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Avatar universal

Getting off hydrocodone...need some answers, please

Hi all,

I will apologize in advance for my lengthy post, b/c I know it will be, lol.  I first began taking lortabs in 2003 after a major knee surgery (my 3rd, at the ripe old age of 28) that had a 50/50 shot of working (guess which side I l&ed on).  After months of PT & meds from orthopedic surgeon, he referred me to a PM Doctor - Oh boy, I should have missed that appointment!  So from then on, I was prescribed 120 lortabs (switched to Norco after a year because of tylenol content) per month.  Well, I did fine, took as prescribed, for about 2 years.  Then I discovered that if I took two at a time, I was "superwoman" - I could work full-time, raise my two children, & go to school!  Great, right?  Not so much - So, 4 a day turned to 8, to 12, to 14, you get the picture.  Obviously my script didn't cover this massive amount each month, so I doctor shopped, order from the internet, & even bought them off the street (none of which my budget could afford).  In 2009, my PM dr pulled my pharmacy records for the state, & found out about my doctor shopping - obviously they cut me off & dismissed me as a patient, but also, I had two choices - go to jail, or attend rehab.  I attended an outpatient rehab where I had 1 individual counseling session per week & 3 group sessions, & a monthly visit with the psychiatrist who prescribed me Wellbutrin & Suboxone.  I quit - obviously I had no choice, as I was drug-tested & did not want to go to jail, & finished the rehab program.  However, Suboxone proved to be a bigger hurdle than I could ever have imagined.  I felt like I had traded one addiction for another, not to mention the cost of the medicine & the looks you get at the pharmacy when you pick them up.  So I decided I would just quit the suboxone - I jumped from 8 mg/day.  Oh my, the withdrawals were horrendous!  I did not sleep for 8 days straight, & then got some Ambien from my mom, which allowed a couple of hours a night.  All in all, it took over 3 weeks for the restless legs, general malaise, insomnia, no energy, etc. to go away somewhat.  Of course, I was glad to be done with the drugs & swore I would never go through that again.  Apparently I am one stupid *****, b/c about 6 months later, I had dental work done (including a molar pulled), & got a script for Vicoden ES.  I swear, hydrocodone is like a siren call for me.  That one script was all it took.  I got a refill from the dentist, & then it was on.  I began buying them off the street.  Over the last year or so, my habit progressed to a 14-16 10/mg pill per day habit, which of course, no one can afford off the street. My husb& makes a good living, but it was very exhausting trying to find & hide money to buy the pills-every single day!  My husb& suspected, I denied, repeat, repeat, repeat, until we actually split up over something so inconsequential that it's unbelievable.  I knew I could not keep doing the pills & stay with him, & my addict's brain said "get rid of him, not the pills."  This past Thursday (about 2 weeks into our separation), I called him in tears, saying I could not live like this anymore.  I cannot keep lying to cover lies & searching for pills from my numerous street sources each & every day; the stress of the thought of running out of pills would make me feel like I was in withdrawals, two hours after I took 25 mg - It's crazy how our brains work!  Thank God, my husb& loves me & immediately met me & agreed to help in any way he could. I decided to go cold turkey - off of 140-160 mg of hydrocodone every day for the last 8-10 months.  Of course, I was & am scared, but I know it cannot be worse than the suboxone withdrawals.

So, after my rambling post, here is what has happened so far...
(By the way, my husb& travels for work A LOT, so we have many Marriott points - I stayed in a hotel the first two days & came home yesterday)

Day 1 (Thurs) - I had taken 25 mg at 9:00am, & my last 20 mg at 11:00am.  I had not slept the night before because I was so scared/stressed, so I slept from 5:00pm-11:00pm in the hotel.  I took melatonin & valerian root at 2:00am & slept until 10:00am the next morning.  I did have diarrhea several times that night, but I ate.  I also woke up with a headache at 11:00pm that didn't go away, even after 3 advils.

Day 2 (Fri) - HEADACHE & NO ENERGY, felt very light-headed & just generally crappy.  I took advil & tylenol for the headache, & was able to eat.  I only had diarrhea up until about 2:00pm.  I managed to get out & go to a Rite Aid with a GNC inside & bought 5-HTP, GNC "Go To Sleep" that has L-theanine in it (couldn't find the supplement by itself), L-Glutamine, Taurine, Sublingual Liquid B-Complex, a good multivitamin, Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc Supplement, Magnesium, Ester-C Vitamin C, & Excedrin PM for my headache that would not let up.  Friday night brought the oh-so-fun hurting, restless legs.  I had taken all the supplements, as well as extra valerian & melatonin.  I last looked at the clock at 6:20am & took 2 Nyquil capsules.  I managed to sleep until about 10:00am Saturday morning.

Day 3 (Sat) - HEADACHE from HELL & NO ENERGY again.  I took my supplements, drank a 5-hr energy, & drove home.  My kids think I'm sick, & have been wonderful (they are 11 & 16, so don't need me for every little thing, thank God.  Still no diarrhea since Friday afternoon (about 24 hours since last hydro), & never any vomiting.  However, my head hurt so bad, I took a Fioricet (no codeine in it, just butalbital, tylenol, & caffeine) that I have had for 3 years from when I got migraines - I hated them & never took them.  I also got some 1mg Xanax from a friend to help me sleep (also not a drug I ever abused or even took unless for a dental procedure, I am a pill-head for drugs that "give me energy", not make me sleepy - great distinction, huh?).  So, the fioricet made my headache almost go away; not completely, but definitely bearable.  Saturday night I took a fioricet & a xanax along with my supplements.  Slept like a baby - albeit a xanax-drugged one, I guess.

Day 4 (Sun) - Woke up with the devil's own headache again & NO ENERGY.  Took my supplements & some excedrin, along with a 5-hr energy.  Waited 3 hours - headache did not let up, so I took another fioricet.  Managed to make it through another day - mainly lying in bed with the laptop, reading this forum.  Took supplements, xanax, & fioricet before sleep. Slept well again.

Day 5 (Mon - TODAY) - Woke up with headache, but more like demon angel one, not the devil's own.  Still no energy.  I took my supplements & excedrin.  Headache does not abate without the fioricet.

*By the way, I never lost my appetite, never vomited, & only had diarrhea for 24 hours?

SOOO, my questions - if anyone has bothered to read my freaking novel -

Why did I only have diarrhea for 24 hours?  & no vomiting?  I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, if you know what I mean.  Am I "over the hump", or is hell waiting just around the corner?  I do have a very fast metabolism (always have had - hereditary), so maybe that helped me?

Is it ok to take fioricet for my headaches for the first 5 days or so, & xanax to sleep?  Or am I trading addictions? (Neither of these medicines have ever been part of my addiction, nor have I ever taken them recreationally - Fioricet makes my head feel funny, & xanax just knocks me out)

Thanks so much for bothering to read this, & extra thanks if you can respond & help!

Just reading this forum has helped me immeasurably, & I personally thank each & every one of you for posting.  At least I know I’m not alone-being an addict makes me feel like a piece of ****, even though I know it can/does happen to people from all walks of life; reading all of your posts helps me see that I am not quite so bad, just many bad choices.

3 Responses
1281286 tn?1310443938
Congrats on your incredibly difficult decision.....Your dosage is exactly like mine...18 Norco a day...and I sure quickly going up from there.
I am on Day 8, clean!! And, just my own personal experience, it was worse before it got better. For me it was the mental part that I struggled with. I wanted to die....I was angry, then crying for hours. But, this began for me on day 2 and continued until day 6. You may be one of the incredilby lucky ones. IF it does get worse. know it will get better!!! YOU CAN DO IT!
I did take Xanax for nightime,,not a great help, but like you, never a drug of choice for me. I was a upper pill popper, not the kind that made me sleepy. Perferred the "superwoman" effect! I do not know about the Fioricet, so can't answer that question....
I did not get "sick" with the diarrhea etc. until day 3....I struggled with the headaches, terrible backaches up until day 7...It is much better today. I took Advil...seemed to be the only thing that gave me relief.
I will pray for you.....I am only on day 8 but I can tell you I "feel" like me again. When I laugh it is almost like it is someone else. It is such real pure joy....not the fake person I had become on the Norco.
We are moms, we can do ANYTHING!!! If it gets worse...just hang on! It will get better:)))
1570583 tn?1326221721
Youre Amazing! You know you want to stop and you made it 4 days! Everyone reacts to withdrawls differantly, So If i were you, I wouldnt be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Chances are it just didnt effect your stomach as much as other people. When I withdrawls, my stomach barely gets upset. I just lose my appetite. Ha, Withdrawls is a great Diet Plan..
I have made it through 3-4 days several times and then just start using again. I think the Hardest part starts after all of the Physical pain and discomfort is done. Its that feeling inside your brain where all you can think about is pills and why you want them so bad. Mental urges are the DEVIL and in my opinion harder to handle than the physical hell. You are doing SO amazing so far. I would suggest Talk to your husband and a counselor to help prevent your mind from betraying you and making you go buy. For me its like I shut down and go into auto pilot. I dont think about what Im doing, I just get on the phone and hunt some pills down. Im a 24 yo Female and I support my disabled mom on my income alone. My mom, sister and Boyfriend dont know anything about my addiction. For me its so nice to have this place where I can openly talk about how it feels. I wish you the best of luck., reading your post has been an inspiration!! Good Luck staying clean. And keep Saying to yourself "I can do this. I wont go through those 4 days ever again"
Youre Awesome!!!
Avatar universal
Thanks Jammerson1906 and evilways for responding.  I am just scared that this is a trick - the worst is yet to come, you know?  I actually went with my daughter today and we got our nails done, and then took my son and his friend to Gamestop.  So, by far, a pretty good day.  Needless to say, I am tired, but I managed to do something with/for my kids today, and that feels good!

I forgot to mention in my first post that I do have, and have had, the yawning and sneezing from about 24 hours out, but no runny nose, etc.  If this is the worst of it, then I thank God with everything in my soul!  If not, it's no more than I deserve for having made such a stupid decision(s) yet again!  My husband is wonderfully supportive and will help me in any way he can, so I am lucky in that regard.  I will be attending a local NA meeting once I feel like I have a handle on this - there's one daily (during school hours) about 3 miles from my house.
I will be praying for all of you, as well as myself, in the days to come.

P.S.  God has quite the sense of humor - in the past 4 days, I have gotten 9 texts from different people wanting to sell, when usually I would have to go on the hunt for the pills...  Makes quitting that much harder, you know?  But I resisted, and am damn proud of myself if I do say so myself!

Good luck and hugs your way to everyone,
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