdrawal migraine. I want to quit all together but I am on a family vacation right now and do not want to ruin our once a year trip with me feeling miserable.  So for the past 7 days I have been on just 2 pills, and for that I am really proud.  When we get back I want to cut to 1/2 tab in the morning and 1/2 tab in the evening for a week and then C/T at that point.   It truly is a Godsend to learn from others experiences (especially those like me with migraines) so I appreciate the input.   I am going to go back and read about Serenenow's migraines/withdrawals and see what else I can glean from it....like how how do you manage the migraine pain when it comes??

Right now I am so concentrated on getting off these pills and managing withdrawal symptoms that I have not tackled the WHYS I have been taking Tram for so long.  I know soon I will need to look at that and see how I can handle any depression/anxiety that will most likely be coming my way.  I am not looking forward to that at all.  But I can say so far I am doing okay "in my head" and not feeling overly emotional/sad or depressed. So I am hopeful (maybe stupidly hopeful!!) that I won't get depressed for too long once I get down to zero pills.  Only time will tell.

Sarabie- thanks for the positive words!  I have seen your many posts on here and you always seem to have a kind word to say to all of those struggling.  What a nice smiling face to see during these difficult days. ☺   Good luck with your paintings- it sounds like you are doing awesome.  I too love art and have painted murals in buildings and schools over the years - I love to do anything creative.  There's nothing like creating something from nothing with your own two hands!  
    

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by Movebeyondthis, Jul 15, 2012
I'm new to this site and so glad I found it.  Thank you to everyone on here for sharing your experiences and asking the questions I'm thinking.

I've been on tramadol for almost two years (300 - 400 mg per day) prescribed to me for the pain of chronic Lyme (prescribed before I was diagnosed with Lyme & misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia).

I want to get off of it now that I'm better after over a year of Lyme treatment and I also want to try to get pregnant in the near future.

I've tried in the recent past to wean off with the help of my Lyme Dr. but after about 8 weeks, the consistent low grade withdrawal wore me out as I work full time and I'm not completely healed from the damage of years of having undiagnosed Lyme.  I have to be careful about any stress I put on my body. The depression was also pretty difficult.

My question is, in other's experience, even if one weans to very little - like 50 mg per day, one usually still has a week or so of horrendous physical withdrawal, right?

I'm just wondering if I should wean for a few weeks then just go CT from there to prevent those many weeks of low grade withdrawal if I'm going to end up in about the same place when I quit completely.

This past week I went from 400 mg to 300 mg.  I think I may stay here one more week, then go down by one 50 mg pill per week.  Last time I felt I could only handle removing one 50 mg pill every TWO weeks but I want to speed it up this time and get to a place (maybe 150 mg or three 50 mg pills per day) and quit completely from there, preparing to be pretty miserable for at least a week after that.

My Dr. has given me the catapres patch and low dose klonopin.  I may discuss a low dose SSRI for a short period when I come off tram completely.  

Any advice on my process or others experiences would be so helpful.

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by DamTram, Jul 15, 2012
If you listen to your body, it will let you know if it can handle a taper.  Whether you taper or not, you will have a horrendous 4 days.  Severity of withdrawal symptoms relate more to how long you were on it than how much you were taking.  Your overall physical health (bmi, etc.) will also determine the length/severity of recovery.  Tramadol builds up in your fat cells, over time.  Wait on the SSRI until after withdrawal.  You will need some time to get back in touch with your emotions before you can know for sure if you have a major depressive disorder.  I waited too long - 5 months - but I'm so glad I eventually got on them.  Listen to your body, and it will let you know what to do.  Either way, yes, you will have the acute withdrawal.

Hoping: I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.  I don't think serene was dealing with migraines, but her story was otherwise similar to yours.   I'm glad you split your dose.  You are not, and cannot be, in control of this drug.  It does so many horrible things to your body and mind that are not ignorable.  If you do decrease your dose, you should only adjust one at a time.  Reduce your morning dose and stabilize before also reducing your evening dose.  Or vice versa.  But a rapid drop will start the acute withdrawal symptoms you are attempting to avoid.  If the migraines are keeping you on this, it's time to see the neurologist since you can't take triptans.  My migraines have always been moderate and not severe, so I can't give any good advice for combatting them during withdrawal.  The triptans were what helped me.  Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Susie - thanks and so glad you're doing well. :) Freeeeeeedom rings!

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by Movebeyondthis, Jul 15, 2012
Thanks for your response DamTram.  Your advice to listen to my body makes sense.  I think I'm going to commit to weaning as long as I can while working and when I feel it's time to break free prepare myself with time off of work.

I also need to promise myself and my husband that I will be honest during the wean and not just pop some extra pills if an event or rough day comes along.  

It's scary to think I've been on this drug for two years. It helps to know that no matter what, I will have a horrendous four days.  I need to be prepared mentally for that.  I was prescribed low dose naltrexone for Lyme treatment several months ago and nobody told me it would put me into acute withdrawal.  I wanted to die.  This drug is so scary.

I'll wait on the antidepressant but won't hesitate to talk to my Dr if I'm having a really terrible time as time goes on.

I know when I stop completely, this site will really help me and I will post more.  For now I will continue reading posts, as it gives me comfort to know there are others out there who know what the struggle is like and are breaking free from this crazy crazy drug.

Freedom is what I want so badly!

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 16, 2012
Hello MoveBeyondthis! I am glad you found this place of comfort and information too, and are trying to break free of tramadol's hold on you!  I am new here, and doing my best at coming off these evil little pills that I have been on for over 4 yrs.  For me, tapering seems to be the best way to handle coming off this drug.  I know alot of people go cold turkey- I just can't emotionally/physically handle it.

For the past 3 months I have cut from 9 pills a day now down to 2 pills a day.  I did big drops which I don't recommend (wish I would have read posts here first!) but now I am cutting back slowly.  If it helps at all, I have not had any MAJOR withdrawal attacks compared to some of the people on here with my taper.  No severe depression, major GI symtoms or RLS- but defitnitely have experienced withdrawals (brain zaps, headaches, crying spells here and there-which suck but are manageable).  Like you, I am left wondering how it will be when I take my LAST dose and get this drug out of my body for good.  I have to say I am hoping with a slow taper it won't be that horrific...hoping and praying ...for both of us ☺.  So if you can do a slow taper, and are able to be diligent about not taking more pills in a weak moment- than I would say go that route.  But again, everyone is different!!!

DamTram- once again- thank you for the helpful advice!  I did so much better yesterday splitting my dose and taking 1 pill in the morning and 1 pill early evening. What a difference!  And I am going to take your advice again when I get home and be careful about only cutting back one dose by 1/2 instead of cutting both doses all at once.  For me, the slower taper seems to be what works.  Thank you!

You also mentioned something about BMI and tramadol.  I have a lower BMI of 18- does that mean I will have an easier or harder time getting it out of my system?

And on that note.... I swear I think the Tram took away my appetite for those 4 yrs and has kept me on the thin side.  I notice I am eating ALOT more than normal this past week and wondering if its normal to gain weight after detoxing? Its a bit frightening. I am not sure if I am eating to comfort myself because I feel bad, or eating like a normal human being again, whose appetite has been surpressed for so long!!!  

Anyone else deal with supressed appetite / weight related issues while on Tramadol???




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by DamTram, Jul 16, 2012
hoping:  I am so glad that the split dose helped!!  It's all pharmacological management, at this point.  It's unfortunate that doctors aren't more helpful in easing their patients off of this.  You are correct that your appetite was suppressed over those 4 years.  Part of that is the opioid, but part of that is the MDMA-like antidepressant in Tramadol.  Either way, people generally didn't eat much on this thing and the return of appetite can be scary for those that have significant feelings about weight.  Your body not only has been missing necessary nutrients for this year and are begging for them back, but is also in extra need of food as a taper is extremely taxing on the body's systems (like constant, low-grade withdrawal).  You may gain weight while getting off of this and after you completely detox, but I promise that the joy you will feel at having your life back will trump any feelings about gained weight.  And during recovery, you will be even more motivated to exercise...which is what will help you recovery the fastest, anyway.  You are not eating to comfort yourself.  If anything, you are regaining the ability to taste/enjoy food, and your body and brain might be very happy about it. =)  I can't say for sure, but if your BMI is that low, I would say that your post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) will last much less long than those of us with higher BMI's, since you have significantly less fat-cells to be drained of stored Tramadol.  Acute withdrawal will be the same for you, unfortunately.  I would recommend reading LegalJunky's posts, as she was always on a low dose of Tramadol but ended her taper at 50mg when she couldn't take it anymore.  She suffered, as we all did, during acute withdrawal, but now rarely posts because she has won her life back. =)

Move: It is very helpful to have someone to keep you accountable during a taper.  A poster last year, Randy, ended up needing his partner to help him develop a taper plan, hold the pills, and keep him honest about it.  He broke free, as well.

Keep your eyes on the prizes!  Your life is at the end of this tunnel.

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by Sarabie, Jul 16, 2012
Movebeyondthis - welcome :-) you should scroll back and read all of LegalJunkies posts. She too has lyme and she tapered very slow. And now she's been off the tramadevils for 309 days :-) I'm pretty sure you can learn a lot from her. I went CT and no pain any longer, so I can't really help you. But good luck !!!

Hopingforbetter - the creative processes really helped me during the first weeks off tram. See if you can find a bit of motivation for painting again and hit the brushes.

Love Susie :-)

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by legaljunky, Jul 16, 2012
Hi Movebeyondthis-
Sarabie is right- I have permanent damage caused by years of undiagnosed Lyme and I think I will be on a lot of meds for the rest of my life.  But at this point I am Lyme-free after a round of drugs that killed the remaining cell of dormant spirochetes. And now that I'm done with Tram, I have quality of life.
I take a low dose of Klonapin (sp?) for sleep problems of Lyme and it helped during Tram WD too. I had depression caused by Lyme and my Lyme Dr. has me permanently on an SSRI. I have other issues caused by Lyme and take other meds and lots of supplements.  I had been on Voltaren for Lyme related arthritis until I developed Lyme related Lupus Anticoagulent (blood clots in my lungs) and had to go on blood thinners.  I couldn't take Voltaren with blood thinners so she put me on Tramadol, saying it wasn't addictive.  Maybe 2 years later I no longer tested positive for Lupus Anticoagulent, so I went off blood thinners and Tram, back onto Voltaren and realized I was in WD from Tramadevil. So I went back on Tram, found this forum and read pages and pages of posts, and decided to to a slow taper.  I think at that point I was on 300 mg a day.  I lowered my dose by 40 mg once a week, which gave me 4 days of hell and 3 days of not so bad. During weeks in which I really had to function, I didn't lower my dose.  When I finally got to 0 Tram, the WD was awful but I followed the lead of many wonderful Tram warriors, posted a lot, and toughed it out.  It is so worth it!
I remember I took lots of magnesium, it helped the RLS. I took lots of sublingual B 12 but I don't remember why (permanent memory problems from brain lesions of Lyme).  I drank lots of peppermint tea with cayenne and honey for the stomach problems. Movebeyondthis, we each find our way to beat Tram, and we're all pulling for you!

It is wonderful to come back to this life saving forum and see familiar people and new ones joining us!  Tramadol is 1 tough battle but beating it has made me feel so powerful!

Sending love, strength and perseverance!!



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by dalzona, Jul 17, 2012
Hi all! Day 11 here and all is well.  I started an anti-depressant, feel very lethargic, and not sure if this may be a side effect or just the hot weather we're having in the mid-atlantic. I've been taking 1/2 zanax in am, and the other half in the evening and it's taking the edge off, that feeling that you need to be taking something, anything.  I have a 5 yr. old so I can't be drugged up!!!  

Haven't been in the office in weeks, am working from home these days.  I need all the extra sleep I can get :)  Luckily, I have a supportive husband and co-workers (one is aware of my nasty addiction).  I hope everyone is having good days, and enjoying their summer with family and friends.

Everyone can beat their tramadol addiction - if I can, anyone can.  Those first few days clean are pure hell, but the hell doesn't last forever, 3-4 days at the most, and then it's seeking and finding rememdies to cope, e.g. an anti-depressant, a non addicting pain med.  Life is too short to not feel it fully!!!  



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by goatfarmer, Jul 17, 2012
For those that do a slow taper at what point do you jump off?
I am on day 3 of 100 mg a day taken in 1/2 pill 4 x a day. I find the w/d are much less if I take every 4-5 hours instead of every 6-8 seems to keep me more level. The main thing I get from cutting back is MOODINESS/IRRITABILITY and some insomnia. I also get weird muscle tensing! I was on high doses and have cut back over the last 5 months!!! The lower I get the more scared I get! The last two tapers have been 1/2 pill every week to two weeks depending on how I feel. Its been manageable but it *****! The depression is the worst part I think. When I tapered midway through I had over the top anxiety!!! My heart racing, blood pressure spikes, feeling like I was on speed for like a week that was when I cut back from 4 a day seems like that was my plateau and now things seem more manageable after I got down passed the 4 per day part.
My doc wants me to do it slowly because i am pregnant. W/D are NOT good for baby and he has patients on it even to delivery weird thing is they rarely see w/d in baby on tramadol under 4 pills a day. I was tempted to keep at that dose but I figure now is a good time to get off.
I though feel it makes my life better compared to everyone on here. I have way more energy wayyy less depression/anxiety while on it! I concentrate better and I am in much less pain! So I keep trying to tell myself that this isn't true but the reality is I am nicer to my kids/hubby and I am a much more relaxed person so I just don't know.
Anyway I do want off ONLY because the w/d are the most horrendous thing I have ever dealt with!!!!! And because I want to see if I can do things naturally to give me that high endorphen energy sense of well being like maybe amino acids!

I really have to avoid severe w/d because I am pg and doc said its dangerous and even can be deadly to go c/t. (deadly for baby). I want off by 30 weeks and I am 26 weeks now. I doubt I can do it but at least by 32 weeks. So today is day #3 for tapering to 100 mg (2 pills a day) hanging strong and determined. What should my next dose cut be if someone was to do it slowly?
1/4 or 1/2 pill? per day.
Is it going to get harder and harder?
I don't have the opiate w/d part its more mental crap for me and twitching/muscle tensing.

Thanks for any advice!

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by DamTram, Jul 17, 2012
Goat and Dalzona - congrats on all your progress!!

Goat: you are a "better person" on tramadol than you are with withdrawal.  You ARE NOT a better person than when you are OFF of tramadol.  But, this is why people stay hooked.  I'm proud that you're being so careful about this.  Go with your doctor's taper plan.  As someone who went cold turkey, I can't tell you what worked for me.  I know when tapering klonopin, the SMALLER the drop, the better.  Always.  

Keep up the good work, everyone!!

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by goatfarmer, Jul 18, 2012
Damtram: YOu are SO right!
I am doing GREAT! 2 pills now a day and its been 4 days! I CAN be free right?!
Yesterday was very emotional today seems improved. I slept pretty good last night. Does anyone think that lack of sleeps make w/d so much less bearable?

I am going to try for 1/2 pill taper on sunday. if its too much I will do 1/4. But since I am doing pretty good at this dose I think it should be fine. I feel encouraged! I have been on this stuff for like 9 years!!!!!!! and then off and on before that! So this is HUGE for me!

Thinking Wellbutrin might not be a bad idea though!



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by goatfarmer, Jul 18, 2012
Dalzona,
what ad did they put you on? is it helping yet?

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by katejg, Jul 19, 2012
hi all, another new member who found this site whilst researching tramadol withdrawal, I tried to go CT but suffered within hours of a missed dose, as I am new, I am not going into my story now, but am looking forward to reading others experience and that I have found some support and know I am not going crazy!!

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by dalzona, Jul 19, 2012
It's a new one, Viibryd.  I was on Wellburtrin for  years for smoking cessation, and it worked.  Not sure it helped a lot with depression, however at the time, I wasn't taking it for depression, only the smoking cessation.  Any AD takes time to build up in your system, so many effects aren't felt right away unfortuneately, but after a week, I'm feeling a little more energetic.  I'm arming myself with amunition to fight this addiction!  Day 13 and I'm hanging in there!  

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by goatfarmer, Jul 19, 2012
Dalzona: hope you are feeling ok today. Do you think your w/d are gone now?
katejg: are you trying a taper now? I know what you mean all I have to do is miss one dose and I was in full w/d. Its CRAZY! I have found the best way to ease w/d and I have done this a few times *sigh* hanging head in shame! is  to take it 4-5 times a day in smaller doses. I am taking 1/2, 1/2, 1/2 and 1/2. I try to increase time between doses. Doing a taper for me has been best and I find that by day 7-10 I can taper again but not before! It takes me a full week to recover from my last tapers usually. I have been tapering for MONTHS! This Sunday I am cutting out another 1/2 pill but I am going to do 1/2, 1/4, 1/2 and 1/4 so its stays level in my system. My main symptom now is irritibility and weird muscle stuff and mild anxiety. Like I drank too much caffiene! I swing between that feeling and low down in the dumps. So weird!

Hang in there we can beat this!

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by katejg, Jul 20, 2012
thanks Goatfarmer, I started taking it for chronic pain as I needed it, my dr then thought it would be better to take a SR preparation on a regular basis. It got to the point that the 5omg I was taking wasnt doing anything for the pain, so she put me up to 100mg, which wiped me out, I persevered for a few weeks then decided to stop taking it all together so did. I was still taking 100mg at night, and had a 50 mg capsule to play around with during the day.

I felt the effects of fatigue at once, then one night I was so tired I decided it was pointless taking the night time dose so missed that one as well, I had the night from hell. ended up taking the 50mg capsule about 4am and settled rather quickly. Proved to me that it was the tramadol

at this stage I have just stopped the morning dose and trying to stretch out the lunchtime 50mg as long as I can.
next I'll reduce the 100mg at night to 50mg. Thats as far ahead as I have thought.

I am glad to find this site though because I had no idea that the withdrawal would be so bad.
I am on a pain management course to treat my pain by lifestyle measures. That is my aim, to live without regular pain meds, with perhaps using panadol or ibuprofen for flare ups.

I tried the amitryptilline antidepressants on a low dose for pain before , but they knocked me around too much as well

cheers


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by dalzona, Jul 20, 2012
What I miss most from Tramadol is the energy - I still don't have it back :(  and I desperately need it.  I'm still sneezing several times during the day, gastro is much better, focus is fine, sleep is normal; it's the lack of energy that's KILLING me.  I also have severe tendonitus pain that is flairing up without the tram, and have to find something, non addictive, to help.  We're an active family, do a lot of walking (have dogs), yard work, and I need something for the discomfort.  This is day 19 (WOW), I'm not keeping track so it sort of surprises me, and if I had my energy back, I'd say I'm back 95%!  But alas, this isn't the case.  I did walk 3 miles yesterday, but by last night, I was wiped out.  

I'm still taking 1/2 Xanax in the am, and the half at night, and I'm SURE this is contributing to my lack of energy :)  

katejg:  the first few nights of sleep without tram were pure hell for me!  I toss, turned, walked around, cried, read, watche TV and still couldn't get comfortable.  I just felt like I was coming out of my skin, and my legs would tense up.  I had 2 nights of hell, and the third night I slept walked the entire night.  I'm now on day 19, and my sleep is back to normal.  

Anyone have any thoughts about how long the lethargy lasts???  I've always been very very energetic, even before the tram, so just wondering if anyone has any knowledge.  Thanks.

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by DamTram, Jul 20, 2012
Dalzona - You're right about the Xanax.  You're taking a sedative in the morning! I'm surprised you're able to function at all.  Try only taking it at night?  It's fast-acting, so shouldn't leave you groggy the next day.  I don't know where you have tendinitis, but a cortisone injection and OT or PT will help more than tram ever did.  2 months after my cold turkey withdrawal, I finally got an injection and was better after many months of not being able to use my right hand.  Get a referral to an orthopedist, if you can.

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by dalzona, Jul 23, 2012
I once had frozen shoulders, had the cortisone injections and had immediate relief.  You're right about the Xanaz, I asked for it to take the edge off, but have only been taking it in the evenings, after everyone is in bed - I was splitting the pills and still felt the effects immediately.

Everyone - have a great week and take care of yourselves :)

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 23, 2012
Hello all!  I am back from our vacation and still remaining strong. I feel it helps to post here to keep myself accountable with my taper. I have cut from 2 (50 mgs) a day down to 1 in the morning and 1/2 in the afternoon as of 3 days ago.  I am doing pretty well~ taking the st johns wort religiously for the past 2 weeks, and so far have not felt depression.  Lack of energy for sure, but not depression (which is my worst fear).  Yawning, sneezing and feeling breathless are my symptoms right now.

Changes I have made in the past weeks along with my taper:  I have been taking a 2 mile walk in the evenings when I am feeling at my lowest energy- wise.  I force myself to get out there and just WALK.  And it actually feels really good.  I haven't exercised since starting the Tram (who needed to work out when I felt energetic and was skinny from popping those pills??).  I have missed doing anything physical and want to add this back into my life.

I have also decided to put our family  (me) on a budget.  For some reason when I was in the tramadol haze I would spend like crazy- especially online.  I think when I felt the surges of energy and sense of well being I would spend and shop and spend and shop.  (anybody else felt that way??)  We do well pretty well financially but I have to admit it was getting out of hand.  I have decided to reign myself in and am following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover to form a budget/savings goals.  It is an outlet for me to have something to focus on other than myself and my W/D symptoms and I feel that I am doing something positive for our future.

Dam Tram- I feel like such an idiot!  I thought I just had a high metabolism.  I actually went to the doctor 2 yrs ago and said I was losing weight like crazy (but of course never mentioned the tramadol) and it never occured to me that it WAS the tramadol.  What a fool I was.  I have gained 2 pounds in the past 2 weeks and it is scary to see, but I realize I need to eat healthfully and exercise like a normal person now.  

Dalzona- good to see that you are still remaining strong!!  I can't offer any help about the lack of energy as I am in the same boat.  But you are doing GREAT.

Will try to write more as the days go by....

Good luck to us all!



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by serenenow, Jul 23, 2012
Hello all,

Good to see everyone from those who have gotten off of this destructive drug to those who are trying to wean off.  Here's my current update.  I'm still off the devil pills but depression has set in.  I'm sure it's due to the realization of the mess I've made of my life over the years of being on this medication.  I'm dealing with the "wreckage" of mistakes I've made while on this medication.  I made some very bad decisions that put me in a situation to where I ended up living with my mother and grown brother and sister who are active addicts.  What a mess I landed in!  I've lost homes, possessions, etc., which are all just material things but the damage to my recovery process is monumental.

Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for having gotten off this demon pill and I'm working on the healing and forgiving myself.  Wow...it's such a huge moment of clarity and self-realization to grasp the seriousness of what I'd just came through without killing myself!  Currently I'm not staying at my mother's.  Life seem to spiral out of control after my dad passed away unexpectingly 2.5 years ago which landed me back into the house where I remember alot of pain that initiated my addiction at an early age.  Needless to say, being in a home where everyone is dysfunctional has not helped.  I'm sure this depression will pass.  I am working with others to get through this pain because my days of self-medicating are OVER!  

As some of you know I tried to wean off but could not do it.  Several times I started the detox process only to end up back on them to "try" to wean off.  It came to the point for me that I knew I had to mentally prepare myself to just go through the detox and get it over with.  I was so tired of the control this drug had over my life.  I'd detoxed before only to get back on them after a month or so for a medical issue but as I stated in earlier posts, no more will I do that.  If I have a serious enough medical issue to warrant pain medication, I will stay in the hospital until the medical issue is taken care of and I'm weaned off.   Since I've detoxed this last time, after completely surrending to the fact I will not ever get on them again, I have felt a huge change in the way I handle life.  Other's are beginning to see it as well, especially my children.  I'm "back" to myself and just seeing the difference between who I am without this drug and who I was while on this drug, HUGE difference.  Last week I found a few of these pills in one of my coat pockets by accident and immediately disposed of them.  It's crazy to think how those little white pills can destroy one's entire life!  I'm not going to go on anti-depressants, and this is just for me.  I'm no way a medical professional and am NOT advising anyone else to do this.  It's a personal choice I've made for myself.  I've got to learn how to accept when I'm sad or angry, or any type of feeling that may come along and use healthy ways to get through it.  Self- medicating in order to not feel anything is what I've done all my life at one time or another.

So this is a new phase in my life, no medications that are mind or mood altering to me.  Once I accepted I am an addict (years ago), I also accepted I have to change internally.  I hope this helps someone.  

Hugs,

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by JULIUS23, Jul 23, 2012
BEEN CLEAN FOR OVER 9-MONTHS... TOOK MY LAST TRAMADOL PILL ON OCTOBER 17 2011, HAVENT LOOKED BACK EVER SINCE!!!! DAMN I FEEL GOOD DAMN DAMN GOOOD.... IVE BEEN HITTING DA GYM GETTING BIG WITH MUSCLES.. MY BODY LOOKS GREAT, I FEEL GREAT.. WENT TO DA BEACH LAST WEEK AND BOYYYY DID I HAVE FUN LOL... FROM TAKING 600 TO 700 MG A DAY FOR 3 1/2 YEARS I NEVER THOUGHT I WUD GET OFF DAT CRAP BUT I DID AND IF UR STRUGGLING WITH DIS CRAP JUS HANG IN THEIR BC DIS IS A FIGHT FOR UR LIFE BACK!!!!.... JUS KEEP PRAYING TAKE HOT BATHS, VITAMINS, EAT STUFF DAT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY..... SEX ALOT...  BC DA FIRST WEEK OF WITHDRAWALS IS DA TUFFEST BUT YOU WILL BE VERY HORNY AT THE SAME TIME LOL.... SOOOOO YEAAAAAA U KNW WHAT TO DO!!!... DNT DENY URSELF BC YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!!! ITS WAR,..... KEEP FIGHTING YILE....

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by hopingforbetter, Jul 24, 2012
So yesterday turned out to be not so great.  Took my morning pill and was good to go.  But by 3 pm I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest and felt more breathless than normal.  I felt weak and yucky.  So I took one full pill instead of 1/2 like I had planned.  I still didn't feel very good so I took a klonopin a few hours later.  This resulted in A) me feeling like a loser for having to take a full pill when I am on a taper schedule and should have taken 1/2.  And 2) I had stopped the klonopin a few days ago because I didn't want to get hooked on those (I only was taking .5 mg at night- but reading about Emily's experience with benzos made me nervous) and I caved and took one.

After fretting about this all night, I woke up today and decided I need to look at the positives too.  I have been taking Tram for close to 5 years- my brain is so used to these chemicals at high doses (450 mg) that of course I am gonna have bad moments now that I am down to 75-100 mg per day.  I can't expect not to feel uncomfortable and its not the end of the world if my body needs more time to adjust.  I have to remember where I was and how far I have come.  If someone told me a month ago I would only be taking 2 pills a day for the last 2 weeks- I would never have believed it.  I am NEVER ordering Tram again online- that is my VOW.  Should I need to stay on 1-2 pills from my true prescription for a while longer so my brain can adjust with my tapering, I will do that. I am still determined to get off all the way.

Serenenow- thank you for sharing your story.  I can tell how convicted you are to staying off Tram and mood altering drugs and I admire you for that.  It sounds like you have come a LONG way in your addiction/recovery process.  Like you, I too need to find a game plan to deal with true physical pain.  I know for sure I will not resort back to Tramadol to cure my migraines.  I put a call into a neurologist and I will be making a game plan as to how to treat my migraines without narcotics.  I have been reading about nerve blocks and even botox as alternatives. I think it is very wise of you to know that you would rather be admitted for pain control than be given medicine to take home.  Best of luck to you as you continue your journey of being Tram free and I hope your depression is short lived.  (((HUGS)))

Julius- Good to hear you are doing so well- 9 months- that is amazing!!  ☺ Thanks for sharing your positive story!

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by serenenow, Jul 25, 2012
Julius thanks for your inspiration.  hopingforbetter, thank you for your affirmations.  

I've been feeling sick for the last couple of days.  Been swelling in the legs and stomach and dealing with body aches for a few weeks.  Not exactly sure what's up but I've been putting off going to the ER.  I don't have medical insurance and going to the ER is one of those things that concerns me since it's what I've done in the past to get pain meds.  I know I need to go especially to be safe rather than sorry.  With the history of heart disease in my family, I can't risk not going.  I have let my significant other know I am going.  No pain meds for me but a blood work up is probably in order.

I know it will take time for my body to level out again.  

good to see all of you still marching on.

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by serenenow, Jul 27, 2012
Hello all...here's the latest update...I have not went to the ER but I'm feeling better.  Turns out other body parts are having some issues that over the counter meds can fix.  (constipation.)  Since I've stopped using the Tramadol and after the first week, I've been having issues with this.  I've been eating the right foods to promote healthy bowels but from my understanding...it's going to take a bit of time for my body to level out.  

I remember going through this went I stopped the Tramadol back in 2001.  I actually had a few physical issues for a few months but eventually leveled out.  That's not to say everyone has the same issues.  Everyone elses bodies react differently.

Hope all of you are still fighting the good fight.

Hugs,

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by DamTram, Jul 28, 2012
I hope you're feeling better, Serene!!  What's going on with your legs?  

I am on my first vacation without Tramadal (road trip).  What a different world.

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by serenenow, Jul 30, 2012
I finally had to get checked out at the ER.  Turns out I have a 4mm kidney stone coming down the Urethra tube!  Ugghhh.  But good news is I came home with NO pain meds.  It's tolerable right now.  I told the doctor if it becomes intolerable, I'm coming back and they have to keep me there til it's out and I'm off pain meds.  Definitely NO TRAMADOL.  I'm calling a Urologist today.  I've had some many kidney stones over the years it's no wonder I got addicted, again to the pain meds.  Working on solutions though.

Hope your vacation goes well!  Glad you get the experience.

Hugs,



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by goatfarmer, Jul 30, 2012
hopingforbetter:
How are you doing? Your story is very similar to mine and I am on 1 1/2 pills a day now too! I am doing pretty good the last 2 tapers. Just emotional! But I just wanted to try and encourage you in dividing your doses up into 4 x a day instead of the 2 x a day. That way your body has a bit more stability. This is what has worked for me.
Right now my dose is 1/2 6 am, 1/4 at 10 am, 1/2 at 2 pm and 1/4 at 6 pm. This seems to relieve many of the w/d symptoms because this drug has a short 1/2 life from what I understand!
So I am on day 3 of 75 mg. I am hoping to drop again this saturday! I was going to drop 1/4  but decided to drop 1/2 pill and I see no real difference in w/d. Just getting those racey panicky feelings ever so often and feel temperature comprimsed and bad bad headache and of course emotional but not real other symptoms. My worst symptoms are when I went from 4 pills a day down to 3. I had to hang out there for a long while. Now that I am down past the 3 it doesn't seem as horrendous! I have no clue why! but I sure am greatful!

Wishing you all the luck, prayers and blessings!!!

Hugs


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by chatoyant, Jul 30, 2012
TRIED TO MAKE THIS AS SHORT AS I COULD, BUT NOT EASY. I'm sorry it is so long and rambling, but I would really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and can offer some ideas or advice. Thank you in advance!

My self-prescribed daily dosage is anywhere from 6 to 25 depending on how many I have and how many I think I need to get "that feeling" I first got with 1, yes 1, 50mg Tramadol several years ago. My daily average is probably about 15. I first tried Tramadol about 5 years ago and was *amazed* at how it made me feel all snuggly and comfortable and able to wile away the day or night in a peaceful little cloud. I probably used it a total of 10 times over two year period. We're talking 1 pill every 2 months or so. It was like a little treat I gave myself (sick I know). I pretty much forgot all about it until about three years ago when I found out how easy it was to order online when I placed an order for Fioricet (for migraines to take on rare occasions). I decide to take 1 Tramadol every morning before work. Brilliant idea!! Sure it make me more talkative and animated, but also made my brain a little foggy at the same time. It blew my mind though that this essentially over-the-counter pill could cause such rolling waves of pleasure (only way I can describe it) for hours on end. It really didn't even kick in completely until the afternoon. I know that sounds bizarre, but I swear that's how it affected me. There was an incident where I hurt my back and was prescribed Percocets and while I took them for a few days to relieve the pain I let the rest sit in my medicine cabinet for months. They did *nothing* pleasurable for me the way Tramadol did! Same with a  bottle of Oxycodone cough syrup. Sure it made me feel better and suppressed my cough, but that's about it. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it's the truth! How does a drug like Tramadol have such a strong effect on me? I just don't get it......

The situation progress rapidly 2 years ago. I lost the job I had for 18 years (nothing to do with my 1-a-day Tramadol thing). It was expected and we all knew (at the company) what was coming, but it still threw me for a loop emotionally. I allowed this and some other negative things happening in my life to become an excuse to really up my Tramadol use. I figured if 1 made me feel that good well 6 or 8 would be much better! Other than stopping twice for two months at a time I have been taking this stuff in excess for two years now. *Very* heavily since this past November. It has gotten to where I really can take 25 and not even get that feeling I'm craving. That's why I *know* I must stop. Now.

Aside from making me feel so great (but not really anymore) it has allowed me to sit idle for two years. Like a slug. I haven't gotten a job although I *always* worked before that, pretty much sit in the house and watch the days and nights roll by (as long as I have my Tramadol!), and have withdrawn much more from social activities (was never very outgoing to begin with). I have allowed it to make me reclusive and happy to stay that way. Not good!

The turning points for me right now are my daily intake is WAY TOO HIGH for comfort, I NEED to actually get out there and find a job and I have an actual mini-vacation planned for two weeks from now. My first in over two years. I want to be normal and happy and my old self on this trip. Not a Tramadol dependent half-zombie. This trip is important for a number of reasons and I'm using as a push to stop this insanity.

I ran thru my "online" prescriptions so fast these last couple of times that I have to wait until Thursday for more to come in. I've taken to staggering my orders between two pharmacies and even that isn't enough! Part of me wants to cancel the order I have coming in, but the other part of me thinks I'd be an idiot to do that and should wean off instead.

I do also realize if I *really* wanted to I could find a third place to order from. I don't want to. I want this to end. I really, really do so I'm sitting tight until Thursday.

SO.....

I took 25 Fri., 20 Sat., 8 yesterday and only 3 so far today. I have 9 pills left until Thursday..... I know from doing this before I can get by uncomfortably with just a few a day, but I have also never stopped after having my dosage up so high! The physical discomfort is beginning already. The tingling, chills, sweating and electrical-like charges in my body and head. Oh and the sneezing! I know I'll wake up around 5am with body and legs wiggling all over, but I can DEAL with all of that. It is the psychological part that scares me...... It is the knowing I have to stop and get back to feeling like a "normal" person again. Getting my life back on track!! Wondering if I've damaged my brain irreparably! I have no-one to talk to about this because NOBODY knows about it and the one person I know well who has abused every illegal substance under the sun thinks Tramadol is the equivalent of aspirin (and maybe it is, but it effects me differently). I broached the subject with him once and mentioned the withdraw thing and he just didn't believe that was possible with such a benign substance. So my support system is non-existent (other than posting here).

My main questions are should I accept the order and then use a logically planned taper to completely get off these things? I even made a deal with myself that getting down to just 1 every morning (like I used to do) would be acceptable. I just want to get off this merry-go-round and stop relying on these things. It is sickening to me at this point.

What would be a good taper plan for me? I know I will experience the physical discomforts for several days, but I can deal with that.

Would taking an SSRI like Citalopram help? I have access to a friends if I need them. I'm asking this because I *now* understand Tramadol has SNRI properties and that might be the worst of it for me. Since it was never about the pain relief thing for me maybe it has been an antidepressant effects all along??

Is there anyway I can do this and feel clean and free and clear for two go away in tow weeks or does that seem totally unrealistic?

I *do* take Ambien (whole other ball of wax) every night and that will help me sleep, but the wiggling overrides even the Ambien. I would like to eventually get off the Ambien completely too. I also have access to if Xanax if will help me get off the Tramadol, but of course I don't want to start up another whole problem.

Any advice or suggestions would REALLY be appreciated! I want to do this right and end the nightmare once and for all! I never in my life thought I'd find myself dependent on a pile of pills.

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by serenenow, Jul 31, 2012
chatoyant...to answer your question...I was on them for 6 years.  Went through the whole internet thing, wondering if I should get the next order, should I wean off or just not pick up the order and get the withdrawals over with...should I risk overdosing and killing myself with another order?  I knew I just couldn't wean off.  I tried and tried but the addiction and the drug had such a hold on me I couldn't think rationally.  Much less listen to what my body was trying to tell me.  It came down to where I'd gotten so tired of being a slave to this drug and wanted me and my life back.  I've been on and off it for kidney stones and other surgeries and today if I have to be on something for severe pain, I'd much rather take my chances on anything else but Tramadol.  

I finally got off this drug and I've felt GREAT.  But I'm facing another kidney stone surgery, accept this time I did not allow the hospital to send me home with anything for pain.  I'm taking over the counter motrin which seems to be working so far and my confidence has brought much gratitude in the fact that I didn't have to surcomb to another pain prescription.  If I have to have another surgery, I will be kept in the hospital while on the meds and be taken off before leaving.

In my opinion, Tramadol is like no other narcotic with the manner in which it effects the central nervous system.  I hope and pray it's declared a narcotic soon but I have concern when it becomes no longer available online due to the magnitude of others addicted who may be cut off cold turkey and are not ready.  The consequences to them and to society could be monumental.  

My point is...for your own well being, get off them ASAP.  Once they have a strong hold there's no telling how long you may find yourself a prisoner to this drug...if you live through it.

Hugs,

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by chatoyant, Jul 31, 2012
Thank you for replying.serenenow. I want to wish you the best on your upcoming kidney stone surgery. You are doing the right thing with the motrin.

Where you said here:

"Went through the whole internet thing, wondering if I should get the next order, should I wean off or just not pick up the order and get the withdrawals over with...should I risk overdosing and killing myself with another order?  I knew I just couldn't wean off.  I tried and tried but the addiction and the drug had such a hold on me I couldn't think rationally.  Much less listen to what my body was trying to tell me.  It came down to where I'd gotten so tired of being a slave to this drug and wanted me and my life back."

Is what has me convinced I must cancel the order and just get this over with. Just emailed the company. I am only fooling myself with the weaning thing. It is an excuse (for me not everyone) and the sooner it is out of my system completely the better.

Even after just a couple of days of taking so much *less* I already feel clearer in my mind and more positive about life in general. As if the blinders have been taken off and the fog is lifting. I know I'm going to have to deal with the two years that have flown by, but I'll do it. Thankfully no major damage has been done at all (other than what I did to my mind and body with this crap).

I too wish it would be declared a narcotic and not so readily available, but also agree that it will be devastating to all of those abusing or addicted to this stuff. It is insane when I realize I became addicted to something I stumbled across on the internet.

I took 2 this morning and have 7 left. I will take 1 more tonight and spread the other 6 out over the next few days. The end. Just deal with the discomfort. Hope and pray I'll feel pretty good for my vacation and use that as a stepping stone towards a much clearer future. Do have access to xanax if feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or panic. I think I will take 10mg Citalopram just to help balance out the SSRI/SNRI thing for a couple of weeks. I know is a very weak dosage, but don't want to replace one thing with yet another. Want to let my brain ease back into doing what it should be doing on its own.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my saga and I will keep checking here and reading others updates. At least there are some people out there who understand what this is all about.

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by serenenow, Jul 31, 2012
chatoyant...one thing to remember...try not to have too many expectations on how you should be feeling once you stop the drug completely.  Take it one day at a time and just do what you need to do to keep food and water in your body to help get it back on track with nutrients.  Your emotional state of mind will need some time to heal as well as we do become emotionally dependent on the drug.  I'm glad to hear you have made that choice to cancel the order.  Losing 2 years is much better than losing 6 years of your life, or the worst case scenario, the loss of your life altogether.  The first few days after stopping this drug may be rough but don't give in to the temptation to go back onto the drug.  It does get better!  

I will check in periodically to see how you are.  I'm just waiting on the docs to call me with a surgery date.  I saw the Urologist today and I will be having surgery.  The stone is nearly 5mm.  The pain is increasing and I do know I won't be able to handle much more pain so I'm praying for a speedy surgery and recovery.  

Hugs,

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by Nomoretrams, Jul 31, 2012
I am so happy that I found a thread where people are dealing with the same thing as I am! I have kidney disease and kidney stones and that is why I was initially put on tramadol. I never imagined that 5 years later I would be addicted to them! I have 4 wonderful children and an awesome husband! I have dealt with family members that have struggled with addiction with other pills and would never think for a moment that I could be worried about anything like that in my life!! I have a couple questions for any of you that may know what I am facing. First of all, I take 3/ 50mg pills a day. 1 in the morning 1 late afternoon and 1 at bedtime. Yesterday I cut my 5pm one in 1/2 and what I was thinking was going down a 1/2 a pill a week until I am finished. What I want to know is will that keep me from having wd symptoms!? I feel a little more tired than normal but other than that I think I'm ok. My stomach was also a little upset this morning. I need to get thru this with as little wd symptoms as possible. I have plenty left but don't want to even look at these pills much less keep taking them! CT would never work for me because I am a stay at home mom and can't be sick! What kills me is I never took these stupid pills to get high and taking them now they do nothing for me at all,  yet I can't just stop taking them! I am afraid of the depression that people get coming off them and also can't handle the restless legs that come when I fall asleep without taking one.  If someone could let me know what kind of weaning schedule i could use to get off these boogers all together I would greatly appreciate it! Seeing those of you who have cut them out of your life and are doing great gives me hope! Thank you for your support and advice! Best of luck to you all!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 01, 2012
Have withdrawn from tramadol a few times. Trying to taper but it is not going well. After going down for a few days if I do increase ( which happens regularly) I get a boost of euphoria- like tramadol is in the beginning. I am getting the picture that I might be fooling myself , thinking I can wean. I have a plan, write it out and have deviated three times now in the last 3 months.
A few things that really help during taper and/or c/t withdrawal
Hylands restless leg - can take 3-4 a night
Nyquil - the dextromethorphan  sits on 'some' of the opiate receptors and aides sleep.
The clonidine recommendation made above---  a great drug during withdrawals. It is an alpha blocker blood pressure medication. It helps with the anxiety and hot/cold symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Tramadol is used for intractable depression in some cases. It has an antidepressant molecule similar to effexor
an SNRI. Whereas opiates hit dopamine--- this drug hits a broad spectrum of brain neurotransmitters.

This is a tough drug to kick. I have terrible depression and anxiety after getting off of it. So much so I
get back on before I spontaneously combust.
The first time I went through withdrawal I was addicted to 4 a day. Took them all at once at about 2 pm every day.
The c/t w/d was terrible and lengthy.
Now I am doing 9-11 a day. 6-7 in the morning and 2-4 in the afternoon.
I am getting to the point where it takes me an hour and a half to really get going in the morning.
If I work early I can mobilize through it ( like walking through peanut butter)
But if I work later I just can't get much done before work.
I have appreciated reading and learning here. It helps me know two things. This can be done and I am not alone in this problem




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by Nomoretrams, Aug 01, 2012
Does anyone know of any natural remedies of helping with the restless legs and anxiety when trying to sleep? I am giving it 1 week between tapering down and at that time I am taking .25mg off each week! As this worked for anyone else? Also at what point is it good to just stop completely? 1/2 a pill a day? Thanks so much I would appreciate any help!!

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by serenenow, Aug 02, 2012
Having a stent put in today in preparation for surgery on Tuesday to have this kidney stone removed.  Not on Tramadol but did have to begin taking Percocet.  The pills are being monitored by my s/o and I'd much rather deal with that drug than the Tramadol.

Will provide more updates soon.

Hugs.

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 02, 2012
Good luck serenenow. You're in my prayers. Good for you to have someone monitor your Percocet.

Legaljunky, thank you for sharing your story about chronic Lyme. One of my big fears is having to deal with the aches & pains of chronic Lyme without tramadol but also curious to see where I am pain-wise after over a year of treatment and being so much better. I know I have permanent damage too but I want to take withdrawal out of the equation. Just missing one dose would cause withdrawal and certainly that doesn't help the immune system.

Hopingforbetter, how are you doing? I'm excited to be as far along as you are!

Nomore, Fullmetal above mentioned Hyland's Restless Leg. I've never tried it but will when I get to a low enough dose and/or when I make the jump to none. NyQuil was also mentioned. I'm tapering now. Down from eight 50 mg pills for two years to four now and I've been taking Klonapin to help with sleep. This has it's own high risk of addiction too so I'm now trying to use it sparingly.  Its helpful to know what else helps.  I'm also on the Catapres patch (not addictive) which has helped me with sleep (lowers blood pressure and used often for opiate withdrawal).  This has helped me the most.  I don't know if I could do this taper without it.  I also have Flexeril but haven't used it yet. At least I have it if I need it when I make the jump.  Benadryl can also aid with sleep.  I know some have used herbs Valerian or Kava Kava to help with anxiety/ restless leg.  Good luck to you and let me know what works for you.

My plan was to taper to 3 today but I'm listening to my body (advice of my Lyme Dr., DamTram and my husband whose seeing me struggle a bit (esp mood wise)), I think I'm going to stay at 4 for another week.

So happy this board exists!  I go to it every day to see if anyone has posted and to just know you all and others are out there going through what I'm going through. We can do this!!



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by dalzona, Aug 02, 2012
HI everyone!  I think I've been clean for over 30 days now, I haven't tracked my progress in days, but probably should!

Lets see - I'm dealing with some physical pain, to which I've been addressing with Meloxicam.  The pain is mostly in my back, and I will admit, the tram had it under control.  I've been keeping busy, exercising like crazy, i.e., walking the dogs, riding my bike, to help keep up my energy.  I'm finally where I feel like I have my energy back, and somewhat of a positive attitude.  I won't lie, there are days I'd love to pop a tram, but since I don't have any, and have come this far, it's not going to happen :)  I'm not sure going to CT was the way to go, but my choices were limited after the internet pharms quit taking AX, and I wasn't about to to beg my GP.  

The Viibryd is starting to have an effect, FINALLY, so no depression to report.  Depression was my #1 concern, there's nothing worse than hating yourself and life - especially since I have a 5 yr. old, whom I love more than life itself, and it's not his fault his mommy became an addict!  Yuck - that sounds terrible!  

Well, I'm off to ride my bike, then sit in the hot tub to loosen up my sore muscles.  To the person who mentioned Flexeril - be careful - I keep it on hand for a muscle relaxer, and it knocks me out - I have to cut it up in halves.  Helps though!

I hope everyone is having a great and rewarding week, and stay tough.  Tram is pretty powerful, but all of us are stronger than a drug :)

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by serenenow, Aug 03, 2012
Good to see all of you.  An amazing thing happened at the hospital yesterday.  I went in to have the stent put in, and when the doctor began that procedure, he noticed that the stone, which was supposed to be too big to pass, was gone!  Not sure exactly when it came out but it came out sometime in the previous 12 hours.  I'm just grateful that I don't have to go through 5 days of hell with the stent in then another surgery!  Have already begun cutting back on the percocet. (Going down to 2 today.) Will be flushing them tomorrow.

Funny thing though, the doc offered me Tramadol and I know I looked at him as if I had a third eye or another head growing out of my shoulders!  I told him the Percocet is fine, I have someone who is managing it for me.  Much rather take chances on the Percocet than the Tramadol.  Never again will I take Tramadol.  

Anything that we can do that doesn't involve narcotics to help our body is best.  I was informed that Kentucky has officially made Tramadol a narcotic.  Not sure if I'd already mentioned that in previous threads.  It's just a matter of time before other states follow.

Stay strong!

Hugs,


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by StephC28, Aug 03, 2012
Hey All....I was on this forum back when I quit in January 2011. I went from 12-16 pills a day to 8 for a week to 0. It pretty much sucked, as all of you well know. I don't want to discourage anyone, but for me, and with WD it's always a case-by-case scenario, it took almost a year to be "back to myself" (whatever that means - for me to feel integrated in my life again I guess). However, the physical symptoms were much better after two weeks and MUCH better after a month. I came back here today to tell you all a few things that really helped me when I was going through WD.

1. KNOW (really know) that you can CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS. This is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal. When you want to take a pill, take a deep breath, remember the reasons you quit, and put a different mantra in your mind. So instead of, "ugh I feel like #$%#$% and a pill would be so great," try to think, "i'm getting off these for X reason. YES! I CAN DO THIS."

2. Cultivate, in whatever way inspires you, an awe of life. Respect it. When you think about the large (LARGE) picture (which tramadol whittles away at day after day until all you see is a pile of pills to be counted), it's pretty incredibly that life even exists. What really helped me, and again, it's an individual process, was actually watching documentaries on space, the cosmos, and life on earth. It reminds me to get out of my little world and remember how vast and incredible the universe is. Pretty cool stuff. Once you respect life, it becomes harder to put pills into your body that directly damage it (harder, but not impossible! :) We all have our battles, yes?)

3. Physical pain is no joke. Be good to yourself. But also remember that placebos are so powerful that people do not know they are on a placebo! This means that we have the capacity to "trick" our brains. Change your thoughts. Focus on the positive.

I'm cutting and pasting something I posted when I was in WD, which actually is someone else's info :) But I think it's useful and I've seen a lot of questions in this tread that maybe this info will answer:

The Thomas Recipe for detoxing from opiates can be found by searching for it in Google. Lots of really good suggestions in there that many of us have used some or most of. Especially the vitamins and amino acids (in my opinion). All this type of stuff can be found at a pharmacy or health food store (like Whole Foods).

I found the following list on this forum back in 2008 (from Fireman) and found his suggestions to be useful (as he says, he’s not a doctor, this is just his experience. I thought the B-12 tabs were a life-saver (along with a spoonful of honey for energy). Never took GABA or Saint Johns Wart (personal preference):

“First and for most, if you can take off work for 3 days.
-Do not just stay in bed or sit inside and mope all day. Set your alarm for 8am and force yourself out of bed. Get out of the house and take a walk. Do things that take your mind off of the withdraw.
-The fallowing vitamins and food will be posted in Morning, Afternoon and Night.
-Morning
.Eat a light breakfast, preferably a Banana (it will help increase GABA levels in your brain) and wash that down with some pomegranate juice. POM juice is brain food.
.Daily Multi Vitamin
.l-theanine (increases brain serotonin, dopamine, GABA levels) in layman's terms it increases happy feelings in your brain. dose: 100mg
.Sub-Lingual B-12(gives you a lot of much needed energy) dose: 1,000mcg
.B-Complex Sustained release (helps maintain energy throughout the day) dose: B-100
.Saint Johns Wart (promotes a positive mood) dose: 300mg
.GABA sub lingual tabs (increases GABA levels in your brain) these help with anxiety and depression. dose: 125mg
.Vitamin D-3 (helps support a positive mood) D-3 is absorbed through UV rays from the sun. If anyone ever wondered why they feel down and out in the winter time, its because your not getting out side enough to absorb the UV rays from the sun. Also if you can go tanning twice a week. Tanning beds will give you tremendous amounts of D-3. I went tanning on my second day off of Tramadol and came out feeling a lot better.
-Afternoon
. Eat a healthy lunch and drink a little bit of caffeine. (coke or some tea)
.Sub-Lingual B-12
.Saint Johns Wart
.l-theanine
-Night
.Pig out on whatever you want. Eat a lot, a full belly makes you tired =)
.Saint Johns Wart
.GABA sub-lingual tab
.Vitamin D-3
. 30 min. before bed or while watching TV in bed drink 1 to 2 cups of calming, relaxing or any other herbal tea that is marketed to produce a good nights sleep.
.50mg of diphenhydramine 15min. before you want to go to bed. (helps you fall asleep)”

Again, these are just other people’s suggestions—you have to find out what works for you. This forum is priceless in terms of both information and support. Ask questions and post your stories. There will always be someone who can relate to you, and whom you may be supporting without knowing it.

So that's my 2cents today. I hope it helps someone out there struggling. I know how crappy this time is, but also how cleansing it is once you're on the other side.

One last note: to those tapering: GO SLOW. VERY SLOW. I saw someone who was going to try 2/day for 2 weeks, then 1 for a week, then half, then done. I advise even slower if you don't want any WD. I forget who, but back 3 years ago we had someone do a really slow successful wd on here. May be worth going back over old posts to get her formula? Wish I could remember her name...

Love to all Tram Warriors.

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by Nomoretrams, Aug 03, 2012
Serenenow: I have had kidney surgeries (5) and stents put in because my ureters are really small and once they break up the stones I can't even pass the pieces of stone. The stent is really uncomfortable so I am so happy for you that you passed it on your own! I think that is awesome that you knew it was best to have your husband hold on to your percs! I can't wait until I am done weaning off this medicine and it it out of my system for good! I can't believe how much I feel just for every .25 I go down! I just need to know that this will get better and I will live my life tram free! Does anyone know if tramadol causes weight gain or makes it hard to lose weight? I have been pretty small my whole life until tramadol and when I started taking it I gained weight and can't seem to lose it! Thanks again for everyone's stories and support!!
T

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 06, 2012
Steph,
Your post really helped... especially about keeping a positive attitude. I can't say I'm being totally successful, but I'm trying. Unfortunately my husband gets the brunt of it. :/. It also helps to hear that eventually when I make the jump and stay home I shouldn't just mope around the house. I pictured myself going from couch/TV to hot bath and back for like a week straight (oh and whining and feeling sorry for myself while doing it! ;) ).  I do need to slow down my taper and I'm coming to terms with how long this process will actually take. I certainly didn't get here overnight. Thanks Steph for all of the tips and inspiration through your success!

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by serenenow, Aug 07, 2012
I had weight gain and weight loss while on the Tramadol.  After I got off it, I "pigged out" on anything I could get my hands on but I think it was mainly due to my body needing the right nutrients, at first.  Then it became an "emotional eating" type thing.  I'm working on cutting my food amount and the type I'm eating, down a little bit each day.  I craved carbs and chocolate like crazy when I first stopped the Tramadol.  I've shared over and over in these forums how I tried several times to mentally prepare myself for the "weaning down" process but it just never worked.  The drug had such a hold on me that when I would decrease my daily amounts, my anxiety and fear of getting off the drug would grab hold and I would either not continue the weaning down or I would increase the daily amount.  I would find a reason, any reason to justify it.  I had to finally just "rip off the band-aid" and deal with it.  For me, I knew in doing that, it would be the only way I'd get back off them.  The progression had gotten to that point for me.  I couldn't afford to get all of the items in the "Thomas Recipe."  

Today I take a Super B complex vitamin supplement and a multi vitamin supplement.  I try to get out and exercise, so that my body feels better and my mind isn't stewing on all the mistakes I'd made in during my time on the Tramadol.  

If you stop taking them, just keep telling yourself that the withdrawals are only for a short time that they WILL pass, that you KNOW there is a better way of life, freedom from active addiction from this drug just around the corner.  Thousands of others have gotten through it so it is possible for you to get through it as well.  

Hang in there,

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 07, 2012
Serene, sorry if you've already said this in a previous post - how much were you taking and for how long when you quit CT?  I wish I could do that and just get it over with.  I fantasize about it constantly.  The withdrawal is just too unbearable for me, the worst being the pain, that I've actually spent my time in withdrawal when I tried CT thinking about the concept of euthanasia. I don't mean to sound dramatic or scare anyone, but its that horrible for me. Could be my nervous system and pain threshold are just so changed by Lyme, I don't know.

Serene, how many days were you in acute withdrawal?

Tapering isnt a cakewalk but I think it's what my body is telling me to do.  I want to be done before Christmas which seems so far away. I originally thought I could do it in 4-6 weeks at the most.  If I wasn't working full time, I could maybe do it quicker but I have to work.

I started seeing my acupuncturist for withdrawal. It's helping me and reminding me that there are other ways, including lifestyle management, to deal with pain.

I believe I will gain weight once I'm off this medicine and I need to. Though I had lost weight from Lyme, I kept it off with this medication I think.  I try to juice raw veggies, esp green leafy, and make raw green smoothies to get the nutrients my body needs right now. Lately though I've been feeling not so great in the mornings from the taper and don't feel like bothering.

Serene, I know the feelings of stewing in past mistakes. Try to be kind to yourself, like you would to someone else who recognizes they may not have made some great decisions in the past but are now. You are only human and we are all on this journey together, learning as we go. You are on the right path and should cut yourself a break, pat yourself on the back. Its great you are exercising.  Thanks for being here.



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by StephC28, Aug 07, 2012
Movebeyondthis - do you stagger your pills throughout the night? When tapering it's really important to keep the same amount of medication in your body at all times. I'm only asking because you say you don't feel great in the morning, and this could be why (if you take your last pill at say 8, and then get up at 7, you're without the drug for 11 hours and wd has already begun). Instead, try taking a dose in the middle of the night. If possible, you want a strict time schedule - say every 4-8 hours, depending on how much you're taking. You can drop a pill a week when you're in the high range (8-20/day) but once you get to about 8 you want to slow down to 1/2 every week to 10 days. It's individual - so do what works for you. When you get down to 2 then I suggest 1/4. It's really not about how much you're taking with WD. Rather, it's about length of time you've been on the drug. And Lymes certainly complicates it. Be good to yourself! If you tell me how long you've been on the medication and how many you're taking per day, I would be happy to suggest a taper schedule. Again, I'm not a doctor - just gone through wd myself and been reading this forum for years :)
PS. The acupuncture is a great idea!!!

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 07, 2012
Steph - I hadn't thought about taking one in the middle of the night. I do wake up in withdrawal so I set my alarm earlier than I need to get up in the morning (7am), take the only two pill dose I'm still on and try to fall back asleep or wait until withdrawal is gone.  But if I started taking one in the night I could eliminate the worst withdrawal and finally get to a place where I'm not taking two at a time. I took my last dose at 7 this evening so I'll set my alarm for 3am. Normally I go to bed earlier than this but just woke up from a long nap. It was one of those days. Thanks for the advice. I'd like to send you a message to get your take on my taper from here on out. Thanks!

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by serenenow, Aug 08, 2012
movebeyondthis...I was on it for over 6 years.   I was taking, at times, up to 20 or more per day, just depending on different things.  I use to fantasize about getting off and at times I just could not handle the withdrawals.  But it came time for me mentally and spiritually that I just could not handle living this way any longer.  I prepared myself for the withdrawals.  I cut down doses before just getting off.  I'd gotten down to 12 per day for a bit then 8 for a couple of days, then none at all.  The withdrawals were horrible every time I tried to stop.  But for some reason that last time I was ready.  I was done.  I wanted my life back.  I knew it wouldn't be but a short time before it would be over.  Day 3 seem to be the worst day for me.  I had the "buzzing" and "brain zap" feelings, restlessness, insomnia, diarreah, vomiting, sneezing but mentally I kept myself positive.  I told myself it was just physical sickness, it would pass.  Mentally I wanted to just go get another script, because I still had access to them but I knew I'd be signing my own death warrant if I did. I had grown so tired of being dependent on another drug, physically, mentally, spiritually.  

I was in acute withdrawal for approxamitely 3-4 days.  After day 3 I felt as if I'd "gotten over the hump."  I knew it was still going to take more time to feel more like myself but around day 7 I knew I'd gotten through the worst of it.  Tapering just did not work for me.  I'd end up just not doing the tapering and talking myself into waiting until after the school semester or when I could take off work or some stupid reason to put it off quite honestly.  Then when I actually had the time to do it I would justify why I couldn't start doing it or if I had started, why I couldn't continue doing it.  I'd seen doctors for help and they basically wanted to just "rip off the band-aid" and stop me at a certain point.  For me, it was the progression of the disease of addiction that had taken me to the end.  By the time I had reached my end with it, I knew if I didn't just stop, I was going to end up killing myself over it.  The cycle wasn't going to stop until I stopped it.  I thought my body was trying to tell me to taper as well, but honestly it was my head because I wasn't ready to just get it over with.  

Coming to this forum and getting honest about what was going on with me really helped.  Others in this forum got honest with me as well about the tapering.   They could see I wasn't going to be able to do it that way.  We've all been through this.  I'm not sure if I know of anyone who has successfully tapered off and stayed off them.  If it works for you great.  I just know that I could not do it myself.

It seems to me you are already rationalizing your tapering process by setting a limit to being off by Christmas, or maybe doing it sooner.  Just be aware of how capable we can become into rationalizing ourselves into just staying on them.

I hope the acupucture helps with your pain.  Physical pain can be horrible but the emotional pain can cause more physical pain then what we are actually experiencing.  I don't know your medical issues but I think it's great you are trying to find other alternatives to aleviating that pain.

Thank you for your kind words and for reminding me that I'm human as are others.  We are here to help eachother :)

Hugs,

Serenenow

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by StephC28, Aug 08, 2012
movebeyondthis - Happy to have you message me if you'd like. Also, I hear what serenenow is saying - that was the case for me too - but I HAVE seen people do successful tapers. It just depends where your head is. And with Lymes I think it's extra complicated. Do what's best for you! :)

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by goatfarmer, Aug 09, 2012
When does mood stabilize?
I am down to 1 a day divided into 4 doses this is day two of a 1/2 pill cut back. Since I was taking 8-10 a day this is really good for me but This is taking TOO LONG!!!! but.... for the health of my wee one (pregnancy) I have to do a slow taper says doc. He said I could stay on it no problem as long as I was under 3 per day but I am using the opportunity to wean off this stupid pill I love and hate so much!

I honestly feel bipolar!!! I never felt bipolar my whole life until now! I have fits of rage, anger, irritibility, anxiety, then it swings! WTH!!! I hate myself right now! I mean seriously LOATHE who I am right now! Its fits of rage feelings normal? I mean like I have feelings/thoughts of throwing my dog out the window for barking (doesn't help she has been up all night barking and it keeps me up but still? stupid things like that set me off. I had so much more patience before!! Yesterday I yelled at my poor kids about every little thing! Then went to bed crying because I was so bitc*y to them! Poor kids! This is NOT ME! The guilt is eating me alive. Guilt I got in this mess, guilt I have to wean off while pg, guilt I am not being a nice person to hubby or kids, guilt that I don't have energy to get everything done I need to get done, guilt about past things, guilt I have been on this med for YEARS when chiropractor,physical therapy and massage could have probably helped but I got tired of all the appointments! Taking a pill was easier at the time!

Anyone go on effexor? I can't stand the depression/ anxiety anymore!!!!! I have precious children at home that need a sane mama! I was on effexor about 16 years ago and it worked WONDERS! But again going off it was hell but still better then this and if it makes me a better person then.....
I have heard of wellbutrin but I think that causes anxiety and since I am already having that.

someone please help I feel like w/d are turning me into a mental case! Even though I have been doing is SO slowly! over months and months! I felt like I had it all together, got stuff done, was cheerful and patient and now I am opposite! Don't want to do a damn thing, just wollow! and be bipolar!

HELP!!! tell me this goes away. Seriously thinking about a phsyciatrist because of my severe mood swings!
It honestly scares the hell out of me that I may be dealing with these mood issues for a long while according to what I have read here!
I even got rid of everything I loved doing recently (my milking goats, pigs, chickens, garden, homesteading type lifestyle)  during this process because the workload was too much I just couldn't cope with it all anymore.

Thanks for being here and listening! I know there is no easy answer but it helps to know others have been there.


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by dalzona, Aug 09, 2012
After 30 days of being clean, I don't crave a tram every second of the day.  I believe the antidepressant has also kicked in full force, so I'm feeling much better and have more energy.  Brain zaps are gone (thank God, those are the worse), but my digestive system is still trying to get back to normal.  

Hope everyone is having a great week, and those that are going through WDs, believe me, they don't last forever and there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  You just have to want it bad enough, and I did - I was tired of counting pills, anxiously waiting to get a tracking #, so I knew my pills were on their way -  it just sucked to live like that.  I can't go back to living like that.

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by dalzona, Aug 09, 2012
Goatfarmer - if it's safe during pregnancy (and I don't know), I would consider an antidepressant, and I say this because - why put yourself through yourself through more hell.  I've been on Viibryd (a new one on the market) for a month, and am feeling so much better, even more so than when I was taking Wellbutrin (for smoking cessation).  I don't remember having more anxiety while taking Wellbutrin though, having been anxious for most of my life :)

You will feel better!  I promise, it's a process, just like everything else in life.  You're almost there!

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by mrmeaty, Aug 09, 2012
Just wanted to give some hope to those trying to get off Ultram.  I took the drug for 11 years up to 16-20 a day.  As we know the withdrawals are terrible.  I started a very slow taper over the last year.  I took my last one August 1st,  I took 1/2 pill for the last 2 weeks.  I feel totally fine!  No withdrawals, I am sleeping great,  the only negative is I am tired during the day.  I have been released from 11 years of hell.  I truly believe tapering is the best way for success.  I know in my heart if I were withdrawing I would have gone right back on the drug.  Also,  I had the support from my wife which I never had before because I kept it from her for 10 years.  It made a huge difference in tapering.  I literally owe her my life.  I just wanted to share a successful tapering experience.  Good luck

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by mrmeaty, Aug 09, 2012
I also wanted to mention that I found a doctor that I could be 100% honest with.  This also made a huge difference.  For those who want to know how I tapered over the year I went down 2 pills every month until I got down to 6 a day.  It took me a long time to get over the hump of 6 a day because I was still getting high.  From 6 a day I tapered 1 pill a month until i got down to 2 pills.  From there i tapered a half pill every 2 weeks until I was finished.  Let me reiterate I had no withdrawals.  Believe me I have tried before going CT and spent a month in withdrawal misery and was told by a doctor it could take a year to feel normal again.  The very slow taper eliminated all of the misery!

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by Nomoretrams, Aug 09, 2012
Mrmeaty and stephc28:
I am now down to 2 1/2 a day! I take one in the morning 1/2 late afternoon and 1 at night. So which one works better?coming down 1/2 a pill every week or 2 weeks? I am so happy to hear a good tapering story and that you feel good! I am definitely determined and cold turkey for me would never work!! So my question is does this seem like the right schedule!?
Serenenow: your words are so helpful and supportive for everyone! Thank you!!
T

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by goatfarmer, Aug 10, 2012
Mrmeaty and Steph, dalzona,

You guys are so helpful thank you!
As soon as baby is out its A/D for me! I am not messing around because the depression is what caused me to go back on it after my previous successful quite. If I take an a/d then I won't be as tempted to go back on it because you can't take a/d with tramadol anyway. :)

So I had only 1 bad bad day after my last taper. It really wasn't bad physical w/d side just a few sneezes, leg stretching, PAIN!!!!!! and  the mood crap! Right now I am doing ok I am on day 3.
It seems to have gotten easier though after I got down to 2. Going from 4 down was HELL!! and I had to do it over like 2 months!!! but after I got to 2 it seemed to not have such a grip on me with physical w/d just the mental! I wasn't getting that "pick me up" feeling anymore. that took me quite a while to get used to!

I find the w/d are MUCH lessened when I cut back but do 4 doses. When I try to go to 2 or 3 doses a day its HELL! So keeping a small amount in my system has been the best solution for me. Seems to keep things a little more even.
Right now I am day 3 of my 1/2 pill cut back and take 1/4, 1/4, 1/4, and 1/4. That way I don't get that "high" from taking a full pill and it keeps me more level. Still w/d? you bet but not near as bad and I finally got over the phsycological wanting that buzz feeling when taking a full pill.

Nomoretrams: do what works best for you but if it were me I would take my dose 4 x a day that way you lessen the w/d and you also get rid of the psycological taking a full pill for the energy factor. I don't know.
When I was at 2 1/2 I did  1 pill am, 1/2, 1/2 and 1/2 every 4-5 hours. Then I went 1/2, 1/2, 1/2, and 1/2 and then now I am at the 1/4 4 x a day level. I do not get any sort of satisfaction taking them anymore no energy burst no excited when I take them feeling just the help with the w/d feelings.

I tapered a few years ago  (WHY DID I GO BACK ON IT?) ughhhhhh
and I didn't do it the same way and I had horrendous w/d even more so then now and I think the key was keeping small amounts in my body level at all times. Plus I take vistaril for anxiety now in the nights. It helps me sleep for about 4 hours so the more sleep you get the easier it is to cope with withdrawls in my opinion.

I am ALMOST there! 1 pill a day. I never thought I would make it this far! Now just deciding when to cut back again. Today is day 3 I think I will wait until day 6-7 and then cut back. how much I am not sure! I wonder if cutting back 1/2 pill again or do I cut back 1/4 that is the question. I guess it depends on how severe my w/d are. Doc wants me to do it as slowly as my body will allow to keep a safe place for baby. I am thinking 1/2 but we shall see how the next few days go!'

Like I said this tapering has made me feel bi polar. HMMM I wonder if being on this drug for so long can cause bi polar when discontinued? I never was bi polar before but  i sure feel it now!

Good luck to all those tapering and all those in the midst of w/d. My heart goes out to you and I sure do understand!!!

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by mrmeaty, Aug 10, 2012
Nomoretrams,

You need to start spacing out your doses more and eventually take them only once a day.  Cut out that 1/2 pill late afternoon dose.  Do that for 1 week then cut the morning pill down to a 1/2 for 2 weeks.  Stay on 1/2 pill in the morning 1 pill in the evening for 2 weeks.  Then eliminate the 1/2 pill in the morning and only take 1 pill in the evening.  Then just decrease by 1/2 pill at 2 week intervals and you'll be fine.  If your down to 2 1/2 a day its more mental than physical at this point.  I had it in my head that I was going to withdraw and dreaded the final day.  Once I realized I was fine it made a huge difference.  I have faith that you can do it!

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by goatfarmer, Aug 10, 2012
mrmeaty,
do you think its better once you get down to 1 a day just to jump off? I agree once I got down to 2 a day it is def. more mental for me then physical!!!! I value your opinion. I am on 1 a day divided into 4ths. so I take 1/4 pill 4 x a  day.

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by mrmeaty, Aug 11, 2012
Goatfarmer,
I think taking 1/4 is fine just try to eliminate some of the doses a little at a time.  It's probably smarter doing it by 1/4 for the mental aspect of it.  If it's working for you and your feeling good then stick with what works for you

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 11, 2012
How are you all cutting your pills into fourths? I'm on generic tramadol (white, oval).

I'm about to start cutting in half and I'm trying to find a pill cutter that will cut into fourths also.  Would most any work? The small size and oval shape of the pill makes it seem challenging to accurately cut into fourths.

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by goatfarmer, Aug 12, 2012
You can get a pill cutter at the pharmacy. The oval is a little more challenging. Mine are round. But I would just cut in half then cut the half again.
I do SO much better tapering when I have a small amount level in my system at all times instead of seperated by too many hours. Maybe its because i have been on it SO long! but I w/d after a missed hour dose!
I am on 1 pill divided into 1/4 4 x a day so now I need to decide what to do from here on out. I am thinking of cutting out another 1/2 becuase honestly the w/d don't seem that bad now that I am down to this level. Just the depression/anxious part adn mind set. I even thought of just getting rid of all of it but I don't really want to w/d at all because of what it could do to my body while pg. So I think my next jump will be 1/4 pill in two doses or even trying to cut those 1/4 into 1/2 and just keep up with my 4 x a day route. I don't know! :)
Once I hit under 2 the w/d have been much more manageable! going from 4-2 was HELL for me though and I did it SUPER slow.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 12, 2012
Been reading posts for a few hours. It is hard to know whether tapering vs c/t is best for me. I have trouble tapering because I have often gotten off track and gone back up again. However the c/t causes such intense anxiety and depression for me because of the extreme and sudden decrease in brain chemistry as well as narcotic withdrawal. Under c/ t conditions I think I set myself up for failure whereas the tapering isn't working either.
I do not want to go to treatment for this. I have only one person in my life who knows about my addiction. I have a plan for c/t w/d this week. I am going to the doc tomorrow. I have an injury and am hoping to get a very short script for vicodin.
I am going to the store today and getting nyquil, omeprazole, Tagamet and Immodium.
I have been taking 7 in am and 4 in late afternoon. I have been on this amount for 9 months.
Friday I took 6 in am and 1 and1/2 in pm
Sat I took 5 in am and 1 and 1/2 in pm
Sun ( today) I took 5 this morning
I plan on taking one tonight and then 1 tomorrow am to get out of the house to the MD appointment.
From my experience it takes 48 hours for the receptors to get really depleted. Tramadol has a very
long half life.
I have been taking a small dose of effexor while on tramadol
I plan on increasing the effexor starting Tuesday.
I have a prescription for cloNIdine ( an alpha blocking blood pressure medication)
This drug is used for opiate withdrawal. I am sooo glad I will have this available.
I have hylands restless leg
And tyrosine
I will use 1 or 2 vicodin a day 1 every 12 hours. ( before sleep attempt and in the morning)
Using the nyquil and the hylands before bed, too. Along with a hot hot bath.
I plan on hanging out here a lot over this next week, then on into my cleanliness....I am scared. I am so sad
that I am enslaved to this drug. I have loved it and hated it. Everything it has given me, energy, boosted mood,
has come at such a high price. These positives begin to wane over time, meanwhile I know in my heart i have this
addiction. This secret. Everything I accomplish while on it is tainted with with the wondering if I could have done
so well, worked so hard without the artificial driving from the drug. I never get to truly own anything, anymore.
I have to share all my self, my soul, my dreams tethered to this little white pill. The fears in the middle of the night
waking in sweat, haunt me. Will I have a seizure today? How is my liver handling this constant toxic level of drug?
I can feel my soul shrinking in the shadow of this secret.
I have my excuses, sure. They get more threadbare as the days turn into weeks and then into months.
I wish all of you success getting free...however you have chosen to break the bond of addiction.
I am inspired by those weaning, those in cold turkey and those free who come back and share about the
weeks and months after quitting.




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by mrmeaty, Aug 12, 2012
Fullmetal,

If your really serious about getting of the Ultram,  just deal with your injury without Vicodin.  Tylenol and ibuprofen taken together is very effective for pain.  I have been down that road of using oxy or vicodin to get off Ultram but it never works substituting one for the other.  Be strong and taper off.  Have someone close to you dispense your daily dose.  I know it's shameful being an addict but use those who are close to you as a crutch.  I know all of the feelings you are having.  I dealt with it for 11 years.  I told no one up to 6 months ago and probably wouldn't have if my wife didn't catch me with a pocket full of pills.  That was my turning point and it made me realize if you want to be free from this drug you have to be honsest with everyone including yourself.  I know tapering is difficult because it takes a bit of self control and let's face we are all addicts here and lack of self control is what caused this mess.  Good luck

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 12, 2012
Thanks mrmeaty. Love to hear the story of your choice for name here on the thread.
What happened when you used another narc to get off tramadol?
I was thinking ( there I go again) that I could use a very small amount of straight narcotic to deal
with the opiate part of the withdrawal because the SSRI component combined with the narc w/d
is so wicked. What if I used a half a vicodin a day just before bed?
Did it trigger your cravings?
I really want to be successful. I am not crazy about vicodin. It has no draw for me. Years ago I
had a bottle in the cupboard for 2 years and never found it tempting.
I'd like to hear about the pitfalls you found using it to withdraw.
Meanwhile I'll take some Tylenol and ibuprofen and wait for your response.
Thanks for reaching out.
Keep going, everyone

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by goatfarmer, Aug 13, 2012
What do you think my w/d will be like if I c/t off 1 pill a day (divided into 4 doses). I know its different for everyone I just want to get this over with but I have to be able to function as well! I have been on it for 9 years and then taken it several times before I got addicted! I was on 8-10 a day and started tapering in Jan!

I don't know why I am so scared and I am not sure if its mental or if its true w/d but at this dose which I have been on for 5 days now I feel like I have to take my pill at my regular time or I get anxious! I mean could getting down to 50 mg a day and jumping off be that big of a deal? :)
Not sure if I am phsyching myself up for if I really will w/d if I just go c/t. I have been withdrawing for MONTHS!!!!!! I am sick of it. Its a roller coaster! But.... for me it was the only way!
Today I was going to take 1/4, 1/4 and 1/4 so total would be 3/4 pill. but I am kinda tired of w/d for 4 days and then waiting 3 days and starting over kwim? If I wasn't pg I would jump off! Honestly except for mood the last few tapers haven't been too bad at 1/2 pill tapers.

I don't know what to do! Doc says just go by how you feel! I don't even know how I feel one minute to the other! LOL. One minute FINE then next full of anxious/agitated/anger feelings. UGH! Can't wait to be OFF this crap! :)

Can't wait to go on a SNRI after baby is born! I just know its what I need to keep me off this junk! I won't stay off it without it I know myself! :(

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 13, 2012
Farmer- you have limitations being pregnant for using other methods to cope with withdrawal. I know Prozac can be used safely in pregnancy and it probably would help you now to deal with the anxiety and depression getting off the tram. You could switch to effexor after you deliver. Just a thought.

I took 250mg Sunday am. After 26 hours I took 25 mg. I did this to soften rebound withdrawal that doing
the cold turkey approach. An MD told me to take it every other day to lessen the rebound. I will probably take 12.5 next and wait as long as possible before I do that. He even suggested taking 12.5 every other day for last dose. I will see. I have effexor 37.5 in this morning and am on Tylenol and ibuprofen. I did sleep last night. That after taking .4mg cloNIdine.
( that is a pretty big dose) I only have this week to be free. I work long hours as a rule and couldn't do this without time off. I have waves of depression. Hot and cold. Nausea. I have to get clean. I still have plenty of drug sitting around and I need to get rid of it.
I am kind of all over the place. Going to the MD now for my injury but not walking out of there with a script. Just an ok to take the rest of the week off work. Very focused on getting free. Have to. Too sick being addicted.
Keep going everyone...I am happy I have a place to read and write about this

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by mrmeaty, Aug 13, 2012
Fullmetal,

Mrmeaty was a short-lived show on Nicklodeon.  I thought the show was hilarious,  that's where the name came from.  I have 2 kids so I have a great excuse to still watch kids shows.  The problem for me is I enjoyed the high from the narcs way too much so I would never taper from the narcs properly and still be in the same position I was before.  Not to mention it's a lot more difficult to get narcs in large quantities.  Every doctor I spoke with suggested taking an antidepressant, ramping up the dose of the antidepressant while lowering the ultram dose.  I think your on the right track with the effexor.  I personally refused to take an antidepressant because i felt that it would be another hard drug to stop taking without withdrawing.  I am glad I took that course because my mood has been great and I'm in a very good state of mind these days.  The other reason you shouldn't substitute is because your an addict and you can easily get hooked on another narc.  It's just not a great idea.  So what if it takes a few more months or even 6 months to taper.  Taking 1 or 2 a day is way better for your body than 10-15 a day.  Just take it really really slow.  You ever realize the only time you truly think about quitting is when your close to running out of pills?  If you can fill a script and still stay on your regimented dose for tapering it's a really good sign that you'll be able to quit.

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by empress2754, Aug 13, 2012
Hello!  Just found this site with the info obtained from another site-I am so excited!  I am tapering off tramadol after detox from Benzo's earlier this month.  Only took 4-5 tabs /day but is has been difficult to taper off d/t WD symptoms.  Now down to 125mg/day and am cutting all pills in 1/2  How long should I stay on this dose?

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 13, 2012
Thanks mrmeaty I haven't heard of that show. Kid stuff is a universe unto itself. I have kids too but they are out of the nest, free and strong. That is how I want to be. I had about 120 pills of tram I just flushed. I have 3 left. Why? Not sure. Maybe I'll take a tiny chunk off one if I get hysterical. I don't know. It has been 9 hours now since that 25mg bump. I am going to tough it out tonight. And tomorrow. I left the MD without a script but did get some prednisone. I took one when I got home and it toned down that gnawing headache a bit. I went out of the house for a few quick errands and couldn't wait to get home. Energy is a problem. Legs are getting jumpy now that night is upon me. I was reading some of emilys post and she said that tram can cause neuropathy. I think that is what I have. Another, among the myriad reasons to stop. If I run into trouble during this withdrawal I am going to get help but not use tram anymore. Not THAT kind of help. I have a good support network, however- only one friend knows the whole story. That is enough. I have reasons for keeping this mostly to myself. My shrink knows I use it but only that I use it sometimes....he knows I am drawn to the antidepressant component so has started me on the effexor. I am glad you are making it without an AD, mr, I agree, they are a b*tch to get off of. Thankfully I take a tiny amount. 37.5mg of effexor is as low as it goes and that is what i take. I am happy about that.I am glad the taper worked so well for you. I am sure it is much easier on the depression anxiety piece, which is huge, but I fail every time I try to wean. I guess I am one of THOSE. I am glad you encouraged me to not get a script today. It is for the best. I feel better about it.    Stay strong all.....

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 14, 2012
goatfarmer, thanks for your response about a pill cutter. I found one I think will work for 1/4's. I can't wait until I'm where you are!  Way to go! It's a relief to know it gets easier when you're at your level. I recently went from 5 to 4. Hasn't been totally easy but I'm sticking it out and ok. I take one 50 mg tab 4 times a day. I set my phone for four alarms 6 hrs apart. The hardest is my 11pm to 5am. I got terrible withdrawal before my 5 am alarm went off last night yet two days before I went 8 hrs without even beginning withdrawal. Always so unpredictable! Once I stabilize at 4, which I think will be at the end of the week, I'm going to cut out a 1/2 a pill every 10 days, always having four doses until I get to four 1/4 doses like you. I'll have to see where I am at that point but my inclination would be to taper all the way down to one 1/4 dose but I'm utterly petrified to make the jump. I have felt C/T before from a high dose and I'm basically phobic to experience it again.  While the depression is there for me, it's the physical symptoms that are the worst for me and horrify me... unbearable pain and utterly insane restlessness/physical anxiety.  I'm not as scared now that I'm tapering slower and hearing it gets easier.  I know there will still be acute withdrawal when I make the jump but I think it will be so much more bearable.  It's a relief and I believe I will be successful... I want it so badly.  Thank you all for being here. It's been a life raft.

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by goatfarmer, Aug 14, 2012
fullmetalchemist.... stay strong! your doing great! I didn't know you could do effexor while tapering! What a great idea!
I think many of us like tram because of the norepinephrine part of it. The energy buzz and lift!
I have been on effexor before about 16-17 years ago and while it was HELL to w/d from but not if done slowly there is no craving! or increasing in huge amounts so I am going back on it in 10 weeks to be exact! If my doc will let me!

I took 3/4 yesterday from 1 pill a day dosage! No w/d but got SEVERELY depressed in the evening! I was ok most the day but omg its so weird how it comes and goes!!! WTH!
I mean one minute I am fine hunky dory the next minute I am in severe depressed misery! How weird is that!
I think part of it though is PAIN! which is what I started taking it for in the first place! like all of us! So pain makes me depressed too! My pain goes in spurts like the depression!

Today I am doing 3/4 a day again and tomorrow or the next day may jump again! EEKS why is that soooo stinkin' scary?! What a weany I have become! At this point I am not really even sure if its worth tapering lower might just jump I don't know. If i wasn't so scared! LOL.

Movebeyondthis: Stay strong you CAN do this. Believe me if I can do it you can too! I have been on this crap for ALOOOONG time! while I have taken since Jan to taper I am almost free! :) FREE!!!! :)
I think 1/2 pill every 10 day is a very reasonable thing to do. Thats what I did until I got below 2 then I am doing a more rapid taper! Now its all mind set to me!


Hugs to all going through w/d. This drug is utterly amazing coming off! never experienced anything like it!



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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 14, 2012
Move, and farmer- I so admire your resolve and ability to wean like you are doing. I couldn't stay on track with that. You are going to have very mild if any withdrawal, as mrmeaty said about his experience, he had none.

I am doing pretty well.
Took 250mg Sunday at 0900 ( yes, in a single dose)
25mg Monday at noon
12.5 mg Tuesday midnight.
These little widely spaced doses help counteract the rebound withdrawal symptoms, which has been soooo much better
than a straight c/t for me. I slept 2 1/2 hours last night. I took 4 hylands restless leg, nyquil and cloNIdine. 2 hot baths....and a partridge in a pear tree....... I feel good this am. I took the prednisone this morning , which I believe will really help with the body aches. No neuropathic pain in my wrists and hands last night. Totally from the tramadol!
I am so relieved it is going away. Then I took my little dose of effexor. I'll take another one this afternoon if I need it.
I read through my posts when I detoxed in Jan 2010. I wanted to review that as well as learn from it. That withdrawal was brutal. I can see I have learned so much that is helping me be successful this time. I understand the fear of going through this. It can be so overwhelming that success getting off starts fading into the distance because the crisis at hand in the throws of w/d kill it.
Ok.....more later....keep going! Thanks for being here, it means so much to be able to come here when I need support, guidance and strength to push through

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 14, 2012
Oh..and by the way. I read over and over as well as experience that withdrawal accentuates pain. Remember that you are not dealing with your real underlying pain. It is a rebound pain that will settle within a matter of days. The drug fools you into thinking you need it in this way. That is not true. Ride it out with ibuprofen and Tylenol and it WILL calm down. The pain that you are left with can be creatively faced - with good help - without an addiction attached to it. Restorative yoga does wonders for pain, but there are many other options as well

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by serenenow, Aug 14, 2012
Hello all...glad to see everyone here!  

It's also good to see those who have successfully tapered off of this drug. It gives hope to others.  I was one of those who could not do the slow taper.  Just wasn't working for me and it does depend on your state of mind when doing it.  I do hope all works out well for those of you attempting it.  mrmeaty, congrats on your new way of life...it does keep getting better without this evil pill in your body.  There's not a day that goes by that I'm not grateful for the freedom from it.  

Those of you who are going through withdrawals, please keep fighting.  The symptoms do calm down and eventually subside.  Just remember the freedom you are reaching for on the other side.  It is there waiting for you.

Hugs,

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by rainallday, Aug 14, 2012
Hello everyone, just quick checking in to say hello, It's been awhile!!
Good to see some of the great caring people still here!!
I'm still clean since Jan3rd 2011......cigarette free since april 6th 2011
I deal with any pain with aspirin or ibuprofen and thats it (knock on wood)
I ride bike to reduce stress and sometimes jog a couple miles...I still have many
problems, but I'm thankful I can face them drug free...
I still recommend any hypnosis you can download or pay to get, it will help re-wire your brain
to a healthier state of mind!!!!
Hang in there everyone and live a better life without tranadol!!!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 14, 2012
Thx rainallday!
I WANT that soooo badly. To be clean and free. I like it that you say you still have problems but are dealing with them drug free. Stuff STILL happens, all the time. My mind set of reaching into my purse and 'taking a few' .....needs to change NOW. Cause, who knows? Something really challenging could happen tomorrow and I want to be ready. I am at war with the idea that I need a little white pill in order to face life. I don't!  I need to be healthy, take care of myself, eat well, mind my conduct and be helpful to others. Take care of business. Pray. Listen intently, to both others and my own heart. I lost much of my inner integrity while using tramadol, but I am not going look at it negatively. I am getting free and what is out ahead is exciting! Just having a bad day and getting through it clean is really a great accomplishment.
I have been drug free all day today. I made myself go to an AA meeting. It was wonderful. Ever since then I have been able to do a few things around here. Read and learn. The body aches wax and wane, sneezes are frequent. Talked with some really good friends today, too. So glad I don't have to go to work til Saturday. If I don't feel ready by then, I've just decided to take the time I need. energy is low, that's for sure, and I am not optimistic about sleep tonight. But I know it will come one of these nights, anyway.  
I've been using massive amounts of fish oil along with vits C and B I was reading about aminos Glutamine and taurine and very well may get some tomorrow. Tonight I will take the clonidine , benadryl, magnesium and hope i can squeeze a few hours of sleep out of the deal.
Whether I do or not I can do this and know it takes a few days. No incredibly deep anxiety or depression today but I used a clonidine this afternoon when I felt anxious and an extra small dose effexor later in the day today, too. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have those options. That was my problem last withdraw. The waves of anxiety and depression were crushing for me. I know every one is different but I suffered so terribly. I was so frightened I would lose my mind, everything.
This drug is a b*tch . It digs it's claws deep. I am ripping free of it's grasp ( with soooo much help) I am relieved this will all be in the rear view mirror soon
Keep fighting free......get all the help you need....stay strong!
Emily- bless you. This post has made all the difference


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by serenenow, Aug 15, 2012
one day at a time fullmetalalchemist

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 15, 2012
Sleep was horrible! Nightmares when it did come....weird bizarre, frustration dreams where I felt like an idiot. In one I showed up at work in my pajamas. in another toddlers wore mullets that were wildly color dyed.. I took a 12.5 last night at 10p and it did nothing to stop the RLS. A bigger dose was out of the question so the tiny dosing out is over. It had been 24 hours since my previous 12.5mg. Doesn't fill many receptors at that point, I guess. My remaining 3 pills are flushed. That feels good. I have a few easy things planned today. thanks serene for the note. I'll do today. Let tomorrow take care of itself. I have been journalling much this week and exploring my fears and inadequacies that are drivers for my addiction. I was amazed at the honesty at the AA meeting. "are you done, yet?" "are you done....yes. I am. Whatever comes I'll have to reach for a mechanism to cope that indicates I care about myself and believe in myself. I also know I need all the help I can get. I think it is a good day. Even tho I feel pretty crappy. It is a good day.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 15, 2012
Just a quick note....medically tramadol is used off label FOR RLS. It is also used for depression that is not responding to antidepressants. Not by many psychiatrists, but they ARE out there. So....this lends some insight into the terrible RLS and depression anxiety in withdrawal doesn't it? Some docs out there KNOW about this drug. The layers of effects, which become side effects in the withdrawal. I found this interesting....and sad

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by empress2754, Aug 15, 2012
Sounds like you are ondoing it!  Congrats!!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 15, 2012
Uh oh....it is 930 pm and I am fearful of the nighttime RLS thing. Dread it. Going to take a hot bath and some hylands and try to accept that this sleeplessness, restlessness will run it's course. Who knows? If I relax a little bit about this...anything might happen! Been reading posts for several hours off and on today, along with reading a great book. Trying to be gentle in my thoughts. Sometimes I wonder how much I changed while on this stuff? I became much more introverted. Sensitive to noise and light. Annoyed easily. Verbally assertive. All the pills are gone, gone, gone. I took my last big dose Sunday am. Since then a few widely spaced 1/4 of 50's. Last one 24 hours ago, previous one 24 hours before that. This thread has so many inspiring stories. I think I read through all of 2010 so far. Amazing. Now wed eve. My first totally clean day.
Hard week. I am going to an AA meeting tomorrow. I wonder when I will have the energy to get back to yoga? I have these short bursts but they don't last and the total body fatigue is so heavy. Not hungry. Headache gnaws off and on all day. You all pretty much know the drill, don't you?
This is a fight. Just because I am a paranoid, fearful, tingly, sweaty, freezing, despairing mess off and on, moment to moment shifts....in the withdrawal universe where time goes...so....slow
I am going to wake up tomorrow ( if I sleep) with one more day away from tramadol addiction.....sounds nice
I am happy about that.....keep going! Much love!

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 15, 2012
Fullmetalchemist,  I am praying for you. You can do this!  I do know the drill and it IS moment to moment. May you be able to get some sleep tonight (or are asleep now!). If not, may you remind yourself this is temporary, even though time feels slow. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting bigger and brighter for you. I'm asking the universe to send you healing energy to help with your RLS.  Perhaps you can talk to your higher power with gratitude and ask for help? I think you will be heard.  Hang in there and be kind to yourself.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 15, 2012
Yup, Tram is a small serotonin releasing agent,  a stronger norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and then of course, the sporadic dopamine sites hit by the actual "point" of the drug, its mild mu-opiod effects for pain killing.  The energy thing is totally normal, and one of the things that is very tricky about this drug.   You get energy because:   A) Small serotonin release puts you in a good frame of mind,  B) The NRI effects how your body produces adrenaline--think of it as a bigger green light to ramp up, and C) You feel less panicked about it due to the dopergenic effects.

Its not something you can reliably count on more than a few weeks into a dosing schedule--- as your body gets used to it, and requires it to have that same amount of functional energy.   It has other properties as well,  NMDA agonism that may help prevent habituation, but as many here know--- that doesn't help if you're on a high, long dose, or are fast to metabolize it.  

Tramadol, chemically, is a very interesting drug for all it does--- However, I can't begin to describe how undesirable it is as a treatment method, especially for people who can metabolize it well.     You essentially have to withdraw from a moderate opiate, a strong NRI (like wellbutrin and strattera), and then an empathogen like MDMA.   Thats why, even with help of the antidepressant variety-- you can still get very very depressed off Tram---- Its not that its preventing the reuptake of serotonin, its that your body has become accustomed to letting tram trigger when it releases it.      

All that said, however,   Tram can be beaten.     Holistic treatments work,  mild prescriptive treatments (Like Clonidine, Xanax, Ambien), and even severe prescriptive treatments (Subs, Lyrica + Effexor, oxcarbazepine).  The most important factor in anything is time.

I'm all for symptomatic relief (hence my particular regiment), but to be free of Tram in the end, is the amount of time between your last dose and where you are.   Recovery is a different beast for everyone--- mile markers are different for everyone too.   I'd say that you'll see improvement on a sliding scale.... 7-10 days out, you're done with the acute WDs (opiate part),   15-30 days you see improvement coming off the NRI part of the drug.  30-90 days out is primarily getting your brain to release serotonin again at proper moments and times.

Thanks move beyond- for the incredible support and comfort. Your note means so much. Bless you
I found this (above) written by FOF late last year

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 15, 2012
One more thing- move beyond- I read a taper regiment that not only decreased doses but increased time between doses. For instance after you get to 1/2 every six hours and reasonably stabilize to begin taking them every 8 and 10 etc. You may already have this plan. It helps the receptors get used to the drug not showing up. I think it is smoother than dropping a dose and staying on the 6 hour schedule at that point. Those receptors can rebound and start clamoring ....just a thought and thanks again. I wrote a prayer today. First one in a year. It felt good. Bless you!!



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by katejg, Aug 16, 2012
hi , thanks for all your posts.. lots of good and helpful reading.

i have sat on 50mg capsule midday and 50mg capsule +50mg SR tab at approx 6pm.

the anxiety has pretty much gone, but I am a bit scared to take the next step.

Severe fatigue seems to be my worst withdrawal effect, did anyone else suffer this?


how long until energy comes back??

ta

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by katejg, Aug 16, 2012
ps, I should add, what I have reduced so far is 2 x 50mg tabs

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 16, 2012
Kate- do you take the 50mg short with the 50 mg SR both at 6pm? Can the SR be cut? I am not sure, you could ask a pharmacist if that changes the release factor. If it doesn't I would recommend cutting the SR in half and doing 25 mg 4 times a day in 6 hour pretty close to that schedule, doses. This change might take a bit to adjust to , but you want to get rid of the SR next. In my humble opinion. See what others say. The fatigue is related to the post I copied and
pasted, above. Lots of brain chemistry tryin to get reorganized. That is why a slow wean certainly is a more comfortable route, if you can stick to the schedule. ( I tried and tried....had to do a rapid taper to c/t)
Got to sleep at 445 am for 3 hours of very light stuff. But something. AARRRGGH! I am trying to be patient and gentle with myself, but angry about getting into this trap. Supposedly non addicting, my doc said. Once I started this stuff, I couldn't get off it! I'd go back on because I could not handle that l-o-n-g adjustment to the brain chemistry changes in c/t. And, try as I might, I couldn't do taper. Some dumb excuse, ( even knowing it's dumb didnt stop me from doing it...I just kept thinking I'd get 'back on track ' tomorrow---- tomorrow never came!)
I have had to work diligently with a very understanding psychiatrist to help me get the effexor and the clonidine to counteract the acute and post acute symptoms I experienced. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. This has been my journey, which has taken 2 years of trying and failing to put together with him.
Things are going very well....my pitfalls have been that raging anxiety and depression I experienced in acute and post acute times. Not that I like all the opiate w/d symptoms any better, but those, for me, haven't been the 'drivers' back to tramadol.
I wish everyone out there, lurkers and posters alike...a very blessed day!


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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 16, 2012
Kate- what I MEANT to say is take the cut in half 25 mg SR ( if the pharmacist says it can be cut and retain it's SR properties)  at 6 pm and take the 50mg short acting and cut them in half taking them at 6-12-6-12 or 8-2-8-2 or whatever but 6 hours apart 25mg. The next drop, I would suggest, after you adjust to this is taking the 25mg SR out and just doing the 25mg short acting every 6 hours. After you adjust to that, then take them every 8 hours, every 10 hours til you are down to once a day. You should be able to have a very reasonable wean and minimal withdrawal if you take this slow. That is my two cents.

I am sweating like a d*mn fool, today. I worry about returning to work and explaining THAT. oh the social insecurities are always just under the surface, no? Went to an AA meeting. It was wonderful, again. It really helps me to focus on recovery and getting clean in a positive way. This meeting is exceptionally 'functional' and healthy. AA is NOT necessarily a hotbed of mental health. Day is going ok. Going out to work in the garden a bit. Hope all you out there are finding your way through wean and withdraw. Healing and love

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by empress2754, Aug 16, 2012
Hello!  Just found this site with the info obtained from another site-I am so excited!  I am tapering off tramadol after detox from Benzo's earlier this month.  Only took 4-5 tabs /day but is has been difficult to taper off d/t WD symptoms.  Now down to 125mg/day-150mgh some days and am cutting all pills in 1/2  How long should I stay on this dose?

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 16, 2012
Ending day 2. Dread tonight, again. I seem to not be tired during the day, either, although my energy remains low. I worked in the yard awhile, rested and went back out for a little longer. It felt good to dig in the dirt. I would say the energy is a tad better than yesterday. I only took 37.5 of effexor today and that seemed to hold me. No extra dose this afternoon.
I really needed the clonidine mid afternoon, though. I have been needing it every day this week. It is soooo helpful.
I am cold. Have a jacket on. Earlier I was sweating like a fool. Just think what is going on inside my confused cells and systems. It feels like havoc in there. No appetite. I am making myself eat a few good things through out the day.
The pain is managed pretty well with ibuprofen. I do have prednisone short course and get to take it another 5 days. That is fortunate, I think. I believe it is helping. I go back to the doc tomorrow and am going to take the weekend off too. After that, I only work 2 days next week. Thank God! I think I can probably manage that and an ease back into working will be timely for next week. I feel crappy but am very very happy about getting off this horrible drug! I talked to both of my children today. They are in different parts of the country and doing so well. I felt so happy in my heart that I was drug free during those conversations. It made my heart feel light and free. Thank God. Be well all you brave and courageous warriors. This is hard. The alternative, of living a life enslaved, however, is much much harder.
Much love


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by katejg, Aug 16, 2012
Thanks Fullmetal,

it was very helpful info, I will try to cut the SR tab tonight. , the non sr is capsules so I can open and split the powder, I did that with cymbalta at the end of last year, one capsule lasted me up to 10 days by the end of the tapering, but it worked, kept the withdrawals at bay. I like your idea of reducing overall dose and keeping it steady over the day, makes sense.

the reason I have been keeping the high dose for night is I still get the original pain I was prescribed it for. I have been doing a pain management course though, and that is helping with living in a manner that allows me to remain active, but not experience so much pain. It is nerve pain so ibuprofen, tylenol, don't help, and I dont want to take anything else that effects my mind/drowsiness like anti epileptics or antidepressants

I'll keep you posted how I go. good luck for tonight

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by DamTram, Aug 16, 2012
Hey, Guys!  Such wonderful support and reclaiming of lives in here.  Wanted to remind everyone that we are not, legally, allowed to give taper advice on MedHelp.  Just part of the deal, with having this invaluable place to share and encourage.  Sadly, if anything happened to someone who had received taper advice from someone not a doc on here, the advisor can be held accountable.  I know this may be especially frustrating, since many of us are here because of the negligence or ignorance of doctors, or been told that we're crazy because of withdrawal from a "non-addictive" aid for pain by the same doctors.  But, we can only say what worked for us.  

Fight on, fighters!  Life is so great, 8 months out and on 40mg of Prozac that I probably needed for a long, long time.  I still crave opiates, but never tramadol, and only when physical or psychic pain seem unbearable.  I walk 6 miles each day, have lost 20 pounds, sleep at night, and have positive interpersonal relationships.  None of these things were true on, between, or even before tramadol.  Thank goodness for tramadol recovery - another chance at life.  Applause to all of you who are off, trying to get off, supporting others who are on and off, and for sharing your stories and thoughts.  I'm so excited for every one of you - cheers to the undying, aka tramadol recovery. <3

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 17, 2012
Thanks, mad tram. I see your point. I am a prescriber. It is easy for me to post that and feel confident about it but no one knows I have decades of medical experience. It sets a potentially dangerous precedent. I took the posts out. They should be gone, today. Thanks.

I slept 5 hours last night, happy to report. Nyquil was my friend. I've been avoiding sugar this week of w/d as I craved it sooo much while on the tram but last night, in the throes of sleep attempt hours I broke down and had some sweets. Maybe that helped, too.

I think I needed this effexor for many years, also. Part of the tram that made it compelling for me.
Sweaty night.....thank god I got better sleep. The fear of not sleeping was starting to get in my way.
My eyes were clearer somehow this morning. That tramadol glassiness is gone. Veil lifted. Nice.
I was talking with a doc friend of mine, telling her about the multiple components within the tramadol
substance.......she listened, looked at me and said.   "that's evil"
Emily talks about the suicidal ideation and others have had hallucinations. This is very serious stuff.
I have struggled for 2 years to get off of it. thank god things came together this week and I chose
to take this opportunity to withdraw.
I feel a little more energy today. The information and sharing on this post has been so helpful to me.
I have spent hours going through posts from previous years. I love seeing posts
from warriors who return after many months to years clean to check in and update. Support and encourage.
Well,off to the day. Feel fragile.....but very grateful I am free and working this poison out of my body.
Keep going everyone....much love




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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 17, 2012
ARRRGH! Mid day 3. Exhausted! Only word for it. Limbs like useless appendages. Eyes itchy, sneezy and ears sore. Not hungry. Cold. (last time I did c/t it was 20 below on day three) so....things could be worse. Depressed, too! Did I mention anxious? Anxious....
On a positive note it appears I am losing much less hair these days. I wondered whether that was from the poison.
Got the weekend off...so thankful. I can see I'll need it.
Time goes so  s-l-o-w. I do feel basically, at my core ( is that my soul peeking out?) better about myself. I had this task, getting off of tramadol, in the back of my mind throughout the day, everyday, for months. Being through withdraw before
I KNEW I would not be able to avoid it. Well...I tried with the weaning but the fortitude wasn't showIn' up.
It is a perfect day. I noticed the wispy feathered clouds against the robins egg blue of the sky...precious.
Fight on

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by goatfarmer, Aug 17, 2012
Day 3 and 4 is always the worst for me. Hang in the Fullmetal once you hit day 5 it will be diffferent!
ANXIETY OH BOY I relate! I am tapering and I still have unbearable anxiety at times! And muscle TENSING!
Those are my only main symptoms anymore now that my dose is so low. Depression/SEVERE anxiety, muscle tensing like crazy like I can't relax and thats about it!

Keep up the good work

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 17, 2012
Thx farmer! You've been through this before...I don't know what I would do without the clonidine. How do you cope with the anxiety? The effexor helps a lot too. I am trying to sleep now. Had wool socks on for the evening. It's august!  Hope you have a restful night.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 18, 2012
Katejg- how is your wean going? What types of pain management strategies for the nerve pain? I imagine they have suggested or you have tried cymbalta and/or neurontin. Nerve pain is so different than musculoskeltal pain. It is tougher reaching it systemically, too. Some specific yoga might help, too. I am curious what is appealing to you to try. We have some yoga teachers I work with ( I am one, too, amount other things) who are physical therapists and yoga teachers. They have an understanding of pain management strategies with the postures and breathing that I greatly admire and frequently resource.

Day 4- slept better last night. Funny how busy my mind is racing from topic to topic...flitting between dread and hope. My body is very cold. That being said, sweating buckets at night. Sheets in laundry as I write. Dirty sweat. Toxin soaked.
Been drinking about 6 oz pomegranate juice daily. Taking it easy today. Reading a great book. I get a lot of superficial good feelings about myself in staying busy...being productive. Here I am feeling leaden. The couches gravitational pull is overwhelmingly strong. I have found myself, at times these past few days thinking about all the mistakes I have made in life. I have always been heartened by the story of the monk who was asked to sum up his life, to which he replied "one mistake after another"  me too , me too. Humbled. But hopeful. What does it mean to be human? How realistic is it to think that I would have effortless insight and development when it has never been true, for anyone that these things come without great pain, discomfort, work? So...this work I have in front of me now is learning to be with myself without a blanket...a buffer....between both myself and myself...as well as myself and the world. I have very much to be grateful for. My closest friends 27 year old beautiful daughter broke her neck July 4. She is quadriplegic. I get to help with her recovery which I cherish. She is a great teacher. Every step I take, everything I can pick up, laundry, dishes - are things she has taught me not to take for granted, anymore.
Fight on brave warriors....much much love

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by dalzona, Aug 18, 2012
On July 4th, I took my last tramadol.  Today is July 18th, and I feel great!  Energy is back, and the cravings for a tram have subsided.  The first week nearly killed me, but so many days later, and I feel normal, again.  Maybe the anti-depressant has had some impact on my emotional being, but at least I can enjoy daily activities again.  I wake up happy and go to bed happy and content.  We're leaving for vacation tomorrow, and am looking forward to spending time with my 5 yr. old and husband, as well as our good friends who are joining us.

I'm sending positive thoughts to those who are in WD - there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel :)  

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by goatfarmer, Aug 18, 2012
OMG the UNBEARABLE depression!!!! This *****!!!!
I took extra 1/4th I cant handle this SEVERE depression!
I have no clue how I am going to do this! :( I was doing ok the last few days at my new dose but the torturous lack of energy and severe depression set in today. i wanted to taper today too! Not a go!

Anxiety/depression swings are simply unbearable!
Taking vistaril at night for sleep but I was up for 4 hours last night. This morning woke up feeling dread and doom.

I have NO clue how you guys cold turkey this crap! I am weak! Maybe because I have been on this crap for nearly 9 years but its got a grip like no other in me.

After baby its EFFEXOR all the way!! My doc wasn't comfortable subscribing it. 8 more weeks of this depression! WOW! Every day seems like an eternity when you feel this rotten.

I can't even see light at the end of the tunnel right now.

Full metal hang in there! I feel for you deeply! I am surprised you are still in full w/d with the effexor. That scares me that effexor might not work that great for me. I was on it YEARS ago but I can't really remember how I felt. I know i felt better but tramadol makes me feel SOOOO much better!

Please say a prayer for me today :) I will do the same for all of you!

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by goatfarmer, Aug 18, 2012
Dalzona,
just read your post! Thank you so much I needed that! I just feel like I will never be normal. Can I ask you what your dosage was and how long you were on this stuff? Did you taper or c/t?

what a/d are you on now! I don't see how anyone could go without some sort of a/d after getting off this stuff. :(

Anyway Congrats to you. I can't wait to be where you are. I have been on 3/4 pill a day divided into 3 doses but took extra today because of the severe depression. I am not sure how to taper anymore. even thinking of cutting out a dose and going 12 hours without makes me full of anxiety.

Anyone have IRRATIONAL anxiety coming off this? almost paranoid? its so wild!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 18, 2012
Farmer- you are doing a great job. Withdrawal even in tapering is not linear. Good and bad days just like c/t. I could not handle the depression and anxiety during withdrawal from tramadol. That is why I relapsed 3 times. The opiate w/d has that terrible doomed anxious component- then mix in the SNRI w/d that has the same terrible doomed anxious component-- BOTH jangling and let's face it....it felt like my head was on fire. The only way I could calm it down, it seemed was relapse. However, I talked with my psychiatrist we laid out a plan and  i have the effexor now as well as clonidine. Clonindine is an alpha blocking blood pressure medication that specifically targets parts of the parasympathetic nervous system. The part that gets all haywire when opiates leave the receptors....and don't come back. It is commonly used to greatly ease any opiate withdrawal from heroin, Oxys, whatever.
Your MD sounds pretty cool. Do you feel you could just ask that person for some more help? Many drugs are safe in pregnancy. I would love to see you find a bit more peace in this process. You are growing a baby for gods sakes. That is a big job. Of course you are struggling. A several year habit on this drug is a big task to wean from. Physiologically you are already doing a really big task.
Today is a hard day for you. I am hoping things are better, now. You have done a great thing weaning all these months for your baby. ( and yourself) I hope you feel good about that.
I needed extra help with medications to ease withdrawal. I admire your adherence to the wean. Good work, mama!
Getting off this drug is very difficult but incredibly freeing.......keep going!    Much love

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by dalzona, Aug 18, 2012
I meant today is August 18th, and my last tram was July 4th.  It's been over 30 days!!!

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by dalzona, Aug 18, 2012
Goatfarmer - I've been taking tram for 4 years, buying over the internet, and roughly taking 8 pills a day.  Sometimes I would take more, but then I'd get a severe migraine, so I really had to watch what I took.  After the internet pharms quit accepting credit cards, I had no choice but to go cold turkey - I would never give out our bank info.  I had 3-4 very rough days, and began the healing phase.  It's been roughly 6 weeks, and I feel normal again.  

I did ask for xanax to take the edge off, and it helped immensly.  It's really the first 4 days that had me at my knees, pure hell.  I was ready to jump out of my skin, irrational, and had all the WD symptoms.  

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.  If I can do this, anyone can.  You will feel so much better when this drug doesn't have you within it's grip!

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by katejg, Aug 18, 2012
hi all,

loved reading your posts Dalzona, great to hear better things are ahead.

Thanks for your thoughts Fullmetal, and yep nerve pain is a bugger, I did try cymbalta, but I went really loopy on it, could not tell reality from fiction. I am very sensitive to anykind of drugs, tried amitryptilline , norspan, codeine, zoloft, paracetamol, antiinflammatories

now all i am taking is the tramadol, I do exercises, physio, yogo, all in all my pain has settled a lot from working with the pain clinic, but that nerve pain just wont give up!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 19, 2012
Good morning!
8 hours sleep. Sheets dry this morning. Wow. No headache. Energy not scraping the sky or anything but my arms feel normal weight today, instead of lead ( alchemy of withdrawal?) personally I didn't make it on wean trials nor did I make it c/t without clonidine and effexor. Tried and tried. This combination is very helpful for me.
Don't give up! Keep seeking help! I had to identify the parts of withdrawal that were mutilating my success. for me it was the anxiety and depression. I tried to ride them out and for me, anyway they went on for weeks after my last dose. Many people don't have this experience, but I did. There was just a point where, no matter what, I just needed to shut the anxiety and depression down and 1 little tram, after several weeks off this poison, caused me to feel 'at peace' .
I take a much higher dose of clonidine than is typically prescribed. Well 2-3 times the amount. It is a safe dose, however.
Then the tiny dose of effexor. 37.5mg. Really has made all the difference in the world for me this week. I hated being a slave to this pill. I hated how I felt without it. It really was like hell. I am soooo grateful I got some sleep and feel better today. 5 days free! Fight on!

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 19, 2012
Way to go fullmetalchemist!  You are doing it!! Keep going. I'm so glad you are feeling so much better today. I recommend you reward yourself in some way you are able. Buy a book, your favorite food, take a walk, do gentle yoga... anything you want as a pat on the back to yourself.  I know it's a journey but you've reached a milestone. You are an inspiration. Congratulations!!!!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 19, 2012
Hi all....thanks movebeyond. Your note meant much to me today. Not many ( only one) person knows about my week except you people so it is great to hear some positives about this very demanding withdraw. I felt sad a lot today. kind of bored, restless. Read and ran around a bit. Back to work tomorrow. Probably be a good thing for me and although I am scared to do it, I believe it will go just fine. I get out of my head because I have to focus and this will help time pass faster. I wrote a list of things related to tram that I am free of. Spending on it, waiting for fed ex, counting, worrying, night sweats, terror in the night about long term health issues, being found out, knowing I am secretly an addict, being manicy. I got a call on friday from the woman who manages my 'account' at the online pharmacy. I told her I wouldn't be needing tramadol, anymore as I have moved to ibuprofen and it is working fine. "please take me off your call list" ....felt good to say. I really feel lucky to be alive. Could have lost so much more than the time I have dedicated to this illness. This addiction. Sometimes I feel a bit short of breath. I think it is part of withdrawal. Continue to feel like I want to isolate and be introverted. I am ok with all of this....it takes time. I read posts every day a little or a lot. It helps. Have a great plan for socializing this evening, though. Hope you all are finding your way. I feel so good about doing this. Reading helps me keep my expectations realistic. Little victories are a key for my outlook. Another day without a tether to those little white pills.
Stay strong warriors....much love

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by DamTram, Aug 20, 2012
At least one, if not more, Internet pharmacies still continue to call me every. Single. Day.  One day last October, I didn't hang up on or yell at them.  That's when I relapsed.  Now I always answer and say the follong: Leave me alone, Drug Lords. Then they hang up on me. I spent months trying to get off call lists, and even contacted the FCC (they didn't care).  Just be ready.

Congrats on Day 5!  You are now in recovery.

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 20, 2012
I feel pretty pathetic after hearing many of you go C/T that I'm having anxiety about going from 4 pills to 3 1/2.  It's mostly my mind but then I had a day this past Friday evening when my pain was so bad even after taking my 4th & final dose of the day, I took a fifth.  I couldnt figure it out except that I had so much food in my stomach before and after taking the pill, it might have taken a long time to dissolve and absorb into my bloodstream.  Anyway I do know that the pain is amplified by withdrawal but I also recognize much of the pain very well from Lyme, pre-tramadol.  I had stopped my antibiotics for a few months prior to this taper and backslided with my Lyme treatment.  All I could think about was getting off tramadol and my Lyme treatment has taken a back seat.  Anyway, I know I need & want to keep going.  I've been at 4 50mg pills for 12 days.  I'm trying to decide which pill to cut in half.  I work full-time, 10am - 8pm.  Right now I'm taking one each at 5am, 11am, 5pm and 11pm.  

I know we can't give out taper advice, but from anyone's experience, perhaps goatfarmers since you've been tapering, what did you do?  I should mention my job is really stressful and I sit in front of a computer all day and have a harder time getting comfortable than when I'm at home obviously.  I also have to stay in better spirits at work in front of my co-workers as we sit and work very closely with one another.  Maybe my 5am dose?  Lately when my alarm goes of to take it, I'm not in withdrawal. Then I have my 11am dose an hour after I've been at work. I don't even know how different a half dose feels than a full dose.

Farmer, I hope you're feeling better. I've definitely noticed the depression already and loss of energy.

Thanks everyone

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by serenenow, Aug 20, 2012
Hello all,

Good to see those of you who are working on a solution to getting off this pill from hell.  I agree with what damtram said about the giving of advice for tapering.  Sharing what worked for us is the ONLY thing we can do but what works for one may not work for another.  I'm still doing well.  It's been over 60 days since getting off the drug.  I feel good but I also attend NA meetings and have for many years.  The difference is that this time I actually reached out and asked for help rather than being the one everyone comes to for help.  I finally moved out of my mother's home, where the situation had went from bad to worse.  (Moved there due to the result of my unmanageability in life, lost my house, etc.)  Since getting off the drug, my attitude toward life has changed to where I feel like myself again, or a better version of me if you will.  Going back to college today and feeling much gratitude for not having to go to bed and wake up to this pill.  Day's 3 and 4 were hell for me as well but once I got through them I could see the "light at the end of the tunnel."  

Just keep doing it one day at a time.  It DOES and WILL get better.  I went back to the previous recovery forum and read some of my earlier posts.  The changes in my thinking and mood have changed dramatically for the better!  The obsession and compulsion of using that drug has left my life.  There are days were I will get an urge or remember the (what I thought was) a good feeling from the drug then I snap back out of it and remember the pure hell I went through as a result of that evil little white pill from the deepest place in hell!  Positive re-enforcements make all the difference.

Hang in there!

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by goatfarmer, Aug 20, 2012
Fullmetal,
what in inspiration you are although I don't envy the severe w/d you must be going through mine are bad enough just tapering. You go!!! Your doing so awesome! Keep it up its all worth it. So proud of you! Amazing!

Today is day 8 from my last taper! I caved two times and took an extra 1/4 a pill twice when the depression got severe! It only helped the severe depression for a couple hours though and was back to it so why even bother!

I am going to give myself until wed on this dose of 3/4 pill a day because I need my moods to stabilize a bit! I am terrified cutting out another dose! because I feel w/d feelings at 4 hours after my last dose so I can't imagine going 12 hours. Right now I am going 6 hours between doses.

This weekend was BAD I felt severe sadness, anguish, deep doom and gloom where I couldn't smile if you paid me! NO ENERGY whatsoever. Not even a cup of coffee helped! Then I remembered this is what led to all my relapses! I have to be able to function I have kids at home!
The weird thing about tram w/d is its so random. One minute I finally feel like maybe I am getting some energy back for a few days then BLAM its down in the dumbs and severe lack of motivation for another few days. then its panic/anxiety for another few days. Its so wild! Like someone said on here its sooooo random and unpredictable.

Movebeyond: You can do this! Hang in there!

What I did when I got down from 4 to 3 1/2 was cut out my second dose in half. So I would do 1 pill, 1/2 pill, 1 pill and, 1 pill. Then stay there for 7 days -10 days then do 1, 1/2, 1 and 1/2.  Then I did 1/2, 1/2, 1 and 1/2 and then the 1/2, 1/2, 1/2 and 1/2. I believe thats how it went for me. The reason why I kept my 3rd dose up was because thats when those low energy feelings swept over me the most so I needed the extra boost at that time.
Hang in there!

I wish I knew how to properly taper when you get this low at 3/4 pill a day. My doc says just do what gives you the most peace! WHAT PEACE?!!! LOL.
Sometimes I wonder if I am prolonging my agony since I am struggling with w/d anyway! But I know the severe depression/anxiety will get me bad if I just stop c/t the rest. Believe it or not I do feel those 1/4 tablets about 1/2 hour after I take them.

Oh what to do what to do.
Today I feel more level headed. I slept better last night then I have in days and that REALLY helps my mood a ton! It seems when I don't sleep well is when the hell depression/anxiety kick in.

I still can't believe how unpredictible this has been!~ what a ride!
All i know is I will relapse after baby comes if I don't get some sort of antidepressant like Effexor. I have actually been through this before! and the depression and anxiety always have me running back to this devil!

does anyone ever feel like they have bugs crawling on them? or I am I a weirdo? lol. sometimes I feel like my skin is aggitated! WILD!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 20, 2012
Hi all!
Farmer and move beyond ...thanks! I am actually very impressed you two are able to taper. The strength it takes to do that amazes me. I couldn't find it within myself to stick with the process. Keep going!
Over and over on this post the message is clearly given by all participants that withdrawal and tapering are not linear. There are days where it seems things are progressively improving and then a tough day shows up. Mentally this is always hard to manage. In our fragile state of letting go of tramadol.....it has been precisely the tramadol that was my answer TO a bad day. So....it feels extra , shall we say, unsettling, trying to cope.
What farmer and move beyond express, above...the lethargy, mood swings, tactile hallucinations (bugs crawling) are very serious and difficult withdrawal effects. Tramadol digs VERY deep. It is easy to see how often I just gave up and went back
when the anxiety was completely out of control. It got to be paranoia and distorted reality. Very serious stuff.
Please know what an amazing and difficult process you are in. Get help!
I have read testimony after testimony from heroin addicts who say they used tramadol to tide them over between fixes, got hooked and absolutely maintain that tramadol withdrawal is MUCH harder to bear than heroin. They talk about the anxiety, depression as otherworldly in comparison. I know for a fact that opiate withdrawal is completely not fun in and of itself.
That's why they innocently used the tramadol to avoid it. I don't want to sound overly dramatic but I do want to honor the difficulty, here. Some respect for the tribulations of withdrawal helps cope with them, for me, anyway.
I found that I needed extra help . The clonidine is soooo helpful and not hard to receive if you can ask for it. It has made a world of difference for me. As you can see, things have still been hard. But not unbearable. That is the key for me. It is not a personal weakness that this drug kicked my @ss. It is an @ss-kicking drug. Maybe not for everyone, but It has been for me. I've needed a lot of help. From my psychiatrist, on this forum and in my life to help me extricate myself from tram's clutches.
I believe in all of you. We can do this. Get help! Don't isolate!
6 days, today. Feel fragile but very happy. So happy. Going to work today, first time back. I am just planning on staying in the moment and trying to take it easy. Usually I do the work of two people. I think I need to look at that. Be kind to yourselves and strong. Much much love


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by maxtram, Aug 20, 2012
Hi all,
I had to check the internet for information about W/D duration from Tramadol because I have not stopped using them for the past year and a half. I am now into my fourth day and feeling a lot better utilizing as many tips that so many have shared. The old posts from 2008 and I have found comfort, perseverance and hope. They say misery loves company and their right in the respect that your not experiencing this alone.The VA prescribed them after still having pain with back, neck, etc... Probably went ahead a little too fast and stopped from 300 mg, to 200, to 100, to 75 in four consecutive days and then to none on Friday, so I am into my 4th day and feeling the worst is past and really have found this site to be helpful. I knew that if I did not take them I would have physical pain, but always had that off feeling when I was taking them for the past year and a half. I just hope that I can get some sleep tonight!
Keep on keeping on!


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by maxtram, Aug 21, 2012
Hi all,
Quick update as I am still on day 4 and will be going into day 5 at 3:00PM. Actually managed getting 6 hours of sleep from Ambien CR, but still tossing and turning, Serenenow good luck at school and make the best of it.I knew from earlier posts that this was not going to be an easy ride and read all the horror stories associated with tapering because I was have  slight withdraw symptoms from the day I went to 300 to 200 to 100, but going to 75 I said lets just end this thing. The expectations were set very high for a quick recovery and I followed a lot of the suggestions, but one thing I have is a positive outlook.I am 54 and Gulf War vet, so I am no spring chicken and have no compulsion to take any although I must have over 400 pills sitting not more than 40 feet from me. My major concern was how long will this last which led me to this particular site. Exercise, vitamins,water and then more water, shoving food down my throat even when I felt nauseous while praying and offering it all up to the Lord. One guy had said no pain, no gain and I knew it would be horrible, but still kept a positive outlook and still do.
I feel good today and am taking this hour by hour looking forward to day 6 (Oh how I envy you Fullmetal!) I am determined to lead a productive life free from all nasty substances and will continue to persevere.
Much gratitude to all who have posted and given me that much needed boost to JUST DO IT!

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by serenenow, Aug 21, 2012
Thanks maxtram for the well wishes regarding school.  All the rest please keep fighting one day at a time.  Freedom from all the "nasty substances" is just around the corner.  You've already begun taking steps to get your life back.  I've never been on heroin but I've heard others share about using tramadol to ease the withdrawals, just to become addicted themselves.  They've also shared that tram withdrawals were worse in some cases.  Crazy, crazy, crazy our government is for allowing this drug to be permitted in the U.S.  I still loathe the day I was ever prescribed them back in the 90's when not much was known about the drug.  

I too received alot of support from this forum.  Others here knew EXACTLY what I was experiencing physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Other opiate drugs did not compare to the hell I went through with Tramadol and other's around me did not understand the difference.  I'm not condoning any use of a narcotic.  Tramadol seem to affect me differently than all the rest.

Like maxtram said, JUST DO IT :)

Hugs,

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 21, 2012
Welcome maxtram! Glad your here! Way to go! 6 hours of sleep is a nice chunk of the stuff. I have certainly found that sleep makes withdrawal symptoms easier. How is your anxiety and depression? The 4 day taper was a good idea and even though jumping off from that makes for a hard 4 days in withdrawal, it still makes it better than a 'cold jump'. Hope your day is going well. Thank you for your service, maxtram. Brave and free. Well....you are being brave and are now free from the clutches of tramadol, too. Keep going!!!
Serene now- what are you studying? I am going to an AA meeting today. I'm trying to get to one at least twice a week and the fellowship and spiritual message are soooo comforting.
Day7! I made it through work last evening. Energy held through out my shift. Slept about 5 hours last night. Still using nyquil to sleep. Tried not to last night but it just wasn't coming without it. Sheesh. Don't want to be needing to use it. Should I just start going without and have a few rough nights or what?
Keep going, everyone. I sent a message to farmer and move beyond. Did you find them?
Much love, all. Thanks for being here!

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by maxtram, Aug 21, 2012
Hey all,
Hang in there FullMetal!
Just coming into Day 5 and have to say that I am feeling sooooo much better than those first couple of days. To answer your question about depression and anxiety, it is all attitude. I am so happy to be able to put this behind me and every moment has gotten progressively better. I could have chosen to feel guilty, remorseful, loser or whatever, but I knew from reading the posts as far back as 2008 that this should only be only a temporary period so I am optimistic and positive. Forcing myself to eat, exercise, clean, sunbathe, baths, vitamins and I am totally exhausted.
Saturday morning was my first day without any Tram and I took my daughters 1991 Cadillac Sedan Deville into this godawful stinky car wash and felt so nauseous and knew that HERE IT COMES! Go figure the rear corner panel becomes unhinged and a little guy asks me if the rear panel was like this. I said, "No?" and looked at him and he looked at me and said he would fix it Monday or Tuesday. I was in no mood Well I brought it in first thing this morning and gave the keys to this gal Linda and told her how much I appreciated it. Later she calls to tell me that the car is ready after my exercise regime, eating right,reading, music, being outside and praying.
She says, "You do not look like the same guy who dropped this off this morning." and said, " No, really!"
I said, "Better or worse" and she said "Much better!"
Now the point is that she saw a change in me and I had to check myself from doing anything rash and bit my tongue when I got the lousy news although this morning I was firm and told her that I would be back later. Everything I have done to get from CT to now has been the suggestions of the people from this site!
The best part is that they work and there is much gratitude and love to all who have contributed and shared their methodology on what works to what I thought was not even possible.
Get determined and take the time that you sorely deserve to make and create your own life and do the things you truly enjoy. Set aside a week and just use the suggestions that so many shared.
Many thanks and stay positive!


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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 22, 2012
Morning! 8 days! Sweaty night. Sleep stubborn in coming. Fairly low energy today. I go to work later so am taking it easy. I have always been such a 'driver' like my worth was wrapped in getting things done. The thing I want to 'get done' right now is to run like mad from the claws of tramadol. AND? I am getting this done. Day by day. Hope you are all well out there....stay strong! Much love

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 22, 2012
Happy Day 8 Fullmetal!  I hope being at work helped keep your mind off of your symptoms.

Farmer, thank you so much for sharing your taper schedule with me. I'm on day three at 3 1/2 pills, down by 1/2.  I had a rough first two days but feel sooo much better today. I had an awful, anxiety filled sweaty night last night and then woke up renewed. Last night I felt like I can't keep doing this and today I'm hopeful again. I'm excited to know I'm in the "three" range. I can't believe it. I know it will continue to be difficult as I step down but also just as wonderful.  How are you doing farmer?  You've been in my thoughts. I hope the depression is manageable.

Way to go maxtram and thanks for your encouragement!

We are all beating this!



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by RetroDad, Aug 23, 2012
I am totally in sympathy with all posting here, yet feel out of step.  Tramadol Rx'ed for me after bad motorcycle accident in 2000.  Quickly realized it was creating dependency even at prescribed dosage, but thinking Oxycontin or whatever as the evil alternative, and needing to sleep/work/concentrate made the tradeoff for no pain an easy one.  Then.  Pains continued to accrue, back surgery, old knee and shoulder injuries (rock climber) flared up, chronic pain syndrome diagnosed.  Dr. shifted me from the 50mg Tramadol tabs to 100mgSR of a China-made form called TramContin...not as I feared from a blend with Oxy Contin but shorthand for "continuous."  BUT, despite the package liner notes and a doctor's insistence, I found the "you can split the tab (they were heavily scored for this purpose) for a 50mg dose," to be an invitation to OVER dose.  When I complained of the symptoms to my doctors, the hospital director got involved asserting that I was an addict and convening a group session where 4 "professor" doctors "examined" me and decided I did NOT have serious pain and stated that they would never have prescribed Tramadol (or any other pain killer for me.)  I was stunned that professionals would behave this way, but...this is China.  STILL they continued to prescribe 2 boxes, 20 tabs of 100mg SR on each hospital visit.  I should note that I was able to get 100 tabs, 10 boxes of Tramadol 50mg, OTC with or without an Rx until the 2008 Olympics when China decided it had to appear to be in control of all Class 2 or abused meds.  From them on, a hospital visit and Dr. Consult, and Rx and dispensing only by a hospital pharmacy was the rule.  NOTE:  I never "abused" the drug, nor took more than prescribed.  For the Chronic pain that was finally  diagnosed, it was 2 X 100mg SR twice a day, 1 every 8 hours for break through or serious pain.  Never more than 3 in a 24 hour period.  And I don't do alcohol or any other drug unless prescribed and avoid those if possible.  I do have medical conditions that require some meds, Hasimoto's Thyroiditis and GERD...Also Type 2 Diabetes diagnosed shortly before my 74th birthday...a gift I could have done without, but thankfully controlled with diet and the little exercise pain permits.  Lot of words so far, sorry.  Point is a bad fall, sidewalk dive thanks to those cute little concrete posts they place to keep cars from mowing down pedestrians...high enough to stop anything but a determined SUV or truck, but low enough that you don't see them until you trip, especially in crowds of folks.  Re-damaged a twice broken right knee, serious trauma to the heel of both hands and wrists, right forearm and elbow.  Surgery as soon as I can afford it and find a trustworthy Ortho on the knee.  Bottomline, big uptick in pain.  But, determined NOT to be an abuser, I did not increase the Tramadol, and except for the usual doses of Tylenol/Paracetamol, I.E. 2 X 500mg every whatever...I only took them once a night, if sleep eluded me, or once during the day as needed to concentrate on my editing work, rarely two days in a row.  Grit and bear it?  But then, and I've read some posts that seem to indicate the same experience, the Da...uh Tramadol began to, it seemed not only exacerbate the pain but also stimulate withdrawal-type symptoms.  Damned if you take it, Damned if you don't?  No more the 100mgSR and a slow, gradual easing of worst of the pain to allow me to work/sleep.  Btw, I never experienced the "high" some have spoken of.  I've had Talwin, Percocet/Darvocet and others prescribed in the past for serious injury or post surgery, buzz, yes.  Addiction or dependency, no...dropped them when the pain was manageable and never looked back.  BUT, this stuff, is God awful!  I'm up now because, after a day of blank brains, muscle weakness and disorientation (not to mention emotionality, anger and depression with tears) I finally got my body to allow me to lie down (a .4mg Xanax, called Alprazolam here) seems to ...or seemed to, work.  Last night, I.E. 4 hours ago, I took the Xanax, went out for a walk with the dogs, came back, took a warm shower and slipped into my sloping (hiatal hernia, hereditary it seems) bed and after murmuring a healing prayer for myself and some suffering friends, drifted off to sleep.  Two hours lter, my body twitched awake, the jumping out of your skin or whatever that so many have spoken of here, pain from all the old familiar (and the new ones too) places, pulsing, restless leg etc et al.  Felt like screaming because nothing was helping, whirling my arms around, dancing in place, pushups leaning on the wall, hot and cold water...drinking and on the skin...NOTHING was helping.  Two hours or more later, some protein (cha dan, or tea eggs, hard boiled) and lots of water and the worst of the symptoms are easing.  Taper off?  Surely you jest.  The doctor suggested it, gave me a 16 day schedule, 50mg in the morning, 100SR tab in the evening, then 50/50 etc.  I got through the first day and the symptoms jumped instantly.  Daytime ragged, but night time, even after the 100SR, horrifying...up and down, couldn't lie still, sheets felt like cheese graters, heat and cold equally aggravating,   My God, what IS this stuff?  Bottom line to this impulsive posting is, two days ago I couldn't even figure out what part of the "taper" off I was on, so I just quit.  I wait until just before bedtime and take a Xanax.  If that doesn't drowse me out, after a couple hours I may take one more.  This is the first night that hasn't worked, even with the walkabout and shower.  How many of these Xanax (again, .4mg, smallest one, I guess) can I take/need it take?  I've seen posts elsewhere about detox, protein, L-glutamine or whatever supplements...that'll be my next effort...if I can get the items.  I guess I just wanted to add to the horror stories, and perhaps find someone with exactly my experience who's found a way through.  I'm not an addict.  That's not denial, it's simple fact.  Rx'ed med, taken as directed, even conservatively, never abused, not coupled with any other drug, like a Benzodiazepine until this Xanax was prescribed.  My heart aches for those who've felt driven to Internet or doctor shopping, and I'm grateful I've never done it...but it seems the result is the same.  I feel as though the fire burning through my body, nerves and brain is subsiding a little.  Maybe a shower and another Xanax (3rd in the last 8 hours) will get me some precious sleep.  Best wishes to all, may you find the courage and tactics to get clear of drugs and, if needed, a safe way to deal with the pain that led you to them.  Retrodad in China

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by chatoyant, Aug 23, 2012
I wrote a few weeks ago about my decision to get off this horrible stuff and get it out of my system once and for all. Although I did email the "pharmacy" to cancel my order back then they shipped it anyway of course! But that was three weeks ago and instead of zipping through 180 pills in a week I've stretched it this far and still have 6 pills left. I went very, very quickly from 20-24 per day down to 10, then 8, then 5 or 6 per day the week I was on vacation. When I got home this past Sunday I immediately dropped down to the the following:

Sun. 1am, 1 pm
Mon. 1am, 1/2pm
Tue. 1am, 1/2pm
Wed. 1am, 1/2pm
Thur. (today) 3/4am and planning only 1/4pm

Since Sunday I have been taking 5mg Citalopram during the day (thinking it will help ease the antidepressant withdrawal effects of the Tramadol), .5mg or 1mg Xanax in the evening to help with anxiety or when I start thinking too much about the time I've wasted and 7.5mg or 10mg Ambien to sleep. I use a good pill cutter to break all these things down. Tomorrow I plan to drop to 1/2am and 1/4pm. Then Sat. 1/2am and nothing pm. Then just use up the few I'll have left by taking 1/2am and 1/4am for the last few days. I think I'll continue with the 5mg Citalopram for another week and then stop that completely (don't want to get hooked on an antidepressant after all this too). I will go back to taking Xanax on rare occassions as needed like I've done for years, but never on a daily basis. I will also switch back to 5mg Ambien instead of this higher dose I've been taking. My goal is to be free and clear by next weekend or before.

I can honestly say I have not suffered *too* much dropping down so quickly. I had some sneezing fits and yesterday into today I've had some serious stomach issues (let's leave it at that). I do feel lethargic overall. Sweating even though I just took a shower. Nothing *debilitating* though. The worst thing has been having a clear mind back! I say this because I can no longer blind myself to how much time I've wasted.

I feel very proud that I have not succumbed to placing another order. A couple of days ago my mind was trying to trick itself into thinking it would be ok to place a small 30 pill order to wean more slowly. I even checked prices on the two sites I used to order from. Then I closed the browser and told myself I wasn't fooling anyone but myself and I lived a fine life before Tramadol and will do so again without this crap.

So I continue to plug along and subscribe to the idea that a quick wean is better than a slow one (at least for me). I accepted the fact that there *will* be some physical discomfort and some very real psychological discomfort, but IT WILL PASS. It WILL NOT last forever.

So continued luck to everyone else doing this or those just reading these messages and trying to decide what to do. Whether it be a long-term wean, quick wean or cold turkey. Whatever works for you, but do it! I am already thankful and grateful for being almost free from this demon pill.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 23, 2012
Welcome retrodad! You are almost done with those first terrible days! Keep going! It WILL get better. I am really glad you have the Xanax. Drinking lots of fluids helps, too. I don't know if you are experiencing that heavy lethargy, but if you are, that is a big part of the withdrawal, too. Tramadol is complex. Mu-opiod, also affecting 3 major neurotransmitters, hence the depression and anxiety. Certainly not everyone has every symptom but I can relate to your story of jumping out of bed and moving uncontrollably. Tramadol is used to treat restless leg syndrome in some patients. Soooo...it certainly causes it upon withdrawal. Glad you posted your story.
Chat- I like your plan. It will make the transition when you jump off softer because you are decreasing the amounts stored in your system in the half life of the drug. The rebound won't be as high. That was my therory, anyway and it seemed to hold true. It feels good to turn away from the jaws of this hell!
Move beyond- glad you woke refreshed and stabilized on this wean. You are doing this!
Hope your day is going well maxtram!
Day 9 was good. Used a Xanax last night and got better sleep. I only have 3 left. Didn't use the afternoon clonidine or effexor today because I didn't NEED them. Thank god this is getting better. Energy is better but not anything toward baseline yet. Functional, yes. And that is all I am asking. I cranked the music and worked in the garden today after spending a short time with some friends. I feel so much better about myself. I am so grateful I decided I couldn't do this anymore. stay strong, all! Much love

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by DamTram, Aug 23, 2012
Hey, retrodad!  Others with severe injuries and/or chronic pain have come through here, and many find that once they survive withdrawal, pain actually improves.  Others, however, have had to work with physicians for other, long-term solutions (voltaren patches, etc.).  It sounds like you are in great health, but I know your age range needs to worry about rises in blood pressure and stress on the heart.  I am not familiar with China's medical system, but if you become concerned with either of those things, I hope you can return to the emergency room.  As you've read, many use Xanax during withdrawal, but I'm sure alchemist can vouch for the fact the benzodiazepines are prescribed differently (smaller doses) for your age group. Maybe try an Internet search?  Although you ended up on this drug through prescription and never abused it, you are still an addict in the send that you are dependent upon it and have developed strong tolerance to it (abuse is not actually part of the definition of addiction).  Like many of us, you were duped, but once you recognize the resultant addiction, you will develop an anger so strong that you will no longer bend to this drug.  You are doing GREAT!

Chat - congratulations on closing that browser!  That's the second step toward recovery (thought turned in to action). I'm very excited for you to get your lif back!  If I were you, though, I would be MUCH more wary of taking Xanax or ambien "here and there", as they both prolong the passive coping mechanism of popping a pill for a fast-acting solution.  Anti-depressants, however, allow you to actually learn how to cope while improving seratonin-related issues that drive us to sedatives and sedative-hypnotics (anxiety and sleep).  They aren't for everyone, but fullmetal and I both acknowledge that our addiction to tramadol was related to long-term seratonin issues.  I am so thankful for getting on Prozac and starting to build a skill set and friend-network to cope with life stresses.  Because I have so many issues with chronic pain, sleep, and anxiety that have vastly improved with Prozac, I'm fine with the idea that I may need it for life...just like I will always need Synthroid for my hypothyroidism.  

Fullmetal, you're an inspiration!  So happy to read your success.

I hate tramadol.  That is all.

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by goatfarmer, Aug 24, 2012
Hello tram fighters,
Fullmetal just got your message sorry I haven't posted things have been very very busy getting kids ready for school. And wouldn't you know it 21 years of kids and none with severe injuries and 2 kids of mine last week broke bones. 1 football practice the other climbing on shelves (she's almost two). So we have been in and out of doctors, ortho's, hospitals not to mention my OB appt's etc.
So..... I am doing ok but TERRIFIED to make the next jump! I am on 3/4 pill a day. Why is this so hard to let go of the rest?
I take 1/4 pill 3 x a day. I was doing 4 x a day and when I jumped to 3 x it took a while for my body to adjust. Like a full 8 days. I feel somewhat adjusted now but I am ready to take another jump. EEKS! Last night I took benadryl to sleep instead of vistaril because my OB wants me only using vistaril a couple times a week. Well I didn't sleep much. Slept 3 hours, stayed awake 3 hours and slept 2 more hours. Its been about 8-10 days since my last taper why am I not sleeping!!!!!!

anyway I still want to wait for antidepressants until after baby. I just feel weird about adding that into my regimen of vistaril and tramadol.

Pain has been UNBEARABLE the last two days! I cry because of the pain. I feel ok emotionally except stressed but not severely depressed (been too busy) but the pain OMG!!!! I can't even describe it. Feels like my disks are crushed! My original reason for taking this was for this type of pain!

I wish I had the strength for this to be mind over matter but I feel like such a WEANY! But when you have been on as long as I have my body loves the stuff!

I am SOOOO incredibly proud of all of you! I am amazed and feel guilty I can't be where you are!
So tomorrow another taper day. Trying to figure out how to do it and how much to drop!

I honestly cannot believe how random these w/d symptoms have been. like I will be fine and then WAMO I get slammed with w/d symptoms even days later. So sooooo strange!

Sending you all the hugs and prayers I can and really am proud of you all!

Wish me luck pretty please! I want to be strong but am not!



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by chatoyant, Aug 24, 2012
DamTram, I hear you and am giving serious thought to the antidepressant vs. Ambien (nightly) & Xanax (occasionally) thing.

I *do* want to stop the Ambien without question. I am only masking the underlying issues instead of getting my mind right to begin with (you explained it much better than me).

I have been very resistant, but both my Dr. & (real) pharmacist suggested I give it a try and that's why I have this Citalopram prescription to begin with. I hesitated to take it because of the serotonin effects combined with the Tram. Of course I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone why....

Kind of insane I worried about mixing an antidepressant with the Tram, but had no problem taking 24 Trams in a day. Well that's over with now!!

In a couple of weeks I will go see my Dr. and talk about best antidepressant option for me. If I have accepted taking Ambien every night for like 6 years I should be able to seriously consider giving it up and getting on a proper antidepressant.

Thanks very much for the insight.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 24, 2012
Slow morning around here. In and out of the bathroom more than I like. Weary. I am not taking the Xanax any more. I tried it these last 2 nights and it seems to cause a hangover. I could see it might have been helpful in those first 3-4 days. Didn't have it then and quitting it now. Going out to get some B12 sublinguals and some immodium AD.
Chat- I used the effexor in very low dose while (trying ) to wean. I ended up doing a fast taper to c/t . I actually did 12.5 and then 24 hours later my last 12.5mg even in fast taper. I continue on the effexor. I take 37.5mg where the standard dose is 150-250mg . If I need an extra dose in the afternoon I do take another 37.5. So maxing at 75mg a day is holding me very well in the depression area. I think it helps with the anxiety, too.
So glad I have today and weekend off. I am so grateful to be off these d@mn pills. The energy drain is difficult and sometimes my mind goes to fear. "what if it doesn't come back?" what did it used to be like, before the artificial driving on the tram ? ( eventually becoming necessary to pop in order to get out of bed....slave...slave to these!!) there is usually a gift in all experience. I've mentioned how much I moved and 'got things done' . My productivity was a big part of what little esteem I had left. Course I was doing it all wearing the 'leg-irons' of tramadol. So here I am. Moving almost deliberately. There is a mindfulness in it that actually could be rather sweet if I can shut down my assessment tool in my frontal cortex that yells 'who will you be if you don't 'get things done?' well.....I'll be me. Forced to sit on the couch and be'with me'.
Maybe we will get better acquainted. I sure am proud of her. I respect her. She is becoming someone I want to hang out with more, anyway.
Fight on brave ones! Much love



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by DamTram, Aug 24, 2012
Chat - so glad to hear it.  I relapsed twice because I was too scared to get on an AD.  I never made it past 5 months.  Until now!  Now it's been almost 9.  There is a book called Say Goodnight to Insomnia by a Harvard sleep specialist that taught me how to sleep without an aid.  I read it during the insomnia of my last tramadol withdrawal.  I had to get over my desire to take something, lie down, and pass out.  It's surprising how empowering it is when you feel like you have control over your sleep, without aid of a fast-acting pill.  I definitely recommend the book!

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by chatoyant, Aug 24, 2012
DamTram,

"I had to get over my desire to take something, lie down, and pass out."

You couldn't have described it more perfectly.

I don't think I ever had a true insomnia problem to begin with. Due to a bunch of craziness going on around me (work, personal relationship, etc.) I started waking up several times a night. Don't know if it was a temp. situation or was going to be long-term, but I mentioned it to my Dr. during a regular exam and was immediately prescribed the magical Ambien! Of course that quickly evolved into the wanting to take something, lie down and pass out stage.

Only good thing is I have effectively cut down from the the full 10mg pill to 5mg on my own this past year (except for taking more during this Tram weaning period).

I'm going to check the book out. Thanks!

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 26, 2012
The depression is finally starting to hit hard. I'm still at 3 1/2 taken four times a day. Though yesterday I took an extra one because the depression & irritability has been getting to me and my husband.  Of course taking it didn't fix the problem, only temporarily.

At least at work I have to "act as if" and my co- workers make me really laugh and feel better. On the weekends I don't want to do anything and I'm irritable toward my husband.  He's pretty fed up with me and his answer is "just take a pill".

The tramadol finally relieved my depression, unexpectedly as I was prescribed it for pain, and now that familiar feeling is back. I know exercise helps tremendously, and just staying busy and positive.  I need to take the "act as if" home with me.

I went to my acupuncturist yesterday and he said so many things I needed to hear.  His words reminded me of who I am and of my potential. I'm so grateful for him.

I've made progress with this taper and I want to keep going.  Just hitting some bumps in the road.  It's to be expected and I think it's worth being free from the tight grips of this drug.

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by caycay46, Aug 26, 2012
Opiates in general should not be that hard to come off. Tramadol seems like a nasty little synthetic opioid though. An opioid which provides little to no relief, but leaves you with bad side effects and horrible withdraw. I feel that control of opiates is becoming too restricted, but thats just my opinion. Now they have all these majorily synthetic opiates which are causing all kinds of grief (suboxone for example, dont take suboxone unless you want to die from severe constipation). Good luck withdrawing. Loperamide (do not exceed the labeled dose for you will become severely backed up but this OTC drug can help ease a nervous stomach and upset bowels during withdraw) & excersize will help, can be hard to force your self to excersize though.

I personally dont use anything for opiate withdraw, i just suffer the until my body returns to its natural body chemistry which really doesnt take THAT long and im not a very patient person haha so im sure anyone can get through there opiate withdraws...at least your not dependent on Benzodiazepines !!

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by HumbledXtian, Aug 26, 2012
Hi all, have been lurking on here for a few days. It's very helpful to read that other tramadol addicts have kicked this drug.

I've been a tramadol addict for several years, sometimes taking as much as 1200 to 1500 mgs per day. Last week I contacted a specialist in addiction and will see him this week. He plans to put me on suboxone and an antidepressant long enough to get through the worst of withdrawal. I've also committed to seeing a counselor twice a week.

Any thoughts?

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 26, 2012
Welcome Humbled!  Good for you for seeking professional help, especially with that high of a dose and the fact that you've been on it for several years.  Congratulations on taking the first steps.

Yes, I agree, it's inspiring and a relief to see others become free from this drug.  I don't know anything about suboxone and we have to be careful about giving advice. I think seeking an addiction specialist was a good decision.  Are you tapering at all?

Good luck to you!

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by HumbledXtian, Aug 26, 2012
Yes, I'm tapering. It was relatively easy at first; instead of taking 6 pills 3 times a day I dropped to 5 and then to 4. After that, it became much harder, which made me realize that I needed professional help.

One issue I'm dealing with is how to tell my spouse. I'm afraid it will devastate her and also afraid for my marriage. What a hole I've dug myself in!

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 26, 2012
That's good you initially tapered since you were on such a high dose.  I decided to taper as long as possible so the acute withdrawal isn't as unbearable.

When I first starting taking the drug, my spouse knew about it and was happy to see me in less pain.  After he did research on the internet and learned of the risk of addiction, even though it isn't a scheduled drug, he didn't want me on it anymore. I told him I stopped taking it (and did for a while), but found it was really helping me to function better with my health condition and I thought I'd be able to get off of it whenever I wanted. I thought, "How bad could withdrawal really be?" I continued taking it for two years.  I finally confessed to him when I decided I wanted to get off of it and knew I would need his support and knowledge of what I was going through. He was scared, but also just felt bad for me that I had to go through this.  He wasn't happy I wasn't honest with him but that quickly turned into the desire to support me in the process of getting off of it.  

After that conversation I felt like a ton of weight was lifted off my shoulders. No longer was I keeping this secret from him and now I had someone at home on my team.  I couldn't do this without him knowing.  I couldn't be successful, plain and simple.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 26, 2012
Welcome humbled! Great name. Tramadol brought me to my knees. How many days did you stay on each taper before going down? What are your thoughts about how/when/if to tell your spouse? I am glad you are posting. Keeping in touch here is so helpful. We understand. I feel so much better about myself now that I have committed to getting off. I was reading some of my journals from last year....interspersed every several days was a wean attempt and an acknowledgement that I HAVE to get off this stuff. Month after month....having that weight lifted feels....free.
Move beyond- rough patches come, and then they go. My fear within that 'bad day' and the subsequent thinking from that fear are the hardest part for me. I can take a swan dive into losing confidence and questioning my path. My thinking has been fragile , actually, I think from the drug as well as the withdrawal effects. that's why Emily often recommends getting mad. Angry. Looking at this as a war. There are some really rough patches on the battlefield but we still need to move through them as best we can. Look at what you have accomplished so far ! I had the same problem with depression in withdrawal. Also I felt the tram took depression away, at first, anyway.
So...still strong and energy improved. Went to a wedding last night. It was on an island several hundred miles away. I stayed overnight in the guest room of a friend of my friends. Never had met her. I absolutely drenched the bed with sweat. Sopping! I got up and put a fan on a chair and dried the sheets. Sheesh...I hadn't had night sweats for several days so I wasn't worried. Ha! Keep going everyone! It is soooo worth the freedom from the shackles of the nightmare. fight on!
much love


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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 26, 2012
Just wanted to see my tracker ;)

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by chatoyant, Aug 27, 2012
I am down to 1/2 pill in the morning and forgot to take even a 1/4 pill yesterday afternoon! I'm going to take 1/2 pill am for 3 days and then 1/4 for 3 after that. I KNOW it is purely psychological at this point and if I just tossed these last couple of pills away it probably wouldn't even matter.

For *anyone* considering stopping this stuff PLEASE know that you CAN do it and the physical discomfort will pass. Other than those 3 very uncomfortable days I am feeling perfectly fine physically. And just two weeks ago I was averaging 20 - 24 pills a day. Even a week ago I was taking 5 - 6 a day and then dropped drastically. I know everyone is different, but no matter how bad you feel just know it will pass. The stomach issues were the worst for me and even I had aches and pains in parts of my body where I never had an ache or pain before. The sneezing fits have passed and the crazy sweats too. The mental and emotional part will take a lot more time and work, but I know it can be done.

DamTram, I downloaded the book to my Kindle and will start reading. Thanks again!

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by dalzona, Aug 27, 2012
I'm reading that taking an AD is making some people nervous, and I can completely sympathize, but my thoughts are you have to arm yourself with ammunition to break the hold of tram.  I'd taken AD after my first divorce, so I experienced the benefits first hand, and knew I would  need an AD if I was to quit tram.  I've been clean sine July 6th, and feel like myself once again.  My energy level is normal, I don't feel irrational, am able to concentrate at work, and am able to have fun.  I've was prescribed Viibryd, a new AD with few side effects - unfortunately, there's not a generic at this time, so it's a little pricey, but so was the tram.  

Just my 2 cents:  I'm not a dr. nor a counselor, but I was determined to get off tram.  4 years was long enough!!!  And this was while I had a toddler to look after.  


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by chatoyant, Aug 27, 2012
Humbled, I was in same daily range as you and can tell you I did a quick, drastic drop and made it through (I explained it more in a post above).

I think the antidepressant is a great idea, counselor excellent, but not 100% sure you'll need the suboxone. I truly think the psychological aspects of withdrawal from this drug are by far the worst (antidepressant & counselor will help greatly there) but the worst part of physical withdrawal will pass in a few days. I almost feel like dealing with that part was good because I could feel a new a healthy change was coming. Can pass off fairly easily as a flu or stomach virus. Most people won't question that.

This will be an unpopular answer I'm sure, but I don't necessarily think you need to tell your spouse unless you feel he/she can handle it emotionally and be supportive because right now you need to take 100% care of *you* and the last thing you need to worry about is someone so close to you being upset, worried and possibly angry with you. You will have the counselor and I would confide in a close, completely supportive friend if possible. I have told only one close friend who can relate and posted on this board. I'm pretty sure others would say to share with spouse, but I'm not sure that is in your best interest right now.

Please just know everything bad you are feeling will pass. It won't last forever. You will then be able to feel and think clearly again. I feel my old self returning already and I am thankful and grateful for that. Wishing you strength and I know you can do it. If I could do it  I know you can.

If there is any advice or support I can give, please just ask.

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by chatoyant, Aug 27, 2012
dalzona,

Great advice!

"unfortunately, there's not a generic at this time, so it's a little pricey, but so was the tram."

Excellent point! I remember my Dr. wanted me to try Celexa, but I scoffed at the price, so I opted for a cheap alternative (and didn't take it anyway). Funny that I had no problem blowing several hundred $ a month on Tram though! Absolutely nuts.

I'm going to check out this Viibryd as I'm coming to terms with the idea I really do need an antidepressant and plan to speak to my Dr. about it soon.


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by HumbledXtian, Aug 27, 2012
Fullmetalalchemist,

I really like the idea of getting angry at my addiction. It is indeed an enemy, and a very ferocious one that threatens me in many ways. I think that stance will help.

Chatoyant,
You may be right about going through the physical withdrawal w/o suboxone. But the few times i've had to go a day or so without trams (because of tardy deliveries from an online pharmacy) were sheer hell. Twice I was hospitalized with severe chest pains, and the thought of going through it all again terrifies me.

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by chatoyant, Aug 27, 2012
Humbled,

I hear you and it might be best for you to use the suboxone, but the difference here is you're weaning down and not going from 25 or even 15 or 10 to 0 overnight. You're gradually lowering it. Even if you do a fast wean you're still giving yourself time both physically *and* mentally to adjust to the idea.

Trust me, I too have suffered when I've run out unexpectedly. A few times I had just a few left knowing a delivery would arrive and it didn't show up for another two days. I was miserable in every way you can imagine. Never went to the hospital, but was sweating like an animal with my heart pounding. Shivering and sweating at the same time. Horrible.

The turning point for me with this stuff was when I began staggering two online pharmacies to keep myself stocked and even that wasn't enough. Also realizing that taking 24 pills a day wasn't doing anything for me except making me numb and dull minded. Sickening what I was doing to myself. And for what??

You will be very happy and relieved when you get past this initial hurdle no matter what method you choose.

Best of luck and continued strength! :)

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by dalzona, Aug 27, 2012
I once remember being ELATED that I had 2 seperate deliveries within a week - I had so many pills, I was overcome with happiness.  So sad, really.  330 pills made me so happy.

I was relieved when I told my husband I was addicted to tram, I couldn't have come clean without him.   We have  a 5 yr.old, and his needs come first, so when I was going through withdrawal, he stayed home to help take care of me and get him to school.  He wasn't mad or disappointed, he just wanted me to feel better and to feel better about myself.  I guess if there's a financial concern, I could see hiding something, but he saw the charges on the AX - he would ask and I would tell.  I could have never gotten through that first awful hell week without him.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 28, 2012
Humbled- when do you see your addiction specialist? I am interested in knowing how you are doing your wean if you'd like to share. I went to the emergency room last summer as I was trying to wean because my heart was 'bounding' and it wouldn't stop! Hours it went on and was frightening. I also found it hard to breath. They did a lot of testing then gave me some Xanax. I used that to wean, got off the tram for a week and then started up again because the depression was so bad. About 2 months after that I started trying the effexor. Course, I couldn't wean, again. Kept trying but could not keep to a schedule. I started a fairly rapid wean about 3 weeks ago then jumped off. The medication clonidine helped me tremendously along with the effexor. Clonidine is an alpha blocking blood pressure medication. Your addiction specialist will know all about how it is used for narcotic withdrawal. Really helpful! It still $ucks going through withdrawal but it was doable for me with the help of these medications. Your specialist will review all your options and ultimately YOUget to decide. If your choice isn't working out for one reason or another you can always try another plan at any time. I think it is great you are getting this help.
I don't get angry about my addiction. I get angry at tramadol. It is like a toxic lover. It takes over and beings ruling everything. I am counting them and waiting for them and worrying if I have enough. Using them to cope and using them because I can't be comfortable without them. AND , once addicted, I am never truly comfortable with them, either.
You know the drill. So....I decided to get mad about them running everything and TAKE MY LIFE BACK.... The ugly withdrawals are the death throws of these little devils and they don't let go without raising some havoc. Let them beat their little fistys and wail, beg and promise they will make it all better...if you'll just hop on board again. Tramadol wants nothing but your whole life. And I am not going to let the little whites rule or take my life. They can't have it. It is mine.
My day went pretty well. I had a busy day at work and went to a recovery group. I am still waiting to get back to yoga.
Keep going warriors!



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by DamTram, Aug 28, 2012
Chat - you sound fantastic, congrats!  Can't wait to hear if the book helps.  And no one judges others' opinions on this thread. :) That's what makes it so great.

Dalzona, I know exactly what you mean.  SO happy.  Really, happy = lack of fear of running out, at the time.  Having control feels even better, though, doesn't it? :)

Humbled, I agree about the suboxone.  There is much to be gained from recovering without an opioid agonist, particularly remembering what you went through/achieved.  Of course, head to the hospital if you need, but suboxone was really not created for this purpose.  Heroin addicts that go that route tend to relapse, anyway, since they never really were empowered by getting through the brief pain of withdrawal.  As for the spouse, she took (judging by your name, Christian) vows and will see you through sickness and health.  As one of my favorite interventionists says: Secrets KEEP people sick.  We can only get the help and support we most definitely need when we are finally able to ask for it.  

The environmental trigger to my first abuse (that lasted 5 months) of tramadol and 2 relapses has been righted (the boss that ruined my career out of malice has ruined her own career by stealing), and now I get to live in a world where good overcomes bad, I have confidence in my thoughts, feelings, and actions, and I don't have to be scared.  I overdosed twice because of her (she had literally convinced me that II should no longer be alive), and am lucky I lived.  I'm so glad I beat these pills, first, so I could fully enjoy this happenstance.  Karma!

Got two 'reminder' emails for tramadol today from the online pharmacies.  Better than the phone calls!


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by chatoyant, Aug 28, 2012
In an ideal world we probably should share everything with our spouses or partners, but I think it also depends on how the partner might react to such a disclosure. If someone is just trying to get through another day weaning off this stuff and they have the added fear they might devastate their spouse or seriously hurt their marriage that couldn't possibly be beneficial. Some people are blessed to have 100% supportive, understanding partners. Others have partners who *love* them just as much, but aren't as emotionally supportive or strong (perhaps dealing with their own issues). Others have partners who would react with fear and extreme anger (perhaps they've been through a similar situation before with a very negative outcome).

I *do* believe it should be shared with *someone* who can be 100% supportive to the person trying to recover though. Unfortunately, that person can't always be the spouse/partner.

Just wanted to explain my reasoning even if it doesn't make much sense. :)

Continued support to everyone!

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by jc23vgd, Aug 28, 2012
How long does the insomnia last for...havent slept in days yet im soooo sleepy

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 29, 2012
Jc- I am still struggling with insomnia. That is why I am writing this at 3 in the morning. Ugh!
Today was tough. A couple big waves of depression and an anxious feeling of hopelessness.
they do pass. They last about 15 minutes. Everything looks soooo depressing. Negative, frightening
thoughts spin in my head .
Very tired but not sleeping, tonight, anyway. I feel good about quiting. I know if I took a tram
I'd be on 'the ride' again and I have no desire to do that. I don't crave the evil pill but I do
know that this depression and anxiety are part of my withdrawal from it. I am going to press on.
Keep going!

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by chatoyant, Aug 29, 2012
jc23vgd, Have you tried an over-the-counter sleeping aid like Unisom? Even after taking Ambien for years Unisom in the orange and white box (specifically) actually makes me sleepy and helps me get good rest. The active ingredient it Doxylamine Succinate.

If you have access to and are comfortable with the idea maybe consider taking a low dose of Xanax or Ambien for a few nights just to get some rest and relief.

You should then be past the worst of it.

Best of luck!

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by HumbledXtian, Aug 29, 2012
Fullmetal, hang in there. Are you taking anything for the depression?

Something of a frustrating day yesterday. I finally saw the addiction specialist and like him a lot. Unfortunately, he's leaving town tomorrow for a week (long-planned family vacation) and so we decided to hold off on suboxone treatment until he returns.

In the meantime I'm to keep tapering. Just hope I can do so without giving into the temptation to double-dose to get a one-time great high. Fullmetal, I'm hoping my anger at the trams and what they've done to my life will help keep me on track. And a lot of prayer, as you might guess from my name.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 29, 2012
Humbled- did he say anything about the clonidine? Hopefully you will be able to stay the course with your planned withdrawal taper. If you do have a bad moment or decision try not to be hard on yourself, look at how far you've come and press on. Perfection is a horrible taskmaster. Yes, I take a very low dose effexor. Very helpful. Some of those feelings are coming out of situational issues that are a challenge for me, therefore just those tough parts of life but I do believe the intensity of the feelings is from withdrawal. Tramadol became my coping mechanism for pretty much any difficulty so I lost the creative range of response to challenges that a dynamic and fulfilling life requires. These areas have been 'dampened down' by my addiction to tram. I haven't used them in awhile. ( a year) so...they need some exercise. Meanwhile I feel a little raw and vulnerable learning to depend on my coping skills, again and trust experience using them during difficulties. Tramadol was in a way kind of an armor in all this. I feel a little exposed without it. Awareness of all of this is key for me. As I keep taking 'the show on the road' ....myself out there in the world without my veil and armor of tramadol this will all calm down. ( I hope and pray) I've learned from this forum of so many who have broken trams hold I have great hope and feel very good about being off of it. I still can't believe i got off! I tried to wean may times and the thought was always lurking that I HAD to do something! Such a relieve to have the leg- irons of tramadol removed. Fight on brave ones!

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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 29, 2012
Humbled, keep praying and I will pray for you too.  

Way to go fullmetal!  It's great to see your tracker! :) 15 days is absolutely incredible. I dream of that.

I taper down another 1/2 a pill tomorrow which I'm doing every ten days. I've added a little a couple of times but I'm still moving forward with my next step down. I'll be on three 50mg pills total divided into 4 doses (1/2 - 1 - 1/2 - 1).  

I seem to get pain, sweats, irritability, restlessness/restless leg/jumping out of my skin feeling the first 2-3 days, then a low level depression turned into deeper depression and now the infamous brain zaps from the antidepressant withdrawal.  I have cymbalta but I don't think I should take anything before seeing my Dr. ??  

I see him on sept 5 and will talk to him about taking an AD at least for a little while and possibly increasing the clonadine. I also need some reassurance I can get off of the klonopin with his help. I've been taking it regularly for the last few months, prescribed by him.

A drug to get off of a drug followed by another drug to get off of that drug... etc.  Feels like its never ending.  I'm scared and discouraged.  I wish I could be inspiring right now but that's just not the place I'm in.  I'm grateful for each of you. And I'm grateful I've made improvement. Just worried about my state of mind.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Aug 31, 2012
Move beyond- Emily did the klonopin taper after the tramadol taper, too! It is a long haul and some days are very hard but just stay the course and press on. You have come a long way. The rebound anxiety from the tramadol taper is probably reasonably controlled by the klonopin. Imagine what it would feel like without it. I have a snippet I am going to paste about klonpin withdrawal that I believe applies to tramadol. It describes the " rebound" anxiety ....I think the tramadol has both anxiety and depression aftermath and rebound


"Rebound is the expression of new time-limited symptoms that were not present before treatment and depend on the pharmacokinetics of the drug"

"Essentially, rebound goes beyond tolerance into the early phase of a withdrawal syndrome that develops between doses"

So a slow taper is a great way to come off both of these medications.

For me....these last 2 days have been a living he!!. Anxiety and depression. My core sense of self is kind of fuzzy and non cohesive. It does not feel good. I've been making it to work and doing a good job there but today I burst into tears as soon as I got out the door. I could feel it coming almost all day and was able to hold back but felt fragile. I am so glad to be home. My daughter called when I got home and I pulled it together to talk. I considered not answering and I feel sad that things are this way. I don't want her to worry about me. She is on a great adventure and I want her to feel free of worry so she can focus on her stuff. I am going to talk with my support people tonight and try for an easier day tomorrow.
I WILL NOT use tram to get relief. ( although I know it would ease things) ....you know....breaking up is hard to do
Pressing on over here
Keep going brave warriors....as Winston churchill said..." we shall not flag nor fail. we shall go on to the end.....we shall never surrender"



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by Movebeyondthis, Aug 31, 2012
Fullmetal - I'm sorry you had such a rough day. I know the feeling of being on the verge of tears at work. But you're right - tomorrow is a new day and holy cow you have 17 days!!  I'm glad to hear you have supportive people to talk to tonight.  You bring so much support here.   Thank you for reminding me/us that for some of us, tapering from klonopin after tramadol is part of the journey and that by tapering it gives the brain opportunities to adapt bit by bit.

Today was better for me, my second day on my new taper schedule. I hope goatfarmer is right that it gets easier physically as the doses get lower.  I'm definitely getting more of the brain zaps than anything which I recognize from AD withdrawal. I'll try not to worry about the klonopin taper for now. One thing at a time. One day at a time. One moment at a time.

I hope for a better day for you tomorrow fullmetal.  I believe it will be.

No surrender here!







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by dalzona, Sep 01, 2012
It does get better! 56 days out, have energy, no depression (on a AD), zero brain zaps, and no irritability.  I feel normal, again.  Remember, I had to go cold turkey, forced to quit my habit (but in hindsight, so amazingly glad) because of an AX card that the internet pharms could no longer could take.  

Take one day at a time, be good to yourself, and it's ok to be feel bad, because frankly, you will feel bad.  But as the days go by, your body heals, your mind adjusts, and life begins to feel normal again.  For 2 weeks, gettting off the chair was a major accomplishment!!!  I have a 5 yr. old and a demanding job (which I can do from home), but I was able to get through it, and so will YOU.  A month later, I realized I was feeling normal again.

No surrendering, you have to plow through it - take long walks, take a bike ride, watch FUNNY TV (e.g. King of Queens), eat healthy but also comfort food, and know it takes time.

Signing off for our long family walk on this gloomy Saturday am.  The dogs are barking, and they know it's their time.  Take care, and {{{{HUGS}}}}

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 01, 2012
Dalzona, its SO great to hear how well you're doing. All of us going through withdrawal need to hear this. Feeling "normal" sounds pretty foreign but it's on the road for those of us who keep fighting.

Like I said I'm trying to take each moment as it comes, but I do believe I need an AD too. I have a strong history of depression and if it helps me to get off and stay off tram, that's fine.  Getting pregnant for the first time had been my motivation to get off of tram, but now it's become the realization of what an evil drug it is and I just want it out of my system.  I've hated constantly taking pills just to prevent withdrawal. That's no way to live! If I'm meant to be a mother, it will happen when my body and mind are ready (though I don't have a whole lot of time to wait). But I will stay this course and see where it brings me.  I do know for a fact it will bring me to a tram free life!

I spend a lot of time on the couch.  And it seems like I'm eating constantly. I think I've gained 5 or more lbs so far, which I needed anyway. I'm just going to let my body do what it needs to do and try not to be hard on myself. On tram I would have started cleaning the house right now, getting ready to run all the errands I need to, have lunch with a friend, etc, etc.

Its okay, I'm doing what I need to do. I'm at 150 mg of tram total now and I'm going to keep putting put one foot in front of the other until I'm at zero mgs!  

Fullmetal, I hope you woke up feeling better.  Dalzona, thanks again.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 01, 2012
Hi all!
Better day today. Slept alright. Maybe 4 hours. Good enough. No crying today. My eyes are still sore from all that crying yesterday. Have had some memories (painful) and awarenesses (painful) of some driving but not conscious patterns in my life ( not good ones)
It has been like looking at that picture of the young woman looking away and then you see the old hag?
She is right there! So these patterns are in stark relief right now. It IS a relief to see them. On the other hand sad.
It is understandable I would initially love this drug. The energy, social ease, weight loss, pain relief, ENERGY! It seemed like the element that had been missing in my life. It also improved my sleep. I felt like I 'had something' that I could depend on to help me at any and all times. That's the mental addiction. The physical addiction comes later and by then? Things go from rosy to dark and jaded. But there I am still trying to make a deal with this devil...knowing full well extricating myself from the jaws of this he!! Is going to take a supreme act of courage and faith.
It is happening. I am letting myself rest a lot. Many people on the post recommend exercise and I'd like to do that but it is not happening. I am inclined to just be patient and be sure I can get to work and keep up with the very basics for now.
Much better outlook today.
Thanks dalzona and move beyond! Means so much to get encouragement! I am staying the course and pressing on!


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by maxtram, Sep 01, 2012
Hi all,
It's been two weeks since I went CT and last night I finally got a full 8 hours. I have remained positive throughout this ordeal and followed all the suggestions you kind people gave me. Honestly, I feel totally recovered and have no after effects. Although the first two days were hell and each day got progressively better as I was determined as hell to rid myself of tram. Confidence, determination, exercise and a lot of prayer is my way of life. I do not back, have no guilt and look forward to leading a productive life. You told me the first couple of days would be terrible so I prepared myself for the worst and was constantly on this site looking for ways to alleviate any physical problems and tried them all. Guess what they worked. I was told it would take two weeks to get back into a normal sleep pattern and last night was the two week mark. Everything I  read from the suggestions to messages of hope were here. There can be no doubt that it impacts people differently and my nurse(VA) for my doctor was totally taken aback and could not believe that tram would do that as she sees hundreds of patients who laud the positive impact it has had on patients.I am on Piroxicam for pain and refuse to look back.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and there are brighter days ahead!

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by denised1982, Sep 01, 2012
Hey everyone, just checking in...
Been through a week of hell with the hurricane and on lockdown at work. Hurt my back, felt horrible pins and needles in my hip and my leg, went to the ER to get a steroid shot in my hip yesterday. Got put on Toradol, Flexeril, and Medrol. Still hanging in there, friends! I miss you guys!
The apartment didn't get too flooded (thank goodness) just in the living room where water came through the walls, about three feet of carpet.
Just taking it easy til I go back to work tomorrow. They told me no heavy lifting, no bending (HA!) yet they didn't bother to give me a doctor's excuse. Still working at the nursing home, still breaking my back.
My mood has vastly improved with the Wellbutrin/Celexa combo, and it helped tremendously with my all-over pain. The only pain that I have left is the lumbar/sacral leg on the left side of my body pain. I guess I will make an appointment with my doctor and request an MRI, because of the pins and needles pain that I just started having and it hurting to bend. My leg has always throbbed, but not pins and needles feeling. It ***** because all I can do is just stomp on the ground until the feeling goes away.
We should really all be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished:quitting tramadol! I have read that people would rather kick heroin and go through those withdrawals than tramadol withdrawals, because you have have all the symptoms of opiate withdrawals along with going crazy and having the worst anxiety in your life. It's kicking codiene (which ain't pretty) and effexor(the hardest anti-depressant to come off of, w/d's are similar to opiate w/d's) at the same time. F*ck that.
I'll try to post with everyone more often, I'm just busy these days, because since getting my meds adjusted correctly I've been feeling so much better.
I'll talk soon.
Love,
Denise

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 01, 2012
Movebeyond- I am glad you have your appointment coming on the 5th. Dalzona and I have both found the AD helpful. I know I've had a hard few days here but I can't imagine what they would have been like without some extra help. Doable. That's the key. I know you worry about adding something extra. I think the AD helps with my anxiety as well as depression so an AD might help you with the klonopin withdrawal later as well as the tram now. Then, just think! It will only be the AD that you will consider how you want to deal with down the road. You have come so far! You have less and less of the tram in your system every week. Sooo much better for your body, mind and spirit. Keep going!

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by goatfarmer, Sep 02, 2012
Sorry guys my computer crashed last week so I am now getting back to the swing of things. Have been on 1/2 pill a day now but last two days increased my dose due to HAVING to get some deadline stuff done and being in bad pain and lethargy. Feeling guilt!
Anyway today is a new day. i still have this deadline to meet but I am hoping to get it done today!

Moods been fine, anxiety better but it took around 7-10 days for it to improve after my last cut back. Now I have to take the next jump which I think I will do on Tuesday or Wed. Hoping my 2 day set back didn't harm things too much!

FullMetal, movebeyond, everyone. you are doing great keep up the awesome work!!! I don't know how people do this without an antidepressant to be honest. Soon as baby comes I am on it! I keep trying to rationalize the fact that I feel so much better on tramadol maybe I can stay on a low dose! UGH! I know I can't stay on it forever so theres no better time then the present to get off right?!!!

Full metal are you still taking Effexor? I see you have had a few rough patches with depression! I am soooo sorry hon! Hang in there!!!

I have about 6 more weeks until delivery!~ so I need to get moving on this! Thinking of just c/t the rest of the way and use my vistaril! Anyone have thoughts on this? On 1/2 a day divided into three doses? Or should I continue this slow taper? Ideas anyone? I know fullmetal said to increase time between doses. Thats what I was going to do next.  Actually I was going to do my 1/2 pill and divide it into thirds like I have been doing but take the middle dose out so I would be on a little over 1/4 pill. How does this sound?!
Can't believe how scary this is! :(

Hugs all,

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 02, 2012
Thank you Fullmetal. Your last post to me was exactly what I needed to hear.  I'm glad you had a better day yesterday despite having to face the pain in your life, past and present, without the thick veil of tramadol. Thank you always for your honesty, humility and wisdom.

Tramadol did help us, but with way too high of a price. I'm not willing to pay with my mind, body and spirit.  All of us are enough without tramadol, with all of our mistakes and imperfections. We must forgive ourselves and know that we are enough.

Farmer, it's nice to see you back here.  Thank you for your encouragement.  It's wonderful that you're down to 1/2 pill a day!  I can't imagine that adding a little recently would affect your taper.  Though I guess we are all different.  I've never completely tapered from tram before so I don't know what to tell you about when to jump or how to taper from here.  Someone else may be able to speak to their experience(s).  The options I would present to myself are to experiment with how long I can go without taking a dose. Maybe acute withdrawal at this point won't be as bad as you think? Though I can so relate to the fear!  And I know you have to be extra careful with your pregnancy.  The other option I would present to myself is to remove one of the three doses so you're down to two, then one.

To anyone who knows the answer to this, do you have to increase your time between doses when tapering to do it effectively?  Or can you go so far as to dissolve the smallest amounts in water and sip throughout the day or a stretch of time?  My fear of acute withdrawal sounds quite obvious, doesn't it?!

I feel better today and feel like I've gotten through the worst of this current taper schedule (though who knows with this drug).  I'm thinking I may cut out another 1/2 at 7 days rather than 10 so I'll be at 2 1/2 pills total starting on Thurs rather than next Mon.  The beginning of a work week and tapering down don't sound like the greatest combo to me.

Keep going everyone!!  

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 02, 2012
Hi Denise and maxtram- love hearing the good stories about 'life after tram'.
Farmer- you are doing great! Any of your ideas sound workable but increasing time between doses once getting to low doses ( 25mg- 12.5 mg) is the best way to ease off opiates when a person can stick to a wean. Look up at mrmeaty's posts about his experience weaning. He had no withdrawal. (he is on this thread) I don't abuse antidepressants. I take the recommended amount and don't have a problem with that. Not so with tram. That is why I can't think of using it for depression. Some psychiatrists do use it for depression, but very rarely. I use 37.5- 75mg effexor a day. I am happy a low dose is working. I don't know anyone who takes that low of a dose besides me. I like that because I know effexor is hard to come off of and I don't want to be worrying about dealing with any higher dose than this form that reason.
Move beyond- sent you a message. Good idea not changing your wean schedule on a Monday. I love it that you are taking care of yourself and coming up with ideas that serve you best.
Day went well. Energy better. I worked 6 of last 7 days, whew! Tomorrow is all mine. I am going to try to get in a yoga class. Reading a great book! Learning some very important lessons. Really think I am getting some good awareness and not whining and being a victim about the whole deal. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR TENDING TO MY WELL BEING!
I have the right to make mistakes and hopefully the wisdom to learn from them, why not? Probably the reason I am making them is because I need to learn something. I want to live free from tramadol addiction. I made a mistake thinking I could sleep with this devil and avoid a living he!!. I feel badly I got bound up in this trap but not ashamed. No....not ashamed. It is an understandable mistake and underneath it I really needed help with my depression for many years.
Keep going everyone!!  
As Winston Churchill said " courage is the first of human qualities- because it is the quality that guarantees all the others"


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by HumbledXtian, Sep 03, 2012
Movedbeyond,

thanks for the prayers. I've sent up a few for you and other folks on here.

I've been away for a few days and just now checking back in.

Tapering still on-going, but getting to where it's not as easy (dropping from 25 pills per day to 20 wasn't that tough, but from 14 to 12 to 10 is considerably more difficult). Staying busy helps, as does varying my routine.

Looking forward to seeing my addiction specialist. a week from today.

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 04, 2012
Thank you Humbled.  I realized I had to taper much slower than I had planned when I got a little further along.  You have already cut way back which is great. Congratulations!  

Listen to your body is what I've been told and that's worked for me. Withdrawal symptoms are to be expected but you don't want to be so uncomfortable that you get discouraged and risk moving backwards.  Each time I step down, I wait until I'm really stabilized as far as comfort level at my current dose (it's varied from 7-10 days; once it was 12 days).  

What's helped me is to spread out my doses.  I take the med four times a day right now (I had been taking them three times a day).  It means setting an alarm in the middle of the night.  It was so taxing on my body to wake up in severe withdrawal every morning before I went to four doses, and getting ready for work was such a chore.

On Thurs when I step down another 1/2 a pill I will experiment with taking 5 doses, even though I'm taking less tram so I have a steady amount in my system.  I'm hoping the five doses will help me at work because I'm going to take them closer together while I'm there where I really need to be at my best.  

Has your addiction specialist given you any tools such as clonidine to help with withdrawal?

You've come very far!  Keep going! (at pace a that works for you)

Sending love to everyone.

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by goatfarmer, Sep 04, 2012
How is everyone doing?
I think of you all as I am tapering off this evil thing!
I am at a 1/2 and will do another taper wed or thursday. I had that two day set back where I took an extra 1/2 pill which actually started some w/d reactions again when I went back to my taper. UGH!
Some of these emotions I am not sure is w/d or just normal end of pregnancy hormones lol.
I cry a few times a day, feel VERY overwhelmed, aggitated at everyone or anything in my way.
THANK GOD my husband is awesome! He is so loving and patient with me!
Like I said before coming off of this drug has given me bi-polar tendencies I think. Happy one moment, down in the dumps depressed the next. Laughing to crying. Being able to cope to not even slightly able to cope!

Fullmetal I can't find mrmeaty's posts. Does anyone know where I can find it!
I think I can't jump off and risk my mood swings. My POOR family.

Does anyone have intense guilt, shame? This is alot of times what makes me so depressed! I think of the past and being on tram and the guilt/shame is has caused me! I sure have numb emotions when on it which I sure like better though! But nothing Effexor can't cure I hope ( I sure hope my doc will give it to me).

I agree with movebeyond 7-10 days seems average for feeling more stabilized. The lower I go though the longer it takes to stabilize but that could just be because I am pg. I am noticing a more 12-14 days to stabilize after each taper. Usually quite improvement though on day 5-7.

I have soooo much going on right now and it sure is tempting to increase my dose!!!! But when I mess up for a day or more I end up redoing the w/d symptoms over which is not worth it. They are much milder but its amazing how tramadol remembers! I can't believe how just 1/2 pill extra those two days effected my mood.

Anyway fullmetal, movebeyond, humbled keep up the good work!!!! We can do this! Fullmetal you got this drug whipped in the butt! Your amazing!!!!!! I wish I had your attitude. Some say its mind over matter. My mind is WEAK! I can't get it to cooperate with me. :(

Fullmetal, I called infantrisk to find out if I can breastfeed while taking effexor and they said yes no problem but what I was wondering is do you know the usual starting dose of effexor? I thought years ago when I took it it was 37 mg 1-2 x a day but I can't remember. I want to go in to my OB armed with info on this because he was NOT excited at all about me taking this particular drug. But I know its the one that works best for me. ALso thinking of cymbalta, have you heard of that.

Fullmetal....... I am sending you a huge hug I don't know what I would have done without your support! YOu have listened to me whine and moan and have always had a good answer and been so helpful. You are so knowledgable! What do you do for a living if you don't mind me asking? I think you should be a councelor! :)
Hugs friends,





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by HumbledXtian, Sep 04, 2012
Fullmetal, You've made it to 3 weeks. Congratulations!

Movebeyond, that's a good idea about spreading out the doses and keeping a steady amount in my system. I'm going to try it.

Goatfarmer, you're not alone: I have enormous shame and guilt and have for quite some time. In fact, for me it became a reinforcing loop: take trams to mask the guilt, then get more guilt. There's a lot of psychological work ahead for me. But first, I have to taper and finally kick. So trying not to fix everything at once.

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 05, 2012
Hello warriors!!
Everyone sounds great! I am so impressed that (humbled, move beyond and farmer) can stick to a wean. Very courageous and strong! I tried very hard to do that and I kept getting off track after about 5 days and back up to my 'usual' dose. It is far better to wean if you can however, I think it is important to make sure the depression is well controlled either with supplements or something (antidepressants?) some people on the thread have used Sam-e or st johns wort or 5htp. these are over the counter supplements which have shown to be helpful in treating depression. None of these should be used with an antidepressant. But many on this thread found them helpful. I found the effexor very helpful. I take 75mg daily. The AD part of tramadol has a component that works much like effexor. Serotonin and norepinephrine increasing properties. As tramadol is withdrawn these transmitters are low. The body doesn't start restoring these levels back to baseline for 4-5 weeks.
Farmer- starting dose for effexor is 37.5mg. Usual dose is 75-300mg daily, always taken in the morning. Cymbalta is in the same family as effexor but cymbalta has more uses as a chronic pain controlling AD for some reason. It is
commonly used for fibromyalgia pain as well as depression treatment.
Move beyond- today you go to the doc! Fill us in about the visit please.
I am doing well. I am so happy you are all fighting to be free! Keep going! As far as the guilt and shame are concerned-
I understand the feelings. I feel good about addressing my problem, as I hope you all do, too. This drug is VERY COMPELLING, highly addictive and a real devil to kick. I relied on it for everything and hated that I needed to use it constantly because withdrawal was coming on the heels of yesterday, everyday!  Pretty soon I needed it just to get going and feel 'normal' and not even normal, more like a prisoner. Shackled. Leg-ironed to these pills. So....go ahead and feel guilty you got caught in this trap. You are not having it anymore and breaking free. Every day you set yourselves a little bit more free. But please- no shame. Shame is the lowest energy in the universe and nothing can be accomplished in it. It is like an emotional quicksand. A tar pit. If it wasn't tram we would probably be having some other problem to draw our attention to the lessons we need to learn. We are all in this together. No one gets into heaven alone! Stay strong! No surrender!
It gets better! much love




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by Sarabie, Sep 05, 2012
Hey guys :-)

Great to see so many new faces here. I just realized that I quit tramadol in September 2011. So it's almost a year cleen now yahooo :-)

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by Jomer, Sep 05, 2012
Hello Everybody,

Ahhhh, tramadol, where do I begin?  How many shameful chapters have I had with you in my life?  This is my second time withdrawing from tramadol.  I am a pharmacist.  This story is about to get ugly...

The first time I got drunk, as a 19 year old fresh off to pharmacy school, I felt that I could like this quite a bit!!  l definately like the way it made me feel, but man I hated being hung over!! We used to hit it really hard too, getting absolutely tanked 3 times a week (we were a methodist affiliated school, and were given wednesday mornings off, so Tuesday naturally became a drinking night!)  That was fun for a couple of years, but I started to get sick of it.  So naturally, I started looking for other synthetic highs.

The summer after my sophomore year was the first time I was back home for an extended peroid of time.  My grandmother was dying of congestive heart failure at the time.  She had fentanyl patches and PRN tramacet.  Well, I certainly wasn't going to steal her strictly regimented patches.  So I snagged some of those pink pills.  The first time I took them, I took 3 of them (which, in retrospect, was only 112.5mg!)  I felt terrible!  I took them before going to see a movie, and I think I passed out for the middle hour of the movie.  For some strange and regretable reason, though, I persisted, and eventually discovered that I quite liked the way it made me fell.  

Skip forward 2 years...

I had been taking tramadol (still mostly from my now dead grandmothers supply...how in the world did I string it out that long???)  only on occasion.  I actually usually only took it on mornings that I had class/lab at 8 am.  But two very unfortunate things happened back to back.  First, school started to get very, very difficult, and required several hours of studying every weeknight for me.  I truly hated it.  How to make it better?  Pop a couple trammies!!  Second very unfortunate thing: my girlfriend (now fiancee; god I love her!!) has chronic back pain due to a fused spine due probably to Celiac disease.  Her doctor had prescribed her tramadol.  A READY SOURCE!!!!!!  Well, I think you can all see where this is going...

The summer after my senior year...I was again living at home for the summer, and by a stroke of luck, so was my girlfriend (she was also in pharmacy school, a year ahead of me, and was now on rotations, 2 months of which she could live with my and my parents!) I had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease several years previously, and now had my very own prescription for tramadol.  I was blowing through a hundred every few weeks.  I think I knew at this point that it was unsustainable, but lord knows I did not care.  Suffice to say, I ran out one day, went into severe withdrawal, and freaked out so badly at work that they sent me down the hall to the ER.  I got my refill, but I could no longer fool my gf.  I was cut off, and suffered through hell for the next few weeks.  Fortunately, I soon went back to school, and the change of scenery worked magic.  I was back to feeling like myself, and proceeded to dominate the hardest year of school yet.

Skip forward 3 and a half years (and about 9 months ago)...

I am now a fully accredited and licensed pharmacy, working 3rd shift in a 1000 bed hospital (stupid large, you can't get good treatment in a hospital that large).  One of the other 3rd shift pharmacists had recently been hired, and so was training.  This meant that we always had one extra pharmacist.  I had no problem sitting off in the corner by myself, doing order entry for the majority of the night.  Well, one night while checking carts, I discovered a few tramadol in a bin.  They aren't controlled, and are dispensed just as casually as aspirin or amoxicillin, and just as loosely kept track of.  What could be the harm in snagging 2 little pills, right?  

Six months later I quit that job, in an attempt to break my re-found habbit.  I moved to a small, stand-alone ER that I figured would be much harder to steal from.  I was wrong.  Its just as easy to steal from.  I have tried to quit now on 4 consecutive weeks off (I work 7 on 7 off), and my fiancee has known about it every single time.  

I am sick of lying to her.  I am sick of stealing.  I am sick of running out part way through my week off, getting a couple of days into withdrawal, and then falling back into its clutches, just to make the mental anguish go away.  I was 7 days into it just a few weeks ago, but I caved.  I hate this.

Anyway, its been 5 days now, and I SWEAR TO GOD and all that is holy that this is it.  It feels just like it did 4 years ago.  I have a script for naltrexone now, so that even if I take it, it won't make me feel good.  Thank god my fiancee is a pharmacist too, and knows some of the tricks of the trade (especially after dating me for so long...:(  ).

So this is it.  I thought I might die from the near constant panick attacks I have been experiencing for 5 days.  I seem to remeber that it gets a little better fairly soon, but that is little condolence at the moment, as I'm sure you all know.  Was that the worst part for all of you out there?  It is for me.  Its the CONSTANT, ANXIETY/FEAR/DEPRESSION/PANIC that drives me absolutely batshit crazy!!!!  I can look past the lethargy, the flu like symtoms, the gut problems, its just the overwheling malaise and feeling that nothing is right in my world and never will be again that continually drives me to take more pills just to relieve the mental pain.

So, with that my friends, wish me good luck.  I hope that I still have a career, a fiancee, and a life when this is all said and done.  Again.  I know quitting is the right thing to do, and I was clean for almost 4 years.  Please be understanding of anyone who has relapsed.  I never forgot how awful withdrawal was, I just forgot who good it made me feel when I was on it.  I go back to work tomorrow night, and I'm as scared as a baby.  Wish me luck as I head out into my dark, scary world.

Joe



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by goatfarmer, Sep 05, 2012
Joe,
I relate all too well!!! I just want to send you a huge hug for your courage to break free! You are NOT alone! We all understanding and I am with you what drives me back is the CONSTANT ANXIETY/FEAR/DEPRESSION/PANIC. I dito that. HOwever.... it does slowly leave. I have been tapering for months. There were times I literally felt CRAZY! it was that bad! I still am having bouts of daily anxiety but not severe anymore thank GOd. I know I am depressed as well! THe lethargy has gotten better not gone but better. You will get through this and be a better person for it.
Can I encourage you though since this is your second time dealing with relapse etc (I have relapsed back several times over the last 9 years) this drug is hard to beat! But can I encourage you to take an antidepressant for awhile to get those chemicals in your brain that you desperately were craving thus the tramadol use?
I am going on effexor or cymbalta after I have my baby. Its better then going back on tram as tempted as I am. 9 years is a long time for my brain to get used to a medication! :( so I need something that is comparable and something that will help me not relapse as well!

Hang in there Joe we are here for you and I feel for you so much I wanted to cry when I read your post because I really relate. I also worked at a dr office years ago which is how I started on it in the first place after I got a script from my doctor then discovered it was easier to just steal it. I stole from the samples cabinet! :( That was actually 12 years ago and I was addicted for a year then stopped and have been on it constantly for NINE dang years. So if you count all my years of tram use its been about 12. :( but only about 10 of those years have been using. I have tapered off 3 times! only to not be able to handle the severe jump out of your skin anxiety, fear, depression so I end up going back on. This time I am saying NO! But I am willing to use a crutch to help me get through (antidepressant) can I encourage you to think of the same? I am thankful I no longer am working at a doctors office though because I don't know if I could trust myself again. But the guilt and fear I felt were so horrible that I doubt I would do that again. Again that was 12 years ago I did that.

Blessings and hugs to you! Boy do relate! You can do this!

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 05, 2012
Joe, you are incredibly courageous to tell your story and to decide again that this is insanity and that you want to be free from the grip of tramadol.  I couldn't physically withdraw cold turkey, so I'm tapering too. Seems like it's never ending but I'm determined to keep going.  Many on here have quit cold turkey. Sounds like you are so close to the end of the acute withdrawal from what I hear on here.  Are you able to call in sick until you are over the hump? And/or get help from your family Dr? Catapres (clonidine) has been a huge help for me!  I wear a patch but it can also be taken orally.  You will get through this Joe!  And you came to the right place here.  Sending you love and prayers.

I promised Fullmetal an update on my Dr appointment today...
I have renewed hope and feel really supported by my Dr.  He congratulated me on my progress and addressed some challenges I'm having.  He increased the dosage of my clonidine patch. I decided to stay with the patch rather than pill form to cut down on the number of pills I'm taking (especially now that I'm taking 5 separate doses of 1/2 tramadol pills.  

He is also starting me on Prozac (an SSRI) for now.  We chose this one because it helped me many years ago, so it's tried & true.   I have tried Cymbalta for my pain from Lyme, and like Effexor, is an SNRI.  The affect of norepinephrine (the "N") seems to add to my anxiety in the beginning and I didnt want that feeling during withdrawal right now.  I do understand how an SNRI is a good replacement for tram with its affects on both serotonin and norepinephrine.  It's a bit of an experiment, but like Goatfarmer and Fullmetal, I realized an antidepressant is needed to ease severe depression and prevent me from going backwards in my taper or relapsing to ease the depression.

The Prozac will also prevent the need to increase the klonopin.  I got comforting reassurance from my Dr that he would support me in tapering from this right after I'm done with tram.  I've been hating the fact that I'm on an addictive drug to help get off an addictive drug but he assured me it wouldn't take nearly as long for the amount I'm on and the length of time I've been on it.  I was on tram for over 2 years.

With all of this, we decided that I take an antibiotic holiday from my Lyme treatment.  Just too much mentally to deal with and too many pills to keep up with.  

So here I am. Putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward, slowly but surely.  You all are a blessing here.  Joe, hang in there.  I know you'll get some good feedback on how to ease your symptoms right now.  

Much love

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 05, 2012
Sarabie - thanks for checking in and giving us hope!  Congratulations on 1 year!!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 06, 2012
Hello everybody!! I hope you all realize how wonderful you are!
Move beyond- Prozac is one of the very best antidepressants on the market in my humble opinion. I am very glad your appointment went well. Reassurance is a balm for all that head jangling, isn't it? Keep goin Hon, every day your blood levels of the tram are decreasing because you are dropping the constant blood levels in your wean. When the dose is jacked up (back in the days we were imprisoned) the left over load from yesterday was huge, then we'd just pile on more. Meanwhile there was still left over residual from days before yesterday. Your system is clearing all that out with your diminishing doses. Do not worry about a big kick of w/d when you are done. It just can't happen. You'll be amazed how much the Prozac helps with the anxiety, depression AND you can pretty much count on no more brain zaps! Yippee!
Farmer- you are pretty clear in knowing what you need to do to stay off the tram. Same with me. I relapsed several times because the otherworldly waves of depression and anxiety were NOT DOABLE. I thought my brain and heart were going to spontaneously ignite and burn my @ss to the ground. One little pill, 20 minutes and voila! I could remain a resident within my own skin, again. So sad. So trapped!
Antidepressant and clonidine were ABSOLUTELY key for my success.
Joe- withdrawal $ucks. No doubt. I understand the drive back to the tram because of anxiety and depression. This drug kicked me to the curb. When I sought a separation from it, tram  sat just out of reach whispering soft promises to make things better if I'd 'get back together' I read this post for hours in my early days and it really helped. I went back several years. I said, above, the pharmaceutical interventions that helped me sever my addiction. Do whatever you need to do.
We are here for you.
Fight on warriors!! No surrender!!

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by nannero, Sep 06, 2012
Hi everyone.  My first 24 hours without a pill and it *****!  I was taking 4-50mg a day for 4-5 years and took my last one yesterday around this time.  The anxiety is horrible!  I'm at work right now trying to function. So far I haven't started bouncing off the walls.  I bought a bunch of amino acids/vitamins last night to help.  Anyone else tried that?  I'm thinking about calling the dr. to check on clonidine, but he's the one who started all of this.  I can't tell my whole story right now since I'm at work.  Any words of advice, encouragement would be so appreciated!

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 06, 2012
Nannero- get the clonindine! Please! You should be able to get script over the phone and start it ASAP! It works wonders! Call now!

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by nannero, Sep 06, 2012
Thanks!  I needed that reassurance.  I did make an appt with a different dr. I go in an hour.  I made it 5 1/2 hours at work today.  Didn't think I could do that-lol.  Told them my blood pressure was out of whack and I had to go to the dr.  Isn't really lying, huh?  I can feel it's out of whack!  Thanks for your help, it's unbelievable how much this forum and you have helped!  Now I just need to get through another night :(  

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by Jomer, Sep 06, 2012
Hello all, Joe here!

I think I may have made it out of my dark forest.  Yes, I am still not right, and and pretty mentally f'd up, but I have a certain peace of mind back.  My largest concern was that my employer had figured out who was taking their tramadol.  I think (read: hope) that I may have skirted the edge of disaster on this one.  They have rearranged where the tramadol is kept, and now it is much harder to access, and there is a direct record of who touches it, renderring it essential untouchable to me.  I think that with how far I've come through withdrawal and the fear of God I put in myself thinking that the DEA would be waiting with handcuffs for me when I came in tonight, I will NEVER put my hands in the cookie jar ever again!!  I am not through this yet, but I think I may have just overcome a MAJOR hurdle in my recover.  I hope I am not jinxing myself, and I hope that by posting this I do not draw attention to myself and get caught, but I am resolved, and I have a newfound strength.  

Thank you all for your prayers and kind words.  They mean more than you can possibly imagine.  Goatfarmer, when I read your reply, I literally cried,  just because it was the first time in I don't know how long that I didn't feel lonely; that I felt someone related to me.  What an emotional swing.  Thank you.

I have to relearn how to live now.  My apartment doesn't feel like its the same one I've been living in for 2 years.  My job certianly does not feel the same.  I have to prove to my fiancee that I am trustworthy again.  This journey is not over.  But maybe, just maybe, I will make it out of this alive.

Please, everybody out there struggling, have faith.  

Joe

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 07, 2012
Joe- things will be fine. If they haven't confronted you yet they really can't. If you did a drug test now it would be negative. Yes, they noticed that quantities were missing and have taken measures to rectify that but I don't see how any further action can happen. Tramadol can be ordered on the Internet easily. You mentioned that your partner, at least used to have a script AND it's pretty easy to show up at urgent care with some pain problem and get a script of tram, or your MD or whatever. So....you are out of this woods and won't take from work again but the forrest is huge!
I am really happy you won't have a licensing issue or employment issues. I imagine that will help tremendously with your anxiety going forward. You must have 6 days..that's GREAT! Try to be easy on yourself. Addiction to tram affected many areas of my life, too. It kind of settles over time. There was a man on this thread who hid his addiction from his wife for 11 years! My kids, hopefully, will never know. It is the nature of addiction to hide it! Nobody brings it to the fore as a matter of course. It is always in some kind of crisis that these things are revealed, if ever. I do have people who know but I also know I can trust them and know they will support me.  Then there are all of us here who are aligned on this journey out of the madness. Keep going! A bullet dodged!!
Last 2 nights were bad for sleeping but generally I am doing ok. REALLY grateful. I feel such a weight lifted.
Move beyond- I hope the Prozac is working out. Did you go down on the tram today?
Farmer- keep going hon! I liked reading your last post. It is regretful to look at time and energy drained during addiction!
Kids benefit most from a sober and loving mom. You are providing the greatest gift. Soon now, you will be started on your AD and I know it will be a relief. Your strength and dedication are amazing.  
WE SHALL NOT FLAG NOR FAIL...WE SHALL GO ON TO THE END...WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER
w churchill
Fight On!

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by dalzona, Sep 07, 2012
Hope everyone has a fun and productive weekend!  No tram since July 6 - 2 months!!!  I keep thinking of the money I'm saving by not buying 180 pills every 3 weeks :)  



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by nannero, Sep 07, 2012
Good morning everyone.  It's helped so much to read everyone's experiences thru this madness.  I did get clonidene yesterday and I think it's helping.  I feel pretty weak/upset stomach/headache but I'm hoping the anxiety/creepy crawlies will be manageable. I've told a few people what's going on, but can't say anything at work.  I'm going in today a little later.  Told them my new blood pressure meds were making me dizzy.  I hate lying, but it's such a small office nothing can be kept secret there.  Thanks Fullmetaljacket for your words of encouragement!

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by HumbledXtian, Sep 07, 2012
Dalzona, two months is fantastic. Way to go!

Joe, you're up to a week. That's a great milestone.

Hang in there everyone, we can beat tram.

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by goatfarmer, Sep 07, 2012
Joe,
The same exact thing happened to me! I was terrified to say the least. I was at work and the doctor asked the nurses " Is someone in here taking these tramadol samples because they are flying out of here?". At that time I was only on 4-6 a day.  I panicked , you should have seen my face! Then he came over to talk to me and I couldn't even talk. I can't believe I went so long without thinking I would be caught. Anyway they didn't accuse me which was a relief but they put the ultram up with the other drugs and locked them up so the nurses had to sign them out!  I had a hunch they new it was me.That was the last time I ever stole from them again. I was terrified! I had visions of getting my kids taken away, visions of me going to jail etc.  It stopped my addiction for a year or two can't remember exactly. And whats weird is I have never EVER stole anything in my whole life. I was always too scared of the consequences. I was raised to never lie, cheat or steal PERIOD or you get your butt beat! LOL.

Oh boy do I relate!

We can do this! It's funny though because I am scared to say "I will never pick up another tram as long as I live". Why does that seem so scary? I feel like a better mom on it however I am sure thats how the little pill is deceiving me,but it really acts like a mood stabilizer for me and I am less stressed..Thus me going on effexor or cymbalta soon because that will probably help just as good without addiction potential.

Nannero, yay for clonidine. Wish I could take that!  Hoping you feel better soon!
Dalzona, What an inspiration you are! Can';t wait to be where you are.
Movebeyond: how are you doing hon?
Fullmetal: as always your posts are so encouraging, Sending hugs.

Feeling a little weak today and haven't even tapered yet. Was up ALL night with my 4 year old due to fever and severe cough. Then got up at 5:15 outa bed. Feeling like a zombie! LOL.
Still stuck at 1/2 pill a day! Why is that amount so hard to cut back? Why am I so scared to cut back more? Wish I had the guts to cold turkey it!

Much love to you all,
Don't know what I would do without you!

Joe I am praying for you!
Please all excuse all my typos lately. I am not going back to reread my posts due to being lazy! :)

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 07, 2012
Happy weekend everyone! So good to hear updates!

Talking about dishonesty struck a chord with me.  I'm not new to addiction, but relatively new to tram and with my health condition (late stage Lyme) it seemed okay.  And it was, partly. I was in chronic pain for a long time and needed to be more functional.  BUT the addict in me felt I had found another answer!  Ah ha!  And this time I have a legit reason!!  Tram has helped the pain but it has also helped the insecurities, the not feeling right in my own skin, the lack of motivation, etc, etc. And suddenly, two years have flown by and I discovered I was screwed by withdrawal - a slave to these pills. They had become my additional limbs.  They went everywhere I went and I clutched on to them with all of my might.  "Where's my purse?!?"  NOT the way I want to live and NOT the way I'm going to heal.

This drug does not serve me anymore.

I'm so grateful to be where I am today. I successfully went down to 2 1/2 pills a day and I feel pretty okay. Dare I say better? The Prozac already seems like it has started to help. Fullmetal, you're right that my brain zaps are going away!  I feel like I'm coming back to ME and it feels good.  I know I have a way to go but I'm not stopping. I feel like I've been floating through life the past two years so DISTRACTED by pills and in a false sense of okay-ness, I wasn't fully present.  I don't want life to go by NOT FULLY PRESENT.

So much incredible advice and support has been given on this site.  You all are amazing, kind, honest, humble people.  I wouldn't have come this far without it.  I will keep going forward and I feel myself getting stronger, becoming more of a warrior! I expect more hurdles but that's okay. Onward! ...with overwhelming gratitude for all of you.


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by Jomer, Sep 07, 2012
Joe here!

At work again, day 2 of 7.  You know, after being at home for the first 5 days of withdrawal, it almost feels like a refuge to be out of the house, where all of that evil went down.  I have been clean for 7, going on 8 days now.  Thats so refreshing to say!  I believe the acute anxiety has left me.  I drove home this morning, and so many things struck me at once.  First, I forgot how much I love music! I was listening to my ipod, and it seemed like every song was resonating with me.  (Btw, I think all of us on this site should listen to the song "Its Been Awhile" by Staind, and read the lyrics.  Don't know what he was addicted to, but it made me cry, cuz its pretty much exactly how I feel.)  Second, I remembered how much I love to cook!  I haven't grilled out or really even made an attempt to feed myself in probably half a year.  Thats not me!!!  Other things occured to me too, but they escape me at the moment :)

Only bad moment of the day was with my fiancee.  She was at work before I left for work, and it was an agreement that I would take the Naltrexone before I went to work.  I HATE the way this drug makes me feel.  For those of you who don't know what Naltrexone is, its a pure opioid antagonist.  That is to say, even if you take an opiate, this drug will actively block all the good feelings you are looking for.  (Although there is some debate about if its 100% efficacious for tramadol, being that tramadol is not a true opiate, but trust me, it will put you into immediate withdrawal.)  Anyway, I promised her that I took it, but flushed it down the toilet, knowing inside my heart that I wasn't going to take any Tramadol anyway.  Well, I didn't check very well, and it stuck to the bottom of the toilet apparently, and she called my dumb *** out on it.  She called me and asked if I took it, I said yes, she said then why is it in the toilet, I said cuz I put it there, she said STOP LYING TO ME.  I tried to explain yet again that I hate this drug and the way it makes me feel, she said, then don't take it, but don't tell me you took it when you didn't!!!

I guess recover is a long process...

We have since made up, because she is a way bigger person than I am or ever will be.  But it made me start to think: what is it about this drug that made me lie all the f-ing time??  Even when I'm not taking it, it still has power over me, to make me do things I would otherwise not do.  Nothing should have so much power, and its continually shocking and humbling.  

Well, I wish the best to everybody out there.  Get some sleep, feel the love!

Joe

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 08, 2012
Uh-oh. Now that the feeling has left that I want to jump out of my skin....I walk around feeling as if I don't have any!
Raw. Good word for it. Everything that was pretty numbed up while I was in my little tramaworld cloud is becoming painfully clear. D@mn. $ucks. I am not romanticizing my use. I was drawn to it for some compelling reasons. I had my excuses, too. (of course) threadbare as they were. I remember vacillating between the benefits and the horrors of this addictive trap I found myself in. This was my haven and my he!!.I kept my tramadol habit to myself because I didn't want to quit and anyone who loved me and knew what I was doing would have expected me to do something about it. Like quit! So they couldn't know because I didn't WANT to quit. Well, sometimes I really really did want to but not enough to take the plunge and be disclosing. what do I feel under all that foggy, hazy, energetic, intense, numbed,secret life?
Lonely, scared, sad, much regret, sluggish, fearful and pretty stupid. I've done some really great things in my life. Ive done some really $hitty things, too. The bad stuff comes to mind so easily these days. Eeeuwwwh! Memories flit through my mind unbidden, out of nowhere. It seems as though I 'dampened down' so much with the tram that now that the medicating is unroofed this $hit is oozing out all over the place.
I do see this as an important part of staying clean. Facing this stuff. I contacted a woman that I've seen for counseling before and am going to dig in. I use drugs to tolerate the intolerable and because I lack skills to cope with pain. Being a human being is hard work. Sometimes very painful. For me, anyway, I tend to let things build up and then want to medicate. Who in their right friggin mind (me) would think that a little white pill would possibly be a solution to life's problems? The walls start closing in pretty quickly.
I am thrilled to be a ways out from the withdrawal. THAT was horrible. Doable but difficult. I figure if I could do that then I can face up to some of this stuff that drives me to addictive behavior. I chew nicorette like a fiend. I haven't been able to get my @ss to yoga.....however there are moments of great lightness and freedom. I don't wake up in a huge sweat and fear liver damage. I don't wonder, after taking a big dose, all at once, if today will be the day I have a seizure. That's pretty cool. I don't put my order in for a prescription and hang up the phone knowing I am a drug addict and wondering how I am going to get out of this trap someday. I don't look into the eyes of the fedex guy and wonder if HE knows I am a drug addict. I don't put a stash a few different places in case someone steals my purse. (you never know, and I didn't want a forced withdrawal) no more fear of being found out and having to explain my drug problem to someone who loves me and I've been hiding it from ( then seeing the disappointment in their eyes, and the hurt) no more manipulation, deceit, secret life, fear of running out, counting pills, feeling falsely secure when I had a few hundred of those little white @ssholes --that in reality ran my life. But hey! Don't let reality spoil my fantasy!
No....no more of those things happening in my life these days. I have made many mistakes but getting out of this madness is not one of them.
All of you are SO courageous. It is a battle to break free. I get so much strength from each of you. Thank you for that.
I am determined to be free. Whatever it takes, no matter how uncomfortable these truths are to face, it can't be worse than being a slave to a drug. FIGHT ON!

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 08, 2012
Fullmetal- go to yoga! Please!

I am reminded of you saying "Nannero- get the clonidine! Please!"

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by nannero, Sep 08, 2012
Fullmetal, I hope you're doing a little better now.  Stop beating yourself up!  That won't do any good.  I'm glad you're going to a counselor.  I couldn't imagine doing this without anyone's help!  25 days is amazing!  Especially for someone like me with a total of 3-lol.  The clondine has helped I think.  More anxiety today, but I think it's because I didn't have to drag my a** to work today.  My BF is home and he knows what's going on.  Boy, that little white devil is screaming in my head right now.  Just one and all of this will go away.  Come on, you have too much going on right now in your life to stop now.  Do it later.  I hope I can make it through this without ending up on a mental ward!  
I'm going to an AA meeting tonight to fess up.  I haven't had a drink in over 10 years, but can't really say I was sober since 4-5 years ago.  I can't really remember how long I've been on this ride - too long, though!  I know a lot of people don't believe in AA/NA, but it worked for me in the past and I have lots of friends in recovery that I know will be there for me. Prayers to anyone doing this alone.  
One more thing, does green tea help with the anxiety?  
Thanks again everyone for taking the time to get your stories out there for us newbies!

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by Jomer, Sep 09, 2012
Tonight at work was by far harder than the first 2 nights.  I don't know if I was super psyched up for the first couple nights and then that crashed, or if it was just way slower tonight, but it was waaaaay harder to get through tonight.  Oh well, at least I have baseball pennent chase and fantasy football to concentrate on!  

I woke up today, and was having some severe anxiety again.  I wasn't particularly expecting that, and it took me off guard.  Hope tomorrow will be better...

Joe

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by Movebeyondthis, Sep 09, 2012
Joe, I hope today gets better for you. Every day that passes you're getting closer to feeling better.

I had a tougher day 3 yesterday on my new taper schedule and wasnt expecting that either.  Though from my experience and from other's here the third day is often challenging, with of course the randomness of withdrawal thrown in that is the nature of tram withdrawal.

Goatfarmer, how are you doing? I can relate to your fear about moving down from or jumping from 1/2.  I have no idea what I will do when I get to that low of a dose. Though I know it's different for everyone, you're charting the course for me as we both go as slowly as our bodies can take.  Please keep us posted.  You're my hero!

Fullmetal, I agree with Nannero. Though you're raw and feeling your emotions more, please be extra kind to yourself. Imagine what you would say to someone you love and say that to yourself. Write it down and post it on your bathroom mirror.  Emotions won't hurt us if we don't fight them or stuff them or judge them.  We feel them, observe them or explore them if needed, then we let them pass through us.  We don't need and can't afford to carry their weight around everywhere we go. Then they become ammo.  I'm saying this to myself too as I write.

We had tornados touch down here yesterday.  I have a lot of family in neighborhoods close to me. Houses were torn apart, gigantic trees came down, many cars destroyed.  My family is fine gratefully.  I just pray that nobody else was hurt.  Life is delicate.

Much love everyone.  Let's agree to be easy on ourselves and on our loved ones.

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by legaljunky, Sep 09, 2012
I see we have a bunch of new Tramadevil warriors and you remind me of where I was a year ago.  After a very slow, agonizing taper I took my last Tram on 9/10/11.  And then it became tougher before it got better.  I became more and more functional until at day 130 of zero Tram I totally felt like myself again.  I think some have a harder time than I did and some easier.  But no matter what, I had to fight  the fight to get where I am today- better for the fight- now I feel I can do anything I set my mind to.  Before I took Tram and killed it I had never felt so powerful. I am so grateful to Emily and all of my fellow warriors for being here on this life saving forum.

I know you are hurting and I 'm sending you love, strength, and tenacity to stay in the battle, one day or one minute at a time, whatever it takes.  The rewards WILL come!



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by EmilyPost, Sep 09, 2012
Good Morning all!


This thread is closed!

Please move to Part 54!

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/549766/Tramadol--Ultram-Recovery-Room-Part-54

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by Fullmetalalchemist, Sep 09, 2012
Hello warriors!
Thanks for your responses, move beyond and nannero. I can't see that I am being hard on myself but it must be there if you both can read that. I really think this stuff is good. My family of origin was truly psychopathically abusive and I need to put some of these things to bed. Sometimes, through out my life, I've tried to tell the story of my experience with my family and the validation and mirroring have never been there. Truth be told, most people just don't know what to say that would be a comfort to me. So they usually have said something about their experience that they think is a way of relating but it pales, SO pales in comparison. I am left feeling more ashamed and less solid in my core. I am at the threshold of getting what I need to understand ( as well as that can happen) but also feel the feelings I need to to grieve and heal. This has been a powerful driver in my self destructive patterns. I want to have some resolution and help looking at it in a way that honors me and my experience. I am getting this help now and finally.
What does this have to do with tram? Everything! I am actually doing rather well. I can't begin to explain what a relief it is for me to do this work. As far as withdrawals? I am doing very well. ( other than the yoga) something really big is in the way, there. I can't force this, I think. I want to be gentle about it. I did go get a physical last Thursday. I felt good about that. I go to Boston a week from tomorrow to visit my daughter at school. She is in an MBA program there, starting 2 weeks ago. I worried so much about how I would manage the tram during this visit. So relieved that will not be an issue.
I have not gained any weight in withdrawal and recovery. My waves of depression are there but well controlled. Some from withdrawal and some from this stuff I HAVE been stuffing for years!
You people are amazing! Yes! Some days just kinda $uck. I just have to try to realize that tomorrow will be different. Otherwise I begin to terrorize myself with the idea the bad days will stretch out endlessly into the future.
I went to a recovery meeting yesterday, too nannero! It was wonderful. Very good for me to be in the presence of others fighting to be free of addiction.
Move beyond- YOU are an angel!
Fight on brave ones!
I believe in you!

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by iamdone84, Sep 14, 2012
So here it is I've been taking 6 tram a day. Now iam on my 2 nd day feeling like crap but I mush do this my kids and husband are more important to me ...this has been hell I just news to know there is light at the end of the tunnel! I need surport I have tries this time after time :( this time I have. Celexa and buspar to help me I hope anyway I've never heard of this beforei need some feed back plaza I want from the bottom of my heart to do this :(

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by skh4you, Sep 21, 2012
Hello everybody. I've been taking 2 24-hour tramadol ERs a day (100s). They worked great for the severe back pain I have, especially the nerve pain between my shoulder blades. However, I started needing a third pill, did that one day and realized it was going to become an addiction. So I am on the third day of getting off these. It's miserable, but I knew it would be. I've got some Thera Flu and it helps. A couple benadryl at night puts me to sleep which is luck. The problem is: the excruciating pain that made me try this in the first place. There has to be something that is not addictive that can help those of us in severe pain. I haven't found anything yet. That is what pulls me back to opiates.

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by Tramdohhh, Oct 01, 2012
Hi everyone, I just found this forum and could use some people to talk to. I really just need some hope at the end of what seems is going to be a long tunnel of recovery. Today is my first day without any pills. I felt like the only person in the world with this problem even though it was highly unlikely to the only one. I am in a new state without any friends or family so this will be a hard road. I have been reading your stories and realize I have to kick this. I was/am using a lot more than most of the people hear and I am so worried I am going to have severe health problems with this detox. I am worried and also scared. I also wonder what those of you that take the pills for pain do for that pain now? I have disc issues in my back and the injections do not help enough so that I can function or at least I think. Maybe the pain is because of the withdrawal? Every time I have tried to quit it hurt so bad I kept taking them.

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by looking4help43, Oct 02, 2012
Hello there....
I am so very glad that I have found this chat group!!! Seriously.... I have been on trams for about 3 years now... I range from 8-12 50 mg daily. I am 25 years old...and have a 4 year old daughter. I was prescribed tramadol for Endometriosis a few years back.... this drug has completely taken over my life! I too....just fear running low on supply...its an every day battle in my head! I have tried a few different times to go cold turkey. The w/d is just so damn unbearable!!! How do any of you going through this....go to work....take care of kids....or even do anything?? Seriously....at about day 2-3......I am sicker then sick!!! My fiance is a recovering methadone addict...he quit cold turkey almost a year ago....after a 7 year addiction to heroin....and a 5 year addiction to methadone! I am very very proud of him....however I hide the fact that I have an addiction now... I dont want to make him relapse or anything....also when I get sick...because I dont have them....its so damn hard to try and keep that from him! I suffer from insomnia and depression as well....it was something I had before the tram.....but also something that has escalated since starting them! When I went cold turkey the first time....I literally did not sleep for 6 days straight.... honestly...I got maybe 2 or 3...one hour power naps in the 6 days. I ended up in the emergency room because I was so sick and delerious at that point!!! I need help!!! I need to get off of these for once and all!!!! I want to have another baby...and cant do so...until I beat this addiction!!!! I want my normal life back!!!!!! The sad thing....is its getting to the point...where I cant even remember "life before trams"...... I hate it! I hate this drug! A TINY pill with HUGE consequences!!! What is the best way to taper?? I am at 12 a day now....please...someone point me in the right direction......please!!!!!!    Thank you for listening!!!!!   Jess

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by angel187, Oct 14, 2012
Hello all.. I really need your help.  I have been on here in early April when I found out my husband was an Ultram addict.  It has been a windy road since then... Long story short.. everything blew up about 6 weeks ago when I finally told him that in order for me to help him he would either have to take a weekly drug test or leave.  My husband was up to 40 pills a day.  In July 11 he suffered a seizure while driving.  We were on our way to a wedding and thank GOD we just got off the parkway driving 60 MPH.  We were at a red light when he suffered the seizure.  I thought he was dying.  It was the most horrible experience I have ever had.  (At this point) I had no idea he was addicted to Ultram.. Didn't even know he was taking it. Ambulance took him to the ER -- ran a battery of tests.. all came back normal.. went to specialist.. they put him on Brand name Keppra.. said that he would have his driving restored if he takes the Keppra.. (Thank GOD no one was hurt.. only the car in front of us was bumped several times until I could get the car in park (All while thinking my love was dying).
In April of 12.. I found him acting very weird.. Not sure what happened or what made me check his phone but he had several messages and I listened to them.. several online pharmacies confirming delivery to him.. WHAT.. I was in shock.. I didn't know what to do..I finally confronted him and of course he lied.. said he was only taking a 10-12 ultram a day and that he was going to quit.  I made him flush the rest down the toilet (HAD I KNOWN THE EXTENT I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT)... He stopped cold turkey.. OHMYGOSH.. I have never seen anything like it.. had to take him to the ER because his heart rate was through the roof.. it was there that he finally came clean.. He was taking 40 + pills a day.  once that information was provided they treated him like complete crap.. of course because he did this to himself. They sent him home with two ativan pills and told him to follow-up with his PCP.  Went to his PCP .. and she was very understanding.. I made him come clean with her because she was also prescribing the medication for him as well. (He was in a near-fatal car accident in 07 had his whole right side crushed had multiple surgeries etc.. this is where this has stared)
She suggested a detox program.. We did it.. He spent a week in the hospital Thought it would all be good from there.. Nope.. He made it 3 weeks and started this vicious circle all over again.. lying and hiding.. etc.  this happened several times on and off. ordering them tapering off..He was on about 20 pills a day at this last time 6 weeks ago did it. I have done research on a drug called Naltrexone.. I did research and David agreed to take this.. it would inhibit the effects of any opiates (was told it would work with Ultram). We wanted to get the shot which lasts a month but it was 1300.00 a month so we opted for the pill form.  He has been taking it faithfully for six weeks.. He had a yearly check-up two weeks ago re: seizures and they told him that he could stop the medicine since it has been a year.. He decided to stay on it..

here is the kicker.. on Friday night .. he suffered another seizure.  OHMYGOSH.. I can't believe it.. Could this be from the last time he was taking Ultram?? 6 weeks ago??? or am I completely blind and he is doing it again?? Any help?

Thank you

Kimberly


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by tramrevil, Oct 14, 2012
these are evil pills .my girlfriend is addicted to them.she is a diffrent person.i dont no what to do anymore.its so sad to see her like this but theres nothink more i can do for her at the moment.she wont listen to me.ikept on telling her they have got a grip of you.i dont no what to do anymore.her mood swings.she is like a stranger to me.she needs help.i need help because they destroy familys.she wont admit she has a problem.think twice before any boddy takes these pills.

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by tramrevil, Oct 14, 2012
hello every one ...i have learned alot from these sites....about trying to understand what people are going threw...my girl friend .or should i say ex girlfriend..we have been  for 12 years ..hates me because i told her that she was geting adicted to those pills.....she got them of her doctor about a year ago...she must of been takeing a few more to start of with .she was running out and geting some of her brother in law.she admited to me about a month ago she was geting high of them and not useing them for her pain she got them of her doctor for....she lies to me saying she dosent take them every day...but i no she dose.....she is lieing to her doctor....but i feel so so sorry for her....what can i do ....she is a slave to the drug.....ive seen her with the runny nose in the morning......i am not living with my family ...it hurts like mad....its all down to tramadol.......i dont no how many pills she taken a day ...and she mite be takeing other pills as well....tramadol as wrecked another family...

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by michael5249, Dec 03, 2012
I need help getting off this crap. I've been taking tramadol for about 5 years. It started out for dental pain and it took me like the wind. Recently I was up to 40-50 50mg a day. I started taking 50mg then I went to the 100mg pill. I buy them by the bottle. 100 pills 100mg for $23.00 so getting them is not a problem. They are sold over the counter where I am at. With prices like those you can see why I ended up where I did. I've been able to cut it down to about 14 100mg pills but I still feel like ****. I have kicked these 3 times cold turkey but my doses were no where near this and I no way am going to cold turkey on these doses. I started with 50mg 2 a day and then 4 a day and then 6 a day. It did not really get so out of hand until a year and a half ago. I've been taking 6-7 100mg pills at a time. Thats 12-14 50mg. I need help with a taper schedule. My wife is very supportive and actually holds onto them now for me so I don't eat them all at once. Before that I was taking 100 pills at 100mg in a week so 4 bottles of 100mg a month for about 3 months now. She gave me like 8 100mg this morning before she went to work and I took 4 right after I woke up. Can anyone suggest a taper schedule to help me get off this stuff? I've been walking around like a total zombie lately. I can't remember ****, I can't see very well anymore. My bones and joints ache so bad and this never had happened before so I'm thinking this is the tramadol doing this to me. I'm a 47 year old Male. Thanks for your advice.

Michael


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by EmilyPost, Dec 03, 2012
Hi Michael ...

Can you come to the new thread?

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/571061/-Tramadol--Ultram-Recovery-Room-Part-55?personal_page_id=929288


plenty of people there currently withdrawing who can really help ... maybe copy and paste your entry ...

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by michael5249, Dec 04, 2012
Sure Emily.

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by zenzen151, Jan 16, 2013
Hi I'm new.  It's day 5 and I think I'm dying or wish I would.   On it for 3 years because of broken hip, leg, etc.   I have spasms, electric jolting in my body randomly, I can bearly walk and can't put my arms over myhead, can't sleep and my legs are wild at night.  The drug changed my personality. Cold chills, cold sweats.  Exhausted and pissed off.  Thanks for the forum.  I'll check back in later.

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by Rob3755, Mar 24, 2013
First and foremost, I'm not religious at all but I feel so BLESSED to have found this forum!! Reading through this thread, reading about other people's symptoms and withdrawal experiences, I just want to shout 'YES!! That's exactly how I feel!' Hearing so many other people mention the 'brain zaps', u seriously had ok idea that was a common withdrawal symptom!  Mine are so intense! So my story, to keep it short, is I've been addicted to this poison for over 10 yrs now, since 2002. And I am only 28 yrs old, so this is over a third of my life now. For the last 5 yrs, once I discovered how easily I could get these online, my usage has ranged (get ready, I am not kidding) from 400mg to 1600mg a day (seriously, some days I'd take 12 50mg pills at a time, 2-3 times a day, I should not be alive right now). My tolerance was out of control. I would buy from 2-3 different online pharmacies, rotating them every other week or so. I have not gone more than 24 hrs without this drug in my system since probably 2007. Withdrawal kicks in about 6-8 hrs after a dose. I've never been able to kick it, too damn scared of how I am, and how I feel when I go through withdrawal. I become so incredibly irritable that I am unbareable to be around. I just want to crawl in a corner and die. My whole body hurts. Headaches that never let up and no amount of OTC Meds can relieve. I've always referred to the brain zaps as Vertigo, bc that's the only comparison I could think of, but they're intense. I cannot sleep whatsoever when I am going through withdrawal, I will toss n turn all night. Restless Legs Syndrome is a guarantee. My energy is sapped. Anxiety and hopelessness go through the roof. Unfortunately I work in an environment where I have to interact with customers all day, so part of my excuse for quitting has always been a fear of losing my job. And anyone who has as intense of a withdrawal as I do can probably appreciate that, even if it seems illogical. I know how I get and I honestly can't imagine having to deal with people. Its just more than I can handle. So here is where I am at now. First off, I've decided to try and quit once and for all. It's just getting too hard to get these anymore, and I need to kick this while it's still up to me when I do it. I don't want up be forced into it bc I can't get them anymore, I want to do this while I still have some 'illusion' of control. I've always felt like these pills made me more social, more happy, more likeable, whatever. I convinced myself that they were basically just acting like an antidepressant so that made it ok. 3 months ago, I was taking 16-20 pills per day. As of today, I'm officially down to 1-2 pills per day. I've been taking no more than 2 per day for about 3 weeks now so I feel confident that I can really do it this time. But my question is, once I finally kick it, once I go from 1 a day to none, how many days of complete misery am I facing? How long before I feel normal again? All I want anymore is to feel normal. I know that it's going to be different for everyone, I get that. I'm just trying to get a vague idea of what I'm in for once I take this final step. So if anyone who has successfully quit by tapering instead of straight cold turkey could share their experiences, especially time frames for this drug to lose its grip on my system, I'd really appreciate it! And thank you to everyone for sharing, it's such a relief to know that others are going through this!!!

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by Rediscovering, May 22, 2013
I just wanted to say somewhere since my family is mostly unaware of my tram addiction especially of how much I really have taken in the past. I wanted to put out there that I am down from 16-18 trams a day to 8. I am going to try 7 today. I have not felt this proud of myself in quite a while. I have been on tram for 6 yrs for endometriosis and am finally getting off. Just had to share it somewhere. Thank you!!!

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by Tommyboy1979, Jul 11, 2013
Way to go ReDisc!   Keep it up!  

Im actually sad to be on here again.  I had kicked Tramadol with the loving support of my GF and was clean for three years and then I started taking it again.  My gf found out again and I stopped and went through withdraw a couple of days and was off for a while but found a bottle and started taking them again.  She doesn't know and its been a few months but Ive already jumped up to 10 a day.   The last two times I stopped it was because i got caught and I wanted to keep my girlfriend and I think part of my failure to stay off is because I didnt make the decision myself.    I now want tomake that decision.  I want to get off this for myself and stay off it for good.   This is my decision and I want to see it through.  

I have about 110 pills left and I planned a pretty strong Taper off of 10 a day.  I need to balance this between being done as fast as possible and not letting on to my GF that I was on pills again.  I will tell her one day but I want to be sober when I do.   I dont think she will understand that I need to do this for myself and go through it myself because when I want those pills again its onlt going to be myself that will stop me from getting it.

Im down to 8 pills and im doing ok.   Two in the morning at around 9am and 6 at 3pm.  
I plan to reduce a pill every 3 days until I get down to 3 a day.  Then ill drop it by 1/2 a pill every 3 days until im down to 1 a day and then ill drop it by .25 every 3 days until Im done.

I dont enough pills to prolong it more than this.  I can get more but I dont want to unless I have to...

Do you think this will work?

Your comments will be helpful for me.

I really want to tell my GF but it would kill her and our relationship and I dont want any outside pressure to quit.  I want to do this myself.

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by IcanDoThis68, Jul 11, 2013
This is my first post on a this forum, though I have been reading it for a year. I came to Tramadol via my Wife, who works at a veterinarian clinic. I was suffering kidney stones, beginning back in 2007. The clinic owner\head vet and Wife's boss suggested that these trams may help me through the worst of the stone pain. I have no health insurance, so I accepted never even hearing of Tramadol before. Worked like a charm. Didnt take long to begin feeling the serotonin boost from 1 to 3 pills at a time. Liked it a lot. No former pain pill history, so went head-on in. passed the stone, kept taking the tram. Lied to my wife for a good 3 years, complaining of pain from kidney stones. She would bring me a bottle, i would take a lot for a few days, then attempt a taper with the rest. Fail, fail, fail. I have gone from 15 down to 2 a day more times than I am able to remember. I finally told my partner the truth, and she worked up a good taper plan, which she monitored. At that point I discovered all of the online sites for purchasing the pills.At the point where i was supposedly off the trams via my wifes taper plan, I simply began buying 90ct 50 mg tabs behind her back. With that, I am now back down to 150 mgs a day. My taper plan includes 150 mg today, spread out 2x a day. I will do this for 2 days. Then 2 pills a day, one in a.am one in p.m. I am finally at the place of shame, where I know I can do this.Must do this. Tommyboy, I commend you on your start. I think your plan sounds doable. You sound ready. Good luck and post often. I for one, will be reading!

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by EmilyPost, Jul 11, 2013
Hi there I can do this 68,

You CAN do this!

There's a current thread where people are actively withdrawing.  If you would like, you can join us there.  We'd love to have you.

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/720959/Tramadol--Ultram-Recovery-Room-58

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by IcanDoThis68, Jul 11, 2013
Thanks Emily! I shall move to room 58!

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