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Tramadol & Ultram Withdrawal; Cold Turkey or Taper Room Part Two

Feb 18, 2009 - 153 comments
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Hello Everyone!

Well done! Well Played! Welcome to a New Thread!

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by EmilyPost, Feb 18, 2009
Mornng Tramadol Warriors!

KC - ((((hugs)))) First I am sorry you are having a bad day and bad days happen, with or without Tramadol withdrawal.

KC you wrote,  "((Emily)) – I know you are tapering Klonopin, but are you concerned about anxiety once you are done?"  

No I am not concerned about anxiety when  am off Klonopin because the characteristic of any drug (any drug ... all of them .... any of them) is that eventually you need MORE to get the same effect. This is called Tolerance. They give you more; you take more. You think More Must be the Answer ...

And then you reach a state in which you are taking a high dose and it has simply turned on you. This is called Tolerance Withdrawal.

I reached Tolerance Withdrawal on Klonopin probably at the same time I reached it on Tramadol.

You can never go home again.

You will NEVER get the same effect from a pill as you did in the beginning when you reach Tolerance Withdrawal.

With Klonopin this means I was taking t, and it was having the opposite reaction. It was CAUSNG panic, anxiety and tension.

Today I am suffering GREATLY from anxiety and I want to know if this is normal par-for-the-course-Day 8-withdrawal-stuff, or if I will ever be able to taper from my Benzo (Xanax)? We have discussed in previous posts how we agree that depression/anxiety do NOT go hand-in-hand.  So I was wondering, since you too suffer from anxiety and are tapering from an anti-anxiety med, what is your plan for dealing with the anxiety in the future?  At this point, my anxiety is so severe I can't imagine EVER getting off Xanax.  However, if something has worked for you (other than an antidepressant – because I have tried ever one out there and they make my anxiety WORSE) please share your plan?"

Yes of course anxiety is normal at Day 8, 9, 10 and upward for this withdrawal.

The depression came on me HEAVY and so fast it made me dizzy. BUT.  I did not freak out because  know that subtle difference between real anxiety and chemically caused anxiety.

I would say gentle KC that you don't need to worry about tapering a Benzo til you are many months off Tramadol. I think several months is best. Be calm about t and smart. Also you only have to do today. The next few minutes make a good decision about what will help you.

Your anxiety is also spiked because you are coming off an anti depressant and you are primarily an anxiety person ... and the Tramadol makes you sick, increases pain and literally tries to drive you crazy.

We'll see what happens with no Klonopin. It's too early to tell.

You don't need to consider anything other than getting Tramadol good and gone.

My plan is to be off all Medication. Great nutrition, yoga, enthusiasm for life. My back has less pain. It is manageable; even though I am tapering a Benzo. We'll see f the anxiety I have had was due to my accidents, the pain, or due to the pills or organic. But I can't give you an answer til I am off Benzos.

Pills were making me sick.


Love and healing,
Emily




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by KC67, Feb 18, 2009
Emily,
Thank you for starting this new thread in your journal.  At the rate we are going, you are going to have to start a new thread every 2 days.  :o)

Also, thank you for all of the valuable info. you posted (above).  

Yes.  You are right.  Today is all I need to worry about.  (speaking to myself) Calm down KC.  Breathe.

You wrote:  "The depression came on me HEAVY and so fast it made me dizzy. BUT.  I did not freak out because  know that subtle difference between real anxiety and chemically caused anxiety."

That was very comforting to me.  I wish I had the ability to tell the difference between real and chemically caused anxiety and depression.  Since I can't, I am going to trust you and believe that these anxious/depressed feelings will eventually get better.  

I read your entire journal from cover to cover before I made the decision to go cold turkey.  It's amazing how quickly I forgot everything you wrote now that I, myself am going through this hell.  Ahhhhh yes wise grasshopper...it's all coming back to me now.  You had some really great days and some really rough days all the way to Day 22 and beyond.  Random. Random. Random.  I MUST remember this.  

This chemically-caused anxiety is erasing my memory and I need to focus that "this too shall pass" and I WILL live to see better days.    

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC67


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by FinallyFred, Feb 18, 2009
KC,  I am so proud of the way you are appoaching your ongoing recovery.  Basing it on what you KNOW and not what you feel.  It's sometimes tough to do when in the heat of battle, but so good for you that you distinquish the two (knowledge vs. feeling).  

For some of us (mainly guys I think?) talking about anxiety or depression is not something we do easily.  We talk about feeling "blue" or "worried", but not depression or anxiety (which are after all the same thing).  Oh, I have never heard a guy say they feel "bloated" either.  "full", "stuffed" or "fat", yes, but never "bloated...even on Thanksgiving.

About a month out from taking this drug, I was "fretting" with a co-worker, a close friend about being behind.  And I KNEW I was in trouble when, after listening to me for 15 minutes, she asked,  "do you have any hobbies".  As in, I was scaring her.

For those of us with type A personalities, it's a fine line between being concerned and organized and motivated AND being obsessive and compulsive and working ourselves into a tizzy.  I am not altogether sure that I have found that balance yet.  But this much I know...

Tramadol KILLS.  

Some days I think that it would be easy to mask my feelings again, to be oblivious to REALITY by taking the KILLER DRUG.  But along with the mask comes so many negative health problems, physical and emotional that I can/will never go back.  Nearly killing yourself in a tram-a-fog car crash comes to mind.  It is ASTONISHING how many times people have come to these rooms and shared about the crashes they either had or nearly had while in the tramafog.

The really frightening thing about the FOG, is that it's so easy to dismiss at the time until you are too deep in the woods to realize it.  Denial is a wonderful (ha ha) thing until it's too late.

About 15 years ago, when my boys were young,  we used to pack up our boat and camp in the San Juan Islands for two weeks every summer.  It was a smaller boat, not by any means a yacht but we essentially packed it full of backpacking stuff and had great times camping on many of the uninhabited Islands just north of here.

One beautiful 80 degree sunny clear day, we were returning home.  Crossing the main shipping channel near Annacortes.
And we hit fog.  I could have turned around, but I denied that it could get worse.  But it did.  Before long, our visability went from 5 miles to less than 50 feet. And we could hear the engines from the large container ships somewhere around us, but we couldn't see them.  I could go on, but I won't clog up Emily's new site here.  The point is that a person can't appreciate fog until they are too deep inside it to turn around.  

But once in a lifetime, we get a moment of clarity.  I believe someone talked about that yesterday.

I CAN NOT  WILL NOT subject myself/my family to the tramafog again.  It's too dangerous physically and mentally.  

People not "initiated" to this lovely little pill will find it strange that it's "tallons" are so deep and strong.  

But we KNOW better.

Heather and ShadeTree, my heart goes out to you guys.  You both have so much to live for and LIFE can and will be better - you'll see.

The lighter side:

Hillbilly and Anonguy, you have got me thinking about giving tramadol to pets.  I had heard that vets do prescribe tramadol for pets.

We have a very large cat (22 lbs) and she generally seems in pain due to her weight.  We have tried to put her on a diet, but with multiple cats, it's difficult to do.  We are probably too soft to give her the tough love stuff when she stands in front of her "empty" food bowl CRYING.  But your stories about your dogs on tramadol WITHDRAWAL arm me with the truth, if tramadol isn't good for me, it can't have my kitty either.  And of course, AS FAR AS I KNOW, animals can't operate a computer to find consolation from their dog and kitty friends either YET, can they?

So no more tram for me AND never ever for Georgie and Kiggy either.

On that happy note, I am off to repair fences and rake limbs **** this Winter has bestowed upon our yard.  

LOVE you guys!  

Fred

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by tramhater, Feb 18, 2009
AHHHHHHH! Ok so sorry it has taken me awhile but I have had officially the worst night since forever ago. I had officially been in tram withdrawal.... I had taken the "Tram DOG" at 10am yesterday morning.... 2 50 mg. I was suffering by 8pm and by 230 am... my ambien didn't even take the pain away for my sleep to continue... I took 3 baths HOT HOT HOT ones... my husband stayed up with my, and said baby I know you are working so hard on this but you are going to have to take some because he has A VERY IMPORTANT JOB (have to keep that one to myself... for now) and we have a baby to take care of.... he works allllllll day from 6am to 11pm tonight... how would I survive. I kept going through the pain and then started to throw my guts up and of course from the opposite end too!! LOL! Im not the most modest person in the world sorry! With that being said... he is taking tmrw and friday off.... so I did take (my last dose at 12pm today to get me through the day (how sad is that... that is how much I rely on this POS drug!

With that being said..... is that not awful for only just less than 24 hours... what pain to I have to endure on 2, 3, and 4 (so on) if the pain was so intense so fast. I have not had the strength ever to tell myself that I can do it.. BUT I CAN! I

DAVE!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR TIME AND SUPPORT WITH THE LIST!!!!!!!!

EMILY YOU ARE A BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE! Have you thought of calling OPRAH! or DR. phil FOR REAL!! LOL! THey would make this a world wide known thing... Yes I am in love with both! I forget who had said this... (SORRY) but they had written... something along the lines of, "even though you are modest about it... you are a celebrity to us." So thank you... and Im sorry if I seem so contradicting about the DETOX facility... however based on the conversation that I JUST had while writing this it looks like my little booty might end up in there.....

This is to all of you.... With that being said... I have talked to my doctor today who shares the upmost caring view I have seen... (NOT) he says he has not heard of anyone having such bad withdrawal symptoms and he will do anything to help me... WANT SOME TYLENOL 3... LITTLE *******!!! That is what I say! SO how come I was on tylenol3 for 7 straight months and NEVER EVER HAD NOT one day of withdrawal... after that??? THE TRAM DOG *****!  (SORRY IF I AM GOING ALL OVER THE BOARD HERE)

SO ANYWAY ABOUT DETOX FACILITIES!! I live in a nice BIG CITY.... (keep that one to myself to...) but they have some well known treatment places... YES they cost money... but fortunately my hubby doesn't care about that right now after he sees me in such dire pain. This is what they say will happen.... Day 1....VALUM! UGH! (SP) and hard core caring of by a phychiatrist.. (sp) doctors... so on and so forth... day 2 more diff meds day three more meds... day 4 nothing day 5 nothing... and they will keep me until I feel ok.... SO I Don't know... what to do but I will know by tonight because this is it "balls to the walls" my hubby took vaca just so my body can go through this! OH AND YES.... THIS IS A FACILITY THAT TREATS TRAMADOL.... SO AWESOME! ACTUALLY THEY HAVE ONE PERSON ON STAFF WHO HAS BEEN THROUGH TRAM WITHDRAWAL.. AND THEY HAVE 3 PATIENTS THERE NOW... ONE ON DAY 2 ON GOING HOME TODAY OR TMRW... AND THE OTHER JUST GOT THERE... I DON'T KNOW... I AM SCARED... AND ANGRY! STILL.


KC.... GOOD JOB AND KEEP UP THE HARD WORK! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ME...


SHADETREE... I WORRY ABOUT YOU.. OHHHH AHHH.. WE ARE IN THE SAME BOAT RIGHT NOW... TRYING TO BE GOOD MOMS... UGH DO YOU LOOK INTO YOUR CHILDREN'S EYES AND FEEL GUILTY?? I DO? I TELL MY HUBBY AND HE SAYS.. NOT MY FAULT? BUT IS IT? I HAVE NEVER HAD AN ADDICTION TO ANYTHING.. NEVER EVER THIS IS THE FIRST... WHAT TO DO? ARE YOU SURE YOUR HUBBY CAN'T GET ON BOARD WITH THIS? DID YOU SAY YOU WERE ON TRAM BECAUSE OF DOCS OR ORDERING ONLINE?? I FEEL YOUR PAIN WITH NOT BEING ABLE TO BE NORMAL... GEEZ I WANT TO HIT MY HEAD ON THE WALL... AND I DON'T THINK MY SON CAN TAKE BEING IN THS HOUSE ANY LONGER... BUT I CAN'T LEAVE TODAY. I DO HAVE MY HUUBBY TAKE HIM AS SOON AS HE GETS HOME FROM WORK... HE IS WORKING TWO FULL TIME JOBS... (WORK AND MR, DAD) JUST SO THIS POS DRUG CAN WORK ITS WAY OUT! SO AGAIN WHAT IS BEST FOR MY FAMILY IS WHERE MY DECISION LIES WITH THE DETOX HOME OR FACILITY. I FEEL LIKE A FAILURE EVERYTIME THAT I EVEN SAY THE WORD.. DETOX.. FACILITY UGHHHH!

HILLBILLY.. YOU ARE HILARIOUS... AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE MINOR SET BACK... VICODIN IS WAY BETTER THAN TRAMADOL... I LOVE THE "NO TRAMADOL IN THE ER" SO YOUR WIFE IS HEATHER... AND PREGO TOO HUH? CONGRATS!! THAT IS AWESOME.. IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING IN YOUR WORLD... ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT THE DOT TEST... UGH THAT SUCKSS FOR YOUR FRIENDS!! OH AND THE STORY OF YOUR FRIEND AND THE SHED IN THE BACK YARD WAS AMAZING.. IT MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD THAT I ALMOST PEED MY PANTS.. LOL. IT IS THAT, STORY THAT I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT MYSELF SOMEDAY AND LAUGH AT MY PRIOR ADDICITON! THIS *****....


FRED... AND EVERYONE THAT I MISSED... THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS ON ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS.. IT IS SO HELPFUL!

I DO HAVE TO GO NOW... I HAVE TO ORGANIZE MY HOUSE.. MAKE A GROCERY LIST AND WRITE OUT MY SONS ENTIRE SCHEDULE AND BE PREPARED FOR A MAJOR DETOX.. WHETHER IT BE HERE OR NOT... I WILL WRITE ALL OF YOU TONIGHT... AROUND 1130 PM... WHEN MY HUSBAND AND I MAKE OUR FINAL DECISION TOGETHER... I CRY AT THE THOUGHT OF LEAVING MY BABY.. THAT I HAVE NEVER SPENT ONE DAY APART FROM IN ALMOST 2 YEARS!! WOW... THANKS TO ALL

HEATHER.... LOST AND CONFUSED.



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by tramhater, Feb 18, 2009
emily i feel so selfish that i haven't asked you how the klonapin withdrawal is going? what is a benzo that everyone talks about? what does it do? i am sorry... lack of education here.... ugh... oh vey. u have to idea how it made me feel when you said that you feel no side effects from this drug... i hate that i have to go through this.. but i know i can.. if you can.

talk soon... peace and love back to you

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by MsMarie1981, Feb 18, 2009
Heather -- i've never posted on here before but I wanted to let you know what I'm sure the angels that are frequent posters on this site have already told you, that you're doing great! My heart breaks to hear about what you're feeling -- throwing up your guts-- but every step you take to free yourself of slavery to tramadol is one step in the right direction -- one step to further prove to yourself that tramadol might be tough and vicious, but that you can be strong in spite of it.   I'm so glad you have your husband to support you -- my partner is going through the end of his tapering and we're starting to see the first signs of withdrawal.  I'm trying to draw inspiration from these posts to be strong not afraid (maybe its stupid that i should be afraid when its not even me withdrawing) and to give my love strength when he needs it.  

To everyone else i've been readingyour posts to my boyfriend, thank you for lending him your wisdom -- i can only hope that it will ease his suffering a little -- or at least assure him that there can be an end to all of this.  

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by suzipen, Feb 18, 2009
Hi everyone!
I have not had time to post lately, but I wanted to check in and tell you all that you are in my thoughts.
We have lots of new people here, and even tho I cant respond to you all right now, I am sending out positive thoughts!

I am 91 days off tramadol now!  Yay!!
I have things to say, but I have to go make dinner for the family. Just got home from school. Very demanding schedule right now. There is no way I could have done all this on tram.( Although, at the time, I would have THOUGHT I was being efficient).
We all know how tramadol lies to us.
Anyway, I am finally getting my time management skills back.

Talk to you all soon!

Hang in there everyone..................there IS a light.......................

Sincerely,suzi

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by Shadetree, Feb 18, 2009
Heather,

So have you decided to taper or go off all together? Yes I do feel guilty every time I look at my kids, or am irritable... They do not deserve it! I am fixing it though, dont be to hard on yourself... Your doctor put you on this junk and you didnt know this would happen...Apparently they dont even know this could happen even though I think it is becoming more common.  I hope the FDA does something about this drug being so readily available and fast. Unfortunatly I dont have that excuse. I did it all to myself! I have not ever been addicted to anything either... I have taken Vicodin, tyleno 3, and so on...with no side effects when its gone.

And to answer your question about my husband...No there is absolutley no way I would tell him something like this. Sad but he would use it against me. Maybe not now but when we are fighting, definatly. Why would I be with such a person right...Well we have three kids and Im a very forgiving person. Also We are on kinda a rocky road latley. If anything should happen and we get divorced ( God forbid because Im trying soooo hard) I wouldnt want him to have any amo to use against me in court regarding my children. That all sounds so horrible I know, but that is just how it is. Last time we were split up, it got very nasty. He was going to try to fight me for custody...he would of had no chance in hell but he did it all out of spite.

I have confided in my therapist though, she is very supportive. And talking to you guys is a huge help. I have to go but will be back soon....

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 18, 2009
Hey there, fellow warriors!

I put in a full days work today and overall it wasn't bad. I even skipped my last break and stayed late, too.

As I stated this morning, I was feeling awesome and ready to show tramadol who's boss by making it through work in a positive and productive way! Did I win? Yes, but it wasn't the "knockout" I was hoping for.

When I first got there I was worried about being able to have intelligent (and most of all NORMAL) conversations with people. As expected, many asked me, "What happened to you?" and "Are you feeling better now?"

You see, I have never called in to work before. EVER. I am that guy who drags his butt into work even when I'm sick. Everyone I work with knows this, so me not being there for so long had them knowing something was up.

I was not only able to converse with everyone easilly at that point and throughout the day, but it actually HELPED ME get through tough points and always felt GOOD to talk.

I had to get breakfast first at Burger King because I was starving. I have been a breakfast-skipper for YEARS yet every day in recovery off tramadol has me eating 4-5 times/day (when I usually only eat 1-2 times/day). I'm sure you all can relate, no?

Anyway, when I started working I immediately went into my usual routine of keeping myself busy doing important things that my job requires. It felt quite a bit different to be at work and within about 30 minutes I wasn't feeling too great. Mentally I had anxiety and I started to think the bad thoughts that can come for short periods of time. This lasted about an hour to an hour and a half and during this time I felt like running home and cuddling up into a little ball on my bed. The anxiety and all was getting to me at that point.

I decided to sit in one of our offices upstairs and do my customary 3 hours of paperwork I do on Wednesday mornings. Trying to focus 100% on it and get back in the loop of "work" and "working" seemed to intensify the negative feelings. I remember Emily talking about how she would have bad spells when she would get overstressed at work, so I decided to strike up conversations with coworkers around me to distract me a little bit. It really helped a lot! Within minutes I was feeling like a 100 bucks again, joking and smiling like I usually NEVER do up at work!

It was much like the natural "high" I have been having the last couple of days where I've posted about just how wonderful and amazing I feel. I haven't said this before, but this high I keep experiencing every day now almost feels like a cocaine or meth high-- I feel a LOT of empathy and extreme happiness, get real talkative, and feel very sped up! It's the strangest thing. I feel the same way right now too as I did the rest of the day at work!

I really don't know what to make of it. It's so strange.. I kid you not when I say I feel like I did a little line of coke. Emily and others: did you ever experience anything like this? This is the 3rd day in a row now where I have LONG periods of these amazing vibes!

The only thing bad about today that's persisted all day, even through those great highs like what I am experiencing now, is a bad headache. Like yesterday, nothing takes care of it, so I just try to deal with it. It reminds me of the headaches I'd get on tramadol that wouldn't go away until I'd get some caffeing pumping through my system. Only even that doesn't help. Nor does my pill cocktail of tylenol/advil/aspirin. Oh well... It won't last forever.

I now know I can work just fine so I feel like tramadol is beat at this point but has yet to decompose itself completely out of my life, if that makes sense...

I am very happy I have tomorrow off. I now know I can work fine sure but another day of rest won't hurt so I look forward to it quite a bit!


******
KC
******

I was reading about you saying how you keep asking Emily questions you apparantly forgot the answer to despite the fact you have read her entire journal. I am going to guess that, like me, you haven't really forgotten the answer but you would just like to hear from her again on that particular topic (whatever it may be) and/or want reassurance that the answer you remember is still true. Am I right? There's nothing wrong with it, of course, as everyone goes through that! :)


*******
FRED
*******

It was me who mentioned "MOMENT OF CLARITY" the other day! Wait, I am having another moment of clarity and it's that... "I'm bloated!" (if anyone reading this didn't get that joke, go read Fred's last post in full)! :)


************
HEATHER
************

Yeah, definitely let us know how that detox goes. I am very interested myself as I have *considered* (mainly 3-4 days ago) of getting ahold of some valium and using that to help in this recovery. I don't think I *need* it but it may help... I can get it easilly but I am still debating that one. In all likelihood I won't try it unless someone like Emily highly suggests it. You see, I've taken many 100's of valium, xanax, and klonopin before. I used to buy/sell them by the 1,000's to friends and take them just for the "heck" of it. I could tell you many stories but there's no point. So anyway, although I was never addicted to any benzos, I had come close a couple times with all of them and I really just want to stay 100% clean off EVERYTHING. I take great pride in being able to say that right now based on the fact I've done boatloads of every drug known to man.


******
SUZI
******

Hey there! 91 days!? That's awesome!

I feel you about the tram comments and a busier schedule. I have realized through working today that I used to be so focused, driven, and dedicated to completeing more work and tasks than a normal/sane/sober person possibly could while I was on tramadol and that led to EXTREME anxiety in my life 24/7 that's why I always redosed a large amount of tram and why I've had to take TWO different types of pills for sleeping every night for the last few years of my life (doxylamine and melatonin). And that anxiety led me to come off as a ***** to many friends and family and made me not care about casual things or "stopping to smell the roses" as I have said before.

I've got a great example of that today, actually.

I walked by a coworker who I didn't expect to see. I was talking to someone else earlier in the morning who said that this lady wouldn't be back at work for at least a week as her father died. So when I walked by her, I was stunned to see her. Normally, while on tramadol, I kid you not when I say that I would have walked right on past and immediately switched my mind back over to work-related tasks. Instead, since I'm clean now and am a different person, I stopped her and said hello and I was sorry to hear about her dad and that I was stunned to see her at work. We continued on for several minutes.

But again, my point is on tramadol I would NOT have given a flying *$&#. Really, no joke!

So I am currently in the process of developing a new relationship with my coworkers and so far I really like the results and I'm sure they do, too. I used to force myself to pretend to care about other peoples' issues that weren't work-related when I had to, but now I always do even when I don't have to be in the discussion at all!



******************************************
I would rate today's work experience a 7.5/10 -- Overall I was very pleased but I still have quite a bit of room for improvment and I recognize I am not even close to 100% yet. But I'm okay with that! Especially if these great natural highs keep coming!!

- Dave

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 18, 2009
Here's a very funny video that will get your spirits up, to anyone who wants/needs a laugh:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/sony_releases_new_stupid_piece_of

If you want it to be even MORE funny, imagine that they're talking about TRAMADOL instead of a new Sony product. :D

This is so funny it makes me cry! :D

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by Shadetree, Feb 18, 2009
Hello All,

Well my 'bad' day didnt get any better like I hoped it would. My w/d symptoms are still going strong. Hot & sweating all day, brain zaps, light headed, loss of appetite, my ears are clogged which is so annoying...I have been swallowing hard all day trying to unclog em, My good ol headache is stickin around to keep me company...ugh!

I am so glad to see my kids and play with them. You know how they say that a mother is like medicine to her sick children...well the roles have been reversed in my case.) My husband left because we are not getting along, hes gonna be gone for a couple days... ( and this has nothing to do with what Im going through, might be hard to believe...but its true) This would be a perfect day to use (in the past), my day has made a perfect recipe for it... But I HAVENT :) That makes me smile...

Im glad to hear every one else is doing great... sorry for being so negative. I just needed to get it out.

Emily ~ Where do I go to read your journal that everyone is talking about? Im very interested, and thankful for your (this) site.

Well thanks all for listening, I will check back in later. God Bless

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by Shadetree, Feb 18, 2009
Omg....my computer got stuck I have NO IDEA how it did this... Sorry Emily

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 18, 2009
Shadetree --

No worries about the accidental duplicate posts. I am sure Emily will fix that.

To find her journals click "Journals" or "Journal View" at the top of this page and go from there. She has several journal entries. It's best to start at the first ones.

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 18, 2009
ATTENTION:

I have found an even funnier video which has ties to what we deal with here, battling tramadol:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/fda_approves_depressant_drug_for

It's a video about the FDA approving a prescription depressant pill for annoyingly cheerful people. Oh man, the video is a riot. I love it!

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by suzipen, Feb 18, 2009
Hi all-

Just got my kids settled finally, the dishwasher started, jammies on, cats fed,.....and so on and so on..............

You all have such amazing stories to tell. I have been trying to catch up on all the posts, but I honsetly dont think my brain is back 100%. Its hard to retain info sometimes, like I may have to read something 3 times to absorb it. That stinks, especially being in school again.  ARRGG!

Anon- why dont we call you ADave or DaveA, since we now have 2 daves?  You are 8 days clean!  And you seem to be doing wonderfully. I know there are rough patches, but you have spoken of that natural "high". Isnt that an amazing feeling?!  Your posts are great. I hope it is really helping you.
I am sure it is helping others! I know it helped me immensely in the beginning to write a lot! And I mean a lot............just ask Fred or Emergee!  

BTW, WHERE R U EMERGEE??  I miss you!  :) Please let us know how you are.

Shadetree- I know exactly what you mean about your kids. They are truly like rays of sunshine when you are feeling down. Now, I know we need a break, especially when dealing with this stupid drug, BUT my kids can always bring a smile to my face. (They can also trigger the loudest scream you will ever hear! !LOL) Yes, I am a yeller. Not proud of it.
And let the guilt concerning your children go. You are on a better path, ann guilt is sooooooo negative. You need to look to the future, and think about how nice it will be to be a mom tramfree!

KC-  I still have questions about things I know I have read. And I still get anxious, HOWEVER, My anxiety existed before tramadol was introduced into my life. I have not gone off ativan yet and am going to take emilys advice on waiting a few months. Well, o-k its been 3 months, but I am seriously not ready. I had severe panic attacks years before tram, and dont want to go back there anytime soon. You really do seem to be doing extremely well at this point. When I was at your stage, I couldnt communicate so well. Keep doing what ever it is your doing, because its working!

Heather- My heart is with you as you make the decision to go or not to go. Either way, we will be here for you. You just do what is in your heart.  Big Hug to you!!

As always Fred..........what can I say? You always put SOMETHING into perspective for me.Every single time, you help me with some sort of dilemma or thought I am having. Psychic, are ya? ............................ Thank you.

Kev- if you are reading, I have to tell you that your post about spiders has changed my life. NO KIDDING.
You see, I am a but obsessive (duh!) and have a few phobias. Some weird, some not so weird. Well, spiders have always been one of my more "normal" fears. That is, until your story about the spider.
I will never look at them so fearful again. Ever.  Thank you for that.

Well, to everyone else, I have officially run out of steam and time.  Ya know, I am a STUDENT now. Did I mention that?
School starts bright and early!

One thing that is soooooooo wonderful ,that I want to mention.
I DID get my normal sleep habits back. I thought my tram w/d induced insomnia was gonna last FOREVER but it doesnt!!!   YAY!!

Good night and love to you all,
suzi












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by tramhater, Feb 18, 2009
So.... warriors... the decision is that my husband and myself are going to the detox facility at 8 am to see what this all intails. I am sweaty... shaky and the worst I am weak tonight. If it seems lie something we are both comfortable with.. I am going for it! There are so many success stories that come out of this place just based off of Tramadol alone so who knows what will happen... all I know is I need a good nights sleep to be prepared for tmrw... let s see how this goes.. If you don't here from me for the next 4-6 days then you know I decided to stay. Please pray for me that I can do this..... the hardest part..... LEAVING MY SON... Tear Tear... he will be with daddy though! Vaca for the boys.... Detox for the lady.... ugh.. atleast no one knows.... other than my tramfriends here.... I will ltalk to you all in a  few days... or tmrw not sure which,,,, Love you all!!
Heather

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by dontbelieve, Feb 19, 2009
howdy all...

Had to say hello and keep it up!...Also had to mention this place is awesome...went to another area to find out about kidney stones...left 2 question posts last night still havent got any responses...not at all like in here.

might not be posting for a couple days...but will try. Dr appointment tomorrow for kidney stones....no fun.

hope all are well...sounds like some of you have had pretty rough days too in the last couple days...sorry to hear that but what doesnt kill us can only make us stronger....

Take care all...

The hillbilly


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by AnonGuy2, Feb 19, 2009
******
SUZI
******

I totally know what you mean about trying to retain everything you read, and even having to re-read it so much. Before I made that long post last night where I addressed 4-5 others, I literally had to get a sticky-note and write down a few notes because my brain was feeling "scrambled-egg like" just as Emily has so often described so well. The couple times I felt down at work yesterday it was the same thing and, like Emily has said way back when, it seemed to really come to a head when I would try to intensely focus on something the way I would used to.

You can call me DaveA, ADave, or David -- I don't mind either way. If there's been another Dave before, that's cool.


************
HEATHER
************

Hang in there! I honestly hope that the detox thing works out for you and thus, as you can imagine, I hope to not see you post in 4-6 days as you said. Don't take that the wrong way-- I mean it in all the best terms! I really, really do! It sounds like the place is great for tramadol. I still have minor concerns with it only being 4-6 days but oh well. Even a cold turkey stoppage like myself and others have done will have you feeling better by day 6-7 so I suppose the detox can only do good for you!


*********************
RANDOM NOTES
*********************

I am getting a little sick and tired of this sleep for 2 hours and wake up junk I have been going through for 3 nights now! No, really, I am getting really fed up with it!

Last night was the third night. I will wake up after just an hour or two and some great dreams. Getting back to sleep is tough because of restless legs but my whole body being restless, too. I have been able now, for 3 nights, to get back to sleep within 15-30 minutes each time but it always seems like an hour (and no, I am not watching the clock the whole time).

Last night, since I got frusterated with this junk, I tried taking a LOT of the restful legs tabs as someone mentioned taking 1/3 the bottle to me. So I did that... I took about 1/3 of one of my bottles (and, subsequently, I now barely have any left).

The last 3 mornings, including an hour ago, the last time I will wake up is around 5am and can never get back to sleep even if I try for another hour. I have tried additional sleep meds along with more restful legs tabs. Nothing works.

I realize it's still side-effects of my withdrawal and body re-wiring itself and re-learning how to do complex tasks, but I would just like confirmation that this is normal AND that it will keep getting better AND when I can expect it to get to 6-8 hours without waking up. I know everyone is different, so I just want a guess from those who have been there.

FYI: Last night I tried staying up a little later thinking that would help me sleep past 5am. Nope! Instead of the 6-8pm time I went to bed the previous two nights, I forced myself to stay up and out of bed until close to 10pm, which was VERY hard because my body was EXHAUSTED-- especially since I had been working!

So my body is torturing me with this! Grrrr!

OTHER THAN THAT, I feel pretty good. I feel more normal this morning! It seems the minor vision issues (for those who can relate) that have went on since day 1 are gone. I say it "seems" because who knows, they could return later. I feel pretty calm, relaxed, and ready to take on the day. It's my day off but I do have a vet appointment to take my pup to. It's her last puppy shot and she will also get a rabies shot. I feel bad for her. Maybe I'll stop and buy her a toy afterward (like she needs any more toys!).

I'll check in later, everyone! Keep on keepin' on!

I WILL LEAVE YOU ALL WITH SOME QUOTES FROM A FAMOUS PERSON CURRENTLY MAKING NEWS EVERYDAY THIS WEEK:

"Pain is temporary, it may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

"Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight."

"Without ******, I never would have ********************************. ****** taught me a plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things–whether health or a car or an old sense of self–has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers."

I edited out clues that would give this person away in that last quote, sorry.

Does anyone want to guess who's quotes they are? I'll tell later if you can't figure it out, but seriously think about them-- They're GREAT words of wisdom, in my opinion!


- Dave aka David aka DavidGuy aka whatever :D

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by MsMarie1981, Feb 19, 2009
Hello!

I just wanted to introduce myself to everyone. I wrote to Emily yesterday and she encouraged me to post on here and tell you guys my story.  I know sometime in the next month or so my boyfriend and I will need your advice, and i've been reading these posts for almost two months.  I know you all don't know me, but the information you have shared has already helped my life and eased my worries astronomically.  As you all know there is very little information out there on tramadol, and what is out there is usually incorrect or inconsistent.  So it feels like pretty much a life saver to have somewhere to learn what to expect.  

I'm not on tramadol, but my boyfriend is.  We've been together for two years and he started using it recreationally before we met.  I had no idea throughout the two years we have been together that he became addicted to it (we were living together so yes, i feel stupid for being so blind).  By the time I found out, he was using at least 15-17 pills a day to get by, sometimes up to 20.  He says he began using regularly because he felt so productive and so focused, he could deal with his difficult job extremely well, clean house like a Merry Maid, etc..So thats how he got addicted.  Hopefuly he will post to this site soon too and draw power and encouragement from you all as well.

I found out two months ago by complete accident, but once i found out it made alot of sense.  My boyfriend had tried to go cold turkey before (i remember those nights well, i though he just had a nasty flu at the time) but thought he couldn't get through it without me finding out, and he assumed, leaving him.  Well I'm still here and we've proceeded on the course of trying to get him clean together.  

We went to a doctor who was A) terribly judgmental, B) had never treated anyone with tramadol addiction before, and C) wanted to put my boyfriend on 4 different meds to aide him off of tramadol, two of which were "official" narcotics themselves!  He dind't feel comfortable with that, so after we happened upon an an angel of a pharmacist we discussed with her what she knew about tramadol (which was alot more than the doctor) and what she thought of the additional drugs the doctor wanted to prescribe.  She recommended to us no additional drugs and instead a slow taper of the tramadol of around 20% a week.  And we've taken that approach.  We've been seeing a counselor which has been ok, but because of his State funding, he cant actually advise on drug addiction, so all he wants to talk about is our relationship.

So far, my boyfriend has been tapering for two months, he's now down to 1.5/day of pills that I am the guardian of.  It may seem like a wimpy approach to you cold turkey-ers (who, btw, have my utmost admiration)  but it feels like a huge achievement to know he's not putting almost a gram of that poison into his body every day.  

So over the next two weeks or so we'll be tapering off altogether.  So far he has definitely had some withdrawal symptoms. When we dropped his dose too dramatically he would be sleepless, have headaches, feel achey, etc...exactly as you all have described.  Now that we're down to the end, even though we're doing it slowly, i've started to notice alot of the emotional effects.  

I guess my question for you all is how did tramadol and withdrawal affect your relationships? I have noticed that my boyfriend is abnormally sensitive and quick to anger -- qualities he has never possessed (maybe because he was in a tram-trance).  Things that MAY have bothered him before now send him into an overreactive angry fit and I have no idea how to deal with these irrational explosions.  (To me it looks like what us ladies go through when we're hormonal -- emotions that feel very real but that look ridiculous once you step back)  What do you all recommend?  If you had those kinds of mood swings, how did you deal with your partners and how did they deal with you? What helped with the mood swings?  I'm trying to be strong but I'd lie if i said that it doesn't affect me.  

My other question is for anyone who has done a long taper.  I'd like to find out about the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms for those who tapered, if they felt alot of the same symptoms the CTers describe after stopping altogether or if they think the taper really helped.  

And just overall what can I do for the man that I love to make this time easier?

I appreciate all of your brave honesty in your posts.  I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of people just like me who were reading the posts without saying anything, trying to figure out if and how they or the people they love can work up the courage to get off of this nasty drug.  You all have no idea how much you do for so many people.

Thanks again, and best best wishes to all of you.

MsMarie

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by JK90, Feb 19, 2009
Dave, It's my 17th day now! I have to say that the first 2-3 nights were the worst and I gradually started to get more sleep starting from the 3rd. My fourth night I must have hit about 6 hours which was great at the time!

But now I'm sleeping 11-7 easily and feeling revitalised when I wake up.

My restless legs seemed to dissipate from the 4th day returning for short bouts randomly but no where near as bad as they were.

I feel great now and most of the withdrawal effects seemed to have dissapeared or at least lowered to a tolerable level!

Just thought i'd share my experience to help you with your question =)

JK

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by JK90, Feb 19, 2009
Wow, I don't know why that happened. Someone delete them if they can.

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 19, 2009
JK

Hey, yeah, well like I said myself, I too didn't sleep the first 2-3 nights at ALL and yes, I have gotten about 6 hours average the last 3 nights. But it hasn't gotten any better than that. I'm still waking up 2-3 times each night, still getting ungodly tired around 7:30pm, and still waking up at 5am no matter what.

I have high hopes it will end soon but am really getting annoyed by it! I mean, *REALLY* annoyed!

I am feeling great at this moment. But, like yesterday, I had a 1-2 hour mid-morning blues period that kicked off after the first couple hours I was awake.

So for a few days now, this is how it's been:

- Wake up at 5am, try to get to sleep for 30-45 more minutes to no avail!
- Get up, take a shower, feel good and on a big natural high and loving life!
- Between 8-9am physically and mentally I feel pretty crappy in various annoying ways.
- 11am comes and I start to feel good again. By Noon, which it is right now, I feel insanely good again!

And, if today continues like the last 2 days, I should remain in a SUPER mood until about 7:30pm when I start to feel so tired it's ridiculous yet afraid to try to sleep since it's so early and I'm so sick of waking up at 5am.

I still feel based off others' experiences that **** should go away by about day 11-12 or so, more or less. I'm reluctant to get my hopes up on it but when I'm in such a great mood like I am right now, it's hard not to have such a positive outlook on everything! I mean, I feel GREAT!

I love these mental/physical/emotional natural highs I get but I'd rather just feel "good" all the time instead of "great" most of the time and "down in the dumps" for other, shorter periods of time.

Hey, Marie --

Welcome! I hope everything works out! I can relate to your boyfriend saying how he was super-productive at work and at home, feeling like he was on top of the world. That's EXACTLY what high doses of tramadol do! I wish I could help on your tapering/relationships questions but obviously, those two things don't apply to my situation.

Family-wise, though, I think I'm in the process of forming new relationships with everyone. It's impossible not to as being clean of tramadol definitely makes me, like your boyfriend, much more emotional. It's for the better, though, and I'm happy about it.

:)

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by FinallyFred, Feb 19, 2009
Anonguy:  Thanks for sharing the quotes.  I could guess, but dont want to give it away.   But I am guessing that HIS initials match the largest city on the west coast.

JK:  Congratuations and it is wonderful to hear you are doing so well.  You have traveled a long way since you started.  Big WOW!  I suspect Emily could delete the extra two posts, but  - maybe we were MEANT to hear from you x 3 today (HA) - that is so wierd.  

Marie,  I think that it is marvelous that you are helping your boyfriend try to quit this lousy drug.  You said that he was taking 17-20 recreationally, so I am assuming that he bought these online, that together you went to a doctor, talked to a pharmacist, and that your bf has been dropping 20% a week for the last 2 months.

I did have one nagging question as I read your post.  Let's stipulate that I don't know you or your boyfriend.  And he hasn't come here himself to tell us how many pills he has been taking.    You said that he hid his addiction from you for two years and that you were unaware...until recently.    As an ADDICT myself and as I read your post, I couldn't help but keep wondering to MYSELF what would stop ME from continuing to order more TRAMS online without MY WIFE knowing about it?  To suppliment the tapered amount my wife would be handing out?   But that's just me.

Please understand that I am not suggesting that this is what he is doing.  It just struck me that if I were him, that might be something that ***I *** would consider doing.  This drug is cunning, baffling and powerful.  The drug lies to us who take it and we tend to be untruthful with those around us.  That doesn't make us bad people...it just makes us addicted sick puppies.  But I truly hope that he is on board with your plan AND THAT ONE DAY SOON, HE WILL BEAT THIS ADDICTION 100%.  I hope I didn't offend you.  Let's move on to your questions...

I am not at all qualified to comment on a nice gradual taper.  But I know that my "intake" of this drug fluctuated because, I tended to take more at the beginning on an RX cycle and was forced to (taper, HA) at the end of that cycle.  I averaged 8 pills/day for six years.  Emily talked about tolerance withdrawal the othe day.  People "need" to take more and more of this drug over time just to stay at a "theraputic" (YUCK) level.  

But if your bf has gone from 20 pills/day down to 1.5 pills/day I can only imagine that his body has been talking to him A LOT over that time.  A 2 month WITHDRAWAL wasn't anything I could have done.  But I should think that when he jumps off, it won't be any worse than what he has already gone through by this point.  

In response to your question on emotions, yup, exaggerated emotional states are normal as the drug leaves us and we get in touch with our true self again.  I can't say that I was overly angry, but I was emotional.  As in weepy, sad.

Good luck to you both Marie.

Fred

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 19, 2009
HEY ALL!

I am so happy to report some mega-super news to you all!

I just got a ring at the doorbell. Guess what came? 400 tramadol tabs! I went to my bathroom ASAP, poured all 400 in, and urinated on them. I kid you not!

It has given me even more of a natural high having just done that. I literally just ran to my computer to post the news. I am so happy about having done that!

All week I had been thinking, "Yes, I know I need to flush them, but when they come, I don't know what I am going to do."

So whenever you guys had been saying many days ago, "Hey, when those come, flush em!" I would refrain from even commenting back to you guys on that because I didn't want to lie and say, "Of course!" since I still wasn't sure what I was going to do.

I was so anxious to bring them upstairs and flush them that I could barely sign the registered airmail slip that the mail woman always has me sign.

F-U TRAMADOL! YOU ARE DONE! FINISHED!

I know I will still have some spells of having the blues, like I have the last few mid-mornings including today, but maybe this is the boost I need to finally overcome those!

I know I did the right thing, but it would be great to hear everyone reiterate that to me in your follow-up posts!

WOO-FREAKING-HOO!!!!! My eyes are tearing up, guys! No kidding!

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by MsMarie1981, Feb 19, 2009
Fred,

Thank you so much for responding. I have really enjoyed reading your insights and commentary. I dont get offended and i appreciate your frankness. I have asked myself those questions many times myself.  We see a therapist for trust, but I know i have to be realistic too.  I know Tramadol is an insidious monster, and I'm not looking to pull the wool over my own eyes, so your feedback is always good because i'm sure you all think of things i can't imagine.  

Fred, i hope you will forgive my frankness too. And any reader.  Theres a little discussion of bodily functions in this email so please avert your eyes if you are delicate.  Sorry!

I have his bank account information for online accounts.  He bought the pills online so i keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.  The real doctor gave him prescriptions of Librium, Darvocet, Celebrex, and something else, adn he chose not to fill those because he didn't wnat ot get on other potentially habit forming drugs.  The prescriptions are still in a box in the closet. Unfilled.

I suppose he could be getting Tram from someone he knows but I'm not aware of anyone that he knows that uses tramadol, or that even knows that he uses it.  Of course, I can only know so much, i can't be with him 24/7, i have to know as much as i can and then have to trust.  Which, believe me, can be hard to do, I know that if he wants to fight and trick me he will.  But at a certain point what can i do if i want to help him?  

I guess the reason that I believe that he is tapering because i see the symptoms of withdrawal. Dec 15 we started the taper at 15/day.  And we dropped pretty agressively then to around 11 i think by December 28.  Then we were forced to go down to 5 pills which was difficult and he got sick sick sick then, not vomiting but bad intestinal vacating (couldn't htink of a nicer way to put that haha)  couldn't sleep, sweaty, achey, alot of the stuff you all describe. He stayed at 5/day for 10 days or so and since then we've been tapering slowly slowly slowly to 1.5.  I geuss thats just 3.5 pills tapered in almost 6 weeks since the big drop. Maybe that explains why he's not as sick as I have read everyone is when they go CT?   Other than that his symptoms haven't been TERRIBLE on this long taper but he has the frequent headaches almost every day.  Acheyness and is tired every day, some weird sweating.  He is uncomfortable every single day before taking his evening dosage.  He doesn't always say that he's uncomfortable but he's awfully quiet and kind of a jerk by around 4:30 in the afternoon which is very uncharacteristic.  His whole face changes at that time of day and around 1/2 hour after he takes his evening dosage he's back to happy boyfriend mode.  His bathroom habits have changed substantially, from twice weekly to practically his second home.    His sex drive is returning (i know that must be way too much information, but the sex drive doesn't lie haha).  And a man that i've seen cry maybe 2 times in our whole relationship started bawling at a song on the radio the other day.  Talk about weepy!  Its sad, but endearing at the same time to think that maybe his brain and his heart are learning how to feel again.     My poor boyfriend, one day soon he's going to post to this site and everyone is already gonna know his business!    So those are some of the symptoms i have witnessed on this very slow taper.  He is also helping to drive the taper, reminding me "I think i'm ready to go down another half pill again tomorrow, etc..." I know none of this is surefire evidence that he's really been committed but I feel like all signs point in the right direction.

And i know this is stupid but I feel like he's being honest.  In the crevasses of my heart and the depths of my gut I know.  Emily has said that when she was on tram in the deepest part of her gut she knew she was addicted, despite what reason and her doctors told her. While i never KNEW he was on tram for the two years I knew in my gut that something was wrong and I could feel the dishonesty. I was suspicious of a good many other things, but in the end everything was explained by tramadol. Now I dont feel like anything is wrong.  I hope you dont think its so provincial to give that any weight, but its true.

So thats our story i guess.    I'm hoping he will post to this site becuase I think he can learn so much and find solace in all of you.  I can help him, but in the end its his battle and you are the warriors that have gone before him.  

So thank you again Fred. I know i dont know what its like to walk in your shoes, and I can't know your journey but I am impressed and moved by your survival.  And Emily's, and Heather, and Suzi, and the Daves, and KC, and everyone else brave enough to publish their difficult journeys so that others may have a better chance of making it too.  

I guess I just have one more question.  Are you Fred yet? finally?

And AnonGuy2 -- I know you don't know me but you are AWESOME!  I'm cracking up thinking about you peeing on your pills!  Way to make a statement!  keep it up!

my heart goes out to all :)
msmarie

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by FinallyFred, Feb 19, 2009
msmarie,  First, I am SO glad that you weren't offended by my suggestion...and I do hope your bf will forgive my train of thought about it as well when he comes on here to post.  I just felt that I wouldn't be honest with you if I didn't raise the possibility.  

You sound as though you know one another well and are both committed to one another - which is extremely helpful.  These damned pills are so addictive.  Any of us can fall prey before we realize it.  But  the true measure of a person is not how or why he/she gets in, but how they get OUT that is important.  As in, we can't change yesterday and there are no points awarded for even wanting to try.

In answer to your last question, am I finally Fred again?  With the caveat that I don't know what next month will bring, yes, I believe I am my old self gain.  But who knows, it could get better!  :-)  I suppose what you are really wanting to know is how long does it take to really return to "normal"?  While it's true the first 4-5 days were the biggest "adjustment" LOL,  things do continue to improve more gradually over the next several weeks/months.  

I honestly think that your poor boyfriend has seen the worst of his withdrawal symptoms when he dropped the most - several pills/day at certain points.  I truly don't think that he will experience as severe withdrawal symptoms when he jumps off as he has already been through.  And there is a certain satisfaction of just knowing that you are done.  Yes, some of those withdrawal symptoms are pretty graphic - no getting around that.  It's all part of the tramadol magic.

I am actually quite confident that you will be well pleased with the new man in your life.  More passion, more sensativity, a better memory, and less being zoned out (speaking only for myself).  Plus, it is so much healthier for him.  To say nothing of the cost and the havoc that being addicted to this drug causes.

Dave,  Well played.  A fitting ending to the tramadrug.  Congratulations on a job well done.

Fred

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 19, 2009
Yeah, it's the first 4-5 days that's the worst as Fred says and most others, too. After that, sleep starts to come back but as I now know, it doesn't become a cakewalk at that point but just a little easier.

I am over a week now having not taken any and I am still not feeling "normal". The thing is, I now know that my perception of "normal" wasn't all what I thought it would be. I have been on the tramadol train so long that I really forgot much of what normal felt like. Taking tramadol as long as I had, you start to think that the state tramadol puts you in *is* normal.

Before I quit taking it, I used to say that I had to take it just to feel normal. That's not true. I would have to take it to keep from becoming deathly ill in withdrawals but that doesn't mean that taking it made me feel normal. It was just a way I used to justify continuing to use it.

I'm so glad I flushed those 400 capsules! It's the highlight of my recovery to this point for sure!

I am making strides toward becoming FinallyDave !! :)

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by KC67, Feb 19, 2009
Day 11 – Feb. 12, 2009 – Cold Turkey

This withdrawal is still “kicking my butt” and I have to tell you that I am so surprised!  I suffered on days 1-4 (more physical than anything else), but I truly thought I would be out of the woods by Day 11.  Not so!

Sleep – I find that I am incredibly exhausted by about 7:30pm and I usually take 2 Unisoms (over the counter sleep aid) and an Ambien.  This works great at first and gets me to sleep quickly, but almost every night this week I find myself waking up about an hour and a half later!  I am getting better at getting myself BACK to sleep, but then I wake up approx. 4 times per night again!  I know I am getting SOME sleep because I dream.  But I don’t feel rested the next day and I don’t think I am getting good, quality, deep REM sleep.  Then I find that I am always WIDE awake by 4:30am or 5am and CAN NOT go back to sleep no matter how hard I try.  It is so frustrating because I don’t have to wake up until about 6:45am and I just crave that last hour to hour and a half of sleep!  When is this going to get better?  

Anxiety -  around 5am the anxiety kicks in.  It is like an intense nervous feeling in my chest that wakes me up even more and prevents any remote chance that I could possibly fall back to sleep.  I can think about the simplest “to do” lists I have for the day and I will get this panicky feeling.  So since I can’t sleep, I drag myself out of bed at 4:30 or  5am and either log on here or begin getting ready for my kids to awaken.  The anxiety continues on throughout the day until about 1pm.  By that time I have either caved in and taken some Xanax or have a glass of wine.  Both help, but I don’t want to make this a habit.  I don’t enjoy alcohol very much and the last thing I need is to get addicted to yet another substance!   I have to force myself to take deep breaths because the anxiety causes tightness in my chest and I feel like I am not getting enough oxygen.

Intestinal – around 5am – both today and yesterday, I STILL have "issues"!  I thought this effect would have subsided by now, but I have to believe that this is my body’s way of releasing the toxins of Tram.

Irritability / anger – these past 2 days I have found that my lack of self-control is really gone.  This is NOT me.  I am generally a calm person – not a yeller or one who is quick to anger, but some new side effect from this demon drug has kicked in to completely turn me into someone I do not know.  

Headache / body aches / stuffy nose – almost every day – late afternoon.  Sometimes I take a bath to relieve the body aches.  It’s weird though…I have the anxiety in the morning and then headache and body aches in the afternoon.  I thought I was getting sick, but by morning, the aches/chills/headache are gone only to be replaced by the unbearable anxiety in the morning!  It’s a rather vicious cycle.  Usually by 5pm, the stuffy nose kicks in.  Oh yeah!  I am STILL sneezing too!  Every day since Day 1!  So once again, my body is trying to rid myself of this drug from every orifice possible – including my nose!

Energy – I am still having a hard time getting motivated to do anything.  I used to be a super-woman (both PRE-Tram and on Tram).  I would always have huge “to do” lists and get them all done  - and enjoy it too!  I now find my lists daunting and overwhelming.   They depress me and the dark Trama-voices are telling me that I will NEVER get back to normal.  

Good news?  - Well this is a rough journey – more so than I anticipated.  However, there are moments during the day when I manage to get calm and focused and realize that I WILL win this war against Tramadol!  It is taking longer than I thought it would, but these moments of calm clarity (although few) keep me going.  Also, another good thing is I am forcing myself to get out and about – either exercising or to the store or volunteering.  So, although the above seems horrible, I am still managing to function.  IT IS POSSIBLE!

I am sorry if this post seems all negative, but I want to share my experiences.  If someone else is going through similar withdrawals, then I want them to know they are not alone and from what I have read on this journal, they are normal experiences – although some people bounce back more quickly than others!

I am going force a smile right now.  I mean it.  To show all of you that I still have great hope that I WILL be victorious in getting my brain chemicals, my body cells, and my personality back to normal.  :o)

Sincerely with love and hope,
KC67


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by tramallover, Feb 19, 2009
Hello! Since it seems everyone here is dealing with what I am, I thought I would post a question. I had been a member before a while ago when I quit taking tramadol, but sadly I am back. I had been off trams, CT, mind you, for 105 days. Yes, i was counting each day then each week. My husband left for deployment to Iraq a month ago, and I only lasted a couple of weeks until I got a tram prescription filled. I am not sure why. Out of sadness? Boredom? Or just to see if I could handle it? Well, it only took a week to see I couldnt. I was already taking more than I was supposed to. So, night before last, I threw the rest away. I am again feeling like I am going through wd's. Does anyone know if I am going to have full blown wd's like I did before for sooooo long? Today I am just feeling so tired. Since I only took them for 2 weeks about 4 or 5 a day, will I be as sick before? Thanks. I am struggling once again, just because I thought after 105 days I might be able to handle iton my own. I know I know...I am an addict who let my addiction fool me.

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 19, 2009
KC --

I have been through the EXACT same stuff! I mean *EXACT*! Getting ungodly tired by about 7:30pm. CHECK! Taking Unisom to fall sleep only to wake up 1-2 hours later after a dream or two. CHECK! Falling back to sleep only to wake up another 2-3 times. CHECK! Waking at 4:30-5:00am and being unable to go back to sleep. CHECK!

And so on...

And yes, I have the periods of feeling blue and unmotivated and feeling like my tasks for the day to be too much to handle or deal with followed by an hour or two of feeling great!

I think me and you are the only ones, though. Some others reported that by now, me and you should be sleeping something like 11pm-7am and without waking up like we do.

UGH! GRR! WHY!? WHY!? WHY!?

It's so frusterating. Especially last night because I got home from work at 5pm and I'm used to wanting to watch a few hours of recorded tv shows as I have for years yet before I know it, it's past 7pm and I am feeling so exhausted that I can't sit up in my chair or lay back on my recliner anymore.

I'm on day 8 and you're on 11? NOOO! That means I probably won't get any better on those issues for at least another 3-4 days since you're still at this stage!

Here it is, 7:30pm again and my body is already saying, "go curl up in bed, already". I don't want to because every night brings me so much anxiety!

Even when I feel great during the day, like I have for MUCH of today, I can't seem to be comfortable trying to relax and watch tv like I do on a daily basis.

Emily and Fred -- Correct me if I'm wrong, but although you went through something similar, I think both me and KC are experiencing more intense and/or prolonged issues here in the being tired and sleep department. Right?

Tram All Over ---

WOW! I must say, reading that post of yours definitely disturbs me. Why? I would really like to think there's no way in hell I'll ever take tramadol again but if you made it over 100 days then went back to it, now I'm starting to wonder what's from stopping me!? :(

I'm still glad I flushed my 400 pills but when I read a post like yours or KC's most recent one, it almost makes me wish I hadn't flushed them. For a second or two that thought persists, anyway, until I remind myself I did the right thing.

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by Shadetree, Feb 19, 2009
Hello everyone,

This is day 12 of tapering for me and my w/d symptoms are still the same if not worse. The headache I have been writing about is about 3 times worse today. I have been shuting my left eye throughout the day it hurts so bad. A few co-workers noticed and have been asking me whats wrong with my eye... It hurts soooo bad. tylenol takes the edge off if only for a couple hours at a time. I am all stopped up still...(ears & nose)

I skipped my afternoon dose of tram, and it was fine no extra intense w/d's. So tomorrow I think Im gonna start back on my wellbutrin. The pharmacist said when I do I can be more aggressive with decreasing my dose of tram. I am so excited to do that! I feel like im stuck in the worst of both worlds, on tram & c/t. My sleep has been the same the past 2-3 nights, asleep by 10 and wide awake by 5...usually I cant drag myself out of bed in the mornings...

Another subject: I used to love autopsy shows, it just really intrests me. Well since I have been on tmdl, I am scared to death of them...I not kidding! I get severe anxiety...(very unusual for me) Well tonight I was flipping through the channels and Dr. G medical examiner was on (autopsy show) I was thinking I wonder if anyone here feels the same way...so I turned it there just to get a breif of the topic this time, and it was a woman who died from an "accidental overdose" of prescription pain meds....My mouth dropped. This is exactly what I feared! Anyway the Doctor was saying how much of an epidemic this is becoming because of how readily available prescription drugs are online...and how hopefully the laws would be changing soon because she sees soooo many cases like this and it keeps rising.....my heart dropped. I had to turn the channel and walk away because I felt a pretty bad panic attack coming on... I went out side (were it is very cold here) and caught my breathe and fought it off before it came..Sounds silly I knw but its so real to me. My dad almost died of an overdose to Tramadol! Not to mention my car accident when I passed out...

Anyway had to get all that of my chest...sorry for being so negative, but I have no one else to tell...

~Anon-Dave~ I loved that about your shippment! That takes Strength! I have been thinking about how I would get rid of them if they came...I too had a shipment get (lost in the mail) Glad your doing well and getting stronger each day...

Godbless, talk to you all soon.


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by tramallover, Feb 19, 2009
ANONGUY2  
I didnt mean to scare anyone. Just take it as a warning! In the 100+ days I was clean...there were several times my addictive brain would whisper. I just would tell it to shut up AND I would tell someone I was having a bad moment and let them talk me down. Well, this time I didnt do that. Now I am too ashamed to tell anyone in my family OR my husband. He was more worried about me taking trams while he was gone than he was that he was going to war. How sad is that? He would be devestated to know I took some. He also would worry every day for the next year that I was taking them. I dont want something to happen to him because hes more worried about me taking a pill then he is someone might be shooting at him. So, I am not going to tell him. If I tell my Mom or Sister I took some..they will tell him. So, I have no where to turn but here.
So...just keep it in your mind that at some point, tramadol might whisper. It will happen when you are feeling confident and maybe when you are having a horrible day. Just learn from my slip....and dont do it.


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by Shadetree, Feb 19, 2009
Just want to clarify that the anxiety being very unusual for me is before tramadol, and having a trigger oppose to just happening. This was the first time I seen the show when the topic was rx pain meds...

Has anyone else every felt this way?

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by EmilyPost, Feb 19, 2009
Yes Shadetree ... I have felt that way coming off Tramadol. The stuff is super creepy. Saw myself dead many tmes over ...

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by kes68, Feb 20, 2009
Wow it is hard to keep up with everyone - so many posts, so little time!
Just a quick update - I have tappered down to 13 pills - I took advantage of the actual flu to cut a couple pills quicker than planned. I figured I was sick in bed anyways!  I am still going with the slow taper - 1 pill a week, until it gets too uncomfortable then I will slow down.  My main goal is to keep running my business throughout this.  Not sure what i will do if I can't pull off this taper.  One thing I am running into is lack of energy - I can barley keep my eyes open first thing in the morning - I know I have a benzo issue I will have to deal with - but I only take it at night to sleep to sleep.  I am not sure if that is affecting my energy level, or if it is the tapper - but it is killing me - I can barely stay awake.

Kc, shadetree , Annonguy - and anyone I missed who is in the early stages - be patient - this is a disease/poison, it has ravaged our body - and we will take time to heal - be patient with yourselves, don't push yourself too hard.  I think there is so much shame and anger in us that we forget that we are suffering real, incapacitating physical symptoms.  We need to look at it like rehab after someone has been in an accident or something - it takes months of physio, therapy - alot of time allowing the body - both physically and mentally to heal.  You are all doing great - hang in there.

Tramallover - thank you for your post - I think sometimes we forget how much work it is to stay away from this drug after we have "beaten" it.  I think it is something we need always be aware of, maybe arrange some aftercare or support.  It is important that once someone is clean they realize they are but one pill away from the whole nightmare starting up again.
I am sorry you are back - but so happy you have let us know how you are doing - you are going to be helping more than one person with your posts.
Take care all

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by beck01, Feb 20, 2009
Hi, i have been on tramadol for nearly 2 years at 5 5omg a day and am desperate to get off them. For so long i have thought they were actually helping me making me feel like i had all the energy in the world but all the time they were dragging me down. Just want to feel back to normal again. I have 2 young children and need to get back to normal for them. The last few days i have taken 3 50mg a day and feel achy and crappy and have had terrible headaches i am planning on cutting down to 2 for a couple of days and then 1 and then get off these horrible things. Is that a good way of doing it and what should i be expecting?? Have never been through anything like this before and am teffified. I need to be able to look after my children. No one around me knows what is going on so u guys are my only hope. Hope to hear from someone sooon xx

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by Shadetree, Feb 20, 2009
Welcome beck01,

I am in a pretty much the same situtation myself, if you have read any off the past posts...I have a husband and 3 beautiful children, a full time job, and all their extra curricular activities...as if all that isnt enough, I am addicted to this junk too. I was too fooled by the FALSE sence of energy, focus and wellbeing. And like you no one knows, well I used to think that but now that I have been posting here for the last couple weeks as I have been tapering, It has really helped give me strength and not feel so alone. So needless to say you are in the right place! There are so many compasionate people here that have and are going through the same thing as you right now.

I am tapering myself, but not as fast as you plan. I get severe depression getting off this 'tramadevil" or "tramademon" which ever you prefer...) I am tapering 25mgs per dose per week.Right now Im on 100mgs in the morning, I skipped my afternoon dose (yay!), and 50 mgs in the eveneing. And I HATE stayin on it, but it is the best way for ME  to go. I dont want my children to suffer anymore than they have to because of what I have done to MYSELF. I have called my pharmacist and he said that this is a sure way avoid such bad w/d's. If you can taper that fast...that is great! I really wish I could! I want off, I hate putting the poison in my body each day!

I encourage you to go back and read everyones posts on this page and the previous page and kinda get familiar with who's here and what they all have been through. There is ALOT of great advice in the previous posts....Im glad you found us and you are not alone!

Well 6:30 am and the race is about to start :) So I will talk to you soon, hang in there...

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by frankm12, Feb 20, 2009
Hi all! -T Day 14.
Wow, it is amazing to see all the 'newbies' here, but it just reminds me of how many people all over the world are getting viciously addicted to this "Non-Addictive" "safe" alternative to the tried and true "Old" painkillers like Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and so on.. It still SERIOUSLY amazes me that the medical establishment does not seem to be aware of how addictive these Tramadol pills really are!! Anyway, I am sure they will soon as the results and sites like this one will hopefully continue to open their eyes.
Day 14, I still almost can't believe I made it this far. Goodness, on days 1-6 I could never imagine bieng at this point now, and definitely could not imagine that I could feel this good mentally and physically NATURALLY again without the Tramadol. I have to say that for me it has definitely been worth the hell of the withdrawals to get here. I actually went out and applied for a job yesterday, and from all indications I will be hired as soon as the results of my background check come in. Man I am so ready to get back to selling Cars, I almost feel sorry for the people that will be coming into the dealership "just looking" and run into a SOBER-TRAM-FREE-ME!!! The reason I feel sorry for them is because they're going to be driving a new vehicle home that day! LOL. (gotta have that positive thinkin', you know?) .

KC67- Hi there Lady, HANG ON!!!! I wasn't totally normal on Day 11 yet either, but your next few days should be SO MUCH BETTER. I know you were on Tram 3 years and I for 10 months, so it may take a few extra days for you , but look how far you have come!!! The end of the tunnell should be in sight for you and the light will be BRIGHT!!

beck01- Welcome. You have been on 5, 50mg pills a day for two years?? Wow, you have some discipline. I was on 6-8 50mg pills 4 times daily for 10 months when I decided to go Cold Turkey. So if you do a quick taper, I believe you will still have withdrawals, however the severity depends on the individual and the amount the individual has been taking and for how long. Unfortunately there is no easy way, though once you have the desire to rid your life of this ****, you have taken the biggest step.

Tramallover- Hi. Don't beat yourself up for succumbing to taking Tramadol again, pat yourself on the back for only taking them for two weeks and throwing the rest away!!! Having your Husband go off to a War Zone has to be a little mentally challenging, so I can definitely understand your desire to have some sort of Chemical escape. I , personally, will do that with hops, malt , barley, wheat, and herb(s) in the future, definitely not the little white pills. I know that with beer and other natural things it can be a once or twice a week occurrence and I will be A+ OK the next day. I know that with one ride on the Trama-Train, I would be 'all-aboard' again, and I do not ever want to go through what I have again. As far as your WD's are concerned, after 2 weeks use you will have them, though probably only about 3-6 days I would guess. All I can tell you is stay strong, you will be in our thoughts.

AnonGuy2- Great job on flushing the 400 Trams!! Big step indeed. Sounds to me like you are are pretty much in the clear, great job.

Everyone else, stay strong and remember, as Bobby Bouche once said, "You can do it!!". Have a great day all.

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by tramallover, Feb 20, 2009
FRANKM12
Thank you for your encouraging words. I am feeling pretty crappy but nothing like I did after quitting CT after 3 years of use. Yes, It is a strong reminder that I can not handle these pills at any dose and not for any length of time. It *****!!!! I just feel like a fool and so stupid. I knew better. But, what can I say? It is done!

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by suzipen, Feb 20, 2009
Hi guys,

Marie-Welcome.  

I wanted to address some of the emotional things that can happen. This seems to be such an issue for most of us. Yes, there are those that dont experience this, BUT I did, and I know KC has brought this up as well.
The absolute worse w/d symptom for me was the HORRIBLE mood swings(well,of course the bloating was yucky beyond belief!)
Everything was bad , but the mental anguish sticks out in my mind as the worst. There were days I couldnt be around anyone. It was very scary and sad at the same time.
My family did not know what to expect from me. And I am talking from hour to hour.  I  could be fine, and then BOOM!.... something would set me off and I became a screaming maniac.......................then, I would be fine until..................
aaawwwww, that is such a sad commercial-tears galore..............................then.BOOM!..........."What in the world are you doing?" #@@#**&@#!!!!(screaming again).  This went on for quite awhile.

However, it does get better. At 3 months post-tram, I am still dealing with this, but on a much milder level.

Tramadol robs you of emotion, so as it is leaving your body, your brain is so confused as to what to do.

Marie, you asked about relationships. Yes, my marriage was affected greatly. We are still repairing damage done by tram. But, My husband is getting his old wife back. His good wife. S L O W L Y . I am getting myself back.
3 months may seem like a long time, but I was on this terrible drug for 5 years. almost 6.
Now, since the first week off, I have been getting glimpes of my old self . Good glimpses.
Now I am getting full blown movies of my old self.
You have to remember ,this is a process. There is no overnight miracles happening here.  In the beginning, my husband actually thought, that after a few days of w/d, I would be the same girl he married.
When that didnt happen, he became fustrated, until he realized it would take time.  
I still take it one day at a time. I used to be soooooooo impatient. But you cannot be impatient with tramadol.
It doesnt care or listen to you.
You just have to be stronger than tramadol. That is all you can do.
That is all your boyfriend can do, and it sounds like he is winning!

As far as the tapering vs. c/t goes, I can only tell you MY experience. I did a very fast taper, and jumped off c/t.
If I had it to do over again, I'd probably do it c/t.    A fast taper doesnt help much because your really prolonging the intense w/d. Because you still feel the radical w/d symptoms, just for a longer period.

Now, a slow slow taper is a whole different story. As far as your boyfriend goes, I would ,IN MY OPINION, tell him to jump off right now. Since he is already experiencing some nasty things, that is what I would tell him. BUT, that is just my opinion. I would ,if I were him, stop taking the 1.5, when I had a few days off. Get the worst out of the way now, and then start concentrating on the aftermath.  THE AFTERMATH. A very BIG deal.
Now, my advice would be different for someone taking more than 1.5/day. So, this is just my opinion for your boyfriend.

Did I mention that is just my opinion?

Anyways, keep us posted. We will be here for you both, I promise.

Kes,
I know how bad the lack of energy su**s!    But, you have come this far. You can do this. I can hear your strength in your words.  (Hug to you)

Tramallover-
Hi, and dont feel too bad about starting again. This was my second go around as well. I had a few months inbetween my ride on the train. I am sure it wont be a total picnic, but really shouldnt too awfully bad either.    DO NOT feel ashamed. You know what you have to do this time. And you know that you will make it. We are here for you.

Shadetree,
I can relate to the tv thing. I loved scary movies before tramadol. While on tram, I couldnt watch anything like that.
They just didnt interest me, or would really scare me.(not the really stupid gory ones tho)
Now,that I am getting back to my normal self, I can watch things again.

JK-  CONGRATS on 17 days! You sound great!.       It was nice to hear from you!!

Frank-
Goodluck with your new job!!   Well wishes coming your way...................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Positive thinking is SO powerful!

Well, to everyone- Hang in there!
I have a day off school today, so I am off to run errands.
Might even go wash my car!!  (Hi Fred!) :)

love,suzi


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by suzipen, Feb 20, 2009
OH Beck-
I didnt mean to ignore you. sorry.

WELCOME!!  
That is a very fast taper, which is what I did. I personally couldnt have done it slower. We all do this differently.  You can probably expect to have w/d the whole time you are tapering. You know your body and what you can handle.
Having 2 little ones, you probably will want to be thru the worst of it as quickly as possible.

Keep posting, and look at previous posts for info on supplements to help with energy, and sleep.
B12 is great!  And you know how important sleep is. You didnt mention that, but I assume your not getting a lot.

Big HUG to you. You are now among friends.
love,suzi


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by tramhater, Feb 20, 2009
Hello all! I am back! WOW! It is crazy to read all your messages.. words of encouragement are great. So the story is... we drive to the detox center to get help... any help. We met with social workers than... nurses... and then the nurses told the doctor my story... THE DOCTOR ACTUALLY CAME TO SEE ME AND MY HUSBAND! Which is rare I guess they usually just diagnose over the phone in detox center than the doctor comes to see the inpatient people... Well with that being said I told him absolutely no other opiates or anything to get me off this addiction. After speaking for an hour we came up with this plan.... #1 I take clonadin (which helps people with withdrawal symptoms! NON ADDICTIVE.. I EVEN READ ON THE INTERNET TO BE SURE... #2 gabbapentin (sp) taking that a few times a day too. UGH THE Question is: IS IT WORKING?????????????? KINDA... I am having withdrawal sypmtoms TRUST ME!! I am so week that I can barely move.... I have hot and cold flashes so bad that I can feel the burning sensations.. and going to the bathroom every 2 seconds is awful! I am WEAK AND SORE... that about explains it. The doctor said since I didn't want to go the subsonox (sp)?? way that these 2 game plans would take about 50% of the withdrawal symptoms away. So what do you guys think... would you have done it if you had the opportunity or still cold turkey. ALSO THE WHOLE THING WAS FREE!!!!!! ONLY HAVE TO PAY FOR MY FOLLOW UP VISIT!! WHAT AN AWESOME CENTER RIGHT??? UGH I GUESS I HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE IF THIS WORKS... SO WITH THAT BEING SAID....            



DAY #1.. (A WHOLE 24 HOURS) WITH OUT TRAMADOL..... FEELING.. SORE AND WEAK... CAN'T WAIT FOR MON..... HOPEFULLY I AM FEELING BETTER.

SHADETREE HOW YOU DOING?? I STILL WORRY ABOUT YOU.

DAVE.... I GET WORRIED ABOUT HOW YOU ARE STILL GETTING SUCH BAD WITHDRAWAL SLEEP ISSUES.. HOW YOU DOING... LOVE THE STORY OF BEING ON THE PILLS... I DID THE SAME THING WITH MINE!!

HOW IS EVEYRYONE ELSE DOING... EMILY AGAIN THANK YOU FORO THIS SIGHT. HOW IS THE KLONIPIN GOING???

WITH LOVE AND MOSTLY RESPECT!
HEATHER


HILLBILLY HOW IS YOUR HEATHER... AND THE BABY IN THE BELLY! LOL

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by FinallyFred, Feb 20, 2009
Beck,  So glad you navigated over to this site.  Congrats on recognizing that  one does not feel "normal" when taking these drugs.  You said that you went from taking 5/day to (now) 3/day and that you are feeling all achy, crappy w/ headaches.  Like the flu sort of huh?  That seemed to happen to me EVERY month.  

You see, when I began my tramadol journey, I took 2 pills a day in the evening for my hip pain - so I could sleep. And I thought it was marvelous.  But over time, it took more of this nasty drug to take the pain away.  And then I started feeling like I had pains all over my body.  (maybe withdrawal like symptoms?) so over the six years I was on this drug, I my M.D. increased my does to 8 pills/day.  

NEXT problem,  8 weren't enough (one builds up a tolerance to this drug over time) so that each RX cycle, when I would get my new presecription order, I would take like 8, 10, or 12/day to feel LESS UNWELL. (more on that later).  And naturally, toward the end of every cycle, I had like 4-6 pills per day to get me through until I could order again.  And I was going through mini-withdrawal EVERY MONTH.  YUP, like many here, I was introduced to WITHDRAWAL, long before I decide I had enough.

Here's my unscientific theory on tolerance with tramadol:

Your body builds up tolerance, so that INCREASING amounts of this drug are required just to get you to the same place of feeling less UNWELL as you did at the start.  And if you don't increase your dose while taking tram, you will feel like you are in withdrawal all the time.  Not good.

Since the maximum "safe" does that a doctor will prescribe is 8 pills/day (400 mg), many turn to ordering the drug on line.  Well, if the medical community, who are slow to appreciate the affects of this drug, say that 400 mgs is the maximum safe does, that should say something.  Nuf said about that.

Not sure why I never ordered online, but I didn't.  And knowing what I know about this drug and myself, I am really sure I would have been taking 20-30 pills/day at the end if I had gone there myself.  But even people on THAT high a dose can and do recover if we are willing to work for it.

Beck, I said all that so I could say this:  My hunch is that you weren't feeling "well" on 5 pills a day because your body had built up tolerance to that dose over time.  You are opting for a comparatively DRASTIC taper, but that is essentially what I did.  But a REAL tape goes much slower than that.  We have some folks here who have successfully tapered by reducing their intake by 25 mg/day EACH week.  I pretty much did what you are doing, I went from about 8 pills per day to 2 pills/day for five days and when my pills were gone, instead of re-ordering them, I STOPPED.  But I fully expect that the "real" taperers pull their hair out when they hear someone doing what you describe and call it a taper.

My guess is that since you have already begun this drastic taper, you will feel like you have the flu, until about five days after you take your last pill.  Others may weigh in here with different opinions as to what to expect, but those are mine.

Others here recently have complained that they still weren't sleeping well, still having stabbing pains in their feet, still lacking concentration, still depressed and still anxious long after 4-5 days from their last pill.  That's all expected.  So while the WORST of the flu like symptoms will pass in what, 4-5 days, FULL recovery takes time.

KC/Anonguy, it takes weeks and weeks after taking your last pill to feel normal again.  Weeks and weeks.  I'll say it again, WEEKS AND WEEKS.   That may sound daunting, but at least you ae through the worst of the withdrawals.  Don
't forget that lovely experience, will you?  And you at least have have the consolation of knowing that for every day you put between yourself and your last pill.   Each day, YOU ARE one day closer to being Finally KC, or Finally Dave, etc.

And of course, this begs the question, will we know nornal again when it walks up and smacks us in the face?  In my case, I had been a tram-o-bot for six years.  Can I even recall my pre-tram NORMAL?  Not sure, but not sure that it matters either.  

I just went back this morning and read Emily's jornal entries again.  Hadn't done that in more than a month, but I highly recommend it.  Because if/when you do, you will see clearly that she too was having a lot of problems at day 11 or day 22, or whatever, as some of you now complain about.  And I felt that long term recovery **** too.  

A few weeks ago, I encouraged newcomers to begin their own journal enties.  I don't know who took up that suggestion and who didn't, but there are a whole lot of reasons for starting your own journal entires soon and often.  This excercize is IN ADDITION  to posting here on the general board.  

Why soon? Cause one never gets a second chance to relive their 1st day (sorry tramallover).  Or their 10th? And one won't have a second chance to record their thoughts, fears, feelings, etc. those 1st days either.  Like the baby book we wish we had started...

Why private journals: (1) establish your own record that YOU can refer back to-  to refresh your memory about how far you have come, (2) these can serve as a resource for others - when THEY figure progress ought to be quicker than what it is for THEM, and (3) there is a whole lot  of information that I might care to record, that frankly, other people just have no interest in reading about.  Mayber that's why someone at MedHelp devised the two section journal.  One for public comments and the other for me to record things...ah...personal.

When I did my early journaling, I did it for me.  Yet I also knew that one day, someone else would come along and read them, and that they might serve another as well.

I mean do any of you really want to here how many times old Fred crapped his drawers?  Or do you really want to hear me give a detailed account of something that may be interesting to me, but has little to do with your recovery from tramadol?  Nope, I don't think so.  But at the same time, if I wanted to write about it and if you wanted to read about it, we could do so through personal journaling. Like i said, I just sought out Emily's old journals this morning AGAIN, and I was comforted to see that I am not alone in some of the symptoms I have/am experiencing.  

Beck, you mentioned in a note you sent to me that you have some trouble navigating with computers.  Me too.  So allow me to say a word about  how you can get to a person's journal entires.  Or how you may decide to start your own journaling.  Just click on a peson's ICON/picture.  Once there, scroll down on the left and you will find journal entries.  The first few will come up.  Then scroll back up to the right and you will find little boxes with numbers in them.  Click on a numbered box.  Click on anothe numberd box of the "->" if you want to start at the beginning.  

To start your own journal entires, click on your own picture/ICON.  Thee should be a button to click to "add journal enties" or something like that .  

As with most computer programs, there is more than one way to do something.  But the above is fairly straight forward.

Frankm,  Yes, good luck on your new job prospect selling cars.   I HAD to drop by the Toyota dealership earlier this week and check on the new Venza.  

Sorry I ran out of time here.  I am not ignoring others.  

Courage and Strength to you ALL!

Fred

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by tramhater, Feb 20, 2009
fred.. what day are you on again?? I am inspired by your last entry... ughh I am so weak and sore... I am only on day 1 and i can'e wait to be on day 30..  60 whatever it will be that I ACTUALLY FEEL NORMAL but what is normal?? i dont; know anymore either... so i do ask.... what do we do about the pain that we had... pre tram.. that the tram train took care of. that is the only concern my hubby has. what do i do with the pain that i was truely prescribed? i am so down right now... do i am sorry if i seem boring or a downer.. i just need help.. i hate this withdrawal.. whether it isn't or is as bad as what you went through that how will i know until i go through this journey... not a good one though.. i am hanging on by a string and i  hate the thought of even "detoxing" that is what i am doing right now... my hubby had to take off two days of work just so i could detox??? i HATE MYSELF FOR THAT! it makes me feel so guilty? does anyone else feel guilty for how it affected your loved ones??

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 20, 2009
There's been a lot of activity since my last post some 19 hours ago and I read all the new stuff and it's great!

TODAY WAS ****HORRIBLE**** !!!

It felt like I was back at day 1 for the first 5 hours I was awake. Seriously!

I slept a little bit better last night, actually sleeping until my alarm at 5:15am (Fridays I work earlier than my other days so that's why I had my alarm set so early). It was the FIRST TIME since I stopped taking tram that I have slept until my alarm clock! AMAZING!

So I get dressed for work, feeling groggy but otherwise not too bad.

I get to work and it hits. IT HITS LIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB! Insane bad feelings! It was like the worst depression and anxiety I have ever felt before! It was so bad and there was NO END in sight.

I started talking to a couple coworkers and one of my bosses about how crappy I felt and hinting that I may want to go home early sick. Had I not flushed my 400 trams I got yesterday, I would have been EXTREMELY TEMPTED to drive home and take a handful. THAT'S HOW BAD I FELT! I was even thinking at times that maybe I shouldn't have even flushed them!

No matter what thoughts I had used as "coping mechanisms" in the previous days I tried to employ during this time, it wouldn't work.

I was in such a dark, deep anxiety-ridden state that I was thinking the most insane negative thoughts. They were so bad that I don't even want to get into it here because I don't want to bring other people down.

This lasted from about 5:45am until 11am. And it seemed like it lasted 5 years! It was HORRIBLE!

Then, out of nowhere, it went away. Slowly I went from feeling normal to feeling that natural high which I am on now and have been on for an hour or two.

When will this **** end!?!? Tomorrow, Saturday, is the busiest day of work, followed by Sunday, the second-busiest day. Although I feel good right now, I am so worried about how tomorrow will be and if I'll be able to take it.

I know I am not going crazy or going through anything abnormal here, but it would be great to hear a confirmation of this from Emily, Fred, and others who have been through day 9 as I am on now.

It BLOWS MY MIND how I can feel so good right now yet I literally felt like the most worthless piece of GARBAGE on the planet this morning for some 6 hours!

Again: Emily / Fred / Others -- Tell me I'm not going crazy! Please! :D

- FinallyAlmostDaveMaybeOrMaybeNot?

LOL

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by MsMarie1981, Feb 20, 2009
This is going to sound ridiculous can't tell you ALL how much my heart literally swells when I come to this site.  Ok maybe its not swelling but at least its decompression :)   I feel like my heart is under permanent compression from stress but I come here and find compassion and answers. And also to laugh -- hillbilly's story about the marshmallows had me smiling all day.  Anyways the few friends I lean on to support me are protective of me, so they judge my boyfriend so much and I know they think i'm a fool for sticking through this with him, but I know i'm making the only decision I can live with.  Its nice to come here and know I can be honest and finally open with all of this stuff. So thank you all.

Thank you for responding to my questions about relationships and emotions -- especially Suzi for your candor about your mood swings.  We had a bad night last night, our therapist was very rough on me (which i thought was uncalled for, i feel like i'm going through enough right now) which just reminded me that a relationship counselor is not what we need, we need a therapist for addiction.  And then after that we got into a fight about the way we each think quitting should be approached.  Of course, this all happened from 4-6 pm -- 4pm is the time every single day where he starts to get cranky and irritable becuase he hasn't taken his evening dose and his morning dose has long worn off. I was stupid to fall into the trap of arguing, i feel like I know enough to be stronger than that.  I keep telling myself to be ready for it, I know to expect it,  but when it happens i'm so emotionally raw that i'm not as strong as i'd like to be.   Suzi has your husband learned how to recognize when your moodiness is tram/withdrawal related? Have you figured out a way to deal with it as a couple?

So I think our plan is to continue tapering one more week and then stop altogether next friday. He has to work friday but from what I've heard day 1 isn't the worst.  He can't take alot of time off so he'll have to do what he can over the weekend and maybe take monday and tuesday off.  We'll have the weekend, and I have Monday off if he needs to call in, which I assume he may.  Then Tuesday I can call in too.  I want to be there for him because I'm scared of the Tram-Thoughts you all described.  I know he may feel like he wants to be alone -- or that he needs company. I just want to make sure that if he's scared that I can be there for him.  He really should be back at work Wednesday, so i'm hoping that his taper has shown him the worst of it and that the misery that most of you all have felt will not be as prevalent for him...but here's to hoping.  And if wednesday he's feeling awful than thats life and he'll do what he needs to do.  but thats the plan, so far :) Wish us luck!

Oh and lastly can you all please describe what precisely you did to alleviate the withdrawals? I want to be prepared :)  I know alot of you have additional prescriptions, my boyfriend doesnt want that. but I know for a lot of people Thomas Recipe and other vitamins work, hot baths, etc... Would you all describe what you think has helped you and how? THank you thank you thank you!


****FRED******
Thank you for reminding me that it doesn't matter why someone gets on tramadol, its that they try get off that measures their character.  For the first time last night my boyrfiend was able to recall the timeline of his use, and how he got hooked -- i think he's remembering things better and it helped to finally understand how he got himself into this mess :)  

  I'm so glad to hear that you're finally you.  I know i'm reading tone into your emails but you seems so liberated and I can tell that it was worth the fight.

****SUZI*****
It is so lovely to hear that you are seeing memories of your old self.  You say your husband is glad to have the woman he married back and that makes me feel so happy for you both.  I also look forward to the new man my man is about to become.  Its crazy because I never knew him before tramadol -- he started using daily before were even in a relationship so I'll be meeting a whole new man I guess :)  and I suppose he'll be seeing me for the first time with out the tramadol goggles on :) I'm looking forward to that.  Thank you for your advice.  

****DAVE****
It sounds like you're making leaps and bounds as far as recovery is concerned.   Its very encouraging to hear your strength and conviction!  Congratulations and keep up the good work.


Oh and before i hit "Post"  are any of you doing NA or PA or AA, anything as far as support goes? I'd like to explore those options and wanted to know what you all thought.

Thanks a million times over. I owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.

My Best Best Wishes
msmarie




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by MsMarie1981, Feb 20, 2009
Dave!  

Sorry, I was writing that last post of mine before your most recent post, and i was congratulating you for your strength -- I wasn't being sarcastic i just didn't know you were feeling terrible!

I haven't been through what you've been through so i'm sorry that I can't give you any guidance. What I can say is that i'm so impressed by your strength so far, and that you're even able to put an "LOL" at the end of the email means that you see the light at the end of the tunnel and are still able to have a sense of humor?!? In your darkest of days?  Thats impressive!  So i hope you can be proud of yourself despite your morning challenges.  I'm not religious but just in case I'll send a little prayer up for you :)  Good luck!

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 20, 2009
Marie -- Yes, I am seriously questioning my sanity in the fact that I can still crack jokes and laugh at my horrible state I just not-so-recently experienced a few hours ago.

I am seriously starting to wonder if one of the vitamins/supplements I'm taking is causing this horrible state for hours in the morning. How could it be that for a few days in a row now that the only time I feel bad is around the same time each morning? Is it just a coincidence it happens after I take my vitamins/supplements or are they or one of them somehow the cause?

I know it's highly unlikely anything I'm taking could cause it (B-12, B-Complex, multi vitamin, 5-HTP every morning) but I can't help but make a little connection there since that worst state of the day is always shortly after I take that stuff in the morning.

I can't wait for this recovery period to be over. I know patience is key but that has never been something I have been good at. There's some character traits that no matter how hard you try, you cannot overcome because they're legitimately a part of you and patience is just that for me. I have tried to work on it since I was born and never had any success, so I just deal with it.

I still feel pretty good mentally but my body is still a little sore and restless (uncomfrtable in virtually every position). I am so happy I'm not at work right now but at the same time it is a good distraction from unsuccessfully trying to relax my body and mind here at my apartment---- Being at work, that is...

I'm sure this is just an "off" day as others have had. I remember Emily saying on a bad day or two she'd had how she'd take "2 steps backward" one day and then "4 steps", or something like that, "forward" the next day. I hope this is all I'm going through.

Any comment on that Emily? :)

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by EmilyPost, Feb 20, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!

Fred you are describing Tolerance Withdrawal really well. That's when the body goes into withdrawal even though you are taking the drug.

It happens with every single drug on earth. The body adapts, The drug is no longer effective and you get nothing but side effects. Wth Tramadol that means you start to ... um ... de? Feel terrible without a reason? Unless you know Tramadol is causing it & you happen to find a non-idiot Doctor you're SOL.

Personally; I had indications early that the Tramadol was capable of causing tremendous pain when  stopped it abruptly ... but ... because  kept hearing how safe it was;  I made no real connection between the drug and the fact that my Life was Trama-Smashed.


Anon-Dave you don't need to be positive. Sometimes it's completely appropriate to be "negative," in fact, it helps people more if they know what to expect. It's not going to go well for anyone if they expect that in X number of days they will be "done."

Tramadol doesn't seem to work that way. Opiates work that way. Opiates are very straightforward during withdrawal. Tramadol;  it seems to combine physical and then emotional angst. Tramadol is dark and demonic. That's because it is a central acting pseudo-opiate that also contains an anti depressant. So you are detoxing from some serious bad medicine. If you were to say ... have had 10 days off Tramadol and then "take a handful of Tramadol" as you were considering; you would have possibly had a seizure. We have people here who have had seizures ... and ... it's not good.

Anon-Dave you're not far enough along to expect really good days. Not consistently. You don't recover from Tramadol in 10 days; or even 30. Or even 60. You don't even make steady progress. It's Random.

You'll have excellent days. Savor.  Love your good days. Memorize them. Write about them in your own journal. But people ask me often; when did it stop being bad for you off the Tramadol?

My answer is 78 days? 77? The day I had Accident #3. IK had no Tramadol w/d pain or angst that day.

The journal  wrote here shows me ... that  had really bad days on day 17 or Day 18 ... and t shows me that nothing compared to days 1-4. In which I felt as if I had a flu, a true neurological migraine and someone had beaten me with phone books. Yes  was using Velcro straps to the ice packs to my right leg.

By the time you make it to Day 10 you get a breather. A break. If Tramadol were another drug (say; an opiate) you'd be steadily feeling better. Weak. But steadily feeling better. Tramadol is not like the others. It's going to shift attack modes. Now you have been exhausted physically now it's going to eff up your head.

It's going to throw you into strange Tramadol moods, anxieties and even see if you'll buy a ticket to Depression land. AND you'll still have days when you feel as if you were hit by a car. Even wth Benzos (for me) nothing was ever as bad as Tramadol.

In short. The first part is acute .. strong & scary. Many people take the first wave of withdrawal as a sign they need more Tramadol. Or they aren't ready. Or they minimize and FORGET what Tramadol did to them the first time.

AnonDave you need food in your stomach to take those pills. A meal. Before you swallow them.

As to bad mornings ... in any kind of withdrawal it is for me; Morning Danger Zone.  I get up and out of bed fast. I don't let my mind and wits be half asleep as waves I cannot control roll in. I am in Klonopin taper now. Let me tell you ... the mornings bring back Tramadol memories.

Ms Marie you are right. You need a therapist who is an addiction specialist. Not a relationship councilor. Why? Because your Guy; is a pill addict on a Tramadol Taper? Talking to him rght now is ... like talking to the inside of a pill bottle. You tapered properly and my hope for him is that he'll have very few abrupt side effects. Your plan; is excellent and I can tell a professional put it together.

I am willing to bet your friends have told you that you are codependant or worse. As soon as  understood your story more; I can say; wth certainty that you are a very good person.  understand why your SO doesn't want to lose you. We can see he's smart huh? :D

I have so much more I want to say but no strength ...  I did a direct taper cut a couple of days ago off klonopin which is the last pill I am on. I'm sure to be back with more later.  wanted to tell you Ms Mare that you are very interesting. In every possible way. I really wish wth you that I could sit down wth you, have coffee and a very long chat. I mean that is a good way; of course.

Poor Tramahater. (((Tramahater))) My experience is that Tramadol itself caused my pan level to spike and become intolerable. Your pain will lessen as you detox. BUT .. in withdrawal it will be sometimes unmanageable. I used Over the Counter pain meds (Excedrin and Aleve) ... I used Tylenol PM or Benadryl at night.  You cling to these words.

One day closer to freedom.

Have faith that the original pain was worsened by the Tramadol use. IT CAUSES PAIN. Use ice, heat, muscle rubs. Baths. We are all here for you. We KNOW how painful it is Dear Heart. ((((hugs))))) Tell your DH that many people find that Tramadol causes pain.

Hillbilly - My DH has had Kidney stones. Vicodin is much less complicated than Tramadol ever will be for me at least .. In my experience ... I send you many healing vibes ...

Sweet Heather glad to see you back. Clonodine. I'm glad you said no to suboxone. I hope it helps you. The Klonopin taper is going along. It's the last of the pills. The last cut I made was big. 30-some percent.  I had one major meltdown. Talk about "this is your bran ... this is your brain ON DRUGS!! *picture fried egg*

Nothing out of the ordinary for Benzos to report. Except that I hate tapering.

Love and healing,
Emily

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by tramallover, Feb 20, 2009
Thanks to all that have given encouragement. I really needed it and appreciate it. I am doing ok today. Second time around isnt as bad. But, bad enough to keep me from making this mistake again. I went to see a new doctor today. He actually spent 45 whole minutes with me. Can you believe it? I told him everything. He has given me a medicine to try that I have never heard of. I have not ever tried anti anxiety medicine before. It is called Pamelor. Has anyone ever heard of this? He said it might help me calm down a bit, and maybe help with my emotions of my Husband leaving for Iraq. I havent taken it yet. I am a bit scared. So, if anyone can help, Id be very appreciative. Thanks!

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by beck01, Feb 21, 2009
Hi all, well im doing ok. Yesterday i had 3 50mg. Was planning on getting down to 2 but my children are on school holidays and had me walking round a museum all day so didnt think it was a good idea to cut anymore out yesterday. Hoping that i will be ok on 2 today. Not feeeling as bad as i did when i first cut the dose a few days ago. Dont know whether my body is just getting used the new amount? Not sure.

SHADETREE: I agree completely with what you say. I really dont want my children to suffer they are my world. Well done on being able to skip your afternoon dose that is incredibly difficult. It feels so good to be able to talk about all this, felt like i was going crazy and my head was about to explode! This has given me the determination to get off this horrible drug. Hope your feeling better, I know what you mean about the brain zaps. God!! What are they all about.

FRANK: Thats alot of tram to be taking in one day and then go cold turkey. Well done. Thats so brave. Sounds like your doing great now and it makes me see that doing this is well worth it even if i do have to go through hell.

SUZI: How fast did you taper? Where the w/d really bad when you stopped? Im sleeping ok, waking up quite alot but im able to get back to sleep apart from this morningbut that has nothing to do with tram. My boyfriend was snorring so loud all nite that i gave up and got up at 6am, before i put a pillow over his head!! LOL!! Your right i need to get through the worst of it as quickly as possible my children need me so i cant let this take over my life anymore.

FRED:  I felt excatly the same when was taking full dose opf tram if i was late for my next dose i would ache all over was really starting to worry there was something seriously wrong with me, but now i can see the only thing wrong was taking the tram. Thanks for the advice, i have nop idea how to work a computer! Now that i know how to read the journals i will (thankyou fred). Thankyou for going into so much detail with me about tram i knew nothing until i found you guys. You have all helped me so much already and i havent even got to the hard bit yet!!

Beck.



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by AnonGuy2, Feb 21, 2009
*******
Emily
*******

Thanks for the long reply to my question(s)-- I appreciate it. For a preiod of about two hours after I posted, there was no activity, and I kept coming back to type up some stuff to post. I kept finding myself deleting it and not posting. I guess that's just a testiment to how unwell and confused I was feeling.

Eventually that went away a bit later and I felt normal. By normal I mean I didn't feel bad and I didn't feel good. This was true both physically, mentally, and emotionally. It felt great! I was able to get comfortable on my couch for the first time since I stopped taking the tram! It wasn't 100% normal but I'd say about 90%. So I was feeling great and able to not even think about tram for a bit.

I went to bed and was able to continue these normal feelings. I watched tv in bed for about 45 minutes, a record since quitting tram. Previously, I had not been able to lay in bed for more than like 5-10 minutes before turning off the tv and rolling onto my side and try to go to sleep being so unbelievably exhausted.

I guess I got to sleep for close to 7.5-8 hours last night. It wasn't the best sleep in that I was tossing and turning a little more than usual. On the positive side, it did seem a little bit easier to get comfortable, which doesn't make sense since I was tossing and turning more, and it didn't seem quite as frusterating either (although I was NOT happy about it, of course). :)

Then it happened... I realized I couldn't try to get to sleep anymore. My mind said "I'm awake" and wasn't willing to keep trying to relax in bed. And guess what time it was when I looked at the clock after 5-10 minutes of trying to ignore those thoughts? 5:15am!

I say this with a joking tone of voice, but seriously, WTF is up with this 5am bs that keeps happening? It's either an amazing coincidence or something I will never understand, I suppose. As I reported a few nights ago, I even waited until about 10pm one night instead of 7-8 and I still woke up just after 5am!

I am not looking forward to going to work today, being Saturday and all. I know I can get through it because of getting through the last two days I've worked, but I have anxiety or depression (I'm not sure which) about just not wanting to go in. I know I could call in and not get in trouble but to be honest there's a big part of me that wants to say F-U to tram and show it that it's way of interrupting my life is long behind me and I will survive work no problem!

I am so ready to be at that point already, but as we all know, this tram is much different to kick and get over. I could go on but I won't. I want to try and get some good vibes flowing in the next couple hours before I leave for work!

I wish everyone the best!

- Dave

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by KC67, Feb 21, 2009
Day 13 – Feb. 21, 2009 – cold turkey

Yesterday (Feb. 12th) was a decent day.  I slept well and had little anxiety and depression and anger-related emotional outbursts.  Today (Feb. 13th) is different.  I feel like a heavy cloud of emotion and hopelessness has enveloped me.  I want to “shake it” so desperately, but it is still clinging on to my very soul.  

= Suzi =
Thank you so much for your encouraging words!  You wrote, “However, it does get better. At 3 months post-tram, I am still dealing with this, but on a much milder level.  Tramadol robs you of emotion, so as it is leaving your body, your brain is so confused as to what to do.”

I needed to hear this Suzi as my emotions and my anxiety have been the worst side effect that I have been dealing with lately.  I can totally relate to everything you shared and am thankful to know that I am getting-to-normal…slowly but surely.

= Fred =
Dear, sweet Fred….thank you for your awesome advice about journaling and re-reading Emily’s journal.  It is amazing how quickly I forgot how long it takes to get over the effects of this horrible drug!  I DO have a personal journal (although it is just through my personal computer – not public on MedHelp – and it is really amazing to look back and see exactly what I was experiencing on Days 1-5.  You are correct… I NEVER want to forget my “lovely” experience of the first week of withdrawal from Tramadol.   Never!

Fred, you also wrote, “KC/Anonguy, it takes weeks and weeks after taking your last pill to feel normal again.  Weeks and weeks.  I'll say it again, WEEKS AND WEEKS.   That may sound daunting, but at least you are through the worst of the withdrawals.  Don't forget that lovely experience, will you?

Fred, I thank you for reminding me (once again) that this is a LIFETIME battle and that I am not going to feel completely normal at Day 13.  I feel like I am so very far from “weeks and weeks” and just want to feel normal again NOW.  However, I need to be grateful for the moments of normalcy that I DO experience on a daily basis.  Thank you for ALWAYS being so encouraging!  

= Tramhater =
I can completely relate to your feelings of self-loathing for having to have your husband take off work and help.  Yes.  I feel guilty all the time – even at Day 13 (today)!  It gets better though.  I have my rough days and my semi-rough days.  My husband has been very understanding and when I feel the self-loathing taking over and I verbalize it to him, he encourages me to just keep going until “Day 45” – that’s the personal goal we set together – that hopefully by Day 45 I would begin to feel the effects of normalcy (which also coincides with Fred’s statement of “weeks and weeks”).  So I am hanging in there, day by day, minute by minute – until the time comes when I begin to  feel normal again.  I have to remind myself CONSTANTLY that this drug is NOT going to leave my body without a fight and it is going to be a lengthy fight at that!  So we both need to be gentle with our emotions and how they pertain to our self perception (easier said than done).

=Emily=
Thank you, as always, for your most recent and encouraging post.  Yes, thank you for saying “it is completely appropriate to be negative”.  

I hate being negative.  Before I quit Tramadol cold turkey, I had envisioned me “beating” this addiction and encouraging others by Day 7.  This has not happened for ME, although I know that many of you are well on your way to returning to YOUR “normal” before me (at Day 13).  Each of us has different body chemistries and genetic cells.  We are all going to experience different recovery and withdrawal symptoms.  But each of our stories is important in that we can encourage someone ELSE out there that they CAN do this – no matter how long it takes – no matter how long this poison takes up residence in THEIR very cells.  There is no magic formula or EXACT number of days – but the important thing is that we all realize that by each day of NOT taking any more of the trams – we are one day closer to our “normal”.  

Emily, you also wrote, “By the time you make it to Day 10 you get a breather. A break. If Tramadol were another drug (say; an opiate) you'd be steadily feeling better. Weak. But steadily feeling better. Tramadol is not like the others. It's going to shift attack modes. Now you have been exhausted physically now it's going to eff up your head.  It's going to throw you into strange Tramadol moods, anxieties and even see if you'll buy a ticket to Depression land. AND you'll still have days when you feel as if you were hit by a car. Even wth Benzos (for me) nothing was ever as bad as Tramadol.”

I can totally relate to “buying a ticket to Depression Land”.  This was so encouraging to me as I still suffer from daily anxiety and (I’m sure) low serotonin from NOT taking Tram and the hidden antidepressant that was in it!  Folks, I am experiencing FIRSTHAND, the emotional randomness of 3 years’ worth of withdrawal from this drug and it is VERY hard.  The only thing I DO know is that it may take 77 or 78 days (as Emily said) -  or even more -  of fighting before I get to the point of feeling normal again.  In the meantime, I have to trust what others (who have gone before me) have said – and NOT on what I am presently FEELING.

My best wishes to ALL of you.  I know what you are feeling and I sympathize.  

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC67


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by KC67, Feb 21, 2009
p.s.  
Frankm - Great to hear from you!  Thanks for your encouraging words.  Yesterday WAS much better - hope you get that job!

Kes - Keep going!  You are doing great and I truly appreciate your encouraging words!  You have come such a long way and you and I both know that you will succeed in beating this drug!

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by Shadetree, Feb 21, 2009
Hello everyone,

This is day 13 of tapering for me...It feels like weeks! I am trying to be patient and appreciate that my brain is slowly getting back to normal. But Im getting antsy! Last night I was falling asleep, I was the last one up in the house, I turned the t.v. off and was drifting off when all of a sudden it sounded like someone YELLED right in my ear. I sat up, heart racing and the house was pitch black and dead with silence. It scared the S**T out of me... Has anyone had anything like this happen to them? That has never happend before... Anyway, the cold I had is gone...(so glad) either a cold or w/d's, its gone I can hear and smell again. My head still aches but tylenol controls it now...

~Dave (Anon) sorry to hear you hav been suffering from the emotional w/d's. In my opinion, that is way worse than the physical. Just keep your head up, your still doing great!

~Heather, I am doing ok, thanks for asking. And dont worry...really.) How are YOU doing?

I have had a few very positive things happen in my life this week, and that has given me even more determination to kick this thing! Hope all is well, ttys

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by EmilyPost, Feb 21, 2009
Shadetree;

(((hugs))) That's audtiory Hallucinatons and yes, that's normal for Tramadol. You're hearng things. :D

I used to get a whole lot of that AND unseen unknown to me people whisperng my name. Generally before sleepng. Creepy huh?


Hugs all around!
Em


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by tramhater, Feb 21, 2009
OK DAY 2... SLEEPLESSNESS... CHECK. WANT TO CUT MY LIMBS OFF.. CHECK.. DRY NOSE BUT SNEEZING ALL DAY.. CHECK.. WEAKNESS... CHECK... IRRITABLE.. CHECK... TON MORE BUT DON'T WANT TO WAIST MY TIME... CHECK. LOL.....  


HEY ALL!!!!!!!!! IM WRITING IN CAPS JUST BECAUSE IT IS EASIER... AND IM LAZY. SO FIRST OFF.....
   EVERYONE MUST READ THIS.... I REPEAT!!
      
                                              "EVERYONE MUST READ THIS."

SO THE DOC THAT I AM SEEING TO HELP ME DETOX IS AMAZING... 1ST OFF HE HAS CALLED ME HIMSELF EVERYDAY TO LISTEN TO MY SYMPTOMS. (I WILL TALK ABOUT THE **** SYMPTOMS LATER) SO THE DOCTOR SAYS THREE THINGS THAT EVERYONE OF US NEED TO KNOW!!!!!!

#1... TRAMADOL.. IS NOT AN OPIATE... HAHA.. NOT... IT IS NOT AN OPIATE UNTIL IT HITS THE LIVER AND THE LIVER TRANSLATE IT BACK TO BEING ONE!! INTERESTING HUH?

#2... THE SIDE EFFECTS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO CUT YOUR ARMS AND LEGS OFF IS YOUR BODY FIGHTING THE SERITONIN (Sp) WITHDRAWAL. THAT THE POS DRUG TRAMADOL HIDES IN IT! SO IF YOU TAKE A DRUG SUCH AS PROZAC.. LEXAPRO.... XANAX.. IT WILL HELP THAT SIDE EFFECT GO AWAY BY 80% (THAT IS AN EXACT STATISTIC) FROM TRAM WITHDRAWALERS... PROB FROM MY DETOX CENTER... WELL IT IS WORKING... HE JUST PUT ME ON PROZAC FOR THREE DAYS.. 20 MG... I AM SMALL SO THE DOSE MAY BE DIFF EVERYONE. BUT GETTING A DOC ENVOLVED HAS SEEMED TO HELP. "HELP IS THE KEY WORD.. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MAKE IT ALL JUST GO AWAY.
#3... MY PHARMACY KNOWS THAT I AM TRYING TO GET OFF TRAMADOL.. I TOLD THEM... THE PHARMACIST. SAID THAT THEY ARE STARTING TO TREAT TRAMADOL LIKE AN OPIATE... SHE SAID IT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND MANY DOCS/PEOPLE DON'T NEED THAT. SHE IS LEARNING FROM MY EXPERIENCE TO TELL OTHERS... AND ALSO IS PRAISING MY DOC. FOR THE ROAD HE IS TAKING ME DOWN.

^^^^^SHADETREE^^^^... THERE ARE PRIVATE DETOX CENTERS THAT WILL HELP YOU W OUT YOUR HUBBY KNOWING... THIS HAS HELPED ME SO MUCH.. I KNOW BECAUSE MY WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS ARE PROB ATLEAST HALF OF THE NORM... BUT LIKE EMILY SAID... THEY MUST KNOW ALL ABOUT TRAMADOL.. IT NEEDS TO BE TREATED DIFF THAN A REG OPIATE.. BECAUSE IT IS NOT... SO DO THE RESEARCH AND SEEK HELP.. I STILL FEEL SO WEAK.. LIKE I CAN'T MOVE AT TIMES... AND I WANT TO SIT AND BED AND CUT MY ARMS OFF ALONG WITH MY LEGS... GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CHILDREN.. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR TAPER IS COMING ALONG GREAT.... DAY 13 HUH? YOU GO GIRL. GLAD YOUR HEADACHE IS GOING AWAY.

^^^^FRED^^^^^^ ... WEEKS AND WEEKS. HUH... UGH.. MY DOC SAID THE SAME THING... SO I DO ASK.. IS IT MORE THE MENTAL PART THAT IS WEEKS AND WEEKS?? BECAUSE MY DOC SEEMS TO TELL ME THAT... THAT IS WHY HE MAY WANT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE PROZAC FOR 2-4 WEEKS, BUT FOR NOW I RESIST PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING OUT OF FEAR... HOWEVER WHEN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS DOESN'T IT SEEM LIKE YOU WILL DO ANYTHING FOR RELIEF???? I SIT IN THE TUB SOMETIMES FOR AN HOUR AT A TIME FOR RELIEF. WHAT WAS YOUR WORST WO
WORST SYMPTOMS??

^^^^EMILY^^^^^^ I ASK WHAT YOUR WORST SYMPTOM WAS AS WELL... THAT YOU CAN REMEMBER?? WHICH HAS BEEN HARDER TRAM OR KLONAPIN?? AND ALSO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE STATEMENT I SAID BEFORE ABOUT THE SERATONIN?? AND NEEDEING A PROZAC TYPE?? HAS ANYONE EVER BEEN ON SOMETHING LIKE THAT IF SO IS IT HARD TO COME OFF OF??

^^^HILLBILLY^^ WHATS UP HAVEN'T HEARD FROM YA??

^KC^^^ UGH I FEEL YOUR PAIN.. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU ARE HAVING SOME ROUGH DAYS... THINGS WILL GET BETTER IT SEEMS FROM EMILY, FRED... WORDS (SORRY IF IM MISSIN ANYONE). YOU HAVE SOME WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT THOUGH SO REMEMBER YOU ARE HELPING ME!!!!!!!!! AT DAY 45... YOU WILL LOOK BACK AND HAVE A WONDERFUL SMILE ON YOUR FACE!! MAY I ASK HOW MUCH YOU WERE TAKING AND FOR HOW LONG.. I FORGOT?? WELL GOOD LUCK. AND DON'T WORRY THERE WILL BE BETTER DAYS.

DAVE... DAVE DAVE... I THINK I MIGHT START CALLING YOU DAVEY... HUH... IT SEEMS TO FIT YOU.. I DON'T KNOW WHY I GET THAT FEELING. SO HOW ARE YOU?? I REMEMBER WHEN YOU WROTE OUT MY GROC LIST (THANK YOU) THAT YOU HAD SAID TO BUY GABA BUT YOU HADN'T YOURSELF.... DO IT!!! IT SEEMS TO HELP LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS... I CAN TELL YOU I AM ON GABAPENTIN... UMM.. 300MG 3 TIMES DAILY.. THE MAJOR SIDE EFFECT IS LOW BLOOD PRESSURE.. SO BE CAREFUL... MINE IS PRESCRIPTION BUT I BELIEVE THAT YOU SAID YOU COULD STILL BUY SOME... WELL... HEY.. HEAR THAT YOU ARE HAVING BETTER NIGHTS.. I AM ON DAY 2ISH.. AND I COULDN'T SLEEP LAST NIGHT FOR THE LIFE OF ME... I WAS PROB. SLEEPING FOR 3-4 HOURS.. THEN FINALLY SLEPT FROM LIKE 8 AM TO 11 AM... IT SUCKED... MY DOC SAID TYLENOL PM AND MEDITATION.. I WILL TRY THAT TONIGHT... MOTHER...LORD.. I WISH THIS WOULD ALL JUST GO AWAY... IT *****. BUT HEY WE ARE ALL TRAM WARRIORS AS EMILY CALLS US... DON'T WORRY YOU WILL HAVE BETTER DAYS.


OK I REALLY HAVE TO GO.... FEELIN KINDA GOOD.... SORRY IF I FORGOT ANYONE.. TTYL.

PEACE BE WITH ALL OF YOU.

MAY YOU ALL SLEEP WELL...




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by tramhater, Feb 21, 2009
emily.... i just realized that you know everything!!!!! thanks for always answering our questions..

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 21, 2009
Before I get to acknowledging any new posts, let me get out what I've been waiting all day to post here: I HAD A GREAT DAY TODAY!

It didn't start off great, as I was on here feeling sorry for myself about. Waking up at 5am, feeling like ****, high anxiety about going to work. Check, check, and check! I was imagining how I was at work yesterday on my lunch break in an Arby's sitting there staring out the window forcing down my food thinking, "This seems like a good time to die. I give up." and I thought to myself-- Uh oh, this will probably happen again today at work! Booooo! Booooo! Booooo-effing-hoo!!!

So I finally got dressed for work, left super early to buy breakfast. I know I mentioned it before, but my appetite is HUGE being off tramadol. Especially in the mornings but it lasts all day- The hunger is so strong at times I could almost swear I hear it telling me to get some food or else! lol :)

I got my breakfast, drive to work, and pull into the parking lot. I immediately think, "Who am I kidding? I still feel like ****!" and I literally thought for a brief second of parking, pulling out my Blackberry, and calling in to work right there in the parking lot! How crazy is that!?

I shook off those feelings and walked in, head hanging down, doing my best to look like I was still unbelieveably sick. As usual, I could talk and sound as if I was fine but I knew if I would do that that I might not get any slack cut to me as people might not believe me that I feel bad. I hate putting on this performance, but it's a must when I have these morning blues!

I ate breakfast and started to work early, figuring sitting around in the breakroom for another 25 minutes would just force myself to feel even more sorry for myself, and that's the LAST thing I needed.

I keep having dark thoughts of "this isn't going to work" and "I should give up fighting this on my own because I will never win the battle without professional help." I try my best to turn that fear into anger as many people talk about but when you're THAT depressed and/or anxiety-ridden, it seems impossible. I continue to feel like capital C-R-A-P and think, "boy, I shouldn't have flushed those 400 tabs the other day" and "man, I really should have called in to work in the parking lot and drove home!"

It was bad! I would try every mental trick/coping mechanism I had developed and nothing worked. Just like yesterday, I felt like the most worthless piece of trash on the planet.

I even went up to the #1 boss and said, "I just wanted to let you know that I'm still very much so under the weather and so if I am not performing to my usual high standards, that is why". The amazingly understanding guy he is, he started to ask what was wrong and even offered to let me go home sick. My pride and ego definitely got in the way and so I said I would do my best to push through it.

Well, from the time I started work until about 11:30am I felt like the garbage I described above. Then it happened! I slowly but surely started to feel better, more confident in my abilities, energetic, productive, happy, and NORMAL! Yes, NORMAL!

Even when things turned around yesterday afternoon at work, I didn't feel this good! I was my usual self at work, or 95% so-- Super productive, super efficient, etc. and it was GREAT TO BE BACK! That's what I felt like, like I was BACK! I even thought at one point, "I really feel like I am on tramadol almost! This is amazing and great!"

The *only* bad things about the way I felt were:
- My whole body was so sore and tired. It still is! I felt and feel like I've been in a fight with Mike Tyson!
- I had and have and have had in the past few days, but not reported it up to this point, intense pain in my lower back. I have never had pain there, ever. It hurts a lot and it bothersome but if that's the only long-term effect I will have from having taken tramadol for years, then I'll take it! I presume it'll be a permanent effect but I could be wrong.

The best things about the way I felt were:
- I was able to be as productive as usual but without all the added stress tramadol would add to my work! Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I didn't stress, not at all, but although it was tough I could tell that if I was on tramadol I would have been way more worried about everything!
- I was able to be more understanding of coworkers' mistakes. In the past, I would get so frusterated with people making stupid mistakes! I know that sounds corny but it's so true! Not anymore though!!!
- I was able, much like the last 2 days at work, to be more friendly and interested in other peoples' lives. As I've said before, I would often not give a darn about anyone's issues. I was that guy who was like: "just deal with it and stop being a baby" about everything.

It's amazing how much you can learn about yourself if you're now clean of tramadol but had used it for years on end! I am continually amazed, day after day it seems!

I KNOW I am a better person now. I KNOW I love myself way too much to ever take another pain pill of any type recreationally. I never thought I'd ever get to experience being "high on life" again since I've done so many drugs but, WOW, being high on life is amazing! Sure life isn't a cake walk, but there's so much more to it than what I ever thought!

While driving home from work, for the first time, I wanted to stop by my parents house and visit and then pick up some food. So I did! Even yesterday, having felt so good after the morning blues then, too, I just wanted to go straight home when I got off work. Not tonight!

So I did-- I went to my mom's house and visited and it was great! I then picked up Subway. I haven't eaten Subway in about 2-3 years because the last time I did, I got some insane food poisoning. But it sounded SOOOOOO good! I had to! And I did! And it was GRRRRRRREAT! Mmmmmm... I can still taste it! HAHA

I was just thinking, "wow, how could I ever have felt so HORRIBLE this morning and yet to AMAZING tonight?" -- It just doesn't make sense. I mean it does, because tram does that, but I am just saying. It's mindbloggling how I can go from near-suicidal thoughts for hours in the morning to feeling so good that I can't even comprehend how I could have felt that way, later on in the day. Wow... I am still amazed by that one. Wow, just wow.

Although the morning's ill-effects and afternoon's good, positive vibes is much like what I experienced the last two days at work, I can legitimately say that today it seemed like the negative was just a little more bareable and the positive was quite a bit better, too!

What's my conclusion then? My conclusion is that I am still making good progress here! That's good news, too, as it will give me something to remind myself about the next time I get the bad vibes flowing.

I am sure that the body aches and sores will dissipate as sleep starts to improve. The same goes for the morning blues period I am going through daily. I am sure once I am sleeping better and longer that everything else will slowly fall back into place as well. Now then, GO ON AND GET TO GETTIN' BETTER I say to the part of my brain that deals with my sleep. DO IT!


************
HEATHER
************

I thank you for my mention in your last post! Yeah, I am still thinking of buying those supplements which I mentioned I still have not. Again, it's not because I don't want to try them, but because I haven't been over to that part of town yet. I don't know if I'll need them now, though, as, once again, I am having GREAT times on a daily basis now, even if it only lasts for the second-half of each day!


Well, I am still feeling AWESOME so I am going to go veg out in front of my TV. Tonight I will stay awake for sure to watch UFC 95 as it'll be free on Spike TV tonight! It starts and ends late so I should be up until Midnight as long as I can force myself! I still feel myself getting insanely exhausted when the sun goes down!

- Dave
aka Davey
aka FinallyDave
aka Davetastic!
aka DavidPost
aka ShadyDavidTree

LOL! :D :D

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 21, 2009
I just HAD to post again!

Why!? My body was feeling pretty sore still, especially my back, that I thought I would give a bath a shot and see how relaxing it would be.

OH... MY... GOD!

AMAZING!

I hadn't taken a bath since I was a kid some 20 years ago I'd bet! It wasn't even so much a bath as it was just filling up the tub with hot-as-can-be water and just soaking in it whilst playing with a bar of soap!

Man, this reminded me of living as a teenager and having a hot tub at every house I lived in from 12-18. I forgot how relaxing they are! I am a little ashamed of my little gut so I don't know about going to my apartment's hot tub but I sure am tempted once Spring comes around! Man-o-man, that felt amazing!

That's not all I wanted to post about, though. While I was in the tub, figuring out it wasn't made for a 6 foot 2 175 lb. man, I remembered something I forgot to mention. At the end of my shift, I went up to that same big boss I had told I was sick to earlier, to thank him for his help and understanding today. Before I could, guess what he said? He said, "I'm proud of you! You made it through the entire day!" -- IS THAT COOL OR WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I almost teared up as he'd said it, and I am almost doing it right now remembering it!

He knows how good of a person I am and how good of a worker I am. He also knows how I had never, ever called in to work up until last week (and I've been with the company for many years), so there's no way he doubted my ability to tough it out, you know. But it just felt so good to hear him offer up empowering words of encouragement like that.

- Dave
aka Davey
aka FinallyDave
aka Davetastic!
aka DavidPost
aka ShadyDavidTree

aka World'sNewNumberOneBathFanatic->Dave

LOL!

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by tramhater, Feb 21, 2009
helllooo____

i had to post back to DAVEY! hey... so the bath is awesome heh??? and forget about the gut... who cares!! All I know is that if i had a hot tub parked behind my house.. holey **** would I be in it all freakin day long... prob with a captain and coke... (just kidding about that part I haven't had a drink in over 2 years... basically I think because tramadol made it so I was wasted after one drink... so I didn't do that again... or it could have been because I almost died during pregnancy and didn't even eat for 7 months.. (yup I was allergic to being prego... there is a word for it.. hyperemisis (sp)). Anyway I was fed through a pic line which is placed in the major artery in your arm that goes to  your superior vena cava... yup that was how I ate for 7 months.. and it sucked.. and i was so sick.... that i literally threw up 30 times a day.. I went from 5'7 130 ibs to 97ibs... then after giving birth (5weeks premature) my son weighed under 4 lbs.. and I weighed 92 leaving the hospital. So I looked anorexic and my son was tiny.... IT TOOK ME TILL NOW TO LOOK NORMAL.. back up to 115... never fully gained all the weight back... but ****now I have some room to gain if the cravings come on like no one business... like you would say (I think). SORRY THAT I WENT INTO A DIFFERENT STORY THERE.... BUT ANYWAY WHO CARES ABOUT THE GUT... IT COMES WITH "OUR" AGE AT TIMES! ATLEAST YOUR A GUY AND IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU HAVE ONE! LOL. HEY CONGRATS ABOUT THE BOSS SAYING GOOD JOB! YOUR AWESOME... AND I WOULD HAVE CRIED TOO! AS FOR ME IM FEELING AWESOME TO... WATCHIN SOME BOOB TUBE!! ALL NIGHT.. HOPEFULLY NOT TILL 5 AM.. BUT HEY... WHATEVER AT THIS POINT.. TTYL

LIL HEATHER

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by Shadetree, Feb 21, 2009
Emily,
Thanks for the affirmation about the auditory hallucinations...That is crazy! and yesss very creepy, now that I think about it I have "thought" someone was callin my name a couple times during the day but never thought anything of it... This was soooo crazy it was LOUD. I cant wrap my mind around how your brain can make this happen....

~Dave, glad to hear all your good news. You are very lucky to be experiencing the "natural highs" you keep getting. I eggerly await those..)

~Heather, I live in a semi small town, I dont think there is any centers here like that. I could go to the DR. if I end up needing to. But right now Im confident I can beat this...Thanks for the concern...really means alot.

Although a couple very positive things have happend this week for me, there are a few negative/life changing situations as well...Im tryin to take it slow and wait to make any 'big' decisions until Im totally clear headed. I feel fine right now, but the fact is...Im not myself no matter how stable I feel.

Talk to everyone later

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by Matt1053, Feb 22, 2009
Hey, all.. My name is Matthew and I am in I believe my 28th day. Yeah, the whispering of my name before sleeping was like way freak'n creepy. whoa... yikes.

I stumbled on this site as I was searching for information on withdrawls from the Big T.  I was searching becuase after being hospitilized for withdrawls and being home for two and a half weeks, I am still way goofy. The insomnia is maddening.  Last nite I was cursing at the top of my lungs laying in bed hour after hour after hour (add infinitum)..  

Yeah, I'm glad I stumbled into this site.  It explains a LOT of what is going on and has been going on with me for nearly a month.  The weakness, lack of energy, insomnia (uuuggh!), crazy appetite trips and a host of other little irritations that I have been wondering about.

I quit cold as I lost my job and had to make some hard choices between food and pills.  I've got to tell you, the decision was not as "black and white" as some more sane than me might think.

I've been on the T for over four years.  Was up to minimum of 12 (50mg) per day. sometimes, up to twenty. I've kicked opiates before (had a codiene addiction tweny years ago that was brutal....... so, I thought)

Yep, my little "monkey" is on tough little "S.O.B"...  for me, becuase I crossed the line years ago with chemicals, I'm just one of those that are going to have to realize that the addiction will only be dormant and waiting for me to "pick up" again.

I made my last script (perscription) last a whole three weeks (190 pills)  but the effects were really driving me nuts.  So, after not sleeping for like four days, I turned to my old friend booze to stop the madness.  I won't go into that, as this is not an AA meeting. Trust me, for me, that did not turn out to well.

I ended up in the emergancy room with shortness of breath, heart pounding like crazy, short breathes with an occassional giant "gasp" for air.  I detoxed in the cardiac ward.

I've detoxed before from a variety of stuff.  Mostly booze.  I'm 54 and have recognized that I was an addict and alcoholic thirty years ago.  Here's the kicker.

I was originally perscribed the "T" becuase I had a history of drug abuse and addiction.  It's NOT addictive.  Right?  duh...wrong.
It's waa_aaay additictive.  And for someone like me, who thinks "if one is good, three must be better" (of anything)..

It was like the perfect storm.  "I'm not addicted"... becuase it's not addictive.  And, "at least has kept me off the booze" and I can go to work, and be "functional" so it's not like I'm a dope fiend or anything.  But after four years let me tell you where it got me:

Self absorbed to the extreme
I became more and more "Isolated" over the years.  It reached a point, where I just wanted to be alone and left alone.  (since I live alone that is not so hard to do).... But, not answering the telephone, the doorbell, or leaving my apartment except when necessary was where it ended up.  Shoot, I didn't even open half my mail.  Christmas cards, whatever.

A little more on isolation:  I realize now that part of that was being in control of my environment. However, out in the world, at work, in traffic, at the grocery store, where I am not in control of my environment, good greif!  I became not only self absorbed, but intolerant, inpatient, and generally an *^*^hole.

This lead to strained relationships at work (did I mention I'm unemployed now), and with others as the people that I did still deal with, I was very intolerant of and easily agitated by the smallest insignificant, minor (in retrospect) things.

Then there are the others that I just stopped dealing with.  They just grew tired and moved on.  I think it may have been a little difficult having a relationship with a zombie who never returns calls or shows up for anything.

But, I was functioning. Right?  ------------------ Wrong!  Ok, maybe functioning.... But not LIVING. After being free from the "T" for nearly a month, my eyes are opening and I can see.  My ears are listening, and I can hear, my heart is still, and I can love.
Let me tell you, the withdrawls (for me) are like going on forever.  Good greif.  I have a halfway good day, or get six or seven hours of sleep and I think I've crossed the threshold.  But then, BANG.... two days of weakness, no energy, no sleep...

I'm sure (from reading a lot of the posts) that it's due largely to the amount of time (four years) and the dosage I was taking.
If your just getting off the stuff, it may not be as long of a trip for you so don't fret.  It is however, a bit more insidious than just kicking a codiene habit, or detoxing from alcohol. And, I'm not as young as I was when I got off the codiene.

But, it WILL get better.

I knew I had to get off the T. Like some others, I was dependent on a couple of scripts per month.  When, the overnite delivery was delayed, or at one point, an "online" pharmacy stated that I had exceeded my allotment, I would panic.  Hello ? !
That's addiction.  But mainly, it was the last couple of years of not living.  Not really showing up for life every day. Not enjoying much of anything except doing the "T".  and not enjoying anything without the T.

I lost all ambition to do anything.  (you can "function" without having ambition)  In retrospect, I realize that not doing anything is really doing something:  Yep, your going backwards. The world moves, it interacts, things happen.  In my state of "functioning", I was in fact not standing still, but going backwards as everything around me was progressing, moving, growing, being, and living.  Life was going forward and I was not showing up for it.

So, yep, the "kick" is a tough one. No doubt. And for me, it's a double whammy becuase, as stated above, my not showing up for life has gotten me into some financial difficulties and some relationship difficulties (daughter, freinds, relatives).  So, here I am, getting my butt kicked by this wicked %$&t, and here comes life.. Bang!  Whew..... ouch....

But.... it had to happen. I knew.  I just had been putting off the inevitable to the bitter end. And now, it is what it is.  Yep, it *****, and yep, I want to do just "one" to get a good nites sleep.  uh huh... sure.... just one. For me, there is no such thing as just one. I lost that luxury years ago.

I have not paid my rent for February, I do not have the rent for March (or February), and, with the exception of a few die-hard people I've know through recovery over the years, I'm bankrupt on the "relationships" front as well.

I know I am going to have to "earn" back some relationships, just as I am going to have to "earn" money to get back on track. And yeah, it sure would be easier to just drop a couple of "T"'s and say screw it, but, game over.  After the physical, mental,and emotional hell I've been through for the last month of getting off this stuff, I have no desire to get back on the 'crazy train" and have to start going through this all over again.  No way.

When you ride the train, you go where it take you. Your not driving.  Your a passeger and you go where the train takes you.
Well, it's taken me to some fairly awful places and I've gotten off.  

My life is screwed up because of it, and "kicking" would be a lot less stressful if I hadn't created such a mess through my years of using, but here I am, and it is what it is.  I'm scared.  No doubt.  Probably some of the insomnia (uugh!) is stress related. The wolves are at the door, people are plenty "pissed", I'm broke, and still, after nearly a month, the "monkey" is still messing with me. Whew....

For what it's worth....goiing back is NOT an option for me. I don't know  what is going to happen with all of the problems I've created for myself over the last four years, but I DO know, I'm not going back to the "T".  That is certain.

Thank you for listening, and providing a place for me to let it "hang" freely and openly, and honestly.

My name is Matthew.

thanx!

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 22, 2009
************
HEATHER
************

Thanks! The fact that I was able to have a fairly normal day at work afterall (though still not 100%) yesterday, the busiest day of the week (and it was INSANELY busy), gives me confidence that I can do anything. That was my biggest fear going in to yesterday was being able to handle all that stress and pressure.


*************
MATTHEW
*************

Wow, what a story! Congratulations on getting clean for so long. Going through withdrawals in the ER off tramadol, having come off what sounds like an alcohol binge or episode, must have been awful!

The "isolation" factor that being on tram does to you is not only spot on, but not really discussed much here. You described it best and I can relate a TON. I would be that self-absorbed jerk too who just wanted to be left alone but I think I was able to keep it under control maybe a bit better than what you experienced. When I was off from work, I rarely wanted to go out and do anything. Friends from work go out quite a bit but it got to the point a couple years ago that they quit even calling to ask me to come because I had done a lot of the ignoring of phone calls or blowing them off, too. I would, just like you, love to just be left alone when I wasn't at work.

That's really sad I'll admit but I really hope things will change. I mean, I am almost 30 and my family has been pressuring me to find a wife and have kids for years. I really, really want that, too, but the last relationship I was in some 7 years ago, coupled with my tram addiction that was off and on for the last 5 years and the isolation it caused me, has had me in this state where I am never putting myself into the right position to do something about it. I haven't even went on a date since my last girlfriend! Like I said, the tram putting me into isolation didn't help at all but the fact is, my heart got broken very badly from my last g/f, who was my only true love I've ever had. I am over it now but I had still been on tram. So, things will change now I am sure.

That ***** that you're still battling withdrawals in such a horrible way here post 1-month being clean. As you yourself said, I am sure your age doesn't help the situation, nor the situation with your family you talked about. The alcohol certainly doesn't help much either but you know that and, like you said, this isn't an AA meeting so I'll refrain from further comment.

Nonetheless, good luck to you!


*********************
RANDOM NOTES
*********************

So I tried my best to stay up late as I said I was going to, but it simply didn't work. 8pm rolled around and my body was so sore and tired that I just couldn't take it anymore. That and a bad physical restlessness kicked in again where I couldn't get comfortable no matter what, so I had to throw in the towel and go to sleep at about 8:55pm.

Like the last couple nights, I basically got about 8 hours of sleep again but I had woke up several times, as usual, tossing and turning a bit.

Also, as usual, I woke up at 5:15am and couldn't get back to sleep! This 5am stuff is REALLY, REALLY starting to annoy me!

I am wide awake now and hungry as usual. I am feeling a little anxiety much like yesterday morning and the mornings before that. It doesn't seem quite as bad as before but it's definitely there and I could be wrong about it not being as bad as I am still sorting things out in my brain.

Today will be busy at work, no doubt, being Sunday and all, but after yesterday I am ready to take on anything. I am looking forward to my next day off work (Tuesday) like you wouldn't believe. Since I can't stay up late no matter how hard I try, it seems like I never have any free time to relax on days I work. I am used to staying up until 11:30-midnight every night and sleeping until 9, unless I have to be at work earlier.

Anyway, I wish everyone a happy day today! Day 11, here I come!

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by MsMarie1981, Feb 22, 2009
Good morning everyone! I  just wanted to let you all know I'm reading and So So proud of you all!  It is AMAZING to read you all talk about how difficult withdrawals can be, and then to hear that the mood swings, the auditory hallucinations, the sleeplessness, the discomfort, the stomach problems, the anxiety, the exhaustion are NOTHING compared to your will to survive and liberate yourselves from dependence.   I hope you're proud of your progress so far!

Oh and I wanted to mentione that for the past few days I've been waking up at 5am too?  Sympathy withdrawals? :)  Anyways my thoughts are with you all.  

Matthew -- Welcome!  Thanks for sharing your story.  The part about isolation and wanting to be alone was very intersting to me and Dave is right, not a lot of people on here have discussed that. I wonder how many share that experience.  I sincerely hope that your life and relationships rebuild quickly, you seem to sincerely deserve it.  Maybe the relationships that you build will be even stronger than they would be if you hadn't had these experiences because you'll be able to appreciate them even more.  I'm sure you'll never take the people in your life for granted!  My best wishes are with you.

AnonDave-- How cool that you were not only able to share your struggle with your boss, but that he's been supportive instead of judgmental!!!  I'm excited for you!  Between the job going well and your newfound love of baths, and it sounds like you're really thinkikng about your future and your life in new terms, sounds like things are really looking up for you!  Are you really only on day 10 or 11?  I know we're all trying not to get ahead of ourselves but you're making moves, my friend!    Congrats!

KC-   I just wanted to send a note of encouragement to you and let you know that i'm thinking about you.  You mentioned you're really struggling with emotions right now and I just wanted to say that I'm glad that regardless of what you're feeling, you seem to keep plugging along!  This is a stupid stupid story, but yesterday I had a blistering headache at the movies, and my SO and I went to see a movie in 3D which didn't help.  I took 3 extra strength excedrine, not thinking that i was also drinking the worlds most monstrous cokezero -- and by the time the movie ended i was tweaked on caffeine.  Nausea, shakes, the whole thing.   How embarrassing am I??  haha  Anyways it gave me a whole new respect for what you are going through, what everyone on this site is going through. And yes, i recognize that a caffeine "overdose" isn't even worth a comparison to tramadol, I dont mean insult everyone here by saying that.  I just mean to say that we compare tram withdrawals to the flu alot, a VERY very worthy comparison. But its a little different psychologically when your sickness is drug related it really changes the picture from something your body is going through that is natural, to something inorganic that you have imposed on your  body and don't know if you've really messed yourself up permanently or not.  And you all are fighting the added psychological impact of the antidepressant!?!  So i guess this whole diatribe is just intended to illustrate that i'm SO IMPRESSED by how well you're dealing with this, some of us can barely deal with too many excedrine :)  KC, and others going through the thick of it, you are savage warriors in a very very good way.  

+++EMILY+++
l had to tell you that your kind words touched my heart.  Many of your words touch my heart, honestly :)  It seems like the klonopin taper has been a little rough on you, and I just wanted to remind you that it is so evident in almost every post on this site about tramadol that you are an absolute beacon for so many people who, like myself, were lost and desperate. We find strength in your journal and your words, I hope you have a good source of borrowed strength for yourself.  If I am ever in the LA area I would love to buy you a cup of coffee. And a croissant :)  

Be well, everyone!

msmarie



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by nursentramhell, Feb 22, 2009
I actually stumbled upon this while I was on here a couple of nights ago looking for tramadol withdrawls.  Let me say after reading alot of entries, your words did comfort me and gave me hope.  I am a nurse and have been for several years.  I developed an auto immune disease called sarcoidosis almost two years ago. What it does is is that I pretty much have no immune system b/c it attacks my lymphatic system.  I am on numerous meds along with two oral chemo drugs.  My rheumatologist put me on tramadol back in 11/2007, two 50mg tabs three times a day. Never did I go over the daily allowance, but boy did I ever want.  Being a nurse I see every day what wanting more of something can do to you.  However, I have rheumatoid flare up's with this d/o in my ankles, knees, hands and elbows and sometimes I can't hardly walk w/o having to go to my PCP and given a extra shot of steroids and demerol!  Whew! So just this past week, my rheumatologist wasn't in so I had to call my PCP to get a rx of the hell drug and she says "If you're taking it this much I think you need to speak with your rheumatologist again for better pain management! Hell, the max dose is 8 tabs/day!!  So I pretty much quit cold turkey last Wednesday, 4 days ago, b/c I was pretty much tired of having to rely on the drug especially when it would wear off and how it would make me feel: and that was so tired, irritable. While I was on this nasty drug I felt like superwoman.  I could easily see up to 40 patients a day, come home cook, wash dishes, do some laundry, spend time with my husband and sleep like an angel.  Now since being off it I am worthless, soooo tired and the insomnia is horrible.  I actually had to lie and call in to work this past Friday b/c I did not sleep but maybe 30 min. that Wednesday night.  Friday night came and I have to take 3 Lunesta's during the course of the night just to sleep! Not to mention the horrible anxiety attacks.  I've read from some of your entries that some of you are eating better, but me I am having to force myself to eat and drink.  B/C once last month when I ran of tram for three days, I worked myself up into such a "frenzy" that I set off my sarcoidosis, had a major rheumatoid arthritis flare up(my husband had to carry me to the car) take me to the ER, b/c not only did I have the flare up, I made myself so dehydrated by not eating or drinking anything for 48 hours.  They have to give me 2 bags of fluids, phenergan and diluadid IV injections.  Then sent me home with a rx for percocet!  go figure!! ER doc asked me what helped with the pain, I said tram and he said, "Not with this kind of pain I'm giving you something stronger."  Can you believe that??!!  Well, I have more symptoms with this d/o I have like night sweats and fever up to 104 sometimes.  My actual temp. runs anywhere from 101-102 daily.  So good God, won't someone help me!!  Although I'm a nurse, all your training and knowledge just goes out into the air when it's you you're dealing with.  So one of my questions out to anyone is this:  What do I need to talk with my doctor about for these damn unrelenting anxiety attacks??? Has anyone had anything at all to help that is not ADDICTIVE?  Also if any out there has a chronic pain condition like I do what has your doctor help put you on that is also non addictive?  I have an appointment this Tuesday.  Oh, how I dread tomorrows day of patients.  Anyone got any encouraging words to get me through tomorrow and how I am dreading night time tonight.  I could keep talking and talking but the stiffness and pain in my hands is really hard for me to do anything right now and I have nothing to help me take it away. And I will NOT, absolutely not go back on the pill from hell anymore.

I am really happy there are alot of you out there going through this same thing! Not happy that we are in the same boat, but you know what I mean!!

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by tramhater, Feb 22, 2009
welcome nurse and Matthew. Don't worry you are in the right place for all the advice and comforting words.

DAY 3 ISH WELL THE HELL THAT I HAVE INDURED IS NOT BEING ABLE TO SLEEP. AT ALL!!!! I TRY AND NO MATTER WHAT I AM UP UNTIL 4 AM.. THEN I FINALLY MAY SLEEP FROM LIKE THEN TO 8. UGH! BUT YOU KNOW THAT IS PROBABLY THE ONLY SIDE EFFECT THAT I AM STILL HAVING OTHER THAN LATE LATE AT NIGHT I FEEL LIKE I WANNA CUT MY ARMS OFF FROM THE PAIN.

**EMILY DID YOU HAVE THAT SIDE EFFECT.. WITH THE ARMS??


^^^^DAVEY DAY 11... YOU GO MAN... ARE YOU TAKING ANYTHING TO SLEEP EITHER?? WHEN WERE YOU ABLE TO GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP?? AT WHAT DAY?? UGH THE INSOMNIA DRIVES ME CRAZY..

ALRIGHT WELL YOU ALL HAVE A GOOD DAY!

LIL HEATHER

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by KC67, Feb 22, 2009
Day 14 – Cold Turkey – Feb. 22, 2009

Hi everyone,
I am happy to report that yesterday ended up being a pretty good day.  Although I began yesterday feeling pretty yucky, it turned out to be a relatively NORMAL-feeling day for me.  Yay!  I like NORMAL.  

Sleep? – I wish I could tell you that this has improved.  So disappointed – really WANT to sleep for a full 7-8 hours WITHOUT waking up 4-5 times per night.  I’m with you Dave, it is so very annoying!  And what is up with the 5am???!!!  Every morning I am up at either 4:30am or 5am and there is NO WAY my body is going to allow me to go back to sleep.  I too have tried staying up later, but my body just won’t let me.  I pretty much crash at 8 or 8:30pm.

I had to throw a huge dinner party last night at my home.  So naturally, I woke up very anxious – that would have happened regardless of Trams or no-Trams.  I was nervous about throwing this party because the “old” me (the one who took 7-8 50mg. tabs/day for the past 3 years) would have been popping those Trams to keep me upbeat and energetic – cleaning the house, getting all the details ready, etc….  However, the dark side of the Trams that creates the desire to “isolate” oneself (more on that later) WOULD have had me stressed out and dreading the party. Anyway, I was nervous to see how I would act at my party WITHOUT the aide of the Trams.

It was great!  I was social and upbeat and I actually enjoyed the party once I got all the food out and everyone was comfortable.  Folks, it is a great feeling to come to the realization that you CAN act and function better than you thought WITHOUT the damn Trams!  I had pleasant, normal conversations with people  - without the annoying intensity and subtle irritability that I used to experience when ON the Trams.  I used to find this “intensity” a plus when working or socializing because I felt like I was more interesting and focused.  Like I have said in a previous post, it was a LIE!  

I liked myself BETTER last night WITHOUT the Trams than I have ever liked myself ON them.  I can’t believe I pulled off a huge dinner party at Day 14, but I feel so positive that it CAN be done and I feel that it is the beginning of me emerging from the Trama-fog – slowly approaching normal and getting further and further away from a slow, inevitable, Tramadol-caused death.  

==Matthew== – Welcome!  Your post really got me thinking.   As I have said before, I have always thought of myself as “better” on the Trams.- more outgoing, more social, more energy, but I started thinking about what you wrote and it is SO TRUE!  You wrote:  “…on isolation:  I realize now that part of that was being in control of my environment. However, out in the world, at work, in traffic, at the grocery store, where I am not in control of my environment, good greif!  I became not only self absorbed, but intolerant, inpatient, and generally an *^*^hole.”

Yes, that is EXACTLY what happened to me while on Trams.  I became an introvert – which is NOT like me.  I hated the sound of the phone ringing and I wouldn’t answer it.  The sound of the doorbell would annoy me and I would hide.  I became self-absorbed and a rather nervous person.  I was irritable, intense, and intolerant while on the Tram. – had little patience for anyone or any issue – especially on the road with bad drivers! lol  Yes, I could REALLY keep my focus when on Tram and hold conversations with people, but deep down, I wanted to retreat to my hole and stay there.  Isolate myself.

Here you are on Day 28 and you are still experiencing insomnia and other withdrawal symptoms.  Although I didn’t like hearing it, it definitely prepares me for it - should it continue to happen to ME on MY Day 28.  I believe being prepared is so important when you are fighting a battle like this one.  There is nothing worse than thinking you are “through the woods” only to be attacked by Withdrawal Wolf the very next day!

Matthew, as you shared, it would be so easy to just pop a Tram. and get a good nights’ sleep – for just ONE night.  Then my brain goes to different places like:  “Maybe I wasn’t such an introvert on Tram – maybe I have just TOLD myself that so I would quit taking it – maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was”.  I now recognize these voices as the Trama-voices.   The Trama-voices are dark and tell you that you can handle “just one”.  They also tell you that you were BETTER while one the Trams and that this present suffering isnt’ worth it.  

So thank you Matthew for your story.  You have come to a place where we can all relate to you and support you.  I hope you can post that you got a great night’s sleep very soon – heck, I hope I can post that soon as well!  And I hope your life continues to get better without the Trams.  I’m pulling for ya!

==Heather== – great post!  Thank you for all the information!  Interesting about taking an antidepressant to relieve the RLS and boost the serotonin.  I am not on an antidepressant right now because I have had bad experiences with them in the past (including Tramadol – which I didn’t know had an antidepressant in it!).  But I am very curious to hear from you about how this all works out for you.  It sounds like you have a great Doc.

==ShadeTree== – Thanks for sharing.  This withdrawal is even tougher when you are going through difficult life changes as well.  I won’t go into it all right now, but I too am going through some tough stuff right now.  It is beginning to get better because it started way back in October, but it is still a source of worry for me – which doesn’t help with the anxiety and all the other lovely withdrawal symptoms.  You are right…be gentle with yourself and give your body a chance to recover and deal with one thing at a time – when you are ready.  Fred and Emily both gave me great advice to NEVER make any life-changing decisions while withdrawing from Tram.

==Nursentramhell== - I think I read that you are 4 days out cold turkey.  Keep reading these posts – it is normal to feel like hell for the first 5 or 6 days.  You should be almost through the roughest days so keep hanging in there!  As for the anxiety, I am on a small dose of Xanax, but it helps me only a little.  The anxiety and depression can be overwhelming at times and I have yet to find anything (non-addictive) that helps.    Read Heather’s post (above) about what her detox center recommended for withdrawals.  Keep posting and know you are among friends here!

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC67


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by kes68, Feb 22, 2009
Mathew - boy can I relate - I was also put on tramadol because of my previous addictions.
I know I have no one to blame but myself though - from the moment I took it I knew I was in trouble.  Like you said - it kept me from drinking and for a while I thought I was doing great - how could this be bad? - Dr. said it was Okay.
You summed up exactly how I feel - I am sitting, watching life pass me by.  Now I have to dig myself out from under the mess I have made - but I barely have enough energy to brush my teeth!
The one day at a time thing really does work - getting through each day tram free is a huge thing, and as the days add up, hopefully the answers to some of your problems will start to be a bit clearer.
I am tappering, slowly - I envy you that are able to go c/t - it takes a ton of courage - I know my battle will be much more drawn out - but hopefull I can maintain my business, and stay functioning through out.

I relate to so many of you who have isolated at a certain point while on tram.  At first I was super woman, social, friendly - but when it turned I wanted to be alone, I would even get annoyed when the phone rang and interupted my time alone - just me and my tram.
It also got to the point that when my partner was talking to me it felt like yelling - many times I have said shhhh, settle down - when in fact it was regular talking - but everything seems so loud at times.

You guys that are beating this drug, struggling through the withdrawal hell - gives me a ton of hope - I need to know the reality of it - that how crappy I feel  is normal for this drug, and that over time it will change.

Today is my last day on 14 - except for headaches, and being completly lethargic, and not sleeping (I am lucky - I work from home so can sleep an hour here, half an hour there - I do this 24 hrs a day)- the drop from 16 - 14 wasn't too bad. .
I will keep droping one pill a week until it becomes too difficult - I don't know if I have to get down to a certain level before I have to slow the tapper?  If it was to stay like this - I can do it at this rate, and still run the business and keep paying the bills.  But I have read too many post to know that this is not realistic to expect.
So tomorrow it will be 13 - and I am trying to take it just one day at a time - and keep my goal in site - reading all of your posts makes me realize how much I need to do this.
I tell you the idea that I will have a day  where my ears are not ringing, I'm not twitching in my sleep - and I can actually sleep a regular nights sleep - is what keeps me going.,

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by tramhater, Feb 22, 2009
kes! i am glad you just posted because i am having a little bit of twitching today.... do you just twitch throughout the night or day too? i am so curious because i wonder if it is the same thing.. it is justt a little twitch here and there like at my legs or my hands.. arms.. very little.. huh??

don;t know

heather

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by nursentramhell, Feb 22, 2009
kc67-
Thanks for the kind words and knowing that I have you guys here to talk to is wonderful.  My husband is very supportive, but he doesn't understand the w/d like you guys do.  Thanks for having me to reference back to heather's detox info.  I will speak with my doc about this on Tuesday.  So far the worst thing going on for me right now is major anxiety attacks during the night and in the morning's. But it starts to taper off later in the evening and then I'll get a BIG natural energy "spurt" in the evenings and then, BAM! I am so tired....like right now.  I feel pretty good, but I would love to get an hour nap.  I can't sleep either.  This insomnia is horrible and I'm having a hard time wanting to eat or drink anything.  OMG! Reading the other entries (since i'm new i'm having a hard time keeping up with everyone!) but the sneezing! Can it ever quit!?!? Just trying to keep myself busy which is hard b/c I have no energy to do normal housework.  Only laundry today. But to tell you the truth, I'm not really wanting to take any more trams, no cravings, but it's these damn w/d that are killing me.  The anxiety attacks, the lethargy and the insomnia is what is killing me! I start back seeing patients tomorrow and it is making me anxious wondering if I can do it tomorrow! I try to keep in mind that "will power" is what can get you through and great support, understanding and love, if it's not with family then with all you guys. I just want to say thanks to everyone here for pouring their hearts and emotions out b/c your words keep me going.  I know if I can keep a 50 hour work week and go to nursing school at nights for 18 months (pre tram) I can do anything!!!!

I think my song for every morning on my way to work to help get me positive is U2's, It's a Beautiful Day.  I hope everyone of you have a beautiful day!

All my prayers and love!
By the way my name is Jessica

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by Shadetree, Feb 22, 2009
Hello everyone...

And welcome, nurse & matthew...Thank you so much for sharing your stories. You are deffinatly in the right place.
Matthew, please dont take this the wrong way, but your story reminds me of my dad and his journey on tram. He too is 54, and I sware I kept looking for clues in your story that would give him away. (I thought that would be crazy if he was posting here too...)

Today is day 14 of tapering for me, tomorrow is a lower dose (YES!) I mentioned a couple days ago I thought I was going to start taking wellbutrin again, but havent I will tomorrow. I will go to 75mgs in the morning try to skip my afternoon dose and 50mgs in the evening. I will see how I feel on the wellbutrin for a couple days then I will probably decrease even more...During my time on tram, I have sores in my nose...I get them with whatever opaite I take. But they are cleared up, my lips hav stopped cracking too.) So I know my body is working to get back to normal...

Kc- thats for the understanding. Along with never make any life changing decisions while going through w/d's I would have to say that goes for being on the junk too : /

Emily - Do you know the why the pharmacist told me I could be more agressive with my tapering while on wellbutrin? He said the wellbutrin would keep the tram in my system longer... I dont understand. I dont want it in my system...

Thanks, talk to you all soon...Muah!

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by EmilyPost, Feb 22, 2009
Shadetree asks, "Emily - Do you know the why the pharmacist told me I could be more agressive with my tapering while on wellbutrin? He said the wellbutrin would keep the tram in my system longer... I dont understand. I dont want it in my system... "


Not 100% sure. Maybe because Wellbutrn has serotonin uptake ability? You're in a crazy spot shadetree; my thoughts go out to you. You're **** well.

Yep. Don't make big decisons while in detox. Yes, my arms twtched.  I remember writing that I had restless arms and upper body syndrome ...

Hi Jessica! Welcome!

Matthew, your post was panful to read because I recognzed so well the story of what happens on Tramadol.  I am so glad you are here.

Love and healing,
Emily

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 22, 2009
Good evening, everyone!

After I posted this morning about how upset I am about waking up at 5am every morning and not being able to get back to sleep no matter what, I tried to relax for a few hours before work.

I was pretty wide-awake and restless so I wasn't able to stop thinking about going to work, even though initially I had 3 hours to kill before even getting ready!

As I drove to work, I felt relatively well considering how yesterday I wanted to call in from my car in the parking lot! I did not feel that way this morning, but I was by no means feeling "very good" or even "good" for that matter.

I started work early again. We were really short-handed at work today due to many circumstances and although it was busy, it was nothing like yesterday. Yesterday was INSANE!

The "morning-blues" which has been happening EVERY MORNING now for a week straight was present again. Though, REMARKEABLY, and THANK GOD, it wasn't as bad as usual. If you have been reading my detailed posts, Friday at work had me thinking near suicidal thoughts I was so depressed an anxiety-ridden, yesterday (Saturday) was a TINY bit better, and today was QUITE A BIT better. The bad vibes were still very present though but, just like the last few days, slowly went away with each passing hour. But let me tell you, when you feel this bad, time literally CRAWLS and seemingly refuses to move forward and it seems like making it for my 8 hour shift would be impossible.

If Friday's morning-blues were 100% bad, yesterday's were 90% as bad, and today it was about 80% as bad. So there is progress! Oh my Lord, there is progress! YES!

Around 2pm the bad vibes had went away so much that I was feeling that "normal", life-loving, natural high state! All of a sudden, 90% of ALL anxieties are gone and that dark cloud hanging over your head is gone and it's as if you're now lounging on the beach in Hawaii. Boy oh boy, I love it when this happens!

To be quite honest, just like the last few days, I feel so good when this happens each day that I am just as productive, focused, and happy to be at work as I used to be while ON tramadol! Really; no kidding! Again, the only differences is my body's all sore and stiff, my lower back has quite a bit of pain, and I am less of a "jerk" and have much less stress than if I actually -was- on tramadol. So there's a couple things that are actually better when this happens at work! I love it!

Whenever this period hits me at work, I literally question my sanity by thinking to myself, "how in the world could I have felt so bad earlier today? I feel GREAT!"

So the last 1/2 of my shift at work went by with me feeling extremely well and even better than if I was on tramadol (other than the sore, aching body and the back pain).

There's always about a 1 hour or more period between these morning-blues and afternoon-highs periods where I transition from one to the other. During this time, I can feel quite a bit good for one moment only to then question it and realize the dark cloud over me is still present, yet definitely going away. It's an awkward state to be in, that's for sure, but once that's over and the great vibes come in to replace the bad ones, I love it and it's totally worth it!

I even stayed late at work to help out others!

I went to my parent's house to have dinner (steaks, baked potatoes, corn, etc.) and it was delicious! It made me even more tired though, of course, so right now I am exhausted and can't stop yawning and feeling like I want to fall to the floor and try to sleep!

I work very early tomorrow but can't wait to have Tuesday and Thursday off.

I am very happy and thankful I was able to make it through Friday-Saturday-Sunday (the toughest part of my schedule both work and stress-wise) without a whole lot of trouble (again, except for the mornings).

Tomorrow is day 12 if I'm not mistaken. KC I am not pleased to hear that you are still going through the sleep issues, but maybe it'll be different for me (hey, it's worth hoping for, right!?).

Emily -- Correct me if I'm wrong, but me having bad stretches of the day followed by good stretches is very similar to what you went through, no?

Right now I am still in a very good mood and still on my "high" of the day but physically I feel like I've been beaten up with a Mike Tyson-wielding sledge hammer for 100 days straight so with that I will have to begin the end of my post.

HOPEFULLY I will sleep past 5am and not have enough time to post again before I go to work! If so, you won't be hearing from me for close to 20 hours! I am hoping and praying that's the case, even though I love to touch base and converse with each and everyone here!

Stay strong, everyone, and remember: It's always darkest before the dawn! Hang in there! Your life, your soul, your well-being is totally worth it! Your efforts will be rewarded!

- Dave
aka Dave'sDeadTired
aka DaveIsProgressing
aka DaveIsAwesomeAndSoAreYou

:D

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by Tommyboy1979, Feb 22, 2009
Hello Everyone!

Im really thankful my girlfriend turned me on to this site.  Its nice to know that there are other people who are having similar problems out there. I know she has found strength with many of you just to help her in dealing with the addiction I have and I hope i will find the same strength here that she has.
Unlike many of you, I have unfortunately and regrettably put myself into this situation. My history with drug use is not very long.  At the age of 25 I hadn't touched a single drug.  I would get drunk maybe 3 or 4 times a year but that was the extent of it.  Ive never tried any other drug.
When I was 25 I had to get my appendix out and was in the hospital for a few days.  After I was out my doctor gave me Percocet and I really enjoyed it.  So much so that even after I was better I still took the rest of what I had left for the effect.  After that it was month before I would take pain killers again. A friend of mine had a prescription for Tramadol for back pain that she had.  She offered me some one night and remembering how much I liked Percocet I thought, what the heck. She said that it was a non-narcotic non-addictive drug and it wasn’t as strong as Percocet. I took some and I have to say I really enjoyed it.  It gave me a lot of energy and just made everything seem great.  From that point forward I would take it on weekends whenever I saw her.  This every couple of week’s habit didn’t progress much until i found out that I could buy Tramadol online. I was skeptical that it would work but I ordered 180 pills thinking that it would be more than I would need for a long time. (At this time I was taking 2 or 3 night on Fri and Sat nights) To my surprise i received the pills in the mail with no problem and this where my every few weekends’ fun became a daily thing.  I learned one day when I took a few pills in the morning before work that work didn’t seem like work that day.  It flew by and i was REALLY into what I was doing.  After that realization I was taking them every day in the morning and then every day at night.  Slowly this went on for over two years!!  When I started I was taking 2-3 pills on a weekends here and there to at my worst I was doing 4-6 in the morning and 10 -13 at night!   It wasn’t going to get better either.  It was eating up my money and as you all know I was becoming more and more use to the amount I was taking so It has to keep rising.  It would get to the point that I had to find which online companies didnt work together because they wouldn’t ship pills to me more than every 2 weeks and the 180 pills were only lasting me 10 days!!!  
Something had to change and that change came in the form of my girlfriend who I had been with for the whole 2 years I had been on Tramadol found out.  She had known that I took them recreationally very occasionally when we first met (which was true way back then) but since then it had ballooned to what I mentioned above and this she was not aware of.  I had even told her that I wasn’t taking them recreationally any more!  I wanted to tell her but i feared she would leave.  We had been living together for 6 months when I used a joint account that we had to purchase them.  It was so bad that the money that was in this joint account wasn’t even mine but since I didn’t have the funds right then and was close to running account I purchased them with that account. Having tried to quit once cold turkey and having run out of pills a few times in the past before the new ones arrived and there was half a night and half a day that I went without taking any pills and starting to feel those withdrawals, you never want to let it get like that again.  Luckily for me that mistake of using that account was a blessing because she found the debit and confronted me about it.  I was honest about everything and she decided to stay with me and see us through this. I am very lucky to have her.
Please let me say that I had been questioning myself many times about quitting and the one time I tried it was so horrible that I couldn’t go through with it without telling her about it.  So by having her finally know it was a giant relief and I really felt like I could finally quit.  
I’m going to stop for tonight because i really don’t want to type anyone’s ear off but I will write more tomorrow night.  I would like to share how I am getting off Tramadol with all of you and the method I am using to do it so that it may help someone else who finds this site.  
Thanks for listening as well as sharing and I look forward to posting again tomorrow.  
Tommyboy


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by tramhater, Feb 23, 2009
DAY 4ish. So last night was the worst night  of insomnia i have ever had in my life!!!!!!! UGHHHHHHHHHH!!! How can I function today on 4 hours of sleep.... I got up at 3 and couldn't get back... i tried everything.. even took a bath..... so with that being said... when does the insomnia get better dear lord. it is making me so irrirtable and I don't even want to do anything today.... on a better note.. the other sypmtoms are pretty much gone.. just a little restlessness over my entire body which is prob from lack of sleep... how am i alive feeling so tired but can't sleep... i even yawn like every 20 mins and stil can't sleep... i don't get it!

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by Shadetree, Feb 23, 2009
Good morning everyone,

Welcome Tommyboy. That is sure a story and trust that you are among friends...So you left me hangin...how are you getting off this horrible miscreant we all have in common?  I am tapering slowly but surely...I am so anxious to get off of it, but then again I am so anxious to get off of it...lol u know?

Anyway,
I started taking my wellbutrin today... I felt fine this morning so I decided to see how long I could go without taking it. I usually take it at about 7 am give or take. I made it till right now. :( I started having the anxiety, depression, chills, and sooooooo tired. I just took it and hopefully I start to feel a little better. I hate this stuff for making me depend on it! I really wish I could turn back the hands of time... The thing that makes ME so stupid is that I researched it over and over before I took it. I knew what I was getting myself into. Wtf is wrong with me... anyway that is my rant on myself for the day.

Day 15, what is so Ironic is I am going to be tapering almost as long as I was on it...Oh well one day at a time right...

Ttyas...

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by ultraumatized, Feb 23, 2009
i haven't posted in a couple of weeks...things here have not been so good.  i think the last time i wrote i had just found out that someone i knew had committed suicide...it was a hard week for me...there were several other things that had happened that really knocked me down during that time.  last weekend i had an ovarian cyst that ruptured...i was (un)fortunate enough to be given a few tramadols for the pain...it got me thru, but it also got me back on them as strong as ever.  as soon as i could get an appointment i was back in the docs office & on my way to the pharmacy with a prescription for 100 pills.  my pain is gone, but the pills aren't.  i don't have the strength to give them up now either...i know i should, but i am not mentally or emotionally ready to deal with reality again at this moment.  it's a terrible thing to say, but it's true.  i went 42 days without tramadol, which was a pretty good record for me...the future seems very uncertain to me now, real sobriety seems completely unattainable at this time. no one knows i have gotten back on pills & i don't plan to tell anyone either...this is my dirty secret to struggle with & i am going to have to go it alone.  

relapse is real, it can happen at anytime...one pill is all it takes to make all those feelings come back...i don't mean to be negative or harsh, but everyone needs to understand how intense the pull of this drug can be.

i hope the rest of you are strong enough & well prepared to stand against tramadol with all you have.  coming back to this forum in the near future doesn't seem sensible to me...but maybe i will eventually get my sh*t together & return.  

my best wishes & hopes for you all.

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by Matt1053, Feb 23, 2009
Hey guys,

thanks for the feedback and support.  Whew... I've learned a lot about the big bad "T" and consequently, myself, from reading through the posts.

=== Tramhater====  Yep, the freak'n insomnia can be maddening.  Yikes!  It's almost like:  "how in the heck can anyone get so little sleep and stay alive?"....  It is the withdrawls.  And the insidious nature of the beast. And, at some point in time, for me, and others, the little voice in your head will say: "heck, just "one", just one little tiny one, just to get some freak'n sleep."
That's the nature of it.  No one has ever died from a lack of sleep.  However, siezures, overdoses, and a host of other things have killed many.  It's a DRUG.  It's serious stuff.
How one can get so little sleep, go through the day completely exhuasted, no energy, drained, and upon going to bed the next evening, :  be so restless and not sleep, is horrible. Absolutely horrible. I empathize with you totally.  However:

It DOES get better. something that helps me a little is:  During the day, often times I will repeat, (almost like a mantra), "This too will pass".   It's not going to be like this forever.  It WILL pass eventually. Think about how the day will come inevetably, when normal sleep will return.  without the Tramadol.

===Dave===  thanks for the shoutback...  Yeah man... hang in there... from reading past postings, it IS getting better for you.
and that is very cool... YAY!!

===msmarie--  Thanks for your encoureging words.  It is said that" one only gains strength by carrying burden" (or maybe, no pain-no gain).....That does survive, gets stronger.  I hope this will make me stronger and as you stated: strenghten my remaining relationships.

=== KC==== yeah the "dark Trama voices" are what I have over the years come to know as my "monkey".  Yep, always there.
Little s.o.b. will still be alive twenty minutes after they throw the dirt over me.  He'll always be ready, in times of turmoil to wrap his warm furry arms around me and whisper in my ear: "just one"... and after the "just one", he'll reassure me that it's not that bad. Right?  Only it will only be a matter of time till he is in control of everything in my life and he wont' be whispering.  He'll be screaming: "FEED ME!!!"  Feed me, or else...... or else you'll have to go throught this freak'n hell.

Ok, that may sound a little strange to some, but it's how i have come to know my addiction. For me, it's never just "one".

====Kes===== Thanks for the words.  Yep, it can get heavy some days, but repeat after me:  "Going back is NOT an option"
Who in there right mind would want to start this cycle of futility and hell over again?....  Maybe I should change my username to "Jaywalker".. let me know if you get it?  Anyway.... yep, another day.  I'm waaa-aaay glad I have it regardelss of how much it may **%$.  it still beats the hell out of the alternative.

===nurse===  eventually, in time, it does get better. I dig the U2  song and how it encoureges you. There is going to come a day when your eyes will be opened fully and you will see that it is, really is, a beautiful day.  The "T" robs you of your ability to see fully and clearly. Look forward to that day and don't go back.


===shadetree======  Picture Star Wars.. "Luke, I am your father".. Just kidding but I coudn't help thinking that.I wish you all the best for your day today.

=== Tommyboy====  yep, been there with the online stuff and the debit card stuff. I've sat in my kitchen looking out the window wondering "when the f&&k is that freak'n FedEx guy gonna get here with my overnite delivery. and there was the time when two companies started using the same customer service/order desk company and they compared notes.
"you already have gotten your allotment for the month, your not due for a refill for another 3 weeks minimum".  AAAAGGGHH!

Fortunately, you still have someone to "come clean" with. Your S/other is standing by you through this.  Take this from someone who has "burned" those people later,  don't take it lightly.  And, do not do this for her. Do it for you. Yeah, you may have caused some harm in your relationship, but you have hurt yourself the most, and when the lights go out and your wide awake, it's you, and your with:::  YOU. Thank your lucky $%s that you still haven't burned that bridge, (as well as others) and prepare for the war your going to fight. The battles are going to be yours.  The victory is going to be YOURS!!
You may feel like **** about the remorse thing, and worry about how the past is going to define your future.  DON"T.
Yesterday is a cancelled check dude.  Tommorow is a promiseary note.  The battle is always TODAY.  Thinking about what you did or what happened yesterday(s), will just add to the weight you need to carry. It's not necessary.  Tomorrow, is well, tomorrow. Screw it.  You wouldn't go jogging carrying a fifty pound backpack. Don't go into battle carrying guilt , remorse, and worry about the future.  It will slow you down, or worse. Hang tough man, it gets better...

Day 29 for me.  slept a litttle better. Did not have a whole lot of energy yesterday, woke up in a slight axiety attack.
I like to think it's just the monkey waiting for me on my nitestand.  "Good morning Matthew, hows about a little hell to start the day"?.....  "ya know, Matthew, just one little pill would make this a whole lot more tolerable"...."we won't make the same mistakes this time"....  yep, just a little remorse and anxiety.  I shook it off, and prepared myself for todays battle and looked forward to the inevitable victory that may not be coming fast enough for me, but will, in fact , come eventually.

Hang tough ya all.

Matthew



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by zeke1111, Feb 23, 2009
Hello,

Just found this site and found out I need some help.  I've been on Tram for about 45 days(arthritis in both knees) and worked my self up to about 400-500 mg a day.  Took my last pill friday morning, by saturday aftternoon "the Flu" started and I was up all night with restless legs.  Sunday it got worse.  With my work schedule and kids there is no way I can go cold turkey and limp thru 4-5 days of hell I went thru this past weekend.

I just recieved 180 50mg pills and plan on that being the last I ever get.  Going with the plan of a slow taper, 25% less a week till I'm off this crud.

My questions:  since I have been on it a short time can I get away with tapering down 25% in 3-4 day intervals instead of a week.  Or should I bite the bullet, flush the 175(yes 5 went down the hatch when I picked them up) and go a week of hell?

Great place, read and learned a lot so far, ready to get on with a non-tram life......

Will

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by Matt1053, Feb 23, 2009

Will,
Welcome.  I would recomend you read back through the postings. There are those that go "taper" and some that go "cold".
Shoot, you already busted the script. (re-filled the perscription), so the choice for me would be to maybe "try" the taper.
For me, once I get a few in me, well, I get to thinking maybe it aint so bad, and yeah, I just got a little out'a hand, and shoot, yeah, this time it might be a little differnet if I just........  so, I had to go cold.  

You may also find in reading the past postings that (surprise -surprise to quote Gomer Pyle), it isn't a four day kick. (withdrawl) for a lot of folks.  But given the short term, but a lot of mg's per day, it may be just a short cycle of discomfort and insomnia.

Either way, you are here and it aint' cause you had a bad nites sleep.  You obviously have come to the fork in the road where it's decision time.  Good for you. The biggest part of it right now, is probably making the decision. Once you've made the decision, it's all "Game On!" or maybe more like "Game Over".  However you approach it, do it.

There is a lot of support here.  I'm with you. Whatever path you choose (cold vs taper), either way, you've made the decision to decide to quit.  That's what is huge for today. Waaaa-aaaay HUGE.  Good for you!

Others will have opinions on what works best for them.  There is a lot of great information , support, and insight here.
Regardless of how it plays out...... You've decided to quit.  Again... that is freak'n HUGE.

There are some very very smart folks on this site. If you've made the commitment, your halfway home.

God bless.

Matthew

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by KC67, Feb 23, 2009
Day 15 – Cold Turkey – Feb. 23, 2009

Just a quick note to let all of you know that I had the most wonderful night’s sleep last night!  Since I quit Tram. cold turkey on Feb. 9th, 2009, it has been 15 solid nights of random, horrible sleep – awakening 4-5 times per night and then wide awake at 5am not able to get back to sleep.  Last night I went to bed around 9pm – woke up only ONCE at 3am – then went right back to sleep until 6am.  

I worked a full day today and only suffered mild anxiety for moments during the day – nothing compared to the last 15 days.

Sorry I can’t post more, but I wanted to give you all hope that (like Emily and so many others on this journal have said) it DOES get better.  I re-read Emily’s journal again as Fred suggested and found that this journey is going to be completely random – so this may not be the end of my insomnia, but TODAY is a great day and I am so grateful for the sleep I received last night.  

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC


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by AnonGuy2, Feb 23, 2009
Hello there, friends!

Well, since you didn't hear from me this morning, it means I *did* sleep better last night. I slept until 6:15am which is when my alarm went off (I had to be at work by 7) and, to be honest, I was wanting to go back to sleep and I'm fairly sure I could have!

That's GREAT news!

I was feeling a little bit better this morning, which has been the trend. So much so that I decided not to take ANY vitamins of ANY sort! I have had this weird suspicion that taking all the pills of vitamins and stuff I had been every morning may have either been causing or intensifying the morning-blues periods I had been going through. Of course, I couldn't really justify it being a real possibility 100% but I decided that I'd not take anything anyway. I put a single dose of all my vitamins in a baggie in my car with me to work just in case I felt like I'd need to take them-- You know, in case I decided I needed to take them for some reason.

And guess what? I didn't ever feel the need to go out to my car and take them! :)

Today at work was much like the previous 3 days: anxiety-ridden morning followed by afternoon feeling normal and good. So that's good. I was feeling so normal for the last 3/4 of my shift that I came to a brutal conclusion: Tramadol never made me more productive at work, really. It did, however, TRICK ME into THINKING it made me more productive. How do I know? Because I have been tram-free now for 12 days (counting today) and each day brings me to prolonged periods of feeling 100% normal and 100% myself (meaning just as productive and such).

I have seen many other people agree with me that tramadol made me more productive at work. Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that, at least in my case, it DIDN'T make me more productive. Again, it tricked me into believing it did when in reality it didn't at all! In fact, it would just make my day more stressful and turn me into a jerk at times!

Tramhater (it's Heather, isn't it?), you keep wondering when sleep will come. For me it was much like others in that it came on night 4 or 5. But again, it wasn't and isn't GREAT sleep by any means. It's just a solid chunk of hours of broken sleep where you wake up a lot and have restless legs, etc. But hey, it's still sleep! I remember the first night I got any sleep (again, night 4 or 5 I forget) I was SOOOO happy! It really is a big boost!


Each day just gets better and better!

The morning-blues period I experience every day now is getting less intense and doesn't last for as long as the previous day!

The afternoon "high" periods I have are becoming more pronounced to the point I feel more and more normal and are lasting for longer periods of time each day!

With that said, each day I get more and more strength and confidence that this evil medication is long gone in my life!

To everyone on still on their first few days: The light at the end of the tunnel is there. Trust me! You will see it soon! With each passing day you will get better and better and you will SEE and FEEL this progress. I doubted I would ever reach a point where I could say that, but I have been at that point now for days!

>:D ave

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by Tommyboy1979, Feb 23, 2009
Hello Everyone -

***MATT***   Thanks for the advice!  I am truly blessed not just with having a loving partner but one who has allowed me to focus on this battle im fighting and not on poor or disrespectful decision in our relationship.  She is my heart and we are partners in this fight.  I know it does come down to me and when Im awake and tossing or feeling like **** it is me thats feeling it but she loves me so much that if she could she would take all the pain from me and take it on as her own if she could.  We are partners in this and if it comes to the point where I feel like I can no loner fight this battle or stand I know she will be there to keep me strong and battling it.  I think this is probably why I have not turned to this site sooner because she has been there for me.  I am lucky.  Again though, thanks for the post and i dont want to count the times I was looking at fedex.com to see when the package will arrive.  

Getting back to my taper on Dec 15th ish i started at 15 pills, (4 in the morning and 11 in the evening)  I then lowered it about a pill every 2 days or so.  This worked surprsingly well for me with not many negative side effects. In fact I would say close to none.  I dont mean to say i was feeling fantastic but I didnt feel sick (flu like) i could sleep eat, work, just fine.  Around Christmas I was running low on pills.  Having made the decision to stop and having turned my pills over to my girlfriend i was keeping track of what was left.  She had told me they were low but it slipped my mind.  Suddenly an order i had replaced sat pending for 2 days before they told me that It was too soon and the earliest I would get them would be 4 days from then.  I didnt have enough pills to stay at the slow taper i was doing so in order to split up the pills so i could make it until the shipment i dropped from 8 or 9 at night and 4 in the morning to 3 in the moring and 3 at night.  I did feel this drop.  I had a restless night and took a couple baths to help with the soreness.  After I got the pills i went back up to 4 in the morning and 4 at night.  Ive since slowly tapered down to .half a pill in the morning and half a pill at night which brings me through today.  Tommorrow i will do a quarter in the morn and half at night. Wednesday I will do a quarter in the morn and a quarter at night.  Thursday i will do a quarter in the evening and Friday, I will be done.  No More Tram.  
So far my withdrawl has been mild.  Ive been able to sleep from 10pm-11pm to about 7pm with waking up for 20 - 30 mins once or twice a night.  I havent felt flu like or had sweats.  There are times in the day where i dont feel great.  Best way to describe it is run down but that is normally because its been a while since i took my last pill. ( I have been holding out my morning .5 pill as long as I can and sometimes I can make it until 2pm. Whats wierd is that I always feel pretty decent in the morning.  Like I did before I was on drugs.  Defintely not like im hung over and I need my 4 or 5 pills just to get the energy and attitude to get ready for work, That is the most surprising so far.  
This may be attributed to the fact that my girlfriend made me start going to bed at 11:30pm every night and waking up at 7:30am every morning while I have been doing this detox.  Dont tell her though because i fought her tooth and nail the whole way through this because i like going to bed at 2 am and waking up 9am.  in any case Im sure at the very least it has helped me to be rested when I wake up which is one more thing i dont have to worry about during this withdrawl.

Alright Ive rambled on long enough and I have work to do, so again I thank you for all your posts and for sharing your dark times with me. Your fight isnt only giving you strength but its giving thousand of others you dont even know strength as well.    

Thanks again!
Tommyboy  

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by dontbelieve, Feb 24, 2009
hello folks...I am Back....

I have been reading some posts for the last hoursish...alot to catch up on...alot of new people I have never seen...thats awesome. When I first stumbled into this room I did not realize how many people were going through this...partly because my doc told me nobody has ever had any withdrawl symptoms from ultram/tramadol and partly because I had never researched it myself. IT STILL AMAZES ME...

So I have been pissed off at everything under the sun lately right down to the remote and my bed...I think I even yelled at my coffee cup one day...Partly angry about having to take meds again and partly pain...  I have for a lack of better terms been "pissing rocks" sorry to be crude but if you knew me in person that was quite tame...lol. I have I believe stopped the "pissing of rocks" and have also stopped the pain medication again. WOW...that was no fun at all.

I now have a few concerns about the withdrawls coming back just as strong but I am still commited to being pain med free by the time my son is born in april. I did go to the pharmacy and told them to cancel my 2 remaining perscriptions of tramadol...for some reason it made more sense to me to drive over there and do it than to call..dont know why. I think the fact that i went in to the pharmacy where I could have refilled the meds and instead said "cancel them" made me feel much better.

I am planning to call doctor needle tommorrow and get another shot which they would not do while I was passing these stones...something to do with me squirming and the big needle going into my spine..; )...

I had to smile reading some of your symptoms not at all because they are funny but because I too have had most of them...and to comment on the voices...yes that is spooky...on more than one occasion I have gotten out of bed with my .357 thinking someone was in the house other than the woman sleeping next to me. Of course I have been debating on whether this is a tram thing or if my house is actually haunted...( lately the "babys room" door has been opening alot by itself and it has slammed a couple of times for no reason...what freaks me out is that was my wifes mothers room..she passed away october 2007 while living with us and she said she was going to haunt me...lol.. and every once in a while I hear the closet doors open and close then realize I am home by myself.)..anyway..whole other story i get side tracked easily these days...

ok so I am really hoping to not  go back to the withdrawls I was having from the ultram kick...I was so happy to be on day 7 and finally feeling normalish not great but normalish. While in the ER my wife made the comment that" maybe this was my bodys way of saying you are not ready to be off pain pills".....and I told her...no I think this is my kidneys way of saying " you are getting older...no way around it...34 means start taking care of yourself and quit putting **** in your body moron..."

Couple of quick funny stories...

Where I grew up we didnt have any fast food places...closest one was 40 miles away. My parents were/are country folks and mom and dad never ate anything that wasnt home cooked. So here I am at 18...never been to a major city...always been in the country...was better at cutting firewood than video games. I moved out with some friends to lake tahoe...guess whats in lake tahoe...fast food. Oh for the love of god it was great. No dishes...no cooking...just drive up to the window and walla..dinner is served!...the taste took some getting used to but...wow no hassle..no mess..no grocery shopping...I was hooked. No joke for maybe 3 years of my life taco bell...arbys...A&W ( which I still love) those magic windows with food kept me alive! It wasnt really til I got in a relationship that I realized sometimes fast food wasnt the answer...it wasnt very good...it wasnt healthy and it wasnt something my girlfriend would eat. So I had to choose..my wonderful window of food...or my girlfriend...they say your first choice is the one you should go with...Now looking back I am glad I chose the drive thru...she wasnt the right girl for me...but the same choice came again two years later. That time I chose the girl and should have went for the drive thru...point being there is always the easy way and the right way.
For me Ultram was the easy way...now I am trying the right way. Some of us dont get it the first time around...
Now I am married to the woman of my dreams...we have a dishwasher, and regularly eat home cooked meals.....
of course just last night...I got in the car and drove to KFC!!!...old habits die hard..

On that note...just the other day while at my moms for dinner my mother kept telling me how skinny I looked. I didnt want to go into the effects of the tramadol so I just smiled and said so do you...moms like to hear that. 2 days ago my wife was talking to my mother and somehwere in the conversation my mom slipped in the fact that I was too skinny and my wife must not be feeding me. My mother adores my wife...and I am pretty sure she was kidding with her but my wife isnt so sure. My older brother bought my wife a electronic picture frame that does a slide show of like 4000 pictures and I started to see once she downloaded pictures just what my mom was talking about and why she thinks my wife doesnt feed me. I never realized how much weight I lost on ultram and how much you can see it in my face and overall...wow. Kinda made me realize that although i to some extent knew what this **** was doing to my insides as far as long term I never realized what people were seeing it do to me on the outside...

I am happy to report that everything sounds good to me again foodwise...I am hungry...non stop. I am afraid that being off ultram has increased our grocery bill by double. I eat at least 4 times a day now...not like snacks. I dont ever feel full and think ( no scale ) I have gained 10 pounds today alone...on ultram I ate maybe 2 times a day and usually wasnt very hungry when I did eat. Now I cant stop...I am going to pop. And then I am going to get yelled at for making a mess..I can see it now in the paper...Man Pops from eating..Wife is Pissed he made a mess...details page 11....


has anyone else notice a tremedous increase in appetite or am I alone on this one??? ( even if not post that its normal...then when my wife reads this...she will think its normal and continue to let me eat! okay okay just kidding...)


anyway welcome aboard new folks...keep up the good work old folks...and the trama-teens...

may the force be with you...always.

The Hillbilly

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by dontbelieve, Feb 24, 2009
P.S

Sorry Heather, and for anyone else interested my wife (heather also) is doing well thank you for asking, and although I talk to the baby in her belly I can only assume the doctor is right and he is fine too. If the baby starts talking to me through my wifes belly...you all may be hearing from my wife saying I have had a sudden heart attack...either that or you can assume I have tried new and exciting experimental pain medication...or perhaps LSD.

I see alot of you are still going through the major withdrawls and all I can say for sure is it does get better!!!
I could tell you the song i would sing to myself when the restless legs would come...but you would not see any words only these ******** ***** ****** *****
( not a song you want to sing your kids to sleep to but it made me feel slightly better...)
I tried to get the cat to join in but she just stared at me....apparently the dog likes my singing though...as he sat there with his ears up tilting his head back and forth like the words were magic.

anyway night all...

The Hillbilly

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by zeke1111, Feb 24, 2009
Thanks Matthew.

Last night was OK, fell asleep (tylenol pm) about 10:00 woke up at 4, toss and turned till 6.  Once I got up and moving I felt pretty good but the longer I'm up the worse I'm starting to feel.  I took 250mg yesteday in one shot yesterday.  I want goin to  try and drop to 200mg for the next 2 days, then lower and lower.

I just took 100mg this morning and if things stay the course I will try to skip the PM 100.  Hopefully Matthew is right and I'm thru the worse part.  2-1/2 days for hell, week of the "flu", hard taper and I'm done.

I'm so lucky I found this sight before this habit got waaaaaaaaaaaay out of hand..

Thanks every one.

Will

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 24, 2009
Hillbilly ---


You can't be serious! You said you spent an hour or so catching up on posts but I suspect you really only read 1 or 2 of them. Why? My I've had at least 1 (but I think 2) posts since your last post where I discussed the insane hunger, eating much more often and more, than I did when I was on tramadol, too!

It really is insane. I used to ALWAYS skip breakfast and not eat until around Noon-2pm and then 1 more time around 7-8pm and that was it.

What's funny is that I've always eaten a LOT of food when I only ate 1-2 times/day while on tramadol so I never really believed it had a side effect of killing appetite. I was wrong!

For days now, I HAVE to eat in the morning, there's no way around it, have to eat at lunch, and have to eat twice more before bed. And I still eat just as much food as before! It's insane, and I'm not even really overweight (6'2" and 185). I am not as skinny as a model but I am not fat-- I do have a little gut but it's getting bigger now that I'm off tram!

ANYWAY...

I had my best sleep since getting off tramadol! I forced myself to stay up until 10:30pm but it was tough. I didn't necessarilly stay up that late to help sleep later, no, but for two main reasons:

1. To get my body back on, what I call, a "normal" sleep schedule of 10-11pm until about 8-9am.
2. To get more out of my day. What do I mean? If I work, come home in the early evening, and crash to bed within 1-2 hours, I hate it because I am wasting a good number of hours at night that I could be doing stuff- Watching tv, going to a movie, going out with friends, etc. I will feel like I worked all day if I can't do anything when I get home but crash!

So, that's what happened yesterday (which has been the case for each of the 12-13 days I've been off tramadol: I will feel ungodly tired just before 7pm as the sun has went down.

Yesterday I fought it until about 8:30pm and I couldn't take it anymore sitting on my couch watching tv. So I found a couple things to do. I shaved my head (I always do and usually once every 4 weeks because my hair grows fast and I had needed it badly for close to 2 weeks now but always felt lazy about it since I had been quitting tramadol 12-13 days ago). I then took another shower followed by forcing myself to watch about 30 minutes of tv while laying in bed. This allowed me to stay up until 10:30pm! That's a record since I quit tram!

I slept until 7:30am. OH MY! 7:30!!! YEEEEEESSSSSSS! Again, it was the best night of sleep I've had since quitting tram! I still woke up a few times and tossed and turned a little but other than that it was very pleasant. The dreams were really strange and the last ones I had were of taking acid (LSD) so that's funny you mentioned LSD, Hillbilly.

Well today's my day off, as I reported yesterday, so I am going to try to enjoy it to the fullest. I am 100% sure I will still have a period or two during the day where I feel like dog poo, but hopefully that period will continue to fade away much faster each day as it has been for many days now!

I get a huge bonus at work this time next month and I've already got plans to buy a new tv and computer. Do I really need a new pc and/or tv? Nope, but it's something I've been wanting to do for awhile and have more than enough money saved up in the bank, anyway. I am not rich by any means but I do have a lot of disposeable income since, as I've reported before, I have no wife or kids yet. :)

One last thing before I sign off here for a little while: I ran into a friend yesterday that I only see once every couple of months. Me and him, about 6 years ago, used to do a TON of drugs together just to "have fun"-- We used to take lsd, mushrooms, blow through 8balls of cocaine once a week for months on end, take lots of ecstasy together.. Well, you get the picture. Anyway, he's changed a lot since then (he moved to another city some 50 miles away about 4 years ago) and so have I. He never knew I used to be a closet tramadol freak. I decided to tell him all about it and how I was (at that time yesterday) 12 days clean and how it's the most horrible stuff to get off of. He said how sometimes, when he has bad days (not because of drugs, of course, since he's clean now like me), how he will go out and ride a bike for 5+ miles. He says it works amazingly well for him. He said he had went out to Sun & Ski Sports awhile back and financed a $1,200+ bike to make it happen and he is so happy he did it. He said it clears his mind, increases his overall energy, and just overall is a great thing he wishes he had done a lot longer ago.

He recommended I do the same thing to, you know, give it a shot. Well I don't know that I need it, but if I feel like I need something like that then it's something I would definitely consider very greatly. So it sounds like a great idea but at the same time, I am already making huge progress and really don't think I'll need to find anything new to help me through this. But, you NEVER know, right!?

I am feeling good and ready to conquer yet another day off tram! Day 13, here I come!!

- Dave

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by Matt1053, Feb 24, 2009
Hey all.
Good morning.  I slept 6 hours straight two nites in a row now.. For me, that's pretty cool.
Did not wake up with anxiety, although if you knew my precarious financial situation, it would make anyone go into an anxiety attack.  
Yesterday was the first day I really felt as if a lot of the fog had been lifted. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have some major "life stuff" coming at me all at once.  Again, it's due solely on my doing the "T" and avoiding most real life issues for a number of years.

The last nine months have been pretty much on a accelerated pace as far as not showing up for life. And, just cause I didn't feel like showing up much for life, it still happened.  Knock Knock  ---  Who's there?   Your life, *******.  And it's overdue and pissed. (and you've got some explain'n to do)...

But, like I said, yesterday, I seemed to have turned a corner of sorts. My fear of whats coming (and man, it's coming), turned into motivation.  I only hope I'm not "a day late and a doller short".  But screw it, it is what it is.  I fully accept the responsibility of the (mainly financial, some relationsip issues) problems I have created by just doing the "T" and not much else.

Thanks to this site, I understand that the last month of low motivation, lethargy, and insomnia are in some cases normal (for this extended period of time).   I mean, four years, 600mg - 900mg a day, .... well, it probably wasn't going to be the usual "four day creep" (detox) that I've experienced years back with other poisens.

I'm sure I could have made it to work and gone throught the motions this past month even with little or no sleep and feeling like crud, but finding a new job, interviewing, learning new systems and so forth... Ouch.. probably, not so much. Heck, I had a hard time remembering simple easy stuff due to the major fog and sleep depravation.

But, I do feel (maybe due to a couple of nites of semi normal sleep) like getting back on track as far as life is concerned and thats a good feeling. I sent out a few resumes (online) last nite and plan on aggresively doing more of the same today. I made a list of the major financial stuff that has got to be taken care of in the very immediate future, and I'm approching it "head on".

I am hoping that I do not lose my apartment, so I'll keep you guys posted on that. Again, what I need to stay focused on is the fact that I do feel "ready".  Ready to tackle my avoidance of the past, which is now screaming at my front door so to speak.

I do remember pop'n the "T" on a number of occasions, and saying to myself: "brother, your gonna have hell to pay" but thinking, yeah, but not today.  My thinking was: "drugs will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no drugs".

Knock - Knock  ---  Who's there?  "hell to pay"

===hillbilly===  yeah, the weight. Well, of course, I lost a lot at first from the T. But after a while, like Dave, when I did eat, I ate a bunch.  And here's the kicker:  I would always sleep better on a  full belly. So, naturally, this past 6 weeks, not sleeping well, to not sleeping at all, to not sleeping well again....... hmmmm......I figured I would sleep better on a full belly so, I've been "pack'n it in" at nite before bed.  And getting up after tossing and turning... to have a sandwich or something.
That coupled with the change in metabalisim (no energy)..... Well... good greif!  yep, like 12 pounds.
I lost an argument with another pair of jeans yesterday morning.  They just ain't goin on man.

Gonna run for now. "hell to pay" is at the front door.

======Tommyboy and Will ========  All good. hang in there. There is an end to this and it's a new begining.

Hang tough y'all !
Matthew


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by tramhater, Feb 24, 2009
AAAAAAAHHHH! DAY 5! DAVEY... YOU WERE RIGHT NIGHT 4ISH 5ISH YOU MAY SLEEP BETTER! FINALLY LAST NIGHT I SLEPT FROM 12AM TO 8AM! THAT IS LIKE AMAZING CONSIDERING THAT I THOUGHT I MIGHT DIE FROM EXHAUSTION!

TODAY IS AN AWESOME DAY SO FAR! ABSOLUTELY NO SIDE EFFECTS OF WITHDRAWAL! SO FAR THAT IS! I DO KNOW THAT THIS MAY HAVE A WAVE OF BAD LUCK, HOWEVER I WILL TAKE A GOOD DAY! I AM HAPPY TO SAY I AM PROB. PAST THE HORROR DAYS OF FEELING LIKE  MY BODY WAS GOING TO FALL APART, AND I JUST COULDN'T MOVE....


I WANTED TO TELL EVERYONE THAT I SPOKE WITH SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY HAD RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME. SHE TOLD ME TO USE EXTRA STRENGTH BENGAY WITH A HEATING PAD... I JUST DID THE BENGAY.... MAN I RUBBED THAT **** ALL OVER MY ENTIRE DAMN BODY.... I WAS SO HAPPY IT GAVE LIKE A TINY STINGING SENSATION BUT IT RELAXED ME ENOUGH NOT TO KICK AND SCREAK OFF THE COVERS LIKE THE PREVIOUS NIGHTS... THEN WHEN I DID IT AGAIN!!! THAT STUFF WORKED FOR ME SO RECCOMEND IT!!!!!!!!!

^^^MATT^^^ AND ^^^HILLBILLY^^ YOU GUYS ARE BOTH SO FUNNY.... ACTUALLY ^^^^DAVEY^^^^ TOO! BUT DEAR LORD THE FACT THAT YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT GAINING WEIGHT IS HILARIOUS BECAUSE I AM THE OPPOSITE.. I CAN'T EAT! NO MATTER WHAT... NO LIE PROB DOWN TO ONLY 600-900 CALORIES A DAY... I HAVE LOST 5 LBS IN THE PAST WEEK! MY BODY DOESN'T HANDLE STRESS WELL AT ALL SO I AM NOW A BEAN POLE... AGAIN! IT *****... THEN I LOOK ANOREXIC AND PEOPLE JUDGE ME FOR THAT AND THEN COMES THE ANXIETY BACK.

^^^KC^^^^ HOW YOU DOING TODAY??? DAY LIKE 14 RIGHT?

^^^^^EMILY****... MY WISDOMLY EMILY WHERE ARE YOU??? I NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU, YOU ARE LIKE THE ROOTS OF THIS TREE! I WONDER AND WORRY ABOUT YOUR KLONIPIN WITHDRAWALS! LET US KNOW! WE ENCOURAGE YOU THE SAME WAY YOU ENCOURAGE US!! GOOD LUCK, AND GOD BLESS!

^^FRED^^.... WHERE ARE YOU AT....?? I'VE SORTA BEEN TALKIN TO YOU PRIVATELY, BUT HOW ARE YOU DOING?? YOUR WORDS ARE ALSO ENCOURAGING SO PLEASE DO TELL SOME STORIES OF THE EARLY DAYS... I THINK WE "NEWBIES" COULD USE IT!!!!

^^^^^SHADETREE^^^ HOW ARE YOU?? HOPE THE ANXIETY IS OK FOR YOU TODAY! YOU KNOW HOW YOU GET A CERTAIN AURA (SP) FROM SOMEONE?? I  FEEL LIKE I WORRY ABOUT YOU THE MOST! I DON'T KNOW WHY. I WORRY THAT YOU ARE ALONE WITH THESE FEELINGS WITH NO ONE TO HUG YOU AND TELL YOU THAT IT WILL BE OK??! YOU WILL BE OK! AND YOU WILL BE AN EVEN STRONGER MOTHER THAN YOU EVER WERE ONCE YOU ARE OFF OF THIS TRAM DOG! I WANTED TO TELL YOU A FEW THINGS... #1... THE WELLBUTRIN IS TRUE THAT IT WILL HELP WITH THE SEROTONIN WITHDRAWAL... WHICH IS THE LEG TWITCHES... RESTLESS LEG SYMDROME AND JUST HAVING THE BLUES... I KNOW THIS BECAUSE THAT IS WHY MY DETOX DOC. PUT ME ON 20MG OF PROZAC FOR 3 DAYS... THEN 40 FOR 1 THEN 20 FOR 2 AND THEN NONE! IT HAS HELPED INCREDIBLY... IF I WERE YOU I WOULD GET THE TAPERING DONE ASAP... SO THAT YOU CAN JUST MOVE ON WITH THIS ALTOGETHER.. JUST TELL YOUR HUBBY YOU ARE REAL SICK! I HAVE SLOWLY BEEN REACHING OUT TO MORE AND MORE PEOPLE SO THEY COULD HELP ME THROUGH THIS!! I AM HERE FOR YOU IF YOU NEED ME... JUST EMAIL! THAT IS THE BEST I CAN OFFER. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR ME TODAY I CAN ASK MY DETOX DOC... TODAY... BECAUSE I SEE HIM LATER.. HE WILL BEGIN MORE OF THE TAPERING OFF THE CLONIDINE AND GABBAPENTIN!! I WILL BE OFF OF THEM WITHIN A WEEK I DO KNOW THAT! BUT HE SAID HE WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF ME FOR 6 MORE WEEKS.. IT IS PART OF THE RECOVERY PROGRAM.... LET ME KNOW...


WELL I HAVE TO GO... IM SORRY IF I MISSED ANYONE....


***WILL HANG IN THERE*

WITH LOVE, STRENGTH, AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

HEATHER

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by Shadetree, Feb 24, 2009
Hey Heather,

Thank you for being so concerned...really I appreciate it. And yes I do feel alone, besides when I write here. I mentioned before I told my therapist but I dont see her but every two weeks or longer. I guess the only thing I would want to know from your doc. Is...is it ok to take 150mgs of wellbutrin while tapering off of the tramadol? And is it ok to take 5-htp with wellbutrin. I did call and ask a pharmcist, but I called a couple and cant get a consistent answer...

Work is absolutley getting crazy, I keep getting "more jobs" added to the duties I already have, and my "home" life isnt very peachy right now. Im feeling a bit overwhelmed! And that is making the Tram voices soooo loud. But I have been strong. Just taking one day at a time.

Thanks for your support...means alot. Gotta go, I'll check back a little later.

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 24, 2009
Heather:

I am glad you're having a good day so far! Don't expect it to stay that way, because it makes the "down" times even worse when you're in denial about them coming back.

This morning I've been up and down with how I feel-- Sometimes good, others not so much. More of the not so much, though.

This is usually the time of the day all that's gone but today's a bit different it seems.

I have worked the last 4 days in a row so maybe being at work has played a big role of me feeling better. I would have NEVER thought that possible on the first few days after I quit tram but right now it seems entirely possible.

I'll push onward, hope for the best, and eagerly await my next period of feeling great! :)

- Dave

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by dontbelieve, Feb 24, 2009
ok let me clarify...

I understand that I would get my appetite back...I was only eating twice a day and very little on tramadol...before I took tramadol I probably ate more than normal people but I am a big guy and used to do very physical labor ( installing fire system piping) so when i got home food sounded good. But this is different...I knew I would get back to three meals a day and my old eating habits...but its the amount of food that is perplexing me...on top of that I cannot get full.

For example: Last night KFC...2 3 piece meals...two large sides of mashed potatos...a bbq chicken sandwich and I was still hungry...so 2 hours later...2 doughnuts...9 biscuits with gravy and a bowl of cereal.

That was all about 9pm-12midnight...and although it finally satisfied my hunger about 5am I had to make more biscuits and gravy...I think the dog better keep one eye on his bowl...ok for those of you who are smokers..you will relate to this...you are watching a movie and all the sudden someone lights a cigarette in that movie...it makes you want to light a cigarette. Same thing is happening with food for me right now...I see food on tv and think that sounds good...but then 5 minutes later my stomach is growling like I havent eaten in weeks. And I must eat anything and alot of it.

This is strange...

Ok so besides the never ending feeding frenzy...yes I am back to withdrawlville....not nearly as bad yet but this is only day one. got the little elctricity shocks in my head and occasionally my hands. sneezing is back not with full force though and for some strange reason...my goatee hairs are numb...thats the only way I can explain it...my hairs feel numb. Very strange. but other than that I am alive.

ok got to try to sleep sometime today...talk to you all later...

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 24, 2009
Hillbilly ---

First, let me say I feel so bad for you having to go through the whole thing all over again. Maybe it won't be as bad but I don't know if that'll happen considering everything I've read about everyone else who's gone through it twice.

The eating thing you are so right about it's ridiculous. I was the same way: eat twice a day but a LOT at those two meals. Now, while off tramadol, like you I am eating boatloads of food and barely feel full then just an hour later I want to eat again. Two days ago when I was craving Subway for some odd reason (I hadn't eaten there nor wanted to eat their in years since last time I got food poisoning), I got two footlongs and got home and ate 1 and a half of them right away. Today I was craving some coneys so I went and bought 10 coneys at Coney I-Lander and ate 4 right away followed by 3 more just 2 hours later. They aren't huge but they're not tiny, either!

Here I sit, just two hours after that, and I feel starving again!

All this and I'm not even a big guy!

Your hair feeling numb is also something I went through. I don't know if you had it the last time you had withdrawals but I certainly did. It's gone now, and it actually hurt a little to shave my face last night but I managed it.

I am feeling a little bit better than I was during my last post but still nowhere near as great as I have in the previous couple of days. I think a lot of that has to do with being at work like I suggested earlier. If you think about it, being at work running around is quite a bit of exercise (my work involves LOTS of ultra-fast walking around and lots of lifting, pulling, pushing, etc.). That is, except tomorrow which is my day to do a couple hours of paperwork. But I'm looking forward to it.

Like others have talked about, I am alone in my battle. Heather said how cool it was that my boss knew about me being sick and was understanding and supportive. He knew I was under the weather, yes, but not because of a drug dependancy I've been coming off of! LOL

My family doesn't know, either. If anyone recalls my first-ever post or two here in Emily's journals some 13 days ago now, I was screaming out about how I couldn't wait to overcome this addiction to talk to my mom about it and tell her what I had been going through all these years and see how proud of me she'd be. She's always been proud of me as a son as I have always had a superior work-ethic, been that "All-American" boy growing up, smart in school and college (in honors/AP classes in high school and on the Dean's honor roll in college the entire time I was earning my Bachelor's Degree).

When I get the depression periods of tramadol withdrawal sinking in each day, one of the main things I think about is dropping whatever I'm doing (such as leaving work if I'm at work), calling my Mom to leave her work and meet me, sitting her down and laying everything out all the while asking her for her help and support. I also think, in these periods, of quitting my job and calling up some sort of rehab/specialist/professional to get help that way, too. Then, when I come out of those states and feel great, I reassure myself I can get over all this on my own and it will just take a bit longer.

Well, let me tell you, I still look forward to explaining everything to my family. But I think if I do it before I'm 100% better could bring a lot of bad things onto my plate. I don't want to get into it nor go on and on about what bad things would come out of coming clean while still in withdrawals, but believe me-- I don't picture it the ideal situation.

I know a few of us have discussed actually taking some sort of real-world action on spreading the awareness of how horrible tramadol can be and what it can do to one's life. I was thinking today about how cool it would be if one of us knew someone in the publishing business or if one of us felt ambitious enough to write a book about the pitfalls of tramadol addiction, the horrible withdrawals, and taking it out of their lives for good. It could be written in such a way that it's a collection of all of our own experiences, ramblings, journal entries, and advice to one another. How cool would that be?

- Dave :)

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by Tommyboy1979, Feb 24, 2009
Hello Everyone

Hi Matt - I used to work for an apartment complex and the best thing you can do is go into the office and ask what you can do to stop an evicition and find out the last day you have to pay.  Typically if you work with them they will give you time.  Im glad to see that you have turned those troubles into motivation.  Just think of everything you can say you accomplished in 2009!!!!  Best of luck to you man!

Today Im still tapering. Countdown to No Tram is now 2 days away.  I took .25 this morning at 1130am and although I have had times of 0 motivation and feeling sleepy (best way i can describe it is taking a lunch and eating a huge meal and then coming back to your desk).  You can barely keep your eyes open but i pushed through it until about 4:15 when i took a 45 min nap and now I feel wide awake.  :

Im kinda concerned how being without Tram is going to be because my symptoms are so weak from everyone elses.  I know that Im tapering and a lot of people went cold turkey but ive read that a lot of people went cold turkey because the withdrawls were so bad from tapering.  I just really hope that when I stop all together its not extremely bad.  If it is, ill fight through that too but im really hoping since i tapered from 15 to .25 that there will be less to withdrawl from.  Cross your fingers for me.

You know its funny about the appetite thing.  I have noticed being hungry in the morning now and also at lunch which I just realize is normal for someone not on drugs.  When ever i took Tram it seemed to stop me from being hungry.  It would take hours after i took Tram to be hungry.  I would just eat because I loved to eat not because I was hungry.  On tram I think I was only hungry once a day.  So im just taking being hungry again as the tram working its way out of my body!   Im about to take my pm dose of  half a Tram pill so ill let you know if i sleep poorly tonight.

Last night I slept really well,I even didnt want to get out of bed because after 8 hours of sleep I was too comfortable. Very Wierd.   Wouldnt mind having that feeling again tonight but i wont hold my breath.

Thanks for the support!  Tommyboy



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by AnonGuy2, Feb 24, 2009
**********
TOMMY
**********

You speak the truth when you say you would only eat on tram because you loved to eat! That's the best way I've heard anyone put it, even myself. I now remember how when I would eat while on tram it was because I loved to eat, too, and NOT because I was very hungry.

Didn't want to get out of bed? It seems that taper may be working a bit for you then. :)

I can remember how, for the years I had been taking tram, I could wake up and within 2 seconds already be getting dressed and ready for the day.


***************
EVERYONE
***************

That depression period I had earlier today lasted a lot longer than I remember it lasting the last few days while at work. I think some of it had to be with the fact I was at home, alone, with no one to talk to, and just vegging out on the couch. I know exercise can be a really good thing but I have yet to try to implement that for a few reasons.

I just got back from Wal-Mart where I spent close to $150 on groceries. I have never spent that much on groceries before (remember I am a single guy so don't act so surprised, lol)! Usually I buy groceries every couple of weeks and only spend about $50-75 but while in Wal-Mart, everything sounded so good and it was way different from the way I would shop while on tramadol. On tramadol, since it always made me super-focused, intense, and easilly annoyed, I would shop by walking ASAP to everything on my mental list and had little patience for people or kids in my way. Now I am strolling around, taking my time, not stressed out, etc. It really is quite strange to be quite honest.

The last two hours I feel more normal than ever before. It doesn't so much feel like that "high" I have felt before in previous days as it feels like the whole world of pressure I've been carrying around on my shoulders is completely gone! It feels so good to be normal again but at the same time it makes me bored as my mind isn't as easilly stimulated anymore.

My life on tramadol would have me, whenever I wasn't at work, on a mission to sit in front of my tv and watch the hours upon hours of recorded tv shows on my TiVo as if it was a second job. Really! No joke! I record some 30 or so shows so every day there's hours of tv to watch. I would get stressed out and annoyed many times a week as sometimes the recordings would build up too much to where I was afraid I wouldn't get to watch them before they'd get deleted.

Is that funny or what!?

I can laugh at it now, thinking back about it, but man tramadol sure turned me into in robot who was always in the mindframe of accomplishing tasks.

I've said it so many times and I'll say it again: TRAMADOL NEVER ALLOWED ME TO TAKE THE TIME TO STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES!

I mean that in EVERY aspect of my life: friends, relatives, work, daily activities, etc.-- Everything!

So it's nice to have that time now and enjoy life without being so stressed out all the time! That's how I feel right now: I feel as if this addiction and it's withdrawals is OVER / DONE / FINISHED.

The only problem? Unfortunately, I know that depression/anxiety state will return tomorrow and I won't feel this good until it goes away again.

Emily / Fred / Others :: How long did this go away enough to the point that it was almost gone? What I mean by "this" is these days where for 1/2 the day I feel like poo and the other 1/2 I feel great and as if this is all behind me?

- Dave
aka DaveTastic!
aka Dave'sGroovin!

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by juststartedtramadol, Feb 24, 2009
Hi.  my name is Roger and I am a 60 year old who was on oxycontin for a few years now.  Matter of fact, I had a auto accident in March of 1998 and was put on Norco.  
I started having heart attacks in April of that same year.  They kept me on Norco until I had a triple by-pass in 2000.
After that, they put me on Percocets and after 4 months, they put me on Percocet.
I started having having a lot of pain because of the wreck in 1998, so they sent me to a Pain Clinic where, again, they started giving me Norco.  That's all they would do.  I would go each month to pick up my prescription and come home and take it.
After 4 years, I decided to go to a Neurologist and he put me on Oxycontin.  At first it was low doses then in about a year  it had come up to 100 mgs per day.  He sent me for two surgeries and both didn't seem to help.  One was elbow surgery and the other was shoulder surgery.  I kept telling him that I was hurting almost everywhere in my body and it seemed to be coming from my neck and spine.  
The last time I saw him I mentioned that I was still having pain and I felt it was coming from my spine.  He said, "Roger, I have other patients to see and I don't have time to stand around and listen to you complain, just go take the prescriptions I gave you and keep taking the Oxycontin"!!!!!!!
That was it!!!!!!!
I told them that I wouldn't be back.

My room-mate met a woman, where he works who gave him a card for a Neurosurgeon.  I made an appointment with her and she saw me three days later.  She had an MRI done of my upper spine and found that the disc in my upper spine had completely gone and said that if I didn't have surgery soon that I would end up like Christopher Reeves.
Three days later, I had my surger and it has helped me in many ways except for the surgeries to my elbow and shoulder.
I'm still having lower back pain and my hand where they had done surgery on my elbow and shoulder has spasms and really hurts most of the time.

I started getting off the Oxycontin and got down from 100 mgs to 10 mgs per day.
My Family Practioner just started me on Ultram and gave me a prescription for 20.  I only took ten when I read what you all have to say about this "devil drug", so I quit taking it right then.
I really thank you for keeping me from having to go through another withdrawal, as when I came off the Oxycontin.  It took me almost 2 months to get off of it.

You people are my angels that kept me from having to go through all that, yet again and I thank you, Emily and the rest of you for keeping me from making a BIG MISTAKE.
With Much Respect,
Roger

PS  I was wondering if anyone knows if there is a Pain Med out there that won't get you hooked?  I have gone through most of the stuff on the computer and ALL I found was Pain Meds that will hurt you in some way or most of all, get you hooked and I don't think I could go through more withdrawals.
Thanks to ALL of you, especially Emily!

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by EmilyPost, Feb 25, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!

Gah! Hahaha! Hillbilly! Oh my goodness you describing your feeding frenzy (and the dog better watch his dish) has me rolling wth laughter! LOL! So funny! I am crossing my fingers that your switch to Vicodin for the stones will help you not suffer such severe withdrawal from Tramadol.

Anon Dave ... the withdrawal from Tramadol is Random. It follows only one pattern; t has no pattern except a Random Pattern. Random makes people crazier than any other form of withdrawal. No way to predict when t will be over for you. Stay in the moment. Don't travel. Don't try to predict the unpredictable. All we have gathered about Tramadol is that it is the very drug 'o the devil ...

Heather you are so sweet. The Klonopin taper has been holding my head under the water. It's very different than Tramadol. Klonopin (and all Benzos) have to be tapered or you may ... die. So I tapered 33% last cut. For two days it's been bad. Sunday was bad. But remember;  went thru Tramadol withdrawal. Which 100% disabled me. Today I worked 11 hours.

So. Klonopin withdrawal is stealing some of my ability to write. I have only a few open windows a days ... moments of clarity. The rest is ... like being in a physically painful Science Fiction film. I have insanely acute hearing.  I already had an amazing sense of smell ... but this is outrageous. I can smell layers of orange peels.  It is lke being wired with electric fencing wire? My brain feels ... too large for my small skull.

And yet; I move around,   work.  I "function."

Some of it ... ok alot of it is ... familiar.  Withdrawal includes stomach punching, freaky sweats, insomnia. Vivid dreams. I've had one big meltdown, and a headache that feels like an axe straight thru my head. Depersonalization. As in, I see myself in a mirror and  look ... like a stranger.  I comb my hair and it feels like I have another person's head and am combing their hair. It's ... trippy. Painful. Mornings are not fun.  I have to rocket outta bed right away or I get depressed.

And I have to go slowly ... as slowly as I can.

Tolerance withdrawal ... it happens wth every drug ... With Klonopin I tapered slowly, but every drop in dosage brings a taste of what cold turkey would do ... if you were crazy enough to cold turkey a Benzo. Which no one should do.

Big Crazy Tramadol encounter today with a man who was talking to me, about ... his youth. How he used to be one way ... fearless, ambitious, forceful and how he felt he'd been robbed of that in the last year.  I asked more questions and he finally told me he had been on Tramadol. GAH! Given to him by his Girlfriend. GAH! Who works in a Doctor's office, so he had sample packs. Double GAH!

After alot of talk, and telling him what I know about Tramadol he agreed to take steps to get off it. Where are these people coming from? How do they find me? Who knows!

I'm only glad he did talk to me about it.

Welcome Tommyboy :D I have my fingers crossed for you! I'm so proud of you for stopping and tapering.  I really really hope it will be ok! (It'll be ok regardless ... hoping for the least w/d for you!)

Welcome Roger!! I am excited you found us! I hope others have advise to offer you. SO glad you did NOT take Tramadol. Tell them you are allergic to Tramadol and ... hope they put you on ... an opiate ... it'll make you dependant yes; but the w/d is nowhere near Tramadol .... (((Roger)))

Love and Healing,
Emily

PS. Someone said something to me ... like ... that I know everything? I don't. I know a great deal about Tramadol because it disabled me so profoundly that I was able to search far and wide on my computer machine and the intra webs to find what i could and capture it.  also know alot about withdrawal from many different drugs.

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by dontbelieve, Feb 25, 2009
ok so this is kinda strange...I stopped taking the vicodin 2 days ago now...Im not in pain ( as much ) anymore so I figure I will get back to my withdrawls!...I have been dreading since I first took it that my 7 days off tramadol were erased and I would be starting all over..when I woke up last night...thats exactly how i felt. However a strange thing has happened. I feel almost normal again. I went to sleep for a while today...I have strange sleep habits I am usually up until like 6am then I go to bed and wake up at like 4ish...bad habits from many years of working graveyard shifts. When I woke up today I felt...refreshed. My goatee had feeling again. My body felt right. I dont know how to explain it. I was all prepared for a nasty week. Now I am aware that tomorrow could be very different but right now I feel like me again and that is great.

Dave- thanks for mentioning the numb hair thing. I thought I was weird. My goatee is the longest hair i have and the only place that felt numb like that and now that you mention it I guess I did feel the same thing last week but the other symptoms kinda overrid that one. I am relieved to see that my feeding frenzy is normalish. I keep thinking of those damn cartoons where like the guy looks at his friend and he turns into a cooked chicken...and I look at my wife and start laughing and she doesnt know why...and i am thinking " RUN WIFEY RUN!!!!"...


The worst symptom for me is the sneezing. I hate to sneeze. have since I was a little kid. I cant deal with everything else but god please dont make me sneeze. which of course is the one symptom that wont go away. One thing DAVE said made me think a bit. " MY FAMILY DOESN'T KNOW EITHER..." Long ago it seems when I was taking another pain pill, my family never knew. It wasnt until I started taking alot more than I should have and kept running out did they finally find out i was taking anything. By that time I was ready to stop taking them and I did so at the worst possible time in my life. I had just lost my ex...my job and my new truck. Sounds like a country song but the dog stayed. My parents only lived 4 houses ( country houses...) away from me. How could they not know? I saw them every day...but then I realized I never told them. So this time I thought It would be different and I would tell mom and dad...and maybe even my sisters and my brothers...maybe some close friends....so far I have told my wife and my older brother everything...about the withdrawls...the years of pain meds...everything. My parents know I have taken pain meds in the past...for my neck but they never knew to what level and that i was addicted to them and that every two weeks I would be in agony waiting for the pharmacy to refill an early perscription. Now my mother is 68. She broke her back 25 years ago in a major car accident, and last year went back to the doctor for pain in her back again. Last Christmas she was walking by the fire place and fell. That was the first time I heard of her falling shes in no way a frail old lady. My father said in front of the entire family..." Well hun I told you not to mix wine with them damn pain pills...." I had no idea my mom had been taking pain meds. Since then my mother has had a few more falling spells and I suspect by the mood swings, highs/lows....the short term memory and other noticable signs that she may be indeed taking too much pain medication. I know from experience that after a while the pain does not respond to the meds and you end up eventually increasing your dose whether doctor okayed or not. The hard part is talking to my mom about this but in some strange way I have a feeling she might just relate to everything I am going through. However even knowing that its still hard for me to start that conversation. And to make matters worse...I did tell my mom of a certian little non narcotic alternative that was "totally safe"....lucky she didnt talk to her doc about it. I told her last time I went ot her house for dinner...whatever you do DO NOT take the "safer NON--narcotic ULTRAM!!" as i had previously suggested. I told her of my withdrawls from this pill and all the evils of tramadol. We still havent had that big talk..even though sometimes I want to. So I for one completely understand the phrase "MY FAMILY DOESNT KNOW EITHER"  .....Although I can tell you my brother has been very supportive as well as my wonderful wife. '

While I was in the middle of writing this I got some very sad news. My older brother has a girlfriend ( one of the Heathers) and we just learned her 21yr old son killed himself today...so chances are I will be at my brothers as much as possible and not writing for a while...I will try to check in and see how you are all doing...just not as often...

keep it up folks...this is a lifelong struggle....there is no easy way out...deal with your emotions good or bad.

take care for now

the hillbilly

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by abuser, Feb 25, 2009
Hey I can't believe I found this post...I've been taking tramadol since November, I got prescribed to it for minor aches and pains...anyways I quickly found that I liked the way I felt after taking 200-300mgs, and I've taken between 200-400 mgs ever since. I quit using them about 45 days ago, and did'nt really feel any physical withdrawal, just anxiety and slight depression. I never really feel like I NEED to use it, I just went back to it because after a couple days w/o it my tolerance drops...anyways I think my addiction is mostly mental, I get obsessed w/ takin' them midway through my second day off of them, I can't stop thinking about them. I've gone 60 hours w/o them twice in the last month, and I never seem to get sick or feel pain...I decided that yesterday was my last day using, I'm going off cold turkey as of now...

I guess my questions are:
When do physical w/d symptoms usually begin?
If I only used them for 3 1/2 months, will my withdrawals be that bad?
One of the physical symptoms I DO get is the restless legs, it's terrible. What is an effective way to treat this?
Is quitting cold turkey a good idea? It really doesnt seem to matter how much of the stuff I take, I can get by on 2-3 a day and feel fine, so do you think tapering is really neccesary?

I guess most of my questions will be answered in time. I really didn't need this stuff to begin with, my pain was never unbearable, now it looks like I'm gonna pay the price...I just hope maybe I'll be lucky, I know of a few people who were on this stuff for like six months and quit with no problem.

Anyways I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Avatar_n_tn
by abuser, Feb 25, 2009
--juststartedtramadol--There is a non addictive opiate strength pain reliever called torodol- My dad is a dentist and he uses it for some of his patients. it's EXPENSIVE and not covered by most insurance companies, however...

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by Matt1053, Feb 25, 2009
======Welcome abuser and Roger====
Roger===  ouch!  good greif. that's a lot of surgeries and pain and a hell of a story. Ouch!  
You are concerned and thats a big part of it.  You are in the right place and that's a big part of it. Read through the prior postings and sure enough, you'll find your story as told by another. Or at least a situation that resembles yours.
Hell, I was looking for my picture the stories were so real to my life.

=====abuser.  I cannot comment on your situation. (four years , 600-900 mg per day) however, withdrawls are withdrawls.  There is some common features that all seem to go through.  But, again, like Roger (and Will / Tommyboy), if your looking here, you arent' looking for a deal on a new car.  You are here as you are concerned about a problem.  You are in the right place. Going throught the motions and thought process to bring you (and the others) to this site, means your concerned enough to see a problem festering that needs to be addressed.  Again, read through the past comments (postings) and you'll see your situation as lived through by another.

==== tommyboy=====  dude, are you "freak'n" a little about tomorrow?  I'm not even in your shoes and I've got to tell ya, I'm wondering how it's gonna go for you.  You will let us know. Right?

==Ok, quick entry on my deal==
Slept seven freak'n hours.  Wooo-hooo!  wow, I did not fall asleep for nearly two hours (tossing and turning, legs, etc)
But, I got five and was able to go back to sleep for another two.  One thing different I did in fact do, was sleep in another bed.
Yep, got up and slept in my daughters bed.  (she lives up the street with her mom, but I have an "office/bedroom/guest room" sort of setup here for her.  She's fourteen and drops by whenever she feels like it (or when her mom is pissed at her)

Anyway, changing beds maybe had something to do with it.  I live in Chicago and believe it or not, different rooms in the apartment are subject to different sounds from different sources. (street lights / landing patterns for jets/ the main street versus the alley, and so forth)  Also, it's a lot less light in the morning in her room just by the direction it faces.  

Ok, this is starting to sound like a high school science project so enough on that. However. Maybe trying a differnet sleeping situation may be worth trying for someone.

I had some good things happen yesterday. Well, first of all, as I mentioned yesterday, I was feeling "ready" for the first time.
Ready to take on some of the "wreakage from the past"..  and the wolves at the doorl.  ("hell to pay")
A freind of mine, (also an ex-employer) had lunch together.  I have been doing a little part time stuff for him for "chump change".
enough to survive (food, etc) but nowhere near the financial (very hungry) monster I have created through "T" usage over the years.

anyway... we got to talking ahout what kind of minimums I had to pay to live and fight another month.  I laid it out on paper.
Well, Matthews financial stimulas and recovery bill was passed and funded I'm hapy to say.  Which is very, very cool.

It's good in the sense that it happened on the exact day that I felt I was "ready".  Ready to get up and start to deal with my "hell to pay"  (not that the last thirty days haven't been "hell to pay:") but the 'wolves at the door, the barbarians at the gate stuff that I just had to  put off  til I crossed over to a state of physical, mental, and emotional "readiness".

So now, I'm emboldended with an even stronger sense of : 'lets get this freak'n thing done, man" and get back in the groove, back in the saddle, and get this thing moving forward"  

===Emily==== good to see you back.  Good greif girl, you are the one who got so many of us here. You know, you have the name of a famous author of a famous book that I actually own?  Yep, the official book of Etiquette. It's ancient, outdated, and out of print. I happen to own an original copy from the forties or something.. OMG... It is the rules of social behavior, primarily for women, and man, reading it today is like sooooooo freak'n funny.  I originally picked it up in the seventies and we used to get high and read through it. It is like, soooo, toalally sexist. But, there is some interesting stuff about how and why you go to some functins and have like freak'n fourteen forks in front of you and which one is for what.  Who should enter the room first (not the woman, of course), and tons of other fun and outdated stuff.  Check it out..

Hang in there girl. As far as people "finding you" that have similar issues.  Yep, that's gonna happen. Man, I'm not gonna get into this whole trip, but, they are put there by (insert whatever higher belief you have).  My freinds jokingly refer to me sometimes as the "patron saint of the insane".  I live in a large City and certain types of people on the street just seem to gravitate to me.  But thats another forum for another site, and discussion on those matters has been going on since the dawn of time.  But in the case you sighted, a student was ready and the teacher appeared.

Gonna run. "hell to pay" is knocking again.  "hang on, I'll be right there"

Matthew

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by HOPEreturns, Feb 25, 2009
Hello everyone!

It's been a while.  Work, work, work!  Hope you all are doing well.  I think about my "tram" family often, I just havent had time to touch base.  Will post again soon!

Love-Hope

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by tramhater, Feb 25, 2009
HEY ALL!! DAY 6ISH! STILL FEELING PRETTY DAMN NORMAL AND SLEP OK... 1130PM TO 6AM THEN 8-9... NOT BAD. I SAW MY DOC YESTERDAY! HE HUGGED ME AND TOLD ME HE WAS PROUD OF ME.. HE IS STILL TAPERING ME OFF THE CLONIDINE AND THE GABAPENTIN... HE SAID IT WILL BE 10 DAYS BEFORE HE TAKES ME OFF OF IT. UGH. HE SAYS ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IS GOING GREAT CONSIDERING..  

FOR THOSE OF YOU `WHO DO NOT KNOW... I DECIDED TO GO TO A DETOX DOCTOR.. HE IS AWESOME, IF YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES...SEEK ONE.

ANYWAY ^^^EMILY^^^^ HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL... IT MUST BE TOUGH TO HAVE TO TAPER DOWN FROM YET ANOTHER DRUG! YOU POOR THING? DO YOU EVER WONDER WHAT YOUR BODY REALLY CAN HANDLE?? IT IS AMAZING RIGHT?? I DIDN'T THINK THAT ON DAY 6 I WOULD BE FEELING SO WELL... I WAS SO SCARED AND DREDING THE WITHDRAWAL.. BUT IT SUBSIDED WITH ALL OF YOUR HELP.

^^^^^^^DAVEY^^^^^^^^^
DO YOU FEEL JUST TIRED IN THE MORN?? ARE YOU SLOWER THAN NORMAL? THAT SEEMS TO BE HOW I AM "JUST SLOWER" BUT OVERALL OK!! HOW ARE THE HOT BATHES TREATING YOU?? TIRED THE HOT TUB YET... AND CONQUERED THE BELLY ISSUE THAT YOU WERE WORRIED ABOUT? IM WOULD BE LIVING IN THAT DAMN THING.

ALRIGHT WELL SHORT POST TODAY WILL CHECK BACK LATER! BRINGIN MY LITTLE GUY OUTSIDE TODAY BECAUSE IT IS LIKE 50... WHICH IS GOOD FOR WHERE I LIVE! IM EXCITED... SO FEELING ON A TOTALLY "NORMAL" HIGH... SO I WILL TAKE DAY 2 OF COMPLETE NORMALCY! WISH ME LUCK THAT I WILL CONTINUE TO FEEL THIS WAY!

TO ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL WED. "HUMP" DAY

WITH LOVE, STRENGTH AND, ENCOURAGEMENT!

HEATHER

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by abuser, Feb 25, 2009
Do you guys usually start withdrawling within 24 hours of your last dose? It's been 24 hours so far and I feel fine...Should I expect it to hit me any time now? Honestly I've gone a couple days w/o using before and never felt any discomfort. I just stumbled upon this journal and it scared the SH*T out of me. I have like 40 trams in reseve in case I do need to taper off slowly...if I can go another 24 hours w/o feeling any discomfort I'm flushing them down the toilet! My Dr. prescribed them to me for minor pain (I move furniture) he said "ultram is a cool med, it's non narcotic" and wrote me a scrip for 240 pills w/ no warning whatsoever! WTF?!

I thought I found the perfect "feel good" drug...that was pretty irresponsible looking back...I'm just praying to god that maybe my body and mind havent become dependent on this stuff yet.

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by KC67, Feb 25, 2009
Hi Abuser,
For me, the withdrawals hit me hardest on Days 2 and 3.  I guess Day 1, I still had some residual Tram. in my system so that day didn't seem as difficult as 2 and 3.

Don't be scared.  Try to embrace the withdrawals as your body's way of getting rid of toxins that should NOT be there.  You not only MAY experience physical symptoms (i.e. flu-like, aches, chills/sweats, intestinal problems), but you also MAY experience some pretty intense anxiety, insomnia, and depression.  You may be one of the lucky ones (from what you have shared) that may NOT have to endure very severe withdrawals.  Everyone's body chemistry is different and you may just bounce back quicker than others.

I am on Day 17 cold turkey and although I am still having nights of poor sleep, I am finding that the anxiety/depression are slowly subsiding and that these seem to be the last of the withdrawal symptoms still hangin' on.  I was on Tram. for 3 years and found that the longer I took it, the more I needed.  Before I quit cold turkey I was up to 8-50mg. pills per day and some days I found that that wasn't even enough!  

You are doing the right thing and my best wishes go to you!
KC

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by abuser, Feb 25, 2009
Thanks! I'm scared to think of what kind of shape I'll be in tomorrow afternoon. I made it to 48 hours last week, I don't really remember feeling too uncomfortable, I just went back to using because I knew that tolerance drops during withdrawal, and I gave into temptation to feel that high again (stupid). It wasn't fun, I was down on myself all day...

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by priceiswright, Feb 25, 2009
Hello All,

It's been a while. 2 weeks maaybe.....Time to come clean with you. I had been off tramadol for 21 days. I found a pill sometime before that and for some reason couldn't get myself to throw it away. I kept it and took it on day 21. I don't know why I took it but when I took it, it made me feel good. It reminded me of the early days of tramadol. I don't want to go too much into details because I know we are all fighting but I wanted to come clean and honest. But here's the real story. That 1 pill made me feel so good that I craved the high for a week. I was able to get some hyrdo's a week later and took 3 -4 of them for 4 days straight. I loved the way I felt and what I was able to accomplish. I hadn't taken any hydros for two days (didn't have any more) and had huge cravings. I wanted that high again. I started thinking maybe I could only take tramadol on the weekends.....but I knew that would lead me to full blown addiction. I had quit once a year or two ago and stayed off it for about 5 months. I started using again with the same attitude of I will only do it on the weekends which led me to using 5 - 15 every day and becoming void of all emotions, ambition, anything.

So today, I start  feeling very sad and lonely. Likely because I had been high for 3 -4 days on hydros. Now I remember when I would only take trams on the weekend and Mondays were always horrible. I could never figure out why...Now I know. Anyway, I didn't want to deal with my emotions, I thought how could I get high? I could find a tramadol. Today I spent some time searching through my house and found a tramadol in a bag. I took it.  I know this is only going to put my back further but I don't know how to get rid of the cravings for a high. Nothing gives me the high that painkillers do. I don't know how people become addicted to other drugs because nothing makes me feel like the painkillers do. Anyway, I'm so worried now. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to get rid of the craving to be high. I feel I will always have it. Can anyone help? How do you deal with it? What do you do? What do you tell yourself?

I feel very disapointed in myself but I wanted to be honest and come clean. Hopefully it will show others to make sure to throw out every pill you have and not take other painkillers/drugs or it could ruin your sobriety, as it did mine.

Where to go now............?



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by KC67, Feb 25, 2009
PriceIsRight,
Thank you for your honesty.  I often ask myself if I can truly do this FOREVER.  Forever seems like such a long time (I guess that's because it IS).  LOL.  

Anyway, this drug has a powerful stronghold on our emotions.  Some of us have zero cravings after withdrawal, while others of us have a really hard time WITHOUT the high.  The trama-voices will always be calling to us and your post was a huge wake-up call to me.

Don't be too hard on yourself though....you are still here and now you are even MORE knowledgeable about the strength and stronghold this evil drug has on both our bodies and our minds.

You have already been there done that - so you know what to expect and you will be stronger THIS time!  
I am pullin' for ya!
KC

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 25, 2009
**********
ROGER
**********

Glad to have you here! Your story is very interesting and I think the fact that you're 60 really says how strong you are. If I had been taking oxy's for that long, I can only imagine how bad the withdrawals could be-- Especially at your age.


*************
HILLBILLY
*************

I am glad you're hanging in there. Keep it up!

Yeah, my family may not know, and I still look forward to the day I will tell them. My pride and ego just won't let me do that until I am 100% over it. The difference is easy: Either go to them still in withdrawal hell and you're basically asking them for help, which, to be honest, isn't a bad thing at all. BUT, like I said, my pride and ego wish for the other alternative: Go to them with I am 100% over it and I am essentially discussing how tough and strong I was/am and how I was able to overcome it without assistance from the most important people in my life (my mother and sister). Now that I put it that way, it makes me feel a little sad to still hide it from them. But, AGAIN, there are more things that are not so great about coming to them about it right now for reasons I won't bore anyone with.


***********
ABUSER
***********

You remind me of myself. I have been on and off tramadol for about 5.5 years now. I had always used it recreationally, but mostly to stay busy and productive at work. In those 5.5 years, I had been off of it probably 3-4 times for between weeks to 6+ months at a time. The thing is, I never realized it was an addiction so I never remember any withdrawals. I am sure I never had serious ones but I do remember one time when I stopped taking them how I was very sick for a long time (I can't remember how long but I think it was 1-2 weeks at least) but I never thought it was because I wasn't taking tramadol anymore. Now that I am older and wiser I know that what I had went through was 100% withdrawals. Had I known what I know now, there's no way I ever would have started taking them again months after that.

So it's great that you haven't noticed too many bad effects from not taking them anymore (in the past, anyway). But be careful! This time could be different! It eventually caught up with me and some people experience all the withdrawals I have after just taking it as prescribed and only for a couple months at that! Please be very cautious but also keep us up to date on what's going on.


********
EMILY
********

Yes, yes I know that it's largely unpredictable when it comes to how the withdrawals from tramadol work. It's just that sometimes when I'm feeling especially down that I feel like I need confirmation that it's normal and it'll pass, even if I already know it.

Believe me, when that depression/anxiety hits and I feel really bad, I almost start to believe that I am always going to be that way. I almost feel like throwing in the towel sometimes and going to the doctor to get on antidepressants. But then I think, I've made it this far, I am not quite 30 yet, I don't want to be on ANY medication, and I can overcome this if I'm just much more patient. Maybe I'm wrong though? How will I know? Well, it's easy to have that confidence when you see a lot of progress but in the last couple of days I haven't seen much progress at all, so that's got me worried.


**********************************
MATT (& EVERYONE ELSE)
**********************************

I am glad you're seeing progress! Sleep coming back sure is great, isn't it? For years I was on a 200mg or so each day habbit but only 5 days/week (the days I worked). Remember: I took tramadol at first just to feel better while at work. I would often times take klonopin at the same time, and hydrocodones, too (7.5 or 10mg hydros). This went on for a couple years. Everything in the last 5 years since then isn't 100% clear in my use. I would start and stop taking tramadol quit a bit but at the same time I would be doing a lot of other drugs recreationally (which I've talked about a lot before- basically every drug in the world). But I do know that over the last 2 years has been my heaviest use of tramadol by far. I went from just 300mg once a day (6 50mg pills in the morning) and only on days I worked, to every day of the week. Then it went to 300mg twice a day for about 6 months. Then, for the last year, it has been anywhere from 6-18 pills/day but more often than not 12-18 (which is 600-900mg/day which was when I was taking 300mg 2-3x/day).

This is how I started to realize I was addicted. The addiction for me I was well aware of but like many of us I kept saying I'll deal with the addiction much later. It was, as I've said before, the money I was blowing on this stuff that was really starting to make me angry. I am by no means poor but I am by no means rich either. I have no wife/kids as you all know but after my bills I still have over $800/month to play with. I was starting to blow through $300/month worth of tramadol (which, for me, was over 400 pills). Sometimes they'd last up to 45 days but it started to become closer to every 30 days.


****
KC
****

I am glad you're feeling a lot better at this stage in the game. I am glad that you're about 3 days ahead of me having quit cold turkey because it helps me guage where I'll be at in a few days. Obviously this is no scientific way to predict my own state and I realize there IS NO scientific way to do that with tramadol withdrawals, but still, it does offer a little bit of insight to me.

Unfortunately, you are still going through quit a bit. I still have those long bouts of depression/anxiety each day too but although I saw improvment in them a few days ago, yesterday and today I am not. Then again, I did have a bigger habbit than you did, but still...


*******
HOPE
*******

I must have just missed discussing this garbage tramadol with you here if it really has been about 14 days. That's when I joined here! I would love to hear more of your story and where you're at today. I hope you do indeed post again soon!


************
HEATHER
************

Heck yeah I feel lazy in the morning now. And, as I've said before, I've never been that way. I always try to stay upbeat but no matter what, but sometimes even my coping mechanisms are so hopeless it's ridiculous.

I haven't taken any more baths since the other day but I haven't felt like I needed them nor wanted them. I don't know why-- it's rather strange.


********
PRICE
********

Ouch! That slip up hurts me to think about what I would do in that situation. I am so glad I flushed my last shipment of pills, 400 of them to be exact, down the toilet last Thursday! It would be way too tempting to go and take some when I am feeling down.

I wouldn't recommend real opiate pain pills as you have been taking as I know, for me at least, that would most likely make the tramadol withdrawals even worse, unless I was 110% totally over the addiction and withdrawals, of course.


**************************
OK NOW ABOUT ME
**************************

I don't feel so hot--- My head is throbbing in pain and has been all day. I feel more lethargic than I have the last couple of days and the anxiety/depression feels a bit different. I haven't had any periods of feeling normal really today except while in some discussions with coworkers. It's weird how having a long, in-depth and detailed discussion can make me feel happy and normal. To be honest, I think it's 100% because of the fact that it takes my mind of feeling so sorry for myself.

I only have two positive things to report at this moment:

1. Sleep is still coming a little easier and easier. Is it anything as great as sleep while addicted to tramadol? No. I still toss and turn a few times each night, BUT I do get 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Last night I was able to stay up until 10:30pm, breaking my old record of 10pm, and sleep until 7:30 when my alarm went off but like yesterday, I wanted even more sleep! 9 hours! Woo-hoo!

2. I am still able to work without going home early and/or calling in. This is great news in that I know I can make it at work, but in all honesty, I am not functioning like I know I can. I am able to function as high as 95% normal in some areas of my work, but in most I am only functioning at around 70% or so. It is enough to get through the day and be productive, that's for sure, but definitely not where I predicted myself at this stage in the game.

I thought by the 2 week mark, I would be 90-95% normal in every aspect. I know, I know, this was foolish as I have read everyone's experiences on here and knew way better than that. I just can't help but to keep thinking so positively when I am having a good period and feeling normal. It's rather funny, actually, because I am not normally an optimistic guy-- Tramadol turned me into a very pessimistic person (not sure if I'm spelling that right but no matter).

My tylenol/advil/aspirin trick with this headache isn't working and neither does anything else. My body seems to have a lot of energy yet be lethargic at the same time. Example: I can't help but to move my legs up and down right now, but at the same time if I were to go up and down my 17 steps in my apartment just once, I would be very short of breath and feel a little lightheaded. Isn't that strange? I suppose that's what caffeine and other energy supplements can do to you when you're in withdrawals off tramadol.

I look forward to my next normal period with great anticipation! I really can't wait! Just thinking about it seems to cheer me up, even if it is just for a moment or two.

Well, I've blabbed on longer than I ever have before so I am going to sign off until later. I am sure Emily will make a new page for posts and this post of mine will become obsolete within an hour or two. Maybe it's better that way, though-- I certainly don't want to bring anyone else down!

- Dave

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by Tommyboy1979, Feb 25, 2009
Hello Everyone -

Time for my daily posting. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.  Its great to hear from all of you and that you have been so accepting to me my ramblings and pain.  Thank you everyone for sharing.

EMILY - Thank you for everything you have posted on here and starting a place for everyone to converse and share.  We are all pulling for you with W/D from Benzo. Please keep us posted on your war.  Your strength is our strength.

MATT - Im so stoked that your financial stimulas and recovery bill worked.  Just think of how all your pieces of the puzzle are coming into place.  That kind of a high is something that no drug will ever be able to replicate or come close to replacing.  Your going to get yourself out of that hole and all while being free of Tram.  Not that I know you or anything but Im proud of ya. Keep it up!!

ANONGUY - Yea I think i really enjoyed food to much for the last 2 years.  Prior to Tram i was very much into working out and I wouldnt by any means of the definition say that I ate right but it wasnt necessarily what i wanted to eat every day.  On Tram i would eat whatever I knew i liked which in most cases was Pizza, Mexican Food or Burgers. Ive put on maybe 30lbs in the last 2 years.  Im really looking forward to being off Tram and being able to hit the gym again.  

PRICEISWRIGHT-  WOW.  That was very honest of you.  I can defintely relate to how you feel when you are on the drug.  I know on this thread a lot of people have said that Tram has been horrible even when they were taking a lot of it, but for me it really was a great feeling.  I rarely had negative side effects on it (headache and nausea maybe once every couple weeks) so in my mind the positives out weighed the negatives.  Of course I was just fooling myself.  I was killing myself. Slowly and probably the greateat way possible but defintely the long term effects of this were bad.  I look at it as someone digging a tunnel in one direction, eventually, if you do it long enough and for too long you may never find your way back to fresh air.  That scares the **** out of me.  Id rather turn back now and get the hell out of this tunnell no matter how much fun it is in there because, its not real!!  If you are always feeling a fake happy (Tram High) then how can you feel the real emotions.  
Im going to be quiting Tram on Friday.  Im on .50 today and tomm will be .25 so Im obviously not feeling the high on this low of a dose so I have been thinking about what will keep me from wanting that high again and here are some of my personal thoughts.  Take them as you will.  I think back to when I was drug free, when the only chemicals in my body were natural and I remember what made me happy then.  Listening to music, Working out, being with my family, friends, girlfriend, etc.  I remember being happy, really happy and living my life to the fullest and knowing I will do this again gives me hope and strnegth.  I also draw strength from remembering that I had bad times before drugs too.  I went through a break up with my Ex of 4 years at the time and it was really tough but I found a way through that with out drugs so I will find a way through this.  If you have some one to share your story with that helps. The love of my life knows everything and if i falter, have bad thoughts, i know she will help me out of it. I guess this is my long way of saying that in order to leave that Tram High behind you need to draw strength and pleasure from other things in life.  Experiement and find out what this will be for me.  It can be the smallest of things. I find myself singing songs at the top of my lungs whenever Im in my car now and I havent done that in years and that alone reminds me that this sicky feeling I have because im on a low does of Tram is worth it. You just need to find your natural Tram substitue, but only you will know what it is. I wish you luck in finding it and know that you find strength with all of us on here if you need it.  

Well yesterday I was down to .75.  I went to sleep ay 11:30pm and woke up at about 5:30am.  I tossed and turned for about the next 3 hours falling asleep here and there for 20 or 30 mins and got up at 8:30.  I didnt feel bad when I woke up and i wasnt really tired.  That was good.  I normally take my "AM" pill at around 1:30 pm but today i was feeling not normal around 11am.  i say not normal instead of bad because Im not really in pain.  i just feel off ... kinda like vertigo sort of with slight muscle aches.  Anyways i pushed myself to wait until close to noon to take it.  In about 30 mins i felt better.  This does scare me because its obvious my body still needs this drug even if its only 12mgs of it.  .  Its 5 :48pm right now and Im getting that "not normal" feeling so I know its getting close to my PM pill.  Tomorrow I will go down to just a .25 all day.  Its getting to the end and I hope it doesnt get worst but I fear it will.  Ive decided to stop on a Thur because i heard the first day after you dont feel so bad.  Its the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days so Friday will be day one and after that I will have time off.  i will call in sick on Monday if I have to and hopefully Tuesday I will be able to get through a work day.  Ill let you know how it goes.  

Good luck with your wars!

I do have a questions. My gf and I has discussed going to Pills Anonymous after the bad days of detox.  Has anyone of you attendned and what did you think?

Thanks!

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by KC67, Feb 25, 2009
Dave/AnonGuy2,
Just wanted to send you a quick note of encouragement.  I keep clinging to Fred's statement that this withdrawal CAN (but not in EVERY case - so don't lose hope) "Weeks & Weeks".  Today was a fairly good day and (as you can see), I felt like posting a lot.  The past 2 days were not so good - not horrendous, but I just felt lethargic, apathetic, "bluesy", and had some major bouts of anxiety.  I kind of "holed up" and withdrew into a shell - except for my part-time job and my kids.  Sometimes you have to retreat and rest in this battle - and it's OK.

I am so happy to hear about your improvement in sleep!  I believe if one has sleep - all of the withdrawal symptoms are more tolerable.  Without sleep, they seem unbearable!  I am hoping (cross my fingers) for a good night's sleep tonight.  The past 2 nights have not been so good - but the one before that was GREAT!  

So once again, the only PREDICTABLE thing about Tram withdrawal is its RANDOMNESS.  

Keep going and thanks for sharing,
KC

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by HOPEreturns, Feb 25, 2009
Anonguy2,

Thanks for the shout out!  Isn't it great to have a place to talk with people that know exactly what you are going through??  I know that I was so relieved.  I started posting on here around December.  It was just an accident that I found this forum........... or was it??? haha  

Congrats to you for coming off of this stuff.  Still weening here.  I was on, lets just say, alot of trams a day.  I am still ashamed of how many I was taking.  It is so hard for me to even admit it!  I was up to 20 or 25 a day.  The reason I stopped taking that many...... I had a grand mal seizure, while driving my car.... with my 12 yr old daughter in the passenger seat.  Luckilly it was in a mall parking lot...(had been on a very busy highway about 8 min before it happened.  I took out three other cars, both of my airbags deployed and I managed not to hit anyone.  I took this as a sign, and felt that I was definitly given another chance.  Ya ever heard that ole' saying, "hitting rock bottom"....... I consider that MY rock bottom.  There are so many things that could have just gone so very bad!!  My daughter was with me!!!  Its still taking me some time to get over that one.  The thought of me putting my child in danger all because of my selfish addiction!!  I still think about what could have happened.  I guess I needed to literally be knocked around a little to learn my lesson.

I hope that you continue to find comfort in this room!  I know that I have.  Emily, Fred, along with alot of others here have very wise words that have certainly helped me!   I think it was Fred that once pointed out how many different walks of life there are in here, but we all have the "devil" pills in common.  I send you lots of prayers on your success.

Hugs and Smiles
Hope

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 25, 2009
**********
TOMMY
**********

That's so funny you talk about pizza, burgers, and mexican. Why? That's been at least 80% of my diet all these years on tramadol. Luckilly I have a high metabolism as I have only gained something like 20 pounds in the last 6 years which isn't hardly anything at all.

But seriously, I have always said to friends and family that if I was rich and could hire private chefs, I would have a Mexican chef, an Italian chef, and an American chef. They're my three favorite foods and I really don't eat much else. I don't like salads, seafood (except crab legs), Chinese/Japanese/Vietnamese/anything-else-ese!


****
KC
****

Thanks for the encouragement. When I am down in the dumps like that, it certainly helps. I now feel a lot better mentally/emotionally but physically I feel drained, lethargic, and restless. I have decided to just go to bed and call it a night. I can't get comfortable on my couch no matter what I try to do: sit there, recline back, put up my feet while sitting up, laying on my side, etc.-- No matter the position, my body remains restless.

I just got done taking my nightly pills for sleep before I refreshed the page to read any responses to my last post. While I'm thinking of it, here's my recipe for a better night's sleep:



*************************************
**   DAVE'S SLEEP RECIPE  **
*************************************

+ Melatonin (3mg) with Theanine

Many melatonin supplements are TINY doses of 300mcg, for example, so if anyone has a bottle of low-dose melatonin like that I suggest taking 6-7 of them.

+ Doxylamine Succinate

I use generic Unisom for this but watch out because some store brands of generic Unisom use the diphenhydramine hcl active ingredient. Personally, I cannot stand this drug as a sleep aide as it makes me feel dissociative (mind seperated from the body). It's the sleep aide part of Tylenol PM and it is also the only active ingredient in Benedryl pills.

+ Valerian Root

Valerian root is an herb that has been talked about here a bit but I've also used off and on for many years. It not only helps for getting to sleep but helps make the sleep deeper and improve REM sleep thus increasing the strength and intensity of dreams.

+ Hylands Restless Legs.

I take 3-4 of these sublingually. Does it completely get rid of RLS (restless leg syndrome) for me? No, but it seems to help, sometimes more than others.




OK. Well I am off to bed so it's time to take out the contacts, strip down, and get some sleep. I have no doubt I will get a solid 8 hours but I am sure I will wake up quite a bit tossing and turning as usual. But that's okay-- It is a million times better than the first 2-3 nights coming off tramadol! :)

While I am thinking about it, and before I forget:

HOPE -- I now remember your story very well. I have read every single post by Emily and others and there's so much to remember, especially for a recovering addict in withdrawal (snicker, snicker) that I had just forgot. I am sorry about that. But it's great to talk to you now since there were many people who were once here I never got the chance to meet and I thought were long gone. Anyway, I wouldn't be ashamed of your 20-25 pills/day. If you recall in my last post, I admitted to up to 18 a day and that had literally went on for many months, so I wasn't far behind you!

With that, I accept your hugs and smiles and raise you with prayers and blessings!


- Dave
Davetastic!
Dave'sBack!
DaveIsLovingLifeAgainEvenIfIt'sForJustHalfAnHourBeforeBed!

:D

Avatar_m_tn
by juststartedtramadol, Feb 25, 2009
Hi All,
I really appriciate all the concern.  You people are angels in my eyes.  

To Abuser:  Thanks for the name of a pain med that might work.  I will see if my doctor can prescribe it for me and the insurance will pay for at least, a part of it.  
To Matt:  It was hell for about 2 months.  I was on Tramadol for about 4 days and it seems to be harder than the long use and heavy dosage.  I hope it will be short lived, but I don't know how anyone who has taken the  "devil pill" as long as some of you are able to do it.  You all have my support and prayers, along with a lot of admiration.
To Hillbilly:  Not only am I 60, but I have a bad heart.  I had 5 heart attacks before they did a triple by-pass.  I just know that I am here for a reason and I hope someday I will find out why. I am very lucky that I didn't die.  
Thanks for the well wishes and I hope you and all the others are going to make it through this.  

Something else I want to say to everyone.
The doctor called me in a precription for Cymbalta.  I took one and got sick at my stomach.  I then got sleepy and laid down and slept for about 2 hours.  I woke up and felt like I was crawling out of my skin.  I was shaking and felt sick at my stomach.
Does anyone have any idea about Cymbalta?  I have read a lot of things against it, but my doctor affirmed me that I would not have withdrawals.  After about an hour after I woke up, I seemed to have it under control and felt better.  I just wonder what it will be like tomorrow.  I am not going to take anymore meds that doctor prescribes for me.

Thank you all for your help and I am so glad that Emily has started this.  I am so sick and tired of the doctors thinking that Tramadol is a good drug for pain and one day they will find out that they should have checked on this a lot more.
Is there anyway that we can write someone about this drug that would do any good?  
Maybe we should get up a petition about this drug and they might just believe that it isn't the best drug for so MANY people like us.
Love  and best wishes to you ALL,
Roger

Avatar_m_tn
by Matt1053, Feb 25, 2009
==tommyboy===

Pill anonymous is a twelve step program. somewhat like AA (alcohol) / CA (cocaine) / GA (gambling).
I am actually eligable for A throgh Z ...... A.  Like I've said before, "if one is good, three must be better" of any freak'n thing.
If one finds themselves in that type of process of lifestyle (with whatever you want to fill in the blanks with).. then, it would certainly be worth taking a look.

I attend a twelve step program and can tell you, they are all based on the priciples and steps first associated with AA which has been around since i think, the twenties or thirties...

Good things:
there are no rules, no leaders, no dues, no requirements for membership other than a "desire" to stay clean (or sober depending on the program).  You can screw up and they won't shun you.  You are always welcome back regardelss.  Believe me, this I know to be true.  No three strikes your out policy.  In fact, a person returning after a screw up (or "slip") is very welcome back.  It helps everyone.
Much like this forum, its about people sharing their experience, strength, and hope and by sharing honestly, helping each other.  There are meetings where people let it all hang out and share with each other, give each other their phone numbers (if you want to , you don't have to), and generally tackle it together.  There are twelve steps (hence the name "12 step program"), but they are "suggested".  the actual program itself is a trip in that it just "is".  It just runs itself so to speak which apealed to me as a common thread among addicts and alcoholics is a bit of defiance.  I think they knew this so there is no heavy handed nonsense that says you HAVE to do this or that.  See what works for the others and see if you "want what they have" in their lives.  I dig it cause, there are no real rules.  

In my recent relapse, as I stated, I tried to kick it cold and it was hell.  got a little vodka to sleep, woke up that dormant monstor (my monkey) and got on the freak'n crazy train.

I had a couple of guys show up at my place one morning who I knew from the meetings but am not real "close" with. They picked me up, cleaned me off,  saw I wasn't breathing right, and took me to the hospital.  Again, these are not people I am close with.  I just know them over the years from the anonymous program.

they just 'did it" cause it's what we do for one another.  Some day, I'll get a call and return the karma. dig?

Things people can have issue with:

there are again, 12 steps. suggested again. A couple of these steps involve a "higher power" of your choice. It can be God, or Juga - googa , or whatever the f*&k you want.  Or it can be nothing...  Again, suggested.  However, I see some new people wrestle with that.  Ya know... like, "great, I'm here, digging it, and here comes the hook"... I should've known there was going to be a "catch" of some sort. Sure enough, there gonna bring out the tambourines and try to dunk my asz in water for some sort of rituual....

Tommy, that aint gonna happen.  Trust me.  It's certainly worth a try. Like chicken soup.  what have you got to lose.  it may be for you, it may not.  I've seen people over the years say screw this, and six months later I see them again.
In the circles I hang, they have a saying:  "give it thirty days, if you don't like it, we'll gladly refund your misery".

I would recommend you give it a FAIR chance.

Some suggestions:

Look for the similarities in peoples stories and history. Not the differences. ("I've never done THAT. I'm not THAT bad)..
Whatever. I just add the word "YET" to that stuff when I hear it.
Dont think that just cause people are there, they are faultless. Their not. A lot of people that are new maybe put others with more time clean on a pedestool.  dont.  Nobody got there for good behavior.  I'm just saying.  Find others like yourself and see how it goes.

For me, yeah.. I aint there cause I graduated Dale Carnagy and charm school.  I'm a pill head and a drunk. plain and simple.
While in the hospital I recieved calls from others wishing me the best.  One of the dudes who scraped me up and brought me there, brought me some clean clothes and went back to my apartment to "clean up" any thing laying around that could be a problem for me when I returned home.

Then, aaaaagh.... I went back to a meeting.  Good greif... that is some major "tail between my legs" stuff for me. I had anxiety to the max.. "****, I screwed up... do they know Ive been mess'n with this stuff for four years? I don't want to come clean"
Guess what?  "yeah man, I saved your dumbaaz a seat.  you look like hell, glad to see you back." that's about all I heard from anyone there.  Maybe some "do you need any help with anything?"

THIS IS NOT A PROMOTION FOR IT. anyone reading this other than Tommyboy (who asked after all) please do not be offended or anything.  I have said in previous posts that this is not a forum for that.  However, again. T-Boy asked and I feel I can give him the lowdown.

PA / AA / CA. (pretty much anything "A") is a program of attraction rather than promotion.

So, that's the deal.  It's a pretty lose group, with no real rules.  I'ts not for  everyone.  Again, if you find yourself thinking like me, "if one is good, two must be better" (of anything).... Or you've found yourself wanting to stop doing something over and over again and just freak'n CAN'T...... then, yeah, drop by and check it out.  again, please keep an open mind.
I have been to meetings where they sucked so bad I hope and pray that this isn't some poor saps first time, cause they'll never come back..  Try a couple of different ones.  Sometimes, because of the same members at the same meetings for a long period of time, that particular meeting can take on a certain flavor of sorts.  That can be a very good thing if it is a groove your"into" however it can be a bad thing if it's not.  Dont judge the whole deal on one particular meeting or group.  dig?

Ok, again. I am not promoting anything here. Believe me. I'm not (nor  is Pills anonymous) trying or wanting to "convert" anyone.  Trust me. I feel a little strange writing / posting about it, but again,  tommyboy asked and I feel if I can "hip" him to the in's and out's, the "what to watch for's" and so fourth, well, I will.

I hope this info will  give you some insight tommy. Again, nobody is going to try to convert you to anything. Me included.
I have had success.  Nine years clean and sober, four years clean and sober, and guys that show up at my house and scrape me up , clean me up, and take care of me. guys I hardly know.  And if I screwed up  two months from now,and found myself in the same situation,,,,,, yep, they or two others would gladly show up, no string attached, no "you've got to do this or you've got to do that" stuff.  Yep, "it's cool, you screwed up'  maybe your a pillhead or something.  

Again, I have had success when I stuck by it and hung out with my "peeps" in the program. the last four years has been "in and out" and in going back, nobody was shocked.  I mean, that meant I had gone a few times "high".. guess what.. no biggie.
The only requirement for membership is a DESIRE to stay clean.  A desire to stay clean. Nothing else.

So, thats my take on it. given that there are no requirements, no dues, no rules, and the 12 steps are "suggested", it's a good place for me.  I couldn't take a whole lotta "you've got to's"... I'm an old hippie from the late sixties and early seventies.
(acid , speed, weed, you name it)... I searched for a lot of answers in a lot of places. Various spiritual trips, and so forth.
Here is a place where there are no rules. People genuinley care about me, and it's still the only place where I have heard the words god and fu&k in the same sentence.  It's a pretty lose group.

Take or leave it. But if you decide to give a shot, re-read my suggestions and give it a little time. Because there are  no rules, or leaders, and it's pretty lose, you may find the first experience or meeting might freak you out, but that may just be "that" particular meeting or group. Try a few. Again, you've got nothing to loose.

Ok, enough on this. Tommy, if you want any more insight, post again. I will give you my email at that time and be happy to go further. although, I pretty much covered it.  It's just hanging out, like we are doing here. Just, in person.

thanks... glad to hear your done with it. It aint' easy man. Isn't it cool that we have all of these people (who know the deal) to bounce off of?

Thanks. hang tough!

Matthew

Avatar_m_tn
by FinallyFred, Feb 26, 2009
***Tramadol Relapse***

Matthew,  I'd like to commend you for providing the detailed account you shared on PA (pills Anonymous), which I believe is similar to NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or other 12 step programs.  And as you so rightly put it more than once, these are programs of "attraction" rather than programs of "promotion".  While I will not seek to "promote" either, the subject bears discussion in light of our fellow tram haters here who have relapsed.  Matthew, you have given me the courage to say things I haven't shared here in 90 days, so thank you!

Sobriety isn't permanent.   HELLO, did you hear that?  What you may have today IS NOT  a cure.  As I recall one of those books talks about this where it says that we aren't ever "cured" of any addiction...the best we can hope for is a DAILY REPRIEVE of our diseases based on our spiritual condition.

I especially liked your discussion, Matthew about a "higher power".  I for one don't believe there is enough discussion here about this.  Many of you know Fred as someone who has had a "daily reprieve" from tramadol now for going on 90 days. But please allow me to share some "transferable skills" I learned as a result of my alcoholism.  Because I am fairly convinced that the principles of recovery are the same whether our drug of choice is tram, oxy, alcohol or just about any other drug.

I am fairly sure that personally, I have never used ANY drug or drink like a normal person.  It's just something in my nature to do things (anything) to excess.  Work, food, drug of choice, sex, yard work, everything.  When I was a kid, I clearly recall parties my parents had.  How excited I was to emply all of the left over booze into a jar and plan my first drunk.  Nope, I was definately NOT a social drinker.  Becaus thee is nothing social about sneaking off into the woods and downing a concoction of left over hard booze with my only intent to get drunk.  

If the lawnmower instructs me to prime it x 3, I prime it 12 times.  If 1-2 asprin is recommended, I tend to take 3-4.  I started smoking MJ in college one day and I smoked it EVERY DAY (A LOT) for two years.  And then one day I stopped.

I believe that men and women drink or use because we like the way it makes us feel.  I have picked up and stopped these things at different phases of my life, but up just prior to  eight eyars ago, there was a ten year stretch where I was a daily drinker of wine.   At first, it was to "help me sleep", but after a while, I needed the drink to feel NOT UNWELL, to stop shaking and sweatring and feeling lousy by the late afternoon.  And of course if a few drinks may have been fine, a 5 liter box per night was NOT fine.  DUHHHHH.  

And one day about eight years ago, I had enough.  I guess I was what they call a "high bottem drunk", cause I never drank and drove, I never lost my house, my wife, my job or my dog.  I figured that as long as I could get up every morning and go to work, my life was managable...period.  Until it stopped working for me.  

And I checked myself in to a drug/alcohol rehab WHERE THOSE OF US "ALLEGERIC TO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL" sometimes  go.  A place where I stayed for about 20 days.  So while I quit this drug tramaol without a detox place alright, I was not so fortunate with my alcohol addiction.  And what did I learn there?  What would be transferable to dealing with our tramadol addiction?

***First, I learned that I had become powerless over alcohol and that my life HAD become unmanagable.  And I am fairly certain taht just about ANYONE who comes to this forum, didn't get here by accident.  It's not like we googled "my lovely life" and found this place.  Right or wrong?

But I think that we can admit that we are powerless over this drug, but still think our addiction is manageable.  In my case, I had a docftors RX, insurance, money to pay my copays, and a scheduled time when I would "apply" for my next shipment.  

At some point, if we are on this drug, we come to believe that in fact, tramadol isn't working for us.  And we arrive at these rooms because we  are looking for help and hope.  Thankfully, there is an ample supply of both here.

***Second, I learned that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.  I have talked before about that moment of clarity with tramadol - when my own POWERLESSNESS was met by the HOPE that I found in this room.  And that was when my tram free life began.

Matthew discussed this above.  A higher power, as I understand it, can be anything more powerful than I am.  Cause for most of us, our best thinking and hardest attempts weren't working.  At least not for me.  And yes, the beautiful thing about choosing a higher power, is that each individual can pick some one or some thing that they believe in.  When I came to this forum, my higher power was you all.  Those who came before me gave me the hope that if I did what others who had beat this tramadol did, I could beat it too.  The beatiful thing about PA, AA, or NA, is that nobody there will try to determine what your higher power ought to be.  In fact, there is no discussion whatsoever about this.  

When I first started in AA, I used to joke with some others there.   We met in the basement of an old church and whenever anyone would mention the term, "higher power", I would gaze up at the picture of the obviously retired pastor on the wall and smile knowingly.  I had fun with this, but the point is, nobody cares what another's higher power is.  But on to the next thing I learned in rebab.

***Third, I learned FROM those relaspers at the Treatment Center that there were 10 other steps of recommended work if I wanted to TRULY discover why I drank, how I could deal with the wreckage of my past, and what I could do to ensure that I might have a daily reprieve from my desire to drink.  Indeed, the people who relapsed didn't follow up with any after care.  And if a person get's through the dawg days of withdrawal, it makes sense to me to try to figure out why they used and abused in the first place.  Getting clean is wonderful.  Staying clean is better yet.

***Fourth I LEARNED  from the people who had returned for a 3rd, 4th and 5th time in the old rehab place.  The food was fine, the finger painting was marvelous, and the group sessions were lively, but I did NOT want to do that EVER again.  So I asked some of the "repeaters" I met there why it didn't work for them the first time.  Why had they relapsed?  And while sadly, their advice didn't keep me away from tramadol, liston to what EACH of them told me:  To a person, they each told me that the reason they didn't stay clean and sober was because they didn't follow the recommended course of "aftercare".    More specifically, they didn't attend AA meetings, they didn't read the big book, they weren't actively involved in serving others,  and they didn't get a sponsor.  

So with respect to alcohol, I did exactly what those relapsers told me caused or contributed to their relapsing.  I began attending AA meetings, I began reading the big book, I got a sponsor and did what he told me and i became active in serving others to the bst of my ability.  And by some miracle, I have remained sober for eight years.

Switch gears to tramadol. CACHINK.   In light of the people who report relapsing into a return to their tramadol use, the subject of after care is worth considering.  I know Emily will corerct me if I am wrong, but I see the mission of this forum as taking us through what might be loosly referred to as the two first steps of any 12 step program.  It's alright if you don't believe it, you can find hope here and advice to get you out of the tram-a-darkness, but as many have wondered in their posts, "what do I do in 30 days if I feel like picking up again?  So what are your thoughts?

For myself, now that my body is becoming clear of the tramadol, I need to be asking myself that same question.  And what I am finding is that the "aftercare" set forth in the balance of the  AA or NA programs are providing me with that help I need.  Because 90 days ago, I went through exactly all of the same symptoms you newer folks have encountered.  And as much fun as that was withdrawing the first time, it was an experience that I hope never to have to go through again.

But tramadol RELAPSE doesn't need to ever be a part of YOUR story.  Here is what I believe is the secret to never relapsing with this drug...knowing that we are DEFENSLESS against that first pill. I am fairly certain that if I took one pill right now, it wouldn't be my last one.  Despite my best intentions, that first pill would most certanly lead me right back to full blown tramadol addiction.  My best thinking will LIE to me and excuse it just this one time. And that defective thinking is why I like to surround myself with others who share my same DEFECTIVE THINKING.

Do i think that  attending NA or AA  meetings is mandatory to ensure  continued sobriety?  Maybe not.  But the way I figure it, attending a few meetings a week, making friends of the sort that Matthew described, who picked him up and took care of him when he needed it, doesn't swound like a bad insurance policy against picking up a tram pill again.  

I know that in just about every city in the US and abroad, there are groups of people looking for ways to learn why they used in the first place, talking about the wreckage of their past, encouraging others and being encouraged by others.  And if you are even "thinking' that jsut one pill, once tiime may be alright, google AA or PA or NA and get your ASZ into a meeting where peoplehave the same defective thinking as you and I do

But it's no big deal though...it's just a matter of life or death.

Courage and strength and love to you all.

Fred



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by priceiswright, Feb 26, 2009
Thanks to all who replied. Your support means everything. Let me tell you that today taking tramadol did NOT make me feel good, happy, high. I felt disgusted with myself, disapointed, discouraged, weak, ugly. But I knew tomorrow (today) is another day and I will give it another go and never think that I am more powerful than this drug. I will always be an addict.

I was reading through the addiction forums and someone talked about the period after quitting called the "pink cloud." Here it is
--------------------
The “pink cloud” is best described as a period of time where the addict or alcoholic experiences a reprieve from the struggles associated with early recovery. These struggles are generally associated with the feelings of depression, anger, resentment, self pity and the realization of where their drug addiction or alcoholism has taken them.

Upon experiencing this phenomenon for the first time, the addict or alcoholic is understandably excited. They begin to believe they now “hold the key” to their recovery. This is where the seed for relapse is planted. They begin to believe more in themselves than in the process they have been following. Without the pain as a daily reminder, they tend to forget about what it took for them to embrace recovery. Denial rears its ugly head and they minimize how devastating their drug addiction and alcoholism really was and that they have a disease of drug addiction and alcoholism that requires attention on a daily basis. Relapse prevention becomes an afterthought as the person becomes defiant and rebellious regarding suggestions contrary to their desires. Without resorting to drugs or alcohol, the individual in recovery is one step away from relapse. Remember, relapse is not an event, it is a process.
----------------------------------------

Why did I relapse? Because I thought I was "over" my struggle. I didn't plan to take a tramadol on day 21. But I had stopped reading the boards and posting on my withdrawl/recovery. I thought I was better and happy and that I didn't need as much support as I did in the beginning. I even began to think well maybe I can only take tramadol on the weekends. WHAAT??? AM I KIDDING MYSELF? Even if I could (which I couldn't), why would I want to take a drug that leaves me void of emotion, unable to feel.

Even if you think you don't need support, you do. FRED always shines new light and his experiences and words of advice are deeply touching. He knows that addiction is a lifelong battle. When I was speaking with someone on this board during my 10th day of recovery, I told her she had to declare war if she wanted to beat the drug. Well now I know that not only do you have to declare war but you will be fighting the battle your whole life. (Well at least that's me.......). I can't stop to think for a minute that I've won this war because when I did, I lost it. And I know the high only gets you so far. There really isn't a comparison to the high one can get from spending time with family/friends, laughing, and talking. Although I haven't had that high for a year and only a few times in the last month, I know it's the BEST high. I remember that high before drugs, before I became a zombie, annoyed, irritaable, a yuck.  I miss that high. and I'll only get that high without tramadol in my life. So now I must start counting over on my days clean......so hello day one.

(I don't think I'll be having the physical withdrawals but having to start over in the counting sure makes me not want to relapse again!!!)

I have QUESTIONS:
Fred/Emily/Suzi/Emergee/Hope/ALL WHO HAVE BEAT THIS AWFUL DRUG -
Did you ever miss the high?
Did you have cravings??
If so, when did they end?
How did you stop them?
What is your non drug high? (biking, watching your kids play, etc.....)
What made you NOT relapse?
How long did it take to feel normal, back to yourself?
Why do you stick with the fight/battle?

Final words: This is a lovely lovely place, a place where I promise I will always be honest. No matter what. Because I know you won't judge me, you will help me. I will get back to reading these posts and commenting to the newer folk and continue reading the wisdom of those who've been here longer. This is a place I feel safe. A place that feels like home. This is the place I belong.


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by priceiswright, Feb 26, 2009
This is a place with no tramadol.

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by subdude231, Feb 26, 2009
I can't beleive I stumbled upon this site, must have been fate.  I've been up all night going crazy from Ultram wd, got on the internet for some company, and found this place!  You all sound like some "good peeps" to me.  Tramadol has been a monkey on my back for years, tomorrow morning I start Suboxone treatments for the W/D from this "non narcotic, non addictive pill" I've been taking for three years now. I have a story to tell, suffice it to say that I have been abusing tramadol to the tune of 40 pills a day for years.  Just seeing that in writing is....well....it *****.  It has ruined or damaged many of the things I love, I think you understand.

Before I go any further, you guys are great writers!  I've read the whole last week of posts, amazed at such articulate writing (is that an oxymoran?) for folks WD from Tramadol.  I know the wickedness all to well, it takes great effort even to drag yourself to the computer at times but it's better than laying in bed and trying not to jump out of your own skin.  At least that's my story.  This is just a short test post, see if I can even get my foot in the door to what seems like a healthy place full of real people going through a "secret" hell.  Like I said, in seven hours I go to a clinic and start treatment with Suboxone.  To begin treatment you must be in "moderate" WD which is 36 hours for Tramadol.  Moderate my ***, havn't slept in that time along with all the rest.  I'll post back with information and questions soon.  Take care.  subdude.

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 26, 2009
******************
FRED & MATT
******************

Wow, great heart-felt posts there. I never expected to see so much discussion on AA/NA/PA/GA/etc. posts this morning!

Maybe I am lucky because even when I feel down and out with my mind riddled with depression/anxiety, the thought of getting some tramadol and taking it *NEVER* enters my mind. As a matter of fact, the thought of taking ANY drug/pill/etc. doesn't enter my mind at all. What seems to hit me hard though are thoughts of "this must be normal and will never go away" and "I am fighting this alone and maybe that isn't the best thing".

Then, as usual, that fog lifts and I feel great again!


********
PRICE
********

Wow, that pink cloud post you quoted really does sound like it can apply to lots of people! I can't wait to get to that point of feeling like I am completely over my addiction and withdrawals (hopefully another couple weeks at the most), but I seriously doubt I could ever think about taking tramadol again. I don't say it's impossible for me to think I will never want it again, because anything is possible, of course, but to be perfectly honest I'd rather commit suicide than ride the tramadol tram/train again. Seriously, I mean that 110%!


*************
SUBDUDE
*************

Welcome!

I, too, have been amazed at how articulate and whimsical we can be with our lengthy posts all the while being in withdrawal hell at times! It has amazed me, too, though I haven't discussed that point yet. That's why it's great to have new people here-- They can provide a new, fresh insight while aiding us in our own recovery.

Take your foot out of the door and walk on in, friend! You are most welcome here!

Wow, 40 pills/day? That's amazing. If it makes you feel any better, there are, no doubt, many others out there who have taken just as many at some point. But, look on the brightside: If you recover from an addiction that heavy, it only means you're THAT much stronger of a person!


*****************
NEWS ON ME
*****************

I woke up at 8:30am, some 30 minutes ago, to my alarm again. Sleeping until my alarm again these last few days is both a good and a bad thing. The good part about it is I start to feel normal again as it gives me a sense of control back in my life in some weird way. The bad thing is it scares the holy hell out of me since, up until the last few days, I really hadn't heard it for over 10 days! It's so loud and scary, lol.

That means I got close to 10 hours of sleep. That's awesome! As usual, though, it was broken sleep with quite a bit of tossing and turning that seems to happen every 30 or so minutes but I am not sure as I refuse to look at the clock when it happens.

Today is day 15 so I have crossed the 2-week threshold. I feel pretty darn good this morning so we'll see how it goes. :)


- Dave
aka Dave'sGroggyButOtherwiseGreat
aka DaveNeedsBreakfast
aka Dave'sHappyWeHaveMoreNewPeople!

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by MsMarie1981, Feb 26, 2009

Ok i've been quiet for a few days but I've still been keeping up :)  You all were so kind to answer my questions and now my boyfriend has been posting for a few days himself -- TommyBoy is my boyfriend as as he's said, today is his last pill. Well, 1/4 pill anyways.  Here we go -- from the frying pan into the fire :)

***MATTHEW***
Thanks SO much for your incredibly thorough post on PA.   When I first found out about Tommy's addiction I looked into a few groups and had a hard time figuring out what they were really like from their websites. I was worried he wouldn't be able to identify with the "real druggies" at NA (Tricky Tram makes it easy to forget that you're a real addict sometimes -- if you can hold a job on it how can it be THAT bad --- YEAH RIGHT!)  And I was concerned about how stringent the "belief in a higher power" was.  I knew that wasn't going to work for Tommy so I'm glad he may still feel comfortable there.  I myself, am glad that they're a pretty loose group as you describe, and even allow swearing -- i'm pretty sure our counselor did not appreciate the storm of f-bombs i dropped at our session last week. Oops haha!  Won't be going back there again :)   If PA doesn't work, pill addicts can go to other types of meetings too right? PA? AA?  Is that true?

*****FRED******
I will literally DIE laughing if someone googles "My Lovely Life" and ends up on this website now because you've put that phrase in your post.  The "High bottom drunk" concept is so interesting and so pertinent to tramadol -- because its such a superfunctional drug it seems like a manageable addiction, and being able to work -- sometimes maintain decent relationships, etc...makes people not really even believe that they are addicts.  It takes a lot of strength to look at a pill bottle when your life seems just fine and still say "I want to face my demons."  As you all have described before, life on tram may seem great but that it is the veneer of a good life -- without the meaning and the substance of it takes a lot of insight.  I applaud you all :)

Fred, would you mind sharing the additional ten steps of recovery that you learned about? (are these in addition to the 12 PA or AA steps?)   And congratulations on your sobriety from alcohol for 8 years.  No small feat goes unpunished by tram, huh?

Thank you so much for speaking so loudly about your defenselessness against the first pill.  My greatest fear in this journey isn't that my boyfriend will suffer (which i hate) or get depressed (which I hate even more) but that this battle against tramadol that we are fighting now will be for nothing because of a relapse.  

And you say "But it's no big deal though...it's just a matter of life or death."  Wow, i literally got chills reading that.  We've been reading about several people here who are experiencing relapse after weeks or months off of tram, and I thank them for their candor and courage in sharing their story.  I think its easy to think that once the body has "gotten over" the pill by walking through the fire of withdrawal, that the addiction won't be an issue.  Thank you for reminding us of the gravity of the continued struggle of sobrierty.  

Thanks again everyone for your support and your help!  It has been a GREAT consolation to be able to communicate with you all.  Tomorrow will be day one of sobriety.  We'll try to keep you posted on how it goes. Wish us luck.

Love, and my best wishes to you all.

marie

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by EmilyPost, Feb 26, 2009
Hi.

I'm leaving the thread up for at least another day. Because I want everyone to read what has been said in the last day. I think it is very important if you are an addict (I am) to figure out a form of support that will enable you to not get back on the crazy train.

I'm 100% impressed by Matthew and Fred's posts about the nature of Sobriety. Yes, completely agree.

The story of you getting your funding Matt and the story of being saved by AA brothers is amazing, heart warming. Human Beings acting like humans. Beautiful. I swear I could cry.

Dave anon guy ... your aspirin/Tylenol/Advil thing?  Incredibly toxic. Please stop. That is actually harmful and can damage a liver or kidney fast. ESP after you have been thru so much. You are doing so well. All of what you are feeling is normal. You will get thru it. 5.5 years on Tramadol on and off.

Wright; you are always welcome. Sounds as if you need more support. Post more. Try to?

So. Yeah. I'm at work IN A PARKA pretending  have the FLU. I don't. But I sure look as if I do. Benzos. Poo on toast! I'm super irritable and crazy shaky, congested and yes ... super miserable.

I found this Benzo site but they are all pretty gosh darn busy fighting with each other. So ... yeah. Not helpful. I am in hard core Benzo withdrawal ... on a taper.  Last cut was on the 18th? I'm busy distracting myself. The whole world is spinning. Yesterday no work. Which is bad from an economic standpoint.

Also ... the Benzo site is all about "The Approved Methods" ... which means if you deviate from their plan, they scold you. LOL! wt*f?

However ... if not now ... when?

So I have to titrate now. I am on .5 mg. I'm NEVER buying Klonopin again. Ever. 'd rather stab myself in an eyeball. So; Titration.  Which means dissolving pills and doing math. I'm laughing because;

A. I've been living in a PARKA. The PARKA belongs to DH. So ... it is huge and stupid looking but it's keeping me from freezing to death.
B. This ***** so bad I may as well laugh about it.
C. When  tell you that "I am not able to write," it is true. My keyboard is jacked up and the computer needs to go to a computer doctor and my brain is also not picking words correctly
D. AGORAPHOBIA is heavily featured in Benzo withdrawal.

OK let's stop making lists. See? I am annoying MYSELF!! LMAO!

SO I am pulling stuff from my old days in Recovery from Food Addiction.

Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

This is a much more "do-able" goal than the very very ENGLISH (As in UK) idea of seeing things like 'my face is burning off my body" as a "Sign of Healing Symptoms."

LOL! Healing Symptoms? OK. No. My brain flat out LAUGHS. No. But I do grasp the

Get comfortable being Uncomfortable.

So far the benefits of klonopin taper? I have super insane powers of smell wth zero emotional attachment to smell. Weird,  I have supra hearing. I feel ...  Bionic and am waiting for Lindsay Wagner to show up wth my Bionic Dog. That will be nice when that happens.


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by abuser, Feb 26, 2009
So I ent 30 hours w/o using, my last dose was 300mg @6:00 Tuesday, I went until Midnite last nite and was feeling fine until I got up real fast and couldnt see anything, I was stumbling and rushed up to my room, where I took 150Mg., because I thaught it was from ultram withdrawl. It scared me so bad, I thought I was gonna die. I felt really light headed...after i popped those pills, I realized it could have been my other medication, seroquel, and the fact that I got NO sleep the night before ( I can't sleep WITH ultram in my system). So I'm kinda upset that I budged, but I'm back on track, about 13 hours since that last dose...

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by AnonGuy2, Feb 26, 2009
I am still feeling pretty good today. I am more bored than anything else but that's why I have found stuff to do: I have checked up on some bills, made some phone calls, walked my dog, etc.-- All things I haven't done since quitting tramadol 2 weeks ago. Up until this point, tasks like these I have thought about and said to myself, "Yes, these are issues I must deal with soon but right now I just really don't feel like it at all" (especially when thinking about the bills and the phone calls I had to make). The funny thing is one would think it's because of money issues. Nope! It's not because of money at all! It *was* (again, not an issue anymore since I dealt with it earlier today) simply because I was still feeling unwell, unmotivated, and uninspired.

It's still really bizarre how I have this lower back pain that I've never had in my life, now that I'm not on tramadol. I can't help but wonder if it's a real issue and not just a withdrawal side effect. Anything is possible at this point, however. I recall countless others on here who have talked about how they actually took tramadol for pain, it wound up causing them more pain, they continued using it anyway, and once they quit those pains got worse, but as weeks wore on they had no pain at all. Hopefully I'll be one of those people!

It's so nice to have my apartment stocked with food now. With an increase in appetite, I got quite annoyed at constant trips out just to get food. Now I don't have to worry about that! Less stress in your life is a big key success factor to overcoming withdrawals more easilly, in my opinion. That's why I always said I can't imagine battling this if I had a wife or kids like many others here. It's THOSE people who truly inspire me, though, so I am most thankful to have them here! Whenever I think I got it bad, I imagine others who have huge family duties each day to take care of, and I am thankful I've got it easier in a way.

- Dave

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by abuser, Feb 26, 2009
Oh yea, last night before I used again, I noticed I was really emotional. I would start crying for no reason. I wanted to tell family and friends how much they meant to me, kinda thing...It felt REALLY good, tho. Kinda like I wasnt sad, I felt GOOD, like it was the first time I felt emotion in a long time. I noticed that when I went through benzo withdrawl a few months ago.

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by priceiswright, Feb 26, 2009
Emily - you are so strong. I love your stories!

I hope the parka is helping you!!! We are hear for you!

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by EmilyPost, Feb 26, 2009
AN OPEN WNDOW!! Yay! I feel ok for the moment. I'll type as fast as  can and hope nothing changes in my brain ...

Abuser! 6 pills is 300 mg and after 30 hours cold turkey taking that dose; which is three times the dose any MD would give you is dangerous, as in SEIZURE dangerous. Seroquel? That is heavy duty stuff. Are you self medicating? I'm worried about you. This is dangerous ground. Decide what to do about Tramadol. But don't take a fistfulla pills after a cold turkey ...

------------->HUGE WARNNG. Seizure. Death from Seizure.

People have seizures when they widely vary their dose. Which is why no MD ever recommends taking Tramadol intermittently. Ever. It's to be at a certain level in your blood. Spiking it upward; causes seizure.

Hi Subdude! (nice name) I am glad you are here. I wish you so much luck wth suboxone.  I want to hear all about that, if you are up to it. Forty pills a day. You are so lucky not to be dead. Yes, the whole wanting out of your skin thing. But needing to stay in there. I understand. So they make you wait til 36 hours? So if I understand this correctly Suboxone binds to the opiate receptors and destroys cravings for the pills. And if you take any pills, you promptly get violently vomit-ey. Is that correct?

Subdude writes, " At least that's my story.  This is just a short test post, see if I can even get my foot in the door to what seems like a healthy place full of real people going through a "secret" hell.  Like I said, in seven hours I go to a clinic and start treatment with Suboxone."

((((Subdude)))))  hope it goes well!

Yep. When I was coming off Tramadol, I could not find ANYONE who had an online story about doing it successfully. AND I LOOKED high and low! I was *done* so I figured  would write to myself, if no one answered me.

There's ALOT of Benzo sites. Partially because the UK had a HUGE Lawsuit against the Benzo Companies and they won. So ... I hope to see you again after your Suboxone treatment. We only had one lady who did that and ... we never heard from her again ... which may be good or bad ...

Anyhow I wish you the very best and hope you come back to post Subdude.



Fred writes, "Sobriety isn't permanent.   HELLO, did you hear that?  What you may have today IS NOT  a cure.  As I recall one of those books talks about this where it says that we aren't ever "cured" of any addiction...the best we can hope for is a DAILY REPRIEVE of our diseases based on our spiritual condition."

What did you say Fred? hee

Yep. Those of you who have sad  am strong or I am a celebrity; Naw. That's kind of you; but not real. I'm an addict. I only have now. My addiction is not pills. BUT my addiction kills. Obesity is a primary cause of many dis-eases. How many people recover and stay recovered from food addiction? 2%.

in my opinion food addiction is most like booze addiction.

That is DREADFULLY LOW in case you did not know. CRACK heads who live in cardboard boxes and have the lowest rate of drug recovery are at 10%. I'm 5 times MORE likely to relapse than a crack addict. And part of being an addict is a competition to say that "you have it *the worst* ..." See?  I know all the tricks of addicts CAUSE I AM ONE.

Yeah. You can't check into a rehab for an "allergy" to chocolate cake. Don't get me started on AA meetings and the food addiction/ciggies/coffee thing. BUT you can realize that a sugar addiction is the SAME as an addiction to booze, drugs or sex. Same freakn' thing. Am I somehow better than a heroin addict? Nope. My drug is EASY to get. It is easy for people to tease, because they think it isn't a "symptom of extreme spiritual bankruptcy." Surely it isn't as bad as ....... THEM.

Who is them?

Who are these people.

"My Lovely Life"

Yeah. I don't put those words in the search box.

"aftercare" .... I'm glad I wasn't the first person to say this lovely word. Addicts HATE this concept. But yes. What are you going to DO to stay off the crazy train?

There has to be an action.

They'd have to knock me unconscious to get a Tramadol into me. I'm super pissed that I HAVE TO TAPER a Benzo. I'm an addict remember? So ... cold turkey is easier for me. I'm not reasonable. I'm not even very sane right now. I'm in early withdrawal from a taper ...

I'm sweaty, exhausted from not sleeping, my face is melting. I see things that are not there and I don't see things that exist. It is terrible. BUT that is what I need to do to get out.

OK so KC asks;

have QUESTIONS:
Fred/Emily/Suzi/Emergee/Hope/ALL WHO HAVE BEAT THIS AWFUL DRUG -

Well.  I can answer this for a Primary Addiction. And  can answer for pills. I'll answer for addiction ok?

Did you ever miss the high? The "high" that you are talking about is a form of being unconscious. Asleep but awake. So, no, I don't mss that because  don't have romantic notions about what that actually is. It's not pleasant. Being a zombie is much worse than being overwhelmed and using well developed coping mechanisms.

Did you have cravings?? Yes. If I crave Primary Drug;  I know it has NOTHNG to do with a craving for a binge and the resultant NUMBNESS. It has to do wth me blocking emotions or behaving like an addict. Which I am. A craving to me means that I am blocking an emotion.  I am also an adult child of an alcoholic which comes with a tremendous price. The more aware I became of WHY  turned to food as a DRUG; the better  became. BUT it was painful. Sobriety is Intense.

If so, when did they end? They don't end, That's the definition of being an addict. They can transfer.

How did you stop them? I don't attempt to stop them because they are much bigger than I am. All  I can do is receive the message and act accordingly.

What is your non drug high? (biking, watching your kids play, etc.....) All of those are natural highs. Yoga is my connection wth true sobriety. Which is another way of saying Union wth God is my natural High. Helping other people who are addicts helps me. What you are not seeing is the five years I ran a huge thread for food addicts.


What made you NOT relapse? I relapse. But not on pills. Not a drug addict. If I eat "Trigger Foods" I will relapse. One bite of a High Fructose Corn Syrup item or sugar ... can make me relapse. How do I NOT eat cakes all day?  I have a Higher Power connection. I realize that IF IT WANTS ME THAT BAD; IT CANNOT HAVE ME.

How long did it take to feel normal, back to yourself? LOL! Um. Hmmm. It took me 1.3 years to lose 60 pounds and accept I was a food addict.  Acceptance took longer.  I have many people in my Family who died from booze or food and usually both. It took me 77 days after Tramadol to feel it was gone ... "normal" is relative.  I don't go near the Hard stuff.

Why do you stick with the fight/battle? Because the other option is death? A really sweaty fat death.


Ok so .. yes ... Matthew I do know who Emily Post is. Of course! I laughed at the 14 pieces of silver. I am so named and so;  I value manners. Not *hers* but in realty manners have changed. What are manners? The kindness really. The ability to make someone very comfortable.

Love and healing,
Emily

PS. Thank you PriceisWright! The Parka is off at the moment and I have one open window.




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by priceiswright, Feb 26, 2009
I am so envious of those here. I think I it has been difficult for me out of boredom. See, I am jobless. Unemployed. The economy - well yes. My addiction to tramadol, the TRUE reason. I made some serious life changing decisions during my tramadol addiction. I quit a great job, did some other crazy things with money, and made some life altering decisions that I can never take back. I got another job a few months back but got fired. They didn't know I was an addict. But they sure did see my lack of creativity. See - I was on tramadol and although I thought it was helping me with productivity (which it might have in the beginning) it really just made me unmotivated and unambitious. Which were two things I ALWAYS had. Those are GONE. I miss them. I don't know when they will come back. I'm scared if they WILL come back. I feel like a loser. I have NO motivation to do anything without drugs. But when I'm on drugs I have a short lived motivatiton that then turns back into CONSTANT cravings for more drugs. I'm so fed up with myself and the only thing that helps is writing. I was watching sober house today and seth and andy were talking about being artists and for some reason artists tend to have more difficulty with addiction and sobriety. I used to be a writer. During the two - three years I was taking tramdol on and off, I was NOT a writer. I'm still not a writer but I do still think I have both an "addictive" personality and a "artist" personality.

Today is day one back into sobriety. I had been clean for 21 days. Yesterday would have been day 30. Today is day one. I don't know how to fight the cravings. I HATE tramadol. But I want to be HIGH. Why? Because I am lonely, bored, unmotivated, depressed, anxious. I feel like a LOSER. I know if I had a job, this might be easier because I would be forced to work. Before my tramadol addiction, I NEVER had a problem with work. I wanted to work. I was on the top of my game. I was an A+ student, deans list, grad school, incredible job. But TRAMADOL KILLED it. I became someone I was not. I became UNSATISFIED with my life. NOTHING made me satisfied. Who knows why? I don't know what to do to kill the boredom. I know what I could do. I could clean the house. I could paint. I could exercise. I could job search. BUT i have no ENERGY, no MOTIVATION, no DESIRE......................................It kills me that I had come SO far to throw it into the trash. If I hadn't taken that ONE pill, I would be better. But now I'm back to day one. PLEASE PLEASE don't take "just one" EVER.

How to kick the cravings? Should I try sub? I know this seems to be difficult to get off as well. But the cravings are killing me. TIPS anyone?



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by kes68, Feb 26, 2009
Just finished reading the recent posts - really glad to see some AA, NA stuff showing up.  
I have been attending AA meetings for a number of years now - while it is organized - it has it's 12 steps and 12 traditions.  Some people get turned off by some of the things they see or hear about the 12 step program, but the one thing I have learned is to take to heart what works for me.  I listen, share, and get the support I need for a problem (disease/addiction - whatever you choose to call it) I am going to have to deal with forever.  The first time I stopped drinking - it was for 5 years.  Then I slowly moved away from AA - and withing a year or two I was back drinking - and the struggle to stop the second time was brutal - and I felt horrible, I beat the hell out of myself for "failing".  That's the one thing I need to remember - for me - this is not done when the withdrawals stop - it is just starting - I need to learn how to live my life without it, how to get the support after that will keep me strong.
You can go to AA meetings if pills are your problem - they are all based on the 12 steps, the only requirment for membership is the desire to do something about the addiction that is controling your life.  In most cities there are tons of meetings - and I had to go to many before I found one that had the right fit for me.  Like on line forums - they are not all the same - I now have a few AA meetings where it is like going to have coffee with friends.  But better - because they know me, they know my life, my struggles and can relate - a good feeling after having so many secrets and feeling so alone at times.

Emily - you are scaring me a bit with the benzo withdrawal - it will be my next struggle after I have gotten the tram out of my system - it all is starting to feel like a never ending battle!!

I am hanging in there - still the slow tapper - I am trying to put off taking the first one in the morning as long as I can - and after today I am not sure if that is so smart.  I wonder if I am better to spread out the thirteen over the course of the day rather than taking 4 or 5 at a time?
Today It was around noon when I went to first take any - I could feel the jitters, and the sweating starting - well my god - within 5 minutes I was experiencing something crazy - I couldn't stay still - it put my usual RLS to shame - I was running around the house like I was on fire - I thought I was going to lose it!!  I was like this for at least 10 min. before the tram started to kick in a little and I could slow down to pacing around the house.
It scared the hell out of me - anyone else experience this?

Hang in there everyone!          

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by Matt1053, Feb 26, 2009
===priceisright===

"One is too many - then, a thousand aint'  enough"  It wasn't the second one, or the second script even, it's always the first one that starts the drug brain to thinking" Wrong thinking.  

Don't beat yourself up too badly, or better yet, not at all.  It is what it is. what happened happened.  I would be way f#$ced up now if I thought only of the freak'n remorse of yesterday and the "hell to pay" of tomorrow.

Screw it, today is the only game in town.

Matthew

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by juststartedtramadol, Feb 26, 2009
Dear Abuser,
My Niece is on Seroque.  She believes in it so much.  
She says that it makes her feel like she doesn't care. She has changed so much since she has started taking it.  Most of the time she won't answer her phone and she hardly ever goes out.
ls that doing the same thing to you?  If not, maybe I will try to get the Doctor to write me a prescription.

Good luck to you and I enjoy reading all the things you put in the journal.
Matter-of-fact, I enjoy having so many nice people like you and the others to read and I feel that I'm not crazy, feeling that some meds should be stopped and not taken by anyone.

Is there a way we start a petition on how Tramadol is NOT what it seems to be.  We can start there and then hit the other drugs that people are getting hooked on without knowing it.

Peace and Health to you and all the others,
Roger

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by EmilyPost, Feb 26, 2009
http://www.dsuper.net/~styan/neurolep.htm

Roger ... Seroquel?

It's a Neuroleptic/antpsychotiic med

Bad. Super bad, stay away.

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by quitinginprogress, Feb 26, 2009
HI everyone,

you have all inspired me to get off of this junk.  I have been taking the white devil, on and off, for about two years.  The last six months I have been taking around 250mg to 500mg a day and finally realized what I was doing.  It started innocently, but then spiraled out of control.  Before I knew it I could not stop taking Tramadol.  I have tried to quit multiple times, only to find myself saying "after this bottle I'm done."  I have finally found the strenght to quit, but I cannot go cold turkey.  I have 50 pills that need to last me the next 25 days, and then if needed I have two 60 pills scripts (a month at a time).  I have started at 150mg.  Yesterday, was my first day of starting the path to recovery.  I felt like **** all day.  Headaches, brain zaps (awesome that description I have seen others use), pain in the places that cause me to use this drug, stomach cramps, little depression, and a generally felling of malaise.  I need to sleep last night so I took a Tylenol PM, which I don't plan on doing tonight.  I cannot stand the way it makes me feel the next day.  Day 2 (today) I took 150mg.  Again, the headaches, a few brain zaps, depression, stomach cramps, and the overall blah feeling.  However, there were times today I found myself laughing, smiling and feeling a little better.  It was short lived, but nice to see that eventually everything will be alright.  Tomorrow, Day 3, I don't worry about.  I can only control the here and now, so that's where I will try to focus.  

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by juststartedtramadol, Feb 26, 2009
Thank you Emily,

I know that my Niece has changed so much on Seroquel that we don't even know it's her anymore.  I will stay away from it for sure and thank you for pointing that out.

I hope who ever is on Seroquel will think very hard about getting off of it.  I have seemed to found out that there is no substitute for anything that doctors get you hooked on.

I think I will write a story on, "How Doctors Made Me a Drug Addict at 60."  Maybe someone will listen.  Can't name the doctors, but I can get out the story as well as the rest of us.

Love To All and Thank you so much Emily,

Health and Love to ALL,
Roger

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by priceiswright, Feb 26, 2009
For those who are tapering........what made you decide to taper? It seems that many of you tapering are still having awful withdrawal symptoms. Did any of you consider C/T and then only having awful withdrawl symptoms for 4 -5 days? Just a thought. I imagine you have a strong reason to taper and it's different for everyone (the decicison to CT or taper). For me, I started tapering but still felt so many of the withdrawl effects that it was easier to go CT so I could start the recovery process quicker.

Thanks for all the talks on AA, NA, Pills Anon - I think it would be very beneficial for me to join one of these groups. I'm in AZ - anyone know of any good ones?

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by juststartedtramadol, Feb 26, 2009
Hi quitinginprogress,

I am so glad to see you have come to this board.  I am new and these people are wonderful and know just what to say.
I was on the "devil pills" for a short time, but it seems just as hard to ger off them as it was to get off years of heavey dosages of Oxycontin.

Hang in there.  There is always someone here to help you.  It might take a while but someone will come to your rescue when you just want to talk it out and try to find ways of coming off this stuff the doctors are saying is safe. They are nuts.

Wish you Well and Good Health,

Roger

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by abuser, Feb 26, 2009
seroquel is like depakote, lithium, etc. I have bipolar disorder (mild) and I used to be on so many meds to control it. I recently got off of everything. I was prescribed tramadol, adderal, ativan, ambien, and depakot. (lots). I was on so many meds and I decided to get off. I went through amphetamine withdrawl, benzo withdrawl, and now I'm trying to ease tramadol withdrawl by tapering, I gave my tramadol to my mom (I'm 19 just so ya know) today and told her to keep it away from me, to give me four a day for a week, next week three a day, etc...My tram withdrawl from going cold turkey wasnt that bad, but I kept abusing it so now that my mom has it hopefully that wont happen any more...When I was going thru benzo withdrawl I COULD NOT SLEEP if my life depended on it. Ambien never worked for me, so my doc put me on the lowest dose available(seroquel). At such a low dose it doesnt really have antipsychotic properties, but it has a crazy strong sedative effect. I get SOOOO DROWSY. It really helps me w/ sleeping during w/d. The only sideeffect is I get so hungry while on it, I eat constantly. I've gained 12 lbs. in 2 months, but I was underweight so it's ok.

So anyone who is getting off the trams and can't sleep might want to give seroquel a try...You don't have to take it long term, just while withdrawling.... It REALLY makes you tired.



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by tramhater, Feb 27, 2009
DAY 7 STILL GOING WONDERFUL!!! HAVE HAD ABSOLUTELY NO BAD WAVES SINCE NIGHT 4!!!! LOVE IT CAN'T WAIT TO KEEP FEELING THIS WAY! I REALIZED I WAS MUCH MORE RELAXED AND FUNNY OFF THE T DOG!!

hey all!! WOW! I feel like I missed alot!! I don't even know where to start! Yes ROGER... stay away form seroquel!

DAVE! HOW ARE YOU??????

SHADETREE>> WHERE YOU AT??


AHHHH EMILY LOVE YOUR ADVICE AND JUST LISTENING TO YOU! SO I CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOUR KLONIPIN RECOVERY!!


ABUSER>>> MILD BI POLAR HUH?? HOW DID YOU GET DIAGNOSED WTIH THAT?? how did you have the strength to get off all those drugs...

Kc HOW AREYOU???

MARIE MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU!! I KNOW IT MUST BE HARD FOR YOU TOO! YOU AND TOMMYBOY SEEM TO BE HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION..

OK!!  WELL I JUST WANTED TO CHECK IN WITH YA ALLL! SORRY IF I MISSED ANYONE!!

WITH LOVE, AND STRENGTH.

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by priceiswright, Feb 27, 2009
abuser - they certainly put you on a lot of meds. why did they prescribe you tram and adderal??

what made you want to quit everything? you sure are strong for getting off this many meds!

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by FinallyFred, Feb 27, 2009
Emily,  You are doing SO well on your crazy benzo taper.  Big-O-parka and all.  Yes you can.  Yes you can.  Yes you can.  (not sure if that comes to mind as a result of my mommie reading the "little engine who could" to me, or my watching just about every Obama Ralley leading up to the election), but YES YOU CAN EMILY.  

Excuse me, I need to settle my mommie down "mom, but that damned book down and go back into your room".  

A little levity....sorry about the disruption here.

(composure and deep breathes to still the heart palitations)

(clears throat)

Emily, it was sooo wonderful to hear your wicked sense of humor peek out from behind that benzo withdrawal.  Let the room that you began, be your new benzo buddies.  We won't "fight" as in that other room that you mentioned.  We love you and we want the best for you.  YES YOU CAN!  Soon you'll be giving your DH his big O jacket back and your thermostat will return.  

*************

Price, it is so nice that you are here again.  Please stick around.  Nobody here is perfect...especially ME.  

You ask a lot of questions, huh?  That's a good sign.  When I stop asking questions and assume I have all the answers - Lord have mercy.  

You asked about finding a "good "PA, NA or AA group in AZ.    I don't have a clue, but this is what I would do.  Google AA or NA and your city or town and you should find a phone number for the "central office" in that town.  Either drive to that office and pick up a "meeting schedule" or get the date/time  of a meeting or two and you could get a schedule at most meetings.  

I think it was Matt who said that there are a whole lot of different meetings.  Every one has it's own "composition" of people, personality  and "feel" .  I would suggest trying out several before deciding to go back to any one in particular.  

((Hugs)) to you Price.  I know for a fact that there are those who are reading this right now who blowing off the entire notion of needing "aftercare"  (I kinda hate that word) or to put it another way, some plan to INCREASE THE ODDS against taking that 1st pill, just one time (wink wink) again.  

I am hestitant to even make recommendations about how to live life as a clean and sober addict for fear I may be setting myself up for a fall.  (god, here goes).  But one of the things I do religiously is call my sponsor at least once a week.  I NEVER want to, but I make myself do it.  Generally we talk about the weather or life on the farm, but I do this habitually.  Why?  Because I know that one day, I might just be overcome with a bad craving.  And I want his phone # up towards the top of my phone log in case I really need someone to talk me down.  

As you the other questions:

I have QUESTIONS:
Fred/Emily/Suzi/Emergee/Hope/ALL WHO HAVE BEAT THIS AWFUL DRUG -

Did you ever miss the high? No, not really.  By the time I got to this site, it was the last house on the block for me.  I was not only so afraid of what a drug this powerful was doing to me, but I was utterly sick and tired of feeling UNWELL...in routine withdrawal due to the tolerance my body had built up over six years.  

Did you have cravings??   In early withdrawal, I "craved" getting past the fluish symptoms.  It must be a miracle because my desire now to take the little white pill is gone.  

If so, when did they end? (see above)

How did you stop them? (see above)  Keeping busy helps.

What is your non drug high? (biking, watching your kids play, etc.....) (1) morning walks, (2) strieving for excellence in my work, (3) ridng my motorcycle in dry weather, (4) camping with my bride, (5) theater, (6) spending time with our two adult sons, their wives,  and our two grandkids ( 6 mos. and two years old) .

What made you NOT relapse? hanging out with my AA friends, spending time with you all, and having an ABIDING memory or how much fun withdrawal was.  Also re-read my last post.

How long did it take to feel normal, back to yourself? (breathes to relax)  Normal?  (looking for those big 24 font letters) NORMAL?   It's relative right?  Seriously, I continued to have random stabbing pain in my feel and occassional sleepless nights for the first 60-70  days.  And I do know for a fact that while I went back to work on day 7, my productivity at work sufffered for at least 60 days.  It was FRIGHTENING actually.  But today, I am as productive at work as ever before, happy, and just maybe normal again.  Randon, non-linear progress.  It's not like pumping iron in the gym and expecting to see the old biceps bigger every time you look into a mirror.  

Why do you stick with the fight/battle?   TRAMAOL KILLS. I stick with it because I don't want to DIE addicted to this drug.  I stick with it because I don't want to EVER have another period of TRAMADOL withdrawal EVER again.  I stick with it because I remember how the T-train caused INCREASED pain all over my body, in places I never imagined I could have pain.  I stick with it because I can remember what it was like to be in the FOG of TRAM, to walk into a room, and forget why I was there, I stick with it because I would rather not get killed on my motorcycle from being too fogged to care what I was doing.  I stick with it because my grandson tells me how nice it is now to only have to ask grandpa ONE TIME to be picked up.  (Pappa?  Pappa?  Pappa?  Pappa?)  I stick with it because I lost all my forks - clearing dishes after a meal into the garbage, FORKS And ALL.  I stick with it because I was tired of going to my doctor, hat in hand, and asking him to increase my daily dose of the drug.  I stick with it because I no longer desire to be under the control of a substance that wanted more than I had to give, while returning less and less to me.  ETC. ETC. ETC.

Life can still be difficult while being clean and sober.  But the way I figure it, I have a better chance at life if I am not CONTROLLED  by a drug like tramadol.  

msmarie,  You asked about the other ten steps.  Those are not in addition to the 12 steps of most programs.  Google AA or "12 step program" and they will all be there for you to read.  

abuser,  I never figured that my "day one" began until 24 hours after I took my last pill.  If you are committed to doing this thing, you need to get past the notion that it will be easy.  It's not.  Days 3-4 are worse than days 1-2 for most.  As many here have shared, you need to arm yourself for battle before going in.  Cause anything less than a flat out WAR against this devil pill won't be enough.  I apoligize if my frankness if offsetting.  I just want you to succeed and you can't go about this as one might approach building up a tan.  It's war.

Suzi, Madtram, Kev, emergee and other old friends...come home.  We NEED to hear from you.    Lassie LASSIE?

SWEET DREAMS TO ALL (I HOPE)  I borrowed that from someone, wish I could remember who said it first.   :)

Fred

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by Shadetree, Feb 27, 2009
Hello Everyone,

Its been a little while since I have wrote...Im kinda struggling with my taper. Im at a stand still right now. I havent decreased like I was planning on. I havent uped it either, Im just at the same dose. Im not getting high, Im just taking it to function and feel normal. Im so scared to get off, I had an evaluation at work last week and while it went great, one issue was my attendance. I was all because of my kids, but now I feel like there is no leeway if I need to take a day or two off when and if w/d's get bad.  I do not expect it to be easy, Im just like I said at a stand still. I also know that prolonging getting off will only be worse for me. So I think Im gonna take it slow and make progress every week even if it is only a little. Eventually I will get there. I envy all of you for having the STRENGTH to kick this S**T!

So that has been why I havent chimed in latley. Im a bit ashamed....but I have been reading. Glad to see all the "newbies" And all the really great advice they are recieving from you all. So here I am Heather.) as always thanks for being so concerned. :)

Talk to everyone soon...


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by FinallyFred, Feb 27, 2009
Up early before work...reading PriceisWright's post from yesterday again where she talked about the "pink cloud":

*************************************************

"The “pink cloud” is best described as a period of time where the addict or alcoholic experiences a reprieve from the struggles associated with early recovery. These struggles are generally associated with the feelings of depression, anger, resentment, self pity and the realization of where their drug addiction or alcoholism has taken them.

Upon experiencing this phenomenon for the first time, the addict or alcoholic is understandably excited. They begin to believe they now “hold the key” to their recovery. This is where the seed for relapse is planted. They begin to believe more in themselves than in the process they have been following. Without the pain as a daily reminder, they tend to forget about what it took for them to embrace recovery. Denial rears its ugly head and they minimize how devastating their drug addiction and alcoholism really was and that they have a disease of drug addiction and alcoholism that requires attention on a daily basis. Relapse prevention becomes an afterthought as the person becomes defiant and rebellious regarding suggestions contrary to their desires. Without resorting to drugs or alcohol, the individual in recovery is one step away from relapse. Remember, relapse is not an event, it is a process.
----------------------------------------

Why did I relapse? Because I thought I was "over" my struggle. I didn't plan to take a tramadol on day 21. But I had stopped reading the boards and posting on my withdrawl/recovery. I thought I was better and happy and that I didn't need as much support as I did in the beginning. I even began to think well maybe I can only take tramadol on the weekends. WHAAT??? AM I KIDDING MYSELF? Even if I could (which I couldn't), why would I want to take a drug that leaves me void of emotion, unable to feel."

*******************************************
Dave writes, "Wow, that pink cloud post you quoted really does sound like it can apply to lots of people! I can't wait to get to that point of feeling like I am completely over my addiction and withdrawals (hopefully another couple weeks at the most), but I seriously doubt I could ever think about taking tramadol again."

*****************

Right... but the things is...umm, the "pink cloud" isn't a period to look forward to, it's a period of time to endure.  A time of vonerability...a time of thinking that we are" completely over our addiction"...a time when we feel that we "minimize how devastating (our) drug addiction and alcoholism really was and that (we) have a disease of drug addiction and alcoholism that requires attention on a daily basis".

The pilot light is ALWAYS on for an addict.  And all it takes to re-ignite the fire is a few days left alone by ourselves to convnice us that our own best thinking will THIS TIME produce different results than it did the last time.  To convince ourselves that "maybe all I need is one pill to be more peppy at work"...or..."maybe my back pain could be helped by one pill"..., or "this time it will be different than what happened the last time".  Right.

Somone here (Matthew?) said recently that the defination of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.  

Emily stated that the success rate for someone with a food addiction to keep the weight off is 2%.  (Hey Emily, what would you charge to do some "private" counsoling with me, cause I DO have some weight to take back off?)

Getting past the initial withdrawal symptoms isn't easy.  But it's easier than making it through the "pink cloud" phase and every day of our lives after that.  When the questions come, am I really sure that I AM an addict?  Maybe this time would be different?  Just one?  Those danger zone marking questions.

I have no idea what the success rate is for people getting and staying clean from tramadol.  I am guessing that it is better than 2%, but I'll bet it isn't higher than 33%.  

Nobody reading this post will conquer tramadol PERMANENTLY once and forever.  The VERY best I can hope for is another 24 hour reprive today.  When I was in early withdrawal, I think I talked about this WAR being the most important thing in my life for that day.  And I am certain that some may find this position a little humorous or "extreme".  

But as ramped up as I had to get myself in early withdrawal to try to get free from this drug...that's how VIGILANT I must stay today to keep from taking that FIRST white pill again for another 24 hours.  

The PILOT LIGHT IS ALWAYS ON.  And if you don't believe me, ask Price, or Ultratramatized, or any number of other GOOD people who have seen their sobriety slip away for a period.  And the way I figure it, it could just as easily be me next, unless I am willing to keep this addiction before me, to continue to hold my sobriety the most important thing in my life...once more again today.

Because without sobriety, nothing else I do really matters.  Nothing else I might do compares.  

Forward or backwards?  You decide.

Fred

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by EmilyPost, Feb 27, 2009
http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/66246

Come on over here Tramsdol Warriors ... ONWARD!

Click on ths for the current thread

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/66246




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by JT50, Mar 03, 2009
Hello.  Tramhater posted a part of what her doc told her that describes my main symptom:


#2... THE SIDE EFFECTS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO CUT YOUR ARMS AND LEGS OFF IS YOUR BODY FIGHTING THE SERITONIN (Sp) WITHDRAWAL. THAT THE POS DRUG TRAMADOL HIDES IN IT! SO IF YOU TAKE A DRUG SUCH AS PROZAC.. LEXAPRO.... XANAX.. IT WILL HELP THAT SIDE EFFECT GO AWAY BY 80% (THAT IS AN EXACT STATISTIC) FROM TRAM WITHDRAWALERS... PROB FROM MY DETOX CENTER... WELL IT IS WORKING... HE JUST PUT ME ON PROZAC FOR THREE DAYS.. 20 MG... I AM SMALL SO THE DOSE MAY BE DIFF EVERYONE. BUT GETTING A DOC ENVOLVED HAS SEEMED TO HELP. "HELP IS THE KEY WORD.. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MAKE IT ALL JUST GO AWAY.


I lie awake every night with horrible tingling sensations in mainly my left arm of all places.  I need for this to stop in order to get some sleep.  Are there any Over The Counter (OTC) meds that can help me?  I've heard some talk of something called Hyland's Restful Legs.  Does this really work and does it work for all limbs?  Does anyone have any other suggestions other than walk around the house all night in a sleepy miserable daze waving my arms around in my dark house as everyone else is in their slumber?  I was over at drugs.com in that forum under this same ID "jt50" if you want to go read more detaills of my case but...it's Tramadol.  Thanks for any quick replies.  I want to go shopping before tonight if at all possible.
--
JT50


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by Grace9, Mar 21, 2009
hello, I am new to the thread, I have read a lot of tram threads since I began taking it 8 months ago.  

Here is my story.
I am 29 years old.  Physically pretty healthy.  I eat right and exercise.  I am going to be honest and admit, that I started taking tramadol when my 5 year relationship ended.  It seemed to be the only thing that would take the pain away. They worked for the kind of emotional pain I was having - fear, obsessive thoughts, I have always had problems with obsessive thinking and a bit of anxiety.  I tried all the anti-depressants in my late teens and twenties and nothing really worked.  I function and have gotten far in life but I don't deal with those emotions well, and I know it is something I need to learn to do, and I plan on starting now.  Anyway, I was in a bad relationship that made my anxiety worse (you know how some people just bring those things out of you) and was so afraid to walk away.  

In the beginning, it was amazing. The tramadol gave me the ability to leave.  It really did.  It took away my worries, my inseurites.  It made me strong enough.  I took one 50 mg pill at about 3 pm each day, and another at 6 or 7pm.  that was it.  I have to say it was some of the best itme of my life for the first two months.  I was social, outgoing, confident, and for the first time in a long time- happy.  not worried.  It was wonderful.  I would wake up in the mornings feeling good, started going to the gym at noon, worked out hard, and still felt good, and at 3 pm I would take my 50 mg.  I even met an amazing man, who probably fell in love with this version of me - happy, alive, energetic, carefree.  

I NEVER took it before 3 pm. At first, about 2 months into it, I noticed that around 2:30 pm I started to feel kind of bad, tired, cold, and easily irritated, like I needed it.  but it took 2 months to get there.  Then I would take it, and I was fine.   I started taking 2 pills at 3 pm,  then 1 pill at 6pm.  Worked great for a while, but not as long as the first time.

Then, I started taking 2 pills at 3pm and 2 pills at 6 pm, and one at 8pm.  This was by about 4 or 5 months.  The tramadol was still working well, taking away my depression, my worries, but I wasn't in the high mood I had been in at the beginning.

I told myself I would never take more than 5 a day.  But by 6 months, my sadness and anxiety started to come back, despite the tramadol.    So I tried to see what would happen if I did take 6 pills, even 7 (350 mg), and nothing happened.  It just made me tired.  

I continued to take 5 a day for a couple more months, still starting at 3 pm and each day.  I am amazed that I was able to take my last dose of 50 mg at 8 pm for so long, and a the W/D didn't start until 3 pm the next day.  I felt lucky, because the first half of my day was fine.  almost better than the night before.  I couldn't figure out if it was because that's how I always did it, or if it was still in my system, or because of my workouts causing more endorphins or what - all I know is several hours after the last dose was when I felt the best.  

I tried to stop a few times.  It wasn't too bad, and I always got to the point where I would wake up in the middle of the night with the skin crawls, restless.  and that's when I would get up and take 1.  Then I would start again.

the time I did stop I did it without much of a problem.  I tapered from 6 a day to 3, then 1, then a 1/2.  I took benadryl at night, and didn't eat much.  I think the key is to not eat much when stopping, I could be wrong but I found I feel better when I don't eat.  (I'm hungry though!)  I started taking again after waking in the night.

Anyway,  I have to. quit now.  I am ready.  I am a smart girl and I know it is time. It's been long enough, its starting to cause all kinds of problems in my life.  I am in a creative industry, and the tramadol has taken away my creativity, my ambition, my focus.  I can't focus.  The first hour after I take it I am like a zombie.  I took 10 pills yesterday starting at 3 pm, and it didn't do anything except make me tired and zombie-like.  

Today I took 1 1/2 pills (75mg) at 5 pm and felt fine.  Then I took another 50 mg. 6:30.  It is 9:20 now and I feel okay.  My legs hurt, other things hurt, but I'm in a pretty good mood.  except I am hungry, and afraid of what's next.  I plan to come off somewhat fast b/c I just want to move on.  I have moved in with my new boyfriend who is out of town now, and I'm worried he is not going to like my personality without it.  We have been fighting a lot lately and I know it is because of my moods with tramadol.  I know he is confused.  but I need to quit for myself.  and I'm okay.  I don't want to take an anti-depressant.  I want to be sober and I believe I can.  But any advice would be appreciated.  

I have 3 more days to myself alone in the apartment, and I plan to sleep and stay in and watch movies while I am coming off.  I don't have to work until tuedsday, it's saturday now.  

I just wanted to get on the thread for some support.  I haven't told anyone about this and it helped a lot just to write this.  

Thank you for reading.  And good luck to each of you, you can do it.

Gracie

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by luckytobehere431, Mar 25, 2009
Grace9
I've never blogged before, so I hope I'm doing this right.  Today is day 4 c/t for me.  A greater hell I have never known!  But almost dying was definitely a wakeup call.  I kept popping more and more Tram. until I had a seizure at home last Thursday and was non responsive when the paramedics came.  They felt my condition was dire enough to call for a helicopter evac to the hospital downtown w/a head trauma unit (i hit my head very badly when I seizured and fell).  All of this witnessed by my husband and 10 year old son.  So altho i know this c/t is going to suck (im not able to go to work this week - im a teacher and hope i'll still have a job!) i felt it was the only way i could do this. i could never put my family through what i did again.  i have to be strong. i have to still be here for my little boy. he loves and needs me so much. i did go to the dr. on day 2 to get what an addictionologist recommended:  sleeping pills, muscle relaxers and anti-anxiety pills.  since i don't want to get addicted to THESE now i only take the muscle relaxers and sleeping pills before bed.  i want to stop those asap too. im trying to stay busy at home - cleaning, laundry, etc., but dont have much energy. anyway, good luck to you and everyone else going thru this and i hope to be able to offer advice and help, if i can while experiencing this. hang in there! luckytobehere431

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by EmilyPost, Mar 25, 2009
http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/69988

Hi Sweetheat.


(((((luckytobe here)))))

Can you copy ad paste this post into the new thread? It's Part 4 ...

I want everyone to read you story becasue it is so very important! And Yes, getting off the Tramadol has to come first!

Click on the link & then paste in your post :D

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/69988


Em

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by Teri1970, May 13, 2009
Hey out there...i need help.  Even thought I have been on and off this shit (ultram) for the past 10 years, It has been awhile since I have attempted to quit.  Now I am going cold turkey.  Not by choice, but I really have to wonder if it's not the best way for me.  I was up to about 36 pills a day and can only imagine how long it would take to taper.  I am so ready to be off of them.  But I am writing to get tips on conquering the withdrawal symptoms.  What can i do or take to help me get through this?  Anyone with this similar dosage having gone cold turkey?  Please post all the tips you can.  Thank you.


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by Miss_Amy_2009, May 13, 2009
WELCOME TERI!

This is an old thread..Please move to the continued forum located here:


http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/85572?personal_page_id=494954

There are lots of people there to help you....

See you there and Good Luck! :)

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by pollycat, Sep 04, 2009
Hello -

This is my first try posting here.  I really find the posts from people going through the withdrawal process helpful.

-Polly

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by thankfulone, Nov 24, 2011
I had been on Tramadol for 12 years.  I have severe fibromyalgia and I thought it was the answer to all my problems.  Then year after year, it started making me sicker and sicker.  I never took over 2 or three 50mg pills a day; but when they would wear off, I felt horrible.  When they were working, they never failed to make me feel like I could accomplish anything, I could rule the world, and I tried.  But there came a time when I knew the tramadol was the master of my life.  I realized what a trap I was in the first time I tried to withdraw.  I panicked.  Could I ever feel normal again.  For me, the withdrawal was unbearable.  I did get xanax and prozac to help, but these drugs were like toys compared to the effects Tramadol had on my body.  After seven months of agony, anxiety, fear, pain, sadness, lack of the motivation to even get out of bed, lack of the ability to see the light - (the light that tramadol gave me), then the lack of hope feeling with withdrawal.....I can finally tell you I am back to normal.  Tonight I have been fighting with myself wondering if this flat normal affect of mine was worth being clean of tramadol.  Thanks to you all and your posts, I realize feeling normal again is the most amazing thing in the world and being trapped in the tramadol jungle again would be a nightmare.  I had forgotten how trapped you get.  It is like hiking to the interior of a jungle and deciding you want to go back out....the only way out is going as far backwards as you came in.  In other words, there is no easy or quick way out of tramadol.  The danger being after 7 months out, you forget all the pain.....I'm glad you all made me remember.  This I am thankful for.  

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by jdog78, Mar 23, 2012
Hello all, i have been on tram for 4 years, it has ruined my marriage to a degree, i have psoriatic arthritis, so my rhumitologist perscribed me 180 a month from the get go, i have never been addicted to anything my whole life, i have never smoked a cigarette and dont drink. I did get addicted to tramadol tho. It has been 18 days since i went absolutly cold turkey from taking 20-40 a day. It has been 4 years non stop that i have been using this way, i just want to give those out there hope, i quit and had no support, and didnt use any recipe to help me, no vitamins, no nothin.....20-40 a day for 4 years, my wife did not help in a positive way, but she throws me under the bus almost daily with comments like, you will never make it, its impossible, you cannot do it. mmmmmmm her hate tastes so gooooood! it motivated me to get me where i am today, day 18. im never going back to the pill that took 4 years of my life, i didnt want to do anything, go anywhere, just get high and sleep. although i brushed my teeth daily they have started to deteriorate, and my vision was blurry all the time, not no more thank God. Am i in pain? of course, but i feel like i have been reborn back into this sweet life and im back, and as for my wife, i love her, it was my fault that i took these pills the way i did, but i gotta say i love to give her that F***k you now what look! she could have been loving and supportive but she took another route, and it fueled me like the Sun. Good luck to all ill check back tomorrow, you can do this

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