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Tramadol & ultram recovery room #57

Jan 11, 2013 - 269 comments

You can do this tramadol warriors!

You can beat this!

You will do this!

Love and healing,
em

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by demafrost, Jan 11, 2013
We are doing so well fighting the Tramdevil that we don't even need a room 56, we just skipped right past it!!

Thanks!

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by studentoflife59, Jan 12, 2013
Morning everyone!
  I had forgotton that I was a member of this page and want to update you all on my tramadol-free life! I knew I wanted to quit using it, but was afraid of the withdrawals I'd experienced before, and had even convinced myself that I was happier on it, because of it's anti-depression affect. WRONG! lol...
Actually...I had to face my fears and the withdrawals, when the prescription ran out. I didn't even try to get another one, and made it through feeling better than I have for years! And 'HIGH ON LIFE' to boot...
  Just KNOW that you can do it...positive self-talk is important. If ANYONE'S ever let it go...then SO CAN YOU. I know...I'm yelling, but there are no underlines available and I need to emphasize...sorry!
  Were there withdrawal symptoms? Yes...but time passes and it's worth it, let me tell you! My mind has cleared...I'm remembering better *(I was afraid I was having Alzheimers symptoms...but it was the tramadol!) Who knew?!
  I feel like my competent, self-empowered, creating my life and in control again--self! And all I take now is my daily thyroid pill...and would like to let that go even!
  Sooooo....there it is! You CAN DO IT!!! Make a sign *(be creative) and put it up on your wall or frig *(or in your bathroom where you'll read it often! lol!
Love a hugs and best wishes for a med-free future!! Oh! And my pain is WAY LESS than it was when I was taking tramodol. I think it's all a con to keep us drugged and muddy-minded! *(Just a thought...sounds conspiracy theorist, I know... :D) Oh....I've been off them for severandl months now...Tramadol is gone from my life and my thoughts. Yayyyyy!!!!

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by brokenhearted0909, Jan 12, 2013
Good morning studentoflife59,
Good to know that im not alone.  I too am tapering off tramadol that i had taken for about 7to 8yrs. Im down to 3 a day from 8 to 10. So far it hasent been bad at all.  I dont really have any back pain until early evening and sometimes there is none at all. Although i do have bad knees and now i can tell its just the knee pain. Have had three knee surgeries and will probably have to have new knees put in  in the future.  But i am hopeful about getting off these fricking pills.  I dont do well wilth pain anyway so if I can do it than anybody can.  And thats the fact JACK.   lol   Im so happy you kicked the habit as they say.  Way to go girrrrrl.

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by summerloven, Jan 12, 2013
Studentoflife59- that is awesome I am so happy to hear that! My husband recently quit and is asking me if there will ever be a day where he doesn't need to take anything for brain zaps, etc. Hope you continue to enjoy your tram free life. Keep up the amazing work!!!!



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by OrderOfSolve, Jan 13, 2013
Hello all!  I've lurked this board for quite a while............several years in fact.  I was addicted to tramadol for 15 years. I've been clean since June 19 2011.  I was put on it when it first hit the US market. At that time it really was touted as non addictive, I knew better from the first pill I could get into trouble with this medicine. (I suspect the schedule will soon change as Doctors wise up, It's already has in some states, that will kill the internet sales). My story is the same as many here, Problems with my rt hip diagnosed in 1995, history of alcohol & marijuana use, Here take this it's safe and you can stop with no ill effects. Right! The only time in 15 years I didn't take ultram was a couple months after hip replacement surgery in 2004, took IR Oxys then. I took 'em (Ultrams) like I was supposed to for the first few years but like most, my tolerance grew and I required more.  I was up to 10-12 a day when I realized what I was doing to myself. They took every bit of motivation and zest for life from me. I decided I was gonna lay down on the floor and Jesus was going come get me or I was going to stop the pills! I did a 25% every two weeks reduction. My sweet wife of 25 years controlled my doses. It was tough but I did it.  I did relapse a couple times but never allowed myself to get too far before I stopped, withdrawals not as bad as the first time........we have a tendency to forget or I was just a glutton for punishment? Any way I did take a lot of the advice from here and used the vitamin and amino acid protocol with sam-e.......even smoked a little medical marijuana thru the worst of it (first week). I remember I ate a lot of turkey and drank gallons of water.  Took about a month to really start to feel human, sleep and energy didn't return to what I consider normal for a couple months.  I remember well when my brain kicked back on, I felt emotions that I had long since forgotten......I remember getting the greatest of joy watching an old Andy Griffith rerun! I'm posting now to say thanks for sharing your pain as well as your victories...........It was comforting to know others were going thru this too.  I would also like to let folks know there is life after tramadol addiction.  I was on disability for 8 years and after I broke my addiction and started exercising, I was able to return to full time employment. I have a great job that gives me much fulfillment.  I have a life again. Most days I feel like a million bucks.....old....green...and crumpled!  Just kidding.  I do feel pretty good most days aside from normal aches and pains which I treat with OTC pain meds now. I was so motivated I quit a 30 year cigarette habit too....not at the same time though!  The only long term problem I contribute to my tramadol habit is I suffer from essential tremors now, not sure if my abuse caused this but I think it did.  I have nothing but respect for anyone willing to take control of their life back from this drug.  It is a worthwhile challenge.  If I can beat this drug so can you!  One day at a time!  Again Thank you and God Bless your endeavor!      

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by summerloven, Jan 13, 2013
orderofsolve: thanks for the hope and words of advice. my husband recently quit. He is taking over the counter cough medicine once a day for brain zaps. when would you say the zaps actually go away? keep up the amazing work. it is sooo great to see someone who has sucessfully come off of these devil pills and actual say that they are enjoying life without them. thanks so much!

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by OrderOfSolve, Jan 13, 2013
@summerloven: Most of the major symptoms were gone for me over the course of about a month with decreasing severity after the first 2 weeks.  Brain shocks are from the SNRI effect of Ultram.  5-HTP is a serotonin precursor and Sam-E boost serotonin production.  DXM in the cough medicine affects serotonin too.  Do not use any of these in conjunction.  My opinion, I would try 5-HTP first, if the cough meds are not providing relief, it's less expensive and probably just as effective as anything without a rx.  The longest symptom for me was the return of normal energy levels and sleep patterns, took about 6-8 weeks for those to even out with out medication.  This is what I did, I used a multi-vitamin with mineral spread, B-complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin C to support my immunity system.  Milk Thistle for liver function support.  Fish oil omega 3,6 &9 2x daily, Passion flower tincture and Valerian root for sleep and anxiety.  Generic imodium as needed.  Most of which I purchased at walmart.  I am on Neurontin for nerve damage from my hip replacement and I upped the dosage of that for the restless legs and body.  I hydrated as much as possible to speed detox.  The only thing that's going to do any good for the opiate effect of tramadol is to get natural endorphins flowing and that will take exercise, even if you feel you can't move an inch, push to walk, start slow......I remember that being a real bear the first few weeks, but it really did make me feel better and speed recovery.  I removed caffeine and red meats for a while to avoid inflammation and crashes.  I use naproxen or Advil for pain & avoid Tylenol it can cause rebound pain.  After the first week I cut back on sugars and anything white (Carbs) to even out blood glucose spikes.  Healthy diet (Google Mediterranean Diet).  Avoid allowing yourself to get hungry, it'll help reduce drug cravings, I read that somewhere and it was sound advice.  I think my recovery was so long because how long I was using that crap......15 years.....I don't know many folks on it for that long and I abused for at least 12 of those years.  I should also note that it'll take a bit of time (about 6 months of PAWS for me) to really start to enjoy things completely and not feel bored, it's normal to think you will never get thru it.  It does end and every day brings you closer to homeostasis.  Rome wasn't built in a day as my mom used to say.  I hope my experience can help someone as I was helped, then maybe I can feel that I didn't waste all those years and this suffering had a purpose.  Thanks & God bless!

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by OrderOfSolve, Jan 13, 2013
Forgot to mention for energy support I used L-Glutamine, an amino acid and ginseng tea with half teaspoon of pure honey.

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by summerloven, Jan 14, 2013
Thanks sooo much I really do appreciate it. Now he is mainly dealing with energy issues and the zaps everything else is gone thankfully. I think well stop the cough meds then and try more 5htp not sure how many he can take a day. He is just waiting for the day that he doesn't have to take anything EVER again! Thanks soo much please if you have any more advice send it on over!

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by booba77, Jan 14, 2013
Order of Solve-Thank you so much for posting.  It is so nice to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I am in the process of trying to taper down some before I totally go off of these horrible things.  I have been on them for years-about 7 years on and off.  I take up to 15 a day, sometimes more.  They are terrible.  I initially loved the sense of well being and energy, and the worse part of withdrawal for me was always the lingering lack of energy.  I never had enough energy to excercise, which would have probably helped.  So I will need to do things differently this time.  I better get ready for work,  Good luck everyone.

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by lamom33, Jan 14, 2013
@OrderofSolve-Much appreciate for your post.  Great to read your story.  I'm currently in week 2 of Round 2 (relapse).  I'm feeling the tramadol cravings.  ...Funny you mentioned being bored; I've been feeling that way. Like life just isn't gonna be as fun.

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by kmchristian, Jan 14, 2013
Hello everybody, I am glad to hear that everybody is doing good, or it sounds that way at least! If it has been the same way for a lot of you that it has been for me, this has been the most challenging time/experience of my life, bar none!

I wanted to share what I have been going through with everybody to hopefully provide some information and encouragement for someone who might be looking for it... I had abused Tramadol for close to 4 years and had been on a 15-18 pill/day habit for the last close to 3 years. Back in December when a lot of the online pharmacies began getting shut down, I had a nervous panic attack that I can not describe other than I felt like my life was ending before my eyes. I hated that feeling and instantly decided it was time to stop letting this drug control my life.

December 31st was the first day I began to taper down my dosage, from 16 to 12 and then from 12 to 10 to 9, etc... I want to let everybody out there know that the first week was by far more difficult than this past week. Withdrawal symptoms were rough, and I basically felt as if every thought I had throughout the day was concerning this little stupid pill. I felt as if I was in a hopeless situation and I would be an addict, or have to suffer from the horrible withdrawal symptoms for the rest of my life!

Well here I am, two weeks later... I have tapered myself down to 4 pills a day and find the anxiety and depression has decreased exponentially, although there are still dark moments where I feel the pills calling me back to them. I have found the hardest part of the journey is simply learning to live without taking pills every 4 hours. I have wanted to kick the habit once and for all the last couple days but have not found the will power in myself to flush the rest of the pills and get this over with! Part of the power of these pills is that they scare me and frighten me into thinking I can't go on without them, when I know that is simply NOT true!!! I hope this finds everybody in good shape and i I am praying for ALL of you!

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by demafrost, Jan 14, 2013
Order - Fantastic post.  As someone who is interested in reading about people's experiences more than a month after quitting, this was really helpful.  I completely understand the feeling of being bored.  Nothing has really captured my attention lately, and nothing that I used to like has been really appealing, except on a rare good day here or there.  The other thing is that I still cannot completely get engrossed on one activity since I stopped taking trams.  For instance, an article pops up that interests me...I know it interests me...previously I'd read the whole thing right away...but now I find myself skimming it quickly and moving on.  It's frustrating.  I don't want to be bored anymore!!

Overall, I'm still getting better slowly but I'm starting to get frustrated that I'm still getting depressed days and anxiety.  Here's a breakdown of my last 10 or so days:

Days 25-28:  Overall good, little depression, good feeling of being 'normal', start to think I am turnig the corner
Days 29-31: Blindsided by 3 bad days in a row.  Mostly depressed all day, feeling lathargic, don't want to do much, hard to get stuff done....i thought i was past this
Day 32: I could feel the tide turning, more good then bad...then..
Day 33: By far the best day I've had since disembarking the tramtrain.  Several times I observed to myself that I actually feel as normal as I've ever been.  I could feel my personality coming out again, I was talkative, I got stuff done, it was great but..
Day 34: Holy crap what happened, I'm depressed again.  Not horrible depression, but enough to make me lose the social behavior and ambition I felt the previous day....most frustrated I've been during this whole thing...wondering why the hell am I being teased like this
Day 35 (today): Not as good as day 33, but much better much more normal feeling.  Music sounds good...getting stuff done at work, etc.  

I will say that I don't think the depression is as bad as it was in the first 3 weeks...and it doesn't last all day, and I can temporarily pull out of it with good music or something distracting me...but its still there.  The anxiety, which has really bothered me at times, hasn't been a factor since maybe day 31, so thats a plus.

Anyways, I know 35 days is not enough time to clear this drug's grips, but I figured I'd be having more frequent and longer lasting good days at this point.  I'll admit that there are a lot of factors that probably don't help me get through this quicker (took up to 28 trams a day, abused for 4 years, havent been eating as well as I should (I have way too much sugar and processed foods in my diet), havent been exercising, having financial problems that cause anxiety, not drinking enough water at all).  I do take daily vitamins and b-12 everyday, so that probably helps.

Keep up the good work everyone.  KM, I know the thought of not needing the trams sounds scary, but once you get past that first acute withdrawal period (3-5 days) that fear goes away quickly, or at least it did in my case.  I know everyone's experiences are different, but by the end of those first few days, IMO the drugs spell as completely broken.  In fact it was quite an emotional experience realizing that I was feeling better (from acute withdrawals) and didn't need the trams to feel better.  Once you are ready to complete the taper and jump off you will feel this as well.

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by Ginko7, Jan 14, 2013
Hi, my name is Tony, and I need help.  Please do not judge me, but I am only twenty years old.  I h ad this terrible fear of doctors, and I refused to go for some reason  One day, I was having migraines like usual, and my mother gave me one of her tramadol.  After that it was another couple of years when I was feeling down, and found the bottle in the medicine cupboard; I was in a lot of pain, and depressed, so I decided to take two.

For months, I was able to take them once every few days when I was down, but...  It escalated, and now for a year and a half I have been popping eleven a day; eleven 50 milligram tablets a day I mean.

I knew I had to stop; I was spending money online, I was stealing them, I was doing everything I could to get my next dose because of the fear.

I'm in my last semester of college, and I can graduate...  

Last month at this time I was taking 10 a day easily, and now I am down to four a day; I tapered very quickly due to the fact that online pharmacies are going down, and all other suppliers were running very dry.

I am now taking 4 pills a day, and I AM proud of my self for that.  I have made a pact with my self that no matter how long I stay at one dosage level, I WILL NEVER increase that again.  So if I taper down to lets say, 3 a day...  Even if I get stuck there for a couple of months, I will never allow my self to increase the dosage again, and it is working.

I'm in a place now where I CAN slowly taper off; I have the supply stream, but even so I DON'T WANT TO BE ON THIS ANYMORE.

I am incredibly intelligent, (not trying to brag, I was a 4.0 student in high school, and have nearly the same in college) I am twenty, I have a beautiful, amazing fiancee who loves me, and knows that I might be going through withdrawal.  I'm not a bad person, and she knows this.  Even when I took it, I looked it up online...  It always said "non addictive, non addictive, non addictive."  If I had known...  If i had just see this journal, I would have never taken it; or I would have never taken MORE of it.

I'm one of the rare few who only needs to take one dose daily.  I can take the full amount, and then suffer no withdrawal symptoms for a good 24+ hours.  It's only after 27+ hours I begin to get brain zaps; even after 12 hours, I can still feel it in me.

The "euphoric," feelings just makes me feel sick now.  It makes me feel disgusting and poisoned.  I don't enjoy it anymore.

Right now I am in between doses, it's been about 23 hours...  I can feel the Tramadol has worn off, and there is no "druggy," "euphoric," feel in me at all.  I get these couple hours a day in between doses where I feel like I'm normal.  No severe depession, no druggy feeling, just...  Normal me.

But then I know I have to drug my mind again very soon so I don't start suffering.

Due to supply, I had to take two a day for three days coming down from EIGHT A DAY.  Let me tell you that while I did NOT get shocks, or RLS, or anything of the sort, the depression from the dose decreasing was unbearable.  It was only when I got to lay down and cuddle with my fiancee before bed, that I felt calm and warm.  I even had to take half a vicodin and xanax to get through it. (note I have not taken Vicodin or Xanax in a week, I'm not going to get addicted to those too, and I have no desire to take either.)

I'm just ranting now.  Basically, after the two a day, the supply came back, so I went up to five a day.  I quickly tapered down to four pills a day, and AM proud of my self.  A year ago, I was taking eleven a day, and now I can function and feel decent on four.

I say DECENT, because I still get this depression that makes it somewhat hard to enjoy things, but that might just be due to my anger at Tramadol right now.

I will NEVER increase my dosage after I decrease it, no matter how hard it hurts.  That is what I need to do, and I know this. I'm scared though; if I quit it during my last, and most important semester, there's no way in hell I can focus on maintaining my GPA...

Since I have a good supply, I want to cut down 25 mg a day every two weeks.  Yes, I know that is very slow, but I have heard that very slow is very good.

I'm thinking of tapering until I'm down to 100 mg a day (two pills), and then staying there until I finish my semester.  Once the semester ends, I think I could do 25 mg a week until I'm off completely, and then suffer the consequences during the SUMMER, while I have nothing of incredible importance going on.

Once again, if I quit this second, withdrawal will destroy my ability to pass this incredibly important semester.  I know that life "gets in the way," sometimes, but I can't drop my classes, can't make any changes, this is just it...

Please help me.

Since I feel okay dropping from eleven to four pills a day so fast, do you think a very slow taper like this would help decrease the withdrawal?

Thanks a bunch.

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by Ginko7, Jan 14, 2013
I also have incredibly good insurance now.  Do you think that when the semester is over, I should try to get help from the doctor?  My insurance will virtually cover anything, so do you have any ideas on how I can use it to get me off this damned hell drug?

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by lamom33, Jan 14, 2013
Hi Tony!  Only you can decide what the best strategy to get off these.  Yes, a slow taper will reduce withdrawal symptoms (if you can stick to it).  No one will judge you here.  I (and a lot of others) have done some not so nice things to obtain tramadol. You are not alone.

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by Ginko7, Jan 14, 2013
Well, considering I was on 11 a day a month a go, and I've quickly tapered down to 4 a day, I'd say I'm doing good.  It was forced, but I'm motivated.  I could easily do 6 a day right now and be in the clear, but I chose 4, as it was my absolute minimum dose.

I'm glad to know I'm not alone.  I'm going to keep posting here and let everyone here know whenever I cut down a half pill.  I spent five hours today with my fiancee, no ultram in my system, and it was amazing.  I know that the medicine is still in my tissues, but I wasn't "buzzed," from it, and I felt normal, and it was great.  It's odd...  Between doses, I always get a period of a few hours where I feel amazing, but not drugged.  It's like how I was before this.  That is what I will chase.

And I will hold strong!  Whenever I lower my dose, I will NEVER go back up.  I've been tempted to take 5 a day, but I refused this whole week, and if anything, my want to decrease to 3 and a half is stronger than the need to take even more.  I have a poster on my wall that I wrote, it says, "Don't be weak, it's all down hill from here."  Which signifies my commitment to NEVER increase my dosage, and only go down.  On the 20th, I have it marked to start 3 1/2 pills a day, and I feel great about it.  

I'm going to taper down to two a day, then when the semester finishes, I am going to beat this for good.  From what I've understood, withdrawal won't be as bad for someone who has a body acclimated to 100 mg a day, as it will be for someone with  body acclimated to 500 milligrams a day...  I have conviction, and I will not falter.  Even if I get stuck at a point for a while, I'll never increase my dose.

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by Tramadont_no_more, Jan 14, 2013
@ demafrost  Google PAWS.............sounds like that's what you have going on......st john's wort has weak SSRI properties and can be useful to treat these symptoms, though this early on you may be better served to rebalance what the ultram damaged thus my suggestion of 5-HTP or Sam-E.........My Primary Doctor wanted me on SSRIs and I refused, SSRIs are commonly used to treat PAWS.  I personally don't advocate SSRI anti depression medicine ie: zoloft, and such, coming off ultram........Don't get me wrong SSRIs are useful if needed and some should use it, they have their place, but my opinion is that ultram boogers with brain chemistry in ways regular opiates don't and the idea is to normalize brain chemistry, continuing to booger with serotonin will hinder healing.  I told my Doctor I was taking responsibility for my own healthcare, you gave me the ultram!............I believe the best way to heal the human body is with nature (herbs) and nutrition plus exercise.  I try now to use the least amount of medicine as I can and it's successful for me and I can only speak for myself.  I see from your post you are aware of what you need to do to speed recovery so I will not offer advice.  I do advocate supplements.  I use st john's wort now and find it useful when I'm feeling blue or going thru extra stress.  PAWS can take up to a year to subside but I think 6 months is a more realistic figure with tramadol.  Symptoms will continue to abate with the passage of time, it is a subtle healing after the pain of the first couple months. I personally want to remember how crappy I felt during withdrawal from ultram and nicotine.........though I do enjoy cigars for the flavor, I do not inhale cigar smoke.  You have accomplished the hardest part by quitting, The storm has passed, now you're waiting for the sun to shine and it will very soon. The discomfort you're in now is such a small price to pay for what you have to gain. God bless.

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by OrderOfSolve, Jan 14, 2013

@ demafrost  Google PAWS.............sounds like that's what you have going on......st john's wort has weak SSRI properties and can be useful to treat these symptoms, though this early on you may be better served to rebalance what the ultram damaged thus my suggestion of 5-HTP or Sam-E.........My Primary Doctor wanted me on SSRIs and I refused, SSRIs are commonly used to treat PAWS.  I personally don't advocate SSRI anti depression medicine ie: zoloft, and such, coming off ultram........Don't get me wrong SSRIs are useful if needed and some should use it, they have their place, but my opinion is that ultram boogers with brain chemistry in ways regular opiates don't and the idea is to normalize brain chemistry, continuing to booger with serotonin will hinder healing.  I told my Doctor I was taking responsibility for my own healthcare, you gave me the ultram!............I believe the best way to heal the human body is with nature (herbs) and nutrition plus exercise.  I try now to use the least amount of medicine as I can and it's successful for me and I can only speak for myself.  I see from your post you are aware of what you need to do to speed recovery so I will not offer advice.  I do advocate supplements.  I use st john's wort now and find it useful when I'm feeling blue or going thru extra stress.  PAWS can take up to a year to subside but I think 6 months is a more realistic figure with tramadol.  Symptoms will continue to abate with the passage of time, it is a subtle healing after the pain of the first couple months. I personally want to remember how crappy I felt during withdrawal from ultram and nicotine.........though I do enjoy cigars for the flavor, I do not inhale cigar smoke.  You have accomplished the hardest part by quitting, The storm has passed, now you're waiting for the sun to shine and it will very soon. The discomfort you're in now is such a small price to pay for what you have to gain. God bless.

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by kmchristian, Jan 14, 2013
I needed everybody's help... I have been on a taper schedule, as I have documented over the last few weeks. Today was a VERY difficult day for me as far as tramadol is concerned. I feel like with my tapering every day is a clock countdown until I can take a pill.... this has RUINED the last 2 weeks for me...

I want to go CT SOOO bad but I'm scared!! I hear people talking about weeks with symptoms.... I am coming off of a 4 year habit mind you. I can't bring myself to dump the 150 pills I have down the toilet and face this like a man... I am terrified of what lies ahead and was looking for some information/inspiration. God bless you all!

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by kmchristian, Jan 14, 2013
So I had in in my mind to attempt to go 24 hours without a single pill and see how I felt at that point...

Turns out, at about the 21 hour mark, I gave in... AGAIN....

It wasn't the flu symptoms or brain zaps or anything else like that, it was the CONTINUOUS movement in my arms, legs, every inch of my body. Every single square centimeter of my body wanted to move and felt like it was going to jump out of its skin. Has anybody else had that same problem?

I couldn't face up to it, I am terified of what is going to happen to me....

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by Ginko7, Jan 14, 2013
Be strong, I am starting to slow taper as well.  I'm still at four, so you are ahead of me.  If you can survive off one a day, I give kudos to you.  If you have the pills, try an even slower taper.  Try reducing to 3/4ths pill for a week or two, then 1/2 pill for a week or two, and so on.  You don't have to taper from one to zero immediately.  Also if you let your body acclimate and get used to only 50 milligrams a day, then it will be easier.  Your body doesn't sound like its used to your current dosage, so I'd let it regulate to your current amount first.

- Tony

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by lamom33, Jan 14, 2013
km-Yes,  the first time I experienced it scared the crap out of me too.  It's referred to as RLS on the board, but it can be much more than the legs-feels like hours of panic.  For me, it doesn't start until 3-4 days cold turkey.  It does pass.  I promise.  Stick to your taper, and it won't be so bad.

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by demafrost, Jan 15, 2013
Order - Thanks for another fantastic post.  The sympoms are bad at times but I know its getting better, and I've done a lot of research on PAWS to help understand why it happens and how long I should expect it to continue.

Funny you should mention 5 HTP, I actually went and bought some yesterday after spending the afternoon researching.  I was almost taken aback with how well it worked.  It greatly improved my mood and even gave me a slight buzz.  I was thinking maybe it was placebo, but I took another 100 mg this morning and am feeling the mood elevation again.  I am assuming that this is sort of an initial response to the increased seritonin production and over time it will level out.  I hope it does because other than the occasional drink I have been trying to stay away from all sorts of artificial highs.  

I have also read a lot about people having trouble discontinuing 5 HTP so I am a little worried about getting dependant on it.  Some people don't believe it but others swear theyve had withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing.  Anyways, thanks for the helpful posts!

km as far as the fear of life without tramadol, it goes away quickly! like within days.  The symptoms that you experience for weeks afterwards suck, but its not as bad as it sounds from reading these messages.  It's certainly not as bad as the pre-tramless fear you are feeling.  I know because I had it.  I was petrified and couldnt imagine not having to depend on tramadol everyday.  I read posts here about people experiencing weeks and months of symptoms and it actually scared me from quitting for a year or two because i convinced myself that i couldnt afford to go through that and i couldnt handle it.  It's all part of the game the drug plays on you.  I am convinced that when you make the leap, you will feel the same way.  We will all be here providing support along the way!

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by kmchristian, Jan 15, 2013
Dema- thank you so much for your response... it means a lot... I am beating myself up over this. I have missed two days of work in the last two weeks and I haven't even kicked tramadol to the curb yet! I feel like I am in a downward spiral that is unstoppable... I feel worthless because I am missing my job and because if my parents knew what I had become of me, they would have the hearts broken and be the most disappointed people in the world...

I can't explain the feeling when I get close to the 24 hour mark without a pill in me... I have the most extreme anxiety and feel like I am NEVER going to sleep, be comfortable, or feel the same again.... the minutes feel like hours, and the hours feel like days...

Right now I sit here and I feel like I am stuck as a victim of tramadol for the rest of my life. I feel guilty for letting it ever get to this point and feel plain and simple like there is no way out...

In addition I have the physical symptoms that are just constant movement and anxiety throughout my entire body and constant uncomfort...

I don't know what I am going to do...

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by lamom33, Jan 15, 2013
Well, 3rd night in a row kicking around.  I'm turning into a zombie from lack of sleep.  I was too tired to do yoga last nigt and I'm paying for it today with pain.  Heating pad is helping, took some advil.  

Anyone else having trouble keeping supplements down?  I might have to switch to making st.john's wort tea, bet it tastes nasty.  I'm on the banana/water diet for today.  I might get crazy and add some oatmeal or yogurt.

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by Ginko7, Jan 15, 2013
Read my last posts then tell me...  Do you think I should reduce to 3 and 1/2 pills instead of four today rather than the 20th?  Physically, my body is completely acclimated to four pills a day, even though a month ago I was taking ten a day, haha.  I have some anxiety here and there, but nothing crippling, and that could be from a myriad of other factors.

I take my dose in around four hours, so do you think I should go down to three and a half now?  My original plan was to go down to 3 1/2 on the 20th, and be down to 3 by the beginning of April.

Stick to the plan, or go ahead now!?  So hard to decide...  I feel acclimated, but since I was on 11 a day at the beginning of December, I don't want to do anything rash.

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by kmchristian, Jan 15, 2013
So I wanted to share something with everybody to get some feedback...

Yesterday was a HORRIBLE day for me. I left work early because I couldn't focus and was consumed with this tramadol battle I am in... I came home, down to what I swore was my last straw and wanted to flush the pills and I couldn't do it...

I told myself I was going to make it 24 hours and I couldn't even do that. I feel defeated and not in control of my own life and its scary!

Given yesterday's episode, I decided to see a doctor today. I went to my physician and basically told her everything. She decided to run some tests and referred me to an addiction specialist which isn't until February 13th... I spoke to her about the anxiety, restlessness, and panic attacks which are the worst symptoms to me and she failed to give me anything for them. She did not know very much about the drug which was the reason why she referred me to somebody with an explicit history. She ended up not giving me anything for the anxiety, which was mightily disappointing and made me even more anxious.

I have been in this taper for a little over 2 weeks and feel SOO mentally beat up by this. My feelings go UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN. It is torture to say the least... I was just looking for someone's narrative on the situation and looking for help. Thank you all!

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by anaenlima, Jan 15, 2013
kmchristian, you shouldn't beat up yourself so badly. You are very brave and have been trying very hard. Maybe flushing the pills at this moment is not a great idea... Why not go on taking the dose you're comfortable with until you see the addiction specialist? These doctors know the best way for you to stop your addiction without undue suffering - if they're good, of course.
I have been on and off tramadol for a few years now. It was easy to stop taking it when I was put on pregabalin for pain - that seemed to take the craving away. I know I'm addicted, but I also know that I can stop if I go slowly. You should know that too. Being addicted to a pill doesn't mean you're a bad person, it means you have a problem and you need to find the most sensible way to solve it. Surely there will be some pain and discomfort but it doesn't need to be as bad as it seems to be for you at the moment. What you describe, your body wanting to jump out of yor skin, sounds awful. Nobody can blame you for wanting to stop that feeling. You say it feels like torture. Well, I don't believe you should have to endure that. If you need a pill, take it. Maybe you tapered down to one too fast. Wait for your appointment with the doctor. I feel you must be one of the bravest of us out there but I also feel you need a rest. Rest for a while, be kind to yourself and when your stronger and with the help of this doctor, try again, little by little. Best of luck, Ana


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by lamom33, Jan 15, 2013
km-look up post by fullmetalalchemist or send her a message directly.  I believe she is a nurse and has went round and round with this drug.  She'd be the most help for you.  Hang in there.

P.S.  "jumping out of my skin" feeling never lasted a whole 24hrs. for me.  It passes and while there is anxiety, it is no where near as bad.

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by lamom33, Jan 15, 2013
@Ginko  feeling the pull just to be done with this drug?  I can understand that.  A half pill decrease a few days early shouldn't send you into massive withdraws.  I think you'd be fine.  If not, you can just stay at 4 for another week.

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by Ginko7, Jan 15, 2013
Yeah, Iamom, that's definitely how I feel right now...  Please give me your opinion.  How bad do you think withdrawal for me would be if I stick with my half a pill taper every one or two weeks?

It's been 25 hours since my last tramadol pill, and I feel physically fine if that means anything...  I have no idea why, but I can easily go 26-27 hours without any real withdrawal setting in.

I'm hoping that the slow tapering will do a lot to ease withdrawal; I know it won't go away completely, but I'm hoping to taper enough to the point where withdrawal won't render me bedridden with no will to live or do anything.  I'm just so busy now; I can operate with flu symptoms and depression, but not that feeling you get from going cold turkey...

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by Ginko7, Jan 15, 2013
Also, please tell me there is someone else who is like me...  I've gone 26 hours with virtually no withdrawal, and I'm still laughing/having fun with my fiancee.

Is there anyone else like me that only needs it once a day?  Does that change anything?  kmchristian feels horrible well before the 24 hour mark, but I feel fine...  I'm just about to take my dose, I just want to know if there's anyone else like me out there who will feel fine well after the 24 hour mark; kind of feel alone on that one. :(

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by Ginko7, Jan 15, 2013
I can't stop posting...  I just feel really invincible right now.  I know going down from 4 to 3 1/2 pills five days early isn't anything big, but...  I feel really proud of my self, and my fiancee is proud of me too.  I'm thinking if this goes well, I'll even go down to 3 pills a day in five days when I would have done 3 1/2...  Sorry I am posting so much, you guys just really help me out.  I've felt like a pathetic, excuse for human life..  I'd spent money on drugs when I could be spending it on my fiancee and I.

At three pills a day, I will have so much more money for my girl and I...  It's not 0 yet, but 3 a day will beat the hell out of 11 a day, and it's okay to be proud of being down from 11 a day to my current amount, right?  Is it okay to be proud of this, or is it one of those, "That's nothing, the roughest is still ahead, so stop being happy," type things?  I mean, I know it will be harder and harder, just...  I'm hoping it's okay to be proud of my self.  Two months ago, I tried going from 11 a day to six a day, and got bad withdrawal, and had to go back up.  Now I can do 3 1/2, and feel perfectly fine.  My body seems to acclimate fast...

Sorry, sorry, I keep talking...  I just have never been able to talk about it before.  My fiancee is supportive, but she'd never really understand.

Sometimes when she's in pain, she'll ask if she can have a tramadol...  I used to give her one here and there, but now when she asks, I say "NO, even if the chance is .5%, I'll never let you end up where I am..."  Gah, sorry. T_T My emotions have just been out of whack all month...  It feels like New Years Eve was eons ago.

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by summerloven, Jan 15, 2013
@kmchristian: when my husband went to go see the dr about tramadol they refused to give him any anxiety meds ... those are just as addicting as tramadol and he told me once he gets rid of one problem he'll have another problem. You are strong you CAN do this. Read your posts from before about how motivated you were and how you can't wait to have YOUR life back. You got this, I know its crazy when your body won't stop moving, but I know you can do it. Have faith!


@Tony: I give you props and your fiance as well. I am close to your age and my husband just got off his battle of tramadol addiction. All I am going to tell you is this, your fiance is your rock and you are very lucky to have her supporting you. Go to her, confide in her and seek comfort in her when you don't feel good. My husband never came to me for comfort until the end because he thought I didn't understand. If she loves you as much as you say she does, then she herself is experiencing pain watching you go through this as I did with my husband. So PLEASE confide in her and keep up the amazing work. Sending prayers your way!

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by Ginko7, Jan 15, 2013
Thank you, whenever I feel like crap, I will go to her.  When she spent months dealing with re-surfacing memories of abuse, I was there to comfort her as well.  I'm not suffering too much yet.  Honestly, the taper isn't hurting me too badly at all, even though I was on 10-11 pills a day a month ago.

I'm expecting it to be like this until I hit two pills, and after that, I expect it to get a lot harder.  Even if I have to start cutting 1/4th pill at a time, so be it, that's what I will do.

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by Ginko7, Jan 15, 2013
took my 3 1/2 earlier...  I think I have slight withdrawal?  I'm a little shaky, my arms feel really cold...  But for some reason, I feel really good.  I'm laughing and kind of giddy?  I don't know why, but that's how I feel right now.

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by kmchristian, Jan 16, 2013
@anaenlima- Thank you very much for your kind words, it really means a lot. I can get through 24 hours after a pill with no horrible withdrawal effects... HOWEVER, once night time comes (9-10 pm-ish) I get REALLY anxious and not being able to sleep and being restless forever which causes me to take a couple pills.... Basically I am taking them to be able to sleep right now. I have completely removed them from my day to day life and it only becomes an issue in the evenings. Then once I take a few, I feel like the battle has to start ALL OVER again the next day.

I think what I am experiencing mentally with this taper is what makes it so hard... EVERYDAY is a mental grind! EVERYDAY feels like a battle and it is EXHAUSTING!

Physically (outside of the restlessness) I feel like I can kick this horribleness. It is the mental battle that is exponentially harder! I get the fear that I will never sit still again nor will I ever sleep again. I am afraid I am damaged for the rest of my life to the point where I will not be able to enjoy anything ever again....

Thank you again everybody for your kind words and support, I appreciate it greatly!

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by lamom33, Jan 16, 2013
Ya know.  I keep seeing this commercial, don't know the name of the place, but the guy says"I used to be an addict, and now I'm not."  I want to go there and finish this withdraw.  No responsibilities, swimming in a beautiful pool, getting massages, someone can cook for me.  It would be so nice...

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by lamom33, Jan 16, 2013
@Tony  I've withdrawal I don't know how many times (most from running out before I could fill my prescription or someone else's)  I have to say each has been different.  A lot of the same symptoms but varying degrees.  If you've ever gone I would say at least 3 days without at your current dose, that's enough time to get an idea of what your physical symptoms may be.  There have been posters who stated that withdrawal wasn't anything near as bad as what they had expected.  I'm sure Emily's Journal is skewed.  What I mean is, those of us who have longer withdrawal or more severe symptoms are more likely to keep posting than those who get back to normal more quickly.

@km-Would it help to spread your dose out?  Maybe that would lessen the anxiety?

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by demafrost, Jan 16, 2013
lamom - I hear ya.  When I was still on trams, I always saw ads for places promising to detox with ease.  Maybe they could have made my detox easier, and there was a time in my life that I saw a place like that as likely my only option for getting off the drug, but having gone through detox on my own, I'll say its not worth the money.  People can do this on their own.  It's very very tough, but not at all impossible IMO.  But you have to be ready to quit and for me it took a push for me to just say "f it, lets do this".  In my case, that push was pharmacies being shut down and making it really hard to buy trams on the internet.  I stopped on a Monday...I knew that I would get a shipment by Thursday but sometime mid Tuesday, I realized how badly I wanted to quit and just said "f it".  Best decision of my life.

Day 37 - 5 HTP is working well, but I tried to take 100 mg in the morning and 100 mg later in the day and I got adverse affects, including anxiety and light depression.  Not sure why or if it had anything to do with taking the 2nd dose, but I am definitly going to hold off on taking 200 mg in a day again for now.  Overall my mood is a bit more stabalized...very helpful.  I feel more normal over the last week....my first thought every day is no longer 'what day am i on?'  in fact, this morning I couldnt remember if i was on day 35 or 36 (it was 37)...had to count backwards.  To me, this is a sign that the withdrawal isnt as big of an overwhelming burden on my life as it was the first 5 weeks.  By no means am I saying its over, or even close to over, its just getting better for the most part.

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by thestilly, Jan 16, 2013
Demafrost - we do have something in common with our recovery after all.  I constantly forget the day I am on and I am so okay with it because I used to think about how I feel every milisecond of every day.  How many pills?  What time?  Can I justify taking more than I usually would?  That cycle is long gone and I work hard to focus on something else when my mind wanders to that topic.  Days do seem to go by slow.  But is that a bad thing for a person who has so much to live for in his trammy-free life?

Things that made me laugh out loud so far on thread #57:

"disembarking the tramtrain"

"I ate a lot of turkey and drank gallons of water"

On my way to work today I absolutely lost it listening to a Pink song thinking about my two year old daughter.  Full on tears.  Soooo, unlike me.  I can't remember the last time tears came from my eyes unless I was chopping an onion.  There is nothing wrong with my daughter mind you (she is the center of my universe) but apparently there is some intense emotion to be felt in my trammy-free life.

My wife's birthday is coming up and I need an idea to reward the person who is largely responsible for me being able to type this.  She has put up with a lot and never wavered in order to get me through w/d.  Hmmmm...

Lurking warriors - your life without tramadol awaits.  Is the today the day?

Looking forward to posting this to see how many days it has been...

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by thestilly, Jan 16, 2013
And so I forget to post my ticker!!!  To funny...

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by thestilly, Jan 16, 2013
36 DAYS: WAHOO!!!

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by Ginko7, Jan 16, 2013
Thanks, guys!  I took 3 1/2 again today, and feel great, no different than at 4 pills.

Want to hear the funny thing?  I can tell how much of a little demon this pill is...  I feel JUST as fine at 3 1/2 pills as I did when I was doing 11 pills a day back in early December.

I don't know why, but even after my drastic dosage lowering, I have NO cravings to take more Tramadol.  I'm not getting any urges to just pop an extra pill into my mouth for that "high," feeling or anything like that.

Going to keep the nice, slow taper throughout the college semester.  If I hit a road block, I'll just taper in smaller amounts. :)  Once I hit two pills a day, I'll really start to feel free from this...  And once I can do one a day, that will be amazing as well.  

The best part of being down to nearly three a day is the lack of dent in my wallet.  Without having to finance eleven pills a day, I have A LOT more money already!

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by lamom33, Jan 17, 2013
Week 2 Round 2
Starting to realize I'm not doing everything I need to do to aid myself during this withdrawal period and stay away from tram forever.  I haven't taken the correct dosage of St. John's Wort in about a week.  While my gut is messed up, I could have made a tea on those days.  I'm only eating once a day.  I'm not using the aromatherapy oils everyday.  Not beating myself up, just seeing a pattern that needs to be addressed.

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by lamom33, Jan 20, 2013
Hello all.  Hope everyone is doing well.  I had a couple of overall good days then a rough one yesterday.  Lots of nausea and other digestive issues (yuck).  I have been either wrapping my legs with ace bandages or wearing tights in the evening.  I think it's helping with keeping my legs still and having less pain there.  It's nice here today so I'm walking no matter how I feel.

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by Arnouddegroot, Jan 20, 2013
Dear tramkickers,

I have been using tramadol IR hcl for over 1/1.5 years on and off. Most of the time I used the drug for like a month, then cold turkey and after a week or something I tell my self.. hey, one time a week wont  be a problem right? After that I get hooked again and this cycle has repeated itself many times. I use between 250-400 mg a day, never more than 400, but I used everyday the last month. Right now Im really really done with it and this time I trew away a very big stash worth like €500,- and a lot of highs, just because I am so done with this ****.

I am doing a fast taper at the moment, starting with 200 mg today, 100 tomorrow and 50 the day after. Then Ill probably quit and face the full withdrawals ( this is the way Ive done it many times before). This time however there is absolutely no chance for me to get any tram again because I bought them in bulk from someone whom I probably wont be able to see anymore in my life. This means my tramadol habit will finaly be over for real, and not just for one or two weaks to get rid of the withdrawals and then start using again.

I also have loperamide which I will try for the first time, and I have a stash of oxazepam which I will use as a sleepaid in the first couple of days, and after that also get rid of. I have nothing with those stupid benzos, but I found out in previous tries that being able to sleep helps alot in the first couple of days with the lethargy and also depression etc. At last I have a bunch of vitamins, lots of gatorade and a bottle of 5-htp and some johnsworth, but I dont think I will use that last one because I dont want another ssri in my system.

I am a 20 year male btw and a university student and one of the reasons I need to clear myself of tram is because it has ****** up my motivation and grades from the last halfyear so badly that I might be kicked out of university.  

I would really appreciate the support from other (ex)(ab)users, because this time I am getting pretty anxious about the depression and about what I should do after detox when there is absolutely no way getting back on tram this time.

Greetings,

Arnoud

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by lamom33, Jan 21, 2013
@Arnoud  Welcome and congrats on getting yourself free.  Not sure what to do after detox as I'm still having mild/moderate physical withdrawals.  I am taking St. John's Wort.  It is helping some...no sudden thought images of me putting a  gun to my head (gotta love tramadol withdrawal!)  like other withdrawal periods.   Lots of people have had success with the 5htp.  I tried it but felt fried-I used fast dissolve-maybe that is why.  Anyway, good luck.  

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by daltonrules, Jan 22, 2013
Wanted to update everyone and throw some personal stuff out there......hope it helps!

I consider myself very open and honest about everything I do, have done, I try to be blunt and not sugar coat stuff when it comes to me.  If you have questions ask me, I'm an open book!

I started taking dope like 13 years ago - I got really, really sick and got some Oxycodone from the doc for the pain I was in....it was ON from there.  It went from some random Vicodin every once in a while to some Perc's and so on and so on.  Next thing you know I'm drinking 80mgs of Methadone daily.  After the methadone I found Tramadols.  Cheap, plentiful and fun.

Now flash forward 6 years - I was taking 18-20 per day with no intention on stopping....my problem is I don't have any pain, I just like to catch a buzz.  Wish I could say different but I'd be lying.  I also make good money so I've never had a problem finding them.  I was kinda in denial about being addicted b/c it's never affected my job, I've never been in any trouble w/ the law, I've never stolen for them, etc.   And almost everyone that knows me knows my little habit, ahhhh denial is a fun thing!

Anyway i was blindsided a few weeks ago w/ not being able to re-up due to a crackdown....lucky for me I had stockpiled planning for this day - all good things must come to an end - and I knew I'd have enough on hand for a taper...so I started.

I went from 18-10 overnight....I was taking 6 in the AM, 6 around 4pm and 6 at like 9pm.  I went to 4 in the AM and 6 around 7pm - the withdrawal was minimal (I'd say a 2 on a scale of 1-10).  The worst thing I got was a touch of diarrhea and when I first woke up I felt kinda crappy.  I'm currently on 7.5 per day and it's been a breeze.

If you read my last post you'll see I was scared about the pending withdrawal, and I'm still a little nervous, but the decline has been smooth.  

I WILL SAY THIS - AND THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL - IT'S ALL ABOUT POSITIVE ATTITUDE - POSITIVE THINKING - POSITIVE MINDSET!!!!!  If you tell yourself you're going to be sad, depressed, in pain, etc,  YOU WILL.  If you tell yourself that's just your body purging itself of the poison in your system I think you'll be much better off!

I've had zero cravings, I was kinda nervous about the 'boredom' that comes with every-day life and wanting to go back to the "fast life", but honestly I'm so excited about being done with this garbage I don't even think about it.  

Also, caffeine and exercise has been a HUGE help for me.....it gives me energy, releases endorphins, and helps me look forward to something rather than dope.  There have been days where I was tired and grumpy and I forced myself to just walk on a treadmill - HUGE improvement.  

Well everyone hope it helps, my current taper is .5 pills every 3 days.....slow and steady.  All i can say at this point is the excitement from finally being done far outweighs the withdrawal......anyone else reading this - if I can do it, you TOTALLY can....trust me!!!!!!

THINK POSITIVE - REMEMBER IF YOU DO FEEL SICK IT'LL PASS - IT'S JUST YOUR BODY PURGING ITSELF OF THAT POISON!!!!!!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by booba77, Jan 23, 2013
Thanks for the.awesomely positive post Dalton. I was on the same dosage as you pretty much. I will start a quick taper this.weekend and mid week next week my WD should kick in.  looking forward to getting off of the poison.  I,need y'all's opinion.  I know imodium helps in the beginning but does it make your withdrawal longer? and if so, don't the benefits outweigh the longer WD? I read that somewhere. what do you think? all I know is the first week of WD I usually pop them like candy because of my messed up stomach.

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by lamom33, Jan 23, 2013
Booba-If you're gonna be working, I say use the immodium.  I think you would have to.  I didn't use any this time because it had been well over a week since well, you know.  No, I don't think immodium makes withdrawal longer.

Lots of cravings, some electrical shocks, heart pounding anxiety with nausea yesterday.  Came on after I exercised.  Gonna exercise today, if it happens again, I'll stop exercising for a few days.  

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by tramrevil, Jan 23, 2013
you are all doing great keep it up you dont need that **** in your lives.....take your life back...it will be worth it in the end.. i am proud of every one here....

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by Murphy2, Jan 24, 2013
Here is my tale. No doubt in my mind I am an addict, I started abusing alcohol at 16 and became a full blown alcoholic by age 30. I went to rehab and remained sober for 12 yrs. 2things happened, our son died and I fell off a second story deck and broke m y back. Was put on Percs but quickly realized I was not going to be able to get enough so I started writing my own prescriptions. I am a nurse and had access to th doctor's rx pad. That lasted 9 mos. until I was found out and fired. Went into rehab and went through terrible withdrawal, by this time I was using OxyContin 3timesa a day, plus dilaudid for breakthrough and Ativan to sleep.Stayed sober until May of last yr. when I had major surgery for Colon Cancer and had to have my colon removed.I wound up having 3 surgeries within a 10 day period and spent 3 wks. In ICU and 3 mos. in the hospital, lost 30 lbs. gained an ileostomy and a feeding tube.Needless to say I came out of the hospital addicted to Dilaudid and Ativan (again)went to detox to get off these drugs and was put on Tramadol. I had been on it before the surgery for 4 yrs. and knew it was a problem for me but couldn't face life without something to dull the pain. It has been 8 mos. and I am slowly recovering. Tried recently to go off the Tramadol but am stil in too much pain and too weak to cope with the withdrawal. I am telling you. All this b/c I will be posting a lot in the coming weeks and mos. until I am finally free from all drugs. My goal is to be clean and sober by the end of this yr. I know I can't do it alone, and I have been amazed at the kindness and true caring on this board. I truly thought I was the only crazy one.
Thanks for taking the time to read all this but it feels good to get it out. God Bless all of you.

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by Jayde121, Jan 24, 2013
@lamom33 & booba77
Thank you for your encouraging words. I have been tramadol free now for 6 days took my last tramadol sat 19th and startin to feel good again :) I even was able take my 4 month old puppy on a walk the past 2 days :)

The first couple days where soo painful, felt like I wanted to die, legs ached, wanted to throw up, skin sudden getting hot then cold.
but I pushed threw,
the  first  3 days where hardest! I treated it like I had the flu, so my partner didnt relise.
I found cold n flu tablets and ibuprofen helped and i also got some buscopan and anti nausea tablets, I only took them first 3 days.. Haven't had any in two days!  Even still had those nasty tablets in house but was detrimend not to take any, but am going to get rid of them so no one else takes them and has to go thew this.

I still get tired easy and at night get the achey legs, but heat packs have save my life there..
I feel clearer in my mind since coming off these nasty things.
I went to the drs today and explained what it was like and he still refuses I beleive that it could be like that from stopping tramadol!


Thanks again for the support!  
@lamom33 stay strong you can do this, you will make it threw :) you made me believe I could do this!

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by Jayde121, Jan 24, 2013
Booba77

I used buscopan (same as immodium) and helped heaps, felt when my tummy was settled I could deal with the rest!
I would use it and I don't think it will extend WD it didn't seem to with me, I'm on day 6 and starting feel slighty  human again..
It's not over but keep looking forward.

Good luck :)

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by lamom33, Jan 24, 2013
Feeling restless and grouchy at times.  Wanna be someone else somewhere else.  Physically, I'm fairing pretty  well.  Sleeping 6-7hrs a night, sweats are gone, pain is uncomfortable but not off the charts.  Just feel like something is missing.

tramevil-it's so kind of you to keep posting.  I hope your partner comes to her senses...sometimes it takes a while.

Jayde-so basically your doc is calling you a liar!  Gotta love that.  ...I'm on my heating pad at least an hour.  I rub warm aromatherapy oils on my legs in pm-that helps too.  Your walking has gotta be helping too.  Hopefully with the low dose and short duration you won't get electric shocks or depression.

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by lamom33, Jan 24, 2013
Murphy-Bless you, too.  I'm sure I would have numbed myself, if I was in your position.  Hang in there.  If you are bored or up all night from no sleep, you may want to check out old Thomas posts (guy from Thomas recipe for detox).  I've found them valuable.  

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by thestilly, Jan 25, 2013
Today is day ? (see below - I can never remember exactly off of the top of my head what day it is because I am too busy thinking about things besides tramadol) and I have not had a withdrawl symptom (or at least what I beleive to be) all day long for the first time since I said goodbye to my little trammies.  The thought of taking one makes me laugh. 0% chance.  My love to every warrior.  You are divine in my book.

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by Jayde121, Jan 26, 2013
Ah :( having a bad couple nights sleeping! I shouldn't complain as I'm only really getting the achey legs and no sleep symtoms now. But 2 nights in a row with next to no sleep is starting to get to me! I just wanna sleep for days I'm that exhausted but can't!!

@ Lamom 33 yes basically the dr was calling my a liar or thought I was over reacting. Unfortuantly I live in a small rural town in Victoria Australia, and the only drs we get are other nationalities, and the one we have at moment won't do females really as its their culture not to treat our bits.

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by Rediscovering, Jan 26, 2013
Murphy2. You are not alone!  This is my first post on this thread. Wonderful thread. Thank you to everyone!!  I am on day three of recovery theough tapering from a 6 yr. 12-15 trams. A day. I honestly feel really good. Depression, Anxiety, brain zaps, dizziness, antisocialness, foggy headedness are all going away. It is amazing to feel my true personality and the simple joy of living coming back. I was terrified to let go but the side effects just got far to bad to continue. I feel amazingly proud of myself right now. Yesterday I took 8. Today I am down to 7. I send my love to you Murphy and everyone who is moving through your own Tramadol story;)

We are strong!!! We will overcome!!!

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by Rediscovering, Jan 26, 2013
How is everyone doing? Haven't seen a post from Ginko in a few days?

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by Rediscovering, Jan 26, 2013
Also, KMchristian how are you doing?? I hope u are doing better. I hope u ended up doing more of tapering instead of cold turkey. I am a nurse and ironically enough even nurses and doctors can be blind enough to get hooked;) anyhow, some medical advice. It is a bad idea to cold turkey with Tramadol no matter how long u have been on it. Not only are the WD's some of the worst there is a threat of seizures. I know for some it is easier in some ways to go cold turkey. Trust me I wish I could kick it ASAP too. Tapering makes me nervous. There is a little fear I will relapse. However, after being on it for 6 yrs. I know my chances of seizure are high.

Anyhow, to those that have been having a rough time and haven't posted for a bit. I hope you are tapering and are doing alright:)

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by Rediscovering, Jan 26, 2013
I also wanted to say Woooohoooo to the thestilly! I am so happy for your recovery. Not even very far into mine and its amazing how much better I am feeling. Almost feel like my joy, intelligence and personality are coming back from a long fog. Amazing.

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by daltonrules, Jan 27, 2013
that is an awesome feeling - my brain is waking up from being in a drug-induced fog - best feeling in the world.  I'm now at 7 per day, go to 6.5 on Tuesday...can't wait.  So i went from 18-20/day to 7 per day in less than a month, what an awesome feeling!

Rediscovering stay strong - what helped for me is to find out what I really loved in this world (riding motorcycles) - and I do it every single day that I can.  When I'm on my bike I'm not thinking about anything else.  Not the safest hobby I know, but whatever helps get me off this crap is worth it to me!

A slow steady taper works, withdrawal has been a breeze compared to what I was telling myself it was going to be.

Some other stuff that helps me:  I made a chart that I update every couple days that shows how far I've come and how much I have left.  Right now I'm 55% of the way done - the home stretch. If I ever get a craving (which I will admit over the past 2 days I had a couple) I look at my chart.  

Stay strong -be positive!!!  Withdrawal is not that bad - POSITIVE THOUGHTS!!  Remember its just your body purging itself of that poison!!!!!


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by jenztoy2, Jan 27, 2013
I have tried to taper down a couple of times lately.  At the most I take 40 50mg pills a day.  10 pills 4X a day.  Most of of time I take 30 50 mg pills a day.  10 3x a day.  I have been taking these pills for 13 years now.  Started out at 2 pills 4x a day.  Was told these were not addictive and didn't hurt your liver.  The wonder drug.  I had a surgery go wrong in 2001 and have been taking them ever since.  I liked the extra energy I got from them.  We had 4 kids at home and I had no prob working all day and then coming home and doing all the things you do taking care of 4 kids.  That is the main reason I stayed on the drug.  My doc prescribes me 240 a month and the rest I get on the internet.  Which I am hearing from reading this is probably illegal.  I want to stop taking these damn pills and being a slave to them.  There are too many aspects in my life that I have just let lay that should be taken care of.  I am seriously worried that getting off this amount of pills and the amount of time I have been taking them may kill me......  Thanks for your site.  It gives me hope.

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by lamom33, Jan 27, 2013
"Withdrawal is not that bad - POSITIVE THOUGHTS!!"   Having trouble with this.  These last few days have been rough.  I'm three weeks out and the electric shocks are in full force.  I don't see these mentioned by too many people.  Anyone know how long these last?  I feel exhausted and fried at the same time.  If they are really strong, I get chest pains, too.

Welcome to all the new people. Tramadol is a nasty drug.  You're doing the right thing coming off of it.

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by jenztoy2, Jan 28, 2013
Is anyone out there?  Did anyone see my post?  I don't even know if I am doing this right......

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by jenztoy2, Jan 28, 2013
Heading to yet another new doc to get a new refill of my meds.... My doc for the last 10 years said I couldn't come back to his practice.  I am in deep here.  Need all the experience and help I can get.  Thanks.



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by Heymirth, Jan 28, 2013
Taper down the best way you can. I took the taper down to a qtr pill. It took months to get to that point.  I'm 80days without them and life gets better after the first 30days of stomach,anxiety and panic attacks.  You can do it.    Taper slowly and make 2013 the best year.  

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
Lamom33. I can't remember if u said u were tapering slowly. I have been on trams for 6 yrs. up to 15 a day. I am down to 7 a day. I haven't been getting the electrical shocks or brain zaps so far but I have heard it is part of withdrawal so hang in there. I used to get them when I was taking my full dose. Stay strong;)

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
Hi Jenz. Sorry I meant to get to u earlier. I am absolutely here for you. U can message me privately too. I am recovering myself right now. U absolutely need to find a doctor who will keep u supplied for a taper off. It is very dangerous for you to go cold turkey sweetheart!! Call your doctor and tell him u want to taper off and that u were told it is not possible for u to go cold turkey. He is putting u at strong risk for seizure and horrible withdrawal if he won't work with u. Find another doctor ASAP or pain specialist if he won't work with you. It sounds like it is time for u to get off trams now. Once u make the decision and start moving forward u will feel very good about yourself. Much love to u and please know I am here for u.

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by lamom33, Jan 28, 2013
jenztoy-I couldn't taper, just had to jump off.  IMO your dose is too high to do this.  If it were me, I would start somewhere between 20-25 pills and reduce one every 5-10 days in the beginning, probably slowing the taper as you get to half your current dose (15).  This would be a rapid taper, but I think 30-40 pills a day is too dangerous to keep taking or doing it very slowly.  Hopefully, those who have successfully tapered (more experienced than me) will chime in.  Best of luck to you.

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
I agree with lamom33 Jenztoy. Tapering is important for u. It is working very well for me. I hope u are doing better lamom33. I know the electrical brain zaps are an unfortunate part of WD. Should get better. Sending u both a hug.

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
Also thank u for your support Dalton;) u sound like u are doing great.

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by lamom33, Jan 28, 2013
Rediscovering-I'm just getting frustrated as these symptoms linger.  I get brain zaps but they are very short and feel like dizziness, someone plugging my ears up and I lose a sec or two of time.  The electric shocks feel like all my cells are jumping and electricity is shooting out my finger tips and out the bottom of my foot.  These last for hours and sometimes it feels like all day.

I stopped in Nov. then went back on sometime in Dec.  Three weeks cold turkey.  I'm not able to taper, planned to many, many times, but I couldn't stick to it.

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
I hear ya Lamom33. Actually I have been struggling with a strange vertigo and dizziness myself. That was part of my final straw actually. That along with brain fog and facial ticks sometimes while talking made me realize its just not worth it anymore. Anytime I would get the facial twitches while talking it was like a brain zap for a couple seconds as well. No one else noticed really but it scared the crap out of me. I am a nurse and work with parents and infants. Just don't want this silly pill messing with my life anymore. I am actually feeling so much better. Feels like coming out of a brain fog prison. The dizziness is taking a while to subside. Come to hunk of it the dizziness does feel electrical. *****.

Stick with it Lamom33. The zaps should calm down more and more. Might be slow but it really is worth it. We may experience some PAWS for a few months but we need to stay strong and not get discouraged. So many people relapse due to some PAWS moments months after getting off the trams. We are being given our lives back again. We just have to be patient, loving toward ourselves and support eachother. I am always here if u are having a rough moment. U can message me anytime:)

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by booba77, Jan 28, 2013
Please guys try Gaba for the brain zaps. you can get it at GNC. it eliminated my zaps last time I went cold turkey and I recently bought a bottle because I'm doing a fast taper and.will be jumping off sometime next  jenztoy-please.taper down as much as you.can. I once took over 30 in a day and had a seizure. scary.stuff

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
Thank you booba77.   Is it safe to take if I am down to 7 pills a day?

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by jenztoy2, Jan 28, 2013
Rediscovering and Lamom.....Thank you so much.  It is nice to know that I am not alone with this.  No one has any idea that I take all these pills everyday.  I am very much functional.  I have an excellent paying job and two kids that are very good kids.  My 19 yr old son got a 4.0 last semester in college.  My 14 year old daughter does wonderful, too.  They have always seen me take pills and know they are prescribed but do not know that I over medicate.  I also have 2 teenage "stepdaughers" that I have helped raised.  Anyway, after reading my first post I think I sounded kinda like a junkie......I am though, aren't I?  Lol...  I saw a doc today and told her that I REALLY want to get off these.  I didn't mention how many I take but that I have been on them for way too long  and that I want to discuss this at our next visit which is in 10 days.  I know I have been beyond lucky not to have seizures.  Someone has been looking out for me.  I am ready to start this whole process.  I thank you again for your words of wisdom and I will probably be a perm fixture on this site for a while.  You all give me hope.  Congrats on your success this far.....   :  )

Jenn

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by booba77, Jan 28, 2013
I wouldn't start taking the Gaba until you totally stop the trams.

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by lamom33, Jan 28, 2013
Thanks Booba.  I've stopped the St. John's Wort for a couple days to see if that was making it worse.  It wasn't.  On my way to healthfood store to pick up Gabba.  Should be safe to start since no SJW.

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by FourJays, Jan 28, 2013
Jenn-  I read your posts & can totally relate . . . . Our stories are so similar it is crazy!  I started with Tramadol about 15 years ago for back pain; was told they were non-addictive, non-narcotic, blah, blah.  I started with a small dose, probably like 2-50mg 2x day.  This pill was immediately my friend (a sheep in wolf's clothing I now know).  I was super Mom, I could do anything.  For several years I worked part or full-time, raised 2 kids, did the school volunteer & PTA thing, maintained my home and marriage; definitely a functioning addict, all along as my usage increased.  And I did know (somewhere along the way) that I WAS "addicted" to the pills and that it WAS a problem, I just figured I'd deal with it "some day".  Looking back I can't believe how much I gave up for Tramadol. I have lost touch with close friends, missed job opportunities, let myself go physically, lost touch with reality, lost thousands of $ spent on pills & lived in a haze for the last several years.  I had 4 seizures back in 2004 - 05.  I was pretty sure after the first one and definitely sure by the second that they were due to Tramadol overdoses.  I would quit or cut back after each time, but I always ended up back on them, reasoning with myself somehow that it was the right thing to do.  I do have legit back problems, but the really crazy thing is that this medication never really took the bad pain away, just made me not care about it I guess.  I had neck fusion surgery back in June last summer and my usage escalated up to 40 to 50 pills A DAY also; and like you, was supplementing my regular prescriptions by buying online.  In late November for some reason my latest online COD order never shipped (I've since heard there was some kind of crack down on the online thing - thank God).   I was put in a situation where an extremely fast (& dangerous) taper c/t was unavoidable.  I have not taken Tramadol (or any opiate) since Dec. 1st.  I'm coming up on 60 days clean.  It has not been easy, especially the 3 - 5 days of detox, and now dealing with some of the mental/emotional issues.  But - IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE AND TRULY BELIEVE I SAVED MY LIFE.  Please, please get a taper plan going as soon as possible.  At this point I have had to come "clean" with my dr., my husband and family.  I am really lucky, they have been so supportive.  I printed out misc. information on addiction, withdrawal, etc., and made them all read it so they would understand what I am going through.  Just like you said, my kids/family also always knew I took pills, but never had any idea as to the extent of my addiction.  

It is a truly a miracle that I am still alive - I really believe this.  Who knows how easily I could have "accidentally" taken even more that I thought - at those #'s, living in that fog, it was hard to keep track.  I actually found this site a couple of years ago and have since then kept up with it off and on.  I finally joined in January, and I'm sure its' one of the best things I've ever done.  The support here is amazing and it is SO liberating to be able to talk openly without being judged.  And, just as important, is knowing that by sharing my experience that I may help someone else.  I would be so happy to help you through this and want to offer my full support.  I know that I still have months of healing ahead myself, and that I may not even be "out of the woods" yet given the high volume and length of time I used and the way I stopped suddenly.  But I feel better than I have in YEARS and intend on hitting 60 days here soon, then 70, 80, a year, etc.  I'm going to send you a message also; please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get started.  Please consider a plan as soon as possible.  I know that tapering is the smart and best way to do it safely; many people on here have done so.  It sounds like you are ready to make the move and get started - I hope so - your life may depend on it!
Julie

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by jenztoy2, Jan 28, 2013
Thank you every one.  I am putting together a plan right now on how to get off these things.  I am going to cut down from 30 to 27 tomorrow and stay there for a few days before cutting down to 24.  I'm thinking -1 each time I take it will prob work for me.  4J's we do have a similar story.  I have lately been realizing that I am very lucky to have woken up each day...My doc also gives me Ambien because without it I would be able to "go" 24/7.  Mixing the two also makes me nervous.  I am going to talk to my new doc about this whole situation next Wednesday.  I have heard there is a class action law suit against the makers of Tramadol.  I think you and I would be poster children for this.  Not sure if it's even true but worth looking into.  Anyway again. Thank you. I appreciate all the help I can get.  I have never been addicted to anything in my life. I hate being a slave to this drug! It's time!  

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by FourJays, Jan 28, 2013
Jenn - poster children we are for sure - seriously; and I would be interested to know if things ever happen with that.  I think your plan sounds great; whatever is going to work for you & fit into your life.  And it definitely sounds like you are ready - I am excited for you!  It really IS cool to wake up every morning and NOT have my first thought be pills, where are they, do I need to order today, etc........  OK, and the Ambien thing, I am just about done weaning off that too - gosh were we separated at birth or what? . . LOL.  Good luck, and send a message or note if you ever have any questions or anything.

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by Rediscovering, Jan 28, 2013
Wow, Fourjays. Your story is incredibly inspiring. My highest number of trams a day was 15. I know now that if u can do it I definitely can do it!! Thank you so much for your story and courage. Thank you for posting here. I think your support and post is going to help many of us. I am down to 7 a day now. Starting 6 a day on Thursday. Having a really rough night. The psychological addiction is getting to me. Want to pop 3 pills at once badly but I am staying strong! This is the first time I have felt the junky just want to pop a bunch feeling during my tapering. Ugghhh!

I will not give in!! I feel soooo much more clear and healthy just within the last week of tapering.  It is fully worth it getting my life back. Thank you again and I am sending out a big you go girl!! To Jenztoy.  

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by FourJays, Jan 28, 2013
Rediscovering - you definitely can do it!  I can imagine that tapering is hard and that you are gonna have some up and some down days.  When you are having a rough moment stop & think about how much clearer and better you already feel since tapering down (1/2 the dosage, awesome!) . . . this will only get better and better.  Unfortunately the anti-depressant effect from the Tramadol can wreak havoc on the psychological  as well.  It's a good reason to stick with your taper plan and get them done and out of your life.  The urges to "pop" extras will be much less intense when they aren't around anymore.  You are doing great . . . stick with your plan and keep posting!

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by Jayde121, Jan 29, 2013
Well done to every one out there going through this horrible pain from these nasty pills.
I'm 10 days off them and going fairly well expect the insomnia and achey legs at night,
I think I was rather lucky with my W/D as I hadn't been on them that long and had been sticking to my 1 x 200mg s/r at night, but could of seen myself getting worse so I stopped before I did it.

I got some restavit today and have 1 but found hasbt really helped tonight :(
Just want to be able to sleep. My dr wants give me valium but am scared of getting addicted to it,
Does it help with sleeping does anyone know?

Thanks

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by booba77, Jan 29, 2013
I have a couple of supplement questions.  I’m trying to get organized for next week when I jump.  Do I take the GABA and other aminos after I have stopped the tram or while I wean?  And can I take the GABA with wellbutrin?  I am starting my wellbutrin back up or I had planned to, but I don’t know if it will cause serotonin syndrome if taken with the gaba and other aminos.  I really need to work during all of this, but I have no idea how I am going to.  Lots of immodium.  Can anyone else think of anything that helps with the intense brain fog? 

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by FourJays, Jan 29, 2013
Hi Booba - are you at the end of tapering or going to ct?  I have always heard that you should wait on the aminos and any AD until you are off the Tramadol, and not sure about the GABA.  Lots of help I am huh?  lol . . . I do know that serotonin syndrome is very real and serious and that you don't want to risk it.  I recall my Dr. telling me that the Tram was out of my system when I saw him about a week or so after I c/t'd.  I think it only takes a couple of days - but please, please find out for sure before you take any chances.  I did suffer a few seizures while ON very high doses of Tramadol, and trust me, you don't want to go there.  

I was pretty much forced into an extremely fast (dangerous) taper (like from 40 to 0 in 3 days); and was so afraid, but ended up doing fine.  It wasn't pretty at all, but Immodium, Motrin and LOTS of water got me through ok.  I cant say how much I think just the water helped.  I didn't feel like it, but made myself drink it constantly.  I really believe it helps flush all the bad stuff through.  I also tried Vitamin Water, "Revive" formula (based on suggestion here on this site), and it really seemed to help too.  It has a lot of potassium and electrolytes - helped the restless, crawly skin feeling.  And you can buy these and take with you to drink throughout the day at work.  Ofcorse the last thing I wanted to do then was move, but I found that dragging my butt onto the treadmill in those early few days made a world of difference also - especially with the fog thing.  

Good luck to you - it is not easy but SO worth it . . .

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by lamom33, Jan 29, 2013
Jayde- Valium should break the no sleep cycle.  I could see taking one or two but starting a daily prescription seems wrong unless you have an anxiety/panic disorder.  I've seen valerian root (tea?) and melatonin recommended on Emily's journal for sleep.  

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by Rediscovering, Jan 29, 2013
Hi there Jayde. Valium is probably alright. I understand your concern though. I have had a script for Xanax for years that I only use for panic attacks. My doc. Recommended taking one if I am having a rough time with sleep. Last night was rough so I took a quarter of a Xanax and it really helped. Valium is similar to Xanax. It was so nice getting a full night sleep.

I tried melotonin for a couple nights and felt very strange and foggy headed the next day. I then found out that melotonin produces more serotonin so it can have the opposite effect in the sleep cycle. Unfortunately melotonin and kava kava can cause adverse reactions. Otherwise I would be taking them instead. I think we even have to be careful with valarian and St. John's wart. From what I hear is that Valarian is probably the best bet. Also Melatonin might work for u at small doses. I know for others it has worked but it ended up causing adverse reactions for me. Every body is different.

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by tramrevil, Jan 29, 2013
hello everyone she has admitted she has a problem and starting to taper.she was on 4 aday for months .2 in morning and 2 at nite.she is dropping one of her nite ones and next week she  is droping one of the morning dose...so she will only haveing 2 a day .then i thnk the week after she will cut another 1 out.i am holding her tabs for her..she was on 12 a day at her peak......she dosent think its a big deal ...i havent shown her these posts yet...but ive told her what to exepect a bit.but she thinks im trying to scare her.......you keep up the work guys and rid yourself of the evil.....

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by Rediscovering, Jan 29, 2013
Hi there Jayde. Valium is probably alright. I understand your concern though. I have had a script for Xanax for years that I only use for panic attacks. My doc. Recommended taking one if I am having a rough time with sleep. Last night was rough so I took a quarter of a Xanax and it really helped. Valium is similar to Xanax. It was so nice getting a full night sleep.

I tried melotonin for a couple nights and felt very strange and foggy headed the next day. I then found out that melotonin produces more serotonin so it can have the opposite effect in the sleep cycle. Unfortunately melotonin and kava kava can cause adverse reactions. Otherwise I would be taking them instead. I think we even have to be careful with valarian and St. John's wart. From what I hear is that Valarian is probably the best bet. Also Melatonin might work for u at small doses. I know for others it has worked but it ended up causing adverse reactions for me. Every body is different.

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by Jayde121, Jan 29, 2013
I wouldn't be so worried if I wasn't going back to work Monday. And I'm a family day care provider so need to be on my game.
I may take him up on the it and just for a couple of nights, I have been slowly feeling bette and stayed strong as I just hate this drug.
I had a fall off my horse 3 days ago and have some trams in house and didnt take them. Made me feel good to know their there but is dont want them.

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by killerzoey, Jan 30, 2013
Hello all!

I'm sorry to have just now finally found this thread as there is so much Tramadol-specific support here. I got choked up reading your stories. I despise this drug. I quit 20 days ago tomorrow. I did a fast reduction (8 to none in a week or less) but tapered over to a relatively small amount of hydrocodone--avg 10 mg a day, about. I stayed there for 16 days while I suffered the worst of the Tramadol specific wds, which were:

Chills
Sweats
A feeling of electrified skin, especially on forearms, shins, tops of feet, face.
I also had restless legs, but that (and some of the above, perhaps) may have been opioid related.

I should mention that I took T for a year or so and I took 12 or 15 some days, never fewer than 8 until I was forced to ration at 8 consistently while waiting for a delayed shipment in December.

I am also grateful the laws changed and had been wondering if anyone else was affected by this in the same (positive) way! Fear of running out led to rationing which led to wanting to see how little I could get away with taking, which led to surprise, which led to just going for it.

This drug " made me a shell of the woman I had been. It dulled my relationships, my ability to be a responsive authentic person, my work performance, my wit, my enjoyment of life.

I had wanted to stop earlier but was afraid to, after reading the horror stories. I kept looking at the calendar wondering when I could afford to be a miserable, anxious, zombie insomniac for a month. It did not look good.

I'm a single parent in a financially-precarious situation. My big fear abiut quitting was being incapacitated. Had I known quitting was do-able without totally checking out from life, I sure would have done it sooner. I'm not saying it was easy. But as Einstein said, "It's either easy or it's impossible." One foot in front of the other.

I've read that the experiences people have on Tramadol vary a lot, and withdrawal can vary more widely than with other drugs.  Read that this is because it is the mealtabolites that give the drug it's effects, and we do not all metabolize it the same way. Maybe I am lucky in this regard. But if I could share just one thing with someone wanting to quit it would be this: Don't waste months or years taking Tramadol because you're afraid of the withdrawals. You read the really bad stories for the most part. You could get lucky and get off relatively easy...it's worth a try. Of course it's not smart to go cold turkey and best to get a doctor's advice on exactly how to stop :)

If anyone wants to read about my journey my main post is in the Addiction/Substance Abuse forum, and it a called "Trying to Stop Tramadol".

I'm praying for us all who have had to  deal with this drug..for me being on it was far worse punishment than quitting. I am finally free of it and feel like Im undergoing a beautiful awakening. I encourage anyone who is struggling and having a hard time coming off Tramadol to keep pushing forward. It is SOOOO worth it!

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by thestilly, Jan 30, 2013
Rediscovering - Thanks for celebrating my recovery a few posts back!  I starting to have so much more energy and a great feeling day on tramadol comes no where close to a bad feeling day at this point.  A good feeling day on tramadol ***** compared to how I feel now.  I am asking myself why did I ever do it in the first place?

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by FourJays, Jan 30, 2013
TheStilly - I have read through this thread over the past several weeks and seen your progress.  Just want to say congratulations on your continued success; and that I totally agree on the good/bad day feeling thing!  I am close to where you are on amount of clean time and I also believe that any bad day now is still a MILLION times better that any good day on Tramadol; living in a haze numb to the world, thinking constantly about the pills - the next dose, when/how I would get more, my struggling bank account, etc., etc.

I am so happy for you and it's always good to hear other success stories . . . it keeps us all motivated!  Thank you and keep it up!
Julie

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by lamom33, Jan 31, 2013
Booba-I'm a couple of days on the GABA.  I'd be afraid to take it with an AD.  I can see why you would want to take both.  My moods are definitely darker since stopping the St. John's Wort, but I'll take depression over electrical shocks for now anyway.

Electric shocks are less and tolerable.  I don't think I'll stay on GABA more than a week or two.  I'm having some side effects, but I'll deal with those.  I did feel "high" the first time I took it but not since then.

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by booba77, Jan 31, 2013
Hey guys.   How is everyone doing?  Well I have about 60 left, and my co-worker is on vacation until the 11th, so I will have to do 2 jobs at work.  Having a hard time tapering, but scared to totally jump off because I have to be here at work.  I’m not too bothered about the lack of sleep, because I get so little anyway, but the foggy headedness is what scares me the most.  I was going to try to do 10 a day until next Tuesday til I’m totally out, but I already smell that weird smell and my stomach hurts and I just feel antsy.  I just don’t know what to do.  I usually just go cold turkey because I cannot taper, and am able to take a few days to recover, but I can’t do it this time.  Any suggestions? 

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by booba77, Jan 31, 2013
Thanks for the tip mom.  I won't take the Gaba with my wellbutrin. I'll probably take the Gaba a couple Weeks for the brain zaps and that will be it.

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by mommainbigtrouble, Jan 31, 2013
Hello All,

I am brand new here and not sure what to do... I was affected by the law changes as well and unfortunately I was not aware of the problem until now. I placed an order expecting it to arrive, but nothing. Now I'm a little over 48 hours into withdrawals and I have no idea what to do. I was on Tramadol for almost 8 years, and most recently I was taking about 500mg a day. I originally started due to a car accident and back and neck pain, but it turned into recreation long ago. I am experiencing all the normal symptoms described around here and I don't know what to do. I think the absolute worst for me right now is the restlessness, the insomnia and the pain. I have no idea what to take to help, and I have to go to work tomorrow. (I have been out for 2 days.) No one knows of my addiction, nor the current problem. They believe I have the flu. Can anyone give me some tips so that I don't have to read through all the hundreds of posts??? PLEASE HELP!

Thank You!

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by lamom33, Jan 31, 2013
MIBT-for restless painful legs- I wrap them in ace bandages after I've rubbed warm aromatherapy oil in the evening.  I use a sleep app-visualax- I don't always fall right to sleep but I can lay in one place.  Advil and heating pad for pain.  I justed started GABA, I feel more relaxed but my sleep has been a little worse so I'm not sure.  I've not been on it long enough.  I felt "high" from it the first time, so if you try it, do it home first.  Chamomile tea wouldn't hurt.  Sometimes Nyquil works for sleep, sometimes not.  If at all possible, take a short walk  today it does help with sleep.

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by FourJays, Jan 31, 2013
Hello mommainbigtrouble-

Did you stop cold turkey or were you able to taper down at all?  Stopping Tramadol fast can be really dangerous, especially at the amounts you were taking; do you have a Dr. or clinic that you can call?  If you start feeling chest pains or racing heart, etc., you really should go to an ER or clinic right away.  

That said, if you are already over 48 hours pill free then you are probably about at the peak of the w/d symptoms, and you should start feeling better within the next day or so.  I have a very long & heavy history with this medication (14+ yrs), and have detoxed/withdrawn from it at least 5 or 6 times.  I have never been able to taper - if the pills were around I would just take them.  It is NOT the right way, but it was the only way for me and I will tell you some things that helped me out a lot.  

First - keep reading and posting here; the information and support WILL help you through this.  

For the restlessness - If you have a tub, long & hot soaks will help TONS.  If no tub, then stand in the shower under hot water. Magnesium, potassium and zinc all help with the restless thing too.  I took (still take) all of these in supplement form, but you can also get them in food/drinks, i.e., Vitamin Water "Revive" formula (has potassium & electrolytes), bananas have lots of potassium.  There are prescription anxiety meds like Klonopin or Xanax, and they can work very well in withdrawal also, but you need to be super careful with these because they can become addictive as well; then you are just trading one problem for another.  For sleep - there really is no magic potion here.  I had Ambien and it did nothing for that first week; and I hear this a lot.  It is really common to go with very few hours of sleep in the first week or so of withdrawal.  I know It sounds cliché, but simply eating as much healthy food as you can down and drinking LOTS of water will help.  I alternated Motrin and Tylenlol for the body achiness.  That shouldn't last more than a few days more either.  Try Immodium if you are having tummy problems.

Check out other postings here, the Thomas recipie and/or go to a health food store & tell them what symptoms you are having; there are lots of natural remedies for the w/d's.  In any case - you CAN get through this.  You will be over the worst of the physical symptoms soon.  It is a process and there is no quick fix - but every day will get a little better.  I am now 61 days clean of this drug & never want to look back (my w/d was prompted by the law change thing too).  If you can get one more day off work and then have the weekend, you should be much better by Monday.  If not, you will still be fine - keep reading here to learn more hints & suggestions to help you out.  And please - tell someone in your life; a friend, spouse, etc.  Support is key.

Good luck . . . keep posting
Julie


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by mommainbigtrouble, Jan 31, 2013
Thank You so much for the response Julie and lamom33. Today has been a pretty rough day. I did have to quit cold turkey becuase I kept taking my pills assuming a refill was on the way. I was, and somewhat am still, hoping it may show up. (My card has been charged but I have no information from the website I ordered from.) Part of me is really hoping it doesn't show up though. I've known for some time that I needed to quit this, but I always put it off... Now here I am.

I've been trying to forge through today and did manage to do a load of laundry and take a shower. The rest of the time I have pretty much been lying or walking around in misery. Unfortunately I am a single mom and I think that makes it a lot harder. For instances, I am dreading the thought of going out to pick up my son right now but it's only me...

I am definitely going to try to get the Vitamin Water Revive to see if it helps. I don't mind staying awake as long as I don't feel like my skin is crawling. I have noticed in trying to read and write here that I am very foggy, which seems to be a common symptom. Should be fun at work tomorrow. I'm going to go in for a bit so I can say I was there and I'll see what happens. I guess it also depends on how the next 12 to 15 hours go before then though. I haven't been able to eat much at all, but I am going to force myself. I've been thankful that the tummy troubles haven't been too bad but again, I'm not eating much.

Anyhow, I just pray that some of this goes away quickly. I've read some of the posts where symptoms last weeks or months and I can't imagine what thats like. I guess I may find out though. Thank you for the support and I will definitely be around.

E.    

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by thestilly, Jan 31, 2013
Hi Fellow Warriers -

One big obstacle to recovery can be fear of losing your job.  Did you know that drug/alcohol treatment is defined as a serious medical condition that qualifies you for FMLA?  Also, those in drug/alcohol rehibilitation are likely disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Your employer has to attempt a to reasonably accomodate your disability and a resonable accomodation could likely be holding your job while you are rehabilitating.

I know letting your employer in on your dirty little secret is a huge leap of faith.  But if you work for a company that has any HR professionals at all they are going to know these employer obligations and it just might give you the breathing room you need to recover.  Consider taking advantage of these protections while you still have a job!

Fourjays - thanks for the encouraging words!  It sounds like you are doing great as well....keep it up!

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by daltonrules, Jan 31, 2013
Mommy I'd go to your family doc and come clean - just let him/her know what's up, where you're at, and what you wanna do.  IMO the taper is going to be a HUGE way to help you long term - otherwise if that next shipment arrives you're gonna just hop right back on and hope there will be a next shipment after that.


Cold turkey ***** - the worst possible thing your doc could say is no - but if you're serious about quitting and sincere they aren't gonna leave you hanging.....


I'm a BABY when it comes to feeling sick haha, and I'm tellin ya I went from 18/day (6 x 50mg pills AM, 6 around 4pm, 6 around 8:30pm) to now I'm at 6 per day (2.5 in the AM, 3.5 in the PM) and I'm totally fine.  The only time I felt any discomfort was when I dropped from 18/day to 9/day overnight, and I'd rank my withdrawal as a 2-3 on a scale of 1-10.  


I remember saying I was nervous about how I'd feel when I got down to 6-5-4 per day, but now I'm completely hopeful and excited to be done.  


Again - and I can't stress this enough - you have GOT TO FORCE yourself to be positive!!  Any sickness you feel is your body purging itself of poison (literally), it's temporary and you won't die from it.  Would you rather have poison in your body, or purge it?  


Brain zaps suck, fatigue/insomnia suck, head and body aches suck, those sneezes that hurt your entire body suck --- BUT --- if that stuff ***** so bad after you stop - imagine how bad that sh*t your taking is tearing up your insides when you're on it!!!


Also - this is where caffeine has helped me - it gives me a nice boost and takes my mind off of the symptoms.  


Reading on here can be good and bad - the support is awesome, but some of the horror stories can scare the crap outta ya :)


here is something else that helped me too - picture something you REALLY want - like a vacation or a car or whatever.  Next time your cravings get really strong think of all of the money you've literally pissed away on this poison!  I can't speak for anyone else, but I have personally spent well over $50,000 on trash over the past 13 years (yep, $50 freakin grand)!!!!!!!!!


I'm just watching my bank account build up - and every time I see more in there I'm reminded how much I despise this crap and I'm glad to be done with it!!!


STAY STRONG EVERYONE!!  ONE DAY AT A TIME!!  NO DRUG IS STRONGER THAN A PERSON - PERIOD!!!!!!!!!




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by FourJays, Jan 31, 2013
daltonrules - spot ON the money thing, I'm so with you somewhere up in the thousands (yep, grands :)    It makes me so sick to think of how I could have used those $ . . . not one more penney!

You are SO right . .  NO drug is stronger than ME; thank you for reminding me!

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by nyhoney, Jan 31, 2013
Hello to all who understand this madness, I am happy and sad that you are here. Im not sure how I came across this site in my search but glad I have. I have spent ...wow sometime now reading everyones post, I have cried and I have laughed so hard seeing myself in the discription others give. I started my pain meds just over five years ago thats like 1900 days worth thankfully not all of that on tramadol, but my Dr switch ed me over to it because I was concered about being on oxy and the like for so long. My med list reads pages long with what they have tried to treat me with. My rear end accident was workmans comp involved so any reluctance on my part was seen as being noncompliant. I was told after complaining about having some w/d symptoms it was impossible it was not a narcotic drug...yes im guilty of not taking my meds as prescribed,  thankfully so. At the moment I'm suppose to be on : 300 mg er tramadol at night, 50 mg 2× day regular tramadol,  20 mg baclofen 3× day, 25 mg topiramate 3× night and 2x day. This is what they were willing to reduce it to. Methadone came off about 6 months ago could not stay awake..duh. the rest is just about 1 1/2 years. Last thursday my case finally ended!!!!! I can now play a part in my recovery.  Which begain with ending the 300 er tramadol. Did ok playing with the 50s as needed ( I began this a month ago when she said I was not experiencing the withdrawals) I did not not find out about the addictive nature of this drug until my attorney told me. I have now started to taper my 50s from 4 a day down to 2, I am still taking my other meds, but instead of trying to half dose my baclofen im up to full dose tring to get my pain relief covered, plus adding asprin. Im 4 days into it and to say its going badly is putting it mildly, I am someone who has trouble taking cold medicine I have to take a childs dose because I react badly to it. I have suffered alone for these years because I could not funtion as a normal person, im glad now im alone ..sort of. Because I am so uncomfortable I can't sleep the rls is so intense I can't sit still, the sheets hurt my skin, I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs and do on occasion. The food cravings are awfull ok its sugar not food. And my pain is still with me. My life is reduced to online contact I just have no desire to be around people.no thats not quite right I do but I hate who I am right now. I was at lest happy to see I am not alone in this suffering,  you do question yourself when your Dr tells you your not feeling these things. My goal is to replace as much as I can with vitamins and herbs, exercise and yoga, ( thou that did go so well to begin, the exercise part.) And non taditional means I dont want to be here anymore I know my injuries have not gone away with my desire to stop my meds, I would be interested in knowing if anyone has had success with a drug that is not so life crushing, and safer. Right now I fear the night im so tired I need to sleep but I know those monsters will be there waiting for me, im not sure why its harder for me at night, maybe the pain has just built up from the day to add to the w/d , I did get up and sit in a hot tub last night it helped for a little while, even got out my tends unit to try and even out the agitation,  it controls it some but in the end I've broken down and taken the other half of pill I didn't want to take. So I've suffered for ...? And I've only just begun??? Coming off opids was a walk in the park compared to this. How can they tell people this is not a narcotic? They should walk in our shoes for just one night...
S~

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by mommainbigtrouble, Jan 31, 2013
Thank You daltonrules for the post. It does remind me of many things. The money is a big one because honestly this drug has probably been my financial ruin. I would say that in 8 years I have spent $15,000 to $20,000, but it's all on credit cards which I can barely handle paying. I've seen bankruptcy in my future for some time now.

I greatly appreciate the support. It is good to have someone rooting for me.

I do have to admit, I had a REALLY bad couple of hours and caved slightly... I called someone I knew would have Vicodin. I have been an occassional user of Oxy and Hydro, but have never, EVER had any problem when I stop taking them, including taking OxyContin for quite some time (months) and then stopping when the supply ran out. I have not used anything other than tramadol in at least 6 months though. I really was to the point of freaking out though (like wild and crazy throw things because my skin was crawling and I felt like I was dying) and I didn't want my son to see me like that. (Excuse? Maybe...) Anyway, I am amazed how quickly it calmed down the horrible feelings. I don't know all the science behind these drugs but I assume they have similar effects on the body. I still don't feel good, but it is a LOT better... for now. I am however scared that I may only be prolonging the inevitable. Has anyone ever tried using another Opiod in small quantities to help them through? I just took 10mg of vicodin, but only have 30mg (in 10mg pills) available to me now. The person I called, like everyone else, thinks I have the  flu and needed some help sleeping, etc. They do not have large quantities, nor is it something I could really ask for again.

Enough rambling though, my ultimate question is, has anyone done this? Does it make it worse? I may have just f***** myself even more, but I was incredibly desperate at that point. My hope/goal is that it will help me through the worst of this (and work tomorrow) but I really have no idea. I just wanted the horrible feeling to stop.

Anyhow, off to bed I go... hopefully. I would be so happy to sleep for just a few hours. Good Luck to everyone tonight and thank you for your support. It's about all I have at this point.

E.

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by lamom33, Feb 01, 2013
nyhoney-hope you made it through the night.  I've experienced the achey skin, rls/anxiety,etc.  It's withdrawal-you know that.  I'm concerned that you experiencing so much of those symptoms while still on a taper.  It's okay to slow a taper down and make it more bareable.  Hang in there.

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by lamom33, Feb 01, 2013
MIBT-I have taken some hydro on 2 different withdrawal periods.  Once, I was a day or 2 without waiting on my prescription to be filled.  Second, I was maybe 15days out cold turkey.  Overall, it didn't help me.  I think there's someone on this page (57) who used hydro and it overall lessened withdrawal.  Everyone's different.  

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by booba77, Feb 01, 2013
I took hydro to help with the WD one of the many times I went cold turkey. it helped a,little. especially with aches. I was hoping someone would respond to my post and tell me what to do, but I know each person has to do it for themselves and make their own decisions. guess I'll keep tapering until next week. don't give up warriors.  together we can beat this.

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by nyhoney, Feb 01, 2013
Lamom33- thanks for you thoughts, I choose to not cut my dose last night but not take my other meds with it. It was much better, except I could not sleep, so use to getting knocked out every night by my meds. I will try to go during the day on half for a few days before I make another ajustment. It was a bit unsettling that the relief I got last night made me think oh thats so much better...ok its scarry.

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by booba77, Feb 01, 2013
NY honey, I know how you feel. when I take my dose, like 30 minutes later I'm a totally different person altogether.  I think it is because of the antidepressant in the tramadol that I'm most addicted to. It just makes me so happy, but it is a terrible.drug. I just want to be normal again and not have.to rely on it.

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by lamom33, Feb 01, 2013
Booba-I can't taper either.  For me the worst withdrawal is 3-5 days cold turkey.  You should know when it hits you the worst and maybe time it for the weekend (if you're off the weekends).  That would probably mean taking less each day.  

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by booba77, Feb 01, 2013
Yeah day 3 & 4 always are the worst for me. I'm going to run out Tuesday or Wednesday, so that will be good for me. still need to get my aminos from GNC. otherwise I'm all set. might end up, missing a day or 2 of work if I have to. I love my job, but it is very.demanding. isn't this so hard when you have kids? they don't understand why mommy is nuts and cranky.  The RLS is,maddening. Does anyone else smell this weird smell when going through withdrawals?

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by FourJays, Feb 01, 2013
YES, that weird smell; what is up with that?  I've always thought it's the toxic "stuff" leaving your body???  It seems to last a couple of days and then is just suddenly gone!  At first I thought I was imagining it but I could smell it on my clothes, towels, etc.  I found that having fresh clothes, towels, etc., stacked up & ready helped me a lot in those w/d days.  I changed my clothes probably every few hours - it would always make me feel a little better (especially cuz I had a lot of the cold/sweat thing too).  Every little thing helps, ya know?  Good luck

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by booba77, Feb 01, 2013
Thanks. I had the weird temperature changes for a couple Weeks last time. I had fevers, then would be fine. It is such a strange drug. I'm hoping I don't have any anxiety.   Anything all natural that can thwart that? I probably have some klonopin at home. its called clonazepam but I think that is generic. I don't know, much about them except my mom is always trying to give them to me when I'm nerved up. I don't like taking them, but I hate panic attacks

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by mommainbigtrouble, Feb 01, 2013
Hello All,

I hope everyone is as well as can be. It's been rather eventful since I posted last night. I have to say the hydro seemed to help me quite a bit. I mean I still felt crappy, but it allowed me a few hours of sleep and I did go to work for a half day today. The sweating and chills brought me home early though. I was just glad it was Friday and now I had the weekend to try to get past this. I was dreading it, but overall felt like maybe I was past the worst of it.

Thus of course, this would be the moment that I checked my mail, and found my refill. The absolute funniest part... I think it was delivered yesterday and I didn't even know it. Usually they leave it in my door, this time it was in my mailbox. I think I said Thank God a million times and immediately ripped open the package. I guess I should probably be thanking the devil though. The saddest part is there was not a moment heistation in popping 2 pills in my mouth.

Now though, I have very mixed feelings. I know the hell that I just went through for 3 days and I want to avoid that happening again at all costs. I may have crested the hill and been on the downslope, and now I have just messed that up completely I'm sure. I realize that I cannot keep doing this, and it was a HUGE wake up call that this needs to end. I guess now I have to determine what I'm going to do though. I think I immediately felt better just knowing that I had my arsenal and that is pretty scarry. It has such a hold on me.

I think I definitely need to make a plan of attack and make sure that with this bottle, I taper down and try to quit the right way. I need to be prepared for it, and really make sure I am ready for what is to come. It's scarry knowing exactly how it feels, but I think it may be easier to face the second time around. Going cold turkey was not at all something I recommend to anyone and I hope that tappering will make it a little easier.

Anyway, I guess that's enough rambling for now. I'm definitely thinking of all of you who are going through that nasty withdrawal. I am going to try my hardest not to get back to such a high dosage, and I will be around trying to come up with a plan of attack for my time to quit, the right way.



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by mommainbigtrouble, Feb 01, 2013
By the way, I thought I was crazy when I swore I smelled funny! Glad to know it's not just me.

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by FourJays, Feb 01, 2013
I actually did use Klonopin for those first couple days in w/d - they definitely helped me with the anxiety thing.  If you can get a few just to get you through the w/d; they can be dangerous themselves because they are very addictive as well.  I am like you though, I really don't like taking them so I was not too worried about the "trading one problem for another" thing. They did help me in w/d though, so you may want to try it if you feel a panic attack coming on or if you feel a lot of anxiety in general.  I actually still have some and will occasionally take it in the evening if/when I get that anxious/unsettled feeling (which is not often anymore).  Unlike the tramadol - for me - I do like that (way too much), and I could not have that around the house or I would take it :(

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by daltonrules, Feb 01, 2013
Yeah the smell thing is crazy!  You are all doing great - mommy now that you got your refill stay strong - thats why I'm not a huge fan of cold turkey, b/c the wd gets so bad once you have an opportunity to pop a few ya do (well, I would).  

Another huge help for me:

1) Make a list of your favorite songs of all time - like the best songs you love that put you in a good mood (nothing depressing) and rock out whenever you feel the urge to pop some pills.  I went on youtube and made a play list of all the best upbeat songs I know.  Its up to like 175 songs and I just put it on random and jam.  Music that you really love will release endorphins, which will make you feel better.  

2) I've always said I'm tackling one thing at a time - so I don't worry about anything else.  If I crave some pizza or ice  cream I have it.   If I gain some weight, so be it.  After I cross this bridge, I'll drop the weight, piece a' cake!  Dropping 10-15lbs is WAY easier than coming off this garbage!!!




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by daltonrules, Feb 01, 2013
OH YEAH - THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER!

When you have the urge you remember one thing - Dalton is watching : )

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID26342/images/roadhouse_pat-430x300.jpg



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by nyhoney, Feb 02, 2013
Booba77 - im not sure but I think with me its a combination of relief from the r/l  s**t or the mood for me not a happy thing just a relaxed, calm feeling.
My symptoms were so much better at night staying with my dose , but no sleeping until about 4 am, almost four hours, felt good..skipped my morning dose and did ok aside from the pain from my injurys, funny how that pain can take a backseat to what the w/d are doing to me. Made it til 6pm before it got bad enough I took my night time dose. Which for some reason did little to help me last night..my arm started hurting, which I havent had trouble with before it was so uncomfortable ended up wrapping a heating pad around it, that helped. But had so much agitation last night, you know the kind where you just start screaming out loud because if you dont it feels like you may just explode. Which for me is really out of character im such a calm, quiet person. There was no peace last night even taking my other meds, ok more baclofen then normal. My head was pounding but thankfully I did not get a migraine.
Its times like these that im wishing someone was helping me and at the sametime praying no one calls because im so agitated,  I look back at my behavior and I have made excuses over and over to everyone that is trying to see me, afraid of myself. God what an awful drug.
I hear you booba77, mibt, four jays, I thought I was lossing my mind because I smell smoke, and I did this coming off oxy to but never knew what it was, its a frighting smell to have all the time because your always wondering if its real. I have ordered a bunch of the vitamins and herbs I've seen mentioned ill let you know if they help me at all. Do you know what my saving grace is right now? I have a cat from the spca, I do fostercare for them when they need special care for a while, this cat has had its rear leg amputated due to such horrible treatment, and he's such a beautiful loving cat follows me every where I go, afaid this good thing in his life might disappear,  but he is suffering from fathom leg pain wakes him out of a dead sleep and sends him flinging his body trying to deal with the pain, its in that I look and think I haven't got it so bad...that and reading everyone elses post here, knowing someone understands how I feel, and gives me strength to fight through another day. Thank you..♥

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by Rediscovering, Feb 02, 2013
Rough moment. Relapsing. Got the flu and ended up taking 9 pills today. Was down to 6. Ugghhh. This is an interesting process. I am committed to myself though. I need to be careful not to beat up on myself too much and just dust off tomorrow and get back on track. Just needed to voice this. Thank you.

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by FourJays, Feb 02, 2013
Rediscovering - hey, sometimes relapse is part of the process (it was for me); and it is especially tough to stay on plan when you are sick.  Like you said - get over it and get back on track.  Don't beat yourself up at all - you are strong and committed to this process!  It wont be a bad thing if you learn from it and move on.  You know what to do . . . . . .  Good luck :)

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by mommainbigtrouble, Feb 02, 2013
Thanks for the tips and pep talk daltonrules. I love the positivity. I have to try to remember to stay positive myself, I'm sure it does wonders.

It is incredibly obvious that I have got to get a handle on this and quit. I have to say that I have been using these for so long on such a regular schedule that I did not even realize how much they were affecting me. To me, being on them felt normal... until I had none, and then took some again. The way I have felt last night and today is... interesting. I definitely have a high, and that's from only a total of 5 pills today, when my regular dose previously was 10 or more throughout the day. I was taking 4 pills as soon as I woke up in the morning, and then 2 or 3 pills every 4 or 5 hours like clockwork. Even to the point where I sometimes had to make myself wait because I would want a does earlier than I should. I never really felt "high" on them though, or at least I did not think I did at the time.

Yesterday, I took 2 when I got my package, and then 1 right before bed and I had such a buzz. (I also slept like a rock for about 10 hours which was nice though!) Anyhow, I thought that maybe it was just my body adjusting after being so out of wack for 3+ days, but even at this moment I still feel the buzz. I do not at all feel bad in any other way though, so I'm coming to realize that maybe this feeling was previously my "normal" and I didn't even know it. Today I took 2 this morning, 2 midday and 1 this evening. I've had a "high" all day, and to be honest I do not totally like the feeling. I mean I do, but it's not something I want to feel on a constant basis. The part that ***** is that I absolutely prefer it to the withdraw symptoms though...

I am hopeful that a) the feeling will lessen when my body adjusts, and b) maybe this will help me quit finally. I'm amazed that I was to the point where I did not even know that how I felt was not "normal". I really had tricked myself into believing that these little pills were just helping with my pain, and giving me a little "pep", nothing more. It's fairly obvious now that I was WRONG!

Anyway, I guess I'm just rambling and putting my thoughts out loud, but this is really the only place I can do that, so bear with me!

Can anyone who has previously gone through withdrawal both cold turkey, and by tapering tell me... is it easier when tapering? Are the symptoms less severe? And, does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to taper off? i.e. how often did you lower your dose, etc? I'm just interested to hear experiences, get ideas for my quit plan, and to prepare myself.

Thanks Everyone, and heres to another night. I am thinking of all of you and sending good vibes! :)

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by FourJays, Feb 02, 2013
MIBT - hello - and I am happy to hear you "rambling", and that is exactly what this forum is here for!  It is always good to get your thoughts out and there are so many people here with so much info and experience to help you along.  I am glad to hear that you are thinking about making a plan to quit Tramadol.  I know how hard it is believe me, and I know how fast time goes by before your realize it is a problem.  It sounds like you have had a good day though; taking less than you were before?  I can remember exactly how you are feeling right now, after you were forced to quit them for a few days and then start again.  The problem is that the "high" feeling does not last and soon you will have to take more and more to get that feeling back.  I would guess that over the years I either quit or was forced to quit (because I was unexpectedly out of pills) 5 or 6 times.  Every single time I started back up I would eventually get back to the same dose I was taking or exceeded it.  It is just what these pills do; the tolerance building effect is like nothing I have ever experienced before; unfortunately.  This is why so many people get in to trouble with this medication.  Once you start it your body just wants more and more.  They are evil little pills that will steal the life out of you; literally if you are not careful.  

The cold turkey v. taper thing is really a personal choice.  It is ABSOLUTELY safest to use the taper method; especially if you have been taking them at high doses.  As far as a tapering "formula" goes, it would be based on how many you are currently taking and then slowly decreasing the amount over days, weeks, etc.  You would likely experience some w/d symptoms along the way, but done correctly I'd think they could be minimized (thus why many people do it this way).  Others here can probably help you with a tapering dosage plan - maybe post a new thread in the addiction/substance abuse forum & you'll get lots of responses and help.

I personally cannot taper.  If the pills are around, I will take them - period.  When I quit on Dec. 1st, I was only able to go from like 40 to zero in 3 days (due to an online order that never came).  The first 3 or 4 days sucked big time, but I got through it and by a week or so all of the physical symptoms were gone.  Now at 2 months clean I feel pretty good, just have the expected lack of energy and motivation issues - but it IS getting better every day.  I have never been clean from these pills this long and never intend to take them again.  I know that my way was NOT the medically approved way; there are serious risks when stopping a med I took so long so fast. They say that seizure risk is the big problem with c/t.  I have had 4 seizures - BUT THEY WERE ALL WHILE I WAS ON THE PILLS - NOT STOPPING THEM.  

So, you will need to do some research and decide what is right for you.  What kind of support do you have?  If you do a taper is there anyone you can give the pills to that will help you to stay on track?  What about talking to your dr. about it?I know it is SO hard; but falling deeper in to the tramadol **** will be worse.  Whatever you decide, please know that there will always be support here to encourage and help you along.  Good luck - thinking of you & sending the good vibes back your way :)
Julie

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by Melany88, Feb 03, 2013
It would help me so much if someone could please tell me if they ever tapered off and still had a lot of emotional ups and downs after taking the last pill. I basically dropped one pill every four days, and then at the very end I just took a half a pill for three days in a row and then nothing. The first day after my last dose I didn't feel too bad, then the next two days I felt horrible... either angry or just like sitting there crying, then that seem to go away, but the last few days I've been waking up with a horrible feeling of doom, which eventually goes away but sometimes I sit there and cry for a while before it does, and them part of the day is somewhat normal, but it seems like between 5 PM and 8 PM I get seriously depressed, and then that eventually lifts later on in the night. That pattern lasted two or three days now and I'm just wondering if I should be feeling this even though I tapered off pretty slowly. I don't want to be like this forever. Does it take a while for your body to rebalance its serotonin even if you weaned off?  Because I know there is an SSRI component in tramadol that they don't bother to tell you about when they get you addicted to it. If anyone has any idea what I am talking about it would help so much if you could answer this post and tell me I'm not nuts.

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by booba77, Feb 03, 2013
You're not nuts. I think, even with tapering, that it takes a good while to get your brain properly functioning. Especially the first few Weeks will be full of mood swings and.emotional ups and downs.

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by FourJays, Feb 03, 2013
I agree with booba, you (most) will have the mood swings and a bit of depression no matter how you quit the drug.  The intensity seems to vary from person to person and probably has something to do with how much and how long you took it.  Its like you said Melany, its  that wonderful anti-depressant quality that Dr's just don't seem to be aware of and/or warn us about when we start this drug.  It will get better and better, and if it becomes a quality of life issue for you, there are many supplements and vitamins out there that can help.  I do know that exercise is something that can help dramatically - if you can get out and get some fresh air and take a walk it does help.  If you live somewhere like me where its about 20 degrees, you could walk on a treadmill; anything to get your endorphins going.

In any case - congratulations on getting off the tramadol . . . good luck!
Juie

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by lamom33, Feb 03, 2013
Hi everyone.  I'm about 4 weeks out.  GABA has the electrical shocks under control.  It's increasing that foggy feeling, but I'll take it...so I'm free to exercise, so I'm trying to burn it out with exercise.  I've made it to yoga class 3 weeks in a row and was walking until the electric shocks hit hard.   Need to start running.  It's perfect temp for it, light snow and 30 degrees (hate running when it's hot).  I have fibromyalgia, so any change in exercise will usually make you feel like you've got the flu for a week or two; I already feel crappy so why not.  I am having the mood swings.  I get caugth up in them until Tramadol takes it to crazy extremes about how I'm never gonna get better, my quality of life is just to poor, blah, blah, blah.  Then, I can see what's going on.

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by Melany88, Feb 03, 2013
Thank you FourJays and booba77. I appreciate such a quick response, because I have never been prone to depression or anxiety or mood swings and it is a relief to know that it's not me. I did order some good supplements that I read about for this kind of thing, and they should be here tomorrow. And I'm in South Carolina, so I think I will get out and take a walk. It's a little chilly, but nowhere near twenty degrees. LOL. In fact, the more I think about getting out in the sunshine the better an idea it seems. Thank you everybody. One thing I know for sure… I don't care what any doctor ever tells me again about this drug not being addicting or bad for you, tramadol will never cross my lips again. This emotional upheaval is SO not worth it. Thanks again you guys!

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by mommainbigtrouble, Feb 03, 2013
Thank You so much for the post Julie... it is really nice to be completely honest with someone about this dirty little secret and to have support. I think everyone close to me knows that I take pills, but no one has any idea really what they are, or how addicted I am to them. I really can't imagine telling anyone, but I'm thinking about it more and more. I just don't want those I love to look at me differently... I guess I should know that those who love me would not judge me no matter what the problem was though. My doctor is a bigger issue... I'm so scared of having an addiction to pills in my medical record because the doctors are already so incredibly stingy with medication. When my back and neck pain was really bad for a few years after my car accident, I went through multiple doctors who refused to believe my pain was as bad as it was, or that I needed any regular pain management. Thus, I started self medicating. Anyway, I am just worried about this following me the rest of my life if I come clean...

It's good to know that maybe tapering will make it easier. I am definitely hoping that I can taper and quit because this last week or so has been a HUGE wake up call. Unfortunately, I have never been without my Tramadol before this, especially in the last 4 or 5 years as I started taking them very regularly and my dosage got higher. Knowing what it is like now and how it can literally bring life to a halt is something that I cannot and do not want to do again.

Today I feel almost 100% back to "normal"... and like yesterday I took 2 pills this morning, and then 2 just a little bit ago. My plan is to only take 1 more later this evening. If I keep up with this dose for a bit and not get any worse, I think I'll be in a very good place to taper and stop. I won't be starting out at such a high tolerence, or dosage. I can only assume that is a good thing!

It is really good to have everyone here who is sharing their stories. It definitely tells me that if you all can do it, so can I. Especially given that there are those who were on much higher doses for much longer.

Hope everyone is well today.

E.

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by nyhoney, Feb 03, 2013
Its amazing and frustrating how different each day is, im happy to say I can make it through the day until evening without an evil pill, just my other meds I even went out of the house today, I agree with the others about exercising I started doing just small amounts at home, and when my legs start getting crazy at night I just get off my bed and do squats, it helps..better that then reach for a pill..
My foster kitty has been having more trouble with his amputation,  I called the vet at the spca and she told me to come in and get some tramadol for him...well I got a little crazy and told her my feeling on that drug, just a little bit of a rant, and end result no way in h**l was I giving that to this cat. We are not the only victim's apparently! !
Another thing I have been finding helpful is herbal tea, chamomile or a blend like tension tamer even sleepy time, works well just to calm you some.
Good to see people posting, hope to see some others that have not been on in a while check back in, I have read so much of your stories and I do hope you are doing well.


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by thestilly, Feb 04, 2013
nyhoney - I could not agree more about excersing.  I found this to be very beneficial during w/d.  Just stretching alone helped.  It is critical to the PAWS state of recorvery as well.  Be good to yourselves warriors!

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by mtsuter, Feb 05, 2013
I have been up with restless legs and all the usual problems. This time though i went to this website and found this journal among other forums and really feel its time to quit this. I will be calling my doctor in the morning to get off them. I will check back and keep in touch. I will look back at previous posts for advice but anything you can help with would be great. Wish i could sleep :(

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by lamom33, Feb 05, 2013
mtsuter-glad you found us.  Sounds like this isn't your first withdrawal period.  Crappy or no sleep is pretty normal.  Some people take a few anti-anxiety meds or Nyquil or Trazadone.  Sometimes they help and sometimes not.  Daily walks, rubbing warm aromatherapy oils on my lower legs and wrapping them with ace bandages have helped.  I will lay on the couch, if I can stay still for 15 min then I go to bed and listen to a guided meditation with my headphones on.  If I can't stay still, I just get up and try again in an hour or two.

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by mtsuter, Feb 05, 2013
I am up.  Got three hours of sleep. Have been taking 600 mg extended release. I switched to ER about 6 months ago.  It has just gotten real bad in  the last two months with the sleep problems etc. . I have been on tramadol for 5 or so years. It was great for several years with occasional brain zaps and dizziness . Off to try and get this over with. Wish me luck

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by mtsuter, Feb 05, 2013
I am up.  Got three hours of sleep. Have been taking 600 mg extended release. I switched to ER about 6 months ago.  It has just gotten real bad in  the last two months with the sleep problems etc. . I have been on tramadol for 5 or so years. It was great for several years with occasional brain zaps and dizziness . Off to try and get this over with. Wish me luck

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by mtsuter, Feb 05, 2013
Oops. I am on 300 mg ER tablet.

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by lamom33, Feb 06, 2013
I'm having a rough couple of days...depression alternating with anxiety.  Keep feelilng that sick anxious upset stomach.  I'm currently having chest pains.  I'm pretty sure it's from anxiety.  Still on the GABA.  It's suppose to help you relax but not working today.  Drinking some chamomile tea...I have been exercising.  Just have to wait it out.  Not fun, not fun at all.

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by Melany88, Feb 07, 2013
I had a few days like that and they were awful. Then all of a sudden it just lifted. Hang in there because when I was feeling like that I was walking around saying "am I going to be like this for the rest of my LIFE?" because I felt so bad I couldn't picture even feeling better, But now I feel totally normal. Hang tough.

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by thestilly, Feb 07, 2013
Lamom33 - sending good thoughts your way!

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by demafrost, Feb 07, 2013
Hey guys, just wanted to check in with everyone.  I got logged out awhile ago and was too lazy to find my password to log back in and write, but I've been reading everything daily.

mom - stay strong through this period....I know the depression and anxiety suck, but it will go away just as randomly as it occured.  Just realize that its a symptom of the withdrawals, just like a fever is a symptom of a flu.  It will pass and you will be better for it.

I posted in FourJays personal journal, but I thought I'd copy some of it here just to give everyone the perspective of someone 60 days out.  I feel like, at least in these recent journals, there is not much written from the perspective of someone 60 days out....I feel like its theraputic to read what other people are going through once you get past the initial withdrawal stages of the first month...

I feel much better physically, even my energy has been coming back.  But mentally its still been a bit of a battle still.  At about day 35, I felt awesome for about ten days and then randomly went through a week of horrible depression and anxiety, just when I thought that part was in the past.  At the time I was taking 5 HTP and even experimenting with Nootropics to help enhance my brain.  Instead I got the aforementioned bout of anxiety and depression and decided to stop messing with my brain chemistry and let things happen naturally.  So I stopped the 5 HTP and Nootropics and now for the last 8 or so days, I've been mostly good.  But even when I feel good, I just feel like something is missing, and that is the psychological battle that I think we go through once we get to this stage of the game.  I have seen my withdrawal as 3 phases,

-Phase 1 is the Physical withdrawals, which was mostly evident the first week.  
-Phase 2 is the Mental withdrawals that go on for at least the next 4-6 weeks, where you battle depression, anxiety, overall unfulfillment with the things you want to do.  
-Phase 3 I think is more psychological (maybe thats the same as mental, but I'm using a different term to suggest a different phase).  In this phase I've started to get frustrated that I am just overall missing something and can't quite figure out how to get rid of that feeling.  Sure I feel ok physically and mentally, but my body misses the on demand high that tramadol gives it.  Thus, when sitting at home, watching my favorite TV show, or playing with my daughter, things that normally give me the most satisfaction in life, I feel a lingering sense of emptiness in the back of my mind.  I still enjoy those things but its just not as satisfying.  

I still find myself bored a lot, but this is getting better as I've been getting spurts of motivation, which is very well received by me (and my wife!).  Also there is just general frustration that I'm not 100% better, that I still get moments of anxiety here and there, I still have moments of brain fog and just general difficulty understanding simple things (these come and go infrequently, but are really frustrating when they occur...yesterday my wife was trying to explain a very simple concept to me, and i recognized it as a simple concept, but I felt my brain was running through mud to connect everything and she was getting really frustrated that I kept asking questions to try to understand better).

Anyways, I write all this because the more I think about it, the 2nd and 3rd months are tough...maybe as hard as the 1st month, but in a different way and I don't think people understand that.  I feel like people just naturally expect people at our stage to feel better and moved on with our lives because we look better, we can act better, and in general people dont understand that it would take more than a few weeks to remove a toxin like this from the body and recover completely.

To those reading this who are not at this stage, do not fret.  I am improving gradually and overall its night and day from the difficulties of the first few weeks.  I can live a mostly normal life, can function at work and in social situations, and for the most part do not feel my days being bogged down by the pain that early withdrawal brings.  It's a different battle, and I think its more aligned with what addicts of all types face, not just tramadol users.  Its a general acceptance with sobriety, and your body getting used to not having an on demand type of drug needed to feel "high".  I've chased that high a lot over the last 60 days, not even realizing it.  I briely took up smoking during the first couple of weeks because the nicotine high temporarily made me feel better.  I added 2-3 alcoholic drinks a night for a couple of weeks for the same reason.  I had my friend come over with pot and tried smoking a couple of times for temporary relief (not big on pot, have smoked maybe 10 times in the last decade), I tried Nootropics and 5 HTP because when i took them they took made the depression go away and gave me a feeling of well-being at least initially.  It wasn't until I realized I wasn't doing these things to manage the withdrawal symptoms but was chasing a high, that I stopped and readjusted my recovery activities and made peace with the fact that I don't need artificial highs to make me feel better.

Anyways, I'm rambling but what I'm trying to get it is that you will probably experience something similar, especially if you abused the tramadol in the past and weren't just taking 2 pills a day as prescribed.  There is more to recovery than just waiting it out, and its important to recognize that so you don't follow a bad path and end up back on trams or something else.  They say that relapse isnt defined as the moment you go back on the drug, you are relapsing when you start down a path that leads towards your eventual taking of the drug.  Be mindful of it and you will increase the odds of complete recovery.

Stay strong everyone, now that I reset my password to something I can remember, I am here for your support regardless of what stage you are in!

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by lamom33, Feb 08, 2013
Thanks guys.  I appreciate the support.  I guess I thought Round 2 would be much easier since I did have a whole month no tram in Nov.  Thought I'd have a wk or 2 of symptoms and be good to go.  I'm 32 days (I think).  This is right around the time I started back on trams last time.  Not gonna happen this time.  Woke up feeling like a human being, totally normal.  Gonna stay on the GABA for another week( I can feel the shocks but in the background).

@ demafrost - I had to laugh at you being too lazy to reset your password.  Funny, I know that feeling.  
Sounds like you're on the right path, having insights.  

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by adexec181, Feb 09, 2013
Hi everyone, sorry, but have been lurking here for quite some time, and have spent hours and hours reading through Emily and FinallyFreds old journals from 2007-2009.  These literally have saved my life, so thank you all for your help.

My biggest concern is "life in a post-opiate world".  I have no issues ever taking the rat-poison again, and in fact have flushed away or publicly disposed of tons of late-delivered drug deliveries these past two weeks.  My issue is that I was such an abuser for so long, while I know who the old me was and I can picture her being active, social, fun etc....I have spent the last really two years so messed up in a tramadol fog, that I chose to stop pretty much doing anything but ly on the couch and watch tv in a fog.  I stepped away from all of my social activities, interests and eventually took an early retirement last September because I had become so dysfunctional even in my work that I knew it was over for me.  So have spent the last few months on a total tramadol bender...rarely leaving the house except to do the basic tasks (-and not even those sometimes...).  This past Christmas was a disaster...so disinterested in anything but the next dose that my family staged a kind of intervention...saying that they've noticed something has been wrong with me and have been having my 22year old daughter check my purse and my cabinets over the past two years and she's found these drugs.  They told me I needed help...and I was just roally pissed off that they've all been talking about me behind my back for two years  and never talked to me directly...and my mother and sister got my daughter involved and its been a three-way thing for a long time....without any real support or offer to help.  And I needed help, but that is a whole other story and probably the reason I was an addict to begin with...will work on that later.  I have always been the one to fix everything in my family....the strong one who has been a single Mom all her life, lives 800 miles away from everyone, yet has always been the one who's been there when another family member needed help.  Even raised my daughter by myself, put her through college, gave her just about everything (and not to brag but i think i was really was a great parent), and now she's working on films in Toronto as a set designer, wont have anything to do with me, but still charging my credit cards for all kinds of stuff, which i know notice because im not stoned all the time, while not haven spoken to me since Christmas when the s*** hit the fan and I felt the whole family's betrayal.  It all really just hurts, but I know that will all take time to process and sort through.
So nonetheless, came home from Christmas in a total nit and went on another bender.  Late January decided it was enough for me...and am on day 15 from ct WD.  Will get through the physical symptoms and resolved to never take a pill again, but now I don't know what to do with myself.  Am sitting alone in my big house with my dogs, virtually afraid to talk to anyone, friends have pretty much stopped calling because I haven't answered the phone in weeks, won't answer the door, and even going to the grocery store gives me anxiety. I don't seem to have any initiative do get re-involved in my old interests or social stuff, am not motivated to do any of my old creative stuff and continue to watch tv, movies and Internet stuff all day, with no one knowing what I am going through, no one to talk to and no one to encourage me to gt off my butt to do something.  Am mad at my family and know I will work on this when my brain gets less foggy so have put that on hold to sort out in the future..but will I ever get back the initiative to want to do something?  Does anticipation and joy come back eventually, and how do I understand what a "new normal" is for me everyday withou an 80 hour/career and being the "super Mom" that I have been used to for 30 years?  I still get invites to go out and do the things i used to...work at pet food bank, support the local art scene, do the things i am supposed to as president of our homeowners association., even work on my taxes.....and can see my old self just thrilled to go and do theses things (yes believe it or noti used to love to get my tax stuff organized for my accountant!!!  Was really anal about that stuff!), but now I make excuses to stay home and do nothing.  Don't want to talk, don't want to look over finances don't want to go to my friend Mary's Art Show this weekend, hide from my dog-walker because I don't want to explain why I missed her play last week ( I have foot problems and current cant walk without crutches... so have a walker to walk my rescue pups).  Keep telling myself to give it more time and let the brain heal, but am I digging myself in to a hole?  Do old interests and initiative come back?  Will I ever care how my house looks again and love to garden and take care of things again?  These changes in my life all came down so fast and I just don't even know what is "normal" for me anymore that the future scares me.  I know I'm rambling and some of this fear is probably brain function still damaged, but can anyone who's been through this help me understand if the old passions and fire come back...and do I need to conciously make an effort when I feel so blasé about everything, or does time and healing help??  Help!!!

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by ImDONENoMore, Feb 09, 2013
Hi adexec, and welcome!

The old passions, interests, energy, social aspect of life, they ALL come back.  I promise you they do.  I'm over two years clean from tramapoison and things have returned to normal.  Actually, they returned to normal before the first year passed.  I'm not going to lie to you and tell you this journey has been a picnic.  It has not.  But worth EVERY single second.  Every single (and sometimes miserable beyond belief) second has been worth it.

Tramadol *****.  Period.  This drug should be banned in my opinion.  Your story sounds so much like mine, so please, don't give up hope.  It took about a month for me before I felt "sort of" okay to go out and do things again.  Yes, going to the market seemed like such a hurdle in the beginning, but time will be your best friend for a while.  But please, let yourself run on "blind faith" for a while longer.  You won't be disappointed.  I promise you.  (oh and I agree, this journal of Emily's was a lifesaver for me, and the words from FinallyFred also resonated a lot with me).  It was a huge relief to find this place, at least for me it was).  I didn't understand what was happening to me and I was also scared at first.  TIME will change all of that.  Stay focused and let yourself stay low for a while longer if you think you need to.  This isn't a race, and we didn't get into this mess overnight and it is not remotely possible to get out of it overnight either.  But there is HOPE again for the future as long as you never put this crap in your system again.  Honestly, what an awful drug.  Just the WORST.

Have you tried any of the items suggested in the Thomas Recipe?  Outside of the benzo suggested, the rest of the items on that list helped me a lot, so you might want to give that a shot.  And hang in there, quitting tramadol will be the BEST decision you've made for a long time.  :)

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by adexec181, Feb 09, 2013
Thanks ImDONENoMore, I read, then reread, then reread your note.  Needed just a few words of encouragement to see there is an old self at the end of the tramatunnel.  Am doing the Thomas thing...think it got me over the worst physical stuff.  One thing that I have shown some meek interest in is holistically working on my recovery....am eating waaaay better than ever before in my life and doing s*** ton of reading on nutrition and brain/endocrinology/adrenal function.  A least a little silver lining in the cloud.

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by ImDONENoMore, Feb 09, 2013
YUP.  That's exactly how you need to look at this.  Because there is a silver lining in these clouds.  Absolutely.

And funny you should mention holistic healing.  I started meditating (no, I'm not some CA new-age guru! lol) - but it helps a ton.  AND I basically gave up red meat and eat a lot better today.  More olive oil, LESS butter, more fruits, veggies, just good and healthy organic food can make you feel so much better.  I spend more time in the produce section now than I do in the rest of the store!  Funny, I used to laugh at the expression "you are what you eat"... ha, well I'm not laughing at that anymore!  It is SO SO true.  :)

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by Melany88, Feb 09, 2013
To Adexec181:

My heart goes out to you, because the withdrawal process is lousy. All I can tell you is that it is SO worth it in the end. Don't pressure yourself at the beginning, just do what you have to do, whether it's playing music and looking out the window, taking a walk, or drowning your sorrows in a hot fudge sundae, LOL. Everything will seem strange at first, but once you transition back to the real you from the fake you that tramadol created, you will feel so good that you will never want to go down that road again.
It does not sound like your family who staged the intervention are helping you right now. Unless I got the wrong impression. Are they stopping to visit you or doing anything to assist you? I know that's a personal questions so please don't feel obligated to answer it, but it sounds to me like they kind of went about things the wrong way. I understand interventions, and why people do them, but it is also important to do it in the right way and discussing it behind your back for two years does seem a little bit over the top. If it were my family, I would've appreciated them just putting the cards on the table as soon as they realize there was a problem. I'm not saying interventions aren't good thing, but I have also seen many people get screwed up when their family stages an intervention, but doesn't do it the right way.

But just hang tough, because there is light at the end of the tunnel and the most important thing to realize is that unlike withdrawal from any other kinds of drugs, tramadol withdrawal is NOT a linear process. You will have days where you feel great and say 'terrific, I'm over that hump!' and then the next day, low and behold… there's another hump. I had such erratic mood swings and emotional ups and downs I literally thought I was losing my mind. And I tapered off slowly, and it still kicked me right in the butt, which I didn't think could happen! However, a few mornings ago I woke up feeling great and have been doing great ever since. Like magic it just dissipated. Not everyone will have it happen that way, but the most important thing to understand is that your body IS readjusting itself each and every day even though it may feel like a roller coaster. It's just that your body doesn't quite know what to do on its own anymore, but everyday it tweaks this and tweaks that until it gets things rebalanced. I know that's silly explanation, and you maybe already know all that, but just don't ever think that whatever is happening is some freakish, abnormal thing, because you have some really really weird symptoms during withdrawal, like being happy one minute, and an hour later spiraling down into a depression. It's not you, it's just the effects of tramadevil. I probably just told you a lot of stuff you already know, but I hope it helps a little. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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by lamom33, Feb 10, 2013
@adexec- IMO, there's a balance between pushing youself to do things and being gentle with yourself.  I haven't quite figured it out for myself, so not sure why I start typing this (brainfog)...Anyway, wanted to welcome you.

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by FourJays, Feb 10, 2013
Hello everyone-
I've been away for a couple days and was just "lurking" around checking up on everyone.

Demafrost - first congratulations on hitting the 60 day mark . . . I KNOW how hard your have worked for it!  I read your post and your comments on my journal page and I totally agree with you.  It seems like most often the active posting done here on Emily's journal and on the Substance & Abuse forum are mostly "newbies" early in detox/withdrawal or still tapering, or members that have hundreds of days clean.  Not many in between (50 to 100 day mark).  So I guess you and I need to speak up more!  I pretty much agree with the way you broke down the withdrawal/recovery process, i.e., #1-physical sickness, #2-emotinal/mental/anxiety and #3-psychological impact.  Mine has been very similar and within about the same time frame(s) as well.  

For me, now at 71 days clean I feel I have come a very long way but still have (possibly) a long way to go; and even then will I ever feel like the same tram-free me?  I just don't know - I hope so.  I also often have the feeling that something is missing - very hard to explain.  I have said before it was like when I quit smoking cigarettes 8 years ago; for a few weeks (at least) I felt like I had lost something (someone) or as if I were grieving a loss.  It has been very similar with the tram w/d.  I guess it has made me realize how much my life was centered around those evil pills - how many I  had left, when my next script or delivery was, when my next dose was, etc., etc.  All the while watching my bank account decrease and feeling like a piece of s**t knowing I was spending money that should have been going toward family bills/expenses.  So - something missing, boredom, a feeling of non-satisfaction - these feelings are present every day in the phase of recovery that I am currently in.  But even all of this considered - even on a bad day, its is still WAY better that being stoned out in a tramadol fog, feeling hopeless and helpless.  I have also been starting to experience a new feeling - I call them "windows".  I'll be doing something routine and I'll suddenly feel like I see clearer, feel more, etc.  It is again, a hard thing to explain.  It's as if tramadol eventually blacked out my world and as I recover small pieces or "windows" are breaking open.  And it happens at weird & unexpected times.  A few days ago I was cleaning my shower and I had one; I just suddenly felt more energy and like I could "get into" the task at hand.  I have felt them on a few occasions while exercising.  Whatever it is going on, it is wonderful and I just want it to keep happening.  It gives me a lot of encouragement that things WILL return to normal again; that all of the "windows" will open back up & I'll see it all clear again - and MAYBE MY HOUSE WILL BE CLEAN AGAIN SOMEDAY TOO!!!   :)  Lastly dema - I feel like I did the "chase the high" thing for a while too.  Had some drinks, tried some pot (which I actually did use during the first week of w/d and it did help my anxiety levels quite a bit).  I'm not a regular user, but sometimes I think we do what we need to in order to get to the next level (as long as it's not hurting myself or anyone else).  For now, we just need to keep trucking, time is our friend and hopefully it will get better and better.

Adexec - YOU are the strongest person I've ever "met".  Throwing out all of those pills was absolutely amazing . . . your commitment to this getting and staying clean is unbelievably motivating.  I have the same concerns you do about living and existing in a post-opiate world,  With a few exceptions, our stories are SO similar.  I have pretty much lost 10 years of my life to these pills.  I was a busy Mom of 2 (that thank God have grown up to be awesome young adults), had a long and fruitful legal career, also served on my homeowners association board, had a busy social life - all gone AWOL in the past few years.  I love making jewelry and had just started my own business about 5 -6 years ago.  I would hurry home from work, get kids, hubby and house where they needed to be fast so I could get to jewelry.  I did a few weddings, art fairs, etc.  . . . LOVED it.  Well, tramadol evidently didn't want me to love it anymore.  I have thousands of $ of inventory just sitting in containers.  I "retired" from my law firm because it was sizing down and moving over an hour away.  A perfectly convenient reason for my to leave; take a little time off and then start back maybe in a new field or practice - that was 3 years ago and I still am not working.  Just a couple of examples of what seems like similar things you are feeling.  I do not have to deal with the negative family issues you have though and I really feel for you there.  Especially your daughter - using the credit card but wont communicate with you???  I am so sorry, that is just brutal and you deserve much better.  You are doing great and I think that while you are still going to have tough days ahead, you are absolutely on the right track.  Your restraint is amazing and just tells me that you are a success story waiting to happen.  Hang in there . . we will all make it through this together.

ImDONE - 928 days!!!!!  You are truly an inspiration and why we all keep coming back here for support and encouragement.  I would love to hear your story some time.  How long were you on Tramadol?  I worry because I took it for SO long (14+ years) and at really high doses toward the end (40+ pills daily).  Sometimes I feel like I don't even deserve to ever completely recover after what I've done to myself - but I know that's not true.  Is there anyone out there that took it as long/much as I did?  Anyway, thank you SO much for all our your support to everyone.

One last note - I second the healthy eating thing and have found exercise to be one of the very biggest positive changes I'v made since I quit the pills.  Even small walks or anything to get yourself moving.  Some of you lucky ones can get out and get sun and fresh air???  It's 20 degrees and snowy here; guess it's time to head down to the treadmill :)  And then maybe get some of those beads back out!!

Thank you to all of you - if we stick together our chances of success will only get better!
Julie

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by lamom33, Feb 11, 2013
Hi all.  It's been 5 weeks since I stopped on purpose for the second time.  I had a whole month no tramadol in Nov and started back on tram in Dec.  I was having mild/moderate joint pain as well as chest pains, electrical shocks, depression, and anxiety.  I decided I would start back with a max of 4 a day and taper (yeah right!)  Well, after I took the trams, my legs and feet hurt so badly that I had trouble walking the first day.  I didn't even make it at 4 the first day, I was already taking 5.  My stash soon disappeared.  I remember thinking "I'm killing myself."  Also remember my husband looking me square in the eyes, he didn't have to say anything.

I've done thinks a little differently this time.  Did St.John's Wort for 2-3 wks then switched to GABA when the electric shocks kicked in.  GABA does make me  tired but there is no way I can nap  (I've tried. but it does lessen the shocks, and I just can't deal with them.

Every day is a little different.  I don't feel well yet, but slowly getting strong.  There are times when I don't want to get out of bed but once I'm up  I seem to feel the best in the a.m.  After about 7pm, I am completely exhausted.  I do some type of exercise daily and get out of the house every day.  I'm not a social butterfly but going to yoga class, out for dinner, coffeeshop, etc.

I'm so thankful for this thread.  What a wonderful place where I don't have to worry about spelling or making complete sense.  Everyone understands-it's hard to think and none of us can see!

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by lamom33, Feb 13, 2013
So quite here.  Hope that means everyone is out livin' it up.  Another anxious time for me.  Was feeling awesome this morning, not sure what happened.  I worry what it'll be like after I stop the GABA, if the anxiety will be worse.  

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by FourJays, Feb 13, 2013
Iamom - hope you are feeling better.  What is GABA and what is it taken for?  I have heard of it before but I cant remember what/why people take it.  In any case I know from your posts that you have been struggling with ups and downs (I totally know the feeling).  Sounds like you do the exercise thing too?  I really have found it so helpful; I don't know if I would be half of where I am without it.  Good luck . . . I think it is great that you got back on  the wagon after you little slip last month or so.  You are doing great :)

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by nyhoney, Feb 14, 2013
Hello everyone, catching up on everyone's post. I dont feel so bad knowing im not doing this alone, thank you for sharing.
The last few days have been such a mixed bag of better during the day and nights being a nightmare waiting for me . And then today hits and I feel like have been hit with a mack truck, I think thats what it is...my head wants to explode.im not sure if its from my injuries or part of the wd crap . I have been filling my body with healthy foods vitamins and herbal tea for a week now, which I think have made my days better, along with trying to exercise.  But night time hits and I fall apart I can't lay still from the rls, dont know if mine is so bad because I do have rls from a screwed up vein procedure.  And the agitation causes me to have to scream to keep it from feeling like im going to explode. Im up and down and walking in circles from the time I try to go to bed until about 4 am and I've sometimes get an hour sleep in there..sometimes.  even the hot baths dont help for long enough to fall asleep. Either I break down and take that other half of pill I've been trying to taper down to the next step or the last two nights I've dug into my other leftover drugs instead (oxy) which at the time seemed like a good idea but then I worry what am I doing...I wonder if that is playing into my headache today by adding other drugs. I still suffer with pain from my injuries as well because now im not taking enough meds to help hide them, im trying so hard to find an herbal way to control it. I have done more reading/studing on the subject I may just make it a permanent hoby. I dont as I see others are feeling as well go out of my house unless its absolutely necessary.  Just dont want to see anyone. Of course this crapy cold weather does not help. I wonder how long I can keep making excuses to everyone before they just give up. I saw my dr the other day and told her how I felt about this evil drug, she thought I was crazy its a wonder drug she know of no issues with it has never had anyone test positive for abuse of it tells me there is no mood altering properties to it my mood change is my own doing for stopping the drug and allowing the pain to show its self...I told her she ought to look outside her world a little stop reading the drug manufacturing take on this drug and research the forms like this and hear peoples crys.
Oh for those who saw my post about my foster cat being prescribed tramadol and I refused to give it to him...they took the cat from me and gave it to someone who would give it the drug...what a kick in the pants. Here's hoping todays sucky day ends today because the night time is approaching and im not looking forward to it..
My best wishes for everyone im thinking of you.
Sharon

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by ImDONENoMore, Feb 14, 2013
nyhoney - I LOVE what you said to your Dr.  Well done!  (and hang in there it's going to get better.  but stay off the other meds, they aren't going to help you in the long run, it will only prolong the withdrawal and you don't want that).

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by nyhoney, Feb 15, 2013
Imdone: thank you, I fought that battle in my head as to wether or not it might make it worse not better, but of course in the moment I rationalized in my head it wouldn't matter it was a different drug and its just this time...
Others people's words can be so powerful, give you the strength to fight through it when your sitting alone in the dark fighting this. I now have yours. Thank you.

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by Jayde121, Feb 15, 2013
@lamom, wondering how your recovery is going.
I'm now a month out and feeling good, for threw the flu and all last week without trams!
I'm a month of them now and feel good, some nights still have terrible sleeping but have had that all my adult life, find if I am really struggling I take a restavit and helps me sleep.

I ended up coming clean with my partner 2 weeks out when hardest part was over and he was supportive. I should of done it earlier but felt I needed to do it myself,

I wish every one going threw w/d from this terrible drug good luck, it is hard but can be done and stick with it as you will feel better :)

I really found having all the things to help me threw it probably helped, I got cold n flu tablets, anti nausea tablets and buscopan forte. And a heat pack. Which I heated at least 10 times a night.

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by lamom33, Feb 15, 2013
@Fourjays-GABA (I believe) is a non-essential amino acid.  It says on the bottle for relaxation and nervous system support.  It's taken to lower the electrical shocks, which it does but can put you in quite a fog and very sleep but unable to fall asleep, so I don't take it right before bedtime.  The shocks are just too much for me.  I can't exercise when I have them (it makes them worse).  I do worry that I'm having anxiety while taking something that's suppose to relax me.  Also, worried that the shocks will just be waiting for me when I stop taking this.

@Jayde- Well, I'm 41 days and I'm not taking Tramadol.  Yesterday I had trouble with pain control, depression and anxiety.  Working on changing my thinking.  Negative thoughts come on fast, and I get caught up in them.  If I look back, there's been a whole lot of progress.  I'm sleeping.  I'm able to exercise.  Sweats are gone.  Down to 1-2 jaw/headaches a day.  Able to get out of the house.  Still freaks me out sometimes, but I do it anyway.  It's just up and down, round and round.  Glad you are doing well.  Wish you the best.

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by FourJays, Feb 15, 2013
NYhoney - my heart hurts for you- but things WILL get better; you gotta hang in there and keep up with the taper plan as best you can.  I do think its best not to add in any of the other meds if you can avoid it at all - they are wolves in sheep's clothing!  The exercise thing really can help if you can get in even just a little bit.  I feel for you with the crappy weather thing too (20 degrees here); but the days are slowly getting longer and the warmer weather is around the corner.  We can make it!

I am just SICK about the foster cat story.  I am a cat lover also and as I sit here with mine curled up beside me I just want to scream at those ignorant people - they just don't know any better.  You made a stand and (for what it's worth) I think it was the right thing to do not to give the poor kitty that evil pill.  

Hope your weekend is good - better days are ahead . . . think positive:)
Julie

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by ImDONENoMore, Feb 15, 2013
you're welcome nyhoney.  I remember those early days for me and this place was a huge support.. and I wasn't even posting when I first came on, I just started at the very first post emily made and it brought me here and kept me here.  but I promse, you're not alone.  And it will get better.  just keep looking forward.  Going back isn't an option and you know that.  You can do this.

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by demafrost, Feb 20, 2013
No comments for 5 days....boy is it quiet in here.  I hope everyone is out living life and doing well.  Keep checking in and commenting if you get the time!

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by lamom33, Feb 21, 2013
Hello.  I'm in my 6th wk Tram free, and I'm finally getting some of my fire back.   Sometimes it comes out as biting peoples' heads off but more and more it's serving as motivation to live a happier healthy life.

Still taking GABA but at a smaller dose.  Having no shocks but some zaps and vertigo.  Vertigo is a little scary, sometimes I feel like I'm in a funhouse, but it passes in less than a minute.  Some minor chest pains and digestive upsets.  Daily anxiety but no freakouts.

My knee is really bothering me.  I feel like I've come full circle.  This is how I first got Ultram back in '02.  My knee hurt so badly I couldn't run and it wouldn't heal-got diagnosed with fibro (was having other problems and pain too).  Tram not an option, so my exercise plans/goals have to be scraped.  I'm going to just walk with a brace.  Still doing yoga at home and going to class (with the knee brace).

I think it's in my best interest to stay away from all prescription drugs for as long as I can.  When I look back, anything I've taken for longer than a few weeks have really messed with me, even birth control.  I'll use OTC and herbal.  I'd love to get to just food and water, but it'll be a while.  I've still got to quit smoking!  I'll be using nicotine gum for that.

If you're reading this and feeling hopeless, your day is coming.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I can sorta see it.  If I can do this, you can too.  Be strong, don't give up.

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by Melany88, Feb 21, 2013
You are correct, lamom33! It does come to an end but in the middle of it, it sure makes you think it will last forever. I find Gaba very helpful too and I am sticking with herbs and natural supplements. I have HAD it with prescriptions. Over. Done. Finished. The side effects and addiction are much worse than the original problem in my experiences. Drug companies don't care. They know it's poison but put it out there to make a buck. I'm OVER it. Natural foods, herbs and green tea for me thank you. LOL.

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by harry788, Feb 23, 2013
Could i just ask, I have been taking around 400/500 mg of Tramadol for 3 years for post surgery, long standing disability and slipped disk. My pain clinic also started giving me oxy-codine (200-400 mg daily) both quick and controlled release.
From the 1st Jan 2013 I stopped taking tramadol and agreed with my doctor to up my oxy intake to help with pain and to minimise the withdrawal effects. I* have managed to change my oxy usage to only using controlled release so the pain cover I get is ‘smoother’ and less up and down.
HOWEVER last week I started getting very panicky feelings, seemingly , mainly when my oxy contin levels were low. At first I had no idea why so I was actually getting panic attacks but since I realised I ‘may’ be experiencing tramadol withdrawal still I don’t feel quite as bad although the feelings are still very worrying and make me feel like I want to scratch myself to stop them – even though I have no history of self harm or panuic attacks. I’m 43. My doctor doesn’t think it will still be the tramadol as she thinks the withdrawal will have gone by now. I think it is the Tramadol. Do you think it might still be the tramadol 45 to 50 days after stopping (cold turky from 400 to 500 mg daily) making me feel very uneasy and panicky?
Thanks! In hope :-/

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by harry788, Feb 23, 2013
I just wanted to say hello to everyone too. After posting earlier i have been back through the site and found out what it is all about. Loads of very brave and strong peiople on here, making me feel a little inadequate but also brave.... Hope you all feel ok enough! Hope to chat to some of you at some point too as i suspect i'm going to be returning here quite often now i have found it.... Cheers

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by Melany88, Feb 23, 2013
Harry788, the panic is most definitely the tramadol withdrawal. It not only messes with your neuroreceptors, as all narcotics do, it also has an antidepressant component that really screws up your brain chemistry as well. People who never had anxiety or panic attacks in their life experience it when they go off tramadol and for some people it's the worst part of the withdrawal process. Just hang in there because it does go away. But it is not a linear process, so you may feel great one day, and then the next day have anxiety again. Just ride it out. You can do it!!!



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by harry788, Feb 23, 2013
Thanks Melany88, your the first person to be able to tell me that it is the Tram. It's very important for me to hear that for some reason. Even my GP couldn't tell me that but it seems obvious to me! Thanks again!


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by Melany88, Feb 24, 2013
You're welcome, and don't ever doubt it. It is one of the strongest withdrawal symptoms associated with tramadol, and VERY few people escape it, even if they are like me and never had anxiety or panic attacks in their life until tramadevil. Your brain wants to try to tell you that it's from something else, but it isn't.Even doctors will say it's not from that and try to tell you you have a panic disorder and give you more drugs that will not help, but the anxiety and mental anguish will subside once you get through the withdrawal. It came with the tramadol and it will leave when the tramadol is kicked to the curb. I live for the day that this poison will be taken off the market. I'm glad I could help!

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by harry788, Feb 25, 2013
I'm being encouraged to kick up a fuss once i'm free from the tram as it's caused so much of a problem and the doctors seem in denial about it. There is supposed to be a yellow card scheme or something but i'll have to find out more when i'm stronger. It's been about a week of anx now and i believe it feels to be waining a little. I got it late in the day but do you think ther eis any cghance it is leaving me a bit now? Iis about day 53 now..... Thanks again! So kind to give support :)

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by FourJays, Feb 25, 2013
Hello-
I have been free of Tramadol for about 88 days now.  It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life (kicking the Tram habit).  I took it for 14+ years; in VERY high doses the last year or so.  I quit cold turkey on December 1st.  I had been planning to try a taper but when an order I placed never shipped I was basically forced to quit it c/t (I only had a couple of pills when I realized my order wasn't coming).  Coming up on 100 days clean I still have quite a few symptoms of w/d from the Tramadol.  The anti-depressant part of the medication (which many of us that took it were never informed of when it was initially prescribed), is what I believe to be the culprit behind the lingering anxiety and emotional issues.  Based on what I have learned from researching this medication and from all of my MedHelp friends & members, these symptoms can linger for up to a year.   Every person is different and will experience w/d symptoms and other issues at different levels, different times; and some will have hardly any at all.  There are so many factors, i.e., how long the drug was used, the dosage levels, additional meds used, diet and exercise, etc.  So, in my opinion, at day 53, yes, it is entirely possible (and probable) that your symptoms will/should start decreasing.  I know that mine have, a lot.  It is a very tricky drug; you will feel great, rack up a week or 2 of really good days and then suddenly have a crash with full blown w/d feelings.  But these "crashes" occur less and less as the days go by.  And, at least to me, they don't even bother me as much any more.  Its kind of like a reminder to keep me in line - a brief moment(s) of malaise to remind me of how far I have come and that I will NEVER go back.   Good luck to you!

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by demafrost, Feb 25, 2013
I agree with FourJays.  Today is day 77, a milestone for me because I read Emily's journals a lot before and during quitting, and Day 77 was her last journal entry before starting the recovery rooms....and in that journal, she declared her withdrawals over.  

That said, I am still getting symptoms here and there.  Like FourJays said, I have gone almost 2 weeks without much in the way of symptoms, and then randomly it sneaks up on me and I feel emotionally off.  It's not really all that horrible at this point though.  It doesn't really change my behavior for that day, its just something in the back of my head that I put up with.  Things feel boring, not very pleasurable, ambition wavers a bit.  My mind, used to having a drug on demand to cure that feeling, searches for something that will work.  Beer?  Cigarettes? Caffeine? Sex?  Something to get me jump started again.  But for the most part I do nothing and just ride it out.

Anyways, its still completely night and day from the first month of withdrawal, and even the 2nd.  The worst is over and everyday my head gets a little more back to normal.  

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by nyhoney, Feb 26, 2013
Hi to everyone been a rough few days for me ..I made it to the point of no more tram..two days ago. I was so excited about it when I got up that first morning  lol I thought I was suffering before, ha now even my daytime is being effected partly because I can't sleep at night its just to intense, nothing I do any more helps, my dr gave me a script for trazadone but really im scared of any drug right now so I wont take it. The newest issue is muscle fatigue I can't walk up stairs or use my eliptical I feel like my legs are so wore out. I don't know any more what to pay attention to and what to just except as part of the process, I hate this feeling, I hate the emotional rollercoaster which both my dr's say no way its caused by the tram...someone needs to educate these people. Today I was walking in circles repeating dont go back there you can do this, scared me. Its hard when you can't find anything that helps, can't read can't use the computer, watch tv, lay down , exercise,  certainly not go out in public talking to myself..my head is so tired but my body wont let me rest. Funny this helps..comming here ranting to unknown people who are in the same boat, who get it. I can not thank you enough for being here im not sure without you where I would be. Know I read your stories as well and my heart goes out to you.

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by ImDONENoMore, Feb 26, 2013
nyhoney - totally, I mean TOTALLY normal.  I went through that too.  And it will end.  As long as you don't go back, it will END.  And you will feel better.  I promise.

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by FourJays, Feb 26, 2013
nyhoney - Congratulations on getting of the Trams - best decision you ever made, EVER.  Day 2 - 3 are probably going to be the most intense.  You  CAN do this.  Yes it is miserable, but the effects you are feeling are completely normal and they WILL go away.  It will start slowly getting better very soon.  Can you soak in a hot tub; light a candle, play some soothing music?  How about some Motrin or Tylenol for the aches and pains?  There were times during my w/d detox that I actually sat in my tub for hours & refilled more warm water as it chilled.  It is so good for muscle aches.  Even better if you add some Epsom salts.  Even a hot shower if you have no tub.  I can relate 100% to how you feel right now - the achy legs and body and feeling of overall physical and emotional malaise......it's like Hell on Earth.  THIS IS WHY YOU ONLY WANT TO DO THIS ONCE.  Don't even think about going back - you are almost there and you are doing great.  This WILL END SOON . . . . hang in there!

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by adexec181, Feb 26, 2013
Hey Nyhoney....Agree with FourJays and ImDone....what you're feeling is totally normal, at least it's the same thing I experienced.  I was so totally zombied-out that for the first 4-5 days I couldn't do anything...I couldn't even draw a bath or brush my teeth.  Moved from the couch to bed..to couch to bed...terrified to talk to anyone, answer the phone or the door.  My heart goes out to you starting this whole thing, but believe me, it DOES get better and you'll get everything in your life back...just make sure to drink lots (when I finally got to the grocery store after about 6 days, I bought a ton of Vitamin Water Revive (FourJays did too!) and it's full of electrolytes and B vitamins....and it really helped.  I did the Thomas Recipe..ordered most of it online from vitamin sites and added 5HTP and Rhodiola.  I really believe all this helps...along with Epsom salt baths like FourJays suggested.  And don't stress that you can't do anything right now...just give yourself time to let your body and brain heal...do the bare minimum you need to get things in order, and just pamper yourself and do whatever feels good.  Also know we're all out here ready to help...so just post, read and let us know how to help.

And Harry788 - don't know if you've gone back through these journals long enough to read Emilypost's original posts (she was the early pioneer on Tram withdrawal), but she talked a lot via posts  to a guy named FinallyFred who had a similar reaction to the medical community's overall approach and understanding to Tramadol.  Not sure where he ended up in his crusade, but you might want to go ack and read some if his opinions, research and findings!

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by nyhoney, Feb 27, 2013
@imdonenomore  thanks I know your right and when it evens out and I can take a breath I know I made it through that time I can fight again. Knowing it will end , I dont ever want to be here again.
@fourjays I have tried those things except for the epson salt, I will have to try that. Your right I could just spend these sleepless nights soaking instead of fighting...I did just notice on another post that my sneezing is part of this too, that was just not making any sense to me why I have been sneezing so much.
@adexec181 hey to you too, I will try that vitimin water, and the rhodiola I can't believe I have seen nothing about that herb I have buried myself in books about medicinal herbs vowing to find a natural way to treat my pain and heal my body from this ordeal, and dont recall ever seeing that one. I also purchased everything online for the thomas recipe plus a few extras. I think the isolation we put ourselves in makes this harder too, I no longer have any living family other than a half sister who only has contact with me when she needs my help, never the other way around...my daughter is still young just 18 in college and can't begin to grasp what im going through, she still at the age where its all about her. So I can somewhat feel your pain.
@dermafrost sex is the best choice there all natural releases feel good endorphins ..burns calories :)
@harry788 it is amazing the beliefs our drs have in regards to this drug, I've had the conversation with my pain management dr she thinks im over reacting doesn't believe this is possible from this drug, even when I suggest she do an internet search on the subject and read the stories from so many people from every walk of life, her way of rationalizing is that they are all just abusers. . and my response to her even if they were for what ever reason in their life at that time they now wish as I do, just being a patient taking what was prescribe to me, to stop this drug and it is a trip to hell no one should have to endure.  I believe her to be one of the "good" pain management drs I've had the other in the past that was just a dealer with a license. And she did not believe me...and was upset with the new law change that made it more difficult to prescribe this drug. I can only hope that after our chat she took the time to read our stories.
@Melany88 im with you no more drugs, natural herbs and tea for me too.
Its just after 4 am being here has carried me through another night... here's to a better today for everyone.
Sharon

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by killerzoey, Mar 02, 2013
I've posted here before, but it's nice to check in from time to time. I just wanted to say hello again and offer encouragement and support to anyone in the process of quitting. It gets so much better.

I stopped the Tramadol January 10, so it's been what--50 days? I took hydrocodone a few weeks after quitting the Tramadol to ease withdrawal symptoms, but have been totally clean since I stopped that.

I haven't had any truly bad nights in weeks, though some nights I will take a Unisom (ingredient in Benadryl) just to insure a good night sleep. That's mostly because I'm still more of a light sleeper than before (if you can call my former passed-out state on Tramadol "sleep"), and I find it can be more difficult to get back to sleep if I hear a noise and wake up. No more restless legs, though, sensitivity to cold is pretty much back to normal, and I feel basically ok most of the time.

I feel like the Rhodiola that I take in the morning helps my energy level and mood. I had tried other things (SAMe, Tyrosine) but Rhodiola is what I feel the most benefit from. I also take a multivitamin, B complex, fish oil, lots of vitamin D. I probably drink too much caffeine given my possible night waking/falling asleep issues, but man...I just love my soda ;/  Baby steps.

My respect to anyone on this path!

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by killerzoey, Mar 02, 2013
@nyhoney, how are you doing today???

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by LisaH_NYC, Mar 02, 2013
Hi, I am new here. I am sober from alcohol for 17 years now. 5 years ago, I was prescribed tramadol for migraines, because " due to my addiction history, its less habit forming than other pain medications". HA. I took 2 or 3 a day at first, with or without a migraine, because i liked the light buzz and feeling of well being. I was up to 8 a day within a few weeks. My persciption ran low, my sober part of me realized i needed to stop abusing them, and save what I had for real migraine pain, and stopped abruptly. Midday, I had an overwelming feeling of horror and squirrely anxiety that was so intense, I literally thought, "if this lasts for much longer, I will kill myself." I had no idea why i felt like that. It subsided, then i got 2 or 3 more of those attacks over the next few minutes. My brain raced for a reason. And then, my old addict part of me, the one who went through alcohol withdrawal over a decade before that, woke up and screamed, OMG, you are hooked on those damn pills!" I wish I had stopped then and there, never took one again, and just got through the withdrawals after only taking Tram for a month or so... Instead, I have spent the last 5 years avoiding that feeling again. It has taken me quite some time, but I am down from 8 50-mg pills a day to 3 50-mg pills a day. I am now on what I have promised myself is my last script. In NY, they just passed a law that you cannot get these pills shipped to central New York anymore. So i had to lie to my mother-in-law in NJ. I shipped them to her house, told her I was not going to be home the day my "migraine meds" were arriving. My husband picked them up from her today, and made me promise to end this addiction. I have 90 pills, and I will wean down by stretching the hours between doses by 1 or 2 hours every 2 or 3 days. If i figured it out right, in 45 days I should be off them completely. I am terrified but i am determined. My MD thinks I weaned off of these over a year ago, so i am even lying to him. Addiction is a pathetic disease. Anyway, I am so grateful to have a place to share as I wean. I hope I have not posted anything that will trigger those in W/D. I will be there along with you in varying degrees over the next month or so!  I WILL DO THIS. I AM SICK OF THE MEDS and the lies that go with them. Thank God I came clean to my husband a year ago....he is also a recovered alcoholic, but unlike me, he is actually 100 percent drug free. I will get back to that place. I WILL NOT BE WEAK. I might even pray!

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by LisaH_NYC, Mar 02, 2013
PS. i added any recent posters as Friends, hope that is OK. I am just so happy to find a place to be open and honest about something I have lived with for years all alone!


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by FourJays, Mar 02, 2013
Hi Lisa and welcome!  You definitely came to the right place.  Congratulations on making the decision to get off the trams.  So glad that you came out to your hubby and that he is supportive.  Will you be giving him control of the pills for your taper?  I was never able to taper - if this pills were around (anywhere I knew I could get them), I would take them - period.  So I had to go the cold turkey route and it did work for me.  But all of us are different and what matters in the end is that you just stick to it and DO it!  Just do what you need to do to make sure that you will follow the taper as scheduled.  I know about the cost and shipping thing with the meds online.  An order that never shipped back in November is what jump started my c/t.  I had been planning to do it after the holidays but the new shipping rules/laws changed my plans.  Now i'm sure glad they did!  

There are SO many people here that have gone through this (or are currently doing it).  The amount of experience and knowledge is great and you will definitely benefit from the support (I did and still do every day!).  But it does start with you - and only YOU can do this.  PLEASE give your husband the pills - otherwise they will just haunt and taunt you to take more - that is what they do.  They are so Evil - don't underestimate them.  I lost 10 years of my life to these devil pills - before I even knew it happened.  

Oh - and congratulations on the 17 years off alcohol - AMAZING!!!  Find the girl that slayed that beast and you will SURELY be successful here too!  So nice to meet you . . . keep posting your progress!  Good luck :))
Julie

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by nyhoney, Mar 02, 2013
@killerzoey today...I am happy the night has passed again,  I wonder where my strength comes from sometimes.. I know I am fighting more than one battle right now and it gives me little relief, but my desire to win is stronger ..I keep looking for ways to keep fighting.
Thank you for asking, it adds to my fight.
@lisah_nyc yes its ok, the more people added to my team the better, and im here for you too..
45 days will be tough but you have support at home you can do this...you have to do this..let us help you too. Read the past posts check out the thomas recipe for support to your body.

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by killerzoey, Mar 02, 2013
@nyhoney, good for you. There is a time and a place for brute strength and willpower and getting through detox seems to be one of them. I was just reading something Emily Post wrote early on, that she got the most strength from the words of ex Marines / ex military who were fighting to get off Tramadol. Something like that. They just had this indignant, pissed off attitude about the drug, which she seemed to adopt. If I'm doing the math correctly (and that would be surprising, haha), you're 6 days off the Tramadol? Way to go! I think you may expect to start feeling somewhat better soon. Most people say about a week with this one, less with opiates. I didn't go clean off Tramadol so I can't really say.

Please check in often, I'm sending hope that relief comes soon.

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by killerzoey, Mar 02, 2013
@LisaH_NYC

I was pushed by changes in laws that delayed shipments, and I'm so glad I was. I love that you have support from your husband and have shown that you are able to taper. You're doing awesome! I was at 12-15 a day, I think, for a while there toward the end, and I had been taking at least 8 Tramadol for a year. You can do this and hopefully with the length of taper you are planning, you won't be TOO uncomfortable. Please check in often.

Zoey

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by nyhoney, Mar 02, 2013
@killerzoey yes that's just what it is a pissed of attitude at this
Nasty *** drug...lol

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by LisaH_NYC, Mar 02, 2013
@ 4 Jays and KillerZoey  and AdExec,
Thanks for the welcome.
4Jays, what I am doing is I hold a 3 day supply at a time, and the hubs holds the rest, so that I don't have a choice to wean. Believe me, I don't truly know if I will be able to stick to it, other than I feel that I have to try, and if I can't, CT it will be. This is my last perscription, and husband, although supportive, is on my case big time, and will not let me slide.

@Zoey, so far, I am successfully weaning. I decided to try to speed up the process a bit, where I can. I have been taking 3 pills every 6 hours for at least 6 months, maybe longer. I did 7 hours between doses on Friday, then 8 hours between doses today. I woke up twice drenched in sweat. My chest is tight. And all from just changing the dose by 2 hours in 2 days!  Its shocking to me how bad my body screams for these damn things in different ways. IT goes off like a clock at 6 hours. But, I will try 9 hours tomorrow, and stay there for a couple of days. My supportive husband, well, he grilled the hell out of me today, asking me how abusing these all started, asking how could I have lied about abusing them for so long etc.. so I think the reality that I have been dragging my feet to "just get off" these things really set in for him today. What can I say? He is right of course, but hearing this while i counted the minutes to my next dose added to my misery. But I am proud to say, it did not dampen my determination, and i stuck it out to just over 8 hours. I figure on weekends, I can be a tram warrior, try to stretch further, then during the week, where I have to be wonderwoman at work for 9-12 hour days (I am in Pharma Advertising, AND DON"T THINK I DON'T SEE THE IRONY IN THAT!) i can stay at the latest dose cycle for a couple of days.

That warrior that quit alcohol 17 years ago tomorrow, who has not had a drop nor a desire to do so for 17 years, appears to be battling so far, but its going to be an epic, I can tell. Alcohol made me an unemployable, undeniable mess. Trams on the other hand, made me feel good, no one knew, and therefore its a much sneakier opponent. But I do know its the enemy.  I cannot say that I would be trying this if it were not for the new law. But we hit our bottoms in different ways. I suspect we will meet many new warriors as the laws tighten like a noose. The same laws that allowed us to be perscription drug addicts for so long with little more than plopping down a credit card on a website.

I promised myself that I will tell u all if i failing or succeding. I have to be honest with myself, and I will do the same with you all. If I cannot wean as planned, I will CT, because the supply will run out one way or the other. This is my LAST SCRIPT. God help us all.

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by LisaH_NYC, Mar 02, 2013
@NYHoney - You are my new hero. 6 days. I cannot imagine... or maybe i can, in my worst nightmares. KEEP ON GOING. you are WINNING. you are at the height of the worst this week physically. It won't be this bad again. If you can do this, you can do anything. I AM SENDING YOU ADDED STRENGTH.

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by FrustratedbyTrams, Mar 05, 2013
Hello all, hope everyone is staying positive! I screwed up and fell off again. Only the 2nd time, thought I could control myself, which of course is not true! Everyone has told me Suboxone is the miracle drug to avoid w/d's. I picked up five 8mg Subutext, which I was told was exactly the same minus the opiate blocker, but supposed to be the exact same results. Took my last bad pill Friday evening (last Friday, lil over a week ago). Didn't really taper first. Took 1/2 an 8mg subutext Sat night once it started to get really bad. Felt great within 30 minutes. A little high even, which I didn't like. Took 1/4 subutext in the mornings Sunday thru Tue. Took 1 mg Subutext Wed & Thur. Had a trade show over the weekend, was scared to feel crappy even a little bit so took 2mg of Subutext Friday & Saturday. Took nothing at all after Saturday. Sunday was bad, could barely drag myself out of bed, but did make it thru the day. Monday was worse! Was full on sick & miserable by evening. Didn't sleep at all last night. I have light days for work Today (Tues) & Wed, then really long days scheduled Thurs, Fri & Saturday. All of my friends that have used Suboxone to quit have said it was amazing, certainly not the horrible w/d's I've been having! What did I do wrong? Was it the Subutext instead of the Suboxone? Was it dropping from 2mg a day cold turkey instead of weening to 1mg? Did I take it too long, or not long enough? I have more (4 full 8mg pills), but I just want to be done! Can't get out of work later this week, what should I do? Should I take 1mg for a few more days, get some sleep, ween slower? Or am I just prolonging the bad because Subutext is NOT the same as Suboxone? Pls help!

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by FrustratedbyTrams, Mar 05, 2013
Hello all, hope everyone is staying positive! I screwed up and fell off again. Only the 2nd time, thought I could control myself, which of course is not true! Everyone has told me Suboxone is the miracle drug to avoid w/d's. I picked up five 8mg Subutext, which I was told was exactly the same minus the opiate blocker, but supposed to be the exact same results. Took my last bad pill Friday evening (last Friday, lil over a week ago). Didn't really taper first. Took 1/2 an 8mg subutext Sat night once it started to get really bad. Felt great within 30 minutes. A little high even, which I didn't like. Took 1/4 subutext in the mornings Sunday thru Tue. Took 1 mg Subutext Wed & Thur. Had a trade show over the weekend, was scared to feel crappy even a little bit so took 2mg of Subutext Friday & Saturday. Took nothing at all after Saturday. Sunday was bad, could barely drag myself out of bed, but did make it thru the day. Monday was worse! Was full on sick & miserable by evening. Didn't sleep at all last night. I have light days for work Today (Tues) & Wed, then really long days scheduled Thurs, Fri & Saturday. All of my friends that have used Suboxone to quit have said it was amazing, certainly not the horrible w/d's I've been having! What did I do wrong? Was it the Subutext instead of the Suboxone? Was it dropping from 2mg a day cold turkey instead of weening to 1mg? Did I take it too long, or not long enough? I have more (4 full 8mg pills), but I just want to be done! Can't get out of work later this week, what should I do? Should I take 1mg for a few more days, get some sleep, ween slower? Or am I just prolonging the bad because Subutext is NOT the same as Suboxone? Pls help!

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by nyhoney, Mar 06, 2013
@ lisah_nyc thanks it has been tough..but im seeing improvements....still having sleep problems but the rls and anxiety is starting to taper some, not enough to sleep yet.
I went to my pharmacist and asked for help the other day, could stand it any more and he recommend to take melatonin up to 30 mg and valerian root, add more b complex to what I was taking, increase my potassium bananas, kiwis ect. The first night I slept 3 hours the begining of the night and was up 12 - 5 am then slept an other 3...that was huge for me. I also started rhodiola, and holy basil for energy during the day. My trainer at the gym was amazed at how much more energy I had...then ..day 2 was a failure not sure if it was the workout or what but I was a mess that night and when I did get an hour or two sleep in the morning I felt hung over..not good. So try again last night I took less and felt better still took until  4 am before I could fall asleep but I did sleep some..and felt better this morning.  So it will take some tweeking but it is helping.. its just a matter of swallowing all those damn vitamins lined up on my counter, and remembering to not take the night time ones during the day...
Im thinking of you as you begin this, remember it does subside at times and you can catch your breath to fight again..I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, im believing its the way out and not the train heading for me. I still have topiramate to stop taking too which im doing now as well and could be why its so damn hard on me. The baclofen will have to wait I need it now for my muscle spasms and I hope I dont find information that says I will have issues when I stop it as well. Keep posting..and remember your husband wouldn't be upset if he didn't care, and remind him your fragile right now and while you can't change what has already past you can move forward with his support.

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by nyhoney, Mar 06, 2013
@ frustrated bytrams hi, I dont have the knowledge or experience with what your taking, but I do want to acknowledge your cry for help, I have read other post where that drug then became the problem, becareful, everyone will go through w/d a little differently depends how long you were taking it how much you were taking, I dont believe you will find it to be a miracle drug or we all would not be here fighting through this. But you can do this..read past post know your not alone..

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by lamom33, Mar 07, 2013
FrustratedbyTram-I'm thinking Tram withdrawal takes longer.  Maybe your friends used it for another drug with shorter withdrawal period?  I do know people who abuse suboxone or maybe they're always withdrawaling from something else and taking it.

I had a slip up last week.  I'm trying not beat myself up, just get back up and dust myself off.  I keep thinking some part of me hates me and doesn't want me to succeed.  Feeling lethargic and lots of anxiety.  Started back on the GABA.

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by nyhoney, Mar 07, 2013
@lamom33 im glad your back on track again, we all know that voice that tells us we will feel bettter if we cave, you have to know you want this to end no matter what...at lest thats my mind set, I will win, yes right now it ***** but going backwards for me, I dont ever wish to repeat this.  And as night time approaches once again, yes im worried, its exhausting to go through night after night..I would much rather be sleeping and not fighting for my very soul. But fight I will. And when I get to frustrated and angry I come here to gather strength. Im pulling for you.

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by ImDONENoMore, Mar 07, 2013
I know night time can be difficult for a lot of us while getting off the trams.  But try to tell yourself every night that soon you'll have another day under your belt and you'll be one day closer to feeling better.  It would help when I reminded myself of that.  Even on those nights when sleep was impossible, you're still heading into that next day.

Has anyone heard from booba lately?  I haven't seen a post from her in a while.

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by lamom33, Mar 07, 2013
nyhoney-I'm pulling for you too.  I'm likely to be up most of the night too.  I'd be okay if it wasn't for the anxiety.  Only so much GABA a person can take and it's only taking the edge off.  Not even gonna try to sleep until 12am and I'll go back to using the sleep app.

I'm done-I don't think Booba has posted since right before she was going to run out.  Hope she's okay.

Lisa- I accepted your friend request.

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by kwanbird15, Mar 07, 2013
Hi everyone I am new to here, I just passed my 6 day mark,. I never thought in 4 years 200 to 250 millgrams. Would of made me me feel like this after stopping . I tappered to 1/2 a pill in a few weeks after reading here.   Nights suck.   I have gotten thru all my days at work this week and I finally told my husband, how he did not know is beyond me.  He watched me and even borrowed some when he pulled his back. He would take 2 doses and done.  Well off to see what this night will bring?   Hopefully sleep,  I think oh good night 6 hours, the next night terrible 4 hours. I have been lucky maybe my low  dosage not sure but no nausea or diarea.  I take st johns wort. I think it helps . Someone else told me about another supplement mood plus , I will try. Good luck to all

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by kwanbird15, Mar 07, 2013
I had to comment I had something weird happen with online pharmacy after reading more here. back in sept I ordered trams online all of a sudden over the next few weeks I got 7 refills charged and sent to my home. I was like wow but on the other hand I have enough to last. 6 months,  I Even gave a couple 180 bottles to a friend who had severe back issues.  He takes injections and way worse off then me. Too my suprise I order some in feb and it never came.   I started getting calls from indian people and finally said I am not comfortable with this.  

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by FourJays, Mar 08, 2013
Hi Kwanbird - welcome!  I had a strange experience with the online thing as well.  On Nov. 30th I had an order (with one of the online pharmacies I used a lot & they were ALWAYS reliable), that was all approved, ready to go but never shipped.  When I realized it I had only a few pills left and no way to get any for 5 days.  My usage was MUCH higher than yours (like up to 40 --50 pills a day); so this really freaked me out.  I was planning on quitting after the holidays, and I was going to try a taper (even though I knew I probably could not do it as I had failed at many attempts in years prior).  I was pretty much forced into a cold turkey quit at that point.  I have not taken a Tramadol for 96 days.  That first week was Hell on Earth - no doubt.  But after a 14 year habit that started with 2 pills a day for back pain, I cannot believe I was able to break free.  You should start feeling better and better every day - and be SO thankful that those later orders never came.  When I think about what could have been in some of those pills!!!!  And I got the Indian calls too.  Major creeper stuff.  Congratulations on getting off them - best thing you ever did!  The sleep and all that should return to normal pretty soon . . .  especially since you were at lower doses, hopefully you wont suffer w/d affects for long at all.  Good luck!
Julie

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by nyhoney, Mar 09, 2013
Ok another sleepless night...it started off not to bad my rls and agitation were non existent for the first time, so l climbed into bed, and my head would not shut down. I never knew so many thoughts could pass through my head at once, then the new thing I've been getting where my sheets hurt my skin starts, I had stopped the melatonin and valerian root two nights ago, with a question it may be bothering me more than helping. Well after tossing and turning for several hours I got up and took only the valerian root, it does great rexlaxing me, but then...it all comes back with a vengeance in a matter of 3 hours I was ready to jump out of my skin, ok rip myself out of it. And here I am 3 am and up, but I did sleep an hour or two...to be fair I am sensitive to simple things like nightquil and other cold meds that are suppose to help you sleep, I get the opposite,  it wires me awfully.  So I think no more valerian root for me, I will try the melatonin on its own again thou just not tonight...

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by nyhoney, Mar 09, 2013
@kwanbird15 welcome and I am so happy to hear you are able to sleep, thats the most difficult thing for me to be up night after night, its exhausting.  Pulling for you to get throuh this quickly.
@lamom33 how often do you take gaba? I have to find something to get rid of this agitation.  I currently only take it in the morning.
@frustrated bytrams haven't heard anymore from you, did you find answers to your questions? Try searching other post/journals here under the drug name your more likely to find others taking that same drug.
So many people we have not heard from in a while... hope everyone is ok. And if you fall you come back for support.. this is my saving grace coming here.

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by FourJays, Mar 09, 2013
@nyhoney - have you tried magnesium to help with sleep?  I have had sleep issues for years and was on Ambien for a long time.  I have weaned down off it just in the last month or so.  I just pretty much gave up on the idea that I would ever sleep an entire night through again.  My dr. gave me this "sleeping protocol"; some of which is just basic stuff, but he says follow this and eventually "natural" sleep will return (he was pretty candid w/me; said he personally has suffered sleep problems and gone through all the rx sleeping meds, etc., all of which he says will zap your energy during the day).  Anyway, the protocol is as follows:  
1 - bedroom is for sleeping and sex only; no TV (bummed me out as I have fallen asleep to TV for years),
2 - completely darkened room - even LED lighting, etc., needs to be dimmed,
3 - take extra Magnesium at night (I take 500 mg in evening),
4 - use Melatonin if it works for you (I don't use it, but I know it works for a lot of people),
5 - if it helps, use "soothing" music or sounds to fall asleep to.  I made a "sleepytime" playlist on my Ipod and put it  on the sleep timer for 30 minutes.  I just put one of the earbuds in lightly & put my Ipod under my pillow so I don't lay on it or knock it off the bed.  The idea is something that relaxes YOU (that is different for everyone), and on a device that will shut off in 30 to 45 minutes.
6 - Finally - very important to try to go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every day.  A regular "pattern" is key according to him.

It sounds basic, but all of this plus I do take "Restful Legs" - a homeopathic remedy you can get at vitamin store, and I have been sleeping at least 7 - 8 hours a night - I cannot believe it.  I NEVER thought I would be able to sleep through the night without Tramadol, Ambien or both.  But I have been for a couple weeks now.  I personally think the magnesium may be big.  Also - potassium; I try to eat a banana every evening too.  (That and the Restful Leg thing are my own additions to the "protocol").  I have been taking 5HTP since my detox and I think that may help w/the sleep too, but not sure about that one.  I take 200 mg - 1 am, 1pm.  I am planning on starting to wean that down this week.  Started on that really more for the serotonin thing (because of the tramadol connection), but have heard it helps w/sleep also.

When we don't sleep it is SO hard to feel energetic or normal during the day.  Maybe you have already tried any or all of this but to you and anyone else struggling with sleep - if you haven't, please do.  Unfortunately sleep is VERY hard to come by in the early stages of withdrawal for anyone, no matter what you do.  I DOES GET BETTER - please hold on to that!
Julie

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by lamom33, Mar 09, 2013
nyhoney-I'm currently taking 1.5-2 caps a day split in 3 doses.  It doesn't help with sleep, at least not for me.  It makes me tired but unable to sleep so I take my last dose before 7pm.  I've taken up to 3 caps when the electric shocks get real bad but it made me pretty spacey.  I split the dose by breaking the cap and mixing it with oj.

I've experienced the achey skin, so bad that it hurt to wear clothes.  It shouldn't last too long.

I'm doing okay.  Sleep is crappy and anxiety, minor sweats, weird smells.

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by nyhoney, Mar 09, 2013
@ fourjays thanks I do just about all of that except the magnesium,  will add that to my list of vitamins. Im not sure the melatonin does anything for me, seeing as im not sleeping. I did read up on my valerian and it will cause agitation in some people. Im not sure if after the side effect of agitation it then worked because at 5 am I fell asleep for almost 5 hours....longest I have slept in weeks.
@ lamom33  thanks, its such a game of hit or miss, we all respond differently. Glad your doing ok, or the best we can..

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by lamom33, Mar 11, 2013
Anxiety is high.  I tried L-theanine instead of GABA for a couple of days to see if it would help.  Turns out I'm better off with GABA.  I'm going add 1-2 cups of chamomile tea.  Having trouble functioning some days.  My week of tram wasn't worth it.  The only good thing was it did take away my limp from knee pain but that could have been from being a couch zombie for a week and not exercising while taking it.  

I did walk yesterday and today.  Knee is okay but these were short walks.

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by FourJays, Mar 11, 2013
Iamom - short walks are good - they will lead to long ones!  Hang in there :)

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by allinblack, Mar 11, 2013
Hi everyone,

Another newbie here! Another person who wants to be free of this awful substance.  Another person who wants to get through this to help others.

I just signed up today, but I have been reading your posts for some time, including the backlog regarding Emily and friends.

History:
I have fibromyaglia and was DXd about 14 yrs ago and the pain management prescribed this drug for me about 12 yrs ago.  I have always been a little apprehensive about pills, especially anti-depressants.  I took prozac once for 3 days and it was hell. So, the Dr prescribed this and I was willing to try it... esp because it was non-addictive and not an anti-depressant.  Right!!! So, I took it a few times and didn't like the speedy side effects.  The pharmacist told me to decrease my does or eat something with it.  I did not take it very often at first.. only every once in a while when I felt bad.  I honestly do not know where I crossed the line and began taking it everyday.  I never got up to very much.  I think the most I have ever taken in one day is 4 or 5 pills (50 MG).  I took that amount for years.  2 in the AM, one in the afternoon and a 1/4th in the evening as needed.  I remember trying to quit once and I felt achy and like a zombie.  I think I made it through 2 days, but I really couldn't find any info on withdrawals at that time.  This was like 9 years ago.  Anyway, in order to not feel like a drug-seeking creep, started to order online.  I would occasionally get them from my Dr. too.

Today:
Well, over the last few years been gradually reducing my dose as I didn't care for the side effects.  As of last year, i was taking 1 50mg in the AM and 1 50 mg in the evening.  Then about 6 months ago, it was half in the morn and half in the eve.  I was fine with that.  I didn't get high.. I just didn't have withdrawals and could work and feel good.  Fast forward to about 3 months ago, I wanted to reduce again.  I wanted off! I was down to 3/4ths pill in the AM and 3/4ths in the PM.  Then, I got sick with some mystery virus for the last two months that resulted in shingles.  I pretty much maintained the same dose, except added an extra 15 mgs later in the day.  I started having panic attacks and depression along with weird neurological symptoms.  I am pretty sure I was suffering minor withdrawals at the same time as having some virus.  I finally cleared of the two month virus and resumed my low-dose.  I didn't feel good though.. I feel it started to turn on me.  It was making things worse.  I was going to continue tapering down to 1/4th in the morn and maybe 3/4ths or so in the eve.

Woke up this morn and decided I would see how long I could go.  Last dose was at 3:30 pm yesterday.  It's now almost 7 pm and still haven't taken it.  I feel like crap and achy.  A little emotional with mild tummy issues.  Just had a glass of wine.  I have a mild headache.  Not looking forward to tomorrow.  I work from home and was able to manage almost 3 hours with mild anxiety.  I am surprised by that.  Maybe it's because I have literally been in withdrawal for a month now.

Anyway, more later.  I'm sure tomorrow is going to suck and I am sending my best to all of you!

XOXO

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by FourJays, Mar 11, 2013
allinblack - welcome - so glad you found your way here!  If you have read through the journals, etc., than you already know that most (if not all) of us here have personal experience with this evil drug.  It is great that you have been able to keep your dosage as low as you have considering how long you have been taking it.  I am the opposite extreme; first prescribed it about the same time as you but, lets just say I was taking LOTS more than you when I finally quit for good (love to say that - "for good' :)  It is SO disturbing that even at the low dose you had tapered down to (which is amazing by the way), that you have still had to endure crappy w/d feelings.  The good thing is that, hopefully, since you have slowly tapered and are taking such a small amount, that once you have completely stopped it and the detox period (about 5 - 7 days; peaking @ about day 3 - 4) is over, you should start feeling pretty good.  You may have some post detox emotional ups and downs as you probably know, due to that lovely little extra "gift" anti-depressant affect that comes with the trams.  There are lots of things you can try to combat this; you probably have already read over a lot of the information.  You can also post anytime here for support or "post a question" in one of the forums.  For now, check out the Thomas Recipe for remedies to help you through the bad w/d symptoms.  Make sure that you eat well, keep hydrated (Vitamin Water "Revive" is great in detox), try Immodium for the tummy troubles, take long tub soaks in warm/hot water (or showers) to help w/aches and pain, get extra magnesium to help w/RLS - and as soon as you are up to it, get some exercise - any little bit you can.  I'm sure other members would be happy to suggest ideas for these or any other symptoms you may have.  You have definitely come to the right place!  Keep up the determined attitude and you WILL do this . . . congrats on making the decision to get this med out of your life.  Please keep posting with your progress and/or any questions you may have.  Good luck!
Julie

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by nyhoney, Mar 11, 2013
@ lamom33,  I can relate to your pain, I have found exercising helps my pain a lot sure doesn't feel like it at the time but I see a difference as the days pass,  I have back and neck injuries from a car accident, had surgry on my back, I also have neuropathy in both legs from a vein surgry gone bad, and have been suffering with tendonitis in my arm for months now, so I know pain. And now trying to live drug free makes it very trying, I do try to take vitamins and herbs to help with the pain but it is still a learning process at this point, turmeric helps as does capsaicin.  I was afraid to add exercise to my life while going through this, but it is so helpful as long as you do it right, I have a personal trainer so I can do the right things the right way. I fought with the expense of it but its worth it, for my pain and self esteem. And force's me out of the house. I can't work because of my injuries I collect disability so I can fall into never leaving my house very easily.  Im thinking of you, keep pushing yourself it will be worth it.

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by nyhoney, Mar 11, 2013
@allinblack welcome..sounds like your doing pretty good, try not to focus on whats hard but on what you have accomplished,  even if its adding an hour to putting off taking your meds. Its what keeps you strong. And post here it gets your frustration out...

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by nyhoney, Mar 11, 2013
Last night was the worst night I have had so far, I hate the fear it causes because I can't control what im going through, can't stop the pain, I have found that melatonin also is not a good choice for me, im one of those people who get the opposite effect and it causes such anxiety, and joint pain. So I had a double dose, ok it felt more like a 500% increase. But I made it through even thou I was having some severe doubts last night. Climbed into bed around 7 am and slept 2 hours. And to add insult to injury I hurt my back on Saturday trying to clean out the leaves in a small garden bed, I was so excited the weather was unusually warm this weekend and my gardens have not been cared for in a few years, and its one of my passions.I thought it would help my spirits...lol had to spend Sunday flat on my back, thought about cancelling my appointment at the gym today, but I made myself go, and did so much better than I thought possible.  Almost made up for not being able to get out on Sunday.  Not happy that im still so limited in my physical ability but baby steps there too... so on to tonight...wish me success..
Thinking of everyone's struggle as I fight mine.
Sharon

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by allinblack, Mar 12, 2013
Morning all!  Thanks so much for the warm welcome @nyhoney and @fourjays!  I appreciate your advice and information

By the way, this is going to be very "stream of consciousness" writing.  It's all I can manage right now... but I think it will you give you insight into how my brain is working right now

Well, here it is.. day 2.  Its 7 something am.  I was asleep, but my husband woke me to say goodbye for work and I am still awake.. hmph!

Let's see... went to sleep sort of ok. I had a couple of glasses of wine.  Slept like maybe 3 hours.  Then I woke up about 3 am and I was really aching and couldn't sleep. That was the "oh crap, this is real!" moment. I had remembered that I took some Immodium the night before and it knocked me out.  So, I took the Immodium and about 30 or 45 minutes later, I felt the edge come off the severity.  Must be the opiate antagonist aspect.  It really, really helped things not to get too bad.  I hope this doesn't delay my opiate withdrawals.  Anyway, fell back asleep while hubby was getting ready for work and slept about an hour and that's when he woke me up to say goodbye.  Dammit! I was sleeping so well.  I got up and ate something because I realized I had not eaten in a very long time.  I figured it might help me sleep a little better.  I hope to wake up later and do some work.  I have some Naproxen for pain, but I also have some Xanax and found some Oxycodone.  I really don't want to take anything.. esp the opiate.  I have never taken this particular one.  I'm not really a pill person.  I even found some tamazapem that I have never taken.  What the heck?  When did I get that prescription?

Dr gave me some tizanidine a few weeks ago.  I haven't taken it yet.  Anyone have any experience with it?

I guess the reason I try not to take any pills is because I am so sensitive to everything.  I can't even take Benedryl without getting irritable and having bizarre dreams.  I usually always have to take the baby dose of everything.  I think that is why I never took too much tramadol.  I was already doing the max my body could handle... which makes sense as to why I am having w/d with the small dose I have been taking for years.

This is such a strange process so far.  Strong feelings and emotions were coming back strongly during the last taper.  I can cry about anything.  I haven't had too many brain zaps yet... but.. I now know what was going on with me the last few months. I though I was having fibro related nerve twitches or something.  I would be reading or doing something and suddenly my eyes would close and I would feel a zing in my head for a second or so.. or it felt like my brain wiggled or squeezed.  I really thought that I was developing a seizure disorder.

This is a hard thing to go through, but I think like Emily said... dealing with the pain of withdrawal and thereafter,... is better than any day on the drug.  It was doing awful things to me.

I hope everyone is getting along ok.

All my best

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by lamom33, Mar 13, 2013
allinblack-Hello, I have fibro, too.  It's frustrating.  I remember trying to find correlations to what causes flare ups-weater, activity, foods.  Never could find a definitive pattern.  Anyway, got addicted/dependent on Tram so that's not an option.  My old doc wanted me to try Cymbalta.  I didn't want to take an antidepressant without being depressed.  I didn't realize I was already taking one!  Not sure what I'm going to do.  I'd really like to take absolutely nothing, no supplements or anything.  We'll see.

I went to yoga class last night.  It really pooped me out.  Still had trouble falling asleep.  Took 1/2 dose of Nyquil at 2am and was able to sleep til morning.  Was groggy but no anxiety.  Able to delay taking GABA until early afternoon.  I'm wimping out on walking today.  It's cold which isn't a problem, just the wind is wild.

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by allinblack, Mar 13, 2013
@lamom Same here! OMG!  I was so angry when I found out. I cannot believe that I have been on this antidepressant for 10 yrs. I had always refused antis because I had such a bad experience before.  I have been walking too and it's so therapeutic and luckily here we have the most awesome weather. I was diagnosed with fibro a few years before the "drug" and had ups and downs.  Then, while I was on the drug, I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and it helped to go gluten free, but still had symptoms.  Now i wonder how much of it was actually the drug causing further symptoms even after going GF.

Day 3.  I made it.  Yesterday was pretty hard.  Achy and flu-like.  Felt like i got was beat up.  Stayed in bed all day, for the most part.  Put SalonPas patches on all the really achy parts and took at least 4 bath/showers.  Those patches are awesome BTW.  My back hurt so badly.  I tried to sleep at night but could not find it.  I never took any of the Oxycodone or Naproxen (because of possible NSAID side effects) and toughed it out. Finally, broke down and took a Xanax.  I slept for a very long time.  I felt mild RLS, but was able to fight it off.  I am going to tread very lightly with the Xanax because I've made it this far and I will damned if I will get addicted to something else.

Day 3 I woke up groggy from the Xanax, but felt a little better.  Once I was coherant enough, I felt that jittery anxiety feeling.  I was like "Uh-Oh!"  At least my body wasn't as sore.  I decided to go take a walk and that helped a lot.  I was really using my mind to fight off the anxiety... trying to form positive pathways in the brain.  I took no Xanax and came home and worked a few hours from home.  This evening was mildly unpleasant.  Felt some brain zaps but I know that is because I am healing.  I got some achiness and began to feel really exhausted, so I decided to stop working for today.  It's weird, I get moments of happiness and elation and then moments of depression.  But, I tell the depression to STOP and try to realize I am going through a really hard process.

I am having a glass of wine now... my reward. LOL.  I have no idea what Day 4 will bring,.... but i am scared since this is so unpredictable.  Oh well, I am trying not to fear and just to be proud of myself.

On another note, my blood pressure was incredibly normal today.  I have been having bordeline high for the last few years with a 100 bpm heatbeat (down to 80).  It was totally regular healthy today! OMG!

This is an interesting journey, to say the least.  I am learning so much about myself.  I know there will be good days and some probably really bad days... BUT.. any day with that is better than a day on the drug.

If you are thinking about quitting, let me just say, please do not fear the unknown on this. We hear a lot of frightening stories and it is very hard... but I am strongly thinking it will get better.  The fear is  what kept me from doing this for so long.  I am in it right now... I HAVE to get through this.  This med was poisoning me.  Look at how many people before you have made it through this!  Keep your eye on the prize.  No fear!

I wanted to let you know that I have been prepping myself for the last month to quit.  I have been taking magnesium, vitamin D, B complex sublingual, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and trying to have as much potassium (orange juice is really high if your tummy can handle it) as I can.

Please be careful not to drink too much water. In large amounts it can flush all electrolytes/minerals/vitamins away and in even larger amounts can be dangerous.  Please research this online and please read about how to keep your electrolyte balance in check.  Without proper electrolytes, you can have bad RLS.  This is important, because I know we all feel like we need to drink tons of water to flush things out. It's all about balance.

Hugs to all!

XOXO

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by thestilly, Mar 15, 2013
Allinback - keep up the good work!  You WILL get through this.  :)

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by lamom33, Mar 16, 2013
Hi all.  Just an update.  I'm starting to feel better.  Probably the best I've felt since I started all this in Nov.  Still have some symptoms, mainly fatigue and electric shocks, but they are improving.  I'm just using Gaba once a day now where it was 3 times  a day.  Wanting to go out and be social.  No longer feel dirty or look gross.  I can wash my hair and it actually looks clean now!  I know things can change rapidly, but I'm going to enjoy myself while it lasts.

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by nyhoney, Mar 17, 2013
@allinblack nice to see you posting hope its still going well, I can understand the sensitivity thing to drugs im the same way, even with cold meds too baby doses or im off the wall.
@lamom33 I'm glad your feeling better, wish I could say the same. My nights are still awful, not sure how much of my injuries are playing into this but it *****...I am starting to get a few hours sleep during the day which is good and bad. But im not giving in.

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by allinblack, Mar 18, 2013
@nyhoney Yeah, I missed a few days, but I am hanging in there

So, today is Day 8.  I'm ok.... not wonderful.. but ok.  Taking walks really helps when that morning anxiety sets in.  That usually ends by the end of the day.  Sleeping is ok. I wake up usually after around 3 or 4 hours and have trouble going back to sleep. RLS isn't too bad.  I had trouble sleeping and mild RLS before I stopped taking the meds, so I can't say anything new is happening.  The depressed feelings are the worst thing for me.  I get through it.  It's just a blah, low energy foggy feeling.  Yesterday was kind of bad with the pain and lethargy.  Couldn't do much.  In addition, I talked to a friend who was 2 weeks clean and started back up.  That kind of ruined my whole day. Brain zaps are occasional.  I have a long road ahead of me, but I am excited about it.  Not good now... but it will get better.  You have to stay busy mentally.  It helps.

I worked on Saturday (Day 6) with horrible stomach issues... that I think was hidden gluten in something.  I made it through, on my feet.  I can't believe it!

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by harry788, Mar 19, 2013
Hello everybody,
Ive been off since 1st Jan this year after 5 years on for medical reasons provided by the pain clinic *lol*
I f i had of known the score i would never have gone near it!
Anyways, i think that the worst is well behind although i started suffering from anxiety a few weeks ago and that comes and goes and every time it comes back i feel dissappointed and worried. I have been doing mindfulness meditation led by utube vids which heklps relax me and get some control but i wish the anx would just leave me behind. Doesn't seem to be a common problem after so long either wich is worrying me at the back of my mind too and it stops me doing things like going to college and it might even prevent me going on holiday in a couple of weeks. I do have some CBT booked in but they wouldn't see me until May so hopefully that wil help me....
Anyways... theres some real brave people on here and i have much respect for every one of you! Keep up the good work and support you give to each other , your fantastic :)

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by harry788, Mar 19, 2013
Sorry for the bad typo's etc too, i was rushing to save my dinner from burning :)

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by allinblack, Mar 19, 2013
@harry788 Welcome to the group! Congrats on your journey and success so far.

From what I've read, anxiety is part of this whole thing and it *****.  Everyone's brain is different.  Please don't worry.  It will get better and that's the hope I am holding on to.  CBT is one of the best things you can do.  I had anxiety while tapering, very badly and it is one of the reasons I stopped.  I am on day 9 and the anxiety comes and goes. It can get pretty ugly, but at least I am not in the bathroom at work breathing into a paper bag.  Ugh! Is there anything new going on in your life that might have created some extra anxious thoughts? We just have to remember that these uncomfortable feelings are not a real threat.  Our brain is trying to heal and get back to normal.  Our brains have a lot of plasticity so CBT will help you form new pathways and be free of the anxiety. The brain has amazing capabilities.  You can tell it what you want it to do.  It's hard, but, everything is normal, it's just our perception of things that is off-kilter right now.  Please keep up the good work.

Day 9 here everyone.  I will be happy to put this day behind me.  Not one of my best.  I can feel the serotonin doing weird stuff and the return of some minor aches and pains, however, I will tell you this, It is not as bad as all of last month during my taper.  THAT was horrible!  I am conscious of what is happening to my brain.  I will get through this.  None of the feelings I am feeling are real threats. My brain is just confused as to what to do with itself.  I am trying to stay positive as it is therapeutic for healing.  I know I have pain and some depression today, but I do know this is not permanent.  I just keep thinking about how horrible last month's super low-dosage was and that keeps me going.

At least I was able to work some today!  I remember a month ago trying to work during the taper and I would get dizzy and freak out.  

Anyway, hope everyone is well! XOXO

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by harry788, Mar 20, 2013
Thank you Allinblack too! Well done you, for going about it the right way. It sounds like you have a good handle on what to expect and what is going on.... Keep up the good work and thanks for the advice. I had wondered to myself if alcohol sets me off on to the anxiety path. It seems to have come on twice on a Friday evening when i have had my 5-9 units for the week (I mean i have 5-89 units twice a week but don't drink five nights) I guess the alcohol could have an effect on the seritonin etc and mess with my delicate brain chemistry....
Take care everyone and well done!

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by Jbean77, Mar 21, 2013
Hi everyone! Like most here I've been reading here a bit and decided to post. I have been on tramadol for about a year and a half. Prescribed by my doctor for tension/migraine headaches. I am Rx 200mg/day but have taken mostly up to 300-650mg/day. I have an appt with my doctor next week to wean off of this....his idea, which is actually great for me, however according to him I'm taking 200mg/day.  I can usually get by on 6-7 tabs per day so currently I'm trying to get down to the 4 by next week, if possible! I'm kind of wondering how he may wean me off and what/if he will give me to counteract all the horrible withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, I've don't this before. I took tram back like 5 years ago, for about 2 years. Gradually weaned myself down but when I got pregnant had to stop. I was only taking like 50-100mg at that time (and had been for awhile) and it was still SO HARD. I felt a million times better after. I hate that I got in this boat again. I don't really go searching for it, or anything like that, because my husband has an Rx too, do having a little extra has never been an issue. Anyone know how a doc (family doc) may go about tapering, and what meds may be prescribed to a 4pill/day person.

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by FourJays, Mar 21, 2013
Hello Jbean and welcome!  First of all you are definitely doing the right thing in planning on getting off these.  In my opinion (and I'm sure you are not gonna love this one), you need to totally come clean to your doctor and tell him what you have been taking.  That is the ONLY way that you will be able to get a taper plan that really fits your situation.  There are other things he can prescribe to help you with the withdrawal symptoms, like Clonidine for example.  It is a BP med that also CAN drastically reduce bad w/d symptoms.  He could also advise you on what to do for sleep and anxiety issues; both very common withdrawal problems.  If he thinks you are only taking 4 per day then you will likely suffer w/d symptoms the entire time you taper down.  If you start at a little higher amount and go slower, it may be better.

All of this said, I totally understand why you might not want to do it.  I took tramadol for 15 years; started out on a very small dose for back pain.  I needed more and more to work and eventually became dependent on it; turning into a full blown addiction that ended last December at which time I was up to 50 pills a day.  My story is long and involved; I did/do have legit pain issues (had spinal fusion surgery last summer); so over the years I have been through SO many medical tests, procedures, etc. and also have been prescribed pretty much every opiate out there.  Tramadol is/was BY FAR the worst to get off of.  It stole many years of my life and almost took it completely about 4 times (4 seizures, all due to overdoses).  

PLEASE do whatever you need to do to get it out of your life forever.  I personally did it cold turkey - but at the dosage I was taking and as long as I did, it was risky.  But I came through just fine and am now almost 4 months clean.  If you can do a taper and stick to it, then that is the best way to go.  Even if you are not comfortable with telling your doc the actual amounts you were taking, any taper is good.  BUT - for it to work you must have someone who will keep the pills and give them to you as per your plan (unless you have the willpower to hold them yourself & take ONLY when you are supposed to).  This is where many people have trouble with the taper thing.  I could NOT do it - if the pills were around I would take them - period.  Which brings me to one more question.  You said your husband takes them too?  Does he have them prescribed for a pain issue?  It is going to be really hard to quit/taper when you know there are pills in the house.  

I know I am sounding pretty harsh - but it is what it is.  This drug does NOT let go easily (as you already know).  The more open and honest you can be with yourself and your doctor and anyone in your life, the more likely you will succeed.  I SO wish I had been given this information (and all the info here on Med Help) many years ago.  I never would have put one of those pills in my mouth.

It is not easy no matter how you do it, but it is awesome that you want to.  There are SO many people here that will give you support and answer questions, share experiences, etc, as you go along.  You can post a question in the "substance and addiction" forum any time and you will get immediate responses from members with experience with all different meds and that can help you get through the taper and withdrawal process.  And BEST of all - absolutely NO judgment.  Everyone here has either been there and done that, is doing it now or is planning on doing it.

I wish you the very best of luck with this . . . you CAN break free from this drug and have a clean, normal life.  It is not easy, there will be ups and downs along the way.  Once you are completely done with the drug it will start to get better and brighter every day.  Please hang around and keep posting . . . you can also send a personal message to me any time.  I'm so glad you found this site . . . .good luck :)

Julie

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by Jbean77, Mar 21, 2013
Thanks Julie- I understand that I should probably tell him that I'm over the 4tabs a day but I'm really hoping since I CAN make it on 6-7 tabs a day that I may be able to get to 4 by my appt. it's not for 10 days so I guess I'll see how I am by that time & go from there. Im pretty good with being able to hold off, even if I have them. For example today I held on to my dose for 4, almost 5 hours past what i typically would've taken it. I guess that all will depend on what type of taper he gives me. I really hope he gives me something to counter the withdrawal symptoms, at least somewhat. I work full time and have a child so I need to be on top of it, as much as possible. So here's the kicker....my husband doesn't know that I've had my own script. He thinks I just take his for my headaches occasionally. (He has his script due to an injury he got in the military) Also, it does legitimately help with my headache pain which is what makes it even more of the devil. When I was on it 5 years ago I was rx'd 400mg/day. So the whole reason this taper came up was because I made an appt to ask the doctor if I could up my dose, because it had worked better at the higher dose before....which is the absolute truth! Of course I immediately got treated like a drug seeking addict by his NP and got a call saying to make an appt that my doc wanted to taper....which is a blessing in disguise, because as much as this crap works....I am so done! I'd rather be in headache pain that deal with feeling like a slave to this junk!! I despise being treated badly by nurses/docs. I've never abused a drug in my life, even taken extra until recently, this "non-addictive" med. I even have a Xanax RX that lasts me 3 times as long as its written for, because I hardly take it. Being a headache sufferer is rough, since some healthcare professionals assume everyone wants a high. I actually chose my MD because he was understanding of how I felt, so I am hoping he still is understanding and its just his NP & staff who have been rude about this.  

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by FourJays, Mar 21, 2013
Jbean -
That is so frustrating; the response you got when you called your dr's office.  It was extremely rude to treat you that way.  I think (my opinion only) that a lot of doctors' and med professionals are starting to finally "get it" that this drug does cause dependency and addiction; even by patients using it at their prescribed doses.  It is not uncommon for any drug dosing to need adjustment if a patient is on it for a long time.  I think the problem with Tram is that the highest recommended (safe) dose is 400 mg. per day.  Well, if you have a medical pain issue and you have used this for awhile it may start not working as well.  If you are already at the max dose what do you do?  (this is pretty much what happened to me).  I think they will usually then try to switch you to another med; which is great, but then you are left with having to get off the Tram and that is how/when many people realize they had become dependent on it and didn't even realize it.  Tramadol is now under investigation by the FDA to determine whether to re-classify it as a controlled substance.  Many states already consider it one.  So I think it is slowly being figured out, but for those of us already hooked, what do you do???  Tramadol also has an anti-depressant properties, which complicates the situation even more.

For now, I think what you are doing is a good idea, tapering down as much as you can.    I really feel for you with the situation with your hubby and him not knowing about your script.  That is something that you will have to figure out - the problem is that even if you slowly taper down the tram, at some point you are going to have to jump off completely, and there will probably be some w/d symptoms.  Tapering usually results in lessening of these and who knows - maybe you will get lucky and avoid them.  Usually w/d simply resembles the flu, and could be passed of as such without him figuring it out.  You have not been on them too long, which is another positive as far as lessened w/d's.  Please, just think it all through carefully.  Would he be supportive if you just come clean with him?  It would surely lessen your anxiety by taking the whole secrecy/honesty thing out of the equation.  I would hate to see you work so hard to come clean and then have him find out some day that you kept it from him.  But again - only YOU can decide how this is going to happen and the best way for YOU.

One last comment - be sure to ask your doctor about alternative meds for your headaches.  There are lots of new things out there.  As I mentioned before, you should really check out the "substance & addiction" forum and just read through the threads, even if you don't want to "post" a question or comment.  Your type of situation (w/a spouse that doesn't know, or a legit pain issue that needs to be addressed), is not uncommon and you may find it very helpful.

I am really pulling for you and hope you are able to get free of the tram - whatever way works for you.  PLEASE - you said you have a child and a job.  DO this now while you are young.  This drug is NOT going to go down without a fight - you have read through the stories here and see how people have battled with it; even people who NEVER abused them or any other meds for that matter.  Please don't fear the w/d process itself - it is not fun, but neither is losing years of your life hopelessly addicted to a medication that was supposed to help you.  You will always have support here to help you along through the process from beginning to end.  You are NOT alone - lots of experience from people that have lived it and have years of clean time, to people who are just starting out.  You came to the right place!  



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by lilu2, Mar 21, 2013
What do i do? I feel so bad emotionally! I am trying to get off tramadol, taking about 65 mg a day., I am dying inside, i have  a daughter, she is 2 , she needs me, I feel like I want to die.

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by lilu2, Mar 21, 2013
Sorry for the crazy post everybody, just gets really tough at times.

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by lilu2, Mar 21, 2013
I am married, have daughter my husband is a great man. I started talking trams about a year ago, no priscrption, my husband had them for back pain, at first I just took them for my RLS, then I noticed they helped my depression, I won't get into details right now, long story. Then I just felt like I couldn't even feel normal without them, so I just kept taking them every day. Stupid I know. I was up to 4-5 50 mg a day. I got my own pescription last year. I don't know why I decided to quit, but I have been tapering the last 5-6 weeks, I just fel awful most of the time, no energy. Depressed, angry, anxious, RLS, stomach pain, but still have to take care of my daughter,. I am so tired.

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by Jbean77, Mar 21, 2013
Lilu2- since you have your own Rx now, can you talk to your doctor about it and see if he/she can help you at all?

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by allinblack, Mar 22, 2013
Just checking in with you all.  Day 12 here.  Day 9 was crummy, but I have been feeling "ok" since. Tummy is a little better. Aches are little better.  Still not much energy or motivation, but I have given myself permission to not feel guilty about it.  There is no need.  I am recovering.  Things will get done again some day.  I refuse to beat myself up over it.

I have been able to sleep the last two nights in a row without Xanax.  I do wake up about 3 or 4 am and have a slight amount of trouble getting back to sleep.  However, I have always had that issue, especially during PMS time, which is now for me.  Oh boy, cannot wait to see how fun dealing with cramps are without my pill... but hey, I made it through the worst part of withdrawal.  It should be doable.

My anxiety is a little exaggerated in the morning.  Apparently that has something to do with the adrenals in the morning, from what I've read.  Taking a walk really helps that.  Also staying away from caffeine for now.  The depression kind of *****, but I am getting through it the best I can.  I've dealt with depression before and I will deal with in now.  I just have to remember that I can change the way my brain works.  Heck, I spent a lifetime of putting negative thoughts in there and it affected my reality and put me in the position I am in today.  Now is the time for change.  I have learned so much with this experience.


I am starting to feel a little more like myself.  Even small arguments with my husband... dang.. I forgot I was so fiery and RIGHT! LOL!

I think it was @Fourjays who mentioned experiencing little "windows" of your old self.  Definitely so!  Also, my sense of smell and taste are so increased.  Weird

Hang in there everyone.  We have to do this!  We have to get through this!

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by Jbean77, Mar 22, 2013
Great job @allinblack! I've read your story, with many others on here and I'm looking forward to being there soon! When I quit these things before, because I was pregnant, I went through a few days if w/d (coming off of 100mg/day) like rls, anxiousness, ect  but I don't recall having that depressed feeling afterwards. Maybe because I was pregnant? Or maybe I just forgot how bad it really was.

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by FourJays, Mar 22, 2013
allinblack - CONGRATULATIONS ON 12 DAYS CLEAN!!!  You are doing great and I LOVE your attitude; especially the part about giving yourself permission to not feel guilty.  That's my story too - and I'm sticking to it . .. . ofcorse I'm still waiting for the old housecleaning urge to return (@110 days I AM starting to feel just a TINY bit guilty . . LOL).

Sleeping without Xanax - awesome.  The depression and emotional issues are going to come and go; getting less and less as the days go by.  I totally agree with the walking thing - any kind of exercise really does help and gets the endorphins going.  I am So glad to hear about your "windows" too.  Isnt it great?  Don't fret if in the upcoming weeks you have days that you feel like only tiny slivers (or even zero pieces) chip away.  Trust me - they will come.  Within the last week I swear, all of the sudden it seems they are flying open in huge chunks!!!  Patience is key girl, hang in there.  You are doing great and it is so good to see your progress; and such an inspiration to those just starting or thinking about it.  Keep it up :)

Oh, and the taste and smell thing - very strange indeed; had the same thing, but seem to be almost back to normal.

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by Jbean77, Mar 22, 2013
So I dropped 2 pills today! I'm pretty proud! I went from 10 yesterday to 8 today. Middle of the day was rough, but I just kept pushing off, holding back as long as possible to take my next dose. I have most of the time only taken 6-8 tabs but had made it to 10 in the past week or so. I'm trying to push off my doses as long as possible and take a little less whenever I can.  Hoping to only take 7 tomorrow. I remember from last time that dropping at the higher doses wasn't so bad, but the last small dose drops were worse. By that time hopefully my doctor will have given me some things to help with any bad feelings I intend to tell him I've researched and what I've found was advised online, just in case he doesn't offer up front. For those who have tapered, any advice on
When to dose? For example, am and pm and rough it during the day? Or space them apart in order to keep it level in your system? I've clicked around the other forums but haven't found anything totally clear on that. Thanks!

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by Jbean77, Mar 22, 2013
Sorry to post again but I'm in a little but of shock right now. I just found out that my drs office wouldn't refill my fioricet Rx (my other Rx for migraine headaches) but yet they called in my Xanax, which in all honesty, I really don't need as much as a pain reliever for headaches. I was really counting on having that to help with my pain while I taper tramadol, but it looks like I'll be "tapering" what I have left of that med. this really bothers me since I have my appointment scheduled for my docs 1st opening, next Monday, to talk about tapering meds (which ultimately, I asked for!). I just want off of everything! I'd rather deal with headaches through OTC, massages, and find a chiropractor or something than to be treated like this by a doctors office. It is SO not me! Ugh:(

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by allinblack, Mar 24, 2013
@jbean77 So sorry you are having to go through all this.  I really wish I had better advice about tapering.  I don't think I did mine right, but I was down to one 50mg pill a day.. split in two.  It was too hard to go down further so I just stopped.  If you go back in the forums and read some people's stories with tapering, it might help.  Seems trying to keep it level would keep things calmer.  Congrats on your work thus far!!  Please don't be afraid of this process.  I got myself way too worked up over quitting and it affected my health very negatively. Now that I have been through this process, I wish I would have done it a lot longer ago. You see a lot of stories and it can scare you to death, but please don't let fear rule you.

Day 14! Two weeks! I would have never thought this would be possible!  Things are getting a little better bit by bit.  I am only having minimal brain zaps and I am less achy.

I think the things that bother me the worst are the morning jitteriness (getting better) and mild depression. Also, about 3 or 4, I get a little dip in energy and get very tired, kind of like a mini withdrawal. I usually have a glass of wine and just relax. I can't wait to get my energy and motivation back.

I've been sleeping ok.  My stomach has been jacked up the last two days. I don't know if it's something I ate, my period or withdrawals.  I started my woman thing yesterday.  Boy, was that fun!  My first one with no tramadol.  I was nervous about it, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I forced myself to get out and walk.

I need to work right now, but I would really just love to go and lay back in bed.  I've been sleeping too much though... over 9 hours.  Maybe I need it.

Hang in there all!





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

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by lamom33, Mar 25, 2013
@lilu2-I don't think your first post is crazy.  I've felt that way many times.  Once you are off of Trams you may want to consider trying one of the amino acids or St. John's Wort to make withdrawal tolerable.  

@jbean-jeez, sounds like the nurse has labeled you.  Why on earth would they ever prescribe Tram for headaches?  

@rob-welcome!  I didn't taper, so I can't say how long it will take.  You are doing great and your taper should ease most of the physical symptoms.

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by Jbean77, Mar 25, 2013
@lamom- I don't think tram for headaches is too uncommon. Last time I took them for headaches, before I got pregnant, my pc and then 2 different neuros I saw continued me on them. The neuros are the ones who increased my dosage last time. My current PC (we have moved since all those docs) first gave me fiorecet for tension/migraine headaches then one visit when I had one that just wouldn't quit, I got an injection (non-narcotic, toradol used often w/headaches) and the NP gave me tramadol with refills. They just kept refilling, so I just kept taking. Good news today, i just found out they called in my fiorecet just now, which I'm happy about. I'm making a point if only taking it if REALLY REALLY needed. I'd love to walk into my appt next week with as full of a bottle as possible! The NP definitely has me labeled, which I don't understand because I'm the one who went in wanting to talk about lowering fiorecet dosage. I'm going to be sure my doc knows how they've treated me. Even got a voicemail  last Monday from the office manager saying, "the doc will not increase you meDs & in fact wants you to make an appt to wean off them". I called back and told her, 1st check your schedule before u call me telling me to make an appt because I'm already scheduled with him, 2nd I wanted to see My DOC not theNP to begin with, and 3rd, I'm the one who originally called to talk about this so don't treat me like I'm doing something wrong, and if I HAVE been taking my meds wrong then have that NP call me back to talk about it....needless to say the NPnever called me back. Imagine that!

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by FourJays, Mar 25, 2013
Hello Rob3755 - welcome - SO glad you found this site.  That is awesome that you have been able to taper yourself down from 20 to 2 pills per day all on your own.  That itself says a lot about your commitment to get off these pills, and you could not be making a better decision.  The online thing is really scary; I ordered from numerous different ones as well and when I think now about what could actually have been in those pills without me even knowing . . . it's mind blowing.  I was on tramadol for about 15 years myself also at very high doses.  Ironically the online thing is what caused me to finally quit.  An order I placed (in late November) never shipped and I was suddenly, unexpectedly without pills or any way to get any for 5 days.  My using started w/legit scripts for back pain and over the years I have had multiple procedures, injections, etc., and ultimately fusion surgery last summer.  So I had a regular script from my doctor too, but it was not refillable for 5 days.  I had no choice but to quit right then - from 40+ pills a day to zero.  Because you have tapered down over 3 months I do believe that your w/d will be quite a bit less intense than what I experienced.  The problem with Tram is not just the opiate thing but the anti-depressant factor.  For many people this is the hardest part.  Have you been suffering with w/d's as you have been tapering?  I would guess once you jump off, if anything your symptoms will be similar, maybe just a bit more intense.  For most people, whether you taper or cold turkey quit, the w/d lasts about a week or so, with the worst of the symptoms peaking at about day 3, most physical stuff gone by like day 7 or 8.  PLEASE keep in mind that everyone is different and yours could be shorter or longer by a few days/hours either way.  In any case, I would think that your tapering will definitely help to reduce the intensity of your symptoms, hopefully by quite a bit.  There are LOTS of things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms if/when they occur.  Check out the "Thomas Recipe" (links on the main page - or type it in the search box).  Magnesium tablets help a lot with restlessness, anxiety and even sleep.  Hot baths in Epsom salts are great for aches and pains and help SO much to relax you.  Hot showers work if you don't have a tub.  Sweatiness/uneasiness is a really common symptom - I stacked up clean towels, washcloths, tshirts, anything cotton & comfy, to change in to when a "meltdown occurred".  Try Vitamin Water "Revive" formula - it is SO good for you in w/d; vit b's, c, potassium and electrolytes.  I bought it by the case my first week.  Then ultimately, you will likely feel the emotional ups and downs common w/tram withdrawal.  You could try some 5HTP - BUT NOT UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETELY STOPPED THE TRAMADOL FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE DAYS.  It has serotonin action that will help with depression/moodiness and even sleep, but don't take it while still on the tram.  Go to the "Substance and Addiction" forum and read through the postings and comments for more suggestions & information.  It's easy to ask a specific question or just read through - you will get TONS of helpful information there - all from people who have done it or are going through it right now.  If you have a specific symptom, like the brain zaps for example, post a question.  That is a really common symptom and you will get members answering right away.  I personally did not have those too bad, so I cant really advise you on that one (about the ONLY symptom I didn't get . . lol).

So - bottom line - expect at least a week to 10 days of (hopefully) mild symptoms, the worst at day 2/3.  The 3 month taper is huge factor in your favor, but you were on them for a pretty long time.  Tramadol just does not let go easy.  But you CAN do it, and you are absolutely right about the online thing and the availability.  There has been a lot of cracking down on these pharmacies and states are trying to put them out of business completely.  Great time to do this!  Please send me a message any time if you'd like and/or check out the forum as mentioned above - great people, great advice, NO judgment.  Good luck to you!

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by FourJays, Mar 25, 2013
@jbean77 - hi there - noticed you posted in one of the forums (cant remember which now???).  You may want to try the "Substance and Abuse" forum - that one is quite a bit more active and you may get more responses.  How are you feeling?  Have you had your appointment with your doctor yet about tapering down the tram?  Don't forget to ask him/her about the Clonidine, it might really be something that could help you.  I read about your calls/communication with the NP at your doctor's office and I'm sorry you had to deal with that.  It really stinks when all we want to do is get off the stuff and start healing and cant seem to get anywhere.  Don't give up!

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by FourJays, Mar 25, 2013
Correction - it is the "Addiction" forum, "Substance Abuse Community".  Sorry about that :(

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by Jbean77, Mar 25, 2013
Fourjays- yes, I've been looking around there as well and at some tapering advice on earlier threads of this journal as well. I found some helpful posts from 2011 actually that sound like they may work for me until I see my doctor. My appointment is in a week. What I found on here is to space out even dosages every 6 hours. Then alternate in lowering the dose and then spreading it out in time. I am going to focus on getting everything constant (as far as doses and every 6 hours) then lower as much as I can by Monday (my appt). I'm at 6/day right now. I'm gonna stay here for a couple days and split those into 4 even doses (1&1/2 each). Then try to lower from there. I may go for 1/4 drop each dose (1tab total per day) at first and then a 2nd 1/4 tab drop. If I can do those in a week ill be at 4/day for my appt. I'm pretty damn determined. I'm done with this crap!

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by FourJays, Mar 25, 2013
Jbean77 - I think you plan sounds great and your positive and determined attitude will take you a long way with this.  Good luck - anxious to hear how your appointment goes next week!

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by Jbean77, Mar 26, 2013
Thanks @ fourjays. I wanted to update since I'm sure there are others looking over this forum for tapering options. Yesterday I started to Split my 6tabs into 4 even doses, so 1&1/2 each to be taken at 10am, 4pm, 10pm, and 4am (last night I naturally woke up at about 5am so I took it then) what is interesting so far is that by spreading them out I have less of a craving for more (so far). I had been taking 3 tabs am & 3 tabs pm which was more difficult. Depending on how I feel throughout the day I may cut 1/4 tab starting with my 4am dose tonight. Remember though, the majority of the time I had been taking 6 tabs a day, only recently had I gone up to more (because my husband had gotten his refilled so I was a little more liberal, to get that energy boost since he had some). I am only taking the fioricet as absolutely necessary (had to take 1 last night) and I think that since that has caffeine in it, I may be getting caffeine w/d headaches since I had been taking 6/day pretty regularly.

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by allinblack, Mar 26, 2013
Hi all!

Just checking in with you! Day 16! Yay.

Yesterday was not great, but bearable. I felt depressed and anxious, but I got through it. My early morning was weird.  Felt weird and sweaty and didn't sleep well.  My tummy was bothering me.  My legs felt crampy but i got up and drank some Gatorade and took a Xanax and slept till about 10.  Felt much better when i woke up.  Anxiety seems less today and not so depressed.  I didn't get the major late afternoon "dip" today either.  I will take it. I actually felt the most normal I have mentally in a very long time. I had some good clarity.  I hope it continues, but I know these things are random.

Took my walk today too.  Those are soooo helpful!

Hang in there everyone.  Things will get better!

If you have bad days, remember, this is totally normal!  Even people not going through withdrawals have lack of energy and low moments.  We just spent so long taking a pill to forget about it.  it's normal to feel pain.  It's normal to feel low.  We aren't used to that and I think that is what is so hard for us.  We used to feel "good" all the time.  I don't think that's human nature.  All the "normal" people I know were always complaining of tiredness and lack of energy at work and would drink tons of caffeine or OTC meds.  It's "normal".  Especially with today's high stress society and bad diets.  

How would you ever know how it felt to feel good if you never had down moments?

Here is another point I would like to make and this is dedicated to those of us who have only been dependent on tramadol or similar..  Think of some of the other drugs people abuse.. say alcohol, cocaine or heroin.  There is a lifestyle that comes with that.  You get together with your buddies and you all abuse together... at least some of us.  Tramadol is a very lonely, anti-social drug.  I never went to a party where everyone was high on tramadol.  Then, you are the guy who decides to quit and you have to change your whole life and cut friends and situations out.  Our drug dealers were the online pharmacies and the doctors... not people we saw in every day life. A lot of us have friends and people who care about us and they were always there waiting for us... not shunning us because we weren't part of the scene anymore

I know this may not hold true for some of us, but I think it will ring true to a lot of you.  Please correct me if I have offended anyone or made mistakes in my assumptions. I know everyone's story is different.

Bless you all and much love



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by lamom33, Mar 27, 2013
Update- Still random symptoms, they seem to come together like sneezing, digestive upsets, smells in the same 15min period.  Electric shocks seem more intense, but I'm taking much less GABA, only .5 cap a day.  All that being said, I feel okay.  

I decided last week it was time to quit smoking.  That sent me into quite an emotional upset.  I didn't make it a day.  I hate being emotionally fragile, but it is what it is.  So I'm still smoking.  Gonna quit sometime, just not now.

Still going to yoga class twice a week.  At this time, it's too hard for me, yet I keep going.  I'm going to try to find a different class/studio that fits me better.

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by Jbean77, Mar 28, 2013
I am tapering one more tab starting today from 6 to 5/day. I am feeling decent so far, actually started with my 1&1/4 dose at 4am. I'm due again and only feel mildly antsy, but I'm sure as the day progresses and my body catches on to what I'm doing, it will probably change. But, maybe not! I'm finding that splitting the dose up to every 6 hours and equal doses is much better for me! It keeps the levels somewhat constant which means less periods of anxiousness. Also, I worked out for a few hours last night & forgot to take my dose at 10pm...because I was just feeling good. You know, those natural endorphins kicking in.

I was researching my PCP today to see if he had any experience with treating withdrawals, ect. You know how you can find anything online these days. I wanted to see if I could find out if he's gonna be one if those "this isn't a narcotic so you can't be having w/ds" people at my appt next week. He is actually affiliated with the American board of addiction medicine. That makes me feel a little better. Maybe that's why he mentioned weaning off this med when I went in about weaning off fioricet. I'm actually happy that he brought up the tramadol too. (Well via his nurse practitioner anyway)

Good luck to everyone still fighting the fight!

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by Jbean77, Mar 28, 2013
I am tapering one more tab starting today from 6 to 5/day. I am feeling decent so far, actually started with my 1&1/4 dose at 4am. I'm due again and only feel mildly antsy, but I'm sure as the day progresses and my body catches on to what I'm doing, it will probably change. But, maybe not! I'm finding that splitting the dose up to every 6 hours and equal doses is much better for me! It keeps the levels somewhat constant which means less periods of anxiousness. Also, I worked out for a few hours last night & forgot to take my dose at 10pm...because I was just feeling good. You know, those natural endorphins kicking in.

I was researching my PCP today to see if he had any experience with treating withdrawals, ect. You know how you can find anything online these days. I wanted to see if I could find out if he's gonna be one if those "this isn't a narcotic so you can't be having w/ds" people at my appt next week. He is actually affiliated with the American board of addiction medicine. That makes me feel a little better. Maybe that's why he mentioned weaning off this med when I went in about weaning off fioricet. I'm actually happy that he brought up the tramadol too. (Well via his nurse practitioner anyway)

Good luck to everyone still fighting the fight!

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by Jbean77, Mar 29, 2013
Feeling the anxiousness more today. My body has figured out i took another tab away! Second day at 5tabs (1&1/4 every 6 hours). Just took my dose & feel good so gonna get some things done but I feel like my next dose is far away! That's one thing I won't miss is feeling a slave to this little white evil pill! I am thinking if doing a 3rd day at 5 tabs and then cut down to 4 on Sunday. Provided, that's going to be challenging due to the holiday party with my in- laws testing my patience....but I can do it!!!!

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by LastDance, Mar 30, 2013
Hi everyone,

I've just been another lurker for several months - reading posts every single day and getting off Tramadol on my own, but with the help from all of you, even though you didn't even know it. I've been on Tramadol for about 8 months, prescribed for migraines. Eventually my highest dose became 12 50mg tablets a day. When I noticed I started to get migraines again I would just take another pill - I figured my body was getting used to it. Like many, the sense of well being that came along with it was great in the beginning and after being on several migraine medications over the past 13 years, I thought I had finally found THE one. But slowly the Tramadol started to take over my life and I began to change as a person. The anxiety took over and all the things I used to love doing, I could no longer do. I pushed friends and family away and became a hermit basically. At first I didn't know this was the Tramadol changing me - I just thought I was going through some weird depression. Only when I let my refill lapse and I became "deathly" ill did I realize it was the Tramadol. I found this journal and obviously I was angry and couldn't believe a doctor would give me this pill.

Fast forward to now. Once I decided to quit the Tramadol, I went to my doctor (different than the one who prescribed Tramadol) and told him what was going on. He put me on a taper schedule which I strictly followed. I put myself on various vitamins and my doctor also prescribed me 2 anxiety meds. So here I am, it has been nearly 35 hours since my last Tramadol dose (12.5mgs) an I'm still feeling pretty good. Having gone through the withdrawals before, I was ready for a week or so of pure hell... but I feel okay still, dare I say normal?

My question to those who know... did I do an awesome job at tapering or is the week of pure hell still lurking in the shadows waiting to grab me when I least expect it?

By the way, thank you to all of you. You have helped me a great deal by putting your experiences out there.

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by FourJays, Mar 30, 2013
LastDance - Welcome!  So glad you decided to post; your story is really encouraging to people who want to try the taper method.  

Because everyone is different and every withdrawal is different is it impossible to say for sure, but at this point in my opinion you did an AWESOME job at tapering and I doubt there is pure Hell waiting around the corner.  Maybe a little bit of discomfort for a few days, but nothing like some of the horror w/d stories you have read about.

Great job, VERY smart to get a doctor involved to help you through.  Please keep us informed as you go along.  Sounds like you should be free of the Tram Evil very soon - good luck!

Julie

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by allinblack, Mar 30, 2013
@jbean77  Yes! You CAN do it!  I never ever thought I would be able to.  I was so afraid.  And while things aren't perfect yet, and symptoms come and go, I did it!  I made it to day 20.  The wild extremes are a little milder.  Bad days are turning into bad hours.  I did a taper down to 25 MG twice a day and it just wasn't working. I felt like I was constantly in withdrawal, so I just wanted to see how long I could go without it and once I got through one day, I just kept going.

Keep going!

@LastDance Welcome! I am so proud of you!

Day 20 all!  Yesterday was a high fatigue day (last part of the day), but I made it through.  I don't know how much of it was from too much exercise, original fibromyalgia or withdrawal.  My anxiety is lessening and brain zaps are more rare.  Still foggy headed, but my clarity is getting better.  Tummy is a little better.  Sleep is great sometimes. Not so great others.  But, I have always had these problems.

Take Care all!

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by allinblack, Mar 30, 2013
Oh and @Fourjays..... I am loving those "windows"!!! :)

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by LastDance, Mar 30, 2013
Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm still in disbelief that I'm nearly 48 hours without a single pill and I'm still feeling okay. The one time I let my refill lapse was the time I thought I would die, about 7 days of pure hell, just like everyone else describes. That's why I held so tightly to my taper schedule. But I still planned for some withdrawal symptoms. I stocked up for this weekend - Gatorade, green tea, Epsom salts, soups, movies, bought a new heating pad... I've been planning for this for two months and here I am and so far the only thing I'm noticing is lack of appetite. Towards the end of my taper my appetite I had lost during heavy Tramadol use came back in full force and I was so hungry all the time. I feel like writing my doctor a thank you note. For once I feel like I was pointed in the right direction and I'm grateful that he didn't shoo me away. But I also want to point out that tapering was no walk in the park. It took some listening to my body to get a good pill rythym going. Several panic attacks, a lot of crying, irrational thoughts, a lot of self doubt, and a lot of time spent alone in my house thinking my life was over. But I kept reading all of the stories here and with each story I would gain an ounce of control and just kept on tapering. I am sorry for all the people who have to go CT or don't have a doctor smart enough to help them through a taper. I was scared to death when telling my doctor the truth, but I knew if I wanted help I needed to let the fear of being judged go. Thank you all again for being so open with your experiences - you'll never really know how much it has helped me through the worst time in my life. I hope one day I can be the same for someone else.

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by FourJays, Mar 30, 2013
@ allinblack - CONGRATULTIONS ON 20 DAYS!  T

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by FourJays, Mar 30, 2013
woops, hit "post" too quick . . .

@ allinblack - again, congrats.  Sharing your story as you go along has been great and I'm sure very helpful to others that are reading along and have started or are thinking about starting their own journey.  You are doing GREAT and I am so happy to hear that your "windows" are opening up more and more - isn't it just the most awesome thing? It will keep happening - this you can be sure of.  I still have a crappy day now and then even to this day, but they really do get fewer and further between as time goes by.  Besides, we all had bad days even before trams, right?  I am really happy for you and wish you many open windows of light in the days to come!

@ LastDance - I am so thankful that you posted your story.  You reminded me of a VERY important fact about all of this - that tapering is NOT easy.  It takes a lot of self-discipline to stick to a plan - I know I could never do it (had to do the c/t thing myself).  Just because you are not suffering horribly right now does not mean that you have not "paid your dues".  I am sure that you endured some pretty tough physical and emotional stuff along the way.  In my own personal experience and from what I've learned from others' stories and research on the subject over the years, Tramadol does NOT let go easily.  Whether you took it for a short time only as prescribed or for many years at high doses; it seems that once a tolerance is established (which can happen in as little as a week or 2 from stories I have heard), the hooks take hold and they are NOT easily removed.  I do hear the occasional stories about the lucky ones that got away - but unfortunately those are rare.  You are a great taper success story - and I am in awe of your strength.  You may still have some ups and owns for awhile, but the downs will slowly fade away.  If you ever do have any questions or experience a symptom you're not expecting, just go to the "substance and addiction" forum, read through the posts or ask your own question.  Great information and personal experience await should you ever need the support.  Keep it up . . . you got this:))

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by Jbean77, Mar 31, 2013
Doctor appoint for a taper plan tomorrow....should be interesting. I'm wondering how the office staff/nurses will treat me this time. All nice until my last appt with the NP when I asked about dosage changes on my 2 migraine meds (one being tram). I hope they are decent however I'm definitely letting my doc know of the treatment by them, because its wrong and it makes people who have become dependent on a med (or abused & addicted) not wanna seek help. Anyways, wish me luck.

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by Jbean77, Apr 01, 2013
Doc appt went well. Very encouraging words from the doc. Detailed my visit in my own journal so I can remind myself of his positive influence & what I'm having to go through on this med. slow taper recommended after I taper from fioricet (which doesn't seem extremely hard right now). No additional meds prescribed now but a follow up
To check fioricet progress in a month. He says don't have to worry about tram yet.

Definitely worthwhile discussing this with your doctor if you can.

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by allinblack, Apr 04, 2013
@jbean77

Keep up the good work!  It takes time but it will be so worth it.  Slow and steady.  It's a small amount of time in the long run.

Hello Tram Warriors! Doesn't seem to be a lot going on around here lately and I hope that is not discouraging any newcomers.

I am on Day 25.  I cannot believe it!  I have been ok.  Had a couple of bad days a few days ago due to my GERD acting up from a bad food choice.  Blah! I always had that problem though.  

Usually, in the past weeks, I've been getting what is what I call the "yuckies".  I wake up somewhat ok, with some mild anxiety but come 5 or 6 pm.. the yuckies kick in.  It feels like some sort of weird serotonin trip.  I know it's the drug withdrawal.  I get a weird feeling in my head and 3rd eye (weird huh?) and I feel heavy all over.  I feel somewhat anxious and depressed and my stomach has a strange pulling aching feeling. It was bad two days ago.  It will last an hour or so and then lift.  I like to take walks when that happens.  I cannot stress enough how walking has helped me get through this.  I only had it mildly yesterday and for a shorter amount of time.  The weird things is that it happened earlier in the day but went for a shorter amount of time.  I have been sleeping ok.  I wake up, but getting back to sleep is easier than it was when I was on tramadol.  I think I had the yuckies during my sleep cycle last night, but i forced myself to relax and I went back to sleep.  I was so tempted to get up and do a shot of vodka or take a xanax, but by the time I started thinking about it a lot, I was back asleep.  I think I have been sleeping too much lately, but that's ok.  My body is recovering.

I felt ok when I woke up... other than feeling like I slept too much.  I did notice that my anxiety feeling was manageable.  I fought it off.  I felt ok for the better part of the day and was fully expecting to get the evening yuckies.  It didn't happen... like the really heavy drag me to hell yuckies.  I felt it mildy, but it didn't ruin my day and wasn't as intense.

I go back to some of my freelance work next week for a few days and I am dreading it.  Usually means on my feet all day, but "what if" thinking will not help me.  I have to do this.  I will be ok.  I don't need drugs to do it.  I did it on my 6th day feeling like hell and I got through it.  I will not have a panic attack! :)

I felt kind of like my old self today.  still a little tired an unmotivated physically, but I mentally, I feel a little more clear.  I fully expect to have some more setbacks, but I think I can get through this.  Time is finally speeding up again  Thank goodness!

All my best!

XOXO



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by allinblack, Apr 04, 2013
Oh and I had to re-post this from @studentoflife back in January because it rings true:

"Just KNOW that you can do it...positive self-talk is important. If ANYONE'S ever let it go...then SO CAN YOU. I know...I'm yelling, but there are no underlines available and I need to emphasize...sorry!
  Were there withdrawal symptoms? Yes...but time passes and it's worth it, let me tell you! My mind has cleared...I'm remembering better *(I was afraid I was having Alzheimers symptoms...but it was the tramadol!) Who knew?!
  I feel like my competent, self-empowered, creating my life and in control again--self! And all I take now is my daily thyroid pill...and would like to let that go even!
  Sooooo....there it is! You CAN DO IT!!! Make a sign *(be creative) and put it up on your wall or frig *(or in your bathroom where you'll read it often! lol!"



I really did think I was suffering from Parkinson's or Alzhemiers.  Or i thought they had misdiagnosed my fibro and I really had MS.  My hand tremor is GONE.  It was the tramadol!!!! OMG! It was the tramadol!

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by Jbean77, Apr 06, 2013
Just an update: so my doc says I should taper fioricet from 4 to 2 per day by end of month. It's kinda hard, honestly. I'm trying though. He wants me to do this then I have an appt with him beginning of May to talk about next steps: going further taper on fioricet and when to start tramadol taper.

Here's the issue: I want done! I want out of depending on a white little pill to function! I. Hate. It. So today, I've only had 2 tramadol. I've also only had 2 fioricet. I took my first tramadol when I woke up, around 745am and my second about 7pm. I feel pretty crappy today but.....maybe it will get better. I have melatonin to help me sleep and Xanax (my normal Rx I don't use even as much as its written for), that I can tolerate about  0.25 mg and still function and it helps very short term with anxiety. (My Rx is for 1mg 2x a day).

Maybe I can cut 2 out this weekend.... Maybe not, but I'm trying! It's worth a try!

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by ullr, Apr 08, 2013
Hi!
I used to be here for a couple of years ago, when i quitted my tramadol habit. I used for about five years and was eating up to 2500-3000 mg a day. Thats 50-60 ultrams ... Mine was on 300 mg, so it didnt seem that extreme. Well.

I stopped cold turkey. I was away from work for 6 months, and didnt feel ok at all.I gave it about 8 monts i think. Then my brain/addiction tricked me to start with opiaths again. I missed the rush and energy from the tramadol.
Startet with kodein, then buprenorphine, then fentanyl, then ended up with a heavy oxycontin addiction.

I had to go to a clinic for detox, and stayed there for 11 days. It was hell, but not as bad as detoxing from tramadol. Maybe a bit more intense, but no brain zapping, not that extreme depression, not the extreme insomnia.
In the detox center, they did not give any drugs that could cause dependensy. When I detoxed at home from tramadol, I was eating benzos, and smoking weed.

I have been using drugs for 25 years, and allways exanged one habit whith another.  When I came out from detox, I went to my doctor, and asked for som benzos, I startet to smoke weed, and because that my doctor said he wouldnt prescribe me more benzos I ordered from a illegal dealer.

But then I got a moment of clarity, and flushed it all down the toilett. The next day I went to a meeting in a community of addicts. I have been going to meetings every day since then. Today I am 54 days clean from everything. No weed, no alcohol, no sleeping pills! And I feel better than in years. Most important is that I learn that i can live my life without substanses.

What I try to say is. Getting healed from tramadol use takes time. Give it a year at least. For me it felt like I never would get healed, and I thought I was damned to use pills for ever.

And if you are an addict like me, try a community and a program. It realy works.

Hang in there. I know how  bad you feel. In the end you will feel better.

PS. Pardon my language, I am not english speaking...

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by EmilyPost, Apr 11, 2013
This thread is closed.

Please post on Part 58!



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

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by doxiemommy2, Apr 11, 2013
I have lurked around this "Recovery room" area off & on over the past couple of years to gain insight & information regarding my own tramadol usage & while i have asked a couple of questions in the substance abuse forum, this is my 1st entry here. Why have i not posted before NOW you may ask??!? Simple - this is my 1st time here since going CLEAN! My experience in "tram world" and my journey back to this point has been one much like most others I've read about.i will give you some back ground here since i am new to these parts....I was given Ultram samples for headaches by the physician i worked for back starting about 15 yrs ago - when it was "new" and supposedly the great new going thing in the world of moderate pain medication. I used it as needed (sporadically- but as directed-never more!) off & on w/out a problem off and on up to 2008. But I knew then I was pretty fond of the energy and euphoria it gave me - and so the fascination began! Jump forward to Jan. 2008 when I took a tumble while "playing chase" w/my dachshund puppy (running in socks on a hardwood floor - not smart!! LOL) Colliding w/a bathroom door frame upon impact, i tore my rotator cuff badly & had surgery a few weeks later to repair. Tramadol was prescribed for me to use for pain as soon as I was seen for my injury & I continued using it until i completed therapy 3 mo's later. Immediately after, i was diagnosed w/Fibromyalgia & cymbalta, Lyrica & Tramadol (once again!) prescribed as maintenance daily treatment protocol. i continued to take Tram as prescribed - daily - every day-without fail. Man - i wish I had been told this had addictive properties - I had no clue what i was setting myself up for but wish i had. Continue on to 2010, I was super woman by that time - running my own business succcessfully, managing 2 kids, a house, a hubby, 2 dogs - crazy busy life & running on all 1000 cylinders - quite effectively i might ad. I had energy out the WAZOO 24/7 - rarely slept, spotless house, clean car and always doing 50 things at once - i was awesome... as long as i took my tram.And by this point i was upwards of 8-10 a day. All was pretty groovy until i crashed about once a wk - and when i crashed, i crashed HARD. I would sleep 18-20 hrs at a time & began to notice when i slept a straight 18 hrs - i would always wake up w/diarrhea & the most horrible aches w/a pissy attitude to boot. It took me a while of this up and down thing and some google-ing for me to figure out what was going on.i knew in March of 2010 I was physically dependant on tramadol & i hid my dirty little secret pretty darn well - even in a happy marriage to an awesome man who doesn't miss much! LOL  I had climbed upwards to 15-20 a day (50 mg) by that point to keep all my "balls" in the air i was juggling - i had to - this was the precedence I had set for myself - right. I had started getting my monthly RX filled @ the local pharmacy and started ordering via the internet - everything would roll on as usual - until i ran out and it was too early to get a refill- or the Fed Ex man's delivery was delayed in arrival - and i would find my self counting pills, dividing by how many i had left and how many days till the UPS man was scheduled to come and so on. My husband began to suspect i was up to something - the "illnesses" of diarrhea and no energy every 2-3 mo's when i'd run out 7 how i would suddenly perk up as soon as the UPs man came! LOL  I went CT totally innocently in 2011 when an order from an over-seas pharmacy came and turned out to be "fakes" (or sugar pills i guess?) and I was forced to go into an immediate w/d period unplanned and unwanted quite by accident. I went from taking 20-30 a day to NOTHING and spent the worst 8 days of my life in bed and so so so sick. Great - 8 days clean - a great time to quit- right? NOPE - my order refill came do and i was right back on the wagon =- magically well - again! LOL Things continued on until July 2012. I left one morning and somehow or another left 3 of the "little while pills" laying on my bed. My husband came home - saw & picked them up - afraid one of our dogs would get a hold of them. He looked at the imprint on them and went to my laptop to a drug identifier program, did some reading & went to my user history/order history in my laptop and easily went to every sight i ever had ordered from with my *cookies* saved on those sites for easy access to all my web of deciet I'd spun the past few years - i was stone cold BUSTED!! He didn't call me or text me and say a word. I came home that night and opened my laptop and it was all there waiting for me - I knew i hadn't left all that stuff up and open - i was really careful (or so i thought) about covering my ugly sinful tracks. I shut it and started to get up and walk away to "absod" the reality of the moment and he caught me before i could walk out of the room....."Anything you wanna talk about?" he said....ugh - time i beg for mercy & throw myself on the mercy of the love courts! I came clean (like i had a choice!!) And told him i didn't want to take them any more but that i was physically dependent - he'd seen it so he knew. We talked and he was awesome and has been awesome to this day - i could NOt have done this w/out his love and support. After deciding I needed medical assitance to do this bc I was in no position to take off work a while and detox C/T.....i began the job of trying to find some help in Aug. 2012....dead ends, foiled plans of tapers, etc....my MD who cut me off when I came clean and asked for help, another Nurse Prac. who tried to admit me to a 60 day drug program (not a possibility for me to do at that point)....FINALLY Jan. 2013 - a friend who went back into MD practice came thru for me. I went to her & spilled the whole story and my 20-30 pill a day (50mg) shameful story w/my desire to end this madness of chasing the mailtrucks & spending over $400 monthly on trams! She was so so so awesome for me - a taper plan in place I could live with - a Rx for clonidine & Rozerum (new non-addictive sleep med) I was ready to start/end this final chapter. I tapered ok - some issues w/the clonidine and my bp bottoming out- which is low as it is anyway - the last couple of months have been rough - but i did it. No brain zaps this time due to my taper method she recommended, lots of diarrhea - treatable w/imodium, lots of sleep - no energy/motivation, lots of tears - the 1st week totally off was still rough even though i tapered...no clonidine after i totally quit tramadol - it was zapping me...and I switched frmo Cymbalta to Lexapro a month ago and it has helped w/the anxiety....all that to say - it has been a long A$$ road - but i am happy to say i am a couple of days short of 1 month clean - and i lived to tell it - never ever thought i could come off this crap and while i am not there - back to me- yet, i am getting there.   I want to share more of where i am now mentally and physically in my next post - but for now - there it is...it's out there and i am now part of the "clean" club and proud to saw I have had not one craving since March 16th 2012 when i took my last half of a tramadol tablet......looking forward to hanging out around these parts and learning more of what to expect from here out in my journey - you ppl are awesome to "chum" with btw! :)                

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by doddi65, Feb 07, 2014
very nice encouraging forum thank you awesome people

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