Hi This is my first time posting on Emilypost's journal.
I read jounal part 8 and everyone is so simalar were all in this together..
The thing I don't read enough is WHY not ask for help professional help!!! Just do it i think.. i went through 4 years of Tramadol and tried to get of it myself and i failed I went and got serious rehab help and now am on my 22 day clean..
I must tell you I went on to the subutex program for 21 days and tapered of that drug and i am sitting here knowing i am not going to get much sleep maybe a couple hours tonight cause of RLS but I am 99% sure I have won the battle...And that 1 % that's not sure about the battle i still know i can call anytime of the day and get help if i need it..
FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL......
I think you need a written plan and if you can't do it yourself find someone he will take care of it and do it for you..
I didn't take it serious enough when i tried too quit by myself and Looking back now i didn't have a better than 5 % chance of success and by doing it i was putting myself in a very scary place...(TRAM to me was just a crazy drug that made me go up and down in mood so quick and gave me very nasty thoughts and headaches) I have not had any of these since been drug free....
This is for me and me only cause I know everyone is so different....
I guess my point is I got help and this is 22 days without any drugs....And i wish I just admitted to myself i needed a lot of help when i decided it was time to quit....
Hope that all makes sense and might help someone....
Without this website I would be still believing my doctors And i still can't believe they just say Tramadol thats not addictive just take 1 less each week untill your taking none...
Good luck everybody
Hope this post doesn't upset anybody I just felt I should tell my story of failure by myself and a total different out come when I went and found every bit of help professional and family support i could...
Anyway, I just wanted to thank Fred for the Welcome and all of his posts. And I do remember the other person that had a seizure and was in an accident. That tremendous fear of hurting anther person in a car, hitting a child on a bike, hitting a motorcycle, all of those are the number one reasons why I won't go back to them and decided to stop all together in the first place. The "sickness" I feel now from the tram w/d would be absolutely nothing if I killed or injured somebody else due to a seizure from taking more of this rat posion. That would be all my responsibility, no way I could blame that on the drug, I'd be the one taking it and killing somebody else. That's not going to happen!!!!!!
Warrior, I hope you're holding in there today!
I'm not sure if I'm qualified to welcome somebody yet, but will try anyway...welcome rod05. I'm new to posting here as well. And that one thing alone (posting) is helping me with the w/d yesterday and today. For me, I don't want to get professional help due to what my medical records will say. I own three businesses right now, and am in the middle of getting a loan to build our own building for one of the biz's. If I went in and mentioned being an addict, that could affect my business carreer for the rest of my life. I would never tell somebody else to not get professional help, but that's my situation. I'm doing ok on my own so far and will KICK this crap. Many others before me have, so I can also. I'm right here with you on day 22 though!! Good luck to you and everybody else.
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives...and I'm TRAM FREE! That alone makes me feel better.
I accidentally clicked on a bookmark I had for rxlist.com which is part of webmd. They now have user reviews of prescription meds. I looked up Tramadol and there were literally dozens of stories of addiction, horrible withdrawal, side effects, seizures, etc. I wish I had had that info before, but that's hindsight. I'm only mentionning it because I know a lot of folks are still being treated for various conditions and this is a good resource for any new prescriptions you might want to look up.
I'm on my fourth day at 100mg. I've started walking to help alleviate the depression that I fear is looming. One effect of the tram I underestimated was how out of shape I've become since I've been using. At the beginning it seemed to supress my appetite and give me energy, but know I can see it ultimately sapped all of my motivation.
Warrior - feel for you. I hope you can find a trusted person to talk to in addition to all of us. You're dealing with a lot of big issues and you need support. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
Thank you everyone for being here - it really helps!
Welcome to all the new posters. I hope this forum can help you as much as it helped me.
Rod, in response to your previous post, many of us here did not want to replace one drug
(tramadol) with another drug like subutex. It was far easier in my opinion to slowly taper
off tram and then just stop and suffer the acute withdrawal. My goal was to become
completely drug free and restore my mind and body, not replace the drug just to suffer the
withdrawal of another at a later date.
To get off of tramadol, I completely agree that a person needs a plan and must follow it.
You have to be DETERMINED and want off this drug more than anything else and be
willing to pay the price of withdrawal. There's no getting around the w/d of this drug. No
matter if you taper or quit cold turkey, a person will experience some level of w/d. Tapering
lessens the w/d, but it takes a strong mindset and willpower to taper.
I was a taperer and tapered slowly over 6 months and am now 38 days clean and free of
tramadol. I experienced mini w/d throughout my entire taper and acute w/d after my last dose which lasted
about 3 weeks. I now realize that I experienced w/d between every dose even before I
began to taper off this crap. I would get night sweats really bad, I would wake up and get
shaky and sweaty if I didn't take my dose before I got up, etc.
For all you taperers, there is life on the other side of this drug. You can slowly taper and
adjust doses as your body adjusts, but in my experience once you get down to small doses
(doses less than 50mg per day), the w/d are pretty bad and you prolong your w/d process
by continuing to take low doses. Looking back on my experience and the experiences of
others in this forum who didn't do well on low doses, it would have been much easier to
just quit at that point and get through the acute w/d which will last about 5 days. After that
you'll just get better and better over the next 2-3 weeks.
Don't fear the w/d of this stuff, it won't last forever. Look at it as your right of passage to
a healthier and happier life that is not dictated by a drug. Embrace the w/d and know it
is only temporary and will pass like a case of the flu.
Nicely put Boe. I'm on day 4 and if feels like this will never end, but I know in time it will. I consider this "hell week" - just like in the marines - where you have to get through the tough stuff in order to become a warrior. If this was easy, I would probably have been back on the poison by now, knowing that I could easily quit any time. I am glad this is painful, long, and lasting, because it just reinforces my desire to never touch this junk again. And you are so right in that you have to be determined - #1 - before anything else. I tied a bunch of times to quit, taper, lower my doses, because "I thought it would be a good idea" or "maybe I should" or "Gosh it's been 4 years". You kick-the-tram veterans are my heros! Thanks for all the support, stories, and insight. I hope I can help too, once I get to the other side.
Formerly- this has happened to me and its damned irritating.Site demanded that I login next time I tried the next day and I did and it worked fine.rod5-Glad to have you on this site.Like BVD stated some of us don't want that info out there.I 'm old enough(56) to know that kind of info can come back to bite you in the ass.In 1998 I moved to Toronto to be with my fiance.I was going to immigrate sp and the whole nine yards.They would not let me onto the country unless I paid 200 American.In addtion,I had to fill out reams of forms going back 30 years.My big crime ,I had gotten aDUI back in 1976. Relationship did not work out and all the additional hassle certainly did not help things along any.This is not the only time info that some would consider negative has come back to haunt me.Additionally I have seen this kind of thing happen to co workers,friends,relatives again and again.As far as confidentiality is considered well its a nice theory but I am afraidit just does not tend to hold up in thje real world.Sorry if I sound cynical but attitude is just plane old experience.I have taught school,been a community Mental Health counselor,worked with the Mentally Retarded,sold cars etc... . 4 th day of c/t feel bad but then I am supposed to.I hope I never relapse again!Atibiotics I got from doc this morning are already making pain recede to manageable lvel.Sorry about all the sp errors, but 4th day ,you know what I mean.Best to all. Later, Big
Wow, a new site that is already rocking with WISE wisdom and good thoughts.
Em, I just ventured back to that Day 45 site, the original portal and noted our current home (again). There are still folks coming in to that site and posting there. 348 post as I recall there. And SLOW? Dying on the vine. If any of you want a project, have a FAST connection, and are patient, you might venture back periodically to drag out some of the newcomers who post in the dead zones of past threads.
Hillbilly, you are one wise dude and it sounds, fortunate to have a caring loving wife. Your excercise of writing down your thoughts (about your buddy) in a letter really is brilliant. This has worked well for me too. My sweet cocker spaniel of 14 years died a few years ago and I wrote out his eulogy. iIt was a long, tearful excercise and nobody else saw my letter, but it worked wonders for me. Part of the acceptance phase of the grieving process. Thank god you aren't taking trams now, or the loss of your friend may well be another one of those things that we tended to BURY while on the trams.
Boe, good to see you back my friend. You are the glue!
Flip, Day 4? I am no prognosticator, but I see a solid night sleep in your future real soon. You said, that this is " just like in the marines - where you have to get through the tough stuff in order to become a warrior". Absolutely. If anyone here hasn't clicked on Emily's icon and read all of her journal entires on her "profile" page", I can't recommend it strongly enough. I recall seeing a post there in her journal from "Cadillac Jack". He didn't write a lot, but his point about declaring WAR on this drug helped me greatly back in December.
Lilly, You are rolling girl. Thanks for the information on medmd.
Formallysane, You said, "I'm not sure if I'm qualified to welcome somebody yet, but will try anyway...welcome rod05. I'm new to posting here as well. And that one thing alone (posting) is helping me with the w/d yesterday and today. You guys DO KNOW that YOU are on the cutting ". AH...yeah you ARE qualified and you are taking up the mantel right proper.
What qualifies one of us to share with another stuggling tramadol warrior? Not success. I'd have never begun the journey posting here if success mattered. Regardless of where a person is at, whether they have even begun the journey or not, what qualifies anyone here is a desire to stop this madness.
Now we have HAD some pro tramadol folks come here periodically and preach the gospel of "more trams". Em has and will zap those folks. She hasn't been around much lately, but she watches out for us. But regardless where anyone ELSE is at on the recovery continium, this place is wide open.
I could be taking 30 pils a day with no plan to get off, and so long as I was desirous of getting off, my post is welcome here.
In my very first post, the best I could muster was "this place may have just saved my life." In fact, it just may. I didn't know whether I could make the journey that some of you are making RIGHT THIS MOMENT. But I looked at my pills, considered what I was going through ON the trams, and for the first time in six years, I at least knew that it might be POSSIBLE to do this thing.
Without that magic ingredient of HOPE, we perish. But this journey can and IS being won, one person, one moment at a time. It will be alright you guys. Your journey will NOT last forever. Stay strong and you will win. You'll see.
There are two secrets I have discovreed about this drug.
The first (for me only here, OK?) is that I am defensless against that first pill. If I wre to take one even now, I'd be back to the races. But I figured out that if I just didn't take that FIRST pill, I wouldn't carsh and burn like I had done so many times before.
Second, I found out that the journey doesn't last as long as I feared. Hellish firt 4-5 days? Sure. Anyone run out of pills? Felt terrible for two days? I did that more than once. But what I never realized is that if I could have just hung on a couple more days, that tram-a-go-round would soon have been behind me. Go figure!
Posting regularly kept me busy during my acute withdrawal. Distraction is a wonderful thing. And nobody here needs to feel "less than" simply because they began their journal a few days or months behind someone else. So Formallysane, please keep posting, OK? You ARE qualified. Definately.
Do you realize how "cutting edge" your journeys are right now? When Emily began this thing, there was nobody to even talk with about her tramadol withdrawal. If you were to go back to the Day 45 site, there were days and days when nobody came on her to post AT ALL. It's started with a trickle and the tide is beginning to roll in now. MILLIONS of people are addicted to this terrible drug. And some day, they will need your "voice" to see that the is hope for them too.
So consider this...you just might be the next person's best and ONLY hope of seeing POSSIBILITY in the midst of defeat. We all have our own story. By YOU telling your story (thanks Rod) - you are giving another peson a life line to IDENTIFY with. And I am also pretty sure, that if you and I hang around here long enough, we just might encouter someone else - who tells the same exact story as we could have told ourselves. As if we could have written it ourselves fromn the start. That will send the chills right up your old tramadol spine.
A lot of different angles about going it alone and getting help...
I just had so much trouble getting of Tram by myself and got no where and when I got the help It made all the difference...
I must admit I read a lot on this forum and didn't really take the severity of the W.D seriuos enough It like nothing you can describe..
The best part about the W.D being so bad is If I ever feel like taking a opiod again my memory and brain will never forget how bad the first couple weeks was especially the first couple days were.....
So there's no way I will being go back to any drugs....
The docs must of put me on Subutex cause tramadol is so hard to taper of i am guessing..But we all no Subutex is easy to withdraw from at all..
Does anyone have a opion on this that the severity of withdrawals is worse if you have been using for a long period ...or is it once you get over that 1 year mark of using it doesn't really matterIf it's 1 year or 10 years....... i was 4 years on Tram..
We wouldn't know anything about all this without the net...All we would know is what that write on the bit of paper that comes in the packet..
And that doesn't mention any of this...
Thanks 23 days clean today and I got my best sleep so far 4 hours ........
Fred....thank you for all your beautiful, wonderful insightful posts. Your writing is so helpful to all who come here for support. You have opened a new window everytime you write to us and lead us on.
rod..... glad to hear your feeling better.
Big..... Very insightful information on why some of us choose to go it alone guarding our medical information.
Flippers..... Stay strong...your on your way.
BVD660 ....Thanks for all your help and info.
Warrior.... Hang in there..We are all here for you.
FormelySane .... Hope you feel better soon keep going
Rod - thanks for the post. I think what you said is the question of the day for me - why not ask for help? I really feel resistant to doing that at this point and I have to ask myself why. Is it that I think I'm powerful enough now to overcome this on my own? Anyone who's been in any type of recovery group knows how far that will get me.
I did fess up to a close friend today about my dependence on tram. She has had a lot of medical issues herself and a lot of pain & meds, but it was clear to me that she had no idea what I was talking about. But for me it was just about coming out and being honest with someone.
I'm still sticking with my taper. I like the analogy to "hell week" from Flip. To me it might be more like childbirth...you have to go through a lot of pain in order to see the new life. The only way out is through.
Hang in there everyone
Fred - thanks, and you are right (as usual). Last night was the first decent (not perfect) night I have had yet. No Benydyl/no aspirin. Thanks for mentioning the "45 days" posts (google "tramadol withdrawal" for those who don't know about this). I went back and read your first post, Emily's, Cadillac's, etc. Really great stuff there and I will go through it in detail this weekend.
Lilly - glad your at 100 mg. Don't be too worried about the depression. I had horrible, suicidal depressive thoughts ON tram, not during w/d. Sure there is some dull kind of depression during w/d but not that "everything is wrong" depression that I would feel 5 or so hours after taking tram.
Grandma - I saw a show about the Marines during their final week of training and how they have to stay up for 72 hours, hike 20 miles or so with 75 lbs. of gear with instructors setting off explosives, shooting at them from out of nowhere, eat and drink the absolute minimum possible, and I thought "My god, how the heck can I complain". So this week has been my hell-week getting of this crap. I almost feel embarrassed to complain about it though.
Rod ...I only took tram at 50 mg. a day ....only when I had pain...So I didn't take it everyday... but was on it off and on for about one year..The with draw was awful...depression....depression...depression....no energy at all for three weeks out.. panic attacks at work .. feeling like I was going crazy.. I'm about 65 days out and still am having trouble concentrating. All in all I am starting to feel much better and with a lot of support from my husband and a lot of rest on the weekends I have been able to keep working at my job. I have not missed a day...I am hoping that the brain fog goes away and my concentration picks up.
I went cold turkey because I just didn't have the pain anymore. So I just never refilled the tram.... Than it all hit. At first I couldn't figure out what the H was going on. Then I started to research Tram and found this site and all the posts. Then I got really pissed off and swore that I would kill my doctor if I had the chance. That rage has gone away and my new motto is "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"...Hope this helps..
Oh man. Fred! I'm kinda laughing about me talking to myself ... for days. And Days. And Day. Alone. Talking to myself. LOL!! I sound crazy! (And I was .... cause I was on Tramadol and drugs to counteract the non-addictive non narcotic Tramadol)
LOL! Dude. So weird and ... who knew anyone would ever read any of it! I have the slowest connection in the world actually right now. I appreciate anyone who helps our new friends find their way here. I sure did appreciate the "If this drugs wants me this bad, it can't have me."
I'm cycling back and forth with Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms. Seriously, if I had known; I would have gone alot lot lot lot faster down the taper. I'm still very much a cold turkey kinda addict. The switching of substances is pretty darn scary.
I've been unable to ... type? Communicate? Words not making sense. I seem to do really well with pictures.
I'm ... yeah ... messed up. Hope *this* doesn't last much longer. It's like a windowless room in some sort of body dysmorphic, sweaty, gross brain-damaged, insominac's library? .... I have insanely good hearing and sense of smell. Maybe this isn't benzo withdrawal; maybe I am turning into a cat.
One thing; Rod05? I just noticed this. You asked why none of us get Professional ... LOL ... Ok .. Professional Help? (sorry ... I'm laughing cause I am filled with hate for the Doctors who got me here ... ) Dude. Duuuuuuuuddddddddeeeeeeeee No see; Doctors got me here! I'm passionately bitter about it. Can one be Passionately Bitter? ... it seems like I'm making up words that don't go together! Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter ...
Anyhow I see you are a chronic pain patient. You're doing great! Not everyone is going to have success in he same way as you do. I don't TELL people to Cold Turkey like I did. I tell them my story, and they are going to decide. I'm not in control of that.
I've always thought the most powerful way to try to help someone is to just ... tell them what happened to you. The bonus is that if you don't help the person hearing the story; you help yourself. So ... yeah ... no I personally wouldn't have considered a Rehab or Sub because I wanted out. I didn't find anyone to talk to about it for awhile. Now .. obviously .. .there's more of us.
Anyhow Rod05 I admit and know I need alot of help. Question is; where to get it when you have no health insurance and your life is not filled with supportive people. :D Probably online? I know it makesz me feel less vulnerable to connect with others here.
hi FormerlySane (your name makes me laugh) I so agree about ... what if I had had a seizure and hurt someone ... I agree. Bone chilling! So glad I hurt no one except myself. And honestly not too pleased I hurt myself getting off the Tramadol ...
.. and then the Klonopin. Klonopin withdrawal? It is The S.U. C.K.
Thanks EmilyPost for all you help oh and dont forget fred once i started reading the posts I began to think I was the only male in this situation but then i found fred
This is my first post and my name toproud is litteral I was to proud to admit to myself i had a problem then my whole world came crashin down but thanks to you guys i have begun the journey to being free a little less afraid and a lot more angry at the devil pill who got me here at 1:08 am typing on something that somewhat resembles a keyboard to me through the fog or should I say tramafog
I am just reading over what I am about to post and I guess I was a little long winded. Which is so NOT like me. :) If you guys get tied of me, knock me in the head and throw me overboard please.
Emily, You are - of course, everyone's HERO. For the record, I owe my tram free life to you, and to Madtram, and to others who hung around long after you were FREE yourself. It sounds like the benzo withdrawal is still kicking butt at times. Just keep doing he next right thing and this too shall pass.
EM, you are a wonderful, intelligent, kind, caring, straight talking woman. I sort of chuckle, because unless some of the newcomers have bothered to go to your "profile" and read about the STRENGTH you displayed a year ago coming off this crap on your own, I dare say that this community hasn't come to know you. But they WILL know you. Be of good courage Em.
You will be back again (soon), ripping off compassionate, strong blazing posts from a high speed connection to the interwebs. Fortunately, life's seasons NEVER last forever.
I really don't like struggles. I would prefer to be on life's cruise control, fixed and stable in every way. Unfortunately, I guess we don't get to always choose what comes our way. The things that come into our lives, without our knowledge or consent. until there they are.
I was watching Larry King last week doing a piece on that "Charlies Angel" lady, Farah Fawcet. Terminal cancer. And it struck me that there are so many problems that I have in my life that AT LEAST can do something about. THINGS THAT ARE WITHIN MY CONTROL TO FIX. And when I considered that most of my worst problems were within my control - I felt very fortunate. Blessed. Glad to be able to at least have the OPTION to take charge and know that if I only can keep heading on the path, things MIGHT get better. At least this battle we fight CAN have a happy ending.
Lilly, you re right. We don't do well trying this without asking for help...admitting our powerlessness. I KNOW that you know the higher power thing. It's sort of a "when HOPE meets HOPELESSNESS" kinda thing, with me on the hopeless end of the stick.
My hardest efforts and best thoughts never got me off this drug. Yes, I was in the end the one NOT putting the pill into my mouth, the one watching the clock, posting like a mad person, hoping SOMEONE would write back and validate something I felt sure nobody else had gone through or knew anything about.
The beauty of a forum like this is that nobody dictates what "that higher power" is for anyone else. Can you imagine the arguments? It's been years since I have gone to any organized temple of religion. And even if I had, even in this matter, I would NOT presume to dictate anyone else's higher power. But in general for me, I found that there was value in turning my powerlessness and unmanagability over to some thing or power, greater than myself. Isn't that what gives us hope? That some how, this time can be different than all of the rest of our attempts?
For me, that higher power was the strength of this forum. A belief that because others had done this, I could too. I just don't think that for our purposes here, it is important whether your higher power is a door knob, this group ort a spiritual place or being.
I belong to a 12 step program for my "alergy to alcohol". I never even told my sponsor about my tramadol problem because frankly, I didn't recognize it as a problem at first. Fred isn't prefect, what can I say? I recall having quite a bit of fun with "hgher powers" when i first heard of the concept.
We were meeting in a church basement. There was a large 4'x5' picture of a nice looking retired pastor which must have been circa 1950 hanging on the wall. My guess is that it was donated when the old guy retired. And nobody had the nerve to remove it low all these many years. He was a pleaant enough old guy and his eyes gave off the look of quiet wisdom. But I digress.
Anytime someone would talk about a higher power, I would gaze up at that picture hanging on the wall, smile, and nod knowingly. It's all good. But there is value in believing that SOME power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. And like I said, for me and my tramadol addiction, THIS place was my higher power. (which is probably at least part of the reason I keep hanging around here.)
Toproud, Welcome to our world. Yep, I figure that there are more than a "few" of us "males" who have been on this RAT POOH and back. The thing about tram-a-crap is that it doesn't care if you are male or female. Rich or poor. Black or white. Married or single. North or South. It takes us all down the same way. Yes, it's true that some of us (addicts) may tend to use it differently than someone else. But...um...it's a powerful evil drug that EVENTUALLY does the opposite of what it was prescribed to help - it CAUSES pain in us all eventually.
There are really only three ENDINGS for us tramadol users:
(1) we can keep increasing THE AMOUNT we take to compensate for the tolerance that, by nature, builds up in us over time, such that the same amount will no longer dow what it did. THIS toleance is a physical thing, regardless of your propensity for addiction. No matter how smart a person is. Regardless of our sex, education, or the reasons they started this drug. Over time, this DRUG demands more and more of us and gives us less and less in return.
Which begs the question, how much is too much? The "recommended" daily does is 400 mg.
(2) We can remain at the prescribed dose. After six years on this drug, that amount (for me) was only causing pain. Sending me into constant withdrawal mode. For me, that meant nearly constant PAIN. Not a viable long term solution.
(3) stop the madness and get off the POISON.
If anyone else sees other viable options, I'm all ears.
Grandmagirl, you have the gift of encouragement you know? I hope you keep coming around long after you have no need for our help. It's a "village effort" here that makes this work. I definately know what you must mean about brain fog and lack of concentration. And it takes "weeks and weeks' for that stuf to clear. But little by little this too does improve as we keep putting moments upon moments between us and that last little non-addictive safe pill. HA!
If you were able to work through your withdrawal, you are in a small minority of folks who can. Noodle did it. Like Flippers said, it was "hell week" for me too. I returned to work on day 7, but I was really nothing more than a blurry eyed, ineffective, pretty butt in a chair that firt week back. I'm just being real here. I'd like to tell you that it isn't so, but I can't. But things will get better. "weeks and weeks". Remember this that third week out.
Flippers - Good Marine analogy. My wife tells me that I would have never made it in the military, but I admire the heck out of people who can do that thing. YAY for a solid four hours sleep for you Flip. One of the hardest things for me to cope with in that first 3-5 days was the insomnia. I could have been walking dead on my feet, well dosed with tylenol P.M.s and as soon as I stubled into bed all I could do was NOT sleep. I took as many as SEVEN (7) bathes one night. I still couldn't sleep. Twitiching? Stabbing pains in the feet? Sleeplessness. Can you dig how closely similar everyone's constellation of withdrawal symptoms are to one anothers? Which of course begs the questsion , WHAT SORT OF TEST TRIALS DID THE DRUG MANUFACTURERS really do to obtain safe admittance of this drug into our world? How could they NOT have known that we'd be standing here begging for mercy?
Flip, you are coming through this OK. Be on the lookout for over the top emotions in the next few days. As I recall, I would have cried at a ROCK on day five.
When you guys get tired of hearing from me, just knock me in the head and throw me overboard.
Fred - thanks for sticking around here and giving us your experience, strenth and hope. Last night I took an extra 50 mg just because I felt lousy and because I was in some pain. And not only was I mad at myself, but and hour later I had to take 2 ibuprofen to actually alleviate the pain because tramadol doesn't do s**t! That is the ultimate betrayal of this nasty drug.
I was reading some older posts on this forum to help my resolve and I really identify with you sandie - I hope you're still trying and you come back. I remember the feeling of being at the end of my rope and then popping a tram and feeling 100% better. But now I've crossed that bridge and there's no feeling better no matter what. The pain of using has finally exceeded the pain of quitting.
I guess yesterday was a big day for me. I finally broke down and asked my higher power for the willingness to get clean. I also told my husband that I'm going to go c/t next week after all of my obligations this week are over. I told him I'm going to need him to take care of the kids, etc. and he agreed right away so I think he knows how bad off I am.
The drug companies are truly Evil. It's not just Tramadol - there are lots of others out there that don't work and do more harm than good - and the companies know it but don't care because they're getting rich on the sick and the trusting. It doesn't get much worse than that. But for me, I chose to take this drug because I wanted to change the way I feel - just like I did when I smoked my first joint at age 13. For me, this is a lifelong battle to be ok with who I am, without some substance to mask the pain. Sorry I'm rambling. Thank you all for listening. This really does help.
Fred - that's so true, because a few weeks ago I was actually thinking "What is the end-game here". At one point I actually concluded that I may be on these for life, and that was OK. I was scared that my doctor, who is getting a older, might retire soon and then I may not be able to find a doctor who will write me my big script. Then we all think about lowering our doses and just maintaining on that. I thought about getting clean for a few weeks then doing back up to 50 or 75 mg, or the idea of just casually quitting because I could do that at anytime (yea like that was ever going to happen) - I mean that is the insanity of this drug! Pure control on your life. I remember coming to this site, and for the first time, being scared as hell!
Well said Fred. Life is good when you're not riding the tram-a-go-round.
Being free of tramash*t now for about 40 days, I've really began to notice
how much the tram made me numb to my surroundings. As you just said
Fred, it also made me 'dispassionate' and 'uncaring'. Funny thing is I didn't
even realize this until just a couple of weeks ago. I feel passionate and caring
about certain things again.
I couldn't even watch a scary movie the other day because it freaked me
out. Before, on the trams, I know it wouldn't have even made me cringe.
Sounds silly I know, but it's the truth. Tramadol numbs you and you
don't even realize it.
ToProud, Lily, Flip, rod and the rest of you warriors. I'm rooting for you.
I wrote this back in September in the substance abuse forum. I successfully completed the klonopin withdrawal and I thought that I would have no problem with the tramadols.
The fact is that after I got off of all the benzos and other medications all I was taking was tramadol and I thought it was no big deal. I had lots of them (my daughter-in-law got them w/o RX from Colombia) and I saw no real ill effects and the anti-depression adjunct use was fine for me. Since I had basically an unlimited supply I started taking them without regard to dosing. If I felt slightly nervous I would pop one and everything was OK.
That was until about 2 months ago. I started having breathing problems. I would wake up startled and gasping for breath. I would open all the windows and even take off all my clothes. To try to calm myself I would pop another tram (50 mgs). It started getting worse until I finally had to call 911 at 4 am and got to the emergency room at the hospital. They had me on oxygen for 8 hours and I slowly recovered my breathing. The doctors did all the tests and found nothing wrong (I never mentioned my tram use since I thought it had nothing to do with my breathing problems). It took another visit to the doctor and although she also found no problems it hit me like a bullet-TRAMADOL!
After 6 years of continuous use the Trams took their revenge. The secondary effect of shallow breathing and other ill effects came home to roost.
So now I have to say goodbye to those devilish white pills and start a tapering or c/t plan. Two things I have to be grateful for is that my last Doc gave me a RX for a 90 day supply of ambien which is going to help me with the hardest part of withdrawal which is sleeping and the other thing I have to be grateful for is finding this forum. I have read all the posts since day one and now I know that I am not alone in this battle.
I am right now trying to get to some "normal" dosing schedule before I start the tapering or going CT. Today is the 7th day since I started my war against tramadol and my dosage is one day 100 mgs and the next day 200 mgs. I reduced the single dosage from 50mgs to 25mgs for more control but since I am just starting technically I am at full dosage.
I wish to thank all who have posted here and have given me the knowledge that I am not the only one in the world that has a problem with tramadol. I am too familiar with withdrawal from other substances to know that it won't be a ride in the park but like they say, "when you can't breathe, nothing else matters".
I'll try to keep a log here and if I can be of any help to anyone just ask. I am a 60 year old Vietnam veteran from Puerto Rico.
Hello battlers, just wanted to let you know that there are many of us who have been in your pacing the floor all night shoes, who are wishing you strength. You are in extremely able hands with Emily & Fred & this site is the wikipoedia of anything worth knowing about getting off tramadol.
Emily, so sorry to hear it's still so tough for you. For all your "crazy talk", your psychological strength over all this time is truly impressive & inspirational. Tramadol withdrawal was more than enough to send me to my corner whimpering & shivering. The idea of doing it all over, (but with double twist & pike), is the worst kind of nightmare. You are a strong strong woman.
Fred, thanks for continuing to represent those of us who are providing support in spirit, with real live words of encouragement for those in early withdrawal.
A highlight of being tramadol free.Three days ago, I was stranded all night at a very small airport on a tiny South Pacific island waiting for a very small plane to be fixed. As it turned out, they couldn't even start fixing it until the next morning as the hangar was being hit by lightening strikes. I only had access to my hand luggage & in the wee small hours, I imagined what it would have been like needing tramadol from my check in baggage & going through 36 hours of withdrawal in the concrete shed that constituted the terminal. Now I can enter Survivor or Race Around the World, (if I ever wanted to).
It's true there remain discomforts but as Kev has said, there is strength in being comfortable with discomfort. No pain is even close to the unpredictable tortuous process of tramadol tolerance & withdrawal. I choose some pain over the weeks & weeks of insomnia caused by tramadol.
You can all finish this. Sir Ranulph Fiennes said he achieved his recent ascent of Mt Everest at age 65 by "plodding" & not focussing on what might happen because that would have been too daunting. Tramadol withdrawal was like this for me, you keep plodding & although it often feels like the avalanche has knocked you back down the mountain, finally you reach a clear patch & realise what progress has been made.
6th day on this go around being Tram free and am so bloody grateful this site exists.I have said this before but I am not sure I would have made it this far w/o this site.It is incredibly emotionally cathartic to be able to post my feelings and thoughts.Being disabled and semi house bound I don't get much chance to interact with people and going C/T twice in the last month has been rather devasting emotionally in some ways.When I ran out of Loratbs I should have gotten more from Doc instead of getting Tram refilled.I have truly made a lot of stupid mistakes in my life but ...well you know.Please heed my warning it is so easy to get right back on.I've got one refill left on Tram I am going to get it filled take it home and flush it!You might say just don't get it filled dummy. Unfortunately I am just about the most compulsive person you could ever meet. I mean pathologically compulsive .Unfortunitely the most accepted form of treatment for this kind of disorder is anti depressents and I have just about every side effect to them that is listed inPDR so they are out.As far as the evil Tram I did not even realize there was an antidepressent in Tram (until I came to this site) and if a doc tried to write that crap for me I have to give him the news. Emily - sorry you having to go through the whole Benzo withdrawal thing ,sounds like a drag but I know you will plow right thru and get to the other side.Grandma- thanks for the positve feedback and thanks for posting a lot and in such a kind and gentle manner.Your advice always seems right on target.Fred - I wanted to share with you that I really enjoy your posts .They are kind and well reasoned. Later Big
Not alot to say either. Had a plan to be trammie - free, but not working out. was at 50mg/day, have been lazy and back up to 100mg/day. I guess not bad, but I have pretty much given up quitting. My life is going to hell in a hand bag, and the last "extra" thing on my mind is worrying about tram's. and I know that will happen if I consciously reduce my dosage/ schedule.
I know my life could be worse. But I dont want to deal with extra drama of withdrawl right now. So good luck to everyone on here. I'll drop by sometime.
Hey Sandie I hope you come back soon. I think I have more in common with you than anyone else here. You sound a lot like me before I quit. I was on 100 mg for years, tried to cut down to 50, tried to taper, tried cutting the pills into quarters, tried "letting my body dictate", etc. Your posts were essential to me because I saw the true "low-dose" struggle with you, and that scared me into quitting. I feel for everyone here on the high doses, i really do, but I can't imagine a 15 pill/day habit. The "struggle" remains the same (isn't that a led zeppelin song?) but I needed to hear from the low dosers to convince me that I had a problem, and you were there when I started to read these post - so thank you for that. My brother in law is clean from hard drugs and alcohol for 7 years. One thing he said that I will never forget is that in recovery you learn that "life doesn't stop coming at you" - just because you are clean/sober.
Good point about the size of the dose I like to put it in percatage terms cause when we want off these drugs we are all aiming for zero percent......
My experience was if your on a low dose for many years like i was 4 years on 200 mg Tram i really think for the last 18 months i was in constant withdrawal cause my body was saying to me thats not enough i want more but i thought I am only on 200 mg i don't have a addiction problem.........
I thought because i made a rule to myself i would never go above 200 mg a day i was safe from addiction i was so wrong..
25 days clean now and feeling a lot better every week i feel better ...One night i might even get some real sleep....Maybe tonight if not it don't matter cause i know i won't be like this for ever.............
How very true, Rod. There is no "12.5 mg" or "25 mg" end-game. It's zero or give me my 100 mg again. I was on 150 for the first year, than "disciplined" myself to never go above 100 mg (which I have been on for the last 3 years.) I know all about "justifying" the low dose and thinking "at least I'm not an abuser". When I did my one week taper, the w/d was nearly as bad as when I quit. Fred was right when he said that so many people are so close when they are 24 or 36 hours between doses, or when they are attempting a taper, etc. Congrats on 25 days! One week ago today was the last time I had a tram. I actually sleep great last night.
Congratulations tram free people - you give me hope. I agree with what people are saying about the low dose struggle. I have taken 600mg a day at times and to be honest tapering to 100mg was pretty easy for me. But this last week of being on 100 mg has not been easy. I have been down to 100mg in the past (attempts to quit) and I found that it felt like a good "maintainance" dose for me - no withdrawals. But now I do feel like I'm withdrawing in between doses and it's awful. It definately is a progression in my dependence on this stuff.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to get as is I think the real battle (for me) is going from 100mg down to zero. I think a longer tapering schedule from this point will prolong the agony. I'm hoping to get by on 50mg for a few days and then go ct.
Thanks for keeping the board going because I'm really going to need it.
Hello guys and gals,
Haven't posted in awhile but just wanted to let you know that I'm on day 9 tram-free and it's getting better. Still having some weird dreams, moments of anxiety, and the strange, icky stomach that comes on suddenly and makes me want to pop a tram quicker than any other symptom I experience. I'm over the tough part, withdrawal-wise, at this point but I'm starting to think, "after another 2 weeks or so tram-free I should be able to take a couple every now and then because they do really help with my chronic pain issues".
So tram warriors.....straighten me out, huh? Are there any out there that were tram free, learned better ways of control and are now successful users?
The low doses during my taper were horrible. I went from 400 to 100 mg per day quite easily without much
w/d, but from 100 mg down to none was difficult. Looking back I would never do it this same way again.
Once I got to 100 mg per day, I would just quit. The w/d won't be much worse than if you continue to
taper at low doses. You'd be through the toughest part in 3-5 days rather than stringing this out and have
'mini withdrawal' like I did for over a month. I was a waste! If I would have just quit I would have saved
myself over a month of agony and I would have a months more time between my last dose of tramadol.
I haven't heard of too many people who have had good experiences with tapering on low doses. Just remember
that no matter what you do there will be withdrawals. You just have to ask yourself do you want to have
w/d for months or a couple of weeks. It's the price we all have to pay for being on this evil drug.
You can do this. You just have to want it badly enough. The w/d is your right of passage to better, non-
dependent, tramadol-free life. We are all here for your support.
Day 7 tram free on this go around,Feel completely normal,pain down to low level so I have not had to take any kind of pain meds.Feel good more balanced less nervous.Re read my last post and I think I am going to get last refill filled crush up all the pills and then put in old gallon water jug take to the trash and toss away.Tramaqueen- why bother with the evil Tram,just get one of the many other types of opiates out there and take as directed on label.Thats what I have been doing the last few .days and it works.Pain was going strong ,went off Tram 2nd time in a month1/2 got Loratab from doc six days ago and I took as directed.Something that I have not done since I started to use and abuse opiates in the early 80s.That is, if you veiw Tram like most of us on this site as the ultimite evil drug,different in every imporatant way(quick physical addiction,addiction possible even when taking at low levels of this drug,worst withdrawal ever of all opiates that I and many others have ever heard of all the emotional problems etc...) This crap is poision don"t take, ever! Well thats my two cents anyway. Hope you stay off the tram. Best to all. Big
I wrote in my last post that since I had an unlimited supply of Trams I had no true dosing schedule. It's hard to start a weaning process when you don't know how much or when you were taking the pills.
So I used the last 7 days to see where I stand before starting or making any plans. Here is my dosing for the last 7 days:
As you can see it's all over the place. Today I'll probably be at 3x25mgs and that will be my starting point. This lower dosage is painful with a lot of anxiety and fear but thats to be expected after 6 years of uncontrolled use. Like I said before I was forced into quitting because of the breathing problems associated with chronic use of trams. If not for that I'll probably be still using and thinking that no harm came from using tramadol. So if anyone out there is still using and thinking the trams only do good you are due for a rude awaking one day so it's better to take heed of those that have posted here and gone through the misery of wd.
(to those that dump the remaining trams when quitting CT all I have to say is that you are one brave soul! Just knowing that I have a stash nearby keeps the lid on some of the anxiety so I'm keeping the 200 or so pills that I still have and will dump them all when I have fully recovered).
Hi everyone....I've been lurking around since part 7 or 8, I think. Fred, Emily, Warrior, so many of you have helped me and not even known it. I've been working up the nerve to quit for a few weeks now. It took some bad things to get me ready...losing loved ones, realizing what I've become...
I'll make it brief: I was in a bad car accident a few years back. Serious, legitimatly painful injuries. Physical addiction to (necessary) stronger painkillers. Time passes, I get stronger, no need for that stronger stuff...but Tramadol, now *that* will help but is non-addictive! Fantastic! Riiiiiiiight.
Fast forward a few years, which I've been on and off the merry-go-round: I was up to taking (this makes me so ashamed and sick to type, it's why I've only read thus far, but I have to get honest) 6 or 7, 50mg AT ONE TIME, three or four times a day. An average of 1500-1800mg per day.
I realize how lucky I am to still be breathing.
Funny enough, no one knows/knew. I was nicer, had more energy, all the crap we all know. But it's fake. And I want an authentic life. Just because I've maintained the "outside" (oh, she's doing so great!) doesn't mean the inside's ok.
Now: I am just so sick of it. I have managed to cut myself down to (3 pills) 150mg per dose, twice a day. In two and a half days of tapering.
I'm no spring chicken to this process. I'm usually a cold-turkey kind of gal. But with this kind of dosing, I figured I'd taper for a few days and then just quit. Suffice to say, the first day, I had a migraine so bad I literally thought I was going to die. Now, just some garden variety WDs, RLS, sick sweat/chills, and moods so varied and bizarre at times that i could give Meryl Streep a run for her money.
What sucks most of all is hiding it. Trying to put on the game face. It's so tiring. But I must. It doesn't help that I am grieving for my ex-partner of 8+ years who died in February, suddenly, at 36. I'm just holding on for dear life and realizing the only way out is through; numbing won't help matters any.
Does anyone know of anything natural to help with the migraines? Mad amounts of caffeine are of no help, ditto for ibuprofen. I'm really bad about drinking enough H2O but I'm trying. I have never in my life, even in previous tram wds, ever had migraines like that. Never been prone to them.
OK, I'm rambling. But, I want to let the others know that even though I have tried to quit before and failed, that I know recovery is possible. I believe it. I believe I am ready. And I WILL be whole again. I just have to tough these few more days out. Suck it up as best I can. I refuse to give the pharm pushers any more satisfaction from me.
Thank you all for your candor, your grace, and your inspiration. I hope to be a success story like so many of you. Say a prayer for me today; I need it.
Freebird - Welcome. I'm sorry about your partner. I'm glad you found us, there's no shame here - only people trying to get free. You just dropped down a major amount in a very short time so maybe you should maintain where you're at now for a week or more before quitting. I know In the thread above we were just talking about not prolonging the agony, but you must have just given your system quite a shock. Keep us posted. I'm here every day now so I'll be pulling for you.
20 days Tram-FREE and feeling really good today. I had more energy today, than I've had in a very long time. I don't expect it will be like this every day, but I'm just happy to know that it's possible. I'm looking forward to many more great days ahead! Yesterday, my head was foggy ...but.today, I didn't really notice it as much as the other days. The sneezing is almost completely gone now. I sneezed a few times yesterday, but can't even remember if I sneezed today or not..so all are good signs (more energy/ less fog and sneezing). :)
Boe: I think I'm sooo close to getting "there" ...right behind ya, my friend. :)
To all the newbies, there's GREAT support on this site. Hang in there and keep pushing forward. It's worth it! and most of all, you're worth it! :)
Just wanted to drop a line to let ppl know what ive been going thru. Me and my wife have been addicted to tramadol for over a year now. We just stopped taking yesterday, and are trying to go cold turkey. Boy, we really feel like crud. I hope this doesnt last too long, ugh. I can barely get the energy to type on my laptop.
Hello, Megadeth good luck to you and your wife on your cold turkey try. Even with a slow taper you will feel like crud. This week I will try to drop another 25mgs from my daily intake and even though I went from 200mg/day to 75 mgs/day in 8 days I still feel like crud. Sleep is getting better (with the help of ambien and benedryl) but that first morning dosage is still compelling.
Even this morning after 10 hrs of sleep (actually 5 and 5 with one awakening to take another benedryl) I tried to postpone that morning 25mg dose but could only postpone it for an hour. Well the later I awake the shorter the day is! Since I am retired and have no real work obligations it will be easier for me. I really don't envy those that have to go through WD and have to go to work. That has to be horrible.
A lot of people here have hit the nail on the head and have said that even with a slow taper you will suffer the same as going ct. So at one point the decision has to be made to stop completely and suffer whatever it is that you are going to suffer and be done with it. Easier said than done for some (me included).
Miss_Amy_2009, thank you for your posts. They have helped me a lot. Also rod05, thank you.
Woke up this morning with a headache that's reminiscent of the ones that I would get when I'd try to stop c/t. And this is day11 without. What the hell?? I thought I was done.
Thanks so much for your concern rod05....I'm half-playing, half-serious when I made that statement. Believe me, I've learned my lesson and I have nothing but respect for tramadol and the havoc that it plays with my body....not so much my mind because I never craved it like I have with some drugs in the past....For the last 3 years I would take 1 or 2 tramadols in order to keep the w/d at bay. I took it the first year, maybe not even that, for pain. I would take at the most...3 or 4 at a time and that was once a day. Then when I started feeling the w/d I got scared and thought...'I need to get off this stuff for awhile...it's collecting in my system and causing w/d effects". So then I tried to stop, and the intense headaches, nausea, and anxiety would cause me to take a pill so that I could function and do my daily duties. I didn't have time to go through withdrawals...of course I had no idea how long they would take, until I found good old Em's site here.
And I remember when I took my very first tramadol. I thought, "what a perfect drug...it helped my back/neck pain, gives me a little lift, and it's non-addictive. It's what I've always looked for!!"
But, me being me...I knew that there was a catch. So, I'm still fighting the good fight. I don't have any cravings or desires to take tramadol. My man is taking them for his pain issues, and they help him alot. He was in a catastrophic car accident back in Dec. that left him in the hospital for 4 months. He's still crippled pretty badly but he's getting stronger every day. He just doesn't seem to experience the w/d that we do apparently, because he can take them for awhile, stop, and start again and the only thing that I've noticed that he experiences are a couple of semi-sleepless nights and some mental edginess. No big deal. And it must be that tramadol effects people in different ways, because if every person who took it reacted as badly as we all do, seems to me that there would be more discussion about changing it to a controlled substance and making it a little more difficult to obtain.
Yesterday was rough, but I had to rally as I'd planned a gathering for friends out at karaoke night (I was silently cursing myself all day). Took me hours to get out of the house, as I had to dry my hair three times since I kept sweating. The headaches stayed consistent.
I drank a sugarfree red bull out at the karaoke, and the caffeiene I think helped the headache, and then I just drank water. We didn't stay too late, and laughing and socializing helped a bit. I slept sort of ok and woke up this morning feeling not great, but alright.
Down to taking 150mg every 10 - 12 hours. Pretty good for me. I'm hoping to be totally free by Friday. For me, the mood swings are the hardest; the depression just comes over me and it's hard to remember in the midst of it that "this isn't REAL, this is the poison coming out, just hold on"....but I'm trying.
Tramaqueen, thanks for your posts. I totally understand your "I don't have time for w/ds" statement; unfortunately neither do I....I have to keep going with my daily life as best as I can. I actually WISH that I could lock myself up in a hotel room with a bunch of gatorade, movies and fleece pjs and stay there for a week and sweat it out. I just can't right now.
I'm still getting w/ds for sure, but I was afraid of having seizures if I went any faster (I've been told I have a low threshold and from what I read, tram makes that worse).
Has anyone heard of using 5HTP or Milk Thistle to help with the depression and the wds? If anyone has any experience on how much to take and when, that would be great. I know my neurotransmitter levels are taking a deep dive and want to know what I can do to try to naturally support that.
Thanks again everyone. I was having some resentment nd self-loathing, realizing that I'm wasting a beautiful weekend sitting around sick, but now after reading I feel more like I'm doing a good thing, getting myself free, and what better way to spend my time, y'know?
Traumaqueen-I think you make a good point about every one being different reacting to the evil Tram.When I started 3 years ago I went on and off with out any hassle.But during the last year as I took more Tram I started to notice what I thought were little negative side effects(w/d).Last few months I had the sneaking suspicion that yes I may even be addicted.LOL.Denial is a powerful self defense mechanism. Best to all Later Big.
I have tried 5htp and Gaba for depression. They are serotonin (5-ht) precursors and are supposed to elevate the amount of serotonin in your brain. (The pharmaceutical SSRI's used as anti-depressives work with the actual serotonin that you have and allow them to stay longer in the neurons inhibiting the natural removal or re-uptake). So in theory the more 5htp and GABA you have the more serotonin you produce so you don't have to worry about the re-uptake. That, of course is the theory. The reason why supplementation with 5htp and/or GABA doesn't work for the majority is because the production of serotonin is not the problem. The problem usually lies in the quick re-uptake. So if your problem is with the serotonin re-uptake all the 5htp and GABA in the world is not going to help you. I know because I have tried both 5htp and GABA and still have half a bottle of each in the med cabinet. (I also have Milk Thistle but I think I was using for better liver function)
Other natural products that I have tried for withdrawal is St. Johns Wort and B12 vitamins. I really don't think there is anything that can lessen the effects of WD except time.
Anyway if anyone has knowledge of any natural product that can lessen the effects of WD please let us know.
This 8th day is not too bad. I have only taken 50mgs for the day and I might skip the nightly 25mgs. Maybe tomorrow might be zero day?? (I'm just kidding myself, probably not!)
Hello all you new people! Lovely to see all is still powering and supportive in the world of EmilyPost.
I tapered slowly off Tramadol and have been free for about 4 months.
I have to to say that there are things that we simply don't deal with when we are on this drug, and they MUST be dealt with at some stage. In my case it was the death of my mother.. I went through it with her, every step of the way, but on Tram. Now that I am off it I realise I didn't really go through it at all, and have to relive it as it was meant to be.. and it hasn't been easy. And there are so many other things that happened over those years that need 'processing' by the person I am.. not the tram-zombie I was.
Also I have been diagnosed with a heart disease. I did mention it before, but am doing it again - I doubt there is a Tram relationship, but I put it here as a kind of documentation - this has to be the most indepth study of Tram withdrawal that exists (((Emily))).
Michelle, love your 'stuck in the airport shed' story. It really resonated. That fear of being out and not having meds.. aaargh. And it's all over now.. like a very bad, seemingly endless dream.
Yea, the stuck in the airport story hit home for me. It reminded me of my vacation last year, when I purposefully took less than my usual amount of trams, in an attempted "forced taper" for one week. I doubled up on the half doses (imagine that) due to acute w/d and found myself out of trams on day 6 of a 7 day vacation. I made some excuse to my spouse and drove 16 hours straight, through the night, with w/d setting in just to get home to the my poision. The funny thing is that when I finally quit (8 days ago) the w/d were so much easier to deal with because I wanted to quit, versus trying to quit. This drug really messes with you mind, which is half the battle, in my opinion.
Tramaqueen there's many many reasons to not take Tramadol "now and then." The biggest reason is that no Doctor writes the script that way because spiking doses of Tramadol will set you up for Seizure. As in Grand Mal. As in drive your car into a human being because you were taking Tramadol ... now and then.
Tramadol is a bad drug.
For breakthru pain, a different drug is more appropriate. Having the dose change rapidly will set you up for much worse problems than just not having the time for withdrawal.
When I was down to less than 50mg a day, I felt that fear of letting go completely. It was like the anticipation that you feel when you jump from a high place and being unsure if you'll be ok when you land. I'm not sure if that's a good example, but that's the best way I can describe the feeling that I had - FEAR.
You will know when you're ready to take that final leap and jump off of your last dose. If you're anything like me, you will be tired of stretching out the W/D's and you'll be wanting to quit just to end your suffering..The good thing to know is when you finally make the leap, you KNOW that you will not feel that way after 3-5 days, which is a whole lot better than hanging on to tapering and extending your suffering by who knows how long...
Everyone is different, but for me - after getting down to 3 doses of 12.5mg, I started feeling as though I was dragging out the w/d's and was just sick of it. I knew that the discomfort of w/d's were going to be there no matter what...so I took that leap and got it over with. In my opinion, it's important to understand what you're going to go through and be willing to face it head on and push through it. That's the beauty of this journal (Thanks Emily!) because without all of the posts here (Thanks again, everyone!) I wouldn't have known what to expect, which I think we can all relate to fearing the unknown..which I think is a HUGE part of staying in anyone's comfort zone (taking Tramadol or any other drug).
My advice is to read all you can from this journal (the older ones too) and gain knowledge of what you're actually dealing with as well as what to expect...Running into this journal was the best thing for me...the other posters here understood what I was going through, gave me the knowledge, courage and strength to begin my journey, push forward and complete my mission to get to the other side. I can't thank you all enough for holding my hand when I thought I was alone.
Just knowing that I wasn't alone in this battle, made all the difference in the world to my decision to stop taking Tramadol and that was basically all I needed to know to BEGIN. The MEAT of this site is what gave me the strength to push through the worst part of it without giving up. It is because of all of you, that I knew what to expect and most importantly, I knew that there was an END to the acute w/d's. (and trust me, at some point, you will think that it may never end) but simply knowing that got me through the worst of it all and to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Boe has mentioned this in previous posts but I think it's imperative to re-post a lot of info for all the newcomers.
Most of you already know or have learned from this site that you have actually already experienced w/d's daily between doses or when you had to go CT by accident due to one reason or another. If you actually knew how close you were to getting off Tramadol, you would just hang on a little longer because from what I read, there are a lot of you that were so close to ending their relationship with Tramadol and ended the withdrawals by taking another pill because you simply didn't know how close you were..if you did, you wouldn't have taken that next dose...When I went through my tapering, I remember that when my w/d's were at their peak, I thought of taking a pill to stop the w/d's (I believe this is the point where most give in to the pill), but I remember a note that I received from another poster (Boe) during what I would call the highest peak of it all.
"I know you're having one hell of a time right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. For the price of a few days in hell, you can have the rest of your life back. Hang on and don't look back!"
These words, in combination with the time I read them were PRICELESS and life changing!
Boe was soooo right! Before I knew it, the worst of the worst was over...the acute w/d's do their own tapering after that peak....that's when I knew that I had made it to the other side. (I will never forget that Boe - Thanks again)..
Reading and Posting on this thread was SUPER theraputic for me. It helped A LOT during the worst parts of my tapering. If you read my daily posts during my tapering, you will see that how much more I posted during the peak of my acute w/d's...Reading posts gave me hope. Posting allowed me to release my emotions during the most uncomfortable times of my tapering. I recommend posting to everyone that is having a hard time with w/d's...you'll be amazed at how much it truly helps. POST POST POST
TO ALL THAT WERE HOLDING MY HAND DURING MY FIGHT:
Your support, comfort and encouragement was there when I needed it the most and without these three things, I'd still be taking Tramadol.
21 days Tramadol FREE and living life again.
Thank you all for being such a HUGE part in changing my life. *hugs*
Boe - thanks for your words of encouragement. You are so right. After 100mg it's all or nothing. I tried 50mg yesterday and started going through pretty bad wd so I took another 50 (I was going on a family outing). My husband is for me waiting until Sat. when he can take care of the kids etc. while I go ct. That leaves me with another 4 days of using. Or I can stop now and wd while trying to keep up with my daily responsibilites. I don't like either option. I hope to God I learn my lesson from all of this
Thank you for your comments. You are absolutely right. At 50mgs day it seems harder to reduce than when I was at 150mgs. Today I thought I was going to be tram free but I woke up a horrible mess even though I slept 10hrs. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to take that 12.5 mg morning dose but I had terrible flu like symptoms with a lot of body aches. Also having vivid dreams. And it took about 3 hours for that 12.5 dose to take effect and clear the symptoms. So here I sit at 1:00pm wondering about that evening 12.5 mg dose.
It seems like taking or not taking 50mgs/day doesn't matter, the WDs are the same. This is one heck of a drug! I have gone cold turkey on a lot of meds and even street drugs and alcohol but I am ready to start calling Tramadol "the mother of all drugs"!
I am down to two doses of 12.5 mgs separated by 6 or 7 hours. So technically I have to call today my first day of trying to quit. I see that Lillyval above has arrived at the same conclusions. From now on it's an all or nothing decision. No use in trying to fool myself into believing I can taper some more. (actually I can since I have a supply of trams in capsule form where I can open the capsule (50mg) and divide in 5 but that seems like a lot of nonsense to me.)
Time seems like it's standing still. My prayers are out to those that are in CT wd and have to work or have family responsibilities. God bless you all and the best......clen
Dear Em, Thanks for responding to my post. What is the definition of 'spiking' a drug? Does it mean to take over the recommended amount as needed? Like, having a prescription, not using it for several days then suddenly, decide to take 4 pills instead of the recommended 2? It seems to me that the threat of seizure activity would be greatest when dosages are high or when one is attempting to get off of high doses by stopping cold turkey. BTW, today is day 12 and I'm feeling much better than I was yesterday. I think there are 'pockets' of drug stored up in my cells that periodically gets released and causes headaches, nausea, and anxiety. But, those nasties are getting farther and farther apart and I'm returning to my old, energetic, caustic-witted self. :)
The danger in having a seizure on Tramadol comes while you are on the Tramadol. So yes, spiking a dose, means you have a low level in your body, and then you take a higherdose. Frankly, no one knows what the seizure threshhold is. All the people who have had seizures on Tramadol did so after a change in dose. Even a dose that they have taken before, and "got away" with.
A spike means that suddenly you have more. That's why it's so important to *not* say quit and then redose. Person A takes 10 (over dose) pills a day steadily ... less risk than a person who thinks they are doing great by taking 2 one day and 6 the next. Person two on varying dose is more likely to have a seizure. Trippy huh!?
It doesn't mean to take over the recommended dose of 8 a day. It means someone who was taking 6, takes 8 for two days ...
People have seizures on Tramadol when they are within the normal "dose."
And no, the cold turkey thing doesn't induce seizure. Taking the drug does.
It's unlike a Benzo in that way. I have no idea how people got the idea that stopping Tramadol cold turkey (at a "normal" dose) brings on Seizure. But I see that rumor being passed around in MedHelp all the time. All the research I found showed that people had the Seizures while ON Tramadol.
Huge Difference, and so worthy of noting since we have the people here who are manipulating their doses.
But yes, a spike like taking 4 instead of 2 could do it. Frankly; it worries me when I can't find the real reason behind this. But ... that's what I know. It's one reason for people who come here to not re-dose on their "usual" dose of Tramadol after a few days of being off it.
And I am really happy you are feeling better! That's great. Pockets of drugs .. well. Possibly stored in Fat Cells or Synovial Fluids in your joints. I'm glad you are retunring.
You said something in a post about the treatment of chronic pain. The thing I found is that off the Tramadol my "chronic pain" vanished for days. Which means? It means I don't have chronic pain. I have pain caused by drugs.
When my pain flares up, I take Codeine ... and ONLY in complete desperation cause my opiate receptors are messed up! I consider what I have to be low backinjury with occassional need to treat pain in a chemical way. I exhaust all the other means first ... Massage, Chiropractic, Accup ...
You know I am always amazed when someone shows up here and there's just like this little casual sentence .. "Yeah, I had a seizure and went to the ER."
It blows my mind!
Love and Healing,
Let's hope any of the above made sense and is in English ....
Thank you Emily, Fred and everyone that continues to help. Every post helps someone. Emily your information and knowledge has been more than a God send. Fred your posts are wonderful and I think we all see oueselves when you write to us. Emily I'm just so glad your feeling better. What a haul for you.
I haven't been here too long ...but long enough to know that I was in big trouble with Tram. I just didn't feel the need to refill my percription and went off of Tram as you can see by my past post. Thank god I did.
The question out there in Tram land seems to be how do I taper? I don't know if there is a correct answer. It's a very personal thing that we all come to if by accident or in our own time. I think we all have a HOT BUTTON that finally goes off.... That HOT BUTTON can be a very different thing to each one of us.
The great thing about all of us is that we support everyone here... Each one of us brings another view to the table... knowledge and new information.
To everyone that's just staring this journey...know that you will make it. Somedays seems like they will never end and other days just fly by. Just when you feel like your home free that old feeling will creep up on you and the body will say "what H... is going on" By the grace od God you wake up the next morning Tram free ...Prayers to everyone have a peaceful week.
Good Morning Tram-Warriors! I love stopping by here and seeing all the people trying to get off this crap and get their lives back! Sounds like everyone is doing well :) The more time between you and your last dose the better it gets, even if it doesn't seem like it in that moment. I try to catch up on reading posts at least once a week (its a good reminder of how far I have come), so if ever anyone wants to ask me anything, feel free. But it seems like everyone has it under control, which is why I don't say anything. :)
Hi Fred! Kev! Emily! And everyone from my WD days :) Glad to see you guys still around :)
I am now 69 days off Tram-pooh! (If my counting is correct, I try not to dwell on the days, makes it easier.) I have had some rough spots where I wish I could numb myself. I have been trying to find ways to get happy energy without the anxiety and I will tell you GUARANA is NOT my friend! I had a week where I felt like I was in early withdrawals (anxiety) again! And it stopped when I stopped taking a multivitamin that had Guarana in it. I still have good days and bad but its just LIFE! All the stuff I didn't feel before because of the devil pill. So I am literally having to re-learn how to "be". My kids are a whole year older and therefore have changed and I was so numb by tram for so long that I didn't even realize till the past couple months. One is getting ready for middle school and those hormones have started raging! Not for boys but just the grumpy mood swings, its like "hey, when did that happen? :( " You really don't realize how much of life you miss because of the fog Tram puts you in, you don't even totally realize the fog is there till it starts to lift and then after when you think back. And how much you have to catch up on feeling! That is where some of my rough days come from. It IS all for the BETTER though!
I remember when I tapered my dose from 75mgs to 50mgs - that was tough - I didn't realize then, but do now that I should have just jumped off then. But it was the comfort of getting down to a small a dose as possible and then jumping. It did prolong the WDs though, so glad its all over now though. There is no chance in hades of ever doing that to myself ever again! I have learned the biggest lesson of my life up to this point :)
Well, duty calls! *Hugs everyone* Good Luck! Hope and Love to all! You can do eet!!
To all of you fighting the Tramadol. I pass on my prayers for you and encourage each of you that you can do this. I am 380 days clean from this junk and the first week was harsh but it got better day by day after. So stay in there and keep fighting. God bless.
OK everyone - this is one of the most f***k*d up things that has ever happened to me. Yesterday I went down to 50mg sucessfully. Then I ended up in the ER at 1 am for a non-pain, non-Tramadol related issue. I still feel like crap but my resolve is strong to be tram free. Then GET THIS - I get an e-mail from Caremark, my mail order prescription company saying I have a refill available. I log on to find out they contacted my doctor to renew my Tram prescription without my knowledge. So my irresponsible doctor renewed a 90 day supply of 200 mg ER tablets with 3 90-day refills. That's a 12 MONTH SUPPLY of 200 mg tablets. This at the EXACT MOMENT I am trying to get clean. My mind is just blown. Back in the days when I was drug seeking I would have considered this a windfall. But now I'm thinking maybe there really is such thing as temptation by the devil. (I don't mean to bring religion into this - I'm just blowing off steam).
Lillyval...call or e/mail Caremark and cancel that order if your serious about getting off tram and being done with this..The temptation is pretty great to have that Tram around ...you can do this.make that call and make that jump to come off completely. You will feel so much better if you do this...We are all here for you. Just keep posting everyday and let us help you get through this. There is life after Tram. Hugs and prayers are with you...You can do this....
I hope you are OK after your ER visit. I know having a supply of trams might be a temptation but what will get you off of them is resolve. You have to make a decision and forget what the doctor''s prescribed or what you may have stashed up and go ahead and start you quitting process. I have a 6 months supply left and today I have opted to not take the morning 25mg dose and if all works out today may be my first tram free day in 6 years.
I understand that some people will have a stronger urge to take a tram than others and that taper schedules will vary depending on a lot of factors (gender, age, physical constitution and non-pain medical problems) so I can understand how upset you are because of all the pills you now have available.
Again the doctor can prescribe and the pharmacist can fill a prescription but NO ONE can make you take a pill if you don't want to.
If I successfully finish today without a tram I will post my 9 day tapering schedule just in case it might be of interest to anyone.
Sorry about the previous rant. If that is the most f'd up thing that ever happened to me then I guess I've had a pretty good life. I'm operating on almost no sleep and am not dealing well with stumbling blocks. I not only need to cancel the prescription as grandmagirl said but I also need to contact my doctor and ask why he would write a year of that when he hasn't even seen me in a year (He obviously thinks its a perfectly safe drug). It makes me sad that Caremark is so eager to sell me more drugs because I have good insurance, while there's people out there that are dying because they can't even get needed medicine. OK, I'll shut up now. I'm still holding at 50 mg. Thanks for everyone's support.
I appreciate the info Em and I will take it to heart. I have no desire to experience seizures first hand. I work in an ER so I've seen a few. Many people come in with 'seizure-type activity' with no past history of seizures. I wonder how many could be tramadol related? We rarely come up with any answers as to why the person experienced a seizure and so few people are forthcoming with their drug history if there's been abuse involved.
OK, 6:00 PM...My first 24 hrs without Tramadol!....How do I feel? I feel terrible. Back aches, anxiety, empty stomach syndrome and a little shaking. However it's cold turkey time and I won't take a dosage in what remains of the day because if I do I'll just have to go through the same thing again tomorrow.
I went though a 10 day taper program trying to reduce the dosage and increase the time between dosages. Hopefully it has worked but I'll know for sure tomorrow when I can say I went through a complete DAY without tramadol.
It's not easy folks. I think we all know that. But if you're here and reading this you know you're on your way to quitting tramadol and there is no turning back. Even as I write this my head is swirling but the decision has been made and I just have to stick it out for 5 or 6 more hours until I can get back to sleep and kill at least 10 or 12 more hours.
One thing I have noticed about quitting a medication cold turkey; that is after the withdrawal is over there is a tendency to under estimate the effort that was involved in quitting. It may appear to have been no big deal after the fact but I assure all that it is a big deal, it's a victory over a powerful drug and an unknowing medical profession. It's a victory over pain and addiction; and it's a victory over greater consequences that were heading your way if you did not quit on time.
Maybe some friends or family will pooh pooh the whole thing and say we are exaggerating but don't let that affect your determination. CT WD is painful no matter what anyone says, but the results are worth it.
After I complete at least a week of being tram free I will post my taper schedule in case it might help someone...
Mellow greetings all.Tram free for 11 days I think.Still having to take pain meds for prostatitus but got a med that supposed to soothe bladder which Doc said was very inflamed.Taking med as prescrbed ,so far.Lillyval-Hope your doing better now than you were when you had to go to ER.Thats just never a pleasnt experience is it?I totally understand your concern about prescription.As I discussed before I am going to fill mine and then throw away.If I don't it will just pray on my mind and I will be able to think about nothing else.As I have stated previously compulsive behavior a problem for me.Hope you are able to deal with this problem in an effective manner.Before coming to this site I had really never posted anywhere.Sometimes I still have problems understanding if some one is being facetious sp or not.I get so much from this site,but not always sure of the ettiquite.When talking to someone face to face you can see their facial features and hear the tone in their voice to help you determine what is Really being said and what is not.I have nothing but love and respect for all that are on this site trying to beat evil Tram.Bye.Big
hey all, its my first time here, i am on day 5 after stopping my 4 year tramadol addiction....i was eating 20 to 24 a day and i knew u had to stop! i think i feel a little better today but have slept 3 hours in 5 days....when will i sleep? nothing i take over the counter works, i have been following the Thomas Recipe and i think its great....i started using a heating pad mixed with lots of Ben Gay on my legs the cramps have been so bad! I finally think i see the light i just wish i could sleep! Any thoughts? I guess its just time but thanx for these great posts everyone, its great to see im not alone!
Lilly it really is terribly sad that having great medical insurance can get you into MORE trouble than having no Medical Insurance in certain ways! I agree whole heartedly! I am glad that the Rx was the worst thing that happened to you.
Welcome Horseygirl ... I am glad you are here. Welcome. The Thomas Recipe is what I used to stop Tramadol. The heating pad is essential! I slept well on Day 7, and I did start to get a few hours of sleep after the first three days. When you are not sleeping, try to rest and close your eyes if you can. Even if you don't sleep you can get more comfortable by relaxing as much you can. I remember Day 5 extremely well. I used ace bandages to wrap my legs with ice packs and that helped me sleep. You are lucky to be alive! I am glad you saw the light!
Bigman I had Tramadol in my house until just a few weeks ago. I got rid of it and it wasn't pleasant for some reason. I didn't feel like I had cravings for it. In fact, when I was "done" .. I was done. I didn't take more ever after I was done. When I got rid of the Tramadol three weeks ago, I felt ... confused and maybe sad. It's really hard for me right now to isolate my feelings because of the Klonopin Withdrawal. I'm still a little strange. BUT for people who have cravings; I would obviusly suggest they ditch the Tramadol ASAP.
I also have a bottle of Klonopin in my purse. Not exactly why I have that. I stopped completely Done-Zoh on April 15th. I haven't had any cravings. To me that makes sense because none of this stuff is my Primary Drug. Not my Drug of Choice aka DOC. That took me awhile to figure out when I got here ... :D
Anyhow, for people with Pain Issues; chronic or not, I would never ever suggest they ditch every single means of Chemical Help they may need during a flare up. Unless we're talking about a Pill Addict. Then ... well ... that's a bigger problem. I would never ever ever tell anyone to take Tramadol though. Ever. Simply because it ends up causing pain. And it does that fast. People keep coming here and saying, "Everyone is different regarding Tramadol." I just ... after a year here (soon) I feel confident in saying that the Tramadol is putting very very different people in very very different life situations thru an Identical Physical Syndrome. It's simply a very bad drug.
thanks for the support and the advice Em! I was thinking i might try ice instead of heat, man i had no idea the restless legs would be so bad but of course my neck pain, which is why i started with the ultram in the first place, has been tough. I have been trying to keep advil in my system at all times along with the many vitamins i have been taking...its so much like whenn i quit smoking, i will randomly think " i should go grab a handful of pills" .... retraining my brain will be my biggest task now that (hopefully) im past the worst part of withdrawal...i did it with cigarettes so im staying positive and know that im am totally done with those evil little pills! thanks everyone for everything u write
Thanks everyone for being here. Everytime I check in and see new posts it keeps me going. I called the Dr.'s office to express my concern about the new, unsolicited YEAR's supply of tram and they said "just don't get the refill." Then I outed myself and said I'm trying to get off it and I'm currently going through withdrawals and they said "you shouln't have stopped taking it". Then they wouldn't leave a message to have the Dr. call me back....I'm supposed to go in and talk to a PA tomorrow. At this point I don't even know if I'll go - I'm so disgusted. Time for a new doc I guess. I know it's my responsibility to not put the drug in my mouth like Clen said. But for me having all that access is a temptation. Otherwise I have to say I'm doing better than expected on tapering. I hope to be tram free on Saturday.
Bless you all,
People are here because they want off tram, not because they are having trouble with withdrawals. If you read these post (and the pages before) you will see that most people hit that 4- 6 year mark (myself included) and have had enough at that point. Many people just want to feel normal again, want to get rid of the nasty side effects ON tram, and are tired of the control this drug has on their lives, the ups/downs. Many here doubt the true analgesic qualities of this drug (I have found Advil to work much better for pain) and the stories go on and on and on. You sound JUST like me a year ago. I'm no Dr Phil, but I have a pretty good idea on why you are here.
Just checking in....22 days Tram Free.. still have some lingering symptoms (sneezing, lethargy, foggy), but I can tell that they're decreasing...and overall, I feel great!!!!!
I felt the same as you before taking that jump off of Tram. I think you'll find it to be the best decision of your life.
Please read some of the previous posts in the Emily's last journal (PART 8) around the date of May 9th...as I was involved in a discussion with some others about how Tramadol causes pain and how people actually experience w/d's WHILE they take their prescribed doses, how Tram turns on you (which I think you'll find interesting and maybe even enlightening) and how you'll actually feel better without it.
In regards to your condition, you (an maybe some of the others here) may want to check out the following book from your local library...I read it while tapering and it truly helped me with my skeleto-muscular issues. Knowledge therapy worked for me.
I did end up keeping my apt. with the PA this morning. She (a) couldn't understand why I was getting off tram, and (b) started to write me a script for a new 20 day tapering schudule which would have involved me RAISING the dose I'm on now. I refused it - I'm already past that point. If I had had my wits about me I would have asked in regard to (a) - do you think I should just stay on it for the rest of my life? I ended up giving her a bunch of info. on Tram which seemed like news to her. Anyway, as disappointed as I am in doctors, the system, etc. I'm the one who got me into this mess. I liked the way tram made me feel and I wanted to keep taking more. I knew it acted as an opiate - I wasn't innocently misled like I know some folks have been.
I'm walking around like a zombie. Yesterday I thought it was mostly because I had been up all night, but I guess it's a combination of things,not the least of which is withdrawal. I'm sticking to my taper and doing OK. Thanks for everyone's support.
P. S. Matt - I, too, felt the same way about Tram a year ago. I thought I had finally found a drug that "worked" for me. But over time it turned on me. I started to be unable to concentrate, was irritable and just felt generally crummy whenever I took it. I also agree that once you build up a tolerance (which you will) it doesn't help with the pain and gives you even more aches and pains.
Hello all. Second day for me tram free. Last night was terrible. I had difficulty sleeping even after taking TWO ambien and TWO benedryl. I thought that after I did one full 24 hour day tram free the rest would be easier. But that's not the case. It is possible, though, that my sleeping problem is due to the benedryl side affects (numbing of the right side). I'll have to give it at least a week like others here before I can claim victory. Although I slept on and off (and yesterday was the first time I experienced the sneezing phenomena that others have described here) I woke up without an urge to take pill.
Writing this post is easier than writing yesterday's. So maybe my mind is clearing up a bit. Basically that's what's suppose to happen when you start getting the tram out of your system and also stop thinking about your next dose.
I had weird dreams. There were Pistachio nuts all over the place and I was having a feast!
One good thing is that my appetite is getting back to normal and the fear of eating is gone.
Good luck to all, continue the good battle and I'll see you on the other side...blessings.....clen
Thank you Finally Fred for bringing me to the current discussion. So glad to find you guys. This helps explain so many things. I was never able to sleep while taking Tramadol, and that is continuing to some extent even after 3-4 weeks after my cold turkey quitting (I didn't know there would be symptoms, doctors don't tell you). The depression/anxiety is still hit and miss. If anyone is similarly experiencing the good day/bad day phenomenon, your insight would be most appreciated. In the previous discussion people were talking about the randomness of the withdrawal. Is that the same thing? Bless you all for sharing!
Yes 12Step the randomness is the same thing as having good and bad days.
Welcome to trama-withdrawal-land. The horrible withdrawal is the price we all have to pay
for taking this evil drug. Rest assured that your symptoms will get better. The time it
takes to recover is different for everyone and I think has a lot to do with how much and how
long a person was using. I had horrible anxiety, chills, and hot/cold sweats that lasted a
solid 3 weeks or so. I got lucky and didn't have too much depression although I did
experience some. Some of the depression I think is derived from just feeling like crap
from the withdrawal. Nobody likes to be sick.
It was on the 27th day for me when I really noticed that most of the symptoms
had faded for the most part and I was on tramadol for 8+ years. I have been tram-free for 40
something days and still get a moment or two of weird chills and anxiousness, but other than
that things are going very well.
I started to exercise in my third week and it seemed to help me tremendously. If you are able
to do any sort of exercise I think you will notice that most of your symptoms will go away
for several hours afterward and I think it helped speed up my recovery.
Day 14 and still rolling along...tram free. I've got a sore throat, ugh. But at least (I don't think) it's a tramadol w/d related side effect. Still feeling low energy most of the time, but have occassional moments of 'wow! I feel pretty good!' which gives me a glimpse of what it will be like when all the poison has dissipated from my cells. I visualize it leaving my body...like black, sticky gook that detaches itself from each cell (it has a snarly-face and long claws because it doesn't want to let go) then it travels down my body, and exits the souls of my feel. Once it hits outside air it dissolves into space, because, like vampires...it doesn't like the light. And what takes it place is pure, clean, luminous light that gives me energy and peace.
Good luck everyone on this journey towards health.
Ugh!, The terrible two's. 2nd day cold turkey. Worse than day one. I have just taken a GABA, 5-HTP, Valerian root pill and washed them down with Linden tea. Can anyone say placebo? Anything to try to counteract this horrible anxiety, restlessness, hydrophobia, shaking, jumpiness (any little noise causes a start) and all kinds of mind games. Whew! One thing I DON'T have is an urge to take another tram. I even counted them (just to pass some time) and I have 183 50mg capsules left. It's strange but I have no urge or compelling call to take one.
Hearing that it might still be 4 or 5 days at minimum and 30 days max to get to a "normal" state is not good news but fact is I knew that already. (my writing syntax is affected too since I would normally have written "I already knew that" We learn strange things in this withdrawal experience.)
And just to add to my misery it seems that I have developed a tolerance to ambien sleeping pills and I'm getting bad side effects from the benedryl. So now I'll have to add sleeping problems to all of the above, yipes!
Oh, well, I'll be starting my 3rd day in 2 hrs and I might as well just grin and bear it cause there's no turning back now anyway.
God bless all and thank you all for your messages and experiences......clen
Clen- you're doing great. I've heard more than one person say that the 2nd day is the worst - so hopefully you'll start feeling better each day now. And I'll second what Boe said - I've been exercizing regularly and it really seems to help me feel better (not while I'm doing it- afterward). I'm right behind you and I'm rooting for you.
Thank you Boe, I am exercising daily and feel best when I really give it my all. I also take comfort in knowing I can return to this site and read your similar experiences. Well, 30 days isn't that long now, and it helps to know there is an end in sight. I took 300-400 mg./day for 5-6 mos., but it ruined my ability to sleep, so I quit cold turkey, not realizing I'd experience any withdrawal. The psychological symptoms are the worst for me. I kept wondering why I was so depressed, insecure, and anxious, never realizing it was caused by a chemical reaction. I have been using benedryl which some of you have mentioned, for sleeping, but have been tapering from 1 pill to 1/4 pill of that to try to find natural healing sleep once more. The Sleepytime Plus Herbal tea is sootheing, Clen, and it might help. That first week is rough going. I had to get by on just a few winks sleep several nights. I still feel the effects, but it does get better. Getting out and doing things with friends helps ease the emotional effects. Everytime I think its over, it returns. But one must have faith that this time will pass. Bless you all. Linn
Lillyval, You sound much better and I believe your experience with the year's suppy is fairly common. I was able to get tons of Tramadol. No one noticed how often I was renewing the prescription. It's very strange that people are having such terrible withdrawal and dependency and doctors don't mention this to their patients and even deny that there is a problem. It is so dangerous and unethical. That aside, there was something in the previous thread (now closed since it got too long) about Tramodol being part antidepressant. I vaguely recall something about it working on seratonin levels, thereby deceasing pain. So it's kind of antidepresent/pain killer. When I read this I understood why I was having such severe mood swings after I quit taking it. Guess I was glad to know it was Tramodol and not mental illness. It didn't stop the depression, but it did make it easier to tolerate. I, too, have left over pills but no desire to take them. I never want to go through this again. So we exercise, take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits and post when we want to reach out. We are blessed to have found one another's inspiration. Thank you all for sharing.
I think today woulda made a grown man cry. My washing machine broke, my xerox machine ran outta hella-expensive ink. I woke up this morning to a quarrelsome and yet oddly"ambivalent" troll. I also had to try and remember Dr. Phil-isms, which is traumatic in itself ....
I got to work and had a client walk into my office with no appointment and demand I do something illegal. That sounds perv-y but it wasn't. I said No three times and then I actually thought about asking him to leave and never come back.As in; Throwing Him Out. It was big bad conflict before 9am. I thought about standing up from my chair and physically towering over the tiny little man ... I mean ... I'm 5'7 and 5'8" on a good day. And he's probably smaller than I am ... which I realized as he was leaning over me in a threatening manner. Coworker actually gave me a "wth?" look and mouthed "un believable" behind this guy's back.
Payroll was almost delivered to the wrong office and for awhile I thought they had either left it on our door, thus stolen? Everyone's SS#, live checks and all our information ... stolen? I had a cell phone company tell me that three people under assumed names had opened cell phones using my business name. Fraud.
I was thinking .. "yeah. Great. Soon a Space Rock will plummet to Earth and take me out." It started to get a little ridiculous after awhile.
A song this morning on my iPod made me cry ( "Trumpets" by Flypside .... good! Can finally cry again!) ... and by 5 pm, ... I was done for the day though I was supposed to stay til 7 pm. Which makes it an 11 hour day. I had to leave or ... fall over dead from exhaustion and lingering Benzo withdrawal symptoms which come more than they go at the moment.
So, yeah. All things considered? A really bad day. And 100000 times better than any day I ever spent in drug tolerance. Or on Tramadol. Or on Klonopin.
And yes, I actually still have symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal and the withdrawal has me in its teeth. I have some intense depression and anxiety, some pain, headache. Nausea. Feeling of walking on a boat because my cerebellum is all whacked from not having GABA. Two weeks ago I actually passed out ... dead fainted after a long day. Actually first I walked into a wall, then I passed out. Um. Yeah. Scary. I have some symptoms. But there's nothing to be done. Time is the only thing that will take it away. Not effort. Not ... trying XY and Z. Time. Straight up days passing and my brain healing.
Staying calm and alive, as the brain I live in .. heals.
I told Kev that I feel like I fainted for a month. Which is true.
And Ambivalence isn't a winning position! It isn't. People may think it is. But it is no way to live. Not for me, thank you! Honestly maybe I'd rather have anguish than ambivalence. Maybe I'd rather have pain than numb deadness of Tramadol and it's little friend Klonopin? I think that Tramadol makes people heartless, cold, unfeeling and yes, ambivalent. Maybe killing all pain isn't always a necessary or good thing. Someone here mentioned that Tramadol doesn't like the light. True that very true. Because it's evil stuff. A little ... um ... Demonic. Remember when we talked about the Auditory Hallucinations of someone whispering your name right before you were about to fall asleep? Tramadol; Freakin' Creepy!
Kev left me a cool note. Thank you Kev. It was about Getting Your Life Back. People write that alot. I want to "Get my Life Back." And recently I have realized that ... I'm NEVER going to get back the life that I had while I was on a Whole Lotta Drugs. Or the one before that. Or the previous one. And that's actually good. Kev was talking about the sort of effect of a map, folded, worn. Trying to follow it back to some kind of "Home." And I realized, see? I can't get back where I was because I am not at all the same. I have changed. ANd I'm also incredibly bad at refolding maps. Half the time I am not sure where the map even is!
Some of the changes are great. I have more compassion, who knew I even could have more because I started out with alot. I understand now why seemingly "normal" people (who are inevitably on psychotropics or Rx Drugs or booze or street drugs or all of the above ... ) murder other people. Limbic lobe, Gaba ,,,, pills man pills. I understand clinical depression. I see the struggle for humanity with a much more tender heart. I see the passing of time quite differently.
It's around this time last year that my friend's girlfriend jumped off a roof at the Cannes Film Festival and killed herself. Cannes was just ... a few days ago. It was around this time last year that I was done. Done. Done-Zo.
It really was this time, last year that I was listening to him screaming and crying on the phone. In yes, Anguish. In pain. This year has been ... a very bad year for me. But necessary. It all had to be done. I had to get off pills. It cost me ALOT.
It's also not done costing me! And that. Is scary.
What if it's too expensive?
What if I cannot pay the price?
It's easier pre-taper. Tapers are exhausting, annoying, and in my opinion (for me only please don't listen to me here if tapering is your thing ok?) .. the klonopin taper exhausted me and the final jump still held lots of pain. And there was no way and is no way around it. No one can do it for me. God, who would want to!?
So ... my friends' Girlfriend. Kimmie. She jumped off a roof. After? After her boss gave her an ambien (In the Benzo Family) and she'd been drinking. GABA. And yes, she was never mentally stable. She let a suicide note that the French won't release to my friend because they were not married.
Her death started this cascade. Not all bad, and certainly not good. But it changed everything for everyone.
He sent me a bunch of pictures, because I missed her memorial service. Why? I was in day 1 or 2 or 3 of my Tramadol quit, I was laying kinda face down on a bed ... sort unable to move, drive, think and terrified of people. SO yeah, I didn't go to her memorial. And I was scared to open those pictures. But I did. It was very very painful. And very important that I see them. Do you know what I mean?
My friend got a new Girlfriend and moved in with her. I met the new girl. She was nice, and she also ... I think she must have known what an impossible situation she was getting herself into there? I mean, it was obvious to everyone in the room. Maybe? Some people would say she choose to do that. Of course, many people aren't very kind, or compassionate and maybe some people are not very bright. Regardless, it was obvious to us all.
I saw him a week ago and he told me he's breaking up with the new girl because he's in love with the dead Kimmie. What can be said? Of course you are? Naturally. Why would her death make him forget that he loved her? I mean, I'm not sure what to say. Except to tell him that I love him and care what happens to him, I am at a loss. I do know that my friend is still deep in grief I am still recovering from what may have landed me on some rooftop somewhere about to freakin' jump. Suicidal Ideation is not good. In my case drugs which are a form of Suicide were involved heavily. Any drug will eventually be your undoing. There is no Perma-Drug or perfect drug or fix-all because it all turns and bites!
I'm still healing. He's still healing. It's a human condition. AT least healing is Active. Not passive and dead like Tramadol.
Healing is so much about accepting calmly the change that comes. Breathing into it. It's very hard to accept pain. It's hard to not want to numb out.
So; everything that was once helpful about the Klonopin is now its polar opposite. I have extreme muscle tension, insomnia, jumpiness. I no longer have depersonalization. Instead I have extreme realization. Jumpiness. I have seen the walls breathing. I have seen people where ether was no one. And luckily, I'm not at that point. ANd luckily I remember being there. And you really aren't supposed to start sentences with the word AND ...
Fred you said that I was um .. plain spoken I think. I think that was what you said. And I read that and thought, "Oh, how odd. No one has ever said that before." But I think that maybe now, after all the sort of fire of withdrawal maybe that is true.
I know it's important to remember. I know it's important to forget also. And somewhere in the middle there I feel sure there's some kind of "getting my life back" thing that will happen. In time.
Tick Tock ...
The withdrawal is life altering and .. I needed my life altered.
I'm so sorry to hear about your bad day (understatement) and time of grief. :(
I'm glad to hear that you see the silver lining in what was necessary, although painful.
Yes, you are plainly spoken, with your clarity as a gifted writer.Thank you for touching upon the fact that w/d's is life altering and how you needed your life altered. I was in the same boat and still am and it appears that most all of us here do need the altering that you are speaking of. it's neverending
I hope that through all of the w/d's, that I will sooner or later (hopefully sooner, of course) meet you in that place we all yearn for - "somewhere in the middle".
Thanks for your story, Emily. Uh, um, did I say that I didn't sleep well last night? Love and remembrance. Memories that come back with the withdrawal package. I've had my share, shoulda, coulda, woulda. It seems to me that the worse pain of tramadol quitting is the lingering question, why did I ever start? Oh, to have a time machine and to know what I know now! Alas, no es posible.
In the pain of withdrawal sometimes we tend to forget that there are still OTHER problems out there to be dealt with. Strange people that share not our vision and have not an once of compassion or are just plain, uh, you know what, linger in the background just waiting for a chance to add to our misery. That, as in the cliche, is life. We can get get rid of the tramadol but we can't get rid of the tramahols.
Day 3 for me tram free. Woke up feeling better than in the last 11 days. Maybe, cough, the worst is over. Still having strange dreams. Strange? Probably the strangest ever! No benedryl, one ambien. That ambien took a while to kick in though. Thanks, Emily, for pointing out that Ambien is a benzo. I'll have to keep that in mind. I certainly don't want to add another benzo withdrawal to my schedule. (went through that with Klonopin).
All in all things look brighter for me this morning. However with the anesthetic properties of tramadol disappearing I suddenly realize there are little pains to attend to that were masked by the tramadol including the original back and abdominal pains which were the reason why tramadol was prescribed in the first place.
So be it. First things first. Complete the tramadol withdrawal. Get a life. Then attend to the other problems that show up. One day at a time.
Thank you all for your support and thank you, Emily, for this forum. The best of everything to those in a taper, in cold turkey, or just thinking about it. God bless all.....clen
After reading Emily's post my bad last couple of days pale in comparison. Sorry for everything you've gone through, Em.
Yesterday, I narrowly avoided overdrawing my account by forgetting to make a deposit before an automatic payment was coming out. I know it doesn' t sound like a big deal but I'm usually super responsible about things like that, and I was just so wrapped up in being sick and withdrawing that I lost touch. I can forgive myself for that, but then today I got into what was like part 6 of a major dispute with my insurace company which involved several extremely heated phone calls. The dispute made me go back through like 18 months of medical records for the family - and after being so mad at THEM I started to see where I didn't claim some things properly, where I didn't open mail that would have allowed me to get things straightened out sooner...In short the last year while I've been in a tram fog I just let some big things slide and now they're coming back to bite me (and cost me money). Exhibit A would be all the receipts for the OBSCENE amount of tramadol I got over the last year.
This week has taken on an almost nightmarish quality, both physically and mentally. But if anything it's only deepened my resolve to get clean. Tomorrow is day 1 of zero tramadol. Thanks everyone for your support.
It's been a long time my friends. I used to post on this board quite regularly in the early days of tram withdraw. I believe I am 122 days clean and sober of the tram. I only know this because I have the recovery tracker. I don't think about tram anymore but I can tell you that I do think about how I messed up my entire life from tramadol. I DO think about how people on this board saved my life, Emily, Fred.
I went completely crazy on tramadol (not literally B. Spears crazy BUT) I did a lot of things that have ruined my life and the plans I made for life.
1. I quit my "dream" job in the middle of the worst economy
2. I moved from a state I loved to a state I hated
3. I bought a house only to likely lose it to foreclosure
4. I lost a fiance of four years
5. I lost one job, two job, three job because all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and take trams.
6. I now live with my parents in my late twenties with no job, no home.
7. I lost over 45k in the home and purchases related to it because I thought I was invincible on trams
8. I spent $400 a month on trams for 1 year, at least.
9. I went on ridiculous shopping sprees for things I never needed.
10. I lost my soul, my energy, my spirit, my dreams, my ambition, my hope.
11. I made quick decisions and never thought anything through
I am slowly trying to put my life back together but trams have stolen much of mine. I don't know how long it will take to put the pieces back together but please QUIT and never jump back on.
End of ct day three. Start of day four. Day three just as bad as day two, with some improvement in some areas. Slowly but surely I am getting there. Actually discomfort comes in waves and definitely gets worse after a meal no matter how light, thus the "fear of eating" syndrome. Hydrophobia is gone. Have moved from wet towel bathing to full submersion (hey don't laugh it's not funny! (yes it is)).
I am also getting migraines and I think I'm taking too many advils. Scratch the GABA supplementation. It interferes with the action of ambien. Hopefully I'll get through with this WD before I get hooked on ambien (and then have to go through another benzodiazepam routine, ugh!).
Other than thinking about the passing time, I play chess on line to measure my thinking (definitely worse during the whole tapering and ct process). Listening to soothing music on You Tube, especially the haunting Bailero from Songs of the Auvernge by Canteloube. Anna Moffo, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kate Royal, et al. I'm listening to Anna Moffo as I write this.
Thank you for your input . You WILL put the pieces back together and all this tram experience will be a long forgotten thing of the past.
Lilyval, I and others will be with you on your day one. Heck who knows you might finish before I do. That's the way it is.
God bless all, good luck to all and good health. Vida sin salud no es vida.....clen
Price-So good to see you 122 days free. Medal hereby awarded and well earned. surveying the wreckage is daunting to say the least. As Emily said about 'rebuilding my life' what will the costs be?
When I add up the costs of my own mistakes(innocent or otherwise) and add again the rest of the path ahead I can find no other stategy but faith. Faith in the process of time added to nurturing our wellness and relationships. We have lost a lot of who we were, what we were,what we had. The chinese symbol for disaster is the same as their symbol for opportunity. Taoists and sufis say that " when all is stripped away, then truly all things are possible." Its a long journey from Tram hell and the wreckage it leaves behind. Good days and bad. But overall the view improves as time passes.
Its natural to fear change. Not helpful though. Humans seek eternal life in their religions and sciences. Yet if we fear change(and life IS change) we should perhaps reconsider our desire for eternal life, which is,by definition; eternal change!
Anyone up for 10,000,000 years of tivial pursuit!!
Life is what happens despite our plans. Recently I have become friends with an accomplished nighthawker ( metal detectors, farmers fileds, dead of night). Damp and windy...the worst conditions for my back pain and a ton of walking and digging thrown in. But exciting stuff as we know where all the best sites are. My Point? Its easier to become innured to pain if intense distractions are applied. How many hours of pain might I endure knowing a gold coin could be found if I go for five minutes more. PASSION>INTEREST>ACTIVITY>DISTRACTION. Finding the activities that arouse these feelings can be so healing. Living for ourselves...that is our opportunity. Learning new paths to happiness by being adaptable (accepting change).
We are kind of conditioned to not reliquish our comfort zones, to keep it safe/secure. To stick to what we know. Also we fear changing our interests or position because others are jostling for advantage all around us. We hold to our ground.
Not much use when the threat is within us!!! Move the external life around to empower the internal life.The outer serves the inner- we have the cart before the horse.
Emily- Your mind is so beautiful..I could talk with you for a thousand years.
Helloooo again Tramadol Wariors: Keep up the good fight.
For me, becoming free from the TRAM was a matter of life or death.
Emily, yes I did say that you speak so plainly. And your words are written so freely on the hearts and minds of each one who stumbles onto this place. Face it, you will always be our hero mom. The author and finisher of our stories. You told your story, when it was but a whisper. Without knowing it, your early journal enties, laid way for others to undersand that it IS in fact possible to overcome this "non-addictive" man made demon opiate that has ( in most cases) so innocently crept into so many lives, binding us before we understood the power that came upon us.
Clen, Congratulations on making it to day 4. I am sure you are just getting comfortable in your discomfort (as I believe Em said once), but get ready for the end to the acute suffering you must feel right now. You are about to come out the other side. I can relate to your comments about taking bathes. I'm not sure that I took any bathes since I was a little boy UNTIL early December when I was going through what you might feel right now. I'm not certain what bathes did for me, but they provided temporary comfort AND distraction. Distraction is a good thing you know?
You noted that we WILL still have problems post tram. True enough. Stopping the trams won't solve all of our problems in life. But what I have noticed in time, is that I am abundantly more EFFECTIVE in dealing with difficulties now without the physical pain that the trams caused and without the FOGGY, uncaring, unemotinal, zoned out compacency I was left with while on this drug for 6 years. ZOMBIEVILLE.
Lilly, sounds like you are about to jump off. I have read your posts the past few days. Notwithstanding the difficulties you describe, it is good to hear your RESOLVE. You know the line, "half hearted measures avail us nothing" applies to your battle with this drug. Nothing short of an all out attack on this evil drug will get you though to the other side.
WITHDRAWING from this drug isn't a process we add to our lives, it BECOMES our life for a spell. But this battle will not last forever. Just a few days and you will be delivered from the throws of the trams that clutched all this time, as we demand it to leave.
The tramas will not leave our bodies without a fight. With each passing painful moment, see that pain as the trams grabbing hold for their dear life, in a futile attempt to not loose you.
Oh and Lilly, I am EXTREMELY well versed on insurance claims. If you want any free legal advice, drop me a pm.
I often said when I was going through those dog days of withdrawal that defeating this demon tramadol was THE most important thing in my life at the time. Only now, after six months off the drug, can I begin to realize how possessed I had become during those six years on the lovely little white pill. It is SUCH a polite appearing pill. But it does TURN on a person in time. It comes to us as our SWEET savior and in the end, IT becomes our WORST nightmare.
IT'S CRAZY REALLY. I NEVER CRAVED THE DRUG WHILE I WAS ON IT. ALL I EVER WANTED (THIS SOUNDS SO DESPERATE) was to NOT FEEL UNWELL. Not fluish. This demon pill sucked the life out of me. But for me, once I got through that first 4-5 days, I felt so much better. And the value of not being a servant to such a PHYSICALLY addctive drug as tramadol is...was PRICELESS.
Priceiswright, (((hugs))) For those of you who don't know, much like Bigman, Price broke free of this drug, went back on them, and had the strength to come back and do it all over again. I really admire that. It's easy to talk of our successes, but much harder to reeappear, broken and UNWELL, yet willing to start anew. The message, I think is that it is never too late to begin anew. To vision that the IMPOSSIBLE may indeed be POSSIBLE.
Price, yes, this drug took a great deal from you. It is sobering, even painful to recount it as you did. But the good news we need to consider is that these THINGS that we lost, can be replaced in time, as we begin each new day free of the trams.
How can I put a value on not having to circle RX day on the wall?
What price would one pay to break the "hat in hand", dependant relationship we form with our doctors or online drug dealers? Whose calls to cell phones and reminder email messages hound nearly as badly as the drug they peddle.
What is the value of no longer experiencing those regular withdrawal symptoms as we try to feed the monster, but not enough?
My mother in law had it right when she said, "sometimes the easy way is the hard way and the hard way is the easy way". If I had known that I could actually break the bond with this drug for the price of 4-5 horrible terrible days of withdrawal, I would have done this thing LONG ago. I'd do it again tomorrow if I needed to.
Some have come on here and thanked me for the few words of encouragement I have occassionally offered and I appreciate that. I felt the same for those who guided me through those dark days of my own withdrawal not long ago. Many others like Noodle, Madtram, Amy, Flip, Bigman, Hillbilly, Organica, Boe, Price, KC, Kev (((hugs))) and SO many others have also felt this debt of graditude I feel inside.
The reality is that the road to recovery from this rat pooh is NARROW and difficult. But the end result is achievable and worth the price to get off the REALLY BAD RIDE this drug puts each of us through.
Even those just beginning the journey now are on the cutting edge of this battle you know? To my knowledge, there is NO thread as long or as full of real life stories from people like us who LIVE this drug the way that we have come to know it. To my knowledge, there is no other place where the successes and defeats are expressed with such honesty and detail as in these walls.
I dare say that MILLIONS have this "tramadol problem" that we each have suffered. Yet many of them are yet without hope of finding a way out. But in time, each one taking this terrible drug will come crawling for answers. Answers that your experiences will offer months and years from now...AS others stumble upon this place, much the way you and I did. As I have said before, none of us get's here by googling, "my happy life". I'd bet that all of us got here questioning that pain we felt ON the drug. And hopelessly wondered if there was a way out. "tramadol withdrawal".
So yes Emily, I think you speak plainly. With such straight forward passion and frankness in the way that you weave your everyday experiences still... into messages to the heart. And not only your words per se. But each life that is changed as a result of your gifts, has become an extension of your plain speaking. Your tramadol children, your grandchildren, your great grand children and beyond. We are your legacy. We are (for better or worse) your living word to others, speaking the truth, that POSSIBILITY and HOPE may arise as a phoenix from the ashes of our former tramadol lives.
So yes, I will keep coming around this place as will many others. Because for me, this was no big deal. It was just a matter of life or death.
Hey Kev, Great to hear from you man! Would you tell the story of your green paint and tramadocs cara? It was such a hoot. I think others may enjoy hearing it. In the alternative, we'll settle for your sage advice and life's experiences concerning this terrible drug.
I need help! 15 days tram free and I feel like I'm on day 2. My stomach is upset, I feel like crap and I'm thinking, "what the hell?? I might as well take 1 to get rid of this feeling..." It's a beautiful Sat. and I've got plans....and part of my plans don't include feeling like s*&@. Has anyone else experienced strong w/d after over 2 weeks off? Need info stat.
Yes trama, it's quite normal for tramadol w/d. The symptoms appear out of nowhere at random
times. Mine were like this for about a month. I would not take a pill to feel better at this point of
15 days, it won't help and just set back your recovery. Just remember nobody said it would be
easy, just worth it. Hang in there and this day will pass.
Throw out any and all pills you have so even if you have the desire you have NONE to take. This drug is strong but why ruin 15 days and then have to start all over? Stomach pains? Take Immodium. Take Beauty. Take Hope. Take Courage and Strength BUT DON'T TAKE A TRAMADOL.
Kev - I always loved hearing your accounts of wisdom. You are such a deep person with positive energy all around you. So inspiring. The one thing that got me really excited was your quote "when all is stripped away, then truly all things are possible."
How true is that. Kev, you gave me hope to have hope. Thank you.
Fred - my true friend and tram Dad, your soul and inspiration is immeasurable, you deserve an award. I used to travel to Seattle quite frequently for work and I imagined us meeting for breakfast and just chatting. Me the 26 yr old blonde and you, so different yet so the same. All of us here so different yet so the same.
I hope the spiritual gods are bringing loads of gifts to you and Emily, to Kev, to Organic, madtram, lilly, etc. To those who have fought the battle (still fighting but longer than most) and come here to inspire those on days 1 - 4. How lovely of you all.
End of day 4 start of day 5, a little early though (My day starts and ends at 6:00 PM). But I have to put an early end to this miserable day 4. Like tramaqueen it started with awful stomach pains. And for the first time in 2 weeks through the taper and cold turkey I actually considered taking a pill. It was a fleeting thought but it was there nonetheless.
It upset me that I would actually consider swallowing another tram however brief the notion. I didn't take any.
The stomach pains, the dehydration, the after meal agony it's still all there on day 4. I bought some alka-seltzer and still taking advil for the headaches. Maybe all these OTC medications are causing the stomach problem, could be?
I really don't like to linger on the bad moments but I have to be realistic. This is not fun.
I'm outta here early Maybe tomorrow's post will be better.
Trama-this also happened to me, on day 14 or 15 the first go around.I was sitting there minding my own business when all of a sudden the syptoms (coldsweats,hotsweats,electricshocks emanating from aarthymic heart out to all the extremeties,depression, Crying)came on and it was if I was in the middle of day 4 again.Frightening,depressing,but transitory.Symptoms did let up and I felt better the very next day.So don't feel all alone with that particular problem.Really glad I kicked this second time,now I just have to make sure I won't have to kick a third.Best to all in the community. Big
Thank you all for your honest sharing and reminding me that certain symtoms, such as depression or a weird repressed desire to cry (Thank you, Big, for noting that symtom) are a result of the Tram w/d and not (I hope) mental illness. I believe it has been about 3 weeks. It seems like a long time to continue having effects. Maybe it's just that it seems like a very long 3 weeks. I like the comment about distraction being a good thing. I am making myself walk every day. That helps with certain times of day when I have some unstructured time. I continue to check this thread daily and gain hope from your sharing. This time will pass and we won't have to return if we just hang in there. Bless you all for your insights and encouragement.
Clendenon-Bigman-All of you currently in w/d...as Emily has noted before, Tram w/d is NOT LINEAR....ie nor should our expectations in recovery be linear. Please dont feel its going backwards. It isnt. This is normal. When the body dumps toxins it does so in amounts and at times of its own choosing. Unpleasant for us the passenger of course. Youre doing great and these periods of doubt/disappointment are also normal. Hang in,a day at a time,a second at a time.All things must pass (unless you sew your ar*e shut tee hee...).
12stepper- amazing comment overlap-we're on the same page at the same moment....yes,the emotionals...let it out,let it pour.our feelings can only hurt us if we are afraid of them. 3 weeks is great work, and yes THIS WILL PASS.
Price, Ah yes, "Tram Dad", that was it! :) I think your suggestion of meeting for a virtual chat would be great...except...I wouldn't have a CLUE about how to do that. Maybe I am the only one who is a dunce about these things, but could you elaborate on how this could be achieved? I use a computer all day long, but I am afraid that my skill set is a bit limited.
Trauma, I think that Boe and Kev offered some good advice. While I can't honestly say that I have ever felt that taking another tram would be a solution to ANY problem since I quit, some do report those desires. My own post acute withdrawal symptoms included continued insomnia, lack of focus, lack of energy, and a case of low grade depression for weeks and weeks.
Prices suggestion about immodium seems to be a better alternative to taking another tram. Really, if you have any trams around yet...dump em. Why would anyone, who has gone through what each of us has gone through with acute withdrawal, ever want to go through this ever again. One little white pill wouldn't problably hurt...except that...um, it wouldn't stop with that ONE pill. More likely than not, that one pill would send me immeately looking under my car seats for "the pill that got away". and to calling my friendly doctor, hat in hand again, blah blah blah.
These wonderful ideas that occassionally cause us to think that THIS time, one pill wouldn't hurt are understandable. At the same time, unless we want to wind up where we left off with the trams again, the notion that we could return to "controlled" tramadol us, is laughable. And if we can just distract ourselves, maybe make a sandwich or go for a walk, these fleeting thoughts will pass.
When I was taking trams regularly, I had heard that by some magic, they worked on my brain receptors. I still haven't heard anyone explain in layman's language what a brain receptor is, or how this drug works on them. Anyone? All I know is that it's got to be one hell of a drug reaction up there to put me out in a fog. To control me. To cause me to become dispassionate and uncaring.
The way I figure it, any drug that pounds my brain receptiors day in and day our for six years will cause lingering symptoms for "weeks and weeks" after taking it. And if this drug is that powerful, I can't allow even one pill to come back into my being.
If a drug is that powerful, IT CAN'T HAVE ME.
Kev, I loved your thought, "Tram w/d is NOT LINEAR....ie nor should our expectations in recovery be linear". I just don't think we can shell our brain receptors for years with high doses of this drug and expect that we will be entirely rid of the affects of this drug in 5 days. It takes "weeks and weeks" people. but this much I know, each moment that I am not putting the white pill in my mouth, I am one moment closer to full recovery. And if I were put another pill in my mouth, just once, I would be risking the investment I have put into this recovery.
Borrowing from a phrase that we hear in AA a lot, "if we keep doing what we always did, we will keep getting what we always got."
Hey Fred-hows it hanging? That well worn truism "if we keep doing what we always did, we will keep getting what we always got." Thats exactly why Im seeking out new interests,contacts etc as well as changing my attitudes and behaviours. The LAST thing I want is my OLD life back!! NO THANK YOU!!!
Breaking away from the patterns that drag us down is hard. It takes more than surrendering our addictions. We will have to surrender a little more than that I think.
In nature, any empty space is soon filled with new life...if we give up our old ways we create space for new possibilities.
Fear and excitement....like the first time I walked onto a stage....to embrace the unknown..to take a risk. This is what living IS!
We are trained to go in circles. like a dog on a leash,tied to a post....EVER DECREASING circles! Our own sense of security and our need for it can be our biggest weakness at times I think.
Climb the tree to its highest branch,close your eyes and.......JUMP!!!
Hello all. End of day 5 start of day 6 of cold turkey. Not a great day but not as bad as day 4. Sleeping and eating problems continue. Stomach problems, also add toothache problems. I guess all the trams masked the pains that would otherwise warn you that something is wrong.
Sense of smell is coming back. Probably all the senses were somehow attenuated during my tram use.
Lethargic, continuos headaches, after meal anxiety that causes fear of eating.
No temptations or desires to take a tram today. Heck, I forgot all about them.
Sleeping poorly. Even with half an ambien (I'm cutting down on them too, don't want another addiction) I slept from midnight to 4 am. Been up ever since and cannot even take a nap.
Tomorrow is my son's birthday (39) and I won't even be able to celebrate a thing. Well at least he knows I'm having "health" problems.
kevzx81, tramaqueen, FinallyFred, 12Stepper, Bigman and everyone else, thank you all for your inputs and well wishes.
Gotta go and face the night. 6 hours til midnight and another day of hope coming up.
In response to your first paragraph to Emily- Well said! I second that!
In regards to withdrawl, you said: "WITHDRAWING from this drug isn't a process we add to our lives, it BECOMES our life for a spell. But this battle will not last forever. Just a few days and you will be delivered from the throws of the trams that clutched all this time, as we demand it to leave."
I remember posting here through the worst of it all, I felt as if I was "demanding" tram to leave when I was talking about "taking the bull by it's horns" and "even though that bull was swinging me around, that it would NOT win the fight!" That was me fighting to get my life back and as you said Em said "get ready for the end to the acute suffering you must feel right now. " I was ready...and as Boe gave me the encouragement I needed by saying "hold on and don't look back", I did just that and made it through to the other side.
Without you all, I wouldn't be Tram Free.
Encouraging all that are IN the middle of the fight to HOLD ON and DON"T LOOK BACK! (Hang in there Lilly!)
It's been a long while since I posted.
I have been in an intense and lonely battle with kicking my addiction to xanax. I can relate to all that Emily has said about feelings flooding back, insomnia, depression, occasional anxiety attacks - and yes, one time I even experienced my bathroom walls "breathing". Totally trippy.
I am also 116 days FREE of Tramadol's clutches. It feels really great to say that.
I have been keeping up with everyone's posts and although I haven't had the energy to post, you all continue to inspire me to NOT take another Tram. Just reading about your struggles during the first 7 days is enough to remind me how I NEVER want to experience those withdrawal symptoms again.
Fred ((((((((hi Fred)))))))) - you mentioned in an earlier post that you wanted some deeper understanding on GABA receptors in the brain. I copied and pasted the following from benzo(dot)org. It's a rather descriptive definition (be forewarned):
"The way in which GABA sends its inhibitory message is by a clever electronic device. Its reaction with special sites (GABA-receptors) on the outside of the receiving neuron opens a channel, allowing negatively charged particles (chloride ions) to pass to the inside of the neuron. These negative ions "supercharge" the neuron making it less responsive to other neurotransmitters which would normally excite it. Benzodiazepines also react at their own special sites (benzodiazepine receptors), situated actually on the GABA-receptor. Combination of a benzodiazepine at this site acts as a booster to the actions of GABA, allowing more chloride ions to enter the neuron, making it even more resistant to excitation."
In my own layman's terms, I understand this to mean that drugs (specifically in this case - benzos) kinda PRY OPEN the receptors and keep them open so that the chloride ions can get inside. The chloride ions produce resistance to other neurons that would normally excite the receptor - hence a feeling of calmness, less anxiety, etc...
I do not know how Tramadol affects the brain's receptors, but I would be willing to bet that somehow they mess with our brain's receptors in a negative way. These receptors do NOT just magically heal overnight. It takes time - which is the hardest part. Like Emily said, "Tick tock" - hurry up and wait.
But I am in this for the long haul and although there are some VERY difficult days, I want my receptors and my body to NOT be dependent on any substance - so I will wait - impatiently mind you, but I WILL wait.
Emily, it's hard to believe, but you are coming up on a 1 year anniversary! I didn't discover your journal until Dec. 2008, but I went back and read all of your posts - right back to July 2008 when you first began.
I have watched hundreds (and I am sure THOUSANDS who didn't post) come to this site seeking help, encouragement, comfort, reassurance, and acceptance. In one year, you have provided that to thousands of people - all the while going through your own struggles with Tramadol, Benzo withdrawal, 2 car accidents, and a full time job.
Emily, not only did you give me the courage to fight my Tramadol addiction, but you gave me the courage to give up my benzo addiction as well. I owe my life to you and the other wonderful souls on this journal.
So here's to you EMILY! For surviving one long and difficult year and overcoming struggle after struggle! Here's to you for encouraging thousands to kick their Tramadol to the curb! Here's to you for providing a safe place for people to come and vent and get educated!
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( EMILY POST )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
This is my umpteenth attempt at getting off Tramadol. When I was first Rx'd it, I was told it was a safe and non-addictive alternative to opiates.
That was 4 years ago.
I managed to cut down from 800mg (USL being 3-400mg now...) to 400, to 200, 100 and now 50.
Going cold turkey a few times didn't help and the tail-off periods were nasty.
One thing that gets me about Tramadol w/d is that, no matter what dosage you're coming off, the w/d's are just as bad.
I'm, again, a few days into another cold turkey - just from 50mg - and it's causing me so much grief... My body must have no painkillers in it whatsoever because it relies on Tramadol so much.
I was expecting the w/d period to be a week - two max - like heroin or something (that was a doddle compared to this), but the time-scales you guys are talking about... That's unreal!
I really need to speak with my GP about this.
There's no way I can function normally when withdrawing cold turkey and the tail-off's almost as bad.
My will-power and tenacity aren't great either..! :)
I wish that I'd taken the other option and gone on something else that was "risky" instead - I'd've been clean off painkillers long ago, I reckon.
I can't even tell if the pain I feel is because of injury or because of constantly withdrawing from this stuff. Perhaps, once I am off it, I can cope with the pain because I'm so used to the w/ds!
I don't even know if the pain is still there or if it;s just aggravated by the w/d pains...
I think there's no hope that I'm going to get off this shite before I go on holiday in a few weeks, so alternatives must be considered. I will have to speak with a few people, read some more and go into my allotted 11 minutes with a London GP to lay it down and have it all organised.
The last time I brought this up, it took 6 months to get referred to an addictions clinic only to be told that, because I was addicted to Rx drugs and not smack, they couldn't help me unless I wanted to change to methadone.
Maybe that's a better idea?
Jesus - maybe I should start taking drugs again so I can get off them that way?!
It'd certainly get quicker results!
Thanks so much for all the information that you guys have given me here - I feel a lot better knowing that it's not just me who is a "pussy" and is "whining over a few aches".
Not sure if you are referring to my post (above) when you asked, "It takes THAT long?!"
Just to clarify, it took me about 7 days of pure H E L L to get over the worst parts of the Tramadol withdrawal and about 45 days to feel "normal" again (ie. sleeping better, no anxiety attacks, depression, appetite, etc...).
I am also battling Benzo withdrawal (completely different from Tramadol) and it is long withdrawal - from what I have read it could take up to 6 months.
So do not fear. If you can make it through the first 7 days (some even say they only suffered greatly the first 4 days) - then you will be through with the worst of it.
Read and prepare. It is your greatest weapon in defeating Tramadol.
I succumbed last night to taking 25mg of tram. I was in a bad situation....at an out of town gathering with folks I didn't know, feeling w/d's and drinking beer. I had 2 tiny pieces of tram in my purse, 'in case of emergency'. I just couldn't stand that damn feeling anymore! It was wrecking my good time! I don't really know if it helped or not physically, psychologically it did tho. Knowing that, I should just carry around a placebo because it would work as well and not set me back in my journey.
So, this morning I'm still feeling that icky stomach and slight headache that I'm growing so accustomed to. I so appreciated all the good advice from all you tramadol warriors, who've been through this. I guess I just expect to be feeling better than I am at this point and I'm becoming a bit pissed about it. Part of me is saying, 'what the hell? I might as well go back to using them because if I'm going to feel lousy regardless I'd rather have some moments of energy and good feelings". This is really getting old.
I'm going to work on the 'distraction' method. When I notice that I'm experiencing 'those feelings' that make me want to make them go away fast, I'll clean something, take a walk, wash some dishes...SOMETHING rather than allowing my thoughts to lead me back to taking another tram. Because the bottom line is, it won't help in the long run...it will only prolong the process back to health.
I had been on 50 mg for 5 days when I planned on going ct Saturday. Then I had unexpected company, who I ended up cooking for etc. - long story short I ended up taking 100 mg. Then Sunday I went back to 50. I'm really disappointed in myself. I feel crappy, I feel like crying and frankly I don't even feel strong enough to try to quit right now. It had been suggested to me to taper to a 50 mg lower dose every 10 days. I really didn't want to prolong the agony as discussed above, but I went from 200 mg to 50 in 8 days and then spent 5 days sick on 50mg - and I feel like it's been to much for me.
Tramaqueen - thanks for your "confession" - it gave me the courage to post here again after hiding for two days. I really feel for you and I know what you're talking about. Thanks, also, to all of you clean people who keep sticking around and supporting us. I hope to someday be here saying "I remember how it was".
My heart is with you all.
Just to clarify my post, I took 100mg to stop being sick. I couldn't handle relatives, cooking, cleaning etc. with the withdrawals I was experiencing. There's nothing recreational about it for me. I'm between a rock and a hard place at this point.
Lillyval and tramaqueen, Do not be discouraged. Many of us went through the same thing before being entirely ready to quit forever. I went back a second time with a reason such as needing a pain reliever for a long day. I think I took 200 mg that day and 100 mg for a few days after. Then my insomnia on Tramadol kicked in again and I started needing something to help me sleep again. I realized I was back where I'd been in the beginning when I first was prescribed Tramadol for pain and OTC sleeping med every night. Not knowing I would have w/d, I quit Tramodol cold turkey and began tapering the sleeping meds. That was 3-4 weeks ago, and I have been successful with my plan. I have had bad depression to the point I thought I was mentally ill until I realized it was w/d from Tramadol--thanks to the sharing here. I exercised yesterday for a long time and it helped tremendously with the depression. I'm also realizing I can (little by little) tolerate some physical pain without "easing" it with Tramadol. For the emotional/mental pain I'm experiencing in w/d, I will put up with physical pain. I cannot go back on Tramadol again because I can't go through this again. It is hell. If I stay focussed on today only it helps. Just to make it through this one day without using (for me, since I didn't realize I needed to taper) or to use less than the day before. That's all we need to do. Bless you for sharing and please continue to post so we know how you are doing. Linn
It sounds to me that when you were down to 50mg that you were closer than you realize to being on the other side. Staying at 50mg for 5 days will make you consider taking a pill to relieve you of your misery...but that's how Tram works against you...At that point, it's better to just stop taking them and get through the next few days and KNOW that the worst will be behind you, by dragging it out by trying to taper further only prolongs your misery which just creates doubt.
I'm not the only one here that believes this and has made it through to the other side. We know how extremely difficult it is to make that final leap to your new beginning but just try tapering down again and don't stop trying until you've made it to the other side.
One of my favorite quotes: "fall down 7, get up 8" - Japanese proverb
Sometimes, the hardest part of falling behind is forgiving yourself for any set backs..but if you would forgive a friend, let me ask you - why would you not treat yourself as a friend and forgive yourself?
We're all rooting for you Lilly...and so proud of you, despite your set back...please don't give up now..You've come too far. :) Don't give up. HANG ON AND PUSH FORWARD! I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT! :)
I almost cried when I read tramaqueen and Lillyvals posts. I know the pain of succumbing to the WD agonies and the strong temptation to just say the "hell with this!, I can't stand it any longer"...
I know there is that strong sense of guilt and failure. But I also know that by posting your actions here you are saying that you have NOT given up. This withdrawal misery is hard for me, a 60 year old Vietnam war veteran who has seen his share of pain and loss so I KNOW what it is to desire that the pain go away albeit for just one day.
tramaqueen, Lilyval, and anyone not posting but just reading and going through the same situation, remember, NOTHING has changed, it's all part of the WD process. So you have a one day set back? Think of all the YEARS you have lost or will lose, if you let it get a hold of you too much. Take a deep breath and start again.
You are courageous to post a slip, I had thought it over and I had said to myself that if I succumbed to taking a pill I would not admit it here. So much for masculine bravery.
We are with you and for you and for any anonymous persons here that are going through with the desire to quit tramadols forever. I am ending day 6 and starting day 7 of cold turkey and I have to say that this day 6 has been the best day so far. Every symptom is reduced and I know that in a few days all will be well.
My prayers are out to all that are tapering, in CT, or have passed all this and still have occasional bad days. I salute you all and I only wish that I could do more but I guess that when all is said and done this is an individual battle.
Amy's right. You're stringing out your withdrawals taking the low doses. I did this same thing for months
as I tapered off and I completely regret putting myself through such misery for so long.
It's so easy to find an excuse to take another tramadol to relieve the w/d symptoms when you're on low doses.
It's exactly why so many people quit cold turkey. It all comes down to this: How badly do you want off
this horrible drug? If you want it badly enough, you can do this.
There's no way around the w/d process with this drug. You will have to go through it no matter what. Just
remember that the acute w/d will only last 5-7 days and then you will continue to improve over the next few
weeks. The sooner you put more TIME between you and that last pill the better off you will be.
Lily and Trama - Thank you very much for your honesty. I think this is as important as someone describing acute w/d's, tapering, success with c/t, etc. - honestly. I mean, these ARE the real struggles that everyone needs to hear. Please stay here, get back on track, chalk it up as "a lesson well learned" as we fought getting off tram. Today is 2 weeks off for me, and I can say for sure, this "Intermediate" period is hard. The first several days were easier in some ways because I was occupied with acute w/d's. I am now setting my sights on the one month mark as I can see this taking more time than I thought. I know it may take longer, but one month is the new goal. Things are much better, but day 12 is the same as day 14, which will probably be similar to days 18, 20, 22, etc.
Clen - hang in there. Not too long ago you were questioning your ability to kick this junk. You have been a great help to me, as have so many others. What a great support system here! Thanks to everyone and keep up the fight.
You're doing great flip. Keep hangin in there. Day 27 was a big day for me when I noticed that most of my lingering symptoms had faded. The chills, anxiety, cold/hot sweats were pretty bad for me for the first 3 weeks and I thought they would never end. I was on tramadol for 8 years so I thought maybe I had done some permanent damage to my body. By day 27 though things had turned around and it's been all downhill since. Looking forward to the 30 day mark, in my opinion, is a realistic goal as you should feel much better by then.
Just for record keeping. My first day of cold turkey was May 27, 2009. Today I have completed my 6th day. I can say that the horrible symptoms of acute tramadol withdrawal start to abate on the 6th day of the cold turkey process.
My experience with quitting tramadol started with breathing problems caused by 6 years of chronic tramadol use.
I successfully completed a 10 day taper program prior to my decision to stop cold turkey. I reduced my intake from 100-200mgs/day to 25mgs/day during the taper.
My major WD symptoms in both the taper and CT, in worse order:
1. Fear and/or inability to sleep
2. Fear of eating
3. Extreme general anxiety w/restlessness
4. Feeling of impending doom
6. Migraine headaches
8. Stomach pain
10. General muscular and back pains
There was also a general loss in the ability to sense the passing of time. And sometimes a ringing in the ear.
20mg Ambien at approx. 11:00 pm during both the taper and CT
50mg Benedryl, one at 11:00pm and at 3:00am first first 5 days of taper. Discontinued because of numbing of right side.
200mg Advil every 4 or 5 hours during the day in taper and first 4 days of CT.
81 mgs Aspirin during the day as needed (4 or 5 times a day during taper and CT)
Linden tea during taper, 2 cups a day
Tested GABA supplementation, no positive results
Occasional use of 5-htp and Valerian root capsules during taper for placebo effect
Saccade-the difference between use and abuse or recreational use can be a very fine line.If a person has an addicitive personality so much the easier to get addicted. The reason people will and have abused this drug is the same as all the other drugs out there, they enjoy the buzz.Being a chronic pain person I used the evil Tram for 3 years before I got off.Best thing I ever did was to stop taking that mind numbing,emotionally numbing drug.I now feel like my real self again after this 3 yr interlude.To all the people who are writing in for the first time it does get better and better I promise. Later, Big.
Stopped taking 20mg Citalopram in Feb this year and after about 4 weeks of withdrawal felt goog. Then started on the reduction of Tramadol. Been taking 300mg per day for 11 years and now down to 150mg and suffering. Mostly the same stuff mentioned by everyone else - depression, agitation, restlessness. So went to see GP this morning and she wants me to start back on the Citalopram! I am SO confused. Do I feel like this cos of the Tramadol wd or is it depression. Real hard to think clearly.
Hi Clen, I DID cry (TWICE) when I read your message to me yesterday (sorry, I'm an emotional wreck at this point). Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. You said:
"Think of all the YEARS you have lost or will lose, if you let it get a hold of you too much. Take a deep breath and start again."
and that sealed it for me.
Flippers, Boe, Amy and Linn - your words, too, have been extremely helpful. I can't tell you how much it means to put myself out there like that and have people jump right in an support me. All of your encouragment has led me to resolve to go ct today. Both Amy and Boe pointed out that continuing at low doses is just postponing the inevitable. I keep trying to set up a time when I won't have committments or someone to take care of, but that's never going to happen. Like someone said earlier, Life just keeps coming at you.
Citalopram (Celexa in US) is one of those SSRI's that doctors handout by the bucketful. However taking 300 mgs of Tramadol for 11 years will definitely cause extreme WD effects when reducing in half. Make sure your doc knows about the tramadols because at that dosage I would read ALL that is posted here and consult the doctor before making a decision.
Lillyval, thanks for your post. I'll post a reply a little later.
If I have a daily dose of this conversation, I do much better--reading all the words of encouragement and HOPE. What a truly kind and caring group! There is no one in judgment mode. When you share about your "slips" and struggles, I know I have been there and could be there again. With the medical profession virtually endorsing this terrible, life-sucking drug as the new "non-addictive" answer to pain relief, it's easy to be tempted, especially if one thinks it will be just for this or that occasion.
But our words help combat those thoughts and help us remember the reality we know to be true. For me, to even take one pill is to start the whole thing going again, needing it for those all-too-easily-rationalized rough spots in any given day. All too soon even my slug brain will begin craving it, telling me I can't function without it. Yes, then I have to think of the days, months, and even years that could be lost in an unconscious blur. Thank you, Clen, for that GOOD reminder!
Another thought that keeps me from using is the dread of going through w/d again. I don't think I have ever been so depressed and anxious. These have been a long harrowing 3-4 weeks--like being stuck on a roller coaster in hell.
The main thing is, though, that today is a good day. I know there is another happy reality out there with joyous moments and meaningful work. This is one of the most encouraging days I've had. So, as some of you have mentioned, there is an end to this. Besides reading your incredibly helpful words here, I also have been reading inspirational books, meditating, praying, exercising, trying to remember to be grateful. I'm grateful to know that if I get depressed later, it is the hit-and-miss of the withdrawal, which you all have helped me to understand, and not mental illness. I'm grateful for the knowledge that using Tamadol can steal my life on any given day. Thank you all for sharing. Linn
Your so right on ... with your expression "roller coaster from hell" I've been calling this experience "Mr. Toad's wild ride." My other daily motto is...."What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I thought after having 4 children, 10 grandchildren nothing could be more stressful...Tram w/d trumps any stress that I have ever had. Peaceful wishes to everyone .
I wanted to assure you that it is the Tramadol w/d!!! You are not depressed for any other reason. I took Tramadol for only 6 mos.and I have been suffering terrible depression after quitting ct (I didn't realize there would be symptoms, since the medical profession is in a pink fog about this drug, they didn't tell me).
Before I started reading this site and realized it was the Tramadol w/d, I thought I was the sorriest person on earth, that my life was over, that I'd just made a huge mess of things, and that life was only to be endured until death. Really! That has been happening on and off for over three weeks. Just when you think you're over it, it hits again. I thought it was simply depression and didn't have hope of the feelings passing. So please know that while it seems like forever, it does go away eventually. I think 4 weeks is common, but some say it may continue for a few more weeks, but not very bad. I do not know about a tapering schedule for this stuff. All I know is that any less is an improvement and a plan to get off entirely is a life-affirming decision. Hope this helps, Linn
Like everyone says it is a massive help to know others experience the same sort of horror.
I have spoken to my doc again and have decided NOT to go back onto Citalopram and have also managed to get some 50mg Modified release Tramadol which will bring my daily dependance down to 100mg but more smoothly.
Saccade-In addtion to what I posted yesterday its my impression that most of the people who post here are indeed chronic pain people and went on the the evil Tram because they were in a lot of pain and then got addictted .They did not go on for kicks,but there are always a few.With its bad side effects and the extremely rigorous wd I can't think of a worse drug to purposely abuse. Big
Much love and gratitude to all who've shared their wisdom with me as I continue along on the path of withdrawal from this dark drug. I had 16 days tram-free when I swallowed 1/2 tram while in the midst of an anxiety producing social situation. I purposely left it in my pill bottle before I left the house. I do have social anxiety issues and I imagined myself there, before I left home, and in my imagination I was nervous and needed a little bit of a drug to help soothe myself so I brought it with me, then, just like I wrote the script myself, all that I imagined came true.
I have not taken any trams since Sunday evening. I sneezed quite a few times at work last night, and my stomach was hurting again, and I wonder if that will ever get better because it doesn't seem like it is. Day after day, my w/d symptoms don't seem to be lessening any. They are better than the first week to 10 days, but now I seem to have hit a wall and everyday seems the same. But, when I take the time to notice, I do have moments of feeling absolutely well, pain free, and happy. And I make myself look at that and remember....I mark it in my mind that yes! I am capable of feeling well and happy and soon those moments will get longer and longer and longer....and why isn't it possible that I could experience wall-to-wall happiness? If I'm capable of feeling wall-to-wall misery then why couldn't the opposite be true?
Lillyval and Clen....hang in there buds....we'll make it. We're tough.
Trees_and_Tablets, You have done great and should pat yourself on the back for your efforts. Many have shared about how they have become free of Tramadol's grip with a tapering plan. Congratulations!
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride DOES have an end! Just hang in there another day . . . and then another.
The knowledge that the terrible feelings are the w/d from Tramadol helped me to be a little easier on myself. I was then able to see myself as a sick person who I was helping to get well. Then all the self-loathing was lessened.
Let us know how you are doing as often as you like--we know how long the bad days can be. Bless you for sharing. Linn
End of day 7 start of day 8 of cold turkey withdrawal from tramadol after a 10 day taper.
One week tram free! A much better day with improvements in all areas.
Hydrophobia and phagophobia (fear of eating) have ceased. Stomach pains are gone. Anxiety is lessened. Migraines come and go however I might be confusing migraines with latent tooth problems.
Feeling of impending doom is going away slowly. (less episodes of that type of anxiety)
Last night sleep with 10 mgs Ambien: 4 hours, 2 hours, 2 hours (wake up and re-sleep). Heck, that's at least a full 8 hours.
Only two 81 mgs aspirin (compared to the previous 6 to 8)
No other medications or natural products taken or needed.
Absolutely NO desire or temptation to take a tram pill.
Munching on sunflower seeds purchased but unable to eat on day 4.
Note for Lillyval and tramaqueen:
I believe the worse day in this first week (and probably the whole WD process) is day 4. It was a horrible, horrible day. Have you ever seen a grown man on his knees, crying his gut out, covering his face with his hands while tears rolled down his face? Well you would have had you seen me on that day 4. There were two things that stopped me from taking a pill (and I had plenty of them):
1. The knowledge that even if I took a pill I would have to go through that day 4 again and that all my previous CT days and tapering days were forever gone and didn't account for anything.
2. The thought of the original reason why I decided to quit tramadols. Just thinking of waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe and ripping my clothes off in despair put the fear of trams back in me. When you can't breathe nothing else matters.
So I got up washed my face, went to the calendar and joyfully marked day 4 finished. And I am glad I did because that day four was the top of the mountain. Climbing up was hard, almost unbearable, but now I am coming down and the pace is increasing, soon to be running and jumping for joy! Bless you Lillyval and tramaqueen, I see you right behind me with the wind blowing in your faces, blowing away the tears and filling your lungs with fresh, tram free air, exquisite joy!
Thank you Emily Post for this forum. It has been a blessing for me. Thank you 12stepper and Bigman. Trees, proceed with caution but determination.
And finally I am ready to consider day 11 of CT as the first day post tram. (just thinking)
Way to go all you active withdrawers, you are all doing great jobs of slaying the tramdragon, (& it has no redeeming characteristics, it needs to be dead).
Trees & Tablets, Linn is right to say that tram withdrawal alone can trigger depression but after 11 years of use, your natural serotonin production is likely to be disrupted. An alternative to taking another serotonin reuptake inhibitor is to try an amino acid serotonin precursor, (5htp or tryptophan). Start on a low dose, 50-100mg while you are still on the tram to avoid the risk of serotonin syndrome & if it works you can take higher doses without the side effects of the SSRIs. Supplementing with neurochemical precursors does not effect receptors which can then recover their sensitivity to pre tramadol levels.
To those considering direct GABA supplementation, it's unlikely to have any psychoactive effect as ingested GABA does not cross the blood brain barrier. Probably why too many people end up on benzos as it is difficult to increase GABA levels with supplements. L-theanine can help. Valerian can act on the GABA receptors in some people to achieve similar but milder effects as benzos but I can't say that even very large doses helped me at all.
Good to hear from you Price is Wright & KC. Price, I would love to be in a group chat. I think I'm having a bout of PAWS, I'm struggling with motivation to get hard things done, (not that I wasn't an able procastinator pre-tram at times).I also seem to need huge amounts of sleep, my bedtimes are more common to 84 year olds, not 48 year olds.
I'm also very interested in Kev & Emily's musings on the question of building new lives. I agree it's a great chance to shape a new me, to take the leap into the great unknown & it would be good to share the fear & discomfort of change with anyone who is interested.
Madtram- That is a great idea ' it would be good to share the fear & discomfort of change with anyone who is interested.'
I have so much going on right now, much of it outside my comfort zone. Ive been trading control for opportunity. Or in terms of how if feels...trading security for fear/excitement (of success).
I began a new business 3 months ago wtih 4 other people and have been accomodating or resolving personality issues etc as per usual at the start of a new project. Validation is a powerful and positive management tool. My Point?.....
The things we learn in w/d are even more powerful when we are well(er). To gain emotional expression,sensitivity thru abandoning our prefrences for familiarity/comfort is a natural outcome of giving ourselves up to w/d????
I think it would be a senseless waste to live thru all the sh*t of w/d and NOT compare the positive outcomes we've had.
I think it would be a valuable 'forward marker' for the Tramahell recovery map.
Tramahell is a land of control. But it is OUR DESIRE for control that led us there. The whole world is a competition for control.....is it working??? We cant control or escape life. Its not about us anyway.....
And we dont have to follow ANY rules we dont agree to. ( unless you suffer from morals)
Fred- You want a funny story......slugs love beer,especially stout. I use it for slug traps thru to july on my allotment. Slugs CANT resist it...no matter what alternative they have. Plant a cup in the ground at the edge of crops for maximum crop protection.
ALTERNATIVELY- Fill a decent quality water pistol to spray it on crops directly to draw every slug from miles around.
THEN- Pick a committee member who has been a nuisance.......mustve been those kids. (how dare they!)
But seriously....these people (the comittee) fail to realize that a) people dont all want to be governed all the time, and
b) they dont feel they should spend several hours per week just to turn back the tide of inane ideas the comittee comes up with. and c) who the f*ck are THEY anyway????? I have removed and thrown away the locks on the gates so many times now that no one is bothering to replace them anymore.....words have no effect on fools...but demonstrations do!
It turns out that some of the older gardeners have a lot of trouble with these gates for health reasons so Ive been flaunting the fact of my lock flinging in the hope that someone will challenge me and I can raise the 'old folk' issue and smite them with it......no luck so far tho.
Give light to light
Give dark to dark.
It has been 42 hours since I took my last tramadol at 1:30 Monday afternoon. I'm counting this as day 2 just to keep track easier. Yesterday was not as bad as I feared. I had some nausea, abdominal pains, achiness and extreme fatigue. But honestly, it wasn't as bad as when I went ct one time a year ago without tapering. THAT was like a nasty flu. Yesterday I took 2 advil all day and that was it (and napped a lot). I also ate a lot of fruit and for some reason a whole bunch of celery. I've heard a lot of people say day 2 is hard so I'm ready.
Trees_and_Tablets - I, too, went off Citalopram 2 months ago after being on it for 5+ years. In hindsight I would have gotten off the tram first, because it is much harder. This last week I've considered going back on it bacuase I've been crying at the drop of a pin. But I do believe, as others have said, that it is just the wd and not a new chapter of clinical depression. Also, I started St. John's Wort 900mg time release (Nature Made) when I quit the Celexa, and I think it does help. Hang in there, if I can do this anybody can.
I keep a journal too. It helps with my recovery. Do what YOU think is right for you. Anything that helps you is OK.
When the going gets rough just think that you are in a life boat in the middle of the ocean with the waters swelling all around you and waves crashing against your little boat. Now you can do one of two things. You can stay in the boat, puke your guts out (sorry for the language), and hang on for dear life, OR you can jump out of the boat into the raging waters.
What are you to do? Simple you stay in the boat knowing that the storm will pass and you will be safe soon. If you jump into the water you will realize instantly your mistake and then try to get back into the boat but in rough waters that will be hard. Worse the boat may get away from you and you might..well you get the picture.
Once you have made it pass that 48 hour mark I believe you're set even if the next day is bad. Sleep all you can when you can because at one point sleeping will get a little harder. Courage!.....clen
For me the w/d's were pretty much the same for day 2, 3, 4. I was waiting for things to get worse, but they stayed about the same. By the 3rd or 4th day I was more tired and sick of feeling sick, but the intensity was about the same. Made me so mad too, because had I known then what I know now, I would have never messed with all that tapering, attempted c/t's, etc. I set little goals so that I would not get overwhelmed by the journey ahead. First was getting past 48 hours, which had always been a line in the sand for me. Then I wanted to get to that 4-5 period where you are starting to come out of the acute w/d. Then the 2 week mark. Now it's the one month mark.
Funny thing is I mis-calculated my clean time. I am actually on day 17 (not 16 like I thought), so I will take that extra day anytime!
I thought I felt OK enough to take a short trip to the store. I got about halfway there and I realized I shouldn't have been driving because I was in a complete brain fog (worse than being ON tram), and I had my daughter in the car with me. Luckily we made it home safely. It's weird, I really feared the the flu-like backache and the horrible "nerves on end" feeling, but really the worst thing so far has been the abdominal pain. I took an immodium, which is technically in the opiate family but doesn't cross into the brain. It seemed to help at first but now my stomach is killing again. I have a chance to lay down now so I'm going to take advantage of it. Oh, by the way, I had gotten rid of the tram I had left, and then when I was putting stuff away I found 2 50mg pieces in a container. I'm going to throw them down the garbage disposal now before I forget.
Take care everyone,
I'm 29 days off tram and I'm still experiencing the brain fog that you're talking about. I realize it mostly when I'm driving (as you did - SCARY!)....and the scariEST part is that I don't realize it until I "wake up"...which terrifies me because it immediately makes me think that I could have gotten into an accident had a potential situation occurred...
Do you know what I mean????
I would like to know if ANYONE has experienced this POST tram brain fog and PLEASE let us know IF/WHEN this will ever END.....
TO ANYONE IN THE MIDDLE OF or THINKING ABOUT TAPERING
It truly helped me to know what to expect during and after tapering....Although, w/d's are unavaidable, just knowing relieved me of certain fears..which helped me tremendously in pushing forward to the other side.
So, if you're curious/interested in my tapering experience..I copied/pasted my posts into my tracker...it will show you what days and what w/d's I was feeling while tapering as well as post tram.....
Still tram free after my small slip on Sun. night. I read what others say about depression and brain fog. Maybe the depression is me not wanting to get up every day.....I didn't really blame that on w/d tho....just thought that was me being me. I've never really wanted to leave the bed in the morning. I always feel like I've got to push myself to get on with it, but once I'm up I usually rally and do what needs to be done. I'd love to have some energy though.
Tell me, someone, about this 'brain fog'. I'm aware of the symptoms that I have...sneezing, abdominal pain, anxiety, restless legs, severe headache in the early stages...but not sure about the 'brain fog'. Maybe I'm in it and I don't know it! Someone give me a nice description of it.
I don't think I realized what was going on at first....I think I noticed it about a week or two post tram...Like I mentioned in my previous post, I don't even notice I'm in a fog until it's over...and it basically feels as though you were daydreaming or "elsewhere" for a certain amount of time (10 seconds? 30 seconds? a minute? a few minutes? - I have no idea and I can't help but wonder each time, how long I was in the fog..but I'm guessing somewhere in between 10 seconds and 3 minutes.).This is pretty scary..especially while you're driving which is when I notice it the most...a lot can happen in a short amount of time when you're driving, ya know?..I'm not sure how the others experience it..but that's how it feels for me...
There have been other posters saying that they have experienced this FOG..but I would also like to hear other descriptions of how it feels to them.
Ok. here's the deal I'm 2 mos. out and still cannot spell or put complete sentences together. Now maybe I was always dumb as a rock. It is so apparent that I cannot think clearly. Hopefully the brain will heal and co-workers just haven't noticed. For all you cat lovers I've updated my profile to include information of the 4 cats that we recused. For some reason they are all VERY LARGE..... Our house has become "Land of the Large." Hopfully everyone is feeling better. Have a peaceful week...
End of day 8 start of day 9 of CT after a 10 day taper plan.
Today was my full first day of eating in 2 months. The fact is I probably overdid it. Full breakfast, lunch, pepperoni pizza, and stacks of sunflower seeds. I have a slight discomfort but probably nothing to do with tramadol withdrawal but with too much activity; helping my sister on the computer (something that would have been IMPOSSIBLE just 2 or 3 days ago) and messing around with the roof antenna that the wind knocked down.
All in all a good day with not a single thought of tramadols. All craving is gone. Most anxiety is gone. Still some headaches but probably associated with a tooth problem.
I got a refill of 30 days of ambien 20 mg. But in the last 4 days I was taking half (10mgs) so I might continue at that lower level if it works. Still taking aspirin 81 mgs for the headaches and just now my last Advil (200 mgs). That is all the medication. My stomach has settled and no more alka-seltzer is needed.
Two more days and I will consider myself post tram. What works for me is having a specific termination plan. At some point I will have to say that the cold turkey process is over. I have opted for a 10 day taper and a 10 day CT. After that I will call it post tram and (remember this works for ME) make no further references to days off tramadols. At that point I will throw away my remaining pills (about 160) and consider tramadols a thing of the past.
This forum has been of incalculable help so I will continue visiting and posting and helping where I can. I thank all who have posted here and have helped me in my (horrible) struggle to quit tramadol, and to EmilyPost for creating this forum.
Blessings to all, grandmagirl, Miss_Amy_2009, tramaqueen, Lilyval, flippers, Kevzx81, madtram , (how do you come up with theses names?!), 12stepper, and EmilyPost............clen
Just checking in on everyone today. I certainly feel a survivor mentality, a type of comradarrie in your voices. In AA's big book there's an analogy about how were like people on a life raft who survived a shipwreck--the joyous survivors--together we can get to safe ground and start getting our lives back together, helping and encouraging each other along the way.
Amy, I don't know about the brain fog. Maybe I haven't come out of it enough to know. I have experienced memory loss during w/d, all consuming depression, anxiety, wanting to hide under the covers but too restless to stay there! I have had some moments of clarity, however, maybe that's what normal is . . . I don't remember. These are moments when the colors around me seem a little brighter, when I actually remember something and feel confident in doing a task, when I feel I can face a situation without having to numb myself. I would love it if that is what "normal" or "post tram" is like!
After a great day yesterday (3-4 weeks without tram), I felt biologically depressed again today. Truly aggravating! Started asking again--Is is me???? But I know from your experiences that this is how it works: WITHDRAWAL IS NOT LINEAR (a nod to Kevzx81 for the good way of putting it). So I went and exercised, kept myself occupied, including some volunteer work, which has been helpful in building my confidence back up. The mood has past again. It seems like it will be forever when it's happening, but it does pass. Who knows what dragons will need fighting tomorrow? But at least we're not alone. Keep up the good work friends, Linn
Hi Everyone, I'm starting day 3 ct and doing OK.
Late yesterday I really felt bad physically and mentally, and I wanted to take something (anything but tramadol) to feel better. What kind on mindset is that? Take a pill to feel better? I think that's what got me into this mess in the first place. Anyway, I finally read the Thomas recipe which has been referred to here. Step one is benzos, which really surprised me because they are another "bad drug" and highly addictive - I know some people in this fourm have had problems with them. And with my history I don't want to start substituting one drug for another. However, I did have some Ativan (lorazapam) in the house, and I felt badly enough to break down and take one. I'm actually glad I did because it put me to sleep (this is why I wouldn't take it under normal circumstances). The Thomas recipe suggests taking it up to day 4 so I guess my rationalization is that if I feel the need to take it today and/or tomorrow I should be ok as long as it stops there.
In regards to the question about brain fog: The best way I can describe it is that (for me) it's like being half asleep. Like when you get up in the middle of the night and you're totally out of it and you almost walk into a wall.
I have to say that reading everyone's symptoms going ct made me fearful of making that jump. I think that's why I dragged out my taper for almost an extra week. But it really hasn't been unbearable for me. I've been treating it like I would treat being sick with anything else - and I've been going really easy on myself (i.e. not feeling guilty that chores aren't getting done, etc) Also, my husband has been supportive.
Thanks everyone for listening to me blab. Writing about all of this really is helping get through the days. For anyone reading this who's about to quit - you can do it.
PS - Clen -congratulations on your success! I've been following right behind you the whole way.
After seeing the doc on Wednesday and getting the 50mg sustained release Tram I wanted I have now had 2 days of 50mg morning and 50mg evening, missing out the mid day one I was taking with the instant release ones. Yesterday when I felt woosy in the middle of the day I had some soluble co-codomol and it fixed it fine, so am I right in thinking that co-codomol may be a good way of lessening the jumps each time I come down a level? I hope so - it would be great to know there is easily available help. Before Tram I took co-codomol for years and never had any probs apart from constipation and I stopped easily.
Yesterday was better and today is really good. Been to get some holiday stuff as I'm off on a walikng vacation next week - I find with Tram as it was with Citalopram, that physical excerise helps a lot. And listening constantly to music - kind of helps put the shakes to a beat lol.
Thanks for those words. I too wish I'd done the Tram first and then the Citalopram, and that is in effect what the doc wanted me to do on Wednesday. But I just felt having come so far I really didn't want to go back any steps at all. What she said to me was "if I had to be stuck on either Tramadol or Citalopram it definitely wouldn't be the Tramadol".
Hopefully I'll never have to make the choice again.
What makes all this SO hard is not knowing how your brain is working. Is it you or the w/d making you think these things? Am I turning into someone I don't like or what. My wife, fantastic and supporting as she is, finds all this very distressing and feels as if I don'e want her any more. It's very hard on those around me because I just don't seem to have any 'spare' energy for anybody else's problems. Makes me feel a bit selfish.
I like the way you expressed how you consider yourself sick and are not too hard on yourself. It's important for anyone that is tapering or going CT to know how crucial it is to treat yourself as such and to forgive yourself in advance for putting of what may have taken precedence if you were well. This combination will omit any reservations/guilt of going through the process. Any person's health must come first...so that after reaching the other side, being functional can be twice as enjoyable and well worth the trade.
For those unfamiliar with co-codamol. It's a combination of codeine and acetaminophen (300mgs) Sold is the US as Tylenol 3 (30mgs codeine) and Tylenol 4 (60mgs codeine).
Side effects can include: constipation, skin rashes, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, hypersensitivity reaction, fainting (syncope or near syncope), nausea and/or vomiting, confusion, loss of short-term memory, drowsiness, changes in blood, allergic reactions, euphoria, dysphoria, abdominal pain, pruritus (itching), easy bruising, bleeding gums, and addiction.
I think it's a good thing to be selfish at this time, focus on getting ourselves off this life-stealing poison. It's not forever. People do not realize how serious this is. That's why we come here--to remember what we've been through and to remind ourselves what we do ever want to go through again. I've found I need to be kind to myself during this time--tho at first I was quite enraged about the whole thing. Take the time for a walk, a good movie, a cup of tea, whatever makes you feel better and can help you make it through that part of the day. We'll have time to make it up to those around us.
Just a word about the Ativan, since it was mentioned earlier: While on Tram, I needed Ativan every night to sleep; after a few weeks, I needed two. When I ran out of Ativan, I went through w/d worse than Tram w/d! Caught me totally by surprise. What's so disturbing it that the doctor did not warm me about the Tram or Ativan w/d! Guess I was in denial, too, and didn't want to investigate. Well, let's make it through the day giving ourselves the love and kindness that we would give a sick friend. Blessing to all, Linn
Linn - thanks for the feedback on Ativan. Clen said earlier that the doctors give out Celexa by the bucketfull and I think the same is true of Ativan and the like. I was having some anxiety due to real life circumstances a while back and the doc just handed me a script for it. Luckily I never really took it because I had heard horror stories, I only used it once in a great while for insomnia or RLS. These doctors either don't know or don' t communicat the risks.
Trees_and_ tablets - I'd also be leary of the Codeine/tylenol - that's another addiction waiting to happen (or as I said before, substituting one drug for another). As far as the depression, I think I'm already getting better at 3 days clean. I think the tearfulness was worse last week when I was down to 50mg. The sooner you get the tram out of your system the sooner you'll start feeling like yourself again. Then you can evaluate what you need to do from there.
Best wishes to all,
End of day 9 and start of day 10 of CT after a 10 day taper program. The 10th day will be my last day of CT. After that I will be post tram and I won't be counting the days. But I will start a "dumping" plan. I have 160 pills to get rid of and I may make a journal calling it "Clendenon's tramadol flushing program"! (sense of humor is coming back).
Seriously, all CT symptoms are gone. (I can't believe that only 5 days ago I was on my knees begging for mercy!) Some might say that there will be bad days ahead and I don't doubt it but any uncomfortable symptoms or even pain that comes my way I will just consider them as isolated things not associated with tramadol. Remember this works FOR ME. I will shed NO MORE tears for tramadol.
It's easy once the travails of cold turkey withdrawal are over to trivialize the whole process. And as time goes by it might be easy to say "what was all the fuss about?". But to avoid this I will continue visiting here and posting and taking and giving advice or assistance where I can. Also rereading my own posts to remember what I went through and to continue to understand what others are going through.
I know it IS a tough battle. Just writing this post and remembering my first days of CT sends a shiver down my spine and I have to swallow deep. I also know that all that visit this site and are serious about getting off of those pills will, in fact, do just that. From the comfort of PT (post tram) it might even be easy to patronize those in taper or CT. Heaven help me if I do that.
I said I will not shed another tear but I am doing that right now. Not for tramadol but for all my friends here that I know are going through that awful pain of quitting tramadol. To all of you receive my prayers and understanding and blessing. Peace and health are within view. Can you see them?.........clen
Lilyval and Clen, You guys sound so good today--I rejoice--we are on our way to freedom. Lilyval, it's good to hear you can take Ativan once in a while, that's probably how it was supposed to be. Tram kept me awake every night, so I needed the Ativan every night. When I started w/d from Ativan, I'm lucky I didn't end up in a padded cell--worse than Tramadol, believe it or not. So when I see Ativan I feel compelled to share my experience. There's so much they don't tell us. Good to hear you are on your 3rd day off! Good going!
Clen, so glad you shared your "begging for mercy" experience with us--so we won't forget. You are really doing great. Peace and health are within view. I believe it now.
I'm having another good day about 4 weeks clean of Tram and just taking a fragment of a benedryl to help sleep. Clarity is happening. Learned a new task in the office and felt some confidence. Went to a new place without fear of forgetting what planet I'm on. Checked out some fun reading from the public library. Is this what normal is like? Normal is good. Best to all, Linn
I thought I would pass on a story from a friend who rang me recently. This woman never takes chemicals unless absolutely necessary - she is very involved in alternative medicine. She has been in exceptional pain and was placed on Tramal for a week - 100mg time release tablets three times daily for a week.
She stopped when told to and went through horrendous withdrawals for another week. She had no idea what was happening to her, and is just appalled that she was given the stuff.
A week of extreme withdrawal for a week of the drug.. and they just hand it out like lollies..
I've just re-read all of the posts again to try and decide where to go next. 5 weeks ago I was on 300mg daily and this was on modified release tabs. Using instant release I have tapered down to 150mg daily up to Tuesday this week, and then over the last 3 days down to 100mg slow release. I think I may as well just stop down and go c/t. I'm on holiday next week and so when I come back I am sure this will be the time to do it.
As I have read here there seems to be a need at some point to just 'grin and bear it'. Only hope I don't scare away all those that are important to me.
When I look back over the 10+ years I've taken this stuff I can easily identify the times I've suffered w/d. When a dose has been taken a couple hours late it created really excessive mood behavior and pain. In truth I have known for the past 10 years that this day would have to be faced one day. And it's that fear of it happening for so long that has enabled this drug to convince me that I should keep taking it.
I still hope that I will like myself when this is all over.
Must keep trying to smile and laugh, or at least try to remember how to do it.
Hi ive tried posting twice to offer some hope to you all who are unsure if the struggle is worth it...IT DEFINITELY IS.
im 2 months post tram and my life is back to normal...when i worked it out ,cause i dont count now, i thought only two months. cause every day seems like a lifetime to get thru with the side effects.....
I have posted before,,i was on tram post op since september for chronic pain..i tried to stop when the pain reduced in january...it was not good and ended up tapering over two months....I was on 200mgs 4 hourly from being px it..
jumped at 25mgs i think it was, cause side effects were bad.and wouldnt have improved at lower doses.
week one of stopping - pain elevated so much i ended up in casualty.
my mind was actually clearer from stopping. BUT CONTINUED IN THE FOG for four weeks, i looked drugged, sure i was slurring,my hands shaked had to tell people to repeat what theey were saying untill it regis€tered.(BLOODY AWFUL TIME.) iTHINK MY FOUR WEEKS OFF WAS WORSE THAN WEANING.when i look back
had lots of side effects you are all experiencing..ill not list cause i think i had them all to some degree.
could run and play with my sons, something i hadnt done while on tram, too lethargic and couldnt be bothered.(I did not get the lift of tram, this could have been the pain i was in).
throughout my time on tram i was also taking dihydrocodeine, paracetamol (cause it enhances effcts of tram i was told.) cocodamol, ibuprofen and i was still in lots of pain. i went from all this to paracetamol and ibuprofen..my pain has reduced over the weeks.
weeks 2 -3 anxiety kicked in, did it not.paranoia, forgetfulness, lack of focus I could have crashed the car on so many occasions. (although these were always a prob from weaning.)
week four- i felt suicidal, felt i was at my lowest and couldnt cope..
then i turned a corner.week five..i realised mentally i was out of the fog and sounding and thinking like myself...thought i was losing the plot and this was just me now..lol. THEN I REALISED HOW VERY WEAK MY BODY WAS...this was causing me to sit around and mope a bit...was it you boe who had start running.or noodle.(you were both my strenghth throuhghtout.as well as em and fred and all you others who were on at the time.
Im running the great north run in september so it give me an incentive...so ive been in training for a couple of weeks and feel so much better and fitter than pre tram...and all this ONLY TWO MONTHS POST TRAM.
What else helped me apart from this site.
lavendar oil for anxiety and sleeplessness, massage from steve for my restless legs,..lots of support from family, friends,and work colleagues.i TOLD EVERYONE..
i cant stress how effective vitamins and a good diet was in the healing process...i follow a sugar sensitive meal plan as much as i can.(I am sugar sensitive and this contributes to me being sensitive to lots of medications and more prone to their side effects.). it involves protein(a fistful 3 times per day and carbohydrates only at night.(This helps to raise seratonin overnight)..as well as taking low sugar foods and fruit and veg...
I did get side effects but not to extent some people have...i was always determined to get through however bad i felt.
I just wanted to post some hope to you all that the turning point is only a short distance away,but positive steps are needed WHEN YOU FEEL READY.and always LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. it needs time to heal.
I'm starting day 4 of no tram. I think I actually feel a little better, but I've only been up for a couple of hours. Usually I get worse as the day progresses. I wonder if it's because while I was tapering I would put off taking a dose for as long as possible, usually not until afternoon. So maybe that's when my body expects something.
Linn - thanks for adressing the Ativan issue because it is of concern to me. I have to admit that in the past I've taken it to counteract the effects of too much tramadol too late in the day (i.e. chemically induced sleeplessness). I did take a 0.5mg tablet late last night, more for FEAR of not sleeping than anything. And it does put me to sleep.
Now that I'm physically a little better some other issues are coming up for me. Namely, the strong desire to take something to change the way I feel. I was reading some of Emily's early posts and at one point she said a friend offered to bring her some pain meds, but she refused. I feel like if someone offered me a pain pill I'd jump at the chance - but the fact is I can manage any pain I'm now experiecing with ibuprofen. Not to mention putting any opiate into my body would only interfere with my recovery from tramadol, which is also technically an opiate (although they market it otherwise).
I guess the point is that I don't want to deal with life on life's terms. I've spent the last couple of years taking a substance daily that resulted in me being one step removed from reality.
Clen - you're my hero. I look forward to logging on here everyday and reading your posts.
Trees_and_Tablets - I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "it's that fear of it happening for so long that has enabled this drug to convince me that I should keep taking it." I think you WILL like the person you become when you stop taking it. You seem like a good person, concerned for others. Give yourself a break - getting clean after 10 years on this garbage is a huge adjustment. It's going to take time and patience.
Lily you write, "Now that I'm physically a little better some other issues are coming up for me. Namely, the strong desire to take something to change the way I feel. I was reading some of Emily's early posts and at one point she said a friend offered to bring her some pain meds, but she refused. I feel like if someone offered me a pain pill I'd jump at the chance - but the fact is I can manage any pain I'm now experiencing with ibuprofen."
It's pretty amazing to me STILL that Tramadol caused me so much pain. For at least three years I recall wanting to tear off my right leg because the nerve pain was so bad. Now? No, that doesn't happen. And I remember clear as day that offer for some pain meds. And yes, altering the way you feel, that's really kinda a huge part of what it's all about.
Lilly you are doing great! You're gonna be ok. It's just gonna s-u-c-k for awhile.
And I so get the not wanting to deal with life in life's terms.
Validation was the only way out for me. I'm here at work right now after one heck of a stressful week. It's raining outside. So not only crazy LA Traffic, but hellatious achey pains and soreness. I worked 11 hours yesterday. I'm alone here at work today. Which is good because I have alot of paperwork to do. My paperwork skills are extremely slow. Minimal. Like Grandma girl I am hoping no one has noticed my extreme case of "The Dumb." I have it.
I had a day last week where I was out in the garden and I was pretty good for 6 hours. I have no had an entirely good day since I started tapering. But see, the Klonopin/Tramadol nightmare was a long drawn out affair for me.
It's much much much worse in the morning. I'm not afraid to try and go to sleep anymore. But waking up scares me. Because there's pain. Sometimes more than I think I can bear. But; obviously not, since I am still kickin' over here.
Thanks for the post. I think a lot of us are feeling exactly the same way as you have described... SLOW MOTION ....
scared to wake up and slug around. One of my co-workers mentioned to me this morning " I like that outfit.... you wore it yesterday" Uh did I ? Well yeah I guess I did....I just looked at my shoes... they match...Maybe I'll wear this outfit all next week and see what co-worker has to say then. I have spent the morning SLOWLY pushing paperwork around my desk. Went out to a school site to check on a recycling project and can't remember what the students told me. My brain better return in better shape then when it left sometime last year. Everyone feel better ..have a peaceful weekend...
Dude! Grandmagirl! LMAO! You wore the same outfit! Awesome! Yes, I vote that you wear it every day. For awhile. :D Hilarious to me because the Benzo Klonopin taper, has turned me into an UGG wearing jeans wearing person. I have also gained some flat out fat. Too much and it'll need to come off. It's not as bad on my body as it is in my head. Which ... figures. It's Body Dysmorphia and Benzo Belly. I have been wearing really slouchy clothes and there was that period of Parka-Wearing. Now; Benzo exhaustion? BUT; no sleep? Dude. So so so wrong wrong wrongity!
Honestly; do people notice?
They seem Oblivious!
KC I just found your post! I thank you Dear Friend. Yes, the GABA is beating me up still. Not as bad. Like I no longer have extremely realistic hallucinations that I am only wearing eye makeup on one eye. LOL! Honestly. I remember the depersonalization. That's gone. The fear of the shower ... that's gone but I remember it very well. Fear of a hair brush. Fear of driving to the tune of almost ripping off the steering whell cause I was gripping it so hard!
I have ... not many emotions. Emotional flatness. (scary) So it's always a relief when an emotion shows up. I heard myself honestly laughing a few times this week. So that's really good. You know I tend to suffer from a lack of perspective. Two car accidents is right. Plus that last one was horrible and could easily have made me 100% dead dead dead. So, with a grain of salt ya know!?
I have been fighting like hell thru the paperwork and I hope that in a couple of weeks I'll be righteously "caught up." And I've made some changes at work. It's very difficult cause I still have an edge of the Homicidal Benzo Mania. I was thinking this morning "I hope I am not always this angry cause it seems like it'll get really tiring!" Which it probably does. Plus I can't imagine that Homicidal me is very fun to be around in any way! I take things very personally and they either enrage me or .... *blank* ... not a very wide range! I will say that I have the most intense vision and acute sense of smell. It's really crazy! It'd be nice if that sticks around actually cause it's kinda fun :D
The sleeping needs a better plan. Last night I was wandering around wide awake at 2:30 am. Thinking it was morning and time to get up. I had to take Tylenol PM and wait. And there's pain associated with Benzo withdrawal. Specifically the spasm of the neck and headache.
Now it's afternoon, so I feel better. Better but by no means GREAT! BOO! This is not any fun. I'm of course, frightened that I've given myself brain damage. It's so awful to be aware of how stupid you are! Usually stupid people don't know, ya know!? ....
I'm going to go push some papers around very slowly. That made me laugh grandma girl. :D
Oh and you wrote me a note saying that you were juggling so much and were thinking we could run away. They'd so find us. It's not as if ... we have different CLOTHES to wear! Bwahahahaaaa!
Oh god! So funny and so wrong! You just gotta laugh sometimes ya know? This is all so ... tragic and avoidable ...
Anyhow KC thank you for reminding me of what I have been thru. I tend to forget. Plus I like my advice. It's so true and I forgot! It reallly reallllly really is just time. Time heals. Not ... effort or ... pushing. Just time.
Emily, I agree with your sentiments..."you just gotta laugh sometimes ya know?" I was cracking up at Grandmagirls co-worker noticing that she wore the same outfit two days in a row.
I myself haven't done that at work yet, but I do it at home A LOT. After the 2nd or 3rd day of wearing the same comfy outfit, my husband will say, "Oh honey...I see you are wearing your "uniform" again." And I always reply, "Ya know...when you got a good and comfy uniform, why not wear it more than once per week?"
Don't get me wrong. I believe in hygeine and washing my clothes, but if it still smells okay - then okay, right???
Also, speaking of laughing, I sure would love to see photos of Grandmagirls' "Land of the Large Cats". I LOVE cats and would love to see some photos of some large, content, and well-fed cats (hint hint Grandmagirl)!
Emily, I am now 30 days FREE of benzos (118 days Tramadol FREE) and I have to ask you, what's up with the "benzo belly"? I thought I was going crazy (again) because it truly feels like my stomach has distended me into a pot-bellied pig! Is this a normal withdrawal symptom?
Also, on Wednesday of this week, I was driving to see my dad in the hospital and I witnessed a horrible car crash (just a few yards away from my car) in my rear-view mirror. I was on the interstate and it was raining VERY hard. This truck just seemed to come out of nowhere and crashed (roof down) a few yards behind my car - then did two 360-degree rolls into the far lane. It took everything I had to keep it together and not crash my own car. Anyway, I have been checking the local news and the websites every day since Wed. and guess what???....no major traffic accident reported! So now I am wondering if I hallucinated it?
Deep down, I know I didn't imagine this, but it sure would be nice to know the people are okay and that I DIDNT hallucinate it.
Speaking of benzo withdrawal symptoms, I too suffer from crazy insomnia. I am up - wide awake - 3 to 4 times per night. It reminds me of Tramadol withdrawal! Also, the depression and homicidal/no-fuse personality has hit me pretty hard. No more weird anxiety attacks, but I just get so depressed and apathetic at times. I am able to somewhat control the homicidal/angry feelings that surface unannounced, but the depression is pretty heavy. Since you are ahead of me, I am hoping you report relief of these stupid benzo symptoms soon, so I can have something to look forward to.
Well here's to all of you on this journal (and journey) who are brave enough to fight your Tramadol addiction! You can do this and I am here for anyone who needs support or who has questions.
End of day 10 of cold turkey withdrawal after a 10 day taper. Today was my last day. I am now post tramadol and will not continue to count the days. Some may say that it is too early and that I may still get some WD symptoms. That's true but whatever symptoms I may get I will treat them making no association with tramadol. Headache? Take an aspirin or tylenol. Stomach ache? The pharmacy has plenty of Alka-Seltzer. That way I will disassociate any pain from tramadol use and trams will be a thing of the past.
Now some may say that it is just a psychological trick since you can easily go back to your first post here and count the days. Very true! However it is one thing to count the days and it's another thing to give in to natural curiosity and look back. Now you must remember that this works FOR ME. I can't emphasize it more. Whatever works for YOU indeed go ahead and do it and I'll be with you all the way. Some here keep a record of the days off tramadol going into months. Good for you! The key word here is OFF. Some may visit here, do a quick CT and never post again. Good for them too.
The important thing I stress, and all other past users stress, is this: Get off the trams as quickly and as safely as possible and never go back. How you do it and how long it takes you to do it is an individual thing. Find out where you stand, make a plan, change it as you learn and, when you're ready, stick to it come what may. The rewards are worth it.
In these PT days I will get rid of my remaining pills (all 163 of them!). And that's another area where some people may differ. Some flush all their remaining trams at the beginning of the cold turkey process and others (maybe not too many) keep them and get rid of them when the CT is over. But I venture to say that most start the CT when they have exhausted their supply. I will get rid of my supply maybe at 2 or 3 a day. Why? Why not just dump them all and be finished? One, I have no fear of going back to them. Not today. And only once during the worse part of the CT did I have a fleeting thought of taking one. Another reason is that I want to be able to have something to post here. I can write and celebrate that I flushed 3 trams down the toilet and I know that that might help someone who might be tempted to start taking them again. I can even call it "clendenon's 10 day flushing program" lol!
My appreciation to all that have helped me during this ordeal is huge. I send my thanks and love.
Lilyval your kind words overwhelmed me. I came here seeking help; and if by chance anything that I have said helped someone that just adds to my joy. Continue the battle, I will be here to help you count the days.
There is a pounding in my heart as I end this. Has it been only 20 days? What lies ahead? What is a tram free life after 6 years? I will soon find out. We all will.
Blessings to all. Lillyval, KC67, grandmagirl, Miss_Amy_2009, Trees and Tablets keep up the good fight. Wow! So many warriors! And thank you Emily Post, for your, uh, posts and for establishing this life saving forum....clen
I'm on day 5 (Is it really day 5?) tram-free. I feel much better than expected. The main thing that bothers me is that I have pretty bad abdominal pains that come and go without warning. But otherwise I have plans to go out and do things like a "normal" person today.
Last night I took my 5 year old daughter to see the Disney movie "UP". It was and hour and a half movie and I swear I probably spent almost an hour of it bawling my eyes out. Luckily the kid sitting on the other side of me also cried loudly at times so it made me not look so bad. So am I a post-tramadol basket case? Or is this just the real me who I've been out of touch with for so long? I hope the real me has better emotional control than this because I just started crying again thinking about that stupid movie.
Courage everyone - you can do this. I already have a glimmer that life post-tram is going to be so much brighter than being in the clutches of that nasty drug every day.
Happy to see everyone doing so well in our journey back to health. I'm still tram-free. Like Clen, I'm not counting the days but I think it's somewhere around 22, with my little slip 7 days ago, which didn't seem to set me back. I'm sneezing less, I'm experiencing less stomach pain, less anxiety, and less lethargy. I still don't want to get up in the morning tho, and could (and sometimes do) sleep many more hours that is necessary. I hate that!! I want to jump out of bed and grab the day by the tail and turn it to my will!! But alas, I pull the covers over my head and attempt to run back into unconsciousness. It's darnright shameful! :P
About the tramafog.... could it be when I'm sitting at a stoplight and the car behind me blows their horn because I've been caught by my cell phone and I've forgotten where the hell I am?? Hmmmmmm.......how many times has that happened in the last 2 weeks?? scary
Hello all. Greetings to all my friends in a taper, in cold turkey or just thinking about it. Best of health and strength. Another day has gone by without taking a tramadol. That in itself is a victory. Plus I have the added satisfaction of dropping 3 pills down the sink. No nostalgia, no regrets, no temptations. I hope it stays that way for a long, long time.
Now what about symptoms? Yes, they're there. Lingering in the background. Lethargy, headache, stomach and lower back ache. Tramafog? Could be. It's like being in some kind of haze for a few seconds. And this strange rushing sound in the head. It's all part of the package. Revenge of the Trams, part 2: Breaking up is hard to do.
I took some additional OTC medication today, one advil, 2 alka-seltzer, one Valerian root pill. Normal stuff for normal aches and pains. One thing I do know and everyone should know is this: Tramadol doesn't cure a darn thing. Whatever I had 6 years ago hasn't gotten better so if it hasn't killed me by now it never will. Tramadol's biggest lie is that one that whispers, "If you stop taking me you're going to get REAL sick". Rubbish. It's the other way around. Take tramadol and you WILL get sick.
Having said that what are we to do for real, strong pain? Easy answer for me: I don't know. But I do know that any narcotic pain killer is habit forming and will eventually hook you and then you'll have to face the horrors of withdrawal PLUS your original pain. Grin and bear it? Easier said then done. There are chronic pain forums here and elsewhere on the internet so that's a place to start. See what helps others and try it. Maybe alternative medicine; I just don't know now. (but I'm going to find out what works for me).
Lillyval, great to see you into day 5. May I venture to say the worse is over? I sure hope so. The fact that you went to a movie is a miracle in itself! That would have been impossible for me. Day five had me curled up in this chair just whistling through the cemetery, watching the minutes pass, urging the clock to speed up. Wow, good for you!
Tramaqueen, sleep is a strange thing. Some people are quick to get up in the morning, some just want to stay in bed all day. And some days it will vary. Remember getting off tramadols means going back to "normal", whatever that may mean. For me it means being lazy and slow to get out of bed. I can't wait to be completely there!
Blessings to all, too numerous to mention (and the list is growing)........clen
Your both suffering from with draw. I felt exactly the same way. One day at work I was fine in the morning and by noon I had called the husband and said "Oh my God I think I'm having a heart attack and my blood pressure must be too high" Husband got me into Dr's office that afternoon ..after a quick heart test and blood pressure check...Doctor announced. "It's not your heart"..I burst out crying and he wrote r/x for an Zoloft which I never filled...and gave me samples which I thru in the trash when we arrived home. I continued to cry for a few weeks ..but it passed ..along with the depression. I still have brain fog.. Can you Tell? writing and spelling? I have also noticed that coming off tram has affected my blood surger. So when I feel crappy I drink a protein drink and it helps a lot. Also lots of water and omega 3's.. know that you will feel better as time goes by...Hugs too both of you.
I have been out of town for a month. I am done with my first day 26 hours since I took 25mg of that crap!
This is the longest I have gone since last Christmas when I ran out and went a day and a half. I was taking about 9 a day at that time and it was hellish.
I was in South America the last time when I ran out 3 weeks ago and I bought some Tramal. The WD's dont seem to be as bad after taking the Tramal for a 3 weeks, I still feel like crap though.
Low energy, motivation to do anything.
restless leg syndrome last night big time.
flashes of intense depression
I am going for broke. I want to be done with this evil poison once and for all. I tried to talk myself into taking a couple of pills to get some things done twice today. I didnt give in and went down to my garage and pulled a motor and and transmission out of a car. I had been putting that off for a long while. As long as I can keep busy and get out of the house for a while I think I can do this.
By Harress : With all the attempts I've made to try and find help for the w/d from tramadol, I have not been successful and realize the doctors are not well informed about the hardships of stopping the drug. I did get a response from a drug company that manufactures this and they were surprised about my difficulty to get help, nor did they realize the problems this drug was causing( if this was the truth). I wanted to pass on that the drug company suggested that all victims and sufferers should report their experience to the FDA otherwise they never find out and nothing is followed up.If you believe this , it's worth a try. I was told my report was forwarded to the FDA. GOD willing and maybe some people do care out there Thanks for reading this. Harassed.
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