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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

One step back....

I have been tapering tramadol for the past month...ish. I had got to 2/day which was half of my prescribed dose. (I almost always took only my prescribed dose but occasionally took like 6/day when my husband would get his rx in. So I was at that level when I initially started my taper). I was doing well up until this past week. It was a very crazy week then I had a business trip which just was exhausting. I ended up going back up to my 4/day this past weekend because I was tired, stressed and tired of fighting the anxiety I was getting from the taper. I continued this on my trip because I was exhausted and had a major headache from flying. I feel like I have thrown all my work tapering away. I'm so disappointed in myself. The only upside is that I have an appt with my doctor tomorrow! I was experiencing heart rate near 100/min while tapering. I plan on telling him this. I hope he can help me. I am feeling pretty down about what I've done right now.  I really want off this stuff.
70 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Jbean77
Not to sound harsh, but I think you need to make up your mind if you are truly ready to quit.  I took YOUR advice on tapering and came off of EVERYTHING after one week of tapering with your support (and many others)    The reason it worked is that I had enough of this crap and wanted my life back.  And now I DO and it's been 18 days clean!

I want the same for you, but have you had enough of living in misery?  Again... I dont want to be too harsh, but many have called me out and got me to where I am today.  If we are not truly ready to quit we are just spinning our wheels.  You can do this!  Good luck.  H.F.
5347058 tn?1381188426
Hi! Please don't beat yourself up over this. It will just be counterproductive. Try to identify what triggered you to not keep to your taper. Sounds like stress, and that's a biggie for all of us. What can you do differently next time? Please don't give up. Just get right back to your taper and keep going. I wish you the best of luck! We are here for you.
5518617 tn?1372430882
don't beat yourself up! the main thing Is you know you had a step back, you realized it and your ready to fix it! it takes a lot of strength to admit fall outs! you will jump right back on that horse and keep going! please keep posting and talking to us !
Avatar universal
Thanks ariley. I had just been doing pretty well on this taper which is very difficult as I know most people here know or can imagine. It definitely was stress at first, then my headaches from traveling, well flying. I think I'm going to ask my doc about that tomorrow too.

I'm wondering. Is it normal to "request" or inquire about clonodine? I just wonder what my doctor would think.  
Avatar universal
Thanks missmomma. I will say that during this past week i had been on MH alot less. I feel like everyone keeps me on the right track.
5347058 tn?1381188426
I think that is just fine to ask. your dr. knows what you are trying to do with the taper, right? If not I would be sure to tell him/her. I know that clonadine is a very common drug used during wds. It might help lower your pulse a little too. Just see what your dr thinks. Nothing wrong with educating yourself about your health and options!
5347058 tn?1381188426
Oh, and the headaches could possibly be from high blood pressure. The clonadine would help that since it's a blood pressure med.
Avatar universal
Ariley- thanks. I will definitely bring it up and see what he says. My appt is this afternoon.

Hydrofool-  I get what you are saying. I truly do. I am ready to be done taking this med. which is why i am disappointed with letting it take over again. Now, I have only moved back up to the rx'd amt which is 4/day from where I tapered 2/day. While yes, I agree I want to be done taking this medication bc I don't want to be a slave to having a pill every 6 hours just to feel "normal" I feel like I was telling myself this weekend that I was only taking the rx'd amt so it was ok. It's not ok with me though. I am ready, you know how I know? I sure as heck would not be putting myself through this drawn out taper if I didn't truly want to be done.  You aren't the first to call me out on here this time. More like the 3rd. Which I'm kinda torn over the "tough love". But I keep telling myself, it was a week of "not so good". I went to 3 a day then to 4/day for like 2 days. I got super stressed, exhausted from work, overwhelmed by my what seems to be constant fight with w/d symptoms and I slipped up. I'm human right? I am sure I'm not the first. I'm still committed to this.

That doesn't mean I don't feel bad for what I did which is why I reached out. Today I'm down to z3/day. I actually will be pushing my limit when I go to the doctor as far as being at the long end of not taking a pill. I'm curious as to how my stats will read, like pulse, blood pressure, Ect. That should be telling.  
5347058 tn?1381188426
Good luck at the doctors today. I hope you're hanging in there. I know how hard this is. You can do it! Stay strong and keep on pushing through. You will make it. We are here for you! :)
2122807 tn?1560619706
hey Friend,
in my opinion if you are tapering and have a business trip you are setting yourself up to fail. There is no way I could have tapered during a business trip.
In my taper I would start a decrease on Thursday so the worst would hit over the weekend and by Monday I wasn't peachy, but better for work.

Each Thursday I would decrease. This took 2 months but I was coming from a huge amount of oxycodone.

Set your mind to do it and do it, and please don't have naything in your plans to ensure your failure, like a business trip. Hunker down as much as you can, and when you jump off, take off the Friday and the Monday, or as much time as you can (I took my two week vacation for that) and take care of yourself, take vitamins and drink ensure when you can't eat.
love and hugs, you can do this too!
Lily
Avatar universal
Thanks lily-

I have had a lot of work things going on. It wasn't just this business trip. I have a pretty demanding job where I must be "on" all the time. I also have a toddler where my husband doesn't really volunteer to do things for me in that regard. It's "moms territory" for the most part. So my point is, throughout my tapering I have always had a lot going on. That just how it is and how it will be, if that makes sense. I hadn't even recently decreased actually. I just got way stressed with some things last week then recitals this past weekend and then my trip. I'm going to do this.... I just need to be around mh in order to keep me on track. I think stepping away for most of last week really didn't help. Who knew a website group would be so supportive!
Avatar universal
Update from the doctor: he basically thinks I'm dropping doses too quickly therefore feeling the physical effects and the not holding on to that decreased level. He said he wants to make a plan and stick with it. He said 3/day Til the end of my current Rx (which will be like 3-4 weeks, then make an appt. them he will write me an Rx taking 2/day for a month  (giving me no choice really but to take it no more than the Rx says or else I'll run out)   Then to 1/day. And then off. So I'm looking at like 3 months, which seems like an eternity!!!! I cried, told him I just want off this. That I'm so upset with the control this med has on me. No other medication has ever been like this. I have always taken other narcotics (with an Rx) short term, no problem.

Anyways. He said that knows I have a high demanding job on top of being a mom and that those stressors are just making it harder to taper quickly. He advisedly me to consider counseling to try to talk about the stress I'm dealing with. I've done this in the past, but got to where I felt like the counselor was advising ultimatums with my husband, instead of advice. Plus it's expense. But I am considering looking into it again.

Of course, I still have the option to try to drop more quickly. Even if its by a week or whatever.
Tonight I was thinking of getting a pill counter that devides them up by day. That way i have set up and allotted each day the amount I am allowed. I still am a believer in trying to go longer between doses.

Mentioned the high pulse but he said just dropping to quickly and dealing with the additional stress of my everyday life AND trying to get off these pills. He saw how distraught I am about being "dependent/addicted" to these pills. It's upsetting because its just not like me (if that makes sense). I just don't have that type of personality.

So overall, my take away is that perhaps slow and steady wins the race in my case.
5347058 tn?1381188426
I'm glad that you talked with your dr. and have a plan in place. I know you want to be done, but your dr is right,slow and steady wins the race. Hang in there!
5039239 tn?1364024671
Good for you getting on track with your doctor, start again and don't give up and you will succeed. Try to take some time for yourself when you can, relaxing bath, read a book, whatever you love to do that relaxing. Life can't be all work, we all need to smell the roses. Best wishes.
Avatar universal
I'm glad you have a plan in place, but I still hear many excuses.  Stress...family...job etc.  We all have them!  You are not unique in your excuses and I don't think I would be doing you any service by saying "it's okay"   Again.... I'm pushing you but..... have you really had enough?   You are staying at your current dosage for another 3-4 weeks?  That does not sound like someone who wants to quit. Sorry.....    Tapering rarely works and I think you are now seeing firsthand why.  Too many excuses can happen in 3 months.  I tapered in 1 week.  If I had tried to do a month, or 2 or 3 or 6 I dont feel it would have worked.  Did I get sick?  Yep!    There is no easy way out.  I think that is what we "think" we are accomplishing but it is not true!    From the tough love one.... H.F.  :-)
Avatar universal
HF- I definitely don't think I'm unique in having those things going on. I realize everyone has their own stresses to deal with. I am determined to not let them get the best of me. This is the plan my
Doctor wanted me to take. I think it's important to remember the length of time I've been taking this medication. It's been upwards of 18+ months. That's short compared to some on here but quite a bit longer than others. I believe that makes a difference. Again, not an excuse but a consideration.

What I stated above is the plan my
Doctor laid out for me. Like I said before I DO think it is slow. I don't WANT to go that slow but I do like having the option to do it that was so I'm
Not stressed to get off faster than I physically can (while still functioning). I know I'm gonna feel sick and such by tapering. I was down to 2/day and was fighting the w/d symptoms constantly. Looking back I honestly feel if I wouldn't have pushed that so much perhaps I wouldn't have for all intensive purposes thrown my hands up when I got overwhelmed with "life". (I'm not talking regular day to day work/life stress last week. I'm talking helping run a show with my 400+ dance students (and their needy parents)  for 4 days last week as well as performing THEN my business trip immediately following. Yes, I know it was an "excuse" to let tram take over, it was a mistake....I HAVE to move on).

My doctors taper plan is 3 months...,I'd like to at least cut that in half, if possible. If I can go faster GREAT, but I'm not stressed to HAVE to go faster. Does that make sense?
Avatar universal
Thank you ariley and 17mthsober. I definitely need to take some "me" time. I rarely get a break, which Im sure is a lot like most people on here.
Avatar universal
Jbean-  a proper taper is a slow process; dropping by small amounts over a period of time. A lot of people don't agree with doing a detox that way but...it works and the whole process is not a race. The goal is to get off of the pills and stay off!

I think your doctor's plan for you is a sound one and it's exactly the plan I used when I tapered over 3 years ago.  Also, look in to some quality time for yourself, changing up routines, a little more exercise, proper diet, etc...There's an Amino Acid Protocol in the Health Pages that is very useful.

If you commit to the process you'll do fine! Stay in touch!
3197167 tn?1348968606
Your plan sounds REALISTIC.....and with your dr. on board.....you will know as  you go forward....if you are the "stick to the taper" type.

We may ALL have SOME things in common....but HOW we get off the pills and HOW we "work our programs" are as individual as we are.

I have a loved one that has VERY SUCCESSFULLY done a slow taper off trams.  Exactly like your dr. laid out yesterday.  MUCH easier on the body.

Me.....I was an uneducated mess before I found MedHelper's.....I was taking up to 20-30 (10 mg) hydros a day and from June 6th to June 21st cut that down to 10/pills a day and JUMPED off.  That's just "me"....I HAD to do it that way.  I had tried to taper back in the days when I was only taking 6 pills/day......and a hundred other times....me, JUST ME, I could NOT taper....if my head knows there are pills somewhere....I'll find em'...like a hunting dog....and I mean NO MATTER who hides them or WHERE they hide them.  I simply had to have ALL those pills outta my house.
Your lifestyle, daily demands, etc. sound much greater than mine in the season of my life that I'm in.....and if you've only been on them 18 mos and can DO a taper......that's the BEST way to do it.  

I hope while you're adjusting and scheduling your life and all that entails...you will "intentionally" schedule some time for YOURSELF in there.  It's VERY important to love yourself TOO, ya know?  Thru this whole process.....allot some "me" time on your calender....relax time, hot bath/candles/music....time....giggle sessions....whatever makes YOU feel good.  
I'm rootin for ya......you go girl~
5347058 tn?1381188426
I just wanted to chime in about the stress. Stress is a killer. Not just to us addicts, but to everyone. It can be a huge trigger to us addicts, though. I am neck deep in a horribly stressful domestic situation right now, and honestly I don't know how I make it through most days. It is so important to vent and get that stress release however you can (in a healthy way of course) Have you tried journaling? It really can help. Also we are here for you if you ever need to talk, or just bit** about your day! Hang in there and try to get the stress under control.
Avatar universal
I want to say thank you all for your support. I realize that what I'm going through specifically with all this is totally different than others. I think we all have a slightly different story. The perfect plan or way of doing things cannot be the same for everyone. Plus, I think that its important to note that sometimes we don't always get things right the first time. I'm a perfect example of that.

I want to clarify (due to a PM I received, plus I thought it may be helpful for others). I have been tapering for awhile. I got back down to my prescribed 4/day tramadol after a week or so of taking like 6/day because I had taken some of my husbands rx. This was beg of april (ish). Then at an initial appt with my doctor regarding geting off my headache meds (that I scheduled and requested) the plan was for me to taper from Fioricet, my other headache med. This was started at the beginning of April And I was successful! I now only take this medication when absolutely necessary, which was the idea when it was prescribed however my doctor had allowed me to stay on the max dose for awhile. I then started to taper tram after that.

YES it has been a long road. Absolutely YES I would LOVE to just be off it now. I broke down in my doc appt to my dr yesterday because I'm upset about this entire situation. I took medications prescribed to me and became addicted/dependent.

I don't know if this is the right way to do things.... do we ever know? I'm confused in all this.

Avatar universal
thanks ariley13- journaling is a great idea. I don't feel like my stress is driving me to take my medication however I get overwhelmed with fighting the antsy feeling, anxiety, rls, ect that comes with w/d even with a drop in dose so then I will take another. Another member told me once just never go back up from what I had decreased to. I tried to live by that.... even repeated it to others but I just was overcome by things going on in my life.
2122807 tn?1560619706
Just checking in, how are you doing?
I am so so so glad your doc is on board with this. The best way to do it is to jump right in, of course, but people like you and me just can't do to the job and being a single mom, so take it slow, like the doc says. Three months sounds long, sure, but after a year of being clean it will seem like nothing when you are feeling so good, like me, so hang in there friend,
hugs,
Lily
Avatar universal
Lily-
I actually have only been taking 1 tablet every 12 hours for the past 4 doses so I think I'm doing well. I don't really feel too awful either. I start "feeling" it a bit right before 12 hours but other than that, i'm decent, just tired, but I know that's normal. I'm just going to try to keep this every 12 hours up (so 2/day) until I don't have any trouble with it at all and then I will try to spread them out even by an extra hour or whatever I can. I may be ok to do this in a few days, maybe a week, who knows but regardless i'm feeling pretty awesome about getting back to the 12 hours in between doses so quickly, and really without having to try too too hard as far as fighting w/d symptoms. Maybe since I had only gone up to 4day for a few days it made it easier to get here again.

I am also taking potassium and magnesium (and I need to add calcium to that mix too) which really seems to help with the restlessness factor. Online I had read that for w/ds to take 1000mg of magnesium although i'm becoming concerned that it may be too much for me. That is quite a bit more than the RDA. I'm researching this more now.

So, thanks for the support and the check in. I really appreciate it.

J
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