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Tramadol & Ultram Wthdrawal, Recovery & Taper Room Part 4

Mar 11, 2009 - 208 comments

Howdy!

Welcome to Part 4!

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by MsMarie1981, Mar 11, 2009
Emily,

Thanks for always giving us a new space.  I hope you're feeling better.  Please let us know if you need extra encouragement :)


Ty,

My heart goes out to you, I can't imagine what your situation must be like, exactly, having a stutter can't be easy.  But I will tell you many people feel more confident, more well spoken, on tramadol.  I hear your  same words from my boyfriends mouth.  He doesn't have a stutter, but he is convinced that his professional success, especially the part of the job that has to do with public speaking, was a gift from tramadol.  He had his first big meeting off of tramadol this week and made himself so nervous with thoughts like "I dont think I can do this without tramadol..." that his NERVOUSNESS was evident in his speech. I'm sure that if he had calmed down and believed in HIMSELF instead of believing in tramadol that he would have done much better.  I know his situation and yours aren't exactly the same, I'm just trying to say that what you feel is common on tramadol, but I think that  what tramadol does for your speech may be psychological and not biological.

What you need to know is two part:  tramadol gives a placebo effect, meaning you feel confident because you think its helping, and that confidence calms your nerves and actually does make you a better speaker.   But its the CONFIDENCE, not the drugs, which makes you a better speaker.  Think about it, I've never heard of speech therapists prescribing tramadol.  

Secondly: Tramadol doesn't give gifts.  For every gift you think tramadol gives you, you will pay dearly.  Understand that this pill is highly addictive and if you continue on you will likely become slave to tramadol.  And the most messed up part is that after a short while, people on tramadol want to dissociate, be alone, disconnect from other human beings. Many start to ignore their social life and important relationships. So in the end, you could have the confidence to talk to people but not want to at all.  

While I haven't heard of anyone else here using tramadol to treat a speech condition, there are MANY people on this site who are suffering severe chronic pain conditions. So their pain, while different from yours, is certainly no less significant. I hope you find strength in their strength.

I assume you've probably visited speech therapists. I'm not aware of all of the alternatives to treat a stutter, but I have to think that there must be a better way than addiction to a pill that will numb you out, fog you up, mess with you psychologically and could eventually cause seizures.   Nobody can tell you what to do, everyone here has taken their own path, and we will support you no matter what.  But most here didn't have this website to inform them of the dangers of the drug and make their decision an informed one.  We just hope to provide you with the information to make the best decision for yourself.  A big hug.


++++EVERYONE++++
Tommy and I went to our first PA meeting.  I'll admit I felt like the group thought "what is that non-addict doing here?" but i'm hoping that thy will warm to me the way you all have.  Once Tommy finds a meeting he likes and a sponsor I'll make my way to alanon, but for now its helpful for me to hear other peoples experiences with pills.  It helps me to understand the problem more. Plus I'd like to stick around the PA meetings long enough to learn the language and maybe hear some things that I can use to support Tommy when he's struggling.  

I wanted to raise a question and see what you all thought.    Someone in PA made the point that addiciton is not a moral issue, that its a disease and so any morality must be removed from our thought process.  I think to myself "of course its wrong to harm your body, your relationships, etc..." and that seems intuitive to me.   Not to say that ANYONE here is a bad person, of course not, i adore you all and you saved my sanity and I dont think there are better people than those writing here. I just have a hard time divorcing something so negative  from my sense of right and wrong.  Can someone explain?

All my respect to everyone here.  Please know I'm thinking of you all and wishing you the very best.

And KC CONGRATS on 30 days!  And Dave congrats too, I know you're coming up on it.  And Fred thank you always for writing, how lucky we are to have your eloquence and perspective.

big hugs to all of you.
-marie


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by EmilyPost, Mar 11, 2009
Ms.M, you write, "Someone in PA made the point that addiction is not a moral issue, that its a disease and so any morality must be removed from our thought process."

UMmmmmmmm ... yeah ... OK ... Huge Subject Matter ...

Ok so that's borrowed from alcoholism. Which has been declared a "disease" (Luckily) by the Medical Establishment after many many years of fighting. This was a major Victory for Alcoholism. However, "Addiction" per se; hasn't been declared a Disease. So ... the Pill addicts are still plagued by the Society here in the US who clam that pill heads can "snap out of it."

Which is like suggesting the mentally disabled snap out of it as well.

You're making distinction between "recreational use" and "sanctioned use" Ms.M?

People harm their bodes wth food day and night. They harm themselves with bad relationships. Basically there' so many "substances" one could use to harm themselves that you start to get dizzy telling the "wrong" and "right" apart. Many people would call what you do for Tommyboy "wrong." As you have experienced already; no doubt You doubtless have a sense that they are not correct to judge you or your relationship wth someone you love.

What the become of the "addicts?" They are invalidated, They are made to feel that they "should" be able to "control" the substance ... or the other uncontrollable issues ...

Where is Mercy? Where is kindness? The broken spirit of human beings doesn't respond to a stern "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps speech." Kindness and Love help. Validation helps.

The bottom line wth addiction of any kind is simply; "what can we do to help these people?"  The "problem" .. the roots ... usually stems from invalidation and a relationship wth Love that has become clouded. Spiritual Sickness and so on.

"Addicts" need Validation and Love. Not ... Love in the way it's currently thought of. Love as the transformation of a human into his or her closest relationship to "God" ... "Higher Power." ... etc ... Love is not always "nice."

Those are some rambling thoughts on the statement about "morality" which is a man-made judgement ... and highly subjective.


Ok as to Klonopin. Holy Moly. Small windows of normality followed by near death-like disability as the taper continues. On .3 mg from a high of 6mg and 2-3 mg as a "normal" dose ...

Yes ... only .3 mg which one would think would NOT be kicking my a$$ and taking my name. BUT ... This is the LAST of the cascade of drugs to booted.

Bad days, bad hours, bad thoughts. Bad stomach. Bad word recognition. The complete loss of normality. Massive sweat, insomnia ... spinning world ... Bad bad bad trip.  As the dose goes lower, it become more and more difficult to taper. Percentages get higher. in other words, dropping from .5 mg to .25 mg would be a 50% decrease and your brains would ... flip out. So it has to be done slowly.  i made a cut last night. logically, This cut made me feel somewhat better. BUT yesterday was a day of profound disability wth massive mental symptoms. The thing is ... that will return. Klonopin knows t and i know t.

Missed work ... panic .. anxiety ... and i crawled over to get a very very deep massage as my muscles have frozen into knots. All common for Benzo w/d. But yes, Sofa King Annoying.

Feel free to send encouragement. i love encouragement ... looks like at least one more month ...

Will write when windows of normality open. t's literally like a "pop" in my head and i'm myself again. Otherwise, Klonopin runs my show. And Klonopin seems to be the favorite son of freaking Satan. The Dark Side ...

Yep. it's getting harder the longer it goes on. Tapering is the only intelligent way to get off Benzos but man o man tapering is so Not My Scene ...

Love and Healing,
Emily



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by KC67, Mar 11, 2009
Emily,
We've moved again!  Thank you for continuing to keep this site going for the scores of people who are finding it every day!  The reason it has been so successful is because of your attitude and I quote, "The bottom line wth addiction of any kind is simply; "what can we do to help these people?"  The "problem" .. the roots ... usually stems from invalidation and a relationship wth Love that has become clouded. Spiritual Sickness and so on.   "Addicts" need Validation and Love. Not ... Love in the way it's currently thought of. Love as the transformation of a human into his or her closest relationship to "God" ... "Higher Power." ... etc ... Love is not always "nice."

Emily, you have provided a safe place for people to come and share their feelings, their fears, their struggles, and their victories without feeling judgment or a "You NEED to do this...or you SHOULD do that..." mentality.   You have started an amazing thing with this journal and (I believe) have saved many lives from eventual death.  Thank you.

As for your Klonopin struggles, I appreciate your update.  I will be kicking my benzo's as soon as I done with this Tram. withdrawal.  So I want to be as prepared and educated as I was by reading your Tram. journals.  I hope things get easier soon.  It sounds like it is worse (in some respects) than the Tram. withdrawal.  I am afraid, but I take hope in your courage and believe that I can and will be able to do it.

Ms. Marie,
From my understanding, the PA people are correct.  My husband attends Gambler's Anonymous meetings regularly and although he KNOWS it is morally wrong for HIM to gamble money (large $$$ amounts, I might add)  - which has devastated our entire family!  Last year (before I found out), he had managed to take out 4 large credit lines behind my back and gambled them away within a few weeks.  

Did he KNOW it was wrong?  Absolutely.  My husband is a good guy - just like Tommy - he just has something in his brain that is so powerful that makes the "draw" to gamble overpower the LOGIC to NOT gamble.  In other words, he can NEVER gamble again because one bet on a poker table would be so powerful to him that he wouldn't be able to stop.  

In comparison, I do not have a gambling addiction, I have a substance addiction (Trams and alcohol).  I can go sit at a poker or BlackJack table, bet a few dollars, and feel NO desire to bet anymore.   But give me one Tram. and I will probably want more.

When I was using Trams, I had an uncontrollable urge to KEEP up the good and "numbing" feelings that the Trams provided.  It was NOT enough to just take one.  As some of the people on this site who have been to GA, PA, or AA,  will testify that your first use of YOUR "problem" substance is ONE too many!  

So, back to being a moral issue vs. a disease.  

We are all wired differently.  What may become an addiction for one person, will not necessarily be a problem for another.  Most of us addicts realize that what we are doing is WRONG and also harmful to ourselves or our loved ones, but for some reason, the power of the addiction is stronger than our willpower to rationalize the morality of it.  Does that make any sense?

Tommy is not an immoral person, I am not an immoral person, my husband is not immoral.  We are just addicts in need of support and alternative ways to DAILY overcome our desire to act on our addictions.  We need love and support and validation (as Emily said above).

Keep up the good work both of you!  You are both very lucky to be in this together and have each other for emotional support.  There are so many on here who can't share their struggles with anyone in their personal or family lives.  Thanks goodness we have our little Emily Post family here.  I would never have made it this far (Day 31 today - thanks for the congrats!)

Sincerely with love and hope,
KC


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by kevzx81, Mar 11, 2009
Emily -Those Benzos sound awful, I  imagine it can feel never-ending with that percentage taper routine going on.
And even in the middle of the shi*storm you can still inspire. Offering to send you courage or patience seems false as I believe you have more of both than I do . BUT.. I do believe you can win/will win. I really DO believe that. So thats what Im sending you: Belief.

Validation: I had an invalidating mother who was always telling me " There must be something wrong with you!" "grow up"
or " theres nothing wrong with you" ( whenever I was ill). Addicts are commonly invalidated by society.

Addiction is an illness. If you are an addict you are unwell. But: There is nothing 'wrong' with you. Everything is in fact working to plan. The addiction is a symptom. It alerts us to our condition just as nerve pains inform us of broken bones etc. If we listen to ourselves we can overcome addiction. Being an addict may not be comfortable/respectable/affordable but it is not 'wrong'. It is a symptom in a healing process.

The logic of society is equivalent to kicking someone hard in the legs while shouting at them to run faster.
Is it any wonder so many of us keep falling down?

Hope you feel better soon Emily.





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by MsMarie1981, Mar 11, 2009
Ok, I'm worried my question was very misunderstood or misinterpreted. I just wanted your help to understand. Tommy brought it up himself on the way home and mentioned that he felt as though there were moral elements to his experience and that he didn't know what to make of it. I didn't have an answer for that either so i thought i'd ask here.  

I've always seen this as a forum where someone who is sincerely inquisitive and geniunely concerned can ask a question.   But in case it needs to be cleared up let me set the record stratight:  I think the only person who can EVER determine whats right or moral for someone is themself. I'm not even talking about societal morality, I'm talking about individual morality, of what you feel for yourself is right and wrong.  Thats what I mean by that I don't intend to judge.  Please understand that my question was sincere.  

Maybe I'm interpreting the word "moral" in an improper sense.   I just hope you all know that I hold you in the very highest regard, i dont see any of you as immoral people.  I would NEVER tell anyone to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" or "whats wrong with you."  But like KC recognized in her post, moral people can make wrong decisions and thats where I got confused.

KC thank you for your description.    "Most of us addicts realize that what we are doing is WRONG and also harmful to ourselves or our loved ones, but for some reason, the power of the addiction is stronger than our willpower to rationalize the morality of it.  Does that make any sense?"  That does make sense.  Thank you for explaining :)

I'm sorry i didn't mean for my question to offend anyone.




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by EmilyPost, Mar 11, 2009
Ms. M ... you ddn't offend ...

:D

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by kevzx81, Mar 11, 2009
Addiction is harmful. Sometimes deadly. But the only 'wrong' thing we can do is fail to own up and deal with it.
At this point we say Tram/other is 'wrong' for ME. Yes its a personal morality. From personal experience. Hard to argue with experience, even against ourselves.

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by MsMarie1981, Mar 11, 2009
thank you, sweet peas, for being understanding. i know i'm kind of the odd one out on this site and i really appreciate your willingness to share with me :)  what a blessing you have been...

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by JLO2112, Mar 11, 2009
I`ve been reading this forum for awhile now and I finally quit tramadol last week. I tapered down and thought I was through the worst but today I really feel screwed up. My face feels like its on fire and I have no get up and go. I have a bottle of tramadol left but I`m thru with them. The reason I quit now is I`m on temp layoff, no work around here at the time. My wife died from lung cancer this past December and I am really numb. This is by far the worst year of my life and I`m 42 yrs old. My question is when will I get my energy back or am I really just depressed? Also has anyone else experienced the burning face and hands thing?


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by ty1987, Mar 11, 2009
thank you all for the advice...ive been on the trams for about 30 days straight now, and was hoping to go today without taking any. i made it until about 4:30 this afternoon and then caved..i guess theres always tomorrow

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by JLO2112, Mar 11, 2009
ty1987 30 days doesn`t seem like that long but maybe thats all it takes. My taper was holding out as long as I could and decreasing the dose, I`ve been on them over a year and it wasn`t easy but at least I didn`t have to go to work. I don`t have a craving for them now I just can`t get anything done and I really feel weird, I`m a zombie who`s face is on fire but I am better than I was last week, in a way.

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by bodegirl, Mar 11, 2009
Hi all,
Today is day 11 for me, tram free. I haven't posted in a few days because I have been feeling so bad physically, mostly painfully tired/fatigued and haven't slept more than an hour or two a night for 11 nights straight-it's been HELL.  So I am still really struggling, BUT, today I noticed my energy level was a teeny tiny bit better which is better than no improvement.  Im a pre-school teacher and a mom of 2(ages 4 and 6 AND I'm pregnant) which has all proven to be incredibly tough, plus I've detoxed in secret.  I have been trying to get through work and mom duties and things like walking with my dogs which used to be the highlight of my day-now its a HUGE challenge just to take a few steps.  

I have had amazing support from many tram survivors on this site-my heart goes out to you all and I am and will be eternally grateful.  

Emily, I have HUGE faith in you and know that you will be free of the klonopin W/D's very soon. You are so strong and are very inspiring to me.  

Thanks to everyone.  
bodegirl

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by DavidM3, Mar 11, 2009
Yesterday I went the whole day without taking the tramacrap! I also didnt get any withdrawals except a headache the size of Montana. I also got this wierd feeling in my chest like I couldnt breath. But nothing unbearable. I think im finally done with this poison. Im going on day 2 and still no desire to take a pill. Maybe its still to early to feel the withdrawals but so far im feeling pretty good. Im confident ill make thru this day also. Two weeks ago when I started to taper I didnt think I was going to make it but tramadol dosent have what humans have, the will to survive. Anyway ill keep posting how i feel as time goes on. Oh by the way, Emily, you once posted that you ate alot of tunafish sandwiches, bananas, spinach, and water. How exactly did these foods help you? Anything else help you since? Ive noticed Omega3 fish oils helped with some joint pain I was having.  

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by madtram, Mar 11, 2009
Dear Emily,

Sending you all the healing energy I can summon up in the hope of exorcising your klonopin devil. Can u ask DH to give u some extra hugs on my behalf?

love, Michelle

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by EmilyPost, Mar 11, 2009
Hello again Tramadol Warriors;

Yay! Thanks Madtram aka Michelle you little sweetheart! Will ask for more hugs ... I have some really sweet cats. They seem to understand that there's some reason to stay really close to me. So I have some excellent companions.  It's really rare that they all stay glued to me; so I enjoy that.

If you all have seen some of MadTram's post they are packed with information about herbs, supplements and are very very helpful!

At the moment I feel very well .. I just replaced the keyboard on my computer with a nice $12 part off eBay ... was gonna be $125 at the computer store to do what just took me less than 30 minutes start to finish. I'm in a "window" where I feel completely normal. So I have to type as quickly as I can before I literally vanish again and klonopin takes over. Yes, Devil is correct. I have to work; and the Devil is my companion right now ... Luckily he vanishes now and then and I remember who I am ..

Not "worse" than Tramadol. Different. Plus, I have detoxed from freakin' everything ... so the disability thing is getting OLD! I have insane anxiety and some pain ... but that's to be expected. It's a reflex effect. It isn't real. Just like when I came off Tramadol there was that part of me that absolutely knew the effects were withdrawal.

DavidM3- Hi! Been enjoying your posts and I am so happy you have stopped and are on Day 2! Nice! A two weeks taper ... that's good ... Hope it destroys the withdrawal somewhat for you.

You write, "Emily, you once posted that you ate alot of tunafish sandwiches, bananas, spinach, and water. How exactly did these foods help you? Anything else help you since? Ive noticed Omega3 fish oils helped with some joint pain I was having."

Yes those are food specific to the Perricone diet. oogle it or get his books at the Library or on Half.com ... It's an anti inflamitory diet. Helps ALOT with chronic pain. What else helps? Losing every darn extra pound. Workouts on Elliptical Trainers ... heat and Ice. Specifically Ice packs which help keep me alive. :D Sunshine , fresh air and anything that bring you Joy.

The fish oils *will* help because they help the joints. There was a tremendous amount of vitamins and herbs I took that helped.   I used Emergen-C in my water. I used B-12 sublinguals and I used Honey when I was about to crash and die from withdrawal. They helped me make it thru the day. Fruit, esp berries and I use egg white Protein powder by Jay Robb after a workout to avoid soreness. Replenish with in one hour of a workout ...

L-Glutamine helped with muscle soreness. L-Theanine ($$) helped w/ anxiety. It's in Green Tea ... so you can drink Green Tea ....Have read amazing things about B vitamin Insitol ... but haven't tried it yet. Staying hydrated. Tonic water and apple juice mixed for Restless Legs ...

Finding a way to get some sleep (eventually) will help. For me; Tylenol PM has a wicked back kick of waking up with "Dread" as the English would say. We Americans say, "Freakin' out of control anxiety and depression." The depression is usually temporary; with me it came on hard at 30 days or do and vanished by Day 77 ... everything was detoxed by then.

Basically David M; know that the pain will get way worse before it ...vanishes. Yes. It vanished, my legitimate "Chronic Pain" vanished after I detoxed from Tramadol. Usually a Tylenol or Aleve will help me if I get a true spike in Pain. Usually an ice pack and a nap or laying down will help.

I used Excedrin liberally for headaches. Which felt like neurological Migraines.

Bodegirl! Holy Moly! You detoxed in secret and you are calling me strong!? Wow. Thank you for writing, "Emily, I have HUGE faith in you and know that you will be free of the klonopin W/D's very soon. You are so strong and are very inspiring to me."

Thanks Sweeheart!  Dude, two kiddos and Mom/Teacher duties ... and dog walking! Geez man. Good job! You're very strong and inspiring as well! ((((bodegirl))))

JL thank goodness you found the current thread! I saw you sign in at Day 45 and between my broken keyboard and the fact that it takes A Long Time and crashes my computer ... I basically couldn't grab you outta that Day 45 area which is where all our newbies end up! Google search yanks up that when people search "Tramadol Withdrawal" ... So glad you are here!

JL the face on fire is really vr normal for this withdrawal and may I say .. for the Benzo Klonopin as well. My face is on fire, or numb. Plus; I'm super sweaty ... and so people keep complimenting me on my "glow" LOL! It's pretty icky.

I am so sorry for your loss. Of course you feel bad. ((((JL))) Grief can do that; depression. BUT .. Tramadol withdrawal made me really really depressed at Day 30 ... as I just mentioned ...

(((JL)))

Oh good Ms Marie is good :D Yes, the Nature of Addiction ... it is great that you and Tommy have been so great about discovering the roots of his addiction. That's a great start :D And amazing info BTW on his taper ... that alone will help thousands of people who read that ...

Kev I am so glad to see you! I was wondering where you were! And you write, "The logic of society is equivalent to kicking someone hard in the legs while shouting at them to run faster. Is it any wonder so many of us keep falling down?"

That is incredibly accurate. Yes, Invalidation is something all of us need to watch carefully. It's poisonous to Invalidate people or even yourself. We have a human right to feel how we without interference from people who are terrified of their own ain.

My Mother is also the Queen Of Invalidating. I love her; and she needs one day to explore her own life and the grief that travels with just ... being here as a human you know? My Mother (this is a terrible story but I feel compelled t share) I was 15 and had the stomach flu. And had puked about 8 times, was laying on the bathroom floor ..Immobile and she comes in and says she's going to an Al-Anon Meeting (her second of the DAY!) ... and that she's left $1 on the table in case I want to WALK TO THE STORE!!!

LMAO! So tragic and wrong; but extremely typical of her behavior. So I understand Kev ... Invalidation even when you are ill? So wrong ... But it does stem from my Mom's inability to even acknowledge her own pain. She's hiding some deep grief; so it makes sense she *must* invalidate to survive. People who practice, "Positive Thinking" without actually being positive scare me. I find it very creepy. I like being Positive, but so much of what we see is the straight up Invalidation of Human Pain disguised by "Positivity." It's gross.

And thank you all for wishing me well. I am perfectly fine at the moment. I do not expect it to last. A huge part of Benzos is the shift in "Perfectly normal" to "My Brain is being shaken by a rabid dog" .. pain, spasm. sweat ...

Is it worse than Tramadol? Um ... No. It's just ... very Different. Percentages are difficult when your brain is all fried.

But at the moment ... skies are clear and I am so happy to see you all!

Love and healing,
Emily




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by JLO2112, Mar 11, 2009
Your a special person Emily. My wife also had a big heart. I don`t think I can take a month of feeling this level of depression. If I could I`d leave to go with her now but thats not an option. The house is going to hell. She was a cat rescuer and now I`ts up to me to take care of them all, its tough. I don`t know whats withdrawal and whats grief. I picked a bad time to quit but it made sense due to the lay off. I hope your detox goes well. I always heard that drugs like xanax and clonopin are the worst to quit. I take some of my wifes leftover xanax to sleep sometimes and it helps but I don`t take them everynight because I`m afraid I`ll get hooked.

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by kevzx81, Mar 11, 2009
Emily- You are so right. My mother never had time for herself, let alone anyone else.I'm convinced she was doing her best in her own tortured way. Its a melancholy world for sure; We may be the victim, and sometimes get 'stuck' on that perspective, but its always worth remembering that we are victims of victims.
I've been thinking about your definition of love-' the transformation of a human into his or her closest relationship to "God"
"higher power" etc. So Im asking the obvious question: WHAT transforms me into my closest relationship to (blank)?
I think the absence of fear, pain and confusion must be a large part of that. Figuring out the rest seems like a worthwhile effort but it might take another decade or 12!

Thanks for the idea.

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by Shadetree, Mar 11, 2009
Hi JLO2112,

I am really feeling for you right now. What a difficult place you are in! I just want you to know that I will keep you in my prayers. I cant even imagine how absolutely devistating things must be for you...My mother always told me that when you are saddened by someones situation (that you know or not) and grieve for or with them...then you help take some if only a little grief from them. I hope that is true because you are truely tugging on my heart! My hope for you is that everything gets better and all this will make you a stronger person...

~ Shade

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by JLO2112, Mar 11, 2009
Thanks for the kind words Shadetree. I think I feel a tiny bit better, thanks.  I agree if I can make it thru this I will come out stronger. If I can get off this tramadol I will have made a big step. I just hate it take so long. Getting over my wife will probably never happen I just have to learn how to live with it. Thanks for the prayers.

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by FinallyFred, Mar 12, 2009
Hello All,  Good heavens.  Moral issue vs. disease?  I gotta weigh in myself on this one.

I am a very self critical person.  I fall into "guilt" far too easilyon WAY too many things  for my own good.  But for the life of me, despite being both an alcoholic and and addict, the notion that I am - um - immoral, never even came into my pervue.  Come to think of it, I have never EVER heard anyone getting down on themselves for being immoral.  IMMORAL?

Holy jumping grasshoppers!  

For my way of thinking, fighting the drug addiction or disease is WAY too important in and of itself without heaping condemnation on a person or by judging such person or declaring them to be immoral.  IMMORAL?   Really?  Wow!  

Sounds like something MY mother would declare (others talked about this here).  Critical?  Yup, that was and is my mom.  When I was growing up, she was constantly correcting my grammer.  (was? no were.  is? no are.  might? no that's "may" honey.)   To this day, when I show up at her front door, she declares that I have either gained weight...or lost too much.  I'm too early...or too late.  She is just plain critical of not just me, but of just about everyone.  

So I try to ignore her criticism by considering the source.  It's not my problem, it's her problem. Guilt trips never helped me in do anything in life.  Where are the points in declaring someone to be immoral?  It's lost on this person.  

Emily,  welcome home.  Thank you for everything.  Here's hoping those kitties reach their little kittie necks out, drive their heads into you, and ask for the ear petting they deserve.  

Impressive new determination in the room.  I can feel your strength all the way to Seatttle.

Courage and Strength you guys.  You are the best of the best.

Fred

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by kevzx81, Mar 12, 2009
Hi All- 1pm in ol Blighty and I'm up at the carck of lunch as usual! I always drop in and read the posts before starting my day. Its become part of my daily ritual now.It really helps me focus and its so great to have breakfast(yes,at 1pm!) while catching up on posts I missed the night before. Its such a good way to gather my thoughts and positive energy... I think I'm addicted to the therapy room. I bet I'm not alone.

This is THE PERFECT start to my day as I like to spend my first hour alone if possible so I can 'get myself together'.
This is the best of both worlds...I can benefit from the positive energy/thoughts here AND not respond at all if I want.
WHAT LUXURY.

Fred...yours was the first voice I heard today. Lucky me, soaking up a helping of love,compassion,understanding and gentleness with my cornflakes.

JLO2112- I offer my silent respect.

So lets see what today brings.....



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by Shadetree, Mar 12, 2009
Good Morning all...

Does anyone know what the yawning thing is about? I would do it all the time in the begining of using tram. And now its back...Its weird I feel compelled to yawn all the time, but I can never complete it...lol sounds funny but I know it is something in my brain...anyone experience this? Emily what is this about?


~Shade

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by FinallyFred, Mar 12, 2009
Shade,  Have you read a book called, "The Tipping Point" by Malcom Gladwell?  I(t's a non-ficton and in it, he talks about that moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshhold, tips and it spreads like wildfire.   An example he talks about is yawning...how incredibly contagious it is. I don't know why you are yawning, maybe not enough sleep?  But I'll bet that at least one person reading this POST will yawn as they read these words.  Crazy, huh?

Kev, Good day to you.  Like you, I wake up with coffee in the morning, catching up on the latest posts.  Here's hoping everyone has a FAB day.  Fred.

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by Shadetree, Mar 12, 2009
Hey there Fred...)

Thanks for responding. I have been getting plenty of sleep and feel very awake when it happens. I thought I had heard before that when you yawn its because your brain needs oxygen... Idk though. It is crazy about how contagious it is, but these are not like regular yawns. I cant finish them... Any way thought I would ask if anyone else was experiencing this because of tram....

:) Shade

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by EmilyPost, Mar 12, 2009
http://192.211.16.13/curricular/hhd2001/Yawn.htm

Searching Yawning and Opiates ....

And yes, Benzo w/d also causes yawning

I like the part about cats being the animal who yawns the most ...

here's some of the text ... (prepare to yawn)

____________________________________________________________

(ACTH hormones) and oxytocin facilitates yawning. Opiod peptoids inhibit yawning, which would explain why people experiencing withdrawal from opiates yawn excessively. The paraventricular nucleus in the hypothalamus is thought to control yawning.When amino acids in the brain are activated by dopamine, neurons release oxytocin at sites away from the paraventricular nucleus, such as the hippocampus, the pons and the medulla oblongata.Other chemicals involved in yawning are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA,) noradrenaline, and neuropeptides such as neurotensin and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH).

When a person is in a coma and begins to ... yawn, it is often a sign that the person will wake and regain consciousness.Overall, yawning, as simple as the actual reflex is, is a misunderstood phenomenon. We understand what is happening—we are restoring oxygen levels in the brain and bloodstream and expelling carbon dioxide.Yawning is thus a physiological reflex to hyperplaxia, or low oxygen levels in the blood.

However, fetuses are being supplied oxygen in the womb, and they still yawn. Also, the fact that people yawn in response to others yawning shows that we do not always yawn from a physiological need. It appears to me that a long breath would serve the same purpose to the body as a yawn.In fact, several sources compared yawning to a long, slow breath.The most consistent facts about yawning are that it is a reflex originating in the brain stem, and that some chemicals stimulate yawning (the most cited were dopamine, ACTH and oxytocin,) while other chemicals inhibit yawning, most notably opiate peptoids.Therefore, we know what is happening physiologically when we yawn, but the reasons why we yawn instead of just taking a deep breath are unknown.  

_____________________________________________________________

So basically yawning is a healthy sign ...

In a way you are coming out of a drug induced COMA!


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by Shadetree, Mar 12, 2009
Emily,
Thank you sooo much for taking the time to write and explain all that! I really appreciate it! Your awsome! :)

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by DavidM3, Mar 12, 2009
well im officially 2 days off the trams. Last night got a mild case of depression. I felt my pulse going up a bit and was just hoping to god I wasnt getting an episode of svt. Then I started remembering how when I got svt last summer that I thought I was going to die and my kids will grow up without a father. I think about that night everyday and it depresses me but last night the depression was a lot worse. I had to take an extra clonazpam to calm my nerves. Anyway woke up feeling pretty decent. Now it feels like someone cracked me upside the head with a baseball bat and the back of my eyeballs hurt. I still havent got most of the withdrawals most people experienced. I dont have trouble sleeping, no sweating,no nausea/vomiting, or bodyaches. Maybe tapering helped out more than I thought it would. Just headaches and the depression so far. But im still going strong, no desire to take a pill.

Anyway hows everyone else doing? Hanging in there I hope. Still going strong.

Emily, what is a B-12 sublingual? I have a old bottle of regular B12 is that just as good? Plus I just got a bottle of vitamin B complex that contains a buttload of the DV of almost all the B vitamins. You mentioned Green Tea, are the pill form just as effective, and is it a stimulant? I cant have too many stimulants with my heart problem.

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by madtram, Mar 12, 2009
Hi Davidm3, congrats on reaching day two, it seems that your taper was just right for your body.

Sublingual vitamins are ingested by allowing them to dissolve,(without sucking), under the tongue or in the side of the cheek.  They are more bioavailable this way as it  directly enters the blood stream & bypasses the digestion process where a certain amount of vitamin is lost.

B12 can help with energy levels in particular but u generally need to take more than the RDA to feel a benefit.  B complex is helpful for depression & as you have no gut issues, the tablets u have may work for u.

The amino acid 5htp & the St John's Wort herb are both effective for depression.

Green tea does contain caffeine so you would want to go for decaff extracts or tea. Those of us with anxiety issues like l-theanine the amino acid extracted from green tea, however, as Emily has noted, it's costly. The advantage is that u have to drink a serious amount of tea to reach the same levels of the theanine.

Cheers, M

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by kevzx81, Mar 12, 2009
Hi All- Just a quick herbal suggestion: Cardamom Tea from a tea bag or dried cardamoms is an excellent brain tonic.
Dont know if there are any downsides to it tho....

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by DavidM3, Mar 12, 2009
madtram

Can you get sublingual vitamins at a walmart or a pharmacy or do they have to be ordered from somewhere? Ive never seen them at a store anywhere.


As far as St Johns Wort, ive tried it in the past for depression but it didnt help at all, in fact, it seemed to make it worse.

Does anyone know if Advil is safe to take for people with heart trouble? I cant take ibuprofen because it causes heart palpitations and I just found out Excedrin has caffein in it. I need to get rid of this headache and all I got is Tylenol,so basically i'll be trading a headache for a stomachache.

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by madtram, Mar 12, 2009
Ref: http://www.curezone.org/forums/fm.asp?i=1348666

What Cardamom Is and What It Can Do

cardamom  contains a compound called cineole, which stimulates the central nervous system. Cineole is often used by aromatherapists as a remedy for fainting. I like to spike my coffee or tea with a couple of seeds.

How Cardamom Can Help

Cineole is an antiseptic that can kill bad breath bacteria.
Like spearmint, rosemary, eucalyptus, ginger, bee balm, peppermint, and other herbs with high cineole content, cardamom makes a great expectorant for people with laryngitis. Make a tea combining these ingredients, and add some pineapple juice.

Cardamom has also been found to be effective for eliminating, or at least limiting, gas. A few sprinkles on a piece of toast may do the trick as well as the cinnamon that my wife uses.

How to Take It and How Much

Cardamom is available as seeds, oil crushed from seed, and as a tincture, standardized to 1 to 2 grams as cineole. A recommended daily dosage of tincture is 1.5 grams standardized as cineole. If you take the proper dosage, you should be free of any health hazards or side effects.

______________________________

Another great spice,Turmeric can also be helpful for pain as it acts similarly to pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories but without the side effects of liver etc damage. You can get it by eating lots of indian curries, (it's likely that turmeric contributes to the lower cancer rate in Indian populations), or in supplement form.


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by pfcpremosgirl, Mar 12, 2009
Advil is ibuprofen, just a heads up.

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by pfcpremosgirl, Mar 12, 2009
I am a bit over a week. Cold turkey til last Sunday, I am just about finished with my cocktail of clonidine, bentanyl and zofram. Feeling ok. Talked to my dad, a 17 yr recovering alcoholic, my inspiration. hes been a big help. Telling me one day at a time, and if he can give up decades of drinking, for this long, and resist the temptations he sees daily, I know I can too!

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by madtram, Mar 12, 2009
David, I'm in Australia so can't be sure about your State but GNC & some local brands here have sublingual b12, otherwise, iherb.com etc are often more cost effective if u buy up in bulk.

Your experience with SJW is another reminder that everyone's biochemistry is different.  Have you tried 5htp?  It's a direct precursor for serotonin & your levels will be depleted following tram withdrawal.

Advil/ Ibuprofen is not great for heart conditions, but I don't really have any alternatives for u.  In Au we can get 8mg codeine OTC which got me thru the worst of withdrawal pain.

As per above, turmeric works in a similar way to the NSAIDs like Advil but isn't hard on your gut & liver.  If u are interested I can send u some dosage info but it may take some time for blood levels to reach a therapeutic range.

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by DavidM3, Mar 12, 2009
madtram

Ive never really heard of 5htp. Thats an amino acid,right? Is that another name for Tryptophan or Phenylalanine?

I own a bottle of Arginine 1000mg. Would that help? I also have a bottle of garlic pills would that help for depression?

Also tell me some dosage info  on the turmeric. At this point ill give anything a try. Just as long as its safe.

Thank You

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by res_ipsa_loquitor, Mar 12, 2009
I just found this thread tonight; awfully convenient, since I took my last dose yesterday morning. This is an incredibly sneaky drug. I am (was) a recovering alcoholic and heroine addict. Prior to my relapse into tramadol, I had 2 years clean and sober. Starting last summer, I was exposed to the drug and began sporadically ordering prescriptions online. Over the last four months, my addictive personality has taken over--I worked myself up to 20-25 pills a day. The deceptive feeling of productivity and well being that tramadol creates fooled me into believing that this was not a real drug. In my prior active addiction, I found myself destitue and suicidal. Since that first stint of sobriety, I have become a productive member of society. Unfortunately, I have been able to continue my outward success during my current use. I am in law school and have been able to stay at the top of my class. It was easy for me to identify the sever consequences in my earlier addiction; now, the issues are more subtle. Most importantly, I feel like a failure. All of my successes as a father, student, and professional seem false. I couldn't keep myself clean.

God, the emotional bankruptcy....

Stopping this drug has either induced severe depression, or has given me a clear window into how far I have fallen. Probably both. I feel so sad. I told my fiance a few hours ago. I met her in Alcoholics Anonymous, so she has particular insight into what is going on with me. I feel like a fraud, having made a child with her on the promise of our continued sobriety. Fortunately, she has stated her complete support. I am a lucky man.

I stepped down quickly, going from 25 to 2-5 in the space of a week. Any predictions on my physical condition as of tomorrow? I have an interview with a federal appellate court. My dream job. I feel compelled to take more to make it through the day, but I am well versed in the language of addiction and the power of justification. In fact, I have a script of 180 arriving in the morning. I'm so glad that I told my fiance; since she is coming to visit tomorrow, we can flush 'em down the toliet together.

I've always attended 12 step meetings, so my experience with group recovery has not included forum posting. Considering my situation, however, I do not feel comfortable putting myself out to the public. Besides, going back to my old groups with my head between my legs . . . well . . . frankly, it scares the **** out of me.

Thanks

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by kevzx81, Mar 12, 2009
madtram- thanks for full blurb on caramom. And an excuse to eat more curries! Nice one!! Thanks!!!

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by kevzx81, Mar 12, 2009
res_ipsa_loquitor- Welcome. Typical opoid w/ds sweats,shakes etc.plus anxiety,depression,stramge dreams,restless legs and more. This could kick in any time now. Maybe you could pass it off as flu?This has worked well for many people here. It varies person to person in severity and duration but the worst is usually over in a week or two. check all the posts and try to view the previous threads to get a complete picture.

Tramadol brings another risk-Grand Mal Seizures. This can happen when you greatly increase your dose. If you stop taking it and suddenly start again at a high enough dose this is also greatly increasing your dose. Grand Mal Seizures can kill...so be careful ok?
That was some taper!! I'm not surprised youre feeling depression right now. Beware of anxiety too,esp on waking up.
Hope Im not bumming you out with this stuff, but forewarned is forearmed etc.
There are lots of ways of easing the w/d,again, read all the posts.

Good luck tomorrow.


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by madtram, Mar 12, 2009
Me too on the curries, Kev & not so stinky now that I have stopped the dirty tramadol sweats although still need to go heavy on the breath freshener afterwards.

David, 5htp  is the amino acid produced by the addition of 5 hydroxyl molecules to tryptophan & is the immediate precursor of serotonin.  I.e. tryptophan------->5htp---------->serotonin.   As such you can enhance the production of serotonin at either or both stages of the production cycle.

Phenylalanine is a precursor for tyrosine which in turn is a precursor for the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline both of which can also be sluggish in depression. As everyone's chemistry is unique, I am a believer in, (always low risk) self experimentation.

The d isomer form of phenylalanine (found in DLPA or d-phenylalanine in its pure form) is a precursor for the production of natural endorphins and is also helpful for natural pain management.  I have found d-phenylalanine quite effective but there are only limited sources, (iherb & seacoast vitamins, both online).  DLPA is more readily available & it may suit you to have your dopamine and noradrenaline levels boosted.  Let me know if you want more info on any of these.

The herb Rhodiola is also good for depression and energy levels.

Arginine & garlic are both good stuff, arginine supports the production of human growth hormone particularly if taken at night on an empty stomach & garlic is a great anti-bacterial so they will both support your health but I'm not aware of any research targeting depression.

There are no published reports of significant side effects for turmeric & it's been consumed by Asian populations for many centuries so I would assess it as low risk.  Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory response.  Turmeric powder itself is only 5% curcumin so for this purpose you are probably better off with curcumin capsules.  Most seem to come in 500mgs.  Studies  support a dose range of 100–
200 mg/kg body weight for good anti inflammatory activity with no adverse effects.

Welcome to you Res Ipsa, don't be too hard on yourself, you are among some solid recovering type "A"s here.  We love to achieve without letting our messy human feelings get in the way so tramadol is very seductive for us at the beginning whether taken for legit pain control or not.

You are tapering at a level that is much closer to cold turkey & I would have thought that your body would be letting you know loud & clear by now, so maybe you will luck in with a soft landing.  The depression is exacerbated by withdrawal from the antidepressant ingredient in tramadol.  You may be aware from previous detoxes that you can support your neurotransmitters with 5htp; DLPA; l-theanine & glutamine.

Taking one more pill to get through your job interview is minuscule compared with our tolerance for our jobs when cold stone sober.  You sound pretty committed to stopping & for me this forum continues to be great therapy 8 months post tramadol.

Best wishes for the interview & hope to see some follow-up posts.

M



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by FinallyFred, Mar 12, 2009
Res,  Welcome to the best thing going to get you through the pathway of pain.  Glad you found us.

I can relate to you on so many levels.  I too am a friend of "Bill W." and I have been going to "those church basements, where those of us allergic to alcohol hang out".  But while I was conquiring one addiction, I was presecribed this "safe, non-opiate" alternative to real drugs.  It wasn't long before the 1-2 pills/day were no longer working for me.  You know the tolerance thing and the feeling of withdrawals when your body screams at you for more...and you try to control it.  Yup, this monster gets way out of control WAY to quickly.  The good news is that you recognized that your life was unmanageable and you have begun to take action.  

So feel free to hang out here.  A man is no fraud who speaks honestly.  

The truth is that this awful drug is WAY misunderstood.  It's addictive propencity  and the damage it can cause us is swept under the rug as the big drug manufacturers and online vendors seek to capitalize on us.  The truth eventually WILL be revealed, but not today.  

Dream Job Interview tomorrow?  First of all, congratulations on the successful quick reduction you have accomplished. (don't call what you did a "taper")  You took your last few trams yesterday right?   2-5?  Like Kev warned, resuming your old 20-25 pills/day tonight, could put you at risk for a seizure.   Personally, if i were you, I might be willing to take ake place in days 2-4.  Kev rightly described the symptoms you will likely feel 36-48 hours after taking your last dose.   I hope you have something to help you sleep, tynenol P.M's anyway?

Come back and let us know how you are doing.  Indeed, this addiction and withdrawal from the same does speak for itself.  You are a lucky man to hve a friend who understands and supports you.  

Courage and Strength,

Fred

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by FinallyFred, Mar 13, 2009
Res, I can see I totally messed up that second to the last para.  What I intended to tell you was that I might be tempted to take just a COUPLE trams tonight if you are worried about not sleeping and then start your attack tomorrow.   The worst of the symptoms generally hit 36-48 hours after taking your last pills.  Good luck!  

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by DavidM3, Mar 13, 2009
madtram

Do you recommend I get the 5htp and the DLPA from supplements or from food.
I definitely would like more info when you get a chance.

I take clonazapem .5mg every night isnt that replinishing serotonin or am I thinking of zoloft?

Thanks for the info.

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by EmilyPost, Mar 13, 2009
Clonazapem = Klonopin .. A Benzo ...





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by madtram, Mar 13, 2009
Hey David, what are you doing up so late, hope it's not insomnia.  Clonazepam acts primarily on GABA but also increases binding to a number of the ht receptors which decreases your serotonin levels.  Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor which does increase circulating blood levels of serotonin.  If you are taking any SSRIs you need to be careful with other supplementation.

Are you taking any other meds?

If you are not taking any antidepressants you may benefit from supplementing 5htp.  Start with a low dose of 100mg per day before bed & see how you go. Appropriate dosing is quite variable with some people needing up to 400mg but if you increase, wait some time to observe the effects as clearance rates will also vary & you may get some build up at the outset.

You can support your neurotransmitters nutritionally with good quality protein, (particularly animal derived which contains the complete spectrum of the amino acid building blocks for proteins), however, supplementation is often more effective when an additional boost is required to boost depleted levels.  If you had any depression pre tramadol, you may have a predisposition to lower than optimum levels in which case ongoing supplementation may be beneficial.

Food would be my first preference for sources of general nutrition but d-phenylalanine does not occur in dietary sources so it's not possible to supplement by eating.  If you have high blood pressure, any phenylalanine supplementation may be unwise.




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by madtram, Mar 13, 2009
David, Emily is the klonopin expert,so is best placed to answer any questions about it.

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by bodegirl, Mar 13, 2009
Hey all,
Does anyone have a natural sleep remedy?  Its been 13 days off tram and I have barely slept since quitting. I cant take ambien because I'm pregnant, at least not until after 12 weeks the doctor said.  I'm starting to feel so bad that I can barely function, let alone go to work every morning where I need to be "on" to sixteen 4 year olds-AGH!!!(They must wonder what happened to the energetic, upbeat me....)
When I go to bed, I feel like my heart is beating so fast and I even find it hard to breathe(never experienced that part before)......it hasnt gotten any better.  Does anyone else have these issues that you resolved with an herbal/natural remedy?  
Thanks so much in advance,
bodegirl
p.s. other w/d symptoms I still have are sneezing(whats that about?), yawning, stomache cramping, foggy head feeling, lethargy........when will this go AWAY????

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by ualunatik2, Mar 13, 2009
I have never posted online before so please forgive me if this doesn't sound right. I know I'm late on this one, but I didn't think you'd mind yet some more input on the "morality" issue.  I know this can sound like a matter of semantics but it really isn't.  Have you ever heard the expression that we can "hate the sin but love the sinner?"  I'm sure many of us have lived that line at least once.  One of the problems with bringing morality into the recovery process is that while we hold ourselves accountable for the havoc and hurt we caused it becomes too easy to absorb that and turn it into SHAME.  Our mistakes, bad choices etc become Who we are, as opposed to what we have done or What we are (addicts). Shame can turn into a viscious cycle of negative thinking that can prompt you to continue to numb yourself from that aweful feeling.  That is not what Recovery or 12 Step programs are about. They are meant to be a safe place to share your thoughts, your demons and your triumphs and to reach out for a hand when you feel like you're drowning. For some of us it is so hard to get to the point where we can forgive ourselves for all the damage we caused. If and when we can achieve that sort of acceptance, we can take those lessons learned and be proactive so we try not to end up there again.  That is really hard to do if you are being judged on the General Public's (false) moral compass.  I am not the mistakes I made. I am the same mother who loves her husband and children but I do it so much better now!  I've always told my kids "You are going to make mistakes. I did. Thats how you will learn.You need to know 2 things: 1. I will still love you  and 2. Your actions will have consequences. Live, learn and move on...

It won't be easy but you can seperate the behavior from the person if they are woking toward +change.

Thanks for letting me share my opinion.

Tammy

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by kevzx81, Mar 13, 2009
ualunatik2 (?)- Yes. If I was sane/healthy by society's measure then I'd be REALLY worried about my condition.(lol?)

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by FinallyFred, Mar 13, 2009
Good (morning?) Kev.  Sitting here waking up with my coffee - thinking of you and your cornflakes, there miles away, yet so close.

Was laying in bed this morning before the alram went off...thinking.

Thinking about some of us "in the program", whose lives were touched & rescued not by THAT program, but by this one.  

Rescued by the angles here like Emily and madtram, who allow us to contemplate our tramadol troubles in private...and to venture into a discussion HERE about our addiction ...and for many of us (me) this WAS/IS THAT place where some of us were able to face our demons head on and find the HOPE which we could find in no other place.  

So as strongly as believe in "the program", it wasn't that program that showed me hope.  It was THIS forum.  

As I start my Friday...

Before the stressors of what waits before me hits...

I meditate with GRADITUDE...

At what change you all have made possible for me today...

To face my world without trams...  

In a way that nobody or no other thing  could have done...

By showing me that HOPE exists for the hopeless...

And that power and strength  can be found in my powerlessness...

To launch a renewed attack today...

On this drug that would seek to KILL us who linger with it...

Tramadol never did me any favors.   It wormed it's way into my psyche with LIES and POWERS over me that should be outlawed.  Taking me down bit by bit, as it had me crying out for more of it's destructive sway.

So this morning as I set out, I am SWELLING with a graditude for you, Emily... and for those here @ this forum, for offering me hope in ways that exceeded anything I could have ever hoped or dreamed of.  A way out.

Courage and Strength to all who read this.

Fred





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by KC67, Mar 13, 2009
Bodegirl,
((HUGS)) to you.  I can't imagine the deep tiredness of pregnancy IN ADDITION to the extreme lethargy of Tram. withdrawal.  

I just wanted to write to encourage you that everything you are experiencing is typical Tram. withdrawal stuff and it DOES get better.  With me, it is still continuing to improve, although I wish I could say that I was back to 100% function.  I am currently at Day 32 Tram-Free and I still have occasional heart-racing/anxiety and breathing issues.  I just have to force myself to take in deep breaths and breathe out slowly and they eventually subside.  These happen especially at night.

As for sleep, yes - at Day 13 I was having major sleep issues.  I felt like a walking zombie during the day.  What I have noticed is everyone is different.  Some people have only a little bit of insomnia, while others (like me), STILL struggle with it.  That too is getting better for me - but as Emily has said, these withdrawals are so random they will try to drive you crazy.  Just when you think you have turned a corner, you suffer another "hit".  I can't tell you how many times I asked myself over the past 30+ days, "Is this EVER going to end???!!!!!"  

I take comfort in reading Emily's journal for the day I am currently on and everyone else's posts.  From what I have read, this drug takes a LONG time to get out of our bodies.  "Weeks and weeks" as Fred aptly put it.  I am not saying this to discourage you, but to prepare you for a long-term battle.  If you are prepared, you will win this fight.  And it's worth winning.  

The more days I put between my last dose, the more I see what a dangerous and poisonous drug this is.  It messes with your brain chemicals and gets stored in your very cells & tissue - which explains why it takes so long for our bodies to rid itself of it.

Of course ask your doctor this, but when I was pregnant, my doctor allowed me to have Tylenol PM after 13 weeks.   See if this would be "ok" to take.  I know how important sleep is and my heart goes out to you for being pregnant AND having to work with pre-school children (I used to teach Pre-school music and I KNOW how much energy it requires) AND withdrawing from this horrendous drug.  

Last, the sneezing FINALLY subsided around Day 25 for me.  I couldn't believe how long it took!  But think of sneezing as a way to rid your nasal membranes from pollen, dust, or other foreign particles that do not need to be there.  Think of each sneeze as ridding your nasal membranes of more Tram. poison.

My best wishes go out to you and I hope you get to feeling better soon!
With love and hope,
KC

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by kb829, Mar 13, 2009
I have been on this website for a few days now reading all of your inspiring stories and advice. I really thought I was the only one out there with this Tramadol problem. I have chronic pain from a back surgery 6 years ago. I was on Vicodin for a long time and about a year and a half ago I was put on Tramadol, which I thought was a "miracle drug". Well I was pretty wrong about that. I am on day four of withdrawal from the Tram, and doing it cold turkey. Everything that I read from all of your postings is like you are reading my mind. Especially the fact that everyone on here just wants to be normal again. That is what I tell my husband everyday. I just feel like a victim being put on this drug when I had no idea what it really was. I really hope the truth comes out about this horrible drug. Maybe if more people could find out about it, many lives could be saved before they pulled into this drug's evil grasp. I think of all of you as heroes and I just wanted to show my respect and gratitude for all of you .

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by kevzx81, Mar 13, 2009
The insane logic of society has been under the microscope here lately so I thought I'd share a true story that really sums up how control-freak crazy it can be.

This story is 100% true in every detail, hand on heart. Except(possibly) the machine gun turrets.

At the allotment site there is a group of busy-bodies who formed a committee 3 years back. Having been involved( as Im sure you have) in committee activities before I knew better than to get involved. But each month we get a newsletter updating us of their latest misguided antics. Being an allotment site, children cause some minor damage but nothing significant has ever been stolen or broken. But the busy-bodies are outraged! "HOW DARE THEY" they cry! So last year the committee raised 3000quid to put padlocked gates at each end of the path. Due to the large square cut out of these gates to accomodate unlocking, children can easily step up and over. Further outrage ensues.
Meanwhile my shed has been broken into but the only thing taken is a jar of broad bean seeds.I ignored the oddity of this as after all 'who knows with kids'?!?! Anyway the next thing is,we have a hedging team turn up to spend a further 2000quid to build even more boundaries. Im gazing in wonder at this last sunday, and scratching my head at the logic of it all when who turns up but the chairman himself. I invited him onto my plot and pointed out the small electrical substation at the bottom where any one could climb over easily and which the allotment committee had no jurisdiction over. He ignored this and talked over me so I made him stop and listen. I tried to explain that spending 1000s on security to protect my jar of beans was a tad over-reactive and that we could do nothing to keep kids (how dare they!) out anyway. So why not chill and just enjoy until/unless something more important than stolen beans threatens our happiness?
Well I wont be invited onto the committee any year soon which is fine by me. He didnt look pleased! LMFAO when he left!! Im expecting the machine gun turrets to go up any week now!!!

You have to laugh, hey?

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by HOPEreturns, Mar 13, 2009
Hello ALL!

Kev... so nice to see you posting.  Something stood out when reading one of your posts.  I read something along the lines of not feeling validated.  Oh how I struggled with that in my childhood.  I am also struggling with this at work.  It has kicked me into wanting to take THE PILLS!!  I am hoping that I am not creating negative energy here, but I know you all have very good advice and opinions that I truly respect!  I can say something is black and she is going to fight tooth and nail proving that it is white!  She is one of the charge nurses, and everytime I work for her, she constantly on my a ss, and picks everything that I do apart!   I may sound a little dramatic here, but I truly feel violated and sometimes emotionally abused by this woman!  She does not do this to everybody.  When giving her a patient report, she interrupts me and assumes what I am about to say and then says I was wrong.  I have gotten to where I am stooping to her level and I become really short with her.  She sort of insults my intelligence so to speak.  She tells me I need to do things a certain way after I already have.  This is really playing with my addiction!!!  When I was taking soooo many trams, I didnt care what anyone said!  I actually have a few co-workers that have mentioned that they can tell that she is very hard on me.  The other day I had to feel out an order from a physician.  I was filing it away in the chart, she grabbed in and said  really loud "HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON!!!!"  Then she said, "Oh you DID sign it.  I thought you didnt.   Then the other day, I had documented somthing that required my initials, time of procedure etc.  I was fixing to file it.  It got grabbed again out of my hand..... I was told, wait a minute, you didn initial..... Oh here it is.  It was then handed back to me.  There are several examples I give you all, but will try to avoid boring you all with more details.

Fred.... what are your views on this. I am curious as to what you think the problem might be.  Maybe this will help me deal with this better.  Everyone else that I work with is pretty great.  I know this really has nothing to do with weaning or recovering from the TRAMS, but this situation is really messing with me and DOES have an effect on me trying to wean from this RAT POOH!  This has been going on since I have worked there, but is now bothering me as I become less dependent on my medication.  

I would love to have any input or feedback from anyone!

Thank you
Hugs to everyone!
Hope

I want to wish you all much luck in your continued recovery and weaning!!!

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by HOPEreturns, Mar 13, 2009
Kev, LOVE YOUR ATTITUDE in dealing with the chairman!!  I must tell you... I DID laugh!  Maybe I need to use you this tactic at my job!  IRONIC... I just read your post directly after I posted myself!

Love
Hope

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by DavidM3, Mar 13, 2009
Hello madtram

NO insomnia, im always up late, im used to 2nd shift hours. I do take other meds like depakote and metoprolol. I dont take the zoloft anymore because my insurance dosent cover the name brand just the generic which gave me side effects I didnt like. Especially waking up with my jaw muscles clenched and grinding my teeth.

Im on day 4 tram free. Woke up feeling good but now I feel really crappy. Just like a mad at the world feeling. Im usually a laid back, easy going person. Hope it dosent last all day. I want to find the moron who invinted tramadol and WWE his A$$!!!

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by madtram, Mar 13, 2009
Der Kev, loved your story, finding humour in a situation almost always improves my perspective.  A very sad illustration of how taking our individual rights to the extreme happened while I was visiting my sister.  A home owner chased a young tagger who had just defaced his fence & stabbed him to death.  No denying that tagging & petty theft are annoying but the more divisions we create between us & them, the more likely we will end up living in walled off compounds with machine gun turrets, being scared to venture out.

David, glad to hear u don't have insomnia, it made recovery so much slower for me.  5htp does not appear to be contraindicated for use with depakote.  Many people find that 5htp dos not cause the teeth grinding,dry mouth etc side effects associated with SSRIs so may be worth a try for u.

Bodegirl, I feel for u, insomnia was a huge problem for me, can only suggest you try some of the herbal rems I messaged u.  Lack of sleep can make everything seem so much harder but this battle will end & an early cease fire may be just around the corner to give u some relief.

Best to all,
M


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by FinallyFred, Mar 14, 2009
KB829 from Pittsburg:  Welcome and congratulations on making it through the hardest/ worst part of this withdrawal. By the time you wake up (assuming you slept) you will definately be on the downhill slope of the worst of things.  You are doing wonderfully.  Try not to forget that recovery is not always linear.  EVERY day should, but doesn't necessarily become easier that the day before.  I always took hope in knowing that it wa a good thing every day I put between where I was at and my last tramadol.

So you too discovered all the similarities in our withdrawal symptoms, huh?  Yeppers. For a harmless, non-addictive, safe alternative to "REAL" opiates, this thing sure kicks our butts in nearly EXACTLY the same way as the next person, huh?  It is amazing that people of all sorts of ages, backgrounds, and from all over the world are struck in very much the same way as we say BYE BYE to the trams.  

I am so sorry that you were put on this drug without fair warning.  The TRUTH about TRAMADOL is hidden welll within the profit/loss statements of the manufacturing and distrubition companies peddling this stuff.  The TRUTH is hidden well below the pretty smiles, hot sandwiches,  and baseball tickets offered by those gorgous marketing reps, who always seem to slip IN past me as I wait my turn at the doctor's office.   The TRUTH is hidden behind the broken drug adminstrations of the world.     BUT...I am so ((proud)) of what you have accomplished and the determination you have to rid yourself of this nasty RAT drug.  Keep positng to let us know how you are doing, OK?


Kev, I loved your story ABOUT THE BIG DEAL OVER NOT SO MUCH.  It was sort of humerous, but you also offered a stark reminder of what lays out there; fixing to to steal our joy...if we let it/them.  Liked the way you put it, "So why not chill and just enjoy until/unless something more important than stolen beans threatens our happiness?"  Well said. We MUST get to our allotment plots in life, to interact with others, and to not get wigged out about the little stuff.   (breathes)

I am thinking about fears and resentments tonight.  And my tendancy in life to be a "frustrated perfectionist"  People, places and things that tend to make me crazy.  My inability to live up to my own irrational expectations of myself.  Those fears and resentments that people like me want to take things like TRAMS to forget.

I am a social creature, but I am also painfully aware of how a few choice licks from society (Chairman of the allotment plot) can send me right back into my figurative hole.  Into isolation.  And that's not a healthy place for me to go right now.  That's where tram sent me on a daily basis.  I need to be with people.  To joke with the cashier helping me at the store.  To think less seriously of myself...and to think more about other's well being.

While at first, I came by the trams honestly,  I soon began to use it to to isolate, to numb, to vacation from the whirling world around me, and to forge my own brand of rerality as I zipped through the world's reality with the hot iron of tramadol sizzle, that eventually popped.  When the mind numbing hole it sent me to became WORSE than the whirling world around me, worse than the people-situations I sought to cut up with my tramadol knife.  But alas, REALITY won.   And that tram fog I had created became worse than TRUE reality itself.  

I apoligize in advance that this post isn't probably doing much for those in days 1-4.  But as we begin to put days between ourselves that that  tramafog state we existed in, the tram-a-zone is replaced with our new, albeit fragile reality.  Some people can explain this process in a bio-chemical manner, but all I know is experientual truths I have observed in myself and others.

Some days I feel like sobriety is as fragile as  the groundhog, that pokes it's head out of the hole - and has to decide if it is clear to come out or not.  Better yet, picture that game you see in arcades, "bonk a mole" or whatever it's called.  Where all those moles pop their heads out of their holes and the arcadist tries to BONK em on the head and knock them back into their holes.    SOME  days, sobriety feels like that - poking our heads up and taking our chances on being bonked back into our proverbial hole.

Those kinds of "white knuckle , popping my head out and expecting to be bonked days" in sobriety aren't healthy.

Several months ago, I was having to spend a fair amount of time commuting in rush hour traffic.  Iv'e driven in LA, New York, Philly  and Wasington D.C., and I'd put Seattle's freeway system right up there with the WORST of them.  As in a 35 mile drive usually takes two hours in rush hour traffic (which is between 5-10 A.M. and 2:30-7 p.m..)  One tends to become irrationally angry with other drivers in those situtions.  A situation primed to steal your joy without a moment's notice.  From peace and calm to ZINGER in a heart beat.  

Someone suggested that I try to vision/picture "people" in those other cars...not just other "drivers".  So I began fancying that my son was in the car ahead of me.  Or that the old lady who couldn't see over the dash board was my mom.  It's hard to get angry at your son, no matter what he does.  You get the picture.  And I began relaxing more, even having compassion for the poor person who suddenly who cut in front of me.  Just examples of getting outside ourselves and caring about other people, so that what they do, doesn't speak louder than who they are.

Hope, you wanted my input on your situation with the cranky, critical , self righteous person at work. Yes, I struggled not to use the B word.  I have been a corporate lawyer for WAY too long and have seen far too much of "office politics" and games.  My suggestion is based on years of being on one side or the other of these "issues" .

Questions (rhetorical, meaning you can answer only for yourself if you wish)  Does this woman excercize "postion power" over you.  I.E. is she your supervisor or someone who "outranks" you?  Cause if that's the case, even if you feel you are smarter than her, if she holds "position power" over you, your only viable choices are to suck it up and not fight her, or look for another position.  And I make this suggestion based on many years of arguing with people who hold position power over me - with meager results and a whole lot of unhappiness. (Sniff Sniff.)

On the other hand, if she is your equal, I would first try to talk with the lady and if that isn't working, I would go to her boss and explain how you are feeling.  Use lots of "I" statements when you talk to her or her boss.  i.e., "when you take papers out of my hands, I feel like_________________"   This falls under-  accepting the things you can't change and changing the things you can.

Resentments and fears -things that can cause me to feel like I need some mind numbing drug like TRAM to climb into.  And after decades of running,  I am finally figuring out that I am better off dealing with reality than walking away from it.

God grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Goodnight to all (I hope)  :)

Fred

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by FinallyFred, Mar 14, 2009
Emily.  If a "window" opens up for you and your eyeballs can read...you'll just have to deal with the fact that we LOVE you and we think you are doing SO bravely wonderful on your benzo taper.  I can't even begin to imagine what it is like.  

But YOU are our HERO, my hero ANGEL (yes, I called some here "Angles" the other day, my bad).  I know you can't feel all proud and lofty right now...but you literally saved my life by starting and continuing this forum with your oh so smart bread crums sprinkled on the interwebs to lead us all to you.  You gifted us with possibility and HOPE.

So how can I say thanks for the things you have done for me?
Things so undeserved, yet you paved the way for myself and so many others to find HOPE.
Nothing else in MY world served to show me it was POSSIBLE to ever beat this thing.
Nothing else would do 'cept you and the couragous voice you gave to beating this evil drug.  

You are an angel just waiting for your wings Emily.

And when you eventually come out the other side of benzos, Katie bar the door!  Because I don't believe many of us have yet "experienced" the Emily who authored our salvation.  The real Emily covered in blankets and parkas at the moment.

So we'll just keep hanging around and sending you love and support until you get through this.  30 days won't last forever.  You'll get through this.  

Fred

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by HOPEreturns, Mar 14, 2009
Fred,

Thanks for the input... you said exactly what I needed to hear.  Its nice to get a biased opinion.  I just absolutely love hearing advice from you!   I'm gonna used the " I " suggestion!  

Yes... I need to join you in thanking our "Angel" Emily as well!  Emily, I do not know if you realize what you have done, but you have and are continuing to make such a difference in peoples lives!  Thank you for that!

Love
Hope

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by EmilyPost, Mar 14, 2009
So sad that I am on and off so profoundly stupid.

Been thinking about all of this. As I have told you, I am a person who has had to withdraw from many many pills. Each time, there's symptoms. Each time I remind myself that I've been there before. Same road, but someone has changed all the road signs.

Many years ago, when I was younger, I trained as a lifeguard. I was always very physical and that certainly has not changed. I feel better when I work out, and eat well. But when I was 15-18 years old, I really was in incredible shape. Lifeguard training was hard.  I was the tallest girl in the class and so they paired me up wth the tallest (biggest) boy. I Had to haul that guy across the pool, arm wrapped around him, side stroke. Had to grab him from the deep end over and over and over and pull him up while he resisted wth all his strength.

One day we swam many laps (100?) in the pool dressed in all our clothes, jeans, sweater and Tennis shoes.

Lesson; don't swim away from a boat in your darn clothes, Crazy.

There's alotta lessons that they taught me that particular summer. One ... get this. Was that if you approach a panicked swimmer, you have one shot. You approach and from a safe distance, meaning they cannot grab you, you ask them to calm down. You use a particular tone. When they calm down, you can go rescue them.

If they do not calm down, you either

A. Let them drown or

B. Swim up and smack them.

Yes. Literally hit them.

Punch them in the head ... Hard. Hopefully; knock them out.

This is to prevent the panicked swimmer from grabbing you and dragging you both to a watery death. It's easier to save an unconscious person than a panicked one.

The number of times that summer that we "mimic-ed" what it was like to drown was extreme. People held my head under water, stood on me, yanked me under. We drug cinder blocks underwater across the pool.  I sucked up ALOT of water and I still wonder if my Mother had known what the lifeguard training entailed would she have let me continue? Wisely, I said nothing to her until many years later. Color her shocked! Poor Churchlady!

So ..; the lesson is, you can only save people who WANT to be saved.

And here's how it ties in to Benzo w/d. The symptoms are very much like drowning. Was pretty convinced yesterday that I was drowning. Only; I was not drowning. It was only a near drowning. Klonopin smacked me unconscious and someone saved me ... again.

Which leads me to story number two. Two years after the lifeguard training camp  was at a beach, Huntington Beach as a matter a fact. Ocean swimming was not something  was familiar with and I certainly knew  nothing about undertows. Undercurrents are the cement blocks under the sea.  I was strong, freakishly so, which I am now, in certain ways.

I ran straight into the water ignoring the flags. Red flag = Undercurrent.  I swam directly into the undertow (aka Rip Tide)  and promptly got slammed and trapped. Being a strong swimmer I was in denial for a few waves. The waves came crashing down on top of my head and I was trapped in the undercurrent, meaning I could not swim back to shore.

I went under and each time  came up I would be slammed by a another wave. Under the water, I was being tossed about in circles. Spin cycle, no clue which way to the oxygen ...They call that "being tossed in the washing machine." Which is exactly what it feels like. Water up my nose. gasping for breathe, I was trapped. I started to panic. Each time I tried to swim forward, the undertow grabbed me and yanked me back out.

Not having an understanding of why the people on shore all looked so calm, I remember thinking ... "why hasn't a lifeguard spotted me and come out?" Then under  i would go until ... finally one of my feet kicked me out and I literally washed up on the sand ... in about 6 inches of water at the FEET of the (extremely attractive) Lifeguard.

Yes, gasping for breath, sand all over me, and up my nose ... literally wiped out.

Stupid Lifeguard says, "Are you ok?"

I say, "Why weren't you there?" Literally laying on the sand exhausted.

He says, "I was just coming to get you. You had me worried, there's an undertow today. Didn't you see the flag?"

Didn't you see the flag? No. Actually. Because I wasn't an ocean swimmer, the flag meant nothing to me. Much less knowing what an under current was. To get out of the undertow ... I would have had to relax into it.

I would have had to release all my impulses and let the current swing me out wide and long and drop me off say ... 5-10 Mlles down shore. But naturally .. how could I know?

So sitting here in an open window, I'm starting to see the klonopin w/d symptoms as an undertow, the Benzos being so much like the Sea. At first, so soothing, calming, feels natural. And then the clouds roll in. And you are in withdrawal tolerance. Sucking in sand wth only the memories of what it used to be like.

Near death experiences don't always have a white light ...

The Benzo bastages will drown you. The feeling as you come up out of the washer; Only to See another massive wave about to crash down on your head ... that's Benzos. Thinking you have control; when you do not. You only have the power to dive as quickly as you can back under the wave. Which; in my case, is the very last thing I wanted to do.

Panicked swimmer ... meet lifeguard.

Who is about to punch you in the face.

And yeah. That's all  have to say about that, Gump.

Except this; .3 mg last night ...

.3 ...

yes ... and another cut soon ...

On my way out; undertow or not ...

Love and Healing,
Em

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by KC67, Mar 14, 2009
Emily,
Fred speaks the truth in calling you an "angel".

And I was choked up when I read his words to you, "when you eventually come out the other side of benzos, Katie bar the door!  Because I don't believe many of us have yet "experienced" the Emily who authored our salvation.  The real Emily covered in blankets and parkas at the moment."

Perfectly written.  

Thank you Emily...for saving lives with your courage.

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC


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by priceiswright, Mar 14, 2009
Haven't had a chance to read through the posts but just wanted to check in and say Hi! I am still tramadol free and doing well. I will write more soon but wanted to give hugs to everyone!!!

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by kb829, Mar 14, 2009
Finding this website has been a true blessing. I am on day 5 now and luckily I got about 6 hours of sleep! :)  I am having the symptoms all of you have described. Fine one second the next like ****. I now know that I can do this because I would never want to do days 1-3 EVER AGAIN! LOL I do have one question if anyone could let me know if they experienced this. I get out of breath when I am just walking around. It is very strange I have no other health problems except the back thing.
Fred- Thank you for your encouraging words, I really appreciate it. This has been a huge decision  in my life and I am glad I am doing it. I have a five year old son and he will have his Mom back! You are right about these drug companies and reps that go into the dr's office.  Everyone wants to make a buck at any cost.
I will keep posting here. I send all of you strength, courage, and the ability to never give up even when you think there is no hope.

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by pdavis3234, Mar 14, 2009
i wish all of you the best of luck. i am as well trying to get off of Tremadol. i am on day 3 of being pill free, withdrawels are really minor just im tired all the time and i get cravings. i wish you all the best out there and im here for anyone who needs help or even just some support.

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by priceiswright, Mar 14, 2009
Wow! I think I've been reading for two hours but it felt so good. It reminded me why I am fighting this battle and the reason I am still successful. It is so nice to come here and get HOPE and SUPPORT.

Fred - always nice to read your wisdom.
KC, Dave - I was so excited to read through the posts and see your success.
Shadetree, Kev - you both have had very insightful posts over the past week that have certainly struck a chord.

Regarding withdrawal symptoms, I find myself curious about the sneezing? Emily posted on the yawning but why do we sneeze when withdrawing? For me, it hasn't stopped. I think I am day 16 or 17..........

My head is still not clear and I don't have much energy or wit. BUT coming here makes me feel proud. I was on vacation and glad to be back. I'll check in more.

HUGS!


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by kevzx81, Mar 14, 2009
Hope- Good to see you posting. My take on the 'disempowering colleague' is about the same as Freds'. That way you do get to assert your feelings and thoughts each time an 'event' takes place. Also, there is an inherent challenge to respond,which if my guess is correct, will get more difficult for her each time. I have no way of knowing if you can win this one, I bow to Freds extensive experience regarding no-win personality/power games.

And yet again Im wishing I could share just one coffee with you Fred.....

I want to thank everyone for posting, its become my breakfast cafe each day.
There is usually some inspiration, new ideas and often a sad story or two which touches my heart. To some folk this might seem a strange or even morbid way to start the day, in a room of people in pain, grief,w/ds,injuries et al.
Truth is, folks who know they are unwell and support each others recovery make better company than those outside my door,who sadly, seem oblivious to their own suffering. Outside my door waits discouragement, sabotage, bullying, mind-games....the list is endless. But not here.

To randomly qoute a doctor...' The patient is in pain but conscious.'

I'll share my breakfast with him then, before dealing with those who are ' seeking pleasure whilst asleep'.

Emily- This benzo thing sounds like a really dark trip! Myself, I cant even swim. Im sad that I cant build you a light-house.
Im sure that I speak for us all when I say that we long to see the day you are finally over this awful w/d.








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by MT_DJ, Mar 15, 2009
Well its been just over 24 hours since I took my last tram. I'm really not going to get into why I started and how long its been going on. I'll just say it has been an up and down battle for a very long time. I have tried stopping several other times before. Even once a few years ago I stopped completely and when I went back to my Doc. to see what I could do for my cronic pain he offered me oxys and the others like that. So I just ended up back on trams again. Sometimes i'll get to day three or four and say screw it and call my doc and get more. Oh ya, I was injured in the Army and they give me just about whatever I want if I just ask. Thanks VA? Anyway, I thought maybe this time would be different, maybe with support of others or trying something like the Thomas Recipe. I don't have to work for awhile so I can take all the time I need. Well at least a month anyway. And yes this is cold turkey. I will try to keep up and let everyone know how the Thomas Recipe actually works, after doing this once before without it. Even though before I wasn't taking near the amount I take today, or actually yesterday for that matter.

Symtoms at 24hrs: I started having the runs about 12hrs ago. Immodium has taken care of that. About 3 hours ago I started having the sneezing, yawning, and just flu-like symptoms. Sitting in bed right now watching t.v. feeling fairly comfortable. I took 1mg Ativan about and hour ago, and plan to take a ambien for sleep soon. I have really weird sleeping issues anyway because of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I was in Iraq for a while if any was wondering where that came from. Oh ya, I did take the vitamins on the Thomas Recipe about two hours ago. I'll let everyone know how things are going asap. I say it that way because I don't really know when I'll write again.

Also I'd like to say I'm really glad I found this post. Now I know that there are people out there just like me with this problem. A ploblem that I truely believe has stemmed from the ignorance of our medical professionals. I'm not saying that all are bad, but If you are going to give someone a medication you should at least know what it does. Maybe it goes deeper than that though and they have just been lied to also. I don't know, either way its time to stop.

Thanks, D.J.



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by FinallyFred, Mar 15, 2009
KB from Pittsburg,  My mom was born and raised in PA and is a Penn State grad.  I love your State.  You said, "This has been a huge decision  in my life and I am glad I am doing it. I have a five year old son and he will have his Mom back!

Absolutely, this is one of the most important things that a person hooked on the trams can EVER do for them selves.  You still have a FEW more difficult days ahead of you, but hopefully someone can help you?...since I am fairly sure you feel like you have a bad case of the flu right about now, yes?  I'll let someone else here comment on the "out of breath" thing.  Never experienced that one myself, but the SNEEZING is an absolute hallmark of tram withdrawal.  I believe KC said she sneezed for nearly 30 days.  I always thought that was one of the more "silly" symptoms that I experienced.  Just part of the package as the tram leaves your body.  Stay strong!  You will SURVIVE THIS.

PDAVIS, Congratulations on entering into the frey.  It's hard for me to believe it, but I was your age once.  I figured that I would live FOREVER (and some days, my wife now tells me that I apparently have achieved this).  (smile) The point is, it is easy when we are young to think that these addictions can be put off for another day.  In my experience, these things tend to become progressively worse not better/easier.  I wish you well.

***

For some reason, I have been singing an old blues standard all day to myself, by Jimmie Cox from 1923

Nobody Knows You when Your'e Down and Out

Once I lived the life of a millionaire
Spending my money, I didn't care
I carried my friends out for a good time
Bying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine

Then I began to fall so low
I didn't have a friend, and no place to go
So if I ever get my hand on a dollar again
I'm gonna hold on to it till them eagle's green

Nobody knows you when you down and out
In my pocket not one penny
And my friends I haven't any
But If I ever get on my feet again
Then I'll meet my long lost friend
It's mighty strange, without a doubt
Nobody knows you when you down and out
I mean when you down and out
...

When I arrived here just after Thanksgiving last year, I surely felt "down and out" with respect to the hopelessness I felt about EVER getting off this drug.   BUT UNLIKE THE WORDS IN THE ABOVE SONG, people here DID know me as I ventured to tell you about my problems.  I thought I was terminally UNIQUE.    Nobody else had experienced counting pills, withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis - even when I tried to follow my good doctor's orders.  

But strangly, I quickly learned that I was NOT unique.  And I grabbed hold of the possibility tha if I did what others here had done, I would get what they got - freedom from this powerful drug.

If you aren't into blues, skip the song.  Butif you are interested,  Eric Clapton and MANY others have videos on U Tube if you are interested in hearing it.  Kev, when we meet for coffee, would you play this for me?  I'll sing it if you play it?  

A little diversion.  A little levity.  Sorry about that!  Now back to reality.  

Emily,  I am SO grateful that you had some moments to share how this benzo thing is going - akin to drowning.  Gasp!  Horrid stuff.  But today you are ONE day closer to the light at the end.  So glad you didn't drown today.  

I'm with Kev, SAD I can't build you a light house. (Very profound Kev!)  To shine a bright beacon for you to see, in those times when you come up for air,  even if there is only a CHANCE that you might catch of glimpse of the light house Kev would build...in the distance... EVEN if you could only see it one time as you come up for air.  

Well be fine here, please don't worry about us.  We'll hold on to each other and help one another through the tram journeys ...just don't drown, OK?  Let the "Tramadol and Ultram Withdrawal" house that you built, be the light house that is shinning for you on the shore. We'll have a beach party on that shore waiting for you.  I'm seeing a (good looking!) lifeguard carring a bundle of firewood.  I'll bring some carafes of Seattle's best coffee for us to sip on.  Someone else is bringing tunes.  I can see another carrying warm blankets to lay on.  It will be OK, you'll see EM.

(((Price)))  I have the utmost respect for you.  I mean this damn tram withdrawal isn't any fun in the first place, but you came back to do it all again.  The measure of a person isn't what we have done yesterday, but what we are doing right now.  Utmost respect for you Price. You said, "My head is still not clear and I don't have much energy or wit. BUT coming here makes me feel proud. I was on vacation and glad to be back. I'll check in more."  

Price, you should feel proud!.  You have put more than two weeks between yourself and your last trams.   Let's NONE of us ever forget what that first several days of withdrawal is like.  This stuff defies all sensability.  GRRRR TRAM.

I'm a fairly impatient guy, and like others, I was dissappointed that I wasn't catching tigers and bending em around my will by the time I hit 7 or 14 days out.  But as I have put more days between my last tram and me, my impatience has turned to respect and distain for this awful drug.  RESPECT, because, yes, my energy and wit was not what it once was - at 16 days or even 30 days out.  Sleeplessness at 40 days sometimes?  You bet.  But I havealso  grown to have DISTAIN for a drug that can impact me as a person so long after I took my last pill.  We are a "I want it now" culture".  It seems inconceivable that it's HOOKS can take that long to work out of my system.  

I returned to work on day 7 and my vision was so blurry that I had to constantly wipe my eyes to see the monitor.  My "wit" was weak, my humor lousy,  and my energy nearly non-existant.  I expected a triumphant return of the tramadol warrior by day 7.  What I  had was a noodle of a brain, nearly unable to balance my checkbook at that point, and I was expecting to change the world at work.  UNREALISTIC expectations of myself by that point and beyond.  Tramadol doesn't say goodbye quickly.  It got used to hanging out around my brain receptors and making me a zombie.  It was SHOCKED that I told it to go.  And it insisted on a LONG GOODBYE.  "weeks and weeks"

But does the fact that I am still affected by the damn tram 30-40 days out make me want to take more of the drug?

Nope.  Absolutely NOT!!!  On the contrary, this makes my resolve to never be under the spell of this drug EVER again more strong.  

On some level, I think we all need to occassionally get a little angry at what this drug has done to us.  What the doctors,  drug reps and manufacturers of this insane drug has brought into my life.  Beguiled by it's harmless nature, MILLIONS have fallen prey.  

But having begun a good thing, we simply CANNOT use "continuing issues" after initial withdrawal to cause our thinking to be clouded again into thinking a little (wink wink) of the  tram would do us any different this time than the last time it held sway over us.

In closing, here's a line that has always put things into prospective for me.  (holding church here with you all)  

"Things you appreciate tend to get better.

Things you depreciate tend to get worse."

Think about it.  Consider the application to all sorts of "things" in our lives.  The cars we drive, our relationships, our sobriety, big and simple "things".  

My memory foam mattress is calling my name.  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Courage strength and Upmost LOVE for each of you,


You are great!
You are great!
You are greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

Fred

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by FinallyFred, Mar 15, 2009
DJ,  Welcome and thank you for your deadly honest post, "I thought maybe this time would be different, maybe with support of others or trying something like the Thomas Recipe. I don't have to work for awhile so I can take all the time I need. Well at least a month anyway. And yes this is cold turkey. I will try to keep up and let everyone know how the Thomas Recipe actually works."

D.J., First of all, thank you for your service to this country.  I'm not sure that I could do what you have done.  You have my utrmost honor and respect.  My wife is constantly telling me, "you'd never have made it in the military".  She may be right.  I grew up in the Viet Nam era.  Lost some friends to that damned war.  (((Utmost respect for you D.J.)))

I would encourage you to click on Emily's picture/icon from her last post and scroll down on the page that come up and read all of her journal entires if you haven't already done so.  I believe that much of what worked for her (and I KNOW), what made THIS TIME different for me, was developing that attitude you must certainly have developed going into battle.  

I read in one of Emily's early journal entires a post she had lifted from someone by the name of "Cadillac Jack".  He is the one who made me realize that nothing short of a declaration of an all out WAR on this drug will enable me to succeed.  This isn't - um - something you TRY, it'ssomething you just NEED to gear up to DO.

It's no big deal.  It's just a matter of life or death.

You said that in times past, you have bailed at about day 3.  I get that.  Day 3-4 can be about the worst.  Fortunately, you said that you won't need to work for the next thirty days so this will give your WAR on this drug your undivided attention.  The intense withdrawal symptoms mimick the flue to a large degree.  For me, the inability to sleep, the stabbing pains in my feet were the worst.  If you can sleep, you are miles ahead of where I was.  

At 24 hours, you are ONLY about to begin to enter the batle.  You have prepared yourself well.  Now execute.  

Others here will come along with much better insights than I can offer on things you can do to ease the pain of withdrawal.  I basically made THIS battle the MOST important thing in my life for 5-6 days, gutted it out, and got through it.  Tiny moment by tiny moment, not allowing myself to look past right now.  No future tripping, no what ifs OK?

When you reach day 3 and consider bailing, think of the investment you have put into this thing.    You can make it.  You'll be OK.

You have done well preparing with the Thomas Recipe.  Helpful stuff for you.  

Looking forward to reading your posts going forward.

That's it for me tonight.  Glad you arrived here.  

Fred


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by bodegirl, Mar 15, 2009
Hi everyone,
Fred I love your posts. I also am a huge fan of Eric Clapton(especially Cream and Derek and the Dominos era) and will most definately look up that blues song on Utube.  

I've realized from reading all the posts that one MUST declare war on this horrible drug to beat it-that is the truth!  I feel all I have been focussing on is my acute physical symptoms that have gripped me these last 2 weeks, but there is SO much more to fight than just those physical ailments.  It is pure HELL to feel tired and lethargic everyday-the smallest tasks so difficult to accomplish-just barely scraping by with little to no sleep, but mentally, I know there is a bigger battle to be had and I want to be strong enough to win that war too.

I, like you Emily, was always very strong physically, a long distance runner, and rider(equestrian professional by trade).   I had a student fall off her horse during a regular lesson-she broke 6 bones in her body(pelvis, 2 vertibrae, 3 ribs), it was awful and though it was not my fault(riding accidents happen ALOT-horses can be unpredictable animals), it through me into a deep depression and acute awareness that I was her trainer and her body had practically broken in half in front of me.  I couldn't seem to get past it and tramadol filled up the the fear(of being sued), the guilt and shame that overcame me.  I was taking tram before that, but thats when it really consumed me.  That was in 2007 and I haven't taught a lesson since and feel like such a coward.  I needed to work so I became a preschool teacher which is so far from what I imagined myself doing.  I love kids, (have 2 of my own), but I do not have the energy or passion for this kind of work-maybe thats the w/ds talking-I dont know.  

As the trams took over my life I became less strong and more in that "tramafog" that you all have mentioned.  I thought tramadol gave me that extra edge, that extra energy and confidence and maybe it did at first, but then as I needed more and more to just feel "normal", I knew deep down I was a changed person-an addicted person. I stopped running, stopped riding/teaching, stopped being.  I became obsessed with buying things(weird!) and also detached from my husband who had caught me with the pills several times.  I had car accidents, nothing major, but I do believe they were due to being in the "fog".  I lied to keep my addiction alive and well and became a person that I would hate to be friends with. Dishonest, self consumed, wreckless!  I HATE me and am ashamed of so many things(riding accident is one of MANY incidents in 3 years-I will fill you all in another day).  BUT, I am in that battle to WIN now and get the old me back. I will not give in to that insanely dark drug, not today and not again.

My fear right now is that my body and mind have been so altered in these last 3 years that I wonder if I will ever get to be that person I used to be.   I am proud that I have made it to day 15, but I am so scared that my energy will not come back....will it?  (back to my pyhsical ailments, sorry) Can someone reassure me?  I know we all heal at different rates, but I only feel a tiny bit better than I did a week ago or maybe even just the same.  It's the, "I can't get up or off the couch feeling"-I can't stand it!!!  Still feeling those "brain zaps" too....anyone else at this stage? I will fight to beat this but need reassurance that I will feel better some day.... Many of you have already been so reassuring, I guess I just need to hear it over and over to make it through this horrible time.  

Emily, I feel your pain(literally).  I feel I'm in that washing machine undertow right now. You are not alone.   We are all with you.  I keep saying one foot in front of the other and breathe in, breathe out.   One second at a time, one day at a time.  (btw,I would LOVE to learn more about your yoga backround, I am so impressed.)
My best wishes for you and all the others fighting the battle.  

LOVE
bodegirl

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by MT_DJ, Mar 15, 2009
7:10am have been tossing and turning. I took an ambian and a ativan about 4 hours ago to no avail. Besides the lack of sleep I don't really feet too bad yet. No sweets or RLS yet. I guess i'm just up for the day now. I'm not tired at all. After what I went through in the Army with the sleep deprivation stuff I don't think this part of withdrawl will bother me to much. I can always find something to do, and there really is no reason to lay in bed and try to sleep if your not going to anyway. Well, I guess I'll go make some breakfast and take my dogs for a walk, and get some excercies. I'll let you all know if anything changes.

D.J.

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by EmilyPost, Mar 15, 2009
Awwee Thank you all for the well wishes. Yes, one day closer. I went on Friday afternoon to this amazing place close to my Office where they do incredible Chinese Reflexology and massage. The place is run on a cash basis, as many of the places here are. A mere $20 cash for an hour of some serious body work. Massage of course always carries the risk of "detox" hitting you full force. So Saturday Morning, I had three hours of sleep, woke up denched in sweat. Literally felt as though someone had dumped out 20 ounces of water all over me and needless to say, Super Confused.

Yes. So foolishly I thought, "I'm fine. I'll pretend this is not happening and go to work." Then the stupidity hit. DH had left for his job and I could not find my keys. No extra key, DH has it. I call and ask if he accidentally took my keys. Nope. And as I am panicking, I start to shake all over. This is how you know you could actually have a seizure coming off Benzos. It's intensely physical. So, after being beaten and washed up on shore, I gave up. Called into work and once again LIED MY *** OFF.

Seriously. *eye roll* These Drugs; are a$$-a-wholes!

Kev don't think I've forgotten  you writing this; "I've been thinking about your definition of love-' the transformation of a human into his or her closest relationship to "God"
"higher power" etc. So I'm asking the obvious question: WHAT transforms me into my closest relationship to (blank)?
I think the absence of fear, pain and confusion must be a large part of that. Figuring out the rest seems like a worthwhile effort but it might take another decade or 12!"

My brain is working on that. The Lighthouse idea is so very kind. Thank you for that.

Fred writes, "A man is no fraud who speaks honestly."


Which reminds me of the line in It's a Wonderful Christmas (god bless you Mister Capra) which says, "No man is a Failure who has friends."

This is profoundly and deeply true. The fact is lately I have seen way too much of the idea that we're somehow supposed to be "positive"  while going thru withdrawal or while considering getting off drugs. As if what you write could somehow be twisted to be "positive" or "negative." You have no need here to twist your words to suit anyone. You are not "Bringing anyone down." I seriously object to the whole concept of that.

Here; you can be 100% Honest. Which is why it is so very powerful and rare. As Fred has mentioned this sort of support can help tremendously. Where else can you get people together with the same problem and speak completely openly. This is the power of the "Interwebs on the Computer Machine."

You're being launched into Honesty. Into Truth. Into Hope and Love and many other forms of understanding that cannot exist face to face. Face to face you are able to conceal. Here, when you conceal, it's not helpful for you or others.

Write with Honesty ands you help everyone and connect yourselves of people who are engaged in the  same Battle.

Yes, Cadillac Jack who wrote simply,

Jun 28, 2008 07:46PM
This being afraid of withdrawals, and buckling under because of that fear of discomfort needs some mind control conditioning. I'm not saying it's easy. But look at quitting exactly like this: It's WAR. Fear on the battlefield will get you dead, if you can't control it. The truth is, fear and anger are similar emotions. It's not very hard to condition yourself to turn fear into anger, and in the case of quitting drugs, you should do so. Opiates may not be as immediately serious as bullets & shrapnel, but, nevertheless, the same mind set applies; survival. I'd rather have a chunk of lead than a bucket of opiates to go out with. Think about this. Logic will tell you this is true. Fear is your enemy in the forum of quitting substances. Anger at using, or the substance itself, will serve you much better. Anger will give you strength. Fear will rob you of it. Get mad, and go to war.

Or this ......

Jul 26, 2008 07:05PM
You've proven that you are strong enough to face the withdrawals. Now you have to hang tough. Aren't you angry about how you feel? The drugs are the cause of that feeling. So who's going to win this battle? You, or an inanimate, harmful pill? Don't give in. It gets better as time passes. You've got a few days ahead of you that you won't like. EMPHASIS on a few days. If you start using again, how long will you be drugged out? Just keep on doing what you're doing. Abstaining. Best wishes. Stay strong. Learn to hate the drugs.

"Get mad, and go to war."

"Learn to hate the drugs."

Yep. Exactly. That's an attitude that will get you off pills.

Going to write about Yoga ... very soon.

My deepest sympathies to anyone in early withdrawal. (((hugs)))

There's more ... but the window is closed for now. Totally pi$$es me off ... Flips Klonopin The Bird. I'm coming for you you Bastage! War!

Love and Healing,
Emily

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by JLO2112, Mar 15, 2009
Hi bodie girl, what you say about the lethargic no energy thing is what makes it so bad for me also. I remember taking my first tramadol and feeling a surge of energy not that I was lethargic at the time. Maybe were so used to increased energy that this drug gave us that it`s going to take a long time to get used to normal levels, I don`t know but this to me is the worst part. It`s a battle to even think about getting off this couch. I wish this unemployment would end so I would have to force myself back into action. Can others that have stopped tell me when you get back to normal energy levels.

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by suzipen, Mar 15, 2009
Hi everyone. I havent posted for awhile, but I have been reading all the posts.
A few things that have caught my attention:

kb829- I experienced episodes of being out of breath as well. There were many times in early w/d that I couldnt walk  from my bed to the bathroom without feeling extremely breathless. I do have to say, I experienced this while ON tram many times also. So, I dont know if it was from the w/d  or not. Congrats on day 6 now. I have 3 kids (14,8,6), and I know they were my inspiration much of the time.Your little one is lucky that you're willing to fight to get yourself back.

Welcome DJ, and pdavis. Stick around, this place is great.I believe it may have saved my life, and it just may save yours as well.
Big hug to you Price! Glad you're back. So glad you are doing well. It all comes back eventually.

Hope- So happy to see you here! I hope Freds suggestions help the work situation. Your problem really got my attention.
I am trying to get a job as a nursing asst at our local hospital. A good friend of mine is an RN there, and they really need assts on her floor. BUT, whenever I go there to meet her for lunch, I feel so uncomfortable because most of the RNs are so rude. They dont treat my friend very well either. (Shes the new one-been a nurse for 6 months)  Its like high school clicks all over again. I think part of it is simply because shes new, but is this kinda normal for nursing? The click thing?
I really want to get experience in the hospital while going to school, but man, the attitudes! Any suggestions?

Bodegirl- Big hugs! Yes, you're energy WILL come back. I felt exactly like you did. I needed to hear it from other people.
I am at 115 days. Wow, didnt realize it but thats almost 4 months. wow. SO, yes it does come back. Your at 2 weeks, so give it some time. The time will start going faster for you, and one day you'll wake up, and be like, wow! I am feeling pretty darn good! It will happen. Just be gentle with yourself and keep focused on the positive.
BTW, one of my lifes dreams was to have a horse. Just one to ride whenever I wanted. As a little girl, I would ask my parents every year for one, and every year was told no. Then, my younger brother came along, and he loved cows. So, when he was old enough to talk, he asked for a cow. And wouldnt ya know it! We ended up with a whole barn full of cows. :( Its amazing how certain things just stick with us. So, anyway, I am still holding on to my dream of having a horse. One day....................................

Of course, Fred, KC, and Kev- Love love love reading your posts. Always helpful and comforting to see you guys here.
You're like the backbone, ya know?!

EMILY!  My thoughts are with you all the time. Really. You're such an insightful wise person. I am sending you lots of positive energy and thoughts to help get you thru the w/d.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~coming your way~~~~~~~~


Well, I have actually been in a time of reflection lately. Lots and lots of crying. Yesterday, I cried until I was exhausted from it. Thats mainly why I havent posted.I didnt want to be a downer for new people, but, really,its a positive thing happenening.
Its almost like I am waking up, again. I know I went thru something similar early on in w/d, but this is different.
Tramadol puts you in such an "unreal reality", that you think you are feeling things...............and you're not. We all know this. I know this. But, something is happening to me that is pretty intense right now. I am feeling things so deeply that it is hard to even put into words. And I am not talking about crying at commercials or sad movies.
Whenever I am around people, I FEEL their pain. It can be overwhelming at times.
I am reliving bad things that have happened in the 5ish years I was on tramadol, and feeling the horrible feelings all over
again. Even things that happened before tramadol took over my life. We had a house fire 6 1/2 years ago that was absolutely devestating (sp?). I was pregnant with my daughter at the time. Well, I feel I dealt with it and moved on.
A couple of days ago, I was at a friends house, and she was looking for something and came across the newspaper article and picture of the fire. I looked at it, and immediately lost it. It was as tho it was happening right now all over again.
That took me a whole day to recover from emotionally. Just felt drained.

But, at the same time, its weird,because I feel good about this.
Its like I finally got all the tramashit out of my body physically, and NOW I am purging it emotionally.

I told my husband to think of it like I am a butterfly, coming out of the darkness for the first time. corny, but it fits.

Anyway, enough about me-me-me!

Hope you have a glorious day.

love,suzi







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by suzipen, Mar 15, 2009
Hi Emily, were were posting at the same time.

How ironic because I was so afraid to be a downer. That is the main reason I havent posted lately.
That, and the fact I couldnt type thru all the tears lately.

Thank you for putting it al into perspective once again.

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by MT_DJ, Mar 15, 2009
So, I went to talk to a doctor friend of mine to see what my best options for getting oof this stuff is. He said from the amount that I am taking cold turkey is out of the question. He said taper is the only way this is going to work right. But he also asked the question.

"How are you going to handle your cronic pain?"'

I really don't have answer to that. He said he could put me on bupe but that would be for the rest of my life.  And what about the SSRI effects that help you with your PTSD. I just don't know what to do. I hate these things and I don't want to take them anymore. I guess I'll just try to keep going like I am and just stay off for now. And I know in a couple of days I'm going to feel really bad. But there is another option, the VA. My doctor said he would call the VA doc and see if I can get into clinic of sorts where the monitor me and keep my sadated most of the time. In the meantime though I'm just going to continue not taking anything ever though the doc wrote me a script for 30.

In one way or another I'm going to get off of this. At that point I will be more able to make a logical decision about the cronic pain and the PTSD and were I want to go with that. There must be a cost effective way to treat my ailments without pills. I sure hope I can find something or I may go back to pills which I don't want to do. Oh ya, the VA really frowns on doing any sort of back surgury someone who is 30. They say i'm just to young. Thats when they gave me 6, yes 6 physical therepie visits. My theripists thought that was a joke and said with six months of PT 3 days a week they
they would most likely be able to fix my back problem.

I suppose its just easier and more cost effective to just continue send me pills. Well I guess i'll just have to think about this one and hope to make the right decision. Or just scwrew you all and just do it myself. Quit all the pills and pay out of pocket for PT. I just don't know. Sorry if i'm rambling, i tend to do that. Any advice is welcome and appriciated.
D.J.

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by MT_DJ, Mar 15, 2009
I have to be strong and do the right thing. I want my life back.
This pill has taken so much from me. I'm done with it. I'll just beat it now.

D.J.

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by suzipen, Mar 15, 2009
Hi DJ,
I cant really answer your question about chronic pain. But, man-o-man if I could, I'd be a rich woman!
However, I have heard SO many times from others that when they stopped all the madness with pain meds, their pain tended to get somewhat better. Now, I am not saying it will go away, but it seems to be this way for some people.
My husband is 39, and has severe chronic pain. Hes already had one back surgery, and just went thru more tests and now they want to do another surgery. Hes been told if he continues on without it, he will likely end up in a wheelchair soon. The reason I am telling you this is because he takes percocet for pain. He takes 2 a day, and thats it. (hes not an addict and yes, he has to hide them from me)
He has good days and bad days. BUT, I have noticed, that on his better days, he usually only takes one or sometimes he tries to take none. He doesnt believe me, and just thinks its ironic. I need to start logging it so he can see a pattern.
Of course, I am not saying this is true of everyone in chronic pain............just a personal observation.

I wish you luck,
suzi

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by kevzx81, Mar 15, 2009
Hi DJ- Im glad you bring up the subject of pain management post tram. This is taking chunks out of my own life right now and Im just trying to make the best of it without meds. In truth I dont know what the h*ll to do except rid myself of every unhealthy habit I can and then see where I stand. I see you like to exercise, this is bound to help( unless like me you tend to over-do it).

Many of us here have injuries etc that are permanent. Pain every day,esp when intefering with sleep means we are bound to end up having to manage ourselves more too. I dont think that 'muddling through' is going to cut it.
Im in less pain now, and managing it better than I was on Tram or any other med. By accepting that my injury will claim several hours a day(always when I wake) and working around it I have achieved a compromise position. I have SOME of my life back.

I cant heal my injury, but I can give it a better body to live in. Theres so much I can do to improve myself but no guarantees of any benefit. My life is an act of faith now, I can only hope things improve.

I guess we all know how that feels!

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by kb829, Mar 15, 2009
Hello Everyone This is day 6 now and I am actually feeling a bit better ( for now)
Fred --I think you are a true inspiration to so many people around here. Thank You sooo much for everything you write.All of your postings are so deep and meaningful. You are truly a special person. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband helping me every step of the way. He is amazing and i am very lucky to have him, but at the same time if you are not the one taking the Trams or coming off of them there is really no way to truly understand. That is why coming here was the best thing I could have done. Fred you had mentioned in some of your earliest journal entries about your hip pain. My Mother had bad hip for most of her life and had it replaced twice and suffered endlessly. I don't know how she did it, but all she ever took was Tylenol. It took me all this time to truly understand why she never wanted any type of meds. I guess somehow she knew what these drugs really were. Thank You for your strength!!  Kelly

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by kb829, Mar 15, 2009
Suzi-- Thank You for letting me know about your out of breath experiences. At one point I thought I was having a heart attack, but I truly believe it is the Trams getting out. It hard enough with me just having one kid, you having three, that must have been hard going through all of your pill problems. Thank You for making me realize that I am not the only Mom out there that has felt guilt about not being the best Mom you could be, but to use your children as your inspiration.

DJ-- I know it is scary to think that once you are off these pills the pain will be unbearable, but in my situation I have been in pain for about 8 years -Disc problems, back,leg pain. I am actually not in much pain at all. I have to say that I truly believe these pills CAUSE more intense widespread pain that isn't even there. I think if you just fight through like so many of us here are doing you will be glad you did. I know I am and just on Day 6! Good Luck and never give up-You are not alone.  Kelly

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by priceiswright, Mar 15, 2009
Early withdrawl. Yuck! I think the most difficult part is deciding to fight the battle and realize that tram has taken over our lives and we are going to do something about it. I think back to early physical withdrawl - it was in January, the 3rd or 4th week. I remember being in horrible pain but I knew it wouldn't last forever.

What I wasn't prepared for was days 5+, I knew there would be psychological withdrawals, deep cravings, and difficult emotions but I didn't expect how INTENSE they would be. I don't want to scare anyone who is beginning the early fight but I needed to be honest and open about the problems I am facing now and I hope the truth will only help others be better prepared for war.

The problem = LACK OF ENERGY. I don't think I'm depressed but the lack of energy makes me feel as if I am depressed. The lack of energy makes me crave drugs.......The lack of energy makes me feel unsuccessful, anxious, restless.....

anyhoo, the whole "Type A" thing is truly me. I loved tramadol because (in the beginning) it gave me energy to do so much. I cleaned the house, I was a shining star with clients, I got work done in half the time it took me without the tramadol.

I hear from many mental health professionals that type A personalities or those in sales professions or any profession where the person feels the need to be "on" often become addicts. My partner doesn't get the idea that I love opiates because of the energy they give me. For him, they don't really give him energy but an overall good feeling of being chilled out. For me, they give me an ability to get things done. And I didn't really get why I loved them until I realized that I felt I needed them "to do" ANYTHING.

I see people writing about their lack of energy or motivation. WHEN in the world does this come back? It hasn't come back for me. I have to force myself to do anything. It's quite annoying because I am the type of person who is motivated, ambitious. I  love to get things done and I love crossing lines off a to do list. But lately I haven't been able to do this.

I keep thinking what if I never return to who I used to be? I was certainly able to get a lot accomplished before I became an addict, without drugs. I never procrastinated. I made things happen. I made dreams come true. Then the tramadol took over my life. And now I want my life back but its not coming back or its not coming back as quickly as I had hoped. I am not someone with patience. Does anyone else get how I'm feeling????? Sort of a ramble, but this is what I'm dealing with.......................

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emily - what made you decide that you wanted to quit the klonopin? I've been really thinking of the idea of quitting every prescription drug I'm on ((xanax, ambien, zoloft) because I want to be completely free of any side effects drugs have given me and to be me, naturally. I don't know how I'd even begin to approach that battle..............I am so admirable of your strength and your courage and how you come back continually to help and to heal. You are a special person. I wish you the best in your recovery.

Fred - no one will ever write as beautiful as you do. You come back to help and inspire others. You have saved my life and your words continue to keep me one more day tramadol free. You talked about how difficult it is to make the decision to get off drugs when you are young because of the ability to think, I'll do it later. As you know, I am in my mid-twenties and keep worrying that I am going to CONSTANTLY be battling this addiction. I have so many more years to fight, how do I not give in?

Suzi - I am so glad to hear you are feeling so deep. You continue to inspire me and make me see how possible it is to live tramadol free.

JLO/Bode girl - as you might see from my above post the NO ENERGY thing is the killer for me. The truly HARDEST part. BUT as we hear from others, it comes back.........I've been a tramadol addict for 1 -2 years, how can I expect to be back to normal so quickly?

MT-DJ - Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I believe that you will get your life back. You have made a strong and difficult decision and you will be better for it.

LOVE, HUGS, SLEEP, AND SUPPORT to all

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by EmilyPost, Mar 15, 2009
Just Quick like for MT_DJ

I can answer about back pain and chronic pain, because I supposedly had both.

After detox from Tramadol; I have no chronic pain and very little back pain. And while on  Tramadol, the darling of chronic pain; your back pain will increase so much you will *think* you need surgery. Which is what I thought.

Tramadol causes pain. Severe pain. Once it turns on you ... you *will* degenerate and feel horrible and as if your back is broken. Been there .. in spades ...

PTSD; I used EMDR ... Eye Movement Desensitation Reprogramming.  Which they say the Vet's Administration uses as the only form of therapy for PTSD .... a limited time ... 10 visits or less ... They used it after the mass "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia ..

Propananol; a very old blood pressure med is what I used in a very low dose for PTSD ... swear to God that saved me ... it's not used enough in my opinion for PTSD .. Love Propananol ... saved my life ... and I do not take it anymore. I get triggered now and then ... but not nearly as badly ...

(PTSD; someone I once "loved" tried to kill me; and stole my identity, and stole a bunch of $$ from me and large items, car and computer ... claims we're married ... Big Fun) ...

So .. I hope that helps MT_DJ

The important part is to know that the Tramadol is much more than likely now causing you physical pain ...

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by emergee, Mar 15, 2009
i have felt sort of selfish not posting ... as i am "recovered",  at least i could encourage and cheerlead others.  

frankly i am just coping, barely.    i am still on my klonopin taper .  a quarter of a .5 ,  though i cheated 2 days ago ,  i wanted uninterrupted sleep so badly.  

i tend to forget that i am on the taper.   i guess i have deemed it 'no big deal' compared to tram.  

but, emily,  every day sooner or later i get the most appalling feeling.  i don't even know how to describe it.   you know how skin 'crawls'?   well,  this is like my nervous system is 'crawling'.   i can't stand myself,  can't cope, the tiniest frustration sends me into meltdown. yesterday,  i was screaming at the at&t phone tree,  and no one was even on the line !   i was screaming at the recorded voice!

i have also developed an allergy to the computer.  it exacerbates this nervous system crawling feeling.   got to get off NOW!

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by emergee, Mar 15, 2009
i have felt sort of selfish not posting ... as i am "recovered",  at least i could encourage and cheerlead others.  

frankly i am just coping, barely.    i am still on my klonopin taper .  a quarter of a .5 ,  though i cheated 2 days ago ,  i wanted uninterrupted sleep so badly.  

i tend to forget that i am on the taper.   i guess i have deemed it 'no big deal' compared to tram.  

but, emily,  every day sooner or later i get the most appalling feeling.  i don't even know how to describe it.   you know how skin 'crawls'?   well,  this is like my nervous system is 'crawling'.   i can't stand myself,  can't cope, the tiniest frustration sends me into meltdown. yesterday,  i was screaming at the at&t phone tree,  and no one was even on the line !   i was screaming at the recorded voice!

i have also developed an allergy to the computer.  it exacerbates this nervous system crawling feeling.   got to get off NOW!

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by emergee, Mar 15, 2009
i have felt sort of selfish not posting ... as i am "recovered",  at least i could encourage and cheerlead others.  

frankly i am just coping, barely.    i am still on my klonopin taper .  a quarter of a .5 ,  though i cheated 2 days ago ,  i wanted uninterrupted sleep so badly.  

i tend to forget that i am on the taper.   i guess i have deemed it 'no big deal' compared to tram.  

but, emily,  every day sooner or later i get the most appalling feeling.  i don't even know how to describe it.   you know how skin 'crawls'?   well,  this is like my nervous system is 'crawling'.   i can't stand myself,  can't cope, the tiniest frustration sends me into meltdown. yesterday,  i was screaming at the at&t phone tree,  and no one was even on the line !   i was screaming at the recorded voice!

i have also developed an allergy to the computer.  it exacerbates this nervous system crawling feeling.   got to get off NOW!

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by emergee, Mar 15, 2009
i have felt sort of selfish not posting ... as i am "recovered",  at least i could encourage and cheerlead others.  

frankly i am just coping, barely.    i am still on my klonopin taper .  a quarter of a .5 ,  though i cheated 2 days ago ,  i wanted uninterrupted sleep so badly.  

i tend to forget that i am on the taper.   i guess i have deemed it 'no big deal' compared to tram.  

but, emily,  every day sooner or later i get the most appalling feeling.  i don't even know how to describe it.   you know how skin 'crawls'?   well,  this is like my nervous system is 'crawling'.   i can't stand myself,  can't cope, the tiniest frustration sends me into meltdown. yesterday,  i was screaming at the at&t phone tree,  and no one was even on the line !   i was screaming at the recorded voice!

i have also developed an allergy to the computer.  it exacerbates this nervous system crawling feeling.   got to get off NOW!

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by emergee, Mar 15, 2009
i have felt sort of selfish not posting ... as i am "recovered",  at least i could encourage and cheerlead others.  

frankly i am just coping, barely.    i am still on my klonopin taper .  a quarter of a .5 ,  though i cheated 2 days ago ,  i wanted uninterrupted sleep so badly.  

i tend to forget that i am on the taper.   i guess i have deemed it 'no big deal' compared to tram.  

but, emily,  every day sooner or later i get the most appalling feeling.  i don't even know how to describe it.   you know how skin 'crawls'?   well,  this is like my nervous system is 'crawling'.   i can't stand myself,  can't cope, the tiniest frustration sends me into meltdown. yesterday,  i was screaming at the at&t phone tree,  and no one was even on the line !   i was screaming at the recorded voice!

i have also developed an allergy to the computer.  it exacerbates this nervous system crawling feeling.   got to get off NOW!

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by kevzx81, Mar 15, 2009
Emily- Im glad for your statement about meds worsening pain. Right now Im putting my faith in my power to heal myself through a healthier mind and body without meds. I also believe that the future need not be the same or feel the same as the past. I've always felt that there are definite limits to 'mind over matter' type healing so am wary of encouraging others to do similar. But this is different, its...mind alongside matter, in co-operation. Hopefully in better balance than before.
Finding all those things(love) that ' transform me into my closest relationship with my higher power' as well as all those things that seperate me from it; This seems a good path to improvement.




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by FinallyFred, Mar 16, 2009
A few have asked the question recently, "but what will I do about my chronic pain after GIVING UP tramadol?"

Short Answer:  Finish giving it up and see.

Kev talked about those with "permanent injuries", when he said, "I can't heal my injury but I can give it a better body to live in."  (always profound Kev)  I have the utmost compassion for people with permanent, painful injuries.

But I also think there are a fair number of us, who assume their injury is permanent and we become (pleasantly) surprised to learn after discontinuing the TRAMS that the original PAIN we had when we began taking this drug is no longer present.   At least that was what I experienced.

After my hip replacement surgeries, yes, I had hip pain.  But I am fairly certain that somewhere during the six years I was taking trams, probably closer to the beginning than the end, my pain would have gone away if I had not been on the trams.  TRAMADOL ENHANCED/INCREASED MY PAIN while I was taking them.  And as I have mused before, I not only had pain in my hips, but I had what I would describe as SEVERE pain in may back, arms, legs, chest, etc.  And today I have absolutely no physical pain in my hips or any of those other dozens of places where I hurt while taking trams.  This certainly won't be true for everyone, but that is my experience.

This won't hold true for everyone.  If you had a collapsed disc and your vertebrae at L5-S1were grinding on a nerve leading down to your left foot, stopping the trams isn't going to reinflate the disc - mechanical reason you had pain originally. But a sufficient number of people report the same thing I found after stopping the trams to make it worth mentioning - you COULD just be surprised that the pain you had when you began this tramadol travel, went away some where along the line, and THAT the pain you felt more recently was CAUSED by  the TRAM drug. The TRAM not only masked the pain, it enhanced it.  And somewhere long the line for me, my pain went away and the TRAMS lied to me and told me it was still there.  I am certain tha tthis line of logic sounds crazy, but...

Price,  You said, "As you know, I am in my mid-twenties and keep worrying that I am going to CONSTANTLY be battling this addiction. I have so many more years to fight, how do I not give in?"  Exactly how many more years  does your contract give you on the planet?  Cause I'm looking at mine, and the end date is "blank".  

I have always had a nearly disabling awareness of the brevity of life.  Some will laugh at this, but when I was 10 years old, I would lay awake in bed and think to myself, "assuming the average lifespan is 60 years (I think it WAS back then), I am already 1/6th the way through my lifespan".  Two years later, I recall having a similar thought, only this time, at age 12, "I was 1/5th the way through my life".  At 15 years, 1/4; at 20, 1/3rd, etc.  More recently, I am just glad they have pushed the average lifespan out, or I would REALLY be nervous.

But the fact is, who amongst us knows whether we will even make it back to post another time, once we log off?

Regardless of how many more days we might enjoy on the planet, I find that it is important for me to t try not to think ahead of today, when it comes to my addiction(s).  "How am I going to stay off this pill for the next 30 years" sounds so much more difficult than "how am i going to stay off this pill today".  I can do today, but forever just might last a long time.  

Goodnight.  

Fred



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by noodlegrl, Mar 16, 2009
Hello, I am new here... I have been reading this forum for 2-3 weeks (time and short term memory are not the greatest right now..been scared to post but I feel I need to now) I have been taking this poison for almost a year, got up to 3-4 of the rat poisons a day (except weekends until a few months ago which is when I realized that something was not quite right). I was told that it was non-narcotic, non-addictive, safe.. blah blah blah >.< It made me feel grand, like it does.. I didn't think anything was wrong until a couple months ago I didn't take it on a Saturday like usual because I felt I really only needed it at work and that Saturday night I had RLS, hot and cold sweats, my knees were hurting etc. Well, I was ok the next day but had mild anxiety and was a little "off kilter". Well, the next day after that (Monday) I got to work and took one, basically resumed my taking one schedule. All symptoms disappeared and it was like a light went off and I realized what had happened. I have never been dependent on anything and frankly I have been scared out of my mind because I have pre-existing social anxiety, anxiety for whatever reason and for no reason, and have always been a very nervous person, it rears its ugly head whenever it wants to (The only thing I ever took for it was paxil for about 3 months and I didnt like it so I just lived with the anxiety because on top of everything i have a "phobia" of doctors). About 3 weeks ago I made the decision to begin tapering.. I went from 3-4 a day to 1 a day for about 3 days and then skipped a dose thinking I would be ok. It through me into awful withdrawals (anxiety, panic attacks, stomach issues, lack of appetite ((which btw has been there the whole time, I have lost at least 10lbs, down to 95lbs)) the whole 9 yards), the worst symptom being the anxiety and panic attacks. At this point I had to tell my husband, very scary.. but he was ok.. he just doesn't understand that its not something I can just stick to the side and not think about. Well he suggested I go back to 1 a day until I started to feel pre-taper. So I did and I stayed on 1 a day for about 7-9 days (I couldnt really keep too much track because it would make my anxiety worse :( Well, yesterday I reduced it to 1/2 of 1 a day and was ok most of the day, little flare ups of anxiety but I could breathe them away but I was lethargic and just wanted to lay around (this is what gets on my husbands nerves, he doesn't understand but trying to be supportive.) So that brings me to this morning where the anxiety is slightly worse than yesterday but not the full blow attacks of the week before. This is what scares me the most... panic attacks... I think I could deal with most of the other but the anxiety just floors me. I can't take off work and I am just scared. I know this is not near as bad as what a lot of you have gone through but it feels so horrible.. I dunno what to do if the anxiety gets so bad I can't get out of bed... I have been taking vitamins - a multi +energy, green tea supplements, magnesium, cranberry supplements, fish oil, niacin before bed (just for 2 days so far), trying to drink water (very hard for me), 1-2 cups coffee in the morning.. I have 1 1/2  lortabs to ease over an anxiety hump after I take my last dose if needed so I can work. I have St. Johns Wort and 5-htp to try for after this **** gets out of my system. I also have Rescue Remedy - dunno if it works yet. But is there anything else I can do to work through the anxiety/panic attacks so I will still be able to work?? I know this is a big ramble.. I feel like I have lost some of my intelligence, I don't feel like me anymore.. and it all snuck up on me. Like I said at the beginning I have been reading this for a couple weeks and I feel like I can make it, you guys have given me some strength and didn't even know it! But I am still scared and can't wait for it to be over. I hope the taper makes it easier than what I was feeling when I skipped the dose.. just wow.. cant believe I let it happen to myself. But I have definitely learned a lesson and this will never happen again. Oh, and I don't crave them, I don't want them, but I am trying to take my tapered dose at the same time every morning. Any advice would be muchly appreciated.. Thank you to all, reading this has been an inspiration.

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by emergee, Mar 16, 2009
i have felt sort of selfish staying off the thread ... as i am "recovered",  at least i could encourage and cheerlead others.  

frankly i am just coping, barely.    i am still on my klonopin taper .  a quarter of a .5 ,  though i cheated 2 days ago ,  i wanted uninterrupted sleep so badly.  

i tend to forget that i am on the taper.   i guess i have deemed it 'no big deal' compared to tram.  

but every day sooner or later i get the most appalling feeling.  i don't even know how to describe it.   you know how skin 'crawls'?   well,  this is like my nervous system is 'crawling'.   i can't stand myself,  can't cope, the tiniest frustration sends me into meltdown. yesterday,  i was screaming at the at&t phone tree,  and no one was even on the line !   i was screaming at the recorded voice!

i have also developed an allergy to the computer.  it exacerbates this nervous system crawling feeling.   got to get off NOW!

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by mockingbird5, Mar 16, 2009
I am on 6th day clean after cold turkeying off tramadol...my story is long and involved, and I will share it later when i have more time.  Just know this.  I ordered 180 tabs and they showed up on Friday afternoon while I was dope-sick from this tram-trash and reading this form on my blackberry (as i have been since googling "tramadol addiction" early last week) I had been on around 400mgs a day for 5 weeks..... I had ordered it not knowing if it would really come, and i did not have the check for the COD so I told the driver I would have to pick it up from the fed ex office on Monday (today)  I stayed on this site this morning and an angel told me to just call the local fedex office and tell them to return it to sender. Wow...such simple, wonderful advice! I did that...called right then from my desk at work.  I told them the order was fraudulent and would not be claimed.  They were like,"OK  NO PROBLEM."  HAAAAAAA  I was soooooo happy i made the trash go away from me!!!!!  I want to be clean and free....I just want to feel like a normal person.  You people saved me....Emily and Shadetree and Anonguy....i needed you and you were there...and you did not even know I was there :)    

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by noodlegrl, Mar 16, 2009
I read back over my post and its just a big mess. Do you guys think my taper is ok? Is there anything else I can take to help? Anything that will help me continue to work with at lease minimal anxiety because I have to deal with people and can't sit here and hyperventilate or shake spasmodically all day. I feel tomorrow is going to be harder because I'm taking less daily but unfortunately can't do a very long taper because I am running out. I might could do half of 50mg for about 1.5 or 2 weeks. Any help, advice, encouragement, anything at all would be appreciated. If my earlier post was too messed up to understand I will gladly answer questions. I feel the fog.

For you who have beat this thing, I bow at your feet. Emily, Fred, KB, KC, Kev... all of you have shed a lot of light on my darkness without even knowing and I felt I finally needed to jump in here to say something, so THANK YOU! I can do it..

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by kb829, Mar 16, 2009
Hi Everyone Day 7! I slept for about 8 hrs felt good but now I am just tired. I have read Emily Talking about sublingual B-12 for energy and want to try that, but for now all I have is vivarin and it seems to help a little. Probably not good since it has all that caffeine. Could have picked up my 200ct. RX today but called the pharmacy told them to delete my file. It's just like once I went thru the hard part days 1-4 I knew I never wanted to feel that way again. Who wants to be on the Trams 3 weeks then go through h*** the next. Fine again on Pill Day as I would call it. Instead of focusing on the next time I want a pill my new focus is getting to the next day .Instead of pill 7 it is day 7 and nothing could make me go back. Things I am experiencing now are visual problems and lack of focus. It seems like my brain is slow. I am forgetting things just as I have said them or heard them. I know this has to get better. Actually it already has. At the same time I can feel myself coming back somewhat. Kelly

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by kb829, Mar 16, 2009
Hi noodlegrl I hope this website helps you as much as it has helped me. Isn't it nice to know you aren't the only one? I think thta's the part the really opened my eyes to this devil drug. I can't really comment on your tapering situation because I am doing mine cold turkey, but I am sure a taper will help alot better than to suddenly stop taking them. Just know that in alot our situations it seems those first few days are the worst, but I promise you will feel better. It might not be great, but you will start to feel a little tiny part of yourself coming out of a cloud. Please don't give up, each day is a blessing and so are you. I hope this at least gives you some inspiration, my mind isn't working too great right now, but I am trying. God Bless All of you guys without this place I know my journey would have been alot darker. Hugs to all of the heroes that post here!! Kelly

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by kevzx81, Mar 16, 2009
Noodlegirl- your taper sounds ok and well planned. I did a very controlled taper and jumped off at about 10mgx3 a day. It was nothing like as bad as cold turkey( which I also induced accidentally by missing a dose when I felt I didnt need one). I still got all the usual synptoms but greatly reduced. Took about 3 weeks to be over the worst.
My taper was also designed around the day I ran out of pills because I point blank refused to order any more of the wretched stuff. Well done for cancelling the Fed EX man!
My taper went something like this(approximately):
Starting a 3x50mg
35mgx3 for about 5 days
25mgx3               5days
15mgx3               4days
10mgx3               3days

So you see I ended on a similar dose as you will.

Hyperventilation can be stopped by breathing into a paper bag, as if you were blowing up a balloon. Rebreathing the air in the bag a few times reduces your oxygen level.You could sneak off somewhere maybe for the 30 second or so it would take.
You probably know that already.....
Another problem with hyperventilation is that it starts before we register it sometimes. Keep a check on your breathing every now and then. Stay away from sugary food and drinks, you know the drill I'm sure.

GOOD LUCK

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by EmilyPost, Mar 16, 2009
You can do it Noodlegrl! Sends mass encouragement!

(((mockingbird))) So glad for you!

emergee ... yes. Yes. Exactly. I know. I feel the same way. It's all normal for klonopin withdrawal but man ... brutal huh?

Hugs for all
Em

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by noodlegrl, Mar 16, 2009
For those of you who had to go to work during withdrawal, what did you do? I have to interface with a lot of different people for different reasons. If I have 4 hard days after I take my last dose I really don't know what I am going to do. We are already short staffed (stupid economy forced staffing cut backs because my job is directly housing/economy reliant) so without me it makes it hard on everyone. And if this is only day 2 of my new reduced dose and the anxiety is already coming out.. I just don't know :(  I try to stay positive but its sooooo hard when you know at any moment you could crack from anxiety over load.

~Noodle

I wish I knew then what I know now. That is the story of my life, but we won't go there.

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by suzipen, Mar 16, 2009
Hi noodle -
I so feel for you concerning the anxiety. I have had anxiety and panic issues for all of my adult life. My first panic attack came out of nowhere in a grocery store. I avoided that store for 10 years. I have tried numerous meds and the one that worked for me isnt a real popular drug. I take 50 mg.1x a day. I also take ativan in the evening.  I am NOT saying this is what you should do. But, at my worst I was having 5-10 severe panics attacks a day. Couldnt function, and spent way too much time in the ER. DR.s tried every drug known for this disorder, and finally the combo of ativan and zoloft worked. (I had also tried many alternative methods-visualization techniques, deep breathing, meditation, etc.)
My goal is to get off of these, but one w/d a year is my limit.
On of my main points to you is that in early w/d my anxiety came back full force. As in, my worst fears had come true. It was back, with a vengence. I was terrified. You know what that is like. Someone who hasnt experienced it cannot possibly understand what this feels like. But, trust me, I do.
However, it GOT better. You are in the very early stages and still tapering. I just want you to know that this is probably normal because you are predisposed to this.
But, I believe it will get better as you are healing from tram. Your body will be healing from all the trauma that tramadol caused.
Its incredible what this sh*t does to our bodies and minds.
Just know it will get better. All of it.
Have you tried valerian? This helps for some people with anxiety.
Also, the techniques I mentioned above are VERY helpful. I still do visualization and dep breathing exercises and it does help. The key is to catch an attack at the very beginning, or to prevent them all together. I know this is easier said than done, but practice does help.
Honestly, I feel so much better without tramadol. Sometimes, I think the benefits of zoloft and ativan are just in my head.
I just need to find the courage to get off of them. I beat tram, so I know I have it in me.

I truly wish you well. My heart breaks for anyone suffering this often misunderstood problem.
I have a friend who suffers from it as well, so we have helped each other many many times thru it.

If you ever want to talk more about it, send me a message.

I'm here for you.

love to all,
suzi


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by ty1987, Mar 16, 2009
hey all, i was wondering how much time after the last pill to expect withdrawal symptoms?

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by FinallyFred, Mar 17, 2009
ty,  depends on how long you took these and how many, but generally the symptoms would start 24 hours after your last pill and peak in days 2-4.  The worst of the physical symptoms should pass after day 5 or so

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by mercedes_baby_boo, Mar 17, 2009
Does anyone know what the heck we are supposed to do for long term pain control once we are done detoxing? Its been 6 months for me now. and I am still coping with pain everyday and my husband has forbidden the family doc to prescribe anything again and I agree but am left in a state of flux. not dead not alive just waiting.still better than i was on all the meds that made me worse. i never dreamed taking meds would make me worse than the pain in the first place. so im on disability but am not receiving treatment because my body shut down with all the meds and was forced in the hospital to go through withdrawals and stuck with it when released. it is very hard. i have no idea how to live with pain if only it would just leave...but thats not realistic. i just dont know anymore. i fake it for everyone that im better. and i am in the way im off all meds. but im still sick, i cant even talk about it. no one wants to hear that im not cured magically and that im in pain and hurting so i internalize it all. just wondering how long this will last. wow this all just makes me cry. im sorry. and funny thing is i dont even know how i found this page.... hmmmmm. goodnight all.

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by noodlegrl, Mar 17, 2009
Suzi - Thank you for that. It helps knowing I am not alone, wasn't the only one hoodwinked. I have read about Valerian but haven't tried it. I was worried about it making me sleep but its about to get to the point where I'll do anything. It is ok to take with trampooh? Also, since I am down to such a low dose of trampooh, when do you think it would be ok to try something like 5-HTP? I am worried about serotonin syndrome. Also, I *might* be able to find someone with xanax or klonopin (which after reading about that I may not want to try), do you think that would help me get over the anxiety hump. I know in the Thomas Recipe it says Valium but I don't think I can find those.

This morning when the alarm when off I was flooded with anxiety/panic. I just laid there for 20-30 minutes breathing and trying to calm down. Finally when I could manage, I sat up and dropped a few drops of Rescue Remedy on my tongue. It seems to slightly take the "edge" off.. its similar to covering something up with a blanket, its still there but kinda smothered. You know what I mean? Then at 7, I took 1/2 of rat poison. And so far right now, I am ok (except for the creeping thoughts of "oh no, it could come back at any second". But I AM OK right now.

I spoke to my husband about this junk last night and he said he does understand but the way he talks of it is him trying to be positive and he knows its hard but it will be ok. So I guess I was the one who didn't understand. But its hard to understand anything right now. My memory is shot. I hope it comes back. I have ALWAYS had a great memory, especially with numbers (addresses, phone #'s, birthdays/dates, job #'s, lots). Now not so much. But back to the husband, he has given me his full support and love and says he just wants me to be better and happy again and he wishes I could stop worrying about him and what hes thinking so that I can have one less thing to worry about. I am a worrier too, yay!

The time just can't go fast enough. I am so impatient and I just can't wait for this to be over with. I remember the first day I was given one... once it "kicked in" I was like "whoa, if this in non-narcotic/non-addictive then this might be my ticket to the feeling well being". HAH! The person who gave them to me (for free) still tells me they are non-narcotic/non-addictive. And yes, almost a year of free rat poison daily (except most weekends until recently). I haven't told this person yet what has happened but I am going to once I step out of H-E-double-hockey-sticks and see the light.

My sleep is still kinda ok, but almost nightly I am either taking some kind of antihistamine, Advil PM, or melatonin. I did however wake up twice last night because 1) My cat snuck out when hubby took out the trash and got into a fight on the back porch with a stray and I heard his cries and had to get up to try to get him inside, and 2) I had a sweaty hot flash and had to get rid of the covers for a bit.

I feel like I am taking away from everyone here who has had it sooo much worse. That is not what I want. You all have my greatest sympathies and I wish there was something I could do for you. But for me, this is worse than anything else I have ever experienced and I think you from the bottom of my heart for reading and sharing. Ya'll have much wisdom. I feel like there is more I need to say or explain but I can't think anymore. If I do, I will come back. Be sure to tell me if I get on your nerves.

~Noodle

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by mockingbird5, Mar 17, 2009
hey noodle....you just keep on posting....we are not competing over whose withdrawal is worse or who took more etc etc.  The battle is in our own minds; this is our place to be what we are and how we are.  If you "getting on nerves" keeps you sober today, BRING IT ON FRIEND!!!!!!!   haaaaa  I love reading your posts cause we are so much alike.  I am geeting more sleep every night (one week off today)...i have been taking some St. John's Wort and Vitamin B and it seems to be taking the edge of sadness and lethargy away.  I love you guys more than you can dream...ya'll are my support:)

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by FinallyFred, Mar 17, 2009
Mercedes,  My heart goes out to you.  Living with disabiling pain, especially when you feel you can't even talk about it with your family isn't a good situation for you Mercedes.  (((hugs))).  

Of course I am not a medical doctor, so I wouldn't even begin to venture a guess at what you ought to do.  You said that you were/are on disability, that your doc prescribed tram once to allieviate the pain, that in the end, trams made your body shut down, that you detoxed at a hospital and afterwared at home, you STILL are disabiled with pain, and that now you don't feel like you can even talk with your family about your ongoing issues.

I think that it's fair to say that simply NOT taking tramadol won't fix all of life's problems.  Won't make well, those things that caused our M.D.s to prescribe pain medication for us in the first place.  Won't address whatever our original DISABILITY may have been to begin with.

Taking tramadol again probably isn't the solution.  As you said, these only made things worse. Yet doing NOTHING isn't apparently working for you either.  Personally, I would sit down with my family AND with my family doctor and tell them just what you said here.  Just as HONESTY is an important part of overcoming addiction, HONESTY in saying how we are feeling, saying what we think we need, is also important.  

Good luck to you Mercedes.

Fred


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by Shadetree, Mar 18, 2009
Hello everyone...

Not much activity yesterday...Noodle, dont worry about posting too much. You need it as well as others reading. I felt the same way in the begining, but if everyone didnt post....there wouldnt be any stories to read.)

I am doing ok, still tapering. Nothing really new. Just wanted to say hi to everyone...


~Shade

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by noodlegrl, Mar 18, 2009
Hello all, hope you're winning the WAR!

First of all, again, thank you guys so much! I have found a wealth of information and suggestions to ease this demon out of me. Second of all, I forgot to mention that although I am at a low dose, I chew them and always have. I wonder if anyone knows what kind of difference this is going to make to my withdrawal process and recovery for after I take my last dose?

Today is day 4 of being at my 25 mg (roughly because I have to break them, no cutter). And this morning was definitely better than yesterday morning and yesterday morning was better than Monday. Monday I was kinda freaking.. yesterday I could feel the anxiety "knot" wave in and out but it never really actually broke through, no more than I could handle. I thought by now I would have that intense anxiety/panic attack like I did week before last but so far no. I hope this is a good sign. My hubby was able to locate a couple of xanax just in case I have an anxiety emergency so I can work. I know they make you sleepy (as I took half of one before bed with hopes I wouldn't wake up freaking out, and I didn't wake up freaking per say just kinda aware the knot was there, yay!) but I would rather fight sleep than anxiety. Then when I got to work I took a couple drops of Rescue Remedy because I was feeling a weight on my brain, and so far I am ok. I really don't have hardly any "physical" symptoms, mostly all emotional and psychological. I don't crave them, I don't want them, I wish I could throw them away and move on, but I don't think CT will work for me so I have to keep up with the schedule. Any advice on how long to take the roughly 25mg till I jump off and take none? I have enough to do up to 12 days at 25 mg. I would like to be well by April 1st because its a special occasion for me. Think its possible?

Today during my lunch break I am going to try to go to GNC to get some L-Theanine (natures Valium I've heard) so maybe I won't have to take the xanax. I am really trying to do the water thing better.. so I got some propel (its got vitamins C, B6, B12, Niacin, and Pantothenic Acid (not sure what that is yet) to add to the water until I get used to not drinking sweet sugary caffeinated things.

Everyone is not posting as much since I began... I also hope you all are doing ok with your battles and I hope thats not why your not posting as much. Please be well and come back and discuss with us all, it is really helping me.

Thank you, much love and appreciation!

~Noodle

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by mockingbird5, Mar 18, 2009
Hi Noodle...I am glad you are feeling better than yesterday..and Monday....  I have been doing really good for the last couple of days...I have felt normal and slept like a log at night....I am still so sleepy in the mornings...mornings used to be my favorite time cause I knew I could take my tram and feel grrreat...hit the ground running!!!  I bought some L-Theanine at vitamin shoppe yesterday.  I really like the effect; it is a subtle easiness and calm :)  I got the chewables and they are very good!!  I am also still taking my vit B and St. John's Wort.  I am considering calling my Dr. and having her cancel my running Ambien script as I don't trust myself with them any more..I have been known to take more than my prescribed dose!!!!  noooo..meee???  ha  

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by noodlegrl, Mar 18, 2009
Mockingbird5: I am really enjoying hearing that L-theanine helps so many.. I hope it works for me. Did it make you sleepy? I am starting to get scared of the St. Johns Wort. I haven't taken any since I still have trampooh in me but my hubby saw I got it and said that it did bad things to him, put him in a fog, made him feel off kilter. But its there just in case :)

I have heard such bad things about ambien.. my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 4 years ago and by the time they caught it he was at the end of stage 3 and it had spread throughout his body, lymph nodes, liver, brain, many places. We had him with us until February 2008. They had prescribed him ambien and as soon as he started taking it he started sleep walking and fell in the bathroom and hit his head on the tub and just all sorts of bad stuff. It could have also been the cancer but after the ambien he started slowly slipping away until at the end he was a violent senile "child". It was the most heart breaking thing ever. I miss him terribly but he is for sure in a better place. I also know another friend of my uncle who was prescribed it (he also takes a variety of other things) but after he had been taking it for about a week he was at home after just taking a dose and he was called by someone from his work saying they needed to get into the safe for change (busy day and no manager to get it) so he got up, went to work, got them the money, went home, got some cheerios, left a cheerio trail to a closet where the vacuum cleaner was, got the vacuum out, left another trail of cheerios to the bathtub where he then put the vacuum cleaner in the tub and fell asleep on the hall floor and he doesn't remember any of it. Its a wonder he didn't have a fatal accident driving to and from work! I am sure like with anything it affects people differently but that stuff scares me. LoL.

Since posting earlier I have had an extreme bout of nausea. I ate a couple baked lays (eating is soooo hard, its like I am perpetually full) and feel a little better but am also getting a headache that feels like its from something in my neck. Hard to explain but kinda like someone hit me with the skinny part of a ball hammer right below my skull on the right side and its sending pain to my eyes and forehead. I took a couple advil. It funny.. with all these vitamins and supplements and otc pain relievers etc I feel like even more of a "pill popper" =P But in a good way I guess :)

~Noodle



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by pfcpremosgirl, Mar 18, 2009
I'm back. Well, my stupid new dr did my physical today, never looked me in the eye, didn't hear me, gave me MORE trams, and some ativan!! I went immediately and changed primary drs. He SUCKED!!!!! So they gave me a female, and hopefully, we will have better luck with the new one!! I'm still hanging in there. No energy, but not suffering from stomach trouble, shakes, vomiting or hot/cold sweats any longer. just wanted to check in:-)

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by Gracie0315, Mar 18, 2009
Hello all!

I'm new and so grateful to have found you! After three years on Ultracet (plus Lyrica, Cymbalta, a little Ativan and some sleep meds thrown in for good measure) I am trying to get off this train. I am tapering but feel horrible, horrible, horrible. Can't sleep, intestinal problems, fricking headache, crawling out of my skin, muscle twitching, shakes, crying - pretty much the whole picture. And of course, when I told my doctor, he just prescribed more meds and looked at me like I have three heads.

So thank you - each of you - for sharing your stories of courage and sorrow. I couldn't see myself as an addict - that was my brother - but as I read your stories and see pieces of myself and how I got here...well, you can fill in the rest.

I can't type anymore because I just can't focus.

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by FinallyFred, Mar 19, 2009
Noodle, I typically SMILE when I read things posted by someone else, that I might have said myself.  Like your, "Everyone is not posting as much since I began... I also hope you all are doing ok with your battles and I hope thats not why your not posting as much. Please be well and come back and discuss with us all, it is really helping me."   Are you seriously thinking that some have not posted because you came to town?  Really?  Do you really think that Noodle? Really?  Dump that thought OK?  There are ebbs and flows in this place.  Stick around, you'll see.

I well remember my first week here.  Being glued to the computer and wondering why everyone else wasn't.  It's EXTREMELY common in fact.  I remember the first time someone responded to one of my posts and they told me it was going to be alright.  I remember the first time Emily acknowledged a post I had written.  That one kept me at it for a full day and 1/2.  We all just need to be validated - to be told it will be OK.  

You are doing fine Noddle.I can sense your strength in your words.  I will leave it to others like Kev and Organica to comment on a proper taper.  They and others like them here have done a nice job of using a taper to get off this stuff.  

PFC, Glad you are looking for another doctor.  What is the matter with medicine today, where a doctor can't even look a patient in the eye?  I got a new doc after the first of the year due to a change in my health insurance. The new doctor can't be more than a month out of medical school and during the entire "exam", he sat at his computer making notes while I dangled my feet 15 feet away on the exam table.  I am a big believer in electronic records, but I am afraid that it has turned our good doctors into "data entry technicians".

Gracie,  Welcome.  Keep reading and posting.  You can do this thing.  

Courage, Strength and Love,

Fred

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by madtram, Mar 19, 2009
Hello fellow warriors, tho my warrior mojo is currently MIA.  I have renewed sympathy for those in early withdrawal as seemingly out of the blue, my cfs symptoms have been back all week   What a nightmare, it's as if someone had been sneaking tram in my water supply & put me back in withdrawal.  I had taken some codeine for bad pain so it seems that any opiates may cause extreme responses after tram.  All the NSAIDs, ibuprofen etc burn my stomach in even small doses so looks like acupuncture & mind power for pain control from now on.  I may be a slow learner but I have totally got the message that my body's opiate receptors are still on a hair trigger.

Max empathy to those struggling to find tolerable pain relief for prolonged pain.

Yes Fred, we can do this thing & give one another strength.

Noodle, it sounds as though your taper is going really well,if you have few physical symptoms at this stage.  I had extreme weakness & insomnia for months after stopping CT.  Hopefully, the theanine will help with your anxiety & by the end of your taper u will be close to symptom free.  Re other remedies like St John's Wort, I wouldn't push u into taking anything but everyone's biochemistry is different, u really have to try for yourself to see what effect it will have on u.  This doesn't apply to tramadol, of course which is hereby declared as having no redeeming features.

Welcome, Gracie, I would go gently with a taper, after three years & a number of psychoactive meds, your body & brain will need some time to adjust.

Strength to all,

Michelle

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by kevzx81, Mar 19, 2009
Gracie/Noodle(and other 'taperers')- Tramadol is available in soluble form if you want to micro-manage a taper. By using a
5ml syringe I was able to reduce to 3x10mg per day very precisely.

Noodle-you could reduce even further before 'jumping off''. I found great psychological reassurance in reducing my dose as low as possible,even if only for the last couple of days.

Michelle- Good to hear from you. YES-opiate peceptors on a hair trigger! I cant take codeine etc for similar reasons(nausea)
and am seeking other strategies

PFC-Sorry to hear yet another example of disinterested doctoring; all too common. Good luck with the next one.

I am now 60 days free with only occasional rls and short bouts of mild anxiety.No symptoms for 3-4 days now.

Keep up the good work everyone!



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by noodlegrl, Mar 19, 2009
Hello Everyone!

Thank you Fred, Michelle, and Kev! Yes, to be validated.. I have always had that problem; I worry about scaring people off with things I do or say when I never mean any harm, worrying about being worthy of response (physical and emotional); and yes, have been returning here every 15-30 minutes for the last 3 days during my work hours (can't at home because kids are always in the living room where the computer is).

I don't want to jinx myself, but I really feel like it is going to be ok. Yesterday was a pretty good day. My headache came back last night but I tried to get some of my home responsibilities taken care of (house is a mess, haven't felt like doing anything once my feet cross the threshold in the afternoon) and then took a couple advil PMs as I was getting ready for bed. Slept all night until 4:30am (which is the same time I woke up yesterday morning) and fell back asleep within 15 minutes only to be woke up at 5:30 to the alarm (1st thought, NOOOOOOO SLEEEEEP, PLEEEEASE!!). I felt a slight "heaviness" in my chest like the anxiety was saying"hey, I'm going to get you" so I took one of the L-Theanines and then took my normal 1/2 a trampooh at 7. I seem to be ok.

My bosses are gone today and tomorrow so it makes the work environment a little less hectic and I can work at my own pace and take more breathers outside if I need to.

I can't get trampooh any other way than what I have stock piled. I have always gotten them from a friend who said they were harmless and I trusted this friend, never will do that again when it comes to something like this, a very very very very very big lesson learned. All it woulda took was a simple good search to find out differently, but I guess honestly when I felt how they made me feel I didn't want to know the truth yet.. but I should have so I wouldn't have gotten in this stupid situation. I do feel the friend honestly believes they are harmless, but the friend never has to miss a dose, endless script. I plan on giving the friend my compiled research when the friend gets back from vacation next week. The friend would give me how ever many I wanted everyday I wanted them for practically nothing. I say practically nothing because I would maybe slip the friend a $5 or $10 once a week to get lunch or something for being so gracious.

I guess what I am thinking about doing is continue the 1/2 till Sunday and drop to 1/4 and see how that goes. I am so scared of that. I have learned to dread reducing days just because of that awful series of panic/anxiety attacks from the week before.

I worry that once this garbage is out of my system and I am my old self that I won't realize it or I won't like my old self. It seems so long and the changes were so small and gradual and sneaky that I didn't notice I was changing. Its so hard to explain and wrap my mind around it right now. Its like, I am me but I can see myself being someone totally different like a vision.. do you know what I mean? I am not even sure! I just know that I want to be free... I never want to experience this again! If I do, it won't be because of pills.. it will be something legitimate like I really am going crazy or something.

PFC - it seems like most doctors out there now-a-days are not as qualified as they should be and less personable.. like the health of their patients is not their main concern... we have experienced this a lot in the last 1.5 years with various doctors. My husband had surgery February 08 for 2 bone spurs, a torn L something, and a torn rotator cuff from years of "extreme sport" abuse. His doctor was an egotistical *** with the short man syndrome, a corn cob up his booty, and sand in his ears. And we even had issues with my step daughters ENT doctor/surgeon. But anyhoosy.. doctors can be pains.. I'm scared of them anyway and their lacking concern that I have witnessed makes me even more phobic of them.

I continue to hope everyone is winning their battles with the demon. I wish I had more encouraging things to say to you all but this is so new to me and I just don't even know what to say that hasn't already been said. I will however be here for any of you who need someone to talk to or anything else! I have some positiveness in me now and I owe it to you who have courage, strength, wisdom, and the will to try, to succeed, and to come out on the other side!

Might be back soon :) Probably will :)

~Noodle

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by AshKer, Mar 19, 2009
Today is my Th day of stopping Tamadol cold turkey. I do feel my symptoms calming abit however new ones are developing. Today I have bouts of energy and then feelings of despair along with a rapid heartbeat.

Are these symptoms common on day 4? I really hope I am over the worse of this addiction.

The communication I read on these pages have given me hope.

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by KC67, Mar 19, 2009
Day 39 Cold Turkey – March 19, 2009

Hello all!  Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, but I have been busy doing research on benzo. withdrawal (I take Xanax) and realized that getting off benzos is WAY more difficult than I thought.  I knew they were addictive, but did not think that I (m’wa) was addicted -  because I only take .5mg 3x/daily.  Ha!  Wrong!

Well after researching the web, my dose is NOT as small as I thought and since I have been prescribed Xanax for over 3 years, the chances of me suffering another bitter withdrawal are high.  So, I decided a few days ago to begin my benzo taper.  I know we are not here to talk about benzo withdrawal, but I have to give you a little bit of background because I am not sure which symptoms I am experiencing NOW are due to Tram. withdrawal or from my Xanax taper.  

Day 39 today.  How do I feel?  Well insomnia is still bad.  I find that I am able to go right to sleep, but then awaken after about an hour.  I usually get up, get some water, and then am able to go back to sleep again, only to be wide awake after another hour.  This pattern repeats throughout the night but the intervals get longer.  I was experiencing this at Days 29-35 – even before I began my benzo taper – so not sure if this is Tram. withdrawal or the other.  Also, I find myself wide awake at 5am or 6am and can’t go back to sleep no matter how hard I try.  

Also, headaches re-appear randomly.  No headaches today or yesterday, but the 4 days before that – I had them off and on.  Nothing like a migraine, just very annoying.

Despite the insomnia, I am finding that my energy is slowly returning.  This is GREAT news!  
I would say that I am about 70% back to my normal self.  Also, I don’t have any cravings for the Trams – in fact I am scared of them.  This wasn’t the case in my first 15-20 days cold turkey.  I WANTED another Tram.  I just wanted so badly to feel normal again, that I was fighting my urge to take one.  

I still experience high anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, and occasional shortness of breath – but these may be attributed to my tapering of the benzo.  I remember about 10-15 days ago, I was complaining of lethargy, apathy, and just no desire to do ANYTHING – even things I love!  But that is steadily improving and today I feel happy and rather energetic.  I felt this way yesterday too.  I know that there are “windows” in both types of withdrawals, but I am very grateful for this 2 day window right now.  Tram withdrawal is so random and tomorrow may be a different story, but TODAY (and yesterday) are good days.

Noodle, I can completely relate to what you said, “I worry that once this garbage is out of my system and I am my old self that I won't realize it or I won't like my old self. It seems so long and the changes were so small and gradual and sneaky that I didn't notice I was changing.”

I too was terrified that I would not like myself off the Trams.  After all, I believed the lie that the Trams made me more social, more energetic, more fun to be around,  etc… I got to the point where I convinced myself that I needed a Tram. for every little situation to cope with life!  I would wake up and say, “Okay.  Well I need to take the Trams today because I have to volunteer at my son’s school” or “I have a big social event to go to so I NEED to take Trams so I will be able to get through it”.  

It was a “slow fade” for me.   Slowly…gradually…before I knew it, I found myself agitated, hyper, easily irritated, and edgey.  I wanted to be alone more.  I was beginning to not like the Trams and the fact that I needed BIGGER doses to get the same effect.  That’s when I googled “Tramadol Withdrawal” and came upon Emily’s journal.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I have had occasional (some days more frequent than others) dark thoughts about me NEVER getting back to normal.  These dark thoughts had me convinced that I would be the ONLY ONE who was a freak of nature and would NEVER return to my normal pre-tram self.  These dark thoughts forced me into battle and I found myself coming to this forum whenever I felt the temptation to give up and take a tram.  

When these dark, despondent thoughts come over you, give it an hour and try your hardest to distract yourself by either reading or re-reading Emily’s journal, or a book, or watch a mindless movie or Oprah show (don’t get me wrong…I love my Oprah and I found her shows a great distraction) – just to wait it out until the thoughts go away – and they DO go away.   I needed to be assured and re-assured and re-assured that everything I was experiencing was normal withdrawal stuff.  

Well I am winning this battle and I am here to re-assure you that at Day 39, it really HAS gotten better.  Don’t give up!  These trams will eventually kill you.  Whether you take a high amount and have a seizure or if you allow the Trams to continue to disconnect crucial wiring in your brain by continuing to take them in increasing amounts for years and years – they will eventually kill you.

So here I am today and I can honestly tell you that life is BETTER off the Trams.  Your personality WILL return and even though I am still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, I am happier without the Trams.  Just keep in mind when you feel as if you are going crazy, it is your brain’s GABA receptors re-connecting with your central nervous system.  For me, I have 3 years worth of reconnecting damaged wires to complete – not that it will take that long, but we have to give it time.  We ingested a drug that our bodies did not want.  A drug that forced our central nervous systems to “adapt” to and our bodies have to repair the damage.

I want you all to know that I do check in here almost every day.  Reading all of your posts continues to inspire me to NEVER take another Tram. again.  Noodle, Fred is right.  This place ebbs and flows all the time – so keep coming back.  There are a lot of us “lurkers” that just don’t have the energy to post, but come daily to get educated and inspired.  Also, keep posting – it is so therapeutic and you can take comfort in knowing that someone out there is going through (or has been through) the same thing.

Take care!
Sincerely with love and hope,
KC


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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
PFC - You write, "I'm back. Well, my stupid new Dr did my physical today, never looked me in the eye, didn't hear me, gave me MORE trams, and some Ativan!! I went immediately and changed primary drs. He SUCKED!!!!!"


Yes. He truly sucked. Not your imagination there Buddy Girl! I have had along parade of Doctors who suck. At this point I'm bitter and feel that they need to pay everyone who has suffered by taking Tramadol or Klonopin and seeing how they like withdrawal. Self righteous Bastages!

I am glad you have a new Doctor an hope they will help you.


Hi Gracie!  You write, "After three years on Ultracet (plus Lyrica, Cymbalta, a little Ativan and some sleep meds thrown in for good measure) I am trying to get off this train. I am tapering but feel horrible, horrible, horrible. Can't sleep, intestinal problems, fricking headache, crawling out of my skin, muscle twitching, shakes, crying - pretty much the whole picture. And of course, when I told my doctor, he just prescribed more meds and looked at me like I have three heads."

Such an unpleasant look they give you isn't it? Like; complete denial! And of course the problem is with you. That's what I like to call the I'm Afraid of Malpractice Lawsuit Face. Mo Fos! It's so irritating.

(((Noodle)))) Yes, I have been on a Klonopin taper. The Benzos (Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Valium and yes ... Ambien is a Benzo Relative) need to be tapered. *Supposedly* Having accidentally done cold turkey back in 2005 off Klonopin I can see this thinking is good. But that doesn't make it pleasant.

Part of the taper symptoms are the word recognition and brain pain. And inability to have appropriate emotions. Right now? More Homicidal Ideation than Suicidal Ideation. Which; I guess is a relief? But it's disturbing. Luckily I HAVE to work ... which puts me around people. Keeps my brain from freezing up.

However, I had massive symptoms for five days? I cut again last night to .25 mg. I feel ok now. Not great but not writhing in pain. I have started to take Propananol after the five day long panic attack. In a small dose. I think it will keep me from losing everything. The panic is very reminiscent of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it's constant. So the propananol should help. And so far it has. It's a Beta Blocker and slow the heart rate and blood pressure. There's really only so much pain I can take.

This is pain like the last car accident I was in. EVERYTHING is sore! So annoying.

Hi Fred! You write, "PFC, Glad you are looking for another doctor.  What is the matter with medicine today, where a doctor can't even look a patient in the eye?"

They are operating now from a place of Fear. That is what is wrong. There's little compassion left in them. I'm all cold hearted and pissed right now, and I say ... It's not amazing that MD's have incredibly short life spans. Living into their 50's  only, I'm shedding crocodile tears. That sounds massively cold but considering what has been done to my life, I'm so there. *picks up can of paint*

Ahhh Michelle aka Mad Tram; that's good information about the Codeine and the Opiate Receptors. I am sorry you had pain and a flare up. That is terrible.

Everyone who is in Early Withdrawal, breatheeeee. It's really going to be ok. Even though I'm completely whacked out, I'm not on freakin frackin Tramadol and basically THAT has given me enough strength to go thru the last and final withdrawal from Benzo a$$hat Klonopin.

I swear you really will be ok. The Tramadol withdrawal is Mighty Awful, but I'm living proof that you do go on to be ok. Promise! Girl Scouts Honor!

I threw some $$ at some girl scouts awhile back and refused to take their cookies. I do that every year. :D

Love and healing,
Emily





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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
KC - I meant to tell you that I believe you should wait for at least 90 days off Tramadol before attempting a Benzo Withdrawal.

You really need not to be experiencing Tramadol symptoms before you start messing around with A Benzo taper. The chances of being successful in reducing Benzos increase with huge proportions.

Oh and also, I use/used ************.org to help me understand how fast/not fast I wanted to taper. They have several people there who are amazing with percentages and math who can help you decide if you want to Titrate (dissolve) or dry cut. It's not busy. But it's good. The one outta England; is ... um ... pretty terrifying. They all are actually so ... take with a grain of salt.

Ok back to reading your post.


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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
Ahhhh Ok see? Benzo brain. KC I see I got ahead of myself. You're already tapering.  Well, you never know how Benzo withdrawal will be. It may be ok, or not. Hard to say. Don't let the sites terrify you. Although as you are seeing there's a ton of information on Benzos and almost none on Tramadol.

You asked what I use? Benzo Buddies Dot Org.

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by noodlegrl, Mar 19, 2009
AskKer - I am by no means an expert but from what I have heard days 1-4 are the hardest and then you should never turn back (!) because you will have to do it all over again, even if you just slip one; I have not experienced this yet because I am still tapering my dose (hopefully I won't have to, please Lord). I am at roughly 25mg 1x a day but I am taking other vitamins/supplements/herbal remedies to help detox and aide in the process. You may try something like that because my physical symptoms are hardly noticeable, its the psychological symptoms that are hitting me hardest and its hardly at all right now. Also, I have heard that the withdrawal symptoms are completely random, you can be ok one second and not the next, which is what had me tore up a couple weeks ago. There are a plethora of other symptoms that could be had but depending on your size, amount taken daily, length of use, etc you should be getting over the worst part of it but symptoms could randomly pop up at any time for months to come (based on what I just listed). Thats why I would suggest doing the next paragraph (see below) and stick with it and it will help your over all health in general.

I take a multivitamin+energy from one a day, green tea extract supplements, magnesium, fish oil, niacin, an occasional 5 hour energy for its B vitamins and amino acids (at $3 a pop I can't afford them everyday anymore, used to though), I also have melatonin, advil PM, benadryl, and xanax (have only taken 1/2 of one of those since I started tapering) to help sleep (seems good sleep is very important to a recovery, gives your body its undivided attention and time to heal). I don't take all of the sleep aides at the same time (duh :)), I alternate based on how easy I think I am going to fall asleep. I am drinking water with propel in it which has B, C, and niacin. I also have something called Rescue Remedy which is an all natural extract of 5 different types of flowers and it is supposed to give you a sense of calm. I used it the other morning when I felt an anxiety attack coming and it took the edge off. Also yesterday I bought some L-Theanine which some people have called natures Valium, I took it yesterday and this morning and so far I am doing really well today. I really think all this stuff has really really helped ease into the change. But remember, I am not a doctor and somethings that are good for one person are not good for everyone. There are certain things you should not take while trampooh is still in your system like 5-HTP because when combined it can cause Serotonin Syndrome with can be potentially fatal. So if you have technical questions or are on any other medications I would do some research and/or try consulting with your doctor before deciding on a regimen.

When I first posted here I just KNEW all of my symptoms were going to come back and this is day 5th day of my reduced dose and I think I am going to be ok. I don't know how I am going to react when I "jump off" all together but I am going to taper to the smallest dose I can and try to stay positive. Reading this forum has helped a lot because it lets me know I am not alone and everyone has had great advice and all these people and research is how I came up with my vitamin supplement cocktail :)

Let me know if you have any questions :) but remember I am no expert, just know what seems to be working for me right now :)

~Noodle

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by KC67, Mar 19, 2009
Hi Emily,

Thanks for your advice.  Yes, I went to the England Benzo taper website and they scared the **** out of me!  I was going to wait 90 days before I started my benzo taper, but I think I mentioned before that patience is NOT one of my virtues.

I am so sick of doctors and drugs that I just got angry and mapped myself out a slow taper.  I am going to cut .25mg per month.  I couldn't read the website that you posted (above) - I guess MedHelp only wants us to use THIS one.  lol.  Anyway, if you would, could you send me the website again - maybe try putting spaces between the letters?

Ok.  I will try not to freak out.  It's tough, but as I said above, today and yesterday have been good days.  So far, I made a mistake and cut .5 mgs overnight.  Yes, I suffered greatly for 3 days, but am okay today.  So hanging tight at 1mg/day for the next month.

Anyone else out there on benzo's - be careful.  Benzos are NOT like Trams.  Benzos have to be tapered.  

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by bodegirl, Mar 19, 2009
Day 19
Hey everyone.
KC, thanks for the inspiration.    I can really relate to the fear that I will never return to "normal" and hearing that we WILL eventually feel good again is saving me from quitting the battle.   I want to have that motivation and energy back that I had before tram ever entered my life.  Its the one sympton that is holding on for dear life, as though I'm really being tested and pushed to the limit everyday in the grips of tram w/d.  I also was taking neurontin which I stopped ct a week after I stopped the trams, my doctor told me there should be no withdrawal from that medication, but I started researching that drug on the net and found that people have had horrible w/d's from that drug too!  I am w/d-ing from 2 powerful drugs and I have to believe that is why I feel so darn awful still.  I swear, doctors really do not seem to know much about the effects of medications-its infuriating!  

My energy level is so low that I'm still forcing myself to do basic things, however, I am hiking with my dogs almost everyday again for about an hour(I was definately not doing that a week ago!).  I still have trouble sleeping because my heart seems to race as I lie there in bed and I almost find it hard to breathe-I know others have mentioned this as well.  I am eventually sleeping, just not more than 4 hours which only adds to my feeling of fatigue.  My head is still feeling fuzzy and heavy, but the brain "zaps" are getting less frequent now.  That's my update-I wish it were more positive.

I keep holding on to the hope from reading what others have gone through.  Thank you all for being here and listening and sharing-it's a life saver.  

Sincerely,
bodegirl

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by kevzx81, Mar 19, 2009
Emily-*hands screwdriver and dark clothing* (LOL(optional)).

Noodle-The time during taper before jumping off is an opportunity to prepare and it sounds like you're really 'on it' and doing well.

Med Free Pain Diary part whatever.....
---------------------------------------------------------

Whats most noticable is how quickly pain can drain energy. I've been doing 2-4 hrs (mostly) light gardening each day and driving a lot too. Concentration also tires quickly. So I'll keep exercising, little and often and hope my fitness returns.

ONE BREAKTHROUGH> I discovered a posture for temporary pain relief.(worn discs between shoulder blades in my case)
I hope maybe this might work for someone else too.... This is a variation of an exercise advised by my physio.
Sitting in an upright position in any chair... Tuck your chin into your chest and push your head slightly back. Then clasp your fingers behind your head and bring your elbows parallel to your knees and horizontal(out in front of you a heads width apart).
I found this by experimenting and got lucky.My pain can't really get me in this position. Ok, so I can do little at the same time beyond admire my own groin, but its a life changer for me!

The experiment continues....



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by priceiswright, Mar 19, 2009
When I was quitting cold turkey I posted every other minute. I lived on these boards. They saved my life. I read all of Emily's journals and all the comments. That was my life. I think it really helped me understand what I was dealing with.

I had a few good days this week. Family was in town. We talked about prescription meds and one mentioned how good Ultram was. UGHHH did that make me scared. All I said was tramadol is a dangerous drug. So many people have a distorted vision of rat poision and there are millions of more people who take rat poision and don't get off of it. We should be proud we have the strength to quit. GO US!!!!

I am lucky because my circle of friends really never abused drugs, maybe some maryjane here and there but nothing else. I fear though, that there are a lot of people who abuse prescription drugs and hide it (just like I did)

FRED - I know I shouldn't worry about the next 30 years and I should focus on staying off of trams for today. I really have a problem with focusing on the present. I'm one of those people who plans and plans and plans and says this is where I will be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years. It's an ugly fault of mine and not beneficial for an addict.

BOARD - it seems as if many of us who have abused tramadol are also on other meds - has anyone had experience with quitting ambien? I've been taking that stuff for 2 years (same dose, never abused) but I worry that it might be affecting me negatively and contributing to some of my lack of energy. Of course the doc says its OK - his words are "if its working, why quit? - no long term effects" Oh doctors......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How long after quitting tram should you begin on the road to quit other drugs?????

I LOVE YOU ALL. I really do.




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by priceiswright, Mar 19, 2009
P.S - KC, 39 days and you are getting back to normal I'm so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That makes me very excited to be 70% normal. I can't wait :)

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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
PriceisWright - I'd tell you 90 days off Tramadol before you attempt your next withdrawal. Don't try to jump off everything.  Your body needs time to come back from Tramadol!

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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
Kev writes, "Emily-*hands screwdriver and dark clothing* (LOL(optional))."

You would not even believe it, this damm Doctor's Answering machine won't even let you leave a message cancelling your appointment. Makes me feel really stabby man.

I keep seeing his stupid Groovy Smiley Face saying, "You can stay on Klonopin forever, there's no real side effects."

Yeah ok, except tolerance and that's suicidal depression and disability. This guy is a Psychiarist and couldn't even tell me how to safely taper. "Just take less" is not a logical progressive or safe taper.  This guy knows less about what he's doling out than I do which should terrify peole and doesn't. *stabba stabba*

Hmmm someone asked me why I decided to stop taking Klonopin. Because it was given to me to deal with the panic attacks that Tramadol started. And with no chronic pain; there's no point to taking anything. Klonopin and other Benzos will seriously turn on you like a Viper. A brain eating soul stealing viper. Iz Bad Medicine at best, poison. I really wish that I had never taken Tramadol. In which case I'd never be on Klonopin.

But there is what is. And so ... I taper. And feel stabby. And sweaty. And wanna beat Dr Groovy's car to death with a bat. I won't. But i want to. I'm also at work, and it's super people intense, so I am practicing NOT SAYING WHAT MY BRAIN wants me to SAY cause it's all crazy! Don't wanna bring out the CRAZY! Keep the crazy inside the crazy brain right now.

It's the Klonopn talking. The big mistake people make in withdrawal is trusting their thoughts as "real." Not really a good plan to make ANY BIG choices or DO ANYTHING at all that influences anyone while in withdrawal. Bad plan to make plans from a Detoxing Body and Brain ...


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by kevzx81, Mar 19, 2009
Emily-'stabba stabba' lol. the screwdriver was only to open the paint, but Im with you in spirit in either case!

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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
Thank you Kev,

So this is a good point then to admit that I stole the beans from your shed?

Sorry Man. I need the Beans!

Oh and all the $$ you all sent me for your rehab vacay; I spent it all on obscure nail polish. Acually that could potentialy be true, I love obscure weird nail polish. I'm well known for wearing greens, blues and glitters ...so tacky and I love it!

:D

As long as I'm all stabby I should be able to function ok. If I keep my mouth shut. With the word recognition problem it's kinda funny when i talk. Last night my husband and I were standing in front of the open front door. He had the screen latched and all our kitty catties were swarming around me; there's 5 of them ... 70 pounds of purring love that now tails ((hardee har)) me day and night when i am home. It's a great thing!  I feel like Snow White .. ANyhhow I was COLD... and I said, "Can you close the door Because it's too hot in here."

Then he started laughing at me and I reminded him that my Brain is all screwed in wrong. :D



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by McTigerlily, Mar 19, 2009
I detoxed off of my Hydrocodone addiction by tapering off of Darvos. It was easier that way. But I still have a lot of pain in my neck and shoulder and it's nerve pain, so I am getting a spinal block on the 30th. In the meantime, the dr gave me Utram ER 200mg and I usually take one a day, sometimes two. It is extended release (unless you crush or chew them up, I guess), so do you think I'll be OK to take this for a few weeks without going through heavy withdrawals later? I don't want to go through another detox. I still have to taper off of Ativan and I'm not ready to give them up. I'm not addicted to them. I take it exactly as prescribed and never run out before the refill is due. They don't get me high, but my body is used to them (been on them with Zoloft since after my daughter was born 17 months ago), so I do have physical withdrawals when I skip a dose or two. I am also tapering off of the Zoloft and I cried for the first time in two years in my marriage counseling session and it felt SOOO good. I seriously never cried while taking Zoloft. I was too numb.

Anyway, my main question was about the Ultram ER. Thank you. You are all amazing!

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by noodlegrl, Mar 19, 2009
McTigerlily - I am not 100% positive of the answer to that as everyone is different. But while doing my research to figure out how to get off of Trampooh, I read a story of someone who had been in an accident and had taken 1 a day for about a month and they became physically dependent upon them and went through withdrawals. Its nasty stuff and if at all possible I would want to consider taking something else. I think, if my understanding is correct, that Ultram and Tramadol are the same thing? Which means that Ultram also has an anti-depressant in it which is what makes the withdrawals horrendous. Is this correct everyone?

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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
That's 4 to 8  ... 50 mg tramadol a day Sweet McTigerlily. So, yes, what's a "few weeks?"

I'd personally never mix a Benzo (Ativan) and Tramadol  ...I'd rather be on Davoset or Codeine, because the withdrawal isn't as bad as the Tramadol. At least, in my case.

Good for you for getting off Zoloft. Yes, it all creates a numbed out life.So proud of you for getting off!

Big difference between "dependance" and "addiction."

So ... my fear is that they'll keep you on Tramadol post surgically and pre surgically in which case, yes, you'll end up in Ultram WIthdrawal land ... Unless you are really lucky.

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by KC67, Mar 19, 2009
Sorry.
I just had to post because I am cracking up that you confessed you stole Kev's beans, Emily!

And that you thought the screwdriver was for stabbing Dr. Groovey.  LOL.

And I love the vision of Snow White with all of her faithful animals trailing behind her.

It is good to laugh in the midst of withdrawal.  

Kev and Em - you both have a great sense of humor!  Stabba Dabba Do - as Fred Flintstone would say!

Ok.  I'm definitely getting whacky.  Signing off!
KC


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by noodlegrl, Mar 19, 2009
OMG, I just realized something and wonder if its related to the Trampooh. Within the last year or so, I have started having trouble looking at people while they are looking at me... especially in the eye.. But today, I was able to have a conversation and actually look at the person without fidgeting or looking away. The only thing to hide or be shady about was the Trampooh! But it even happens with my husband who knew I was taking it. I was chalking it up to my nervous condition and social anxiety which is still very possible but when I was able to look at this person without feeling like my eyes were going to swim out of my head it was like whoa, yay! It was just one time, but still got me thinking.. I hope it means when I get this stuff out of me I will be able to look in peoples eyes while I talk to them. This sounds so weird, heh.  Anyone else have this happen?

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by kevzx81, Mar 19, 2009
Emily- That would explain all the 'hot air' :D=

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by Dylan465, Mar 19, 2009
Just had to add, no one is really an expert. Listening to your body has got to be the best way to go. But if you really want to c/t and can take it, it's your life and you can do what you want, as the old song by the Animals said. Listening to every horror story, I think can do a lot of harm for a person with a strong will and desire to get off. You can listen, but other's experiences aren't always yours. I know someone on here that got addicted to trams in a month, he's had bad times, but he's doing pretty well, even after a week. It's probably about a month now for him.
I mixed ativan and trams. I never c/t any drug and my experience tapering the ativan was an inner rage--pretty weird, but it didn't last. I believe all things are possible with God and actually believe He can help you and make it easier to withdraw. I saw my husband get off trams w/o a problem. So, I guess my point is, that I've seen it possible, not for it to be horrible because it is horrible for some people. I have CP and ultram was given to me, I was desperate and didn't research first, but am down to about 2 pills a day. I am not going anywhere and won't rush off of this. One thing at a time. Someone asked if Tramadol and Ultram are the same--yes they are. And I would say Ultram er is darn addictive. I didn't know some anti-depressents didn't make you cry. I would imagaine it felt great to release all that built up emotion.
I wish everyone well. I wish myself well, it feels like my nightmare-- I would get back being on a drug came true. I did drugs at a much younger age and would sometimes have nightmares that I was back on them. I spent most of my life being an exercise nut and hurt myself and got back on prescription drugs--yeah it's a nightmare but I continue to pray. These last 3-4 yrs have been the worst.
Thanks for letting me visit and vent and bless you all.

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by yayadrienne, Mar 19, 2009
Hi. This is my first post. My husband found this page for me, for which I am truly gratefull. I have yet to read all the posts on here but the ones I've read have been helpful and inspiring. I'm going to go back in read ALL of them (I need all the help I can get) but I first wanted to explain my situation & see if anyone has advice for me.
I have been on the drug that my husband calls "damnitall" for about 2-3 years. My drug addiction, however, began long before that. For the past 10 years I have been a slave to loretab, vicodin, hydrocodone syrup, adderall (narcotics are my preference, but speed would take its place if necessary), lomotil, and methadone(rarely - but I have a friend who goes to the clinic and I would beg it off of her if I didnt have anything else). Unfortunately, these drugs have been what I call my "daytime medicine." For the late afternoon, I would take usually take ativan, but sometimes klonapin. Rarely zanax or Ambien(though I did love Ambien dearly).  Nighttime - alcohol. I drink about a 6 pack of Budwiser a night. Umm.. I take lots of Advil, drink coffee, and smoke heavily. That about covers all the drugs - oh, and Effexor(which is another evil *******).

These are the drugs I have heavily abused in the past. These days it is tramadol, ativan, and alcohol. Normally 12 -18 tramadol, 4mg of ativan and about six beers. But now my husband is helping me with a taper down method, and I really really want it to work. I am 36 years old and am sick that I have lost so many years of my life to drugs.

I am taking these separate drug problems once at a time. The plan is - tackle tramadol first, then cigarettes, then ativan or alcohol - I dont know which of those first. So today is my first day with only 5 tramadols. I went from seven yesterday to five today. I feel kike hell. Any suggestions? Any hope at all?
      -------Thanks,
                 Adrienne

Added by her husband....Jim

Hi, I guess this is OUR 1st post.

I feel the need to mention that this tram problem is not exclusive to my wife as her mother is equally addicted and they're both "partners in crime" when it comes to this. All (and I mean ALL) of her friends are addicts as well so, she's really all alone in her battle to free herself from this. We have a GREAT marriage in every other way, it's this addiction that is the root of our "evil", so to speak. It has caused us to split up several times in our 15 years of knowing each other and the last time was just over a month ago (2/7/09) to be exact. We started talking about a month later and the only way for us to get passed the past, was to kill our problems at the "root."  And she decided (<--- [b]she[/b] decided) to save her marriage by quitting this and she asked for my help to do so. I'm about the only one in her life that doesn't take pills or drugs. I drink beer but, that's it and I don't have an alcohol problem (although, alcoholism runs in my family and killed my father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather by the age of 43, all of them). I've seen it, and it won't happen to me, and I'll be 40 this year. I lost my mother in June of last year. I only mention this because of a curious event that happened about 2 weeks after she passed....

I'm a HUGE Memphis Grizzlies basketball fan and yes.......I accept your condolences.....I don't really know how I became a fan but I did......of the worst basketball team ever......in the history of basketball and I belong to a commuity of online folks who also chat about this horrible abomination of a team, and I've made many friends over the years if the very few messageboards devoted to abominable teams. Most I've never met or wouldn't know if I passed them walking down a street. Now, I've mentioned that mom passed recently...She passed of long-term complications due to diabetes and she spent about the last 6 weeks of her life in the hospital. I visited quite often and got to know many of the nurses and doctors that took care of her during this period. Since I work mostle evenings and nights I would visit mostly late at night into the wee hours of the morning. One of the Doctors that I had come to know taking care of her during that time was the nighttime pharmacist at this hospital as he did rounds at night and usually there was no one there so he would always have the time to talk for a little while and answer any questions I had or concerns I had for her, as it was evident she wasn't going home.

About 2 weeks after she passed and life was getting back to normal somewhat I decided for the 1st time to meet a bunch of these posters and watch the NBA basketball finals at a local bar where one of my friends is the bartender. I find the group I'm looking for and immediately recognize the pharmacist sitting there at the table. Turns out I've already known him for years as a friend. It's a very rare thing to interact with somebody anonomously, that you already know.

Que sera sera.

The conversations that I've had with him (head nighttime pharmacist for the largest hospital in the Memphis and metro area) about what these drugs (particuliarly Tramadol) do to the body and the mind and eventually the soul, are horrifying. He has told me about how most doctors don't have much of a clue about what they're perscribing to people except for what the drug company reps. have told them it will do.

So don't listen to them about drugs as much as,(if possible) asking your pharmacist about the drugs you're given.  

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by pfcpremosgirl, Mar 19, 2009
Ambien has never been hard for me to stop taking. It quit working so well, though, became ineffective. I haven't taken it at all since the first night it quit on me. The ativan the dr prescribed, yes, the moron dr, actually helps, But I took ativan for four months in the middle of last year and never had an issue coming off of it. I only take it AS NEEDED, maybe one every other day, if that. Especially when I cannot sleep and its 1 am, and I need a few hrs. Take one I'm dreaming like a baby the rest of the night but don't feel "hungover" the next day. As for those nasty little trams he gave me, well, they got flushed down my toilet. Couldn't have them around me, too tempting. I am wish you all much success, love and luck!! :-) You've all be a wonderful support for me!! Thank you!

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by Dylan465, Mar 19, 2009
Hi again, one of the biggest and advantageous things I read is that the trams CAUSE pain. I would love to hear back from everyone that agrees with that. That has to be the most motivating thing for me. I  was an exercise nut and have pretty much stopped living because of pain. If this pain is from these pills, I will be so psyched. My life has been ruined because of the pain. I would do anything to feel whole again--so PLEASE write back. I will kiss the sky and the ground to enjoy life again.
Thanks so much and blessings to u all. I'd write more but my computer is typing so slow.

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by Dylan465, Mar 19, 2009
Ok, computer still writing slow. I would love to hear from those tapering/weaning. I'm trying to get an idea, though I've already heard a few, of getting off this stuff. Having read from Emily (and thank you dear, for writing all you have and getting us info) I am so pissed off if this has caused me more pain all these years. My life have really come to a halt and would love to hear back from anyone who is tapering and it's working and those whose pain is less or gone--please write me. I am psyched right now, with the thought of the possibility of getting off drugs and exercising and working again. Bless u Emily and all here.

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by EmilyPost, Mar 19, 2009
The pain is from the Tramadol. In one year, it causes Neuropathy. At the end of my Tramadol useage I was literally rolling on he floor begging my husband to take me to the Emergency Room.

I thought I neded surgery.

I was wrong. Once I detoxed from Tramadol; I have almost zero pain from my vry legitimate injury. Two disc herniations and nerve damage. The pain, was the Tramadol.

You'll get your life back Dylan; I promise.

:D

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by kevzx81, Mar 20, 2009
Dylan-Take heart,things will get better. Tramadol disables our coping mechanisms, making everything feel worse. I cant say how much pain will remain for you post Tram but Im sure it will be less.
A combination of bad meds and daily pain had me feeling intimidated and utterly discouraged. But now I wonder how much of that was the 'Tram talking'. Getting our minds back must be good for our bodies too?

Hang tough Dylan,we're all rooting for you.



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by noodlegrl, Mar 20, 2009
Good Morning All, I hope everyone is doing well!

I am doing ok this morning. I woke up with a mild anxiety attack but am ok now that I am up and moving. Trying not to let my thinking go there.

My mind is waking up some I think. I had gotten to where impatience was my character trait. Especially when it came to my kids (so sorry kids, I love you dearly!) and my sister - - - who I got into 2 physical fights with and gave a black eye a few weeks ago (right around when I decided to get the poison out!). I am not a fighter, I am a lover, but dang now I need a punching bag because it was very therapeutic. My sister is fine now and we have made up but still aren't talking so much! She gets on my nerves! Anyhoosy.. So yesterday, it seemed like I had more patience in me than impatience (this morning was a different story). Yesterday gives me hope though. I spoke things calmly that I usually would just fester over and that is good because I am hoping after this stuff is out I can become a better person than I was originally.

I pray this continues to go as well as it is.

Dylan - I am tapering! It seems to be going well. I was taking 3-4 (up to 200mgs) a day. When I decided to taper, I went from those 150-200mgs to 50mg a day. I took 50mg a day for about 4 days I think (I really can't remember), and then I went to 25 mg for one day. Then I skipped a day. DO NOT SKIP A DAY! It through me into horrible horrible withdrawals! So that day I resumed taking 50mg a day. It took me a whole week to recover from that. I took 50mg a day for 7-9 days. Then I dropped to about 25mgs a day and that is where I am at now. This weekend (probably Sunday, maybe Saturday) I am going to drop to about 12.5 mgs till I run out (maybe about a week?, dunno, trying not to count them =P ) I am doing really well with the taper it seems. The mornings is the hardest for me but once I get moving and I take my vitamins, herbal supplements, etc I feel pretty ok considering what is going on in my body. Read my post from March 19th at 11:24 and it will tell you about my vitamin/supplement cocktail. But remember, I am not a doctor and I don't know your medical history, somethings might interact with other medications so you should research for yourself and see what you can/should take. But it seems to be working ok for me, but I always have that nagging negative feeling that says "You know, I (anxiety) can come back at anytime to take you out, I'm just playing along till the right moment to watch you crash and burn!". But you have to really consciously think about being positive. I understand it can be hard because  I am still scared about the next taper down and the "jump off" though and having a hard time not thinking about it. Like big time. It is what causes me the most anxiety right now, try not to think of it though :( I just hope I will still be able to work during this time.

How is everyone?

Faith, Love, Hope, Strength, and Will to WANT TO, to you all :)

~Noodle

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by noodlegrl, Mar 20, 2009
Oh I meant to say something about the pain. I never had pain before beginning Trampooh. I started taking it because a friend saw that I was having trouble getting through the day without loads of nervousness and anxiety for no reason other than I am me =P so friend said take one of theeeeeese it will make you feeeeeeeel better and its not addictive because its not narcotic. Oh OK!! I took one. BAM! Miracle drug! Well being! Yay! I did not know they were a synthetic opiate with an antidepressant! I should have researched but I did not. So I kept asking, friend kept giving, I kept taking... downward spiral begins here and lasts almost a year. Somewhere in there my back, knees, shoulders and elbows start randomly hurting and more headaches now that I think back. I thought I am sleeping wrong, sitting wrong, driving wrong, its because of my posture, yada yada yada... Well, a few weeks ago when I realized this is not going to work anymore, something is not right, something is very WRONG! Whoa where did Noodle go? Whos noodle? Noodle didn't know what happened to herself!!!!!! So I began the things mentioned in above posts and my random pains have indeed been less, but it was never so bad I couldn't take it so I ignored it anyway. But really the only thing bothering me anymore is my back/headaches (just a couple, feel one coming now) and I think my back really is my posture while typing and just in general. It is so hard to sit correctly... any suggestions? :)

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by JLO2112, Mar 20, 2009
hey again. I just want to say I am still tramfree. I started taking 5-htp a couple of days ago but I just read one of the previous posts that if tramadol is still in your system it could be dangerous. How long does this **** stay in your system? I haven`t had one in at 2 weeks. I`m slowly getting my energy back. And it seems this 5-htp stuff helps. I`m glad to see so many quiting this **** and hangin in there.

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by madtram, Mar 20, 2009
Hi JLO, u would have had a bad reaction by now if there was still a sufficiently high level of tramadol in your system so don't worry.  The tramadol metabolites can be stored in our fat cells & take some to clear which explains some of the individual differences in time taken to withdraw.  However, the antidepressant half life would be clear after two weeks.  It's great that 5htp is helping.
Cheers,

M

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by JLO2112, Mar 20, 2009
Thats good news. Thanks  M.

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by noodlegrl, Mar 20, 2009
I have been wondering that same thing.. how long is the garbage going to stay in me because I also have some 5-htp that I bought before I read about the adverse effects when taking with things like Trampooh.. but since everyone is different I was just going to wait as long as possible - and also hoping the L-Theanine is going to be my ticket for a while.
Anti-depressants are clear after 2 weeks though? Even for long term users? Just curious.

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by noodlegrl, Mar 20, 2009
So.. I just had a bad thing happen.

I got some news that was upsetting. Nothing major but just something that kinda un-does my weekend plans that I was looking forward to because it was going to keep me busy. And now those plans are shattered because of someone else who is a pain in my ***. I kinda lost it and said a long string of explicitives and it basically made me have an attack. My hands started shaking (just a little, mostly felt like my organs were vibrating) and the anxiety came back. I went outside to get some fresh air and smoke a cigarette (fresh air and smoke =P funny) and then came back in and took an L-Theanine. I am calmer now but am still upset because I needed something besides work to get my mind off things but oh well I guess I am being a big baby. But I HATE it when someone has the ability to change MY plans for ME. Grrr >.<

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by Hope91171, Mar 20, 2009
Hello Everyone,

I have taken tramadol/ultram off and on since 1999. Like everyone else on this site my first experience with tramadol was great!  After the first 20minutes of nausea I was so energized and amped up I felt like I could do anything- pain free. Because I work in healthcare it was easy to obtain or get a script from one of my friends. I think the problem really took of around 2003 all my problems with work, marriage,  and motherhood were easily solved by taking 2, then, 3 trams. Similar to other stories I became dependent on the trams just to get oob and be "normal"  whenever I was stressed, or angry I would pop 2 trams then all was well with the world. My hubby realized it was a problem before me. by 2005 I was ordering of the net- couldn't wait to see fed-ex (hopefully he came before the kids got out of school). On so many occasions I would deny my addiction to my hubby and use medical literature and collegues to tell my hubby he was over reacting. I usually go through 180/50mg pills in 3 weeks. I can take a bit from everyones story and identify with your actions. I cried and I laughed (more of the first) while reading the posts. Today is day 2 of cold turkey, I am sweating like a pig and my stomach is cramping like he--. I have already showered 2x's, tonight I will admit my addiction to my husband. I curse the day I ever took one of those pills. Shortly I will go out and by some of the mentioned things to help with withdrawal. I hate the fact that I allowed a pill to take over my life. I will not live like this anymore. I am appreciative of all the stories shared.


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by Hope91171, Mar 20, 2009
almost done with day 3, last nite rls and tossing and turning, today stomach cramping and bathroom. NO appetite. It took every ounce of energy to get oob. Called in sick. No energy. Tried to read all the posts but my concentration is **** poor. Hope all is going better for everyone else. Tomorrow will be better.

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by FinallyFred, Mar 21, 2009
Hello Everyone.  I am enjoying catching up with all of the posts since I last pulled up.  ERRRRAK.  What is terribly impressive to me, is to see each one of you newcomers sharing with such beautiful passion and honesty.  I am so glad that you arrived here and that you had a moment of clarity to see this damn drug for what it is - RAT POISON.  My "walk" down tramadol lane is enriched and brightened by each of your stories.  Thank you.

Noodle, First, congratulations on your WAR.You are doing so well.

Your musings about headaches buzzed me back to my tram-dope-days.  One thing that tramadol NEVER ever did for me was get rid of my occassional headaches.   Can anyone else relate?  This darned drug couldn't even get rid of a simple headache.  Go figure!  Another symptom I have never heard anyone talk about here is hickups.  Whenever I would take TOO MANY trams, I would always get the hickups.  Anyone else?  Strange...

Noodle, I appreciated hearing you talk about your  unfortunate crazy making situation RE: your shattered weekend plans.  It ***** when things outside our control affect us so.  I am so sorry Noodle. You aren't a baby just cause you planned for something and someone outside your control changed YOUR plans.

The serenity prayer talks about accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can.  It's not always easy to do, but it worked for me this morning.  I was in terrible traffic on the freeway this morning.  My tendancy is to look at my watch and to become angry at my schedule being messed with.  But this morning, I thought of the serenity prayer as I sat there in traffic, took some deep breathes, and miraculously realized that this situation was not going to change, no matter how many times I honked my horn!!!   :)    So while there are SO many times I don't practice this principle, this morning I did.  I put on a favorite CD and temporarily forgot about my schedule and stopped focusing on that line of stopped cars ahead of me.  And before I knew it, traffic was moving again, I had listened to a favorite tune or two and I got to my appointment safe and SOUND.  (and unless you actually KNEW me, you can't REALLY appreciate how miraculous it was for this type A guy to relax for a spell in snarled traffic)

Hope91171, Welcome.  Hopefully by the time you read this you will have gotten out to pick up some of the Thomas Recipe stuff. Nothing will totally eliminate the physical withdrawal symptoms, but EVERYTHING helps.  Days 2-3 are hard.  By day 2-3,  the sleeplessness begins to accumulate and drag you down.  But I am confident that by the end of this weekend you will feel WAY better.  So good that you were able to take the day off Friday.  Your honesty and determination will get you through.  

Adrienne's Jim,  A spouse or partner can provide helpful support.  You probably know this, but ...um...you hopefully are allowing her come to her own conclusions about this rat drug, right?  As in, nobody can and will change their behavior for someone else.  Nuf said.

Adrienne,  You are wise to think of only one thing at a time.   You said that you are going to try to taper off this drug.  Some do well on tapering, if you ARE tapering, do it slowly.  Kev and others here are "expert taperers" and can offer you advice on that.  I was FAR too impatient to think that a taper would work for me.  Besides, over the six years I had been on this tram-o-train, I had clearly demonstrated to myself that I was entirely unable to maintain any sort of a  regulated constant pill intake/day, let alone a taper.  

My MADNESS was to take "extra" pills when the new RX would become available, constantly leaving myself precious few during my last week of each cycle.  When I first arived here, I  felt unique in this behavior, but I have since learned that only the very best of soaring eagles are able to stay on a rigid schedule with this drug.

Oh there were months that I was able to stay on a regular 8 pills/day, day after day. But more often than not, I averaged at least 10, maybe 12 pills each day that first week, leaving me WITHDRAWING at the end of each cycle.  In fact, it was not only how the trams made me feel, the fog that I was under constantly, that INCREASED PAIN that damn tram brings on over time(look for separate discussions on TOLERANCE), but it was my determination to NOT repeat that CONSTANT WITHDRAWAL every three weeks that led me to finally say ENOUGH of the madness.

You'll know soon enough whether a taper is right for you, or whether you can only get off these things by cold turkey.  

What I experienced going c/t, was that the symptoms I experienced once I stopped were no worse than those I had been experiencing every RX cycle, when for the last few days, I was forced to go from 8-10-12 pills a day down to say 4/day.  The nice thing about doing c/y (I can't believe I used all of those words in one sentence!)  is that while you will be in agony for 3-4 days, you absolutely will get the worst of the withdrawal over in that time.  I have observed some here tapering and AFFLICTED WITH WITHDRAWAL for months.  In either case, there is no kind , gentle way to do this.  If there were such a way, we all wouldn't be here, encouraging each other, as we work out our own salvation from this terrible drug.

REGARDLESS OF WHICH WAY A PERSON GOES, any amount of determination short of declaring an all out war on this drug will fall short.  Unless any of us temporarily makes this war the most important thing in our lives for a bit, we do not stand a chance.  

This drug will not go gently into the night.

It won't leave the temple without a fight.

It doesn't respond to "please".

It will keep it's hooks wrapped around those old brain receptors

And while the worst can be over fairly quickly,

it will take "weeks and weeks" to  leave the building entirely.

With deep roots and hooks stored in cells we didn't even know we had.

And Emily, it's been at least a month since I have said this...

But IF A DRUG WANT'S ME THAT BADLY, IT CAN'T HAVE ME.

So tramadol warriors, keep up the fight.  For some of you (Hope91171) you are nearing the finish line.  Keep running hard Hope.  Don't let up.  Don't give in.  This battle is won one moment at a time.  Each moment fought is one step closer to the prize.  One more moment invested in the fight.  

I get that this is ONE the hardest thing any of us may well be called upon to do.  People have come on here and posted that THIS fight was harder than "real opiates", METH, or even heroine withdrawal.  But if I am scaring you, it's intended.

About 110 days ago, I took my first feeble step toward defeating this lovely little white pill.  If you were to go back and read my journal entry from my VERY first day, I admitted that I was no big drug buster.  But I also was determined to not allow my past failures determine who I was as I stood prepared to not be controlled any longer by this drug.  

I had taken this drug 2,190 straight days at that time. And at the end of my first 24 hours of withdrawal, I posted my WIN - LOSS record.

1 win - 2,190 losses.  

Not that I was proud of that record.  Not even a U8 girls soccer coach could survive such a miserable win-loss record as mine.

I guess it was my way of saying back then that it was at least a start.  A new beginning.  A proclaimation of faith.  A determination that I would no longer allow the defeats of my past to stand in the way of my today.  A declaration of Independance.

The chances that any of us, INCLUDING MYSELF, will cross the finish line at one year - remaining free of this drug are long.  YOU UNDERSTAND THAT, RIGHT?  If I had to guess, I would say that less than 2 out of 10 who begin the journey will finish it CLEAN one year out.  

But take heart.  Those odds include the vast majority of people who give this fight but a quick try, who under estimate the grip this tramadol has, who are unable to commit to doing deathly battle with this terrible drug.  

Someone asked me recently if THIS is enough?  Enough to get us past the cravings and reasons why we began this tram-a-journey?   Even if we come back and stay involved to encourage other newcomers, is this going to be enough?  Even if we seek out "aftercare" in the form of AA or NA meetings,  if we begin to feel the need to resume our drug, is this going to be enough to stay clean?   My response, it simply HAS to be enough.

About 110 days ago, I stood right where some of you are today.   There hasn't been a day go by that I have forgotten where I came from, what my win - loss record is with this drug, or what the odds are against me being successful.

But by the grace of a higher power, by the strengh I COVET from others that came here before i did, AND by the storeis you new comers relate, it just MAY be enough to gt me through another day.

Today my WIN - LOSS record stands at 110  wins and 2,190 losses.  

This battle will never be won.  But maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be another day that with your help, I can make it through.

It's just that serious.  The  consequences of failure are too great to ignore.  

Courage, Stength and LOVE to you all,

Fred

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by Hope91171, Mar 21, 2009
Thanks Fred. I had to laugh at myself earlier today. I have access to all the "real heavy hitters"- narcs, benzos and paralytics, and not once have I ever wanted to use any of those, He-- I don't even like the taste of alcohol. Well low and behold I get hooked on a mail order pill...WTF!! Today I still feel a little foggy minor aches and pains and mild sweats, stomach a little bubbly (bathrooms are mapped out wherever I go..LOL). I don't know what tomorrow will bring in terms of symptoms but I am ready to do battle.I am so happy to have found this site.. BIG UPS to Emily, Fred, Organica, David, Suzi,Shadetree and all my predeccesors(sp?)- sorry my memory is still a little wacky I know I forgot others.

Ps... Big Ups is jersey slang for KUDOS!

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by ScottRbrained, Mar 22, 2009
Hello everyone.    I have been reading your string here at this site and never thought that I would find people with my same problem.  This has saved my life. I thought I was going insane.  I have been on Tramadol for a year now, taking 200 mg pills for the whole time.     Like most of you, I got the same thing from my doctor.....COMPLETE IGNORANCE!   I am at the point where I have very little trust in the medical community.  I do have some experience kicking meds because I have clinical depression. I have been on Effexor, Wellbutrin, and finally Zoloft.  I have been free for 6 years, having decided that the side-effects and eventual degrade in the benefits of anti-depressants are not worth it.  Just like Tramadol, you have to keep taking more and more just to get the same high......where will this end?  It sadly, does not.      I had made the life-long decision to stay off of anti-depressants, coping extremely well.  Then one day I went to the doc complaining of chest pains (later turning out to be gas) and he conveniently prescribed me Tramadol without as much as one word about it being a narcotic or an ant-depessant, let alone a friggin controlled substance in multiple states.  Well anyways, I am on my 5th day of COLD TURKEY, just like all of the other meds I have gotten off of.   This one is worst yet.  Worst thing so far is definately: NOT SLEEPING!  Everyone's insight and posts have helped alot.   I am very glad that I am not the only one onboard the U.S.S. Scamadol.                    Thanks for being here, Scott.    

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by madtram, Mar 22, 2009
Hi Scott,  USS Scamadol, what a great image, u try to get off the ship only to find that there is no-one in charge or will admit to having taken u on the journey, what u are experiencing is some sort of mirage because our ship just doesn't stop at the destination u arrived at.

The insomnia has been the unsolvable proof for me.  All other symptoms have been somewhat responsive to amino acids, herbs, exercise & brain training but the remedy for sleep has sailed away with the ship.

So many reasons to celebrate every new day being further away from the trip to Hades.  One day soon, I will not identify as someone who takes into account their unpredictable health when making plans.  What if I'm too wiped out; don't sleep all week; I feel fine this morning but will I crash this afternoon.

A new week for me downunder, hope all you northerners had a revitalising weekend.

M

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by EmilyPost, Mar 22, 2009
Fred writes, "And Emily, it's been at least a month since I have said this...

But IF A DRUG WANT'S ME THAT BADLY, IT CAN'T HAVE ME."

YES!!! That's right!

Welcome Hope91171! :) Welcome everyone ... Welcome Scott ...

Michelle .. you wrote, "Hi Scott,  USS Scamadol, what a great image, u try to get off the ship only to find that there is no-one in charge or will admit to having taken u on the journey, what u are experiencing is some sort of mirage because our ship just doesn't stop at the destination u arrived at. "

Yep. Welcome to the Hotel California ...

Me? Currently not in a window, pretty sure something worse than death awaits. This is the Klonopin talking as I boot it out.


Messy messy Benzos ...



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by FinallyFred, Mar 22, 2009
Calling all lurkers!  If you can, let's all extend best wishes to our dear friend, Emily.  The pioneer who authored our salvation from this lousy drug.  

EM, you are so brave.  I can't even imagine... (((HUGS)))

Scott, you said, "never thought that I would find people with my same problem.  This has saved my life. I thought I was going insane."  BINGO.  I know that I felt EXACTLY the same way when I found this place.  Welcome and congratulations on five days off this drug.

Courage, Strength and love,  

Fred

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by bodegirl, Mar 23, 2009
Hey there,
Welcome everyone!  

Emily, we are all wishing you well sending strength your way with lots of hugs.  I actually think I'm in the same boat as you or at least close by....

After reasearching Neurontin yesterday,  I learned the withdrawal symptoms were compared to that of Benzo Withdrawal which may explain my long torturous detox and recovery.  My doctor told me there "shouldn't be any withdrawal symptoms" associated with Neurontin(yeah right!!) So I researched benzo withdrawal and well, I'm in for a bigger and longer fight than I thought.  Coming off Tram and Neurontin at the same time, pretty much cold turkey is extremely stressful on the body and mind.  I wonder how I will get through this and WHEN will it END???  

Emily, I can literally feel your pain and struggle here.  Hang in there.

Hang in there everyone, we can do this, no matter how big the battle may be.  

bodegirl

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by noodlegrl, Mar 23, 2009
Hello Friends,

Welcome Scott and Hope, and anyone else I may have missed! So glad you found us here, the more the merrier! The more support we have, the better! Hope everyone is doing well in their fight!

Yesterday was my first day at about 12.5 mgs... I was about 1.5 hours late taking it because I slept late because I was up late Friday night. I woke up took it and fell back asleep. I could feel the anxiety teasing at my chest starting probably around 1 or 2pm and just did my best to ignore it. I made it through. This morning, however, was reminiscent of last Monday which was worse than the Sunday before. But after it peaked last week, each day got better. I really hope this week is the same.

I am trying to take all my supplements and drinking water.. however I slipped a couple times this weekend and had a couple sweet teas and a dr pepper. I figure I am going to take 12.5 mgs till Thursday or Friday and then stop. So maybe by the first weekend in April I will feel semi-normal, as in not always on edge/paranoid about the anxiety. Am really worried about that because of work. I am at work now.. and ok.. but oh my Lord if there is a day I am not ok.. I dunno what I am going to do about that... And as I say I'm ok I feel the pressure in my chest... *sigh*

Still not many "physical" symptoms that I can tell, or I am just so worried about the anxiety that the physical stuff just not bothering me like some. Well, no appetite still (have lost another 1 or 2lbs). I usually at least make myself eat some dinner as to not worry my husband. He is fretting over my size. The headaches come and go. I am sleeping pretty good, dreams are coming back (which I am finding is really weird because I didn't ever realize it was the trampooh making me not dream, I thought I just wasn't or just couldn't remember them).

I am so ready for this to be over with. I am tired of having to be on my toes always worrying.. worry worry worry! Anxiety..
I don't want to feel this way anymore :(

I am going to go pray!

~Noodle

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by Shadetree, Mar 23, 2009
Hello everyone,

Its been a while since my last post...I have been struggling with my taper. I have to admit, I have taken more on some occasions just to kill the fatigue that comes with getting off this junk. I am really at a stand still. as I have been before. I know that it has to be my descision to finally rid my body of this posion... Its just hard like you all know.  Im sorry I havent posted lately, but I am quite ashamed. and how can I help anyone else when I cant even help myself...

Hope you all are doing well...

I will post again soon.(

~Shade

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by noodlegrl, Mar 23, 2009
Shade - we are here to support you when you can't support us and vice versa. If you are struggling, you should come talk to us about it. I am struggling. Not with the want to have the poison, but with everything to do with getting the poison OUT! The anxiety, etc. But it helps reading and sharing others stories as I am sure you know. We are here for you just like you want to be here for us. How far are along in your taper are you? Just tapering Tramadol? Have you tried the aminos, vitamins and minerals etc? I am positive my vitamin cocktail is why my taper is going as well as it is. Come talk to us, tell us whats been going on, regroup and recenter, get renewed prospective!

I feel like this happened to me for a reason. This was part of Gods plan for me to help me get my life more productive, be a better Mom and Wife. Because I am going to be a better person than I was even before I started taking this ****. Its time for me to Grow Up and prosper!





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by suzipen, Mar 23, 2009
Hi everyone. And WELCOME to all newcomers!

Emily- (((BIG HUGS)))  to you. I am thinking of you, and everyone else here often.
I feel bad that I havent posted lately..............just lots of things going on. But, I have been a "lurker".

123 days ago I stopped taking tramadol.
To all of you that are new here, stuggling with a taper or coldturkey please know that it gets better. Better and better.

I dont have the physical w/d synptoms anymore, now I am simply rebuilding my life that tramadol took from me.
I say "took", because had I known the outcome of my love-hate  relationship with tram-a-****, I dont think I would have allowed it to slowly try to destroy me. And it tried........and tried.
BUT, for today, I have outsmarted it, and am still free.  
                                                                                                          ONE DAY AT A TIME
I live by those words now.

Last week a good friend of mine, who still takes tramadol, asked me,"How do you get thru each day, each minute without tramadol?"
I can so eaily remember feeling that same way. It was astonishing to me that people actually survived without taking it.
But, when she asked me that question, I felt so sorry for her. She is still in that fog, and getting deeper all the time.
There is nothing I can do either. She gets so defensive (been there) if I even bring up a plan to help her stop.
So, I am sitting by watching her fade away. She is becoming more and more distant and self absorbed now.

However, I am not responsible for her. I have finally realized that, and I just dont talk about it with her anymore.
She knows all the negatives, and she has to come to her own decision.

Fred,
I think of you everytime I say the serenity prayer.

Hugs to all of you
love,suzi

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by noodlegrl, Mar 23, 2009
The Serenity Prayer is one of my favorite "sayings". I have a pretty little glass plaque that sits here on my desk right next to my monitor. I have always (even pre-trampooh) tried to keep it in my mind because it ties into all the things I have trouble with. Its hard for me to accept some things, its hard for me (introvert) to have the courage to change (hopefully this will indeed change, since I realize now that is the only way to better my myself/situation) and as far as the wisdom, I suppose I can tell the difference but if the courage isn't there and the Serenity isn't there.. then.. /cry.

BUT in this situation... I can change myself, I am having the courage to do so, and had the wisdom to realize it in order to bring it to fruition.

It felt sooo good to be able to turn them down this morning. I told my friend what has been going on and told him they are not the sweet miracle everyone *thinks* they are, they turned on me, and I'm on my way off to being happy on my own. I let him know that I have enough to finish a taper and whatever is left is his or I'm flushing them for therapy, so I will not be accepting anymore EVER and don't offer because the answer is no. Of course, he said he was soooooo sorry, he had nooooooo idea. They don't treat him the way they treat us. I told him not to be sorry, he wasn't shoving them down my throat. I did this to myself. And I am getting myself out.

Emily - I hope everything is going well with your taper. Can't wait to get to talk/read more of your wisdom!

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by ScottRbrained, Mar 23, 2009
Hello everyone.         Sleep, sleep, sweet wonderful sleep!   Got 6 hours of sleep last night.  Feels soo good that I cried, and even that felt good!  Bin awhile since a good crying bout felt good.    Day 6 now COLD TURKEY!                                               Suzi:  Yes, is does get better one day at a time.    You are absolutely right about your friend and for averyone else for that matter:  YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS DECISION FOR YOURSELF!    No-one can do this for you.   Thanks everybody for all of your great responses to my first posting.  It means more to me than you will ever know.    I like most of you feel like this so unfair.     NONE of us enlisted onboard the U.S.S Scamadol......we were all shanghaied at our own expense.         Don't give up people!    Scott.

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by Hope91171, Mar 23, 2009
Hey Guys,
Went back to work.... I thought I would pee myself getting ready...massive anxiety/fatigue! Normally I would have popped a pill (well lets be honest) 2 or 3 pills and poof all is well with the world. I actually made it through (xcept for a cup of coffee,  600mg of motrin, and 2 excedrin). I am so proud of myself big achievement for me. I took my last tramadol last Tuesday approx. 3pm. Physically I still feel a little tired, minor back aches..exercise needed, other symptoms minimal, sleeping Ok. NEVER WANT TO GO BACK TO DAY 1-3. Those were very dark days for me.

What made me stop cold turkey? I never felt suicidal (to much of a chicken to intentionally hurt myself...what irony..Hello aren't you the same chick slowly killing your body and spirit with tramadol?...Anyway I think I really started to scare myself when I would think..Just let a car hit me, then I would take a few trams and feel great. What an emotional rollercoaster!

What made me stop cold turkey? Tramadol was controlling me and my entire life. Can't go on forever being ruled by fedex deliveries. I want to live... if I kept taking trams it would be a slow death. Every time I took a pill I felt like a LOSER!

I am so appreciative for everyones support and comments and stories!

Noodlegrl- I am also having appetite and weight issues. My hubby like yours is concerned, since going cold (with all the bathroom episodes and no appetite I have lost seven pounds. I am 5ft 9inches and weigh 135 pounds (not a pretty sight to me) I am trying to eat plenty of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, protein, and Ensure to get my weight up. I really don't feel like exercising however it would probaly stimulate my appetite.

Shadetree- My prayers go out to you. Believe me I know how much energy it takes to be wife, mom, etc. The lack of energy is definitely something to deal with once you stop. Everyone tells me to exercise.. (and in my head I am thinking.. HOW THE HECK DO YOU EXERCISE WHEN YOU CAN BARELY DRAG YOURSELF OUT OF BED???) I commend you for tapering yourself, I couldn't have done it. Don't get down on yourself, you help all of us with your honesty. Tramadol is not an easy monkey to get off your back...if I can do it after 10yrs I believe you can...I am not sure what tomorrow will bring and I know this monkey may have some tricks to pull on me in the days to come but I will stand my ground and keep kicking his azz (Heck he deserves it he had me in a headlock for 10yrs..LOL!

Scott- welcome to the family..believe me you are not alone! Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Emily and Fred I am sending you a (((BIG EAST COAST))) hug.  You two have given me so much inspiration and knowledge. I guess you never know what ANGELS are sent to help you..

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by noodlegrl, Mar 23, 2009
Hope - I never thought of Ensure! That is probably something I could do. Yes, hubby, freaking - found me on the scale and HAD to know what it said. I am 5'2 and right now about 95lbs, with clothes. I am kinda comfy with it though, he is not however, he wants something to grab =P . I KNOW it will go back up once I can eat again.

Well, off to my comfort zone! Home! Yay!

~Noodle

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by priceiswright, Mar 23, 2009
Well hello everyone - I am 26 days clean and I can promise you that it will get better. Days 7 - 20 are the roughest for me due to the emotional issues but I am really feeling a lot better. I've been socializing, getting out of the house, feeling, laughing, and waking up happy. Yes - I woke up happy today. For the first time in a long time..........

On Tramadol all I wanted to do was stay home and take tramadol. I became self-absorbed, lifeless. I lost my personality. I lost my life. I was irrational, ugly. I didn't appreciate the beauty in the world. I stopped smiling. I popped pills so I could do x, or y, or z. I never ate. I never felt. I never lived.

Bless Emily for starting her journals and navigating these boards. She has saved hundreds of lives, and likely thousands. I would never have been able to make it through without the existence of this community. My heart goes out to everyone fighting. I am here to talk. I am here to help. I am here to listen. I am here to stay sober.

Keep fighting - it's all worth it. It really is.



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by Hope91171, Mar 23, 2009
Hey Price... were you reading my mind
"I popped pills so I could do x, or y, or z. I never ate. I never felt. I never lived.

Bless Emily for starting her journals and navigating these boards. She has saved hundreds of lives, and likely thousands. I would never have been able to make it through without the existence of this community. My heart goes out to everyone fighting. I am here to talk. I am here to help. I am here to listen. I am here to stay sober.

Keep fighting - it's all worth it. It really is."

All I can say is  Wow!


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by FinallyFred, Mar 24, 2009
This place is NOTa gathering place for the overcomers, for the well.  Rather, it's like a hospital for people with our tramadol addiction/disease, who are coming here trying to get well.  Having said that,  what a good deal of progress some here have made this past week.

Scott, Congratuatlions on making through day 6 man.  Welcome through the door at the end of acute withdrawal symptoms.  As you have probably read, "post acute" symptoms can and do continue, varying person by person.  I started to name some, but I don't mean to frighten you.

I could relate to your crying jag as well.  If you have a chance, click on my icon, go to my profile page, and read my journal entry labled,  "End of Day 5".  There, I described a wedding I attended on my day 5.  Quite silly tearful reaction I  had that day.  My two adult sons were like, "get a grip dad".  Silly over the top emotional stuff, stuff that had been bottled up during my tramadol years was finally coming out.

Hope, Congratulations on 7 days and for making it back to work.  It's tough forcing one's self back when we have been devoting 24/7 to beating this thing.  Then again, any time I am off work for more than a day, I begin wondering if there isn't a way that I could NEVER have to return to work ever.  Your post reminded me of how utterly worthless I was that first day back.  Burry vision, inability to execute decisions, etc.  I basically read email and talked to people on the phone, without much to show for the day.  And in hindsight, these things took a long time to get back to (whatever is) normal.  About the only job I COULD have done well that first week or so would have been to dress up in one of those gorilla suits.  Standing by a street corner waiving a "come here for pizza" sign.  No offense intended to the gorillas out there.

Suzi,  Nice hearing from you my friend. 123 days!  I recall coming on here for the first time and reading about how people actually made it through withdrawing from this terrible drug.  I had tried to stop many times myself before, so I honestly thought that those who posted here at the time were all a bunch of LIARS.  It hardly seemed possible.

And for some strange reason, the ole gears clicked into place and I strangely saw the IMPOSSIBLE  as being possible if I did what others here did.

Suzi, you said, "Last week a good friend of mine, who still takes tramadol, asked me,"How do you get thru each day, each minute without tramadol?" I can so eaily remember feeling that same way. It was astonishing to me that people actually survived without taking it. But, when she asked me that question, I felt so sorry for her. She is still in that fog, and getting deeper all the time. There is nothing I can do either. She gets so defensive (been there) if I even bring up a plan to help her stop. So, I am sitting by watching her fade away. She is becoming more and more distant and self absorbed now".  

I can SO relate to sitting by helplessly as someone we care about can't see what they are doing to themselves by taking this RAT POISON.  But as you said, there IS nothing any of us can do to help someone else see the light.  I guess it takes what it takes.  

In "real life" I feel like I have at least average skills, when it comes to pursuading another person.  But there are three things that I am convinced are an ENTIRE waste of time...trying to pursuade another person in matters of religion, politics and/or addiction.  (and/or maybe matters of the heart).   So we stand by Suzi, hoping and praying that those we care about will have their own moment of clarity.  And when they are ready, we'll be standing by.  Noodlegirl sounds like you are there with us in regards to having a tram friend.

Shade - So glad that you posted.  I was wondering how you were doing.  Please understand that this is a "no shame/no guilt place".  As far as I know, ALL of us were heavy in the grasps of tramadol when we arrived here and we ALL know too well how difficult it is to beat this drug.  Just because some here have strung together a few days off the drug doesn't make us BETTER than someone else.  I appreciate that the pilot light is always on.  The switch can always be flipped from OFF to ON.  At least for me.

I am afraid that far too many people fall off the wagon and on account of guilt and shame,  never venture back.  But as long as we have breath, we have hope.  And if we have hope, this thing is always doable.

In my mind, sobriety wa a gift. Grace to me means unmerited favor.  As in I did nothing really, to earn the gift of sobriety.  It's a gift.  SOBRITETY IS A GIFT.  What is it that "flips" in a person like me, who one day swallows handfulls of little white pills and then suddenly glimpses the possibility that HOPE just may replace the impossible for me?  

Not sure, but one thing I know, this gift is never given to any of us based on our intelligence (or lack thereof), clean living (or lack thereof), wealth (or lack thereof) or even based on our inner "powers".  

So Shade........please keep posting.  One doesn't "loose" because we take another handful of tramadol.  We only loose when we ________________ (you fill that one in Shade)  But for goddness sakes, we know you and you know us.  We have the same disease Shade.  And I for one NEVER would never forgive myself if I made someone with our disease feel "less than" because they were to get taken down by this disease again.  On the contrary, times like this are when we need one another more.

And so we come to Price.  (((hugs)))  I hope you don't mind me bragging on you Price, but here we have a woman, who had gone through the joys of withdrawal c/t with nearly 30 days off this drug, who found that pilot light I talked about... still on.  BLAM.  But she saw her BLAM not as reason to continue on the tram-o-train as before, but she apparently realized that her situation was NOT hopeless.    She somehow grabbed ahold of the possibility that she could do this thing again.

Price, it would mean so much if you could share your story in great detail.   Could you?  You have so much to teach us about overcoming the odds and choosing life a 2nd time.  About getting back on the track once falling off.  

So Shade, see, this isn't an overcomers' club for perfect people.  This is a hospital for people with our addiction/disease, who are trying to get and stay well.  

Courage Strength and LOVE to all who pass,

Fred

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by noodlegrl, Mar 24, 2009
Wow.. even after almost a month of reading this journal I am still amazed by everyone here. You all are such great people! I am also amazed at how alike we all are in terms of the poison.

Price and Hope - I agree . . . WOW - yes . . . In the beginning, you take the Trampooh and get up and get going and plow through the day like there was no tomorrow . . . Time passes, and all of a sudden, you get up and try to get going only to realize that the plow is broken . . . do you try to fix it? Sure, you take another Trampooh and get up and try to get going . . . but it doesn't work . . . subconsciously you are curling up inside yourself, become self absorbed . . . until you are pretty much nothing anymore - I can relate to this sooo much. And its very scary. My husband and I used to get out and go see friends, family, out to eat, to the movies all the time. But when the trampooh turned on me it stopped. I told myself it was because money was getting tighter, we didn't need to spoil the kids so much because of the hard economic times coming. Never did I realize that deep down it was because really I just did not want to do anything except sit around watching TV, absorbing myself in a book and getting mad when I was interrupted. I also never wanted to eat - 1) Loss of appetite, 2) I was scared it was going to take away my trambuzz. I've never been an outgoing personality or a smiley kind of person, and that is part of the reason I think this drug took me soooooo easily without me noticing. But now since I am coming off of it I am seeing a new different person emerge (between my anxiety and panic attacks that is, which is soooo hard but today I am ok! so far). I am sorry.. I am a thinker/over analyzer and when I read something that hits home - I ramble, apparently. But I know its ok, you guys understand. It helps me come to terms with myself.

We are getting new comers (I suppose I am still kinda new, huh) everyday it seems and this is unbelievable to me. I have never been one to trust anyone off the internet.  But, here, everything is real. Real situations, real people, real drama, etc. It is truly nice in an odd demented kind of way. You all are my inspiration, when I feel down I think of you who are making it and say "YES WE (I) CAN!".

Fred - I love reading your posts, you have such wisdom and confidence that we all need to hear! Your wonderful!

Shade - come back and tell us aaaaallllll about it, everything. We all lay it out, so can you! The good! The bad! And definitely The Ugly!

Congratulations to Scott, Suzi, and Hope!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait till I am where you are.

Emily - I miss reading your long inspirational posts. Hope you are doing well. We miss you!

We need a check in from everyone so get to posting! It will make you feel better :)

To Sobriety! /cheers

~Noodle



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by Hope91171, Mar 24, 2009
Woke up with Anxiety/panic around 5am before going to work. Tried to keep upbeat, short term memory poor, hard time focusing- not good for me. (Actively looking for new job with less stress)

One week down physical symptoms minimal...no craving...still don't feel right mentally????

Hope everyone had a better day than I.

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by priceiswright, Mar 25, 2009
Aww my story. When Fred asks me to post something I do. He's my hero. this story will be in more detail so you can see my many ups and downs with this drug and how the ride only gets worse.

So I'm a young gal in my mid - late twenties, never experimented with heavy drugs. I've smoked weed and that's about it. I had a few injuries throughout my life where I was prescibed hydro. They usually sat in my medicine cabinet. During the last year of college I began to take hydro for fun. I took whatever I had from all my old stashes. Prob a total of 30 pills over a long period of time and forgot about it. Several years go by and I take a trip to Mexico. I ask the pharm for some hydro and they say they don't sell those but tell me about tramadol. I buy a bottle. I take 2-3, nah these aren't doing anything, take 4 more. wake up with a disgusting hangover and puked a million times. i finally realize that it takes a while for tram to kick in. so i bought 1 bottle of tramadol and used it when i got back to the states. it ran out. fast forward to a year and i go to mexico again. this time i come home with many more bottles of tramadol.

i begin to recreationaly take tram on the weekend. then it moves to 1 pill each night for several months. keep in mind the type of tram im using is the mex kind which comes in capsules and is different than the white pill that most of us get in the states. for me the capsules are more potent. anyway, 1 pill a day for several months. what to do? im an addict? sign up to see counselor. see psychiatrist. talk about my addiction - flush trams. no extreme physical withdraw, maybe a few nights of insomnia. prescribed zoloft xanax and ambien. im off trams for about 5 months. my partner had ordered trams off the internet. i decide to take some. i remember the feeling of energy and relief. realize wow i can get trams off the internet. i began to order my own. 180 pills would initially last me 3 months. i used here and there......at some point here and there became everyday and 180 pills were gone in 2 weeks. the 180 pills in 2 weeks habit lasted for 1 year. I ran out once and had such severe pain that I went to the ER and vowed to NEVER be without trams. The ER gave me hydro for the pain (the stomach pains from the tram withdraw) but hydro didnt help. my body wanted trams. 5 days without trams and the order finally came. that was about 8 months ago.

2 months ago i realized i had turned into a zombie. a depressed zombie who didnt enjoy life. who laid on her couch all day and watched tv. a zombie who didnt care about love or her love. a zombie in which everything made her dissatisfied and nothing made her happy. during my time on the train i quit one of the greatest jobs ive ever had because "i wasnt happy with it" i then got another job and was let go because of lack of productivity (soon realized because of trams - hard to be in marketing when trams kill your creativity). i soon got another job and quit 3 days later. why did i quit? i thought i hated it. in reality, all i wanted to do was be back at home with my trams on the couch, watching tv. and that's what i did for another month until something slapped me in the face. DEPRESSION and the fact that the ONLY reason I was taking trams was to feel NOT UNWELL or NORMAL.  Trams weren't getting me high, they werent giving me energy, they gave me nothing and i was nothing to them. but trams at that time, they were EVERYTHING to me. and so the fight began.....it was an ugly fight. the physical pain - most of you know it. the emotional pain - the hardest to deal with. i first began the fight i think on jan 22. 21 days into quitting. i thought hey i can just use tram every once in a while, you know when i need it, for energy. (what a lie!!) on day 30 i took 1 or 2 pills and got on this board and told the truth. i read about this thing called the pink cloud.

"The “pink cloud” is best described as a period of time where the addict or alcoholic experiences a reprieve from the struggles associated with early recovery. These struggles are generally associated with the feelings of depression, anger, resentment, self pity and the realization of where their drug addiction or alcoholism has taken them.

Upon experiencing this phenomenon for the first time, the addict or alcoholic is understandably excited. They begin to believe they now “hold the key” to their recovery. This is where the seed for relapse is planted. They begin to believe more in themselves than in the process they have been following. Without the pain as a daily reminder, they tend to forget about what it took for them to embrace recovery. Denial rears its ugly head and they minimize how devastating their drug addiction and alcoholism really was and that they have a disease of drug addiction and alcoholism that requires attention on a daily basis. Relapse prevention becomes an afterthought as the person becomes defiant and rebellious regarding suggestions contrary to their desires. Without resorting to drugs or alcohol, the individual in recovery is one step away from relapse. Remember, relapse is not an event, it is a process."

so that above paragraph summed up my relapse. i thought i was better because i wasnt feeling the initial struggles, i thought i had won the war, beaten the battle. (ugh duh - this is a LIFELONG BATTLE - not to be won in 30 days, 5 years, 40 years - its a lifelong battle and like KC, the type-a in me hates that it's lifelong because we like to plan and we begin to worry and think how can i fight a lifelong battle without losing?) and the only answer to that is to take it one day at a time in which i do and many of us on here do. and this is how i survive by saying "today is another day i did not take a tramadol. today is one more day clean and sober. tomorrow will only get brighter"


so yeh i relapsed and then i got back in on the war and began to fight again. i didnt have to deal with any of the physical withdraw again but i did have to deal with the emotional side, you know the lack of energy, the depression, the restlessness, the cravings. they all came back. and this time they came back stronger. whatever it is that fred always says applies here "But IF A DRUG WANT'S ME THAT BADLY, IT CAN'T HAVE ME." You see tram still wants to be in me, it wants to pretend to be my friend, and tell me that everything will be OK if its back in my life. but me, im smarter now, im educated, im brave, i have a support group, i have better friends. i have friends here on this board. i have friends i havent seen in months because i became a recluse on tram. i have friends who are family that dont know that i was addicted but do know that i wasnt me. i have all these friends who are so happy to see the old me, back. i now have the ability to see beauty, the ability to laugh, i have the ability to live, and most importantly, i have the ability to love myself.

i will win this lifelong fight, but its a battle i cant win alone, you see? and thats why i come here, every week, every month. to be with you. to be with my support system. my life savers. my friends. those who keep me sober, sane, and one more day tram free.

that's my story. hope it helped.

HUGS - goodnight.







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by Gracie0315, Mar 25, 2009
Hello all!

Thank you for your encouragement and recognition. I don't think I'd be breathing, Emily, if I hadn't found you.

Fred, thank you for carrying those of us who still can't put together a cohesive thought. I might feel too distressed to write but my reading comprehension is still okay and I nod and smile and cry along with these posts.

I think what is most stunning to me is the damage that can be done by this drug. I went to my doctor for years and said, "what is happening to me? After six, then five, then four hours, I think I am going to crawl out of my skin before my next dose." And what did he say, "take two - I take Ultracet not Ultram - it will work better. And you can take them every four hours."

As I type that statement, I think to myself, "I'm pretty smart. I know this medication is for pain. Why would I think that doubling up the amount was going to put me in a good place?"

And I do want to share this one experience as a cautionary tale. One of the statements that the drug company does include in the insert is how this drug masks abdominal pain making diagnosis of acute problems difficult. This past summer, I had an emergency appendectomy because I went three days with side pain and no diagnosis. The appendix was gangrenous and perforated. Afterward the surgeon said, "you didn't feel this?" For what it's worth, heads up, campers.

Like many of you, I'm not feeling so much better yet. Physically, I'm exhausted, every nerve is screaming by either burning or crawling - even my skin hurts. My skin hurts! How could that be? But I'm pushing through. I'm down to one pill every twelve hours - sometimes I can make 13 hours but that is my threshold. If I tried to stop cold turkey, I couldn't do it.

Thanks to all!

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by madtram, Mar 25, 2009
Thanks so much for sharing this powerful story, your insights are surely helpful.  Sweet dreams to you,
M

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by priceiswright, Mar 25, 2009
yes, there is hope after relapse. as you can see from my story above. i was scared to admit that i'd relapsed but i knew this was a group who would love me and encourage me and help me get back on the fight, without judgment, with love.

fred writes "I am afraid that far too many people fall off the wagon and on account of guilt and shame,  never venture back.  But as long as we have breath, we have hope.  And if we have hope, this thing is always doable. "

I am actually proud of myself for being able to admit defeat because those feelings of guilt and shame lead us on a very ugly path. in being open and honest, we can breathe.....you know the rest. fred says it right above.

fred writes "I hope you don't mind me bragging on you Price, but here we have a woman, who had gone through the joys of withdrawal c/t with nearly 30 days off this drug, who found that pilot light I talked about... still on.  BLAM.  But she saw her BLAM not as reason to continue on the tram-o-train as before, but she apparently realized that her situation was NOT hopeless.    She somehow grabbed ahold of the possibility that she could do this thing again"

fred - brag on me all you want. i feel honored that im even someone you'd like to brag about. but i guess even psuedo-dad's brag about their children ;)

you see friends, i see fred as my mentor on this board, a man i look up to and admire, a man who continually comes back to breathe hope into everyone and to hand life to newcomers. for me, fred is my psuedo-father. he's shown me the light and left his footsteps in the path. hes picked me up when i was down. and hes pushed me further when i needed it. he never judges, he only listens.

he is a motivational writer - a gift from above (whatever your above is)

and to him, i am thankful.



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by priceiswright, Mar 25, 2009
i am thankful because fred saved my life.
i am thankful because emily saved my life and thousands more.
i am thankful because every day i get to here new stories, new experiences, new reasons, more reasons  to keep tram free.
i am thankful because i am happy. i forgot what that was like?
i am thankful because i am feeling. where did this laugh come from?
i am thankful because i am living alive (as opposed to living dead, which is what i did, and what i was, when i was on the tram)
i am thankful for today and i look forward to tomorrow. (I never thought I'd say that in the early stages of war!)

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by FinallyFred, Mar 25, 2009
Holy Smoke, someone is gettin on the tramadol revival train and I like it!!!  

Price, I was CRYING upon reading your post about your experiences and coming back.  What passion. What a BRILLIANT torch shining the light for others who doubt that it is possible to come back. WHAT A TESTIMONY to the hope that lies within these walls.   Psuedo daddy?  Hmmm, let me think on that one Price.  But you bet, I'll brag on you alright.  You are too kind.  Honestly, I am simply TRYING to fill the gap while our friend Emily GETS BACK.  If truth were told, she is MY psuedo mom.  

And I still want to know how she spread all of her bread crubs on the interwebs to make this a tram family.  She's one smart lady, that's for sure.  

But I am honored by your comments Price.  Thank you.  And I am even more pleased by the fact that you did this not once, but twice Price AND that you told your story with such passion and detail. Laying to groundwork for others who relapse to see that this is a "no judgment/no guilt ZONE.  Months/years from now,  people seeking he truth about tramadol will come upon your story and it will give them hope. Really!  

And like you experienced just now,in a BIG way it is good therapy for me to end my day reading and writing here.  To help me to never forget whee I came from with this drug.  I think that it is fair to say that we get far more in writing, than others probably ever receive in their reading.

Gracie,  Welcome (((hugs)))  I can't recall how many trams you WERE taking, but if you are down to one 50 mg pill every twelve hours, you are doing WONDERFULLY.  I know it doesn't feel wonderful, but I think you are doing stellar.  

Again, I can't recall what you have tapered from or how long your taper has been.  You said you don't think you could/can stop cold turkey.  Fair enough.  When will you have a 3-4 day window, when you don't need to be all productive, exciting for others, working, etc., you will find the final plung NOT as bad as what you might think.  Because here's the deal..it';s a short lived intense WAR.  .if you can string 3-4 days together without taking this rat poison, you'll be DONE with the physical withdrawal.  And the secret is that you can't look forward to tomorrow.  Sufficient is the battle at hand.  But you will see that you can beatr this thing Gracie.

I appreciate that sometimes I can be too enthusiastic about suggesting that people step off and be done.  WHY?  Because it honestly pains me to see people continually suffering physical withdrawal symptoms when I know full well that they could get that all behind them in 3-4 days.  But that's just me.  

*******

A thought struck me tonight as I read your posts Price.  Every person has their own story.  Each of us came here under different circumstances.  For some of us, we were tired of the nearly constant WITHDRAWAL as our tolerance increased and we sought more of this drug to feel LESS UNWELL.  Others come here, terrified by the seizures they experienced.  Others arrive because the cost of the drug is so high.  All different stories surrounding this lousy drug.  This thing is no respecter of persons.  it takes us all down just the same way regardless of our power, wisdom, status or creed.

Some taken down are marketing reps, some bag groceries at Fred meyers, some may be talent scouts for the NFL, Some may be doctors, lawyers, accountants, flight attendants, homemakers, employed and unemployed alike.  Some make tires and some build houses.  (is that still happening?)  THIS DRUG TAKES EACH ONE DOWN THE SAME.

Some are introverts, others extraverts.  Some have hobbies like gardening, some run track.  Someof us  fat ones and some skinny ones too.  Some with other addictions and for some, this is their sole issue.

Want to know the beautiful thing?  Something that may not be self evident yet?  Ready?

I have a theory.  I am pretty sure that if we continue to read and post, someone will log on here who will tell our exact story?  As if you would have written it for yourself.  How fantastic will that be?  Can you guys dig that?


Goodnight to all (I hope)

Fred


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by KC67, Mar 25, 2009
Price,
I am beginning my day with your story.  What an awesome way to begin a day - with hope and inspiration!

Thank you.  Very much.

KC

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by ScottRbrained, Mar 25, 2009
Hello everyone,         DAY 8:  still COLD TURKEY.     I almost made a big mistake. I found myself walking into the Walgreens after another long period of no sleep to get my Tramadol.   I got about half way through the store and realized what I was doing.   I wanted to punch myself!   If I had these pills at home I would have NEVER made it to where I am today.  Now, two days later, I realize that choice to stop, pick up a gallon of milk and NOT continue to the pharmacy was one of the best of my life.  Day 3,4, and 5 were the worst and I still found myself going to get them on day 7 even after I felt much better.  Now day 8,  I realize that for me, that was the trick..... I HAD to deny myself access to the pills. If I would have had them at home I would have just kept making up some kind of excuse to keep taking them.   I feel SOOOOOOO much better now!      Thanks Fred:   You are an inspiration as well as a typing machine!                                        Thanks Emily:    For this post and your advice. You have saved many peoples lives. I am absolutely certain of this.  There alot of people who have read this post and that are reading it now that we will never know about.                      I know that I have alot of time and suffering left, but I am filled with COMPLETE confidence now that I will make it.   Time for yet another revitalizing bath and my B-12 vitamis!    Thanks guys,   Scott.

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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
Wow! Now this is what I'm talking about! This is a wonderful way to start our day! Inspirational stories and sooo much wisdom! I can't even begin to imagine where or what I would be doing right now had I not found this place and you guys. I have tears of sadness for the pain and struggles but also tears of joy for the success!

Fred, you are like a sage :) *hugs*

Price - I can relate to many things in your story. I am also in my mid-twenties, had a relationship with a girl named "Mary" and never anything else, I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to quit my job so I could sit at home and veg all day long (since starting Tram). If it were not for our living paycheck to paycheck and NEEDING both incomes and because of my children then that is exactly what would have happened.. and I would be a vegetable at home doing nothing but merely existing in a shell of my former self while the alien Tramadol slowly killed me. I have been in denial. It is still hard for me to say the word.....................................................................................addict................................................... But.. it.. is.. true. I have been using words like dependent in order to make myself feel better. But if nothing else, honesty here in this forum is most important because if not here, where (you guys taught me this, to be "comfortable letting it all hang out)?

When I think of relapse, I do not think of myself. I do not know if this is good or bad. I am going to say good because I just CAN NOT, WILL NOT let this happen again. There is no drug, no "good" feeling that is that important to have to go through this again. Period. Exclamation point. I will never forget what this has done to me and my family (even though the only person who knows is my husband, but I know my dad knows something has been up, and prob my grandma too since I haven't talked to her in over a month :( I feel too much shame. But it WILL get better :)

Oops, kids, I'll have to break this up into more than one post... gotta go for now.

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by EmilyPost, Mar 25, 2009
First I wanna say, I love you guys! Thank you for the kindness. It means so much to me. You don't even know.

Here?

Night of The Living Dead! Bonus pack now with 25% extra Searing Pain for free!

Takes on a whole other meaning when on a stupid ridiculous to the power of 10 outta 10 level klonopin withdrawal comes to town. So annoying. My annoyance annoys me.My irritation is irritating ... Every one of these emotions is not real.

The anxiety has no form, it free floats in and out. When it is home, nestled by a warm fireplace in my brain, it tells me "I'm real you fool! Quick *take* something! It's unbearable. Ok worse than unbearable. Come on, even a Bear wouldn't be able to stand this. Not even Yogi Bear. And that Guy's a Yogi, Dig?*

My essential self says, "Klonopin? Is that you?"

"I'm not Klonopin, I am you. Who is this *Klonooopinnn* Fellow you speak of?"

*Klonopin hides behind a heavy curtain. Pushes a secret James Bond button. Bookcases flip; Bond Style, shaken not stirred.  Revealing Secret Benzo Rooms filled with sweaty pale sleep deprived people who walk into walls.*

"No way Crazy! You are NOT me!  It's you! it's Klonopin! I recognize your claws. That's Blood on your claws. Is that My Blood?"

"Out Out Dammed Spot!"

"Great, Go Shakespearean on me!"

"You're babbling, Dawg," says klonopin. "Let me talk to you alone, in the other room, away from all these people, where no one but you and me can see. us, staring You know .. intimate. We don't need these people watching, staring, judging."

I think, "Wow. Cunning. Baffling. Powerful, Nice try." (Got respect a worthy effing advisory!)

Klonopin says, "You NEED me .Remember; Life with out me is just ... Impossible ... ask the sun to leave that sky ... Impossible ... ask a baby not to cry ...  Perry Como wouldn't lie to you, Em! He's a great American MMmkay? Remember that Doctor Groovy said I'm harmless and many people are on me for life. He called me Vitamin K! Come on. Modern Up Gurl! Everyone needs me. Tell everyone they need Klonopin. Do it now. Do etttttttttttttt!!!"

I reply, "You need to change your name to Argentina, cause I'm NOT Crying For you! The truth is; I never loved you."

Klonopin says, "I have the copyright on that phrase. I wrote that damm song!  You better send me a check for even making that remark. i need to charge you for borrowing my brain. I take both Visa and Mastercard  for your convenience."

I say, "I hate you."

It says, "Awe! I hate you too! So much! So sweet! I would hate me too, but somehow ... I don't. Come on ... you know you want to. Just take one. Or just take two? No? Ok how about two and a half? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

I say, "No really, go have a big hot steaming mug of Shut the he$$ up. Whanker. Hosebag. Judas!"


And ... Scene! Cut! Print!
_______________________________________________-


I don't like to Invalidate my emotions. I think there is so much pain to be eased in anyone's like. The last thing we need is invalidation.

What's up? (chicken butt) in his case, I am 100% fully aware that Klonopin is up in my brain, stomping it like so many grapes in a barrel.

It is the foot, I am the grape.

These "emotions" are withdrawal symptoms and they are mighty clever, well developed, skillful, and at times the symptoms tell me, "I haven't even started with you Missy Miss. Wait til you se what I have next. I have skills baby Shock and Awe!I am the terrorists! And you ... are *with* me!"

There's parts of this that are hilarious. My sense of smell continues to get even better. I can smell layers of dust, peoples breath, cat fur, dried paint... it has layer upon layer of scent.This is because the Limbic Lobe, reptilian brain has been awakened by the Survival Link. Rage. Rage, Fury, Sense of smell. Did I mention the rage?

No wait .. hold the phones ...Did I mention the rage? Last weekend at work, I had a really minor confrontation with a coworker. BUT ... in my Klonopin mind ...It was so wrong, and so annoying that Benzo Rage appears.

Benzo rage says, "Blow up her car!"

I say, "What did you say?"

"Seriously, that was wrong. Retaliate. Puncture her tires. Cut her brakes lines."

"Umm yeah ok. That's not my thought. I don't even know how to cut someone's brakes. I suspect it's only done in movies. Klonopin, you worry me. Homicidal much?"

Klonopin says, "You are a loser."

I laugh.

It says, "Oh come on at least ... start a fire ... a little fire? Something contained. Or not ... burn the Earth down!!! Come on! Weiner! Do it!  I want blood!"

I say, "Why am I talking to you? You're INSANE!"

It says. "I know you are, but what am I? Chicken!"

I say, "Sheesh man You're making me tired. Any chance you'll die or fall asleep or maybe both?"

"Naw, I'm paid to play see? I want you to want meeeeee"

I say, "Great song. At least you have good taste in music?"

It holds up a lighter and yells "FREEBIRD!"

Yeah. All day, all night. Me and my last of all possible pills; K. Lonopin, MD.

*hates*

*hides in parka*

So all this to say that yes, I'm probably already dead. *takes pulse* Yep.  I forget to breathe. I wake up wet with sweat. I don't sleep much and I don't dream. The thoughts fly. And yet, I can't express myself because my word recognition is literally painful. It all happens inside my head. The racing thoughts are well funded and have a bullet proof, gas guzzling Big Black Suburban and they are on the autobahn.

Fast and Furious. The original; not the sequels. I don't wanna do any Tokyo Drift! Once was enough!

So yeah ... blah blah blah blabbity ... You get the drift? You see what I am saying ..of course of course .. A horse is a horse ...

BOo!

Tonight .125mg ... another cut. Two more and I'm Outtie 5000. And this morning I woke up to a searing eyeball. Like a hot poker in my eye. Like I slept face down in some cactus. Mind races to "Spontaneous Detached Retina! Holy Mo Fo! I need at least 6 or 7 eyeball surgeries now. Maybe it's a tumor. Subconjuctival hemaatoma! CRAPPITY! "

I take two allergy pills and it vanishes. In an hour. Poor sad weeping red eyeball.

In addition to ice pick in eyeball feature  ... I also was awarded an internal but slightly defective iPod last night. It shuffles... "L- is for the way the way you Look at me, Blah bitty is for the only one I see ... E is very very extraordinary ... blah blah ... and anyway you adore me ... " And then it segues into Rap, Classical, Big Band, Punk .. Obviously this stuff is now hitting my temporal lobe as it exits stage right.

That's actually very funny as my mind doesn't seem to mind made up lyrics like Elton John's,"She's got Electric Boobs! HER MOM DOES TOO! B-B-Benny and the Jets!"

awesome!

Heart U all!
Love and Healing,
Emily

PS. Drugs R Bad, Mmkay?

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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
Ok.. here we go again...

Congrats to Gracie and Scott who are still winning!

Price - thank you for your story! Your still doing great!

KC and Madtram - *wave*

Hope - I know exactly what you mean. That is my worst trouble with this darn stuff. Your doing great!

We forgot to set the alarm last night before crashing out soooo I shot up like a rocket because I KNEW it was late (6am) and had to rush to get the kids ready for school before the bus came (which is at 6:10ish). Made it with like 30 seconds to spare. So it didn't give me a chance to think about the anxiety or anything cuz I kinda had an adrenaline rush so to speak because I COULD NOT be late for work due to something being said to me yesterday about being a couple minutes late. Bosses without kids just don't get it sometimes (today would have been my fault, yesterday however was not). But anyhoosy.. so far so good.

Today is my 4th day at 12.5 mgs (roughly, I always have to say that, I am scared about it not being accurate and putting me through h3l1). Still no major symptoms (crosses fingers and toes and prays for no jinxes). I am thinking about today or tomorrow being my last day at 12.5... SOMEONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS!!!!!!!! Do you think I am going to spiral down like a rocket from space and crash and burn? Guess what, now I am panicking and feeling anxiety, but I am sure thats normal seeing as how I am SCARED about the UNKNOWN of this grrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband said wait till Sunday to do it.. but I am so tired of drawing this out.. I am ready to move on. If I do it tomorrow I could take my L-Theanine and/or 1/4 of a xanax for tomorrow and friday and then nothing saturday or sunday and monday I would probably need a xanax so i can work.. and that will be through day 4.... What do you guys think?

~Noodle

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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
So.. Um.. Emily - I don't know whether to laugh or cry right now.. I am soooo sorry you are having to go through such awfulness... but whoa.. You are sooo strong to be able to deal with that like you are. I would be dead by now. Well, I am being watched cuz its time for me to leave for lunch.

See yas in a bit.

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by EmilyPost, Mar 25, 2009
Way better to laugh Noodle :D

Its all gonna evntually be fine though.

Your plan sounds most excellent to me!

(((noodle!))))

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by KC67, Mar 25, 2009
Hi Emily,
I am on my second cut of xanax.  I can relate to ALL of the things you wrote above.  My brain sometimes feels like it is electrocuted and my thoughts are just randomly zinging around all over my brain with no control.  Your sense of humor is definitely intact - which is a good thing - your brain receptors are re-connecting.

I was wondering if you could share how you know when to make your next cut (for benzo withdrawal)?  Do you wait for the anxiety to subside a bit or are there other telltale signs?  I hate this - for anyone who has to endure this - it really *****!  Yes, drugs are BAD.

Day 45 FREE of Tramadol.  But still have a long way to go before off the benzo (xanax).

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC

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by bodegirl, Mar 25, 2009
Hey everyone!
Emily: You are HILARIOUS, not to mention VERY creative!  You crack me up. I know its hard but you are ALMOST there-YOU CAN MAKE IT!!  Big hug.

Day 25: I am SO struggling too, in fact I came VERY close to just giving up yesterday.   But what good would that do, right?  Oh how I crave some motivation and energy like I used to have.  Still can't sleep, always nausaus(maybe thats pregnancy tho)barely getting by.......hope to have better news next time I post.  I want to enjoy life! I want to enjoy my kids and animals and RUN again, please someone HELP!!!  Maybe I am the unique one who never gets better and is in an eternal tramafog(and neurontin) withdrawal Hell? I sound like such a downer, I'm so sorry for that, but I need to vent and think you all will get this...

Congratulations to those who have made such great progress!

Thanks for all the honesty and inspiration everyone, it is helping me through the toughest time in my life.

bode

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by EmilyPost, Mar 25, 2009
Hi KC,

I wait 7-14 days between cuts. I don't feel some "shift" or easing of symptoms. There's no telltale signs for me. The symptoms appear randomly. One thing I know is that I was already in tolerance. So, I was already "done." There's no way to go home again once you hit tolerance. Unless you really go up in dosage. Which I didn't want to do at all. Because I was in Tolerance I wouldn't expect to have symptoms lift quickly. If they do, Praise God and Buddha and Shirley McLanne!

Most Benzo people will warn you against making percentage cuts that are too large. They love long slow tapers. The theory is that the taper gives your GABA time to remember what it did before it was loaded up with Benzos. I went at a 20% pace, sometimes a little more. I am going as slowly as I can stand.

I cut down to .25mg once a day on the 18th. The pills are now so small that hopefully the next cut to .125mg won't make much of a difference in Symptoms.( I HOPE!) That seems to be generally accepted. But if I make the cut, and then go into horrrible withdrawal, I will have to "updose" meaning go back to .25 mg. And then I would need to titrate. Which means cut out 1-2% a day or so of .25 mg until it was gone,  Titration means dssolving pills in milk or water and dinking a certain percentage. Either way, I am looking at 2-3 weeks if everything goes sparklingly well!

The way you are holding for a month, may not be best. I think that's too long and your cuts are too deep percentage wise. If you cut less more frequently it is supposed to be "better," Most people hold a dose for less time than a month, but a minimum of 7 days and a maximum of 14.

I really hope that helped?

I'm by no means a Benzo expert ..

I will say that yesterday I went to the Reflexology people and I can feel it today. Toxin City. But the muscle achiness will not be denied. If it flares up symptoms, so be it.

The basic principle is don't make huge cuts, if you can stand it. Understand that you are going to suffer, and gauge how much suffering you can take w/o ending up in a white jacket with really long sleeves licking the walls in a rubber room, The Benzos don't play around. Cutting too fast might ... maybe ... possibly ... make recovery more difficult. And we all know how Tramadol acts in cold turkey and in tapers. Benzos are a different story.

I am glad someone can relate. The brain stuff is so freaky!


Love and healing,
Emily


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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
Bode - you are not a downer... you feel how you feel... yes, we ALL get it!! Vent away chica! It reminds us we aren't alone and is great therapy for you (yes, just recently learning all this myself :) ) I wish you didn't have to go through this while pregnant but that only shows how EXTREMELY strong you are whether you realize it or not. You are an inspiration for even TRYING to do this while pregnant. I am sending you love and strength and all my positive energies -------------->

~Noodle

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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
Lord... it is soooo wacky how thoughts of certain stressful thing can bring the anxiety in sooooo hard!!!!!

Em - good plan? which one - mine? Today being last day at 12.5?

<panicking omg.... i thought i was doing good now dunno /cry

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by EmilyPost, Mar 25, 2009
Bode!

So not true that you'll be in Trama-He$$ forever. You just won't. It will get better, It will.

Believe it when i say that 25 days out and preggers is not enough time to make a comeback.

Time will heal. Be really here and now. Try not to travel. Try not to go forward an say to yourself that you won't get better, just because it ***** out your will. That Stay in the Day you are in; good advice!

One day at at time .. and on Tramadol ... really really really one hour and minute at a time ok?

Also, you are right 100% ... tramadol is terrible.



(((((Bode))))

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by EmilyPost, Mar 25, 2009
Noodle you wrote, "Today is my 4th day at 12.5 mgs (roughly, I always have to say that, I am scared about it not being accurate and putting me through h3l1). Still no major symptoms (crosses fingers and toes and prays for no jinxes). I am thinking about today or tomorrow being my last day at 12.5... SOMEONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS!!!!!!!! Do you think I am going to spiral down like a rocket from space and crash and burn? Guess what, now I am panicking and feeling anxiety, but I am sure thats normal seeing as how I am SCARED about the UNKNOWN of this grrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband said wait till Sunday to do it.. but I am so tired of drawing this out.. I am ready to move on. If I do it tomorrow I could take my L-Theanine and/or 1/4 of a xanax for tomorrow and friday and then nothing saturday or sunday and monday I would probably need a xanax so i can work.. and that will be through day 4.... What do you guys think?"



Yes You! Noodle .. good planning here .... it looks good. You may have some withdrawal but not as bad hopefully as cold turkey. Your plan to use suppliments and xanax in tiny amounts is a Thomas Method of detox and it will work!

:D

Go Noodle Go Noodle!



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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
Thanks Emily!

Its this stuff.. I will be ok.. its trying to stay its ground.. saying "you dont want today to be your last.. you will neeeeed me tomorrow.... wait just another day..." and its giong to keep doin it and doing it and doing it because everyday i will be scared... its just an excuse....

Alright then. Tomorrow will be day 1 Tram-Free and whatever happens, happens. I should not "count my chickens before they've hatched" because I really don't know whats going to happen. I will either have the will in the morning to do it, or not, but I need to, I have to.

Of course, you know you'll hear about it as soon as I get to a computer, heh

~noodle



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by noodlegrl, Mar 25, 2009
*amendment to above post*

One day at a time. I DO NOT need to worry about tomorrow right now.

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by priceiswright, Mar 25, 2009
Just a quick share - I began taking the amino acid DLPA a few days ago and experienced a noticeable increase in well-being and energy. I don't know the correct dosing, the potential interactions, long term effects, etc. I just read it was a natural producer or enhancer of endorphins. I'd recommend reading more about it in regards to getting over the lack of energy, depression, etc....again, I'm not endorsing this just thought I'd share something that is working for me in terms of getting through the psychological withdraws of tram.

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by bodegirl, Mar 25, 2009
you guys are the best, you're pulling me through
xo
bdgrl

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by kevzx81, Mar 25, 2009
Hi All- Esp to those posting the last couple days, such inspiring,courageous spirit. Medals to award but from someone more experienced ie benzos....I can barely imagine. I thought Tram was hellish but it sounds like just the 'glow under the door' compared to the furnace of benzo w/d.

Emily- you get the 'rant of the month ' award at least. crazy poetry with claws and shadows. Better out than in, healing to you.

Day 69/70 for me and the only thing to report is a 36hr vomitting seesion on day 66/67 brought on by bad late night eating.
This would usually be a case of a quick ten mins in the b-room and back to sleep. Well..not this time. I'm guessing those opiate receptors must stay over-sensitive for some time? Information anyone?
Well,luckily it was raining so I didnt miss out on much.

Day 70 was 55mins ago and Im not aware of any thoughts or feelings which are'nt my own( yeah yeah...the ultimate punishment...ha ha!).

So yeah, Im sitting here thinking up reasons to stick around....Im quick to move on as a rule, not sentimental.
But I dont have a snappy outro for this occasion(creative vanity SERIOUSLY offended!) It seems so false to compose an ending when I know Im eager as a puppy to check in each day....pups....weaning? Maybe theres a state other than 'posters' or 'lurkers'.
I remember one time,late am UK time a poster indicated a clear intent to dramatically increase their Tram dose. To continue to lurk,to not intervene is unthinkable. we can not always be master of our options if we are to do the right thing.
YES it did feel good to be the one to post the warning...BUT, thats not what was important. What counted for this would be fatal victim was that there were enough sentries on duty that day. WE SUCCEEDED. So Im inclined to think lurking could be no bad thing.
Drug use is heavy where I live and addicts are constantly seeking new sources. I've done my best,and will continue to sound the alarm whenever it comes up. But even if there were 10 of me it would not achieve much. The 'non-opiate' label is a cruel lure to so many addicts. The term 'recipe for disaster' rarely seems so apt. And it isnt over yet...

Another good reason to lurk is that its so 'humanising' here. Just 10mins a day restores perspective, pierces the cloud of self-absorbption, reminds me of so much that I can sometimes forget. I dont usually pass up freebies...yum up those thrift shop cut price beans, yes Emily!?! I dont see any creature on my allotment turning down a free lunch(stabba stabba on my FRIKKIN strawberries!! stabba stabba) so why buck a trend?

Too many luxuries to abandon.....I bet Im not the first to be addicted to the therapy room!!!




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by Hope91171, Mar 25, 2009
Keeping up with the posts

My lack of contribution is reflective of my lack of mood/ erratic mood swings/ inability to focus or concentrate.

Depression is taking over which makes me more tired and energyless.

Wish I had something positive to say about my day...hopefully tomorrow may be better.

Best wishes to everyone

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by FinallyFred, Mar 25, 2009
I'm basically "lurking" tonight.  Enjoyed reading everyone's posts.  Goodnight all,

Fred

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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by priceiswright, Mar 26, 2009
So I was thinking today and I felt pretty guilty about abusing tramadol as a recreational user. I think the majority of you here, and perhaps, almost 99% of you were prescribed tramadol for actual pain. You were told it was a non addictive narcotic and you were duped by someone who is supposed to take care of you. And that makes me so sad, and even more angry. How dare the doctors do this to you, my friends. And I'm so sorry for you.

I've read so much about trams lately and so many people don't realize the painful loss of self and the horrible ability of this drug to ruin lives. There are many people who are detoxing from pain killers and thinking that tram will get them through, when in reality, tram will only make it worse.....

My friends, I feel so grateful that you have accepted me here and supported me. Because I am not one of those who was prescribed tramadol. I took it simply for pleasure, for energy. So many times I lied to myself and said that since this drug had a tri-cylic AD that I was using it/self-medicating for depression and it was really helping. BUT how VERY strange that before I ever started using/abusing this drug, I NEVER had depression. TRAM caused my depression but I also blindly believed that it healed it.

Well I am healing daily. I am wearing a ring on my right hand to remind myself of my commitment to stay tramadol free. It's A LOT easier when there is no tram in the house, anywhere. I know I may have those days when I think "just one" and quickly I will slap myself in the face and remind myself that living alive is much better than living dead.

This is still a battle. I still want that pick me up. I still want that energy that tram gave me in the beginning. I hate that I allowed myself to take a drug for recreational use because I find it difficult to remember what it was like to be happy, without drugs. But I know I was. I wonder how long it takes for one to stop craving and to feel normal. Some say 60 days, others say 120. I hope some don't say never. I fear and somewhat believe that I might never be completely normal. I now know why people say you can be addicted to  meth, crack, heroin after just one try - because they will make you feel so good that you will constantly be chasing that high.

I used to watch intervention quite frequently. Lately, I haven't been able to. It triggers me. How scary. I see these people who are completely ruining their lives and here is the honest truth friends, I don't think wow that makes me NEVER want to do drugs again, it makes me think "wow that high looks good." It is VERY scary to have that reaction.

I also worry, quite often, that tramadol has caused perm damage to my intelligence, wit, motivation. These are likely drug/withdrawl thoughts because as we hear from those who led us, there is hope in the return back to life. However, I do notice that my mind is not as sharp as it once was and I pray that this is just dealing with the withdrawl. I was once one sharp cookie. Now i'm just cookie dough. :)

Suzi - I have never heard your complete story. You consistently talk about how you are building your life back. Do you mind sharing what you lost? What you are having to rebuild? It always helps me to hear others stories about what tram took from them. But if you don't feel comfortable, I understand.

And to all - I wouldn't mind hearing your own story. I am someone who is curious by nature. I ask lots of questions and I always want to know people's backgrounds. Why did you start tram? When did it turn on you? How did you realize you were addicted? Why did you decide to quit? How did you decide to quit? What is/was the hardest part? Are you currently taking any other prescribed drugs to deal with withdrawls (benzos, etc)? What did you lose on tram? Did your family/friends notice you had changed? Did you share your story with those you know or did you try to fight alone? Do you still have cravings? Do you have cravings for other drugs? Did you flush your stash? OK ENOUGH questions. I quit. I'm sorry. I'm invasive. Of course if you don't want to share and don't feel comfortable, by all means don't. I am that random person who asks very personal questions that probably isn't socially acceptable but I do it........

Marie and Tommy where are you? I'd like to hear more about your NA experiences......

......where is everyone? (so many dealing with benzo taper's, I KNOW!) likely hard to write, to make sense. Emily/KC/Emergee - you are all tapering off benzos. I am currently prescribed xanax and normally take about .5mg 3 - 4 times a week. I was taking it a lot more when I was withdrawing in the first few days. Why are you getting off the benzos? Were they hurting you? I find that xanax does help when I have high anxiety or when I had to fly for business......how do I know when I am taking too much? Again, I've been toying with the idea of getting off all prescription meds.

Does anyone take Ambien? I used to have a job where I traveled a lot. I take ambien as prescribed but worry that this drug might also be negatively f-ing me. I don't think I can trust the doctors who say if its helping you sleep, why quit? I don't think I'm ready to stop yet but maybe if I read up on some stories of Ambien f-ing people, I just might.

I don't want to hijack this thread so back to giving love and support to those in the early stages of war. You WILL get through this. Keep checking in. Make a journal so you can look back and see how far you've come. It does help.

My nightly therapy session is over. I can't tell you how good it felt to see new messages from Fred and KC and noodle and madtram. I love feeling like I'm helping people. OK so I'm a narcissist, shoot me :)


Thanks again for accepting me - the recreational user.















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by noodlegrl, Mar 26, 2009
Good Morning,

Hope all is going well. I am ok I guess. Today is day 1 Tram-free - I usually would have taken it 1 hour and 7 minutes ago (by my clock).

I dunno how much of this I can share but I can give the jist of it and I think you guys will understand. We received a local classifieds/news paper in the mail yesterday. I NEVER look at these things, they usually go straight to the trash because they never have anything I need or want or can afford (cars, etc). Well, for reasons unknown I start flipping through it and what jumps out of the page at me?? The word TRAMADOL. I did a double take and said "Paper say what?" (I was trying to be goofy) But I was flabbergasted. I could not believe that was what I saw. Anyway, I proceeded to take the paper to the trash.

I was still a bundle of nerves when I got home yesterday. My husband had his own little ideas to remedy this. So we did our "thing" *wink wink* And afterward when I stood up a black cloud descended over me and started closing in. I could feel all my nerves tingling starting at my feet and going all the way up my body. When it got to my chest I basically collapsed onto the couch because I knew what was about to happen. This happened twice last night. The first time was way worse than the second time. I was sooooooo close to passing all the way out. I felt paralyzed for a minute, I could not move my limbs. Today, I am off balance a little bit and I think its because of that. Not sure though.

Price - I am in the same boat you are. I also appreciate that I have been accepted with open arms. This would be sooo much harder had I not had wonderful insight, encouragement, and everything you guys have given me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also like to know the answers to all questions too btw :) I am NOSY!

1. Why did I start tram? To help with anxiety.

2. When did I start tram? About a year ago, exact date, month, etc? I have no clue.

3. When did it turn on me? I am not sure when... I just woke up one day and realized it had. I am not even sure how long ago that was.. about a 1-2 months ago?

4. How did I realize you were addicted? Mid-Jan when I missed a dose and entered hell (I think this was related also to tolerance).

5. Why did I decide to quit? Because I was turning into something I didn't want to be. I have children who I need to be whole for and a husband who is soooo good to me that I could not turn into something like that. I want to be happy and healthy without needed drugs. This whole situation has changed my perspective on life.

6. How did I decide to quit? I just did. Once I realized I was addicted I started researching it and found this place and started coming up with a vitamin/supplement/taper/all the good stuff plan.

7. What is/was the hardest part? IS and WAS anxiety!!

8. Am I currently prescribed anything to help with withdrawals? No, but I have things to help.

9. What did I lose on tram? Myself.

10.  Did family know I'd changed? I would say probably, but they didn't say anything.

11. Did I share my story? Not at first, I was going to try to do it alone, quickly realized not going to work. So I talked to my husband about it and then came here to lurk and then went from lurker to poster.

12. Do I still have cravings? I wouldn't call it craving, more like scared to not take it. But today is day 1 without.

13. Do I crave other drugs? I wouldn't call that crave either, more like wanting to have something just in case not having the tram throws me into anxiety/panic. I want something just to get me through work.

14. Did I flush my stash? No.. I did leave them at home since this is my first day without one. I will prob flush them though, for therapy :)

Well.. this is all I can type for now. Must do work things. Hope to see some news from you guys today!

~Noodle

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by EmilyPost, Mar 26, 2009
http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/74332

Hi everyone ... Move on to Room 5 would ya?

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/74332

click here ...


http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/74332

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by madtram, Mar 26, 2009
Dear Emily, loved the stream of consciousness, k-blues rap.  I often have random song lyrics taking up space in my thoughts but generally in a benign way rather than Freddy Kruger does karaoke.  Sending you some white noise to tune out the k voices if they refuse to take time off.

Price, thanks again for your openess, however we got here, we are all wiser for learning of the many well disguised trama traps we may fall into but for the warnings of others.  Yes I was prescribed but I also came to enjoy the energy delusion & the tramabotness.  This little chemical concoction has done such a number on me that as Emily has said, rat poison rates higher as a choice of meds.  But it's all your stories that make it less likely that I will be so easily seduced should a new pill come along promising great pain relief, no tolerance & a side of bonus energy.  Psycho-active drugs ARE bad, we just don't know enough about the brain yet so it's like trying to fine tune the engine with the wrong parts & without the manual, pretty hit & miss.

Glad that DLPA is working for u, I have also found DPA, (on its own), the most helpful of the aminos.  DLPA is a combination of l-phenylalanine, which occurs naturally in food & its mirror molecule d-phenylalanine which is manufactured but seems to enhance the natural production of endorphins.  A study found that doses of 5 grams of DPA provided pain relief comparative to opiates for some people. The l-isomer is the precursor for l-tyrosine which in turn contributes to dopamine & noradrenalin which is why some find DLPA helpful to recover energy & motivation.

Yes, there is much still to know but what is without doubt is that we will all continue to improve every single second that we are free of u know what.  Our brains are plastic, we can grow new neurons throughout life.  Tramadol was putting a chemical brake on some of that new cell growth but now the brake's off, we will all, THIS MEANS YOU, be the owners of new brains that once again have the potential to grow.

Time for me to sleep, perchance to dream.  Best to all,

M

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by luckytobehere431, Mar 26, 2009
Hi All,
I'm new to this and so thankful you're all there to relate to.  I'm on day 5 cold turkey following an almost fatal overdose - witnessed by my little boy.  (I don't know how to ever forgive myself that!)  I just can't believe there are so many of us out there.  I can't believe there are still so many doctors ignorantly prescribing this stuff and cant believe how EASY it is to get over the internet (God! I blew a lot of money there.)   I hope I still have a job to return to next week (teacher) and did not do permanent damage to my brain when I fell during my o/d seizure - it's been damaged enough these past 4 years at 12-20 50 mg. pills/day. It took me 3 1/2 hrs. to fall asleep again last night and i still feel like a zombie and full of nervous anxiety (generally hate being in my own skin).  But i did clean the house somewhat yesterday and talk relatively "normal"  to loved ones on the phone (i hope so, anyway).
I would have prefered to not do cold turkey but after what i put my family through my husband has taken a firm stand and i'm thankful he has.  I'm just hoping to get thru it quicker going the c/t route.  Any light at the end of the tunnel for those of you who have already experienced day 5, 6, 7, 10, 20?  Pls. tell me when i can sort of expect to get back to being a functioning member of society?!
All of your posts are an inspiration. i look forward to turning on the computer each morning - new addiction?!?!
I wish you all the best.  Wish i could give ya hugs.
Luckytobehere431


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by noodlegrl, Mar 26, 2009
Luckytobehere431 - We have a new thread here http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/74332  ;

I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. This drug rates under rat poison =P I did not take it for the length of time or near as many per day but there are people here who can tell you what to expect. I hear though going CT after such high doses for so long is not good, its why you seized. Come on over to the new thread and join our therapy session :)

~Noodle

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by franken, Apr 02, 2009
glad I found this post by googling "tramadol withdrawal" .I've been a recovering addict for the past 9 years.
I went into treatment in 1999 for addiction to pain pills, xanax and alcohol. Since then I've had some relapses.but until august of 2008 I had 5 years clean.last august i had surgery on my sinus and was given percocet for the pain.
I knew the risk involved but felt I needed something for the pain.After a about two weeks of recovery after the surgery I quit taking anything for pain other than otc meds. The doctor had told me it would take about 8 weeks to feel normal again after the surgery.After the 8 weeks had passed my sinus issues seemed much improved,no more horrible sinus infections,but i was having jaw pain and headaches.
after going to several doctors and two dentist they seemed in agreement my pain was from grinding my teeth.I was given tramadol for the pain.I was told it was non addictive and not a narcotic.I was glad to hear it,I had struggled so with my addiction after surgery I knew I could not handle being on a narcotic without abusing it.
I have been active in narcotics anonymous for years,and know that "one is too many and a thousand never a enough".
I also knew my old addict behavior had resurfaced during the time I was taking the percocet.I can rationalize insane behavior when I have narcotics in my system,I've lied,cheated and stole to get drugs in the past and I knew I was dangerously close to going to those extremes again if continued taking narcotics for the pain(one dentist gave me vicoden  for the jaw pain.)So I was hoping tramadol would be the safe alternative the doctors claimed it to be.I certainly can't blame it all on the doctors.I knew pretty quickly that I liked the way it made me feel way too much for it not to be addictive.I found that if I took 7 or 8 50mg pills at once I would feel the same kind of euphoria as i f taking a narcotic.I would feel pain free and have more energy as well,all without the guilt I felt when taking something I knew I had no business taking as a recovering addict.
  It did not take long for my tolerance to build up till I was taking up to 24 50mg tablets a day.I knew I was in danger of losing everything i had gained in sobriety.I also knew that I could overdose and die or have seizures with the amount I was taking.
  When I tried to quit taking the tramadol I went through the worst withdrawals I've ever been through.It's like the flu from hell,much worse than trying to kick xanax ,valium or any other narcotic.the psychological aspects are horrible.I've been a emotional basket case.crying one minute then breaking into a fit of furious anger the next.Or just unable to even function at any emotional level at all.I am so glad to have the answers I've found here because I really thought I was going crazy.I'm at day 6 cold turkey,I'm in pain but I know now it's just the withdrawals.
Even the clenching of my jaw was more than likely just a symptom of the withdrawals from the percocet and vicodan I was taking after surgery.Then the doctors give me tramadol for that pain,and the whole problem just gets worse.
I tried tapering down before but I'm sure I did it too fast.I ended up getting a refill after about 10 days.I agree that this drug stays in your system for a long time and that the withdrawals are very random.the first 5 days were the worst,but I found the body aches were still around at the 10 day mark,which was part of the reason I gave in last time and got the refill.I know now if I can tough it out,it will go away eventually. I was on the phone to the pharmacy yesterday when I found this post,and I know It saved me making the same mistake again.Knowledge is power and the truth will set you free! I agree with the home detox link info,but I also feel a lot of prayer,and good support group such as N/A can really help.I know it was a God thing that I found this site yesterday,If the pharmacy had not put me on hold and a friend from N/A had not called I would not have googled tramadol withdrawal yesterday.And would be starting the whole viscous cycle all over again.
  thank you emily and god bless you


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by SilentlySuffering, Sep 26, 2010
Hi everybody. Im brand new to this. Thanks for any answers.

I am currently pregnant (8wks) and addicted to tramadol. I started taking it about 2yrs ago for a back injury because my Dr told me it was safe and non-addictive. Ha! What a joke. Ive tried to stop only to start again within days because the WDs were to awful to endure. I quit when I first found out I was pregnant for about 4days because I was afraid it would hurt my baby. Its all I could stand. I wasnt able to sleep at all, wasnt able to be still, its like I constantly had to move, was in the bed twisting and flipping around like crazy (that was the worse part). I had terrible anxiety and would wake up absolutely drenched in sweat. Then on the 4th day I started cramping so bad that I got scared and started taking it again. Within 30min. I was fine, normal. I only take 2a day now. I was taking 4 50mg a day. I guess Im wondering what to do. Whats worse on the baby...the trams or WDs?  Please any answers are greatly appreciated.

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