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.