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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room, Part 15

Aug 18, 2009 - 197 comments
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Hi Everyone,

We're so glad to see you here.

Please come in and make yourself at home.

Love and healing,
Emily

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983592 tn?1249766535
by Gerty411, Aug 18, 2009
Hi y'aal,

I'm now in my third week of  getting off of tramadol.  I'm on day #3 of 25mg.  I never thought I would get this far.  A little more rls and sneezing.  Sometimes the most mundane thoughts or things bring the thickest most strong emotions to the surface and it can be downright frightening.

Overall alot of the fatigue is better.  I'm going to try an epsom salt bath tonight.  Hopefully it can take away some of my stiffness.

I've been trying to walk daily and have continued to bellydance several times /week.  I find that this feels wonderful and helps me to forget about all of my complaints.

Well, got to get back to work.

Good thoughts to you all!

Gerty

544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Aug 18, 2009
Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Part 15.

I spent this weekend cleaning in the disaster room, organizing the tremendous amount of "stuff" that I have apparently bought in my sleep. When I was on a ton of drugs.

It's kind of like ... Christmas in there, only more cluttered and way more terrifying. A fine representation of the whole drug experience came when I found a bag, with tags intact filled with four pairs of sunglasses. Four. Pairs. Of Sunnies. WTH? Not cheap glasses. YSL ... I stood there staring. Horrified. Drugs man, drugs.

Four pairs of sunglasses man.

Chaos. Complete chaos. And I sorted thru it ... again. It's a long way from being tamed, but it is better. Facing the fire.

It's been over a year since I have had tramadol, or pain meds for a couple of herniated discs and nerve damage in my right leg. It's been four months since I had any klonopin, a benzo which took me 6 minths to taper off of. The klonopin was prescribed for the 'side effects" of the tramadol. Out of the frying pan, into the fire. How I do hate my ex-docs. The whole, "Oh no, it's safe ... no no this is the safe set of drugs. It won't be a problem." Yeah. OK. Liars. How furious does this make me? Really really stabba stabba. I'm at a ten on the stabba scale today.

So, the weekend was extremely emotional and I have an emotional hangover of a pretty darn severe intensity. I am at work, which always helps. I have back pain today. The weather has shifted and it is cold. I woke up and thought about my days past in the parka. how, unthinkably awful all of that was. I had to wear a parka in public in order to keep on keeping on. I was, Creepy Parka Girl.  

I am not Creepy Parka Girl anymore, but if I get too stressed, my Benzo symptoms flare up. Right now it feels like i took a bat to the back of the neck. Everything hurts. It wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't so exhausting. It's a little exhausting to be me at the moment. And it's depressing. It's still not PAWS. Post acute Withdrawal Symptoms. That's 6 months out and I have a vague sort of hope that today and the weekend were necessary evils. What is happening now, is very very normal.

Ion asked me recently what books to read to assist sobriety.

I very much feel that sobriety is assisted by anything that helps you validate the very valid emotions that travel with withdrawal and even .. the emotions that cause you to turn to a "substance."

It really doesn't matter what substance we are talking about here. We could be talking about drugs, booze, bad relationships, overeating, food, ect. Many things can be used as a "drug."

I have always felt that the way to deeply recover is to learn about emotions and validation.

i.e. this morning I feel pain. I get mad that I still feel pain. I get sad. If I let myself be very angry, and I say, "Dude, this whole situation pisses me off! WTH!? Mo Fo! Grrrrrrrrrr!' It helps. I am feeling my feelings!  Of course i am angry. It's infuriating that this happened. It's valid. Of course i am sad. It's incredibly awful that the practice of medicine allows this to happen.

Every emotion I feel, is valid. It needs to be felt, acknowledged. Recognized. Your emotions do not care what your head says. They just want validation. Nothing else keeps you sober.

The denial of emotions causes tensions. It causes pain. It causes confusion. It causes hostility. It's one reason that "positive thinking" doesn't always work. It can be tremendously invalidating. If someone comes to me and starts to tell me about their emotions, I validate. Validate. Yes, naturally you are sad. it IS Sad.

Naturally you are angry, because it's infuriating. Drug withdrawal, is depressing. The only thing more infuriating is having people who do not know a thing about drug withdrawal tell you that you should be better. Of course, if you invalidate your extremely valid emotions, it all gets harder.

The process of learning to validate instead of ignore your emotions is ... not automatic. Everything that surrounds us, tries to invalidate the emotions. You are told that you "shouldn't feel XYZ ..."

But you do. So. Validate.

A book that helped me and that I love is The Grief Recovery Handbook  Author: Frank Cherry, John W. James ... available at Half dot come for 75 cents. This book talks about grief, and recovery, emotions and validation. It was profoundly effective for me, very simple and extremely dead on correct.

Another book ... which anyone who has had alcoholism in their family should read, "It'll Never happen to me," author Claudia Black. Very hard to read, and very enlightening. Explains alot of behavior. Useful book.

Drama of the Gifted Child ... Alice Miller ...  Alice Miller is brilliant. On every subject. This book is startlingly and brilliant.

Facing the Fire by John Lee. This book is about anger. I think John Lee is possibly the only author who has ever named anger as a very unique emotion that needs physical release. Most authors and most people in our Society insist that anger should be supressed, denied and invalidated. I will warn you about this book, it's heavy. Not light reading. But it did help me.

All things considered, I am doing very well. The benzo withdrawal took away my writing skills. It still does to a certain extent. So irritating. I read last night on a benzo site (probably didn't help my state of mind to be honest) and I realized how well I really am. In contrast. I didn't completely lose my life. I did become disabled, but not house bound. Not unable to drive. Not unable to function. Though I as and occasionally do function at a very low level. Validation validation validation.

It is terrible to go thru tramadol withdrawal. It's a wicked drug. A real little a$$hole drug. Coupled with many others, I do realize how lucky I am. But that doesn't mean I invalidate my emotions during the process. I have a right to feel the way I do. I support emotions and validate them, and that does help.

Kev I did have to laugh about the people at the supermarket and the giant diesel truck and no next of kin. I had a client at work scold me a few months back because I had stryofoam cups out, instead of paper. we'd run out. He said, "Blah blah blah aren't you ashamed now ...stryofoam cups are so bad for the Earth!" I replied, "Yeah, Um, worse than me .. .living on the earth? worse than the enormous footprint my existence casts?"

Of course, he said all of this while drinking my free water from my Styrofoam cup ...

People are hilarious, ridiculous and such great free entertainment at times!

Love and healing,
Emily

PS. You will recover. I did. I am. Be kind. be calm. Validate. It will be ok. It is terrible, and it will end. promise!



Avatar universal
by BarbsS60, Aug 18, 2009
Dear Emily,

My name is Barbs and I have no idea how I got to your letter (I'm new here)  however, I am glad I did.

Is Tramadol addicting?  I was told it wasn't as it isn't a narcotic.  My PCP prescribed it for a number of open  woulnds I have.
I am not a pain pill taker, usually.  But these wounds are very painful.  Back in 2004 I had back surgery (lower lumbar) and
the Doctors' tried a ton of pain pills out on me, most of which I was allergic to or had a reaction.

I was happy to find out the Tramadol didn't bother me and it somewhat helps the pain (especially at night)  The Tramadol is 50mg taken 1-2 every 12 hours.  At this dosage should I expect any problem?  I should be on it for about another month or so.

Sincerely,
Barbs

544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Aug 18, 2009
First, Barbs, so sorry about your open wounds. That sounds just terrible and I hope they heal and fast!

Barbs, tramadol has been reclassified as a Narcotic in the USA by several states. Australia and New Zealand have reclassified it and have it under strict control now. Tramadol produces a set of very wicked side effects when you come off it. Worse than many other pain pills.

It's too good to be true that tramadol isn't a narcotic and isn't capable of making you very ill.

I have no idea how long you have been on it, but it's good you'll stop in another month. I hope you get away scott free Barbs ... many others haven't.

I am assuming you were searching "Tramadol addiction" and that is how you ended up here.  You may have problems, and you may not. (barbs)

Good job Gerty! Bellydancing is awesome!

974630 tn?1248196062
by iontheprize, Aug 18, 2009
Emily, thank you for your very thoughtful guidance.  On a lighter note, I have written about my spare bedroom (AKA warehouse for shopping sprees of days gone by).  It makes me so upset to see the wasted money.  I wound up  giving a lot of new things away to make amends with that habit of mine.

I feel really silly at the moment and have a comment about the question "is Tramadol addictive?".....  due to the fact that I have pretty much emerged from the torment of weeks of w/d symptoms, I can find humor in that question.  Also, most FedEx personnel will tell you that, Yes, it is addictive.  I mean no disrespect; I promise.  How fortunate you are to ask this question with such innocence!  Barbs, you are lucky that you don't know how addictive it is.  I hope you heal quickly and get off that stuff soon.  It's a cunning little devil, that Tramadol.

~jessica

974630 tn?1248196062
by iontheprize, Aug 18, 2009
Mike, you are humorous today! I think if you put about 2 cups of Epsom salt into the bath, that should be fine.  I however, like everything, thought more is better.  Anyway, I used 1/2 BOX per bath was perfectly overdone for me!  I figured all the money I was saving by not spending it on shopping and Tram added up to tons of salts!  I still have 1/2 cabinet of containers left.  Hopefully I will never ever use them for w/d again.  

Thinking of all of you and sending healing energy your way!

~jessica



983592 tn?1249766535
by Gerty411, Aug 18, 2009
Emily,

I truly enjoyed the "Ode to the Trammy Shopathon"!  I have spent thousands of
dollars on stuff.  Mostly makeup and clothes while completly zoned on tramadol.  I have bought the same magazine twice because I forgot about buying it the week before.  I still have stuff I have never used or worn.  

What is it about that crapping drug that allows me to go crazy at the mall?

I feel like such a brat for spending all of that money.  I could have financed a nice vacation with my family. In fact, pherhaps that will be my gift to them when all of this is settled down.

Big time rls today. Every time I notice my legs/toes are moving nonstop.

oh, and today in my wonderful trammy wd haze I reached in my labcoat pocket and pulled out a tampon instead of a pen.
It''s a bear being a women.

peace

Gerty





....

544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Aug 18, 2009
Come on over to my house Gerty, we call bellydance while wearing sunglasses.

Bring two friends!

(and tampons, natch)

599071 tn?1300072302
by madtram, Aug 18, 2009
Emily, thanks for being you & here & now.  Validation such a strong & clean concept, we are under so much pressure to stay in our roles of lawyers, business women, moms, sons & daughters etc & our societies are not generally tolerant of diversity of feelings & behaviour.  Even so called alternative cultures have strong rules guiding behaviour. Nature, however, thrives on diversity & partly on chaos.  We are all wiser for sharing  creepy parker girl, stabba stabba girl, paint can wielding, compost king Kev, poetic Nancy & all the range of emotions that we have shared here.  Life is often crazy, how can it not be valid to respond accordingly.

Gerty, me too on the makeup hoarding, I have enough to supply fashion week all around the globe & I will never use most of it.  I guess I can supply the local thrift shop with its own beauty counter.

One small unexpected positive benefit of goldfish brain, I find that I have completely forgotten some of the books I read while on tram, so can reread some of my library as if for the first time.

Best to all from another member of  humanous ridiculous.



Avatar universal
by MIKEHELP, Aug 18, 2009
yea the list of benefits from epsom salts is aslong as a scroll. every bath i have from now on will contain epsom salts.
you know magnesium is really important and you dont digest it orally. wika pedia it. anyone tried radox muscle soak?
i still have 100 tramadols downstairs and 3 valiums in my room. i just look at the tramadol and shudder.


Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Aug 18, 2009
Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone knows about Lyrica......my doc suggested it for me as i am almost 2weeks without tramadol and i am doing well, however i have constant pain in my neck and other chronic pain areas.. i dont want narcotics, however wondered if Lyrica was a better choice?? any suggestions or advice is appreciated (good news or bad please).

BarbsS60..........i was on tramadol in small doses for about a year off and on.. the w\d's are terrible and can happen even at small doses.. the drug is addicting, even if you dont really feel like you are addicted to it.. i never took narcotics in my life and just recently suffered trying to come off of it.. avoid it if you can..

best wishes to all of you!!



599071 tn?1300072302
by madtram, Aug 18, 2009
Hi Farrah, Lyrica is one of those drugs that will either suit you or not but you will know from fairly early on if it's for you, it doesn't have nasty surprises that sneak up on you like tramadol.  People seem to either love it or hate it.

630 people have rated their experiences with Lyrica on this link:-

http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=21723&name=LYRICA&sort=satisfaction&order=0

Glad to hear your other tram withdrawals have eased.

710395 tn?1249143251
by kevzx81, Aug 18, 2009
michelle/madtram-YES-insane responses are all we have sometimes. Thank you for the validation. It seems increasingly difficult to respond with a straight face in numerous situations. "Better that they think us mad......" . Nero has his fiddle out and everyone is in love with the entertainment.
The blackberry season is early!!! HURRAH!!! While cultivated crops are suffering here, wild plants are doing better. more adaptable maybe? Insect populations are up too. I have seen some positivey obese robins,sparrows,wrens etc. One robin in particular looked like it literally had a tennis ball inserted in it! It was waddling around a few feet from where I was digging and can robins look smug? It had no right to, it could barely jump,let alone fly! Does it have a tv in its nest perhaps? This robin belongs on a McDonalds xmas card!!!

If only our own absurdity was as easy to see.

983592 tn?1249766535
by Gerty411, Aug 19, 2009
Hi y"aal,

I've been thinking about validation.  Now I'm beginning to understand that I used T to help me to validate my emotions.  I'm daily exposed to stressful situations with patients that are often quite sad and at times frightening.  T made me feel that I could  always be in control and optimistic.  It also made me feel happy no matter what.

My emotions are part of me .  I can be rambuctious but that is me. How sad that I felt and sometimes still do that I have t
o continue this emotional conformity.

Off to work!

Love, Gerty

Avatar universal
by MIKEHELP, Aug 19, 2009
anyone going through withdrawal from tramadol or any other semi synthetic opiate or opiate and is following the  thomas recipe,
you cant just take vitamin b6 on its own. if you are magnesium deficient which most of us are or have low levels of zinc the b6 will not work. so you would need to take zinc  . magnesium ( doesnt have much effect but still )  epsom salts forces magnesium into your body.

Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Aug 19, 2009
thanks madtram for the advice, i will look into the link for sure, wishing everyone a successful tram free day!!

Avatar universal
by saphire1, Aug 19, 2009
finding farrah

lyrica has a lot of side effects and if you have to come off it it has to be tappered very slowly under a physicians care. After being on it over a year I no longer felt any benefit from it and my bowel stoped functioning. my GI doctor told me to get off it . WD from this drug was horrible. I initially tappered too fast, wound up ithe hospital with atrial fibrillation,chestpain and anxiety so bad I thaought I was having a heart attack. had to go back on the med and taper over 6 weeks. the depression associated with coming off it was worse than the tramadol. Afriend of mine was also on it and to controll her pain her dr kept raising the dosage as she became tolerant to it. before long the side effects were worse than drug. The brain fog, and swelling of hands and feet was so bad she had to take 2 months off work and tapper . Stopping this drug or weanning too fast can be fatal! It can cause seizures heart arythmias and suicidal ideations.  I'm not a fan of this drug.







973576 tn?1284817920
by Rockandahardplace, Aug 19, 2009
I've been reading your posts on and off for a couple of weeks while I was trying to wean myself down from 30+ trams a day to zero. Never made it to zero. Just got sick of it and stopped yesterday. Physically I am doing okay but emotionally I feel like my dog died or something....bad...sad.  You guys are proof to me that it can be done and I am so grateful for that.  I was expecting more of a physical war, which I knew I could handle....but emotional pain??? Eeeeewww! I don't like that at all. I can do anything if my state of mind is halfway okay. ..but it's not today.  Nothing at all is okay.  Laying in bed...nope. Reading? Nope. Walk? nope. What can I do with my sad-*** self? I do have things I could do and have tried to do them and end up quitting mid-project. I certainly know what a "ner do well" is.  Any suggestions as to what would fill a seriously depressed woman's time in early and heavy detox?  Counting beans?...my fingers?  the holes in the ceiling?....you'll be hearing more from me when I am more coherent...I'm B. B tween a rockandahardplace. bye and thanks for any suggestions.

895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Aug 19, 2009
Hi Rock! I just wanted to let you know you are not going crazy. It is the T w/d causing the sadness. My experience was similar since I went cold turkey without realizing I would experience withdrawal. The physical part was easy compared to what some have shared. However the sadness was quite unexpected and I spent some time trying to figure out why I was depressed before I realized it was withdrawal.

A couple of things mentioned have been St. John's wort and 5HTP (don't really know what that is, just that someone mentioned it helped), Epson salt bath. Perhaps Madtram will return with her great references for natural mood enhancers. I haven't tried either of these but plan to this week (week 9 tram-free) since I'm still experiencing depression on and off. It's frustrating since I should be looking for employment but can't do very much toward that end with these weird mood swings. Some people have been helped with anti-depressants (look in the depression forum and search "withdrawal depression"), and although they are not addictive, they do have side effects and must be tapered off from carefully. There is also good info on the web on Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) which helps explain what is going on. I'm stalling on seeing a shrink since I hope the depression will become more manageable in the next few weeks. I keep wanting to ask people who had this "When did it end?" But each of us is different so there's no one answer.

Each time the sad mood hits, I remember it is withdrawal and remind myself that since that is true, it will pass. It is only temporary. Also, I remember not to listen to any of my negative thoughts while it is happening--they are not reality. I know this since after it passes, I am once again optimistic and basically happy. It was hard to get motivated to walk at first, but I started on 15 minute walks around the block and at a local park. I made myself as if I were fighting for my life. When I got back, I did feel better. I did the same with a daily outing--a short trip to the store or library. Again, I didn't want to do it, but it kept me in touch with the flow of life, and I know I needed that to get through this tunnel. Now I am walking 45 minutes a day and taking care of other things. Just one call to a friend helped, too, even though I hate talking to people when depressed--I let them do the talking and just listen. Glad you have found this site. Posting and reading is a huge help. You are not alone. You are a Tramadol Warrior. Please let us know haw you are doing! Linn

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 19, 2009
Hi to you all.  I havent found a quick way to get to the latest posts on here so some days havent the energy to trawl through from the beginning. ( I am not good on computer as you will gather!)

I want to say to Rockandahardplace. THank you! You may not think you could encourage anyone at the moment - but you encouraged me!  I watch the clock from the minute I wake up, just longing for it to be night time and time to take my mirtazapine antidepressant and my zoplicone sleeper so that I can escape.  Sometimes I get 6 hours and sometimes just 2 hours. For the whole day I am a total waste of space and paralysed from functioning by - I dont know what!

It is now 25 days since I jumped off the tramadol C/T. I seem to get worse not better. However...I am forcing myslef to walk for 20 minutes twice a day. I haul my poor tired frail 65 year old body around the village - just so that I wont become even more frail.  Also I juice a mixture of celery,beetroot, fennel, carrot, red pepper and ginger each day. I drink it mixed with 30mls of flax seed oil as I heard it helps with detox. I am going to buy epsom salts tomorrow!!!!!!

I have spoken to many helplines, GP's, drug agencies etc - and no one knows about tramadol. Just you guys here!  However last night I spoke to a man in Scotland who runs a helpline from 7 - 10 pm on  a Tuesday. He did speak with authority.   He told me that the 75mg of tramadol I was taking is the equivalent to 2 bags of street heroin a day! (No wonder it hurts!) Is he right????  He also told me that the brain does not recognise that the receptors are without endorphins or serotonin until week 5 after the last tablet. After that it begins to re-load it at 2% per day. After week 8 or 9 we should feel better.

Now I have no idea if this guy knows what he is talking about. He is a pysciatric nurse and has made a point of studying effects of prescribed drugs. He certainly seemed to believe what he was saying.  I am just checking it out with all of you here!

He advised me to take a 1000mg of 5htp a day! (I had been taking 300mg). I did this and had a very bad upset tummy today. Could it be this or coincidence?

Michelle. I am taking your advice and staying with the mirtazapine. I had the most awful depression (pain right in my solar plexus )after trying to reduce!  I cant lose the zopiclone though as sleep is what keeps me alive.

2Sue. Thank you for the story about your aunt. Its so good to know she is better.

Nancy652. How many days are you off the T now?

12 stepper. Thank you for your post and great to know you made 9 weeks. When did you turn the corner? And have you lost the ativan too?

As you can see I am grasping for every bit of encouragement. Today has been bad. Vary bad. But then it has been bad for 8 months.  I was withdrawing all that time without knowing as I took a sub theraputic dose and blamed the symptoms on diazepam w/d. (I am on 8mg of diazepam now). I am so tired and desperate for it to end.  Might I be experiencing PAWS at this stage or is that a delight for later? and does everyone have it?

So nice to be able to ask you folk.
God bless
Chrissie



973576 tn?1284817920
by Rockandahardplace, Aug 19, 2009
Hi again. Thanks 12stepper for the advice. I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse, but I am on two antidepressants and have been throughout my addiction.  Maybe it will make the mood thing better quicker maybe it'll make it that much longer before nature steps in...who knows! I just made it to and from the grocery store on my own, which is a huge accomplishment for me, considering I had to eat and dress and do all those things that seem to take forever to do before you even get to go out to your car...I took the last cash I have for the month with me and didn't have enough for everything I needed. It was embarrassing.  I don't know about you guys, but I spent money when I was high on tram...loved to shop. Now I have a closet full of clothes and no money to go anywhere where I might be able to wear them....and a fridge full of food and a tank almost full of gas and no more money for 12 days!  I've taken back what I've been able to. Now I live with the consequences. Want to go get some epsom salts today and might have enough in my change pile to do that...the rest of the remedies will have to wait..   What a mess.  I can't even believe you guys have so much time away from this drug...9 weeks??? that's unbelieveable!  I want to jump onto my favorite site right now and pull out the c/c and order away for a tomorrow delivery and the end of this horrible place I am in right now.  But it has been too long and too hard getting to this point and I just need to hang in there.  Ya know what would be really a good distraction right now? Going up to the indian casino and gambling for a few hours....yeah, and I guess I am showing the world how totally stupid and insane I am....couldn't do it cuz my c/cards are maxed out from tram anyway....lol.  I didn't know my ID name here would be so apropos. The rattling mind of a two day de-trammer....Anybody got any good JOKES?

Avatar universal
by MIKEHELP, Aug 19, 2009
hi rockhard ive just come through a withdrawal you just have to stay positive. always think positive. believe in yourself.
it might take you to the lowest and darkest place on earth and  feel like you will be their for life but you wont.
people only become clean when the desire to be clean is greater to use.
rock have you read the thomas recipe? its a home opiate withdrawal method. find it and follow it.
it is great. have 2 or 3 hot baths a day. get loads of epsom salts.drink water and even try taking some vitamins.
vitamins are so good for you. especially zinc and vitamin c. your body wont be able to use the magnesium from the epsom salts if you are zinc deficient. good luck
------------------------------------------------------------

chrissie that guy sounds like he is speaking some truth. flax seed is great.  at the end of the day do not pay attention to RDA'S
they are a load of rubbish. i think the rda for vitamin c is roughly 60 mg to 100. i take 1500 to 2000mg a day. the worlds scientists are very divided on RDA'S.

-------------------------------------------------------------

i hope this helps guys if it doesnt make sense sorry my heads a bit messed up from you know what!

895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Aug 19, 2009
Chrissie, Thank you for sharing your info. The 5 weeks until the brain realizes it doesn't have the endorphins sounds about right since I didn't feel depressed for a while--made it so hard to figure out. I think PAWS begins anytime after the acute phase--so you do qualify. But knowing that does help us to remember it is the Tram. talking and not the new reality. And it will pass. I'm so impatient.

I felt much better after about 45 days. In the last two weeks I've done much better but have to do a lot of maintenance to keep depression away. I want to be able to say I really tried everything else before considering an antidepressant (I don't have anything against them, I'm just so shell-shocked from meds right now, I see them as a last resort).

We have got this far and we don't have any choice now except to keep going forward. And I have to look at the good that has come out of the pain. I'm exercising more now than in years, and that alone is helping with many physical problems--like age, for one!

Rockandhardplace, you are doing great. You quit Tram and are on your way. You are making it through the hardest part right now. At the time I was going through the worst it seemed like it would never end, but it does, and you will feel so much better. Good to hear you made it to the store. Please stay in touch. The people here are such incredible loving warriors! Linn

Avatar universal
by MMarty, Aug 19, 2009
I am so glad I found you. I am so upset about tramadol I scream on a regular basis. I have had opiate pain killer addiction issues in my past. To keep myself from ever going there again I told all of my doctors "NO narcotic pain killers". It's on all my medical records and still an ER doctor prescribed tramadol because he told me it was non narcotic and non addictive. I have beenh addicted for 3 years now. Tried many times to CT but after 7 days I would cave because I could not care for my daughter in the fetal position. I tried once more CT about 2 weeks ago and found these boards. After day 6 of severe flu like symptoms I went back on the lowest dose I could handle and function. I started at 8 and am down to 6 a day. Doesn't sound like much but it was nothing for me to swallow 6 at a time several times a day. I am going to try 5 tomorrow, I want out of hel* and want my life back. If anyone every suggest tramadol/ultram then run like your life depends on it because it just might.

God bless you all, your stories have helped more than you know. Marty

599071 tn?1300072302
by madtram, Aug 19, 2009
Dear chrissie, to find this page again, just add a bookmark by using your browser toolbar, then you just click on the bookmark & it will return you here.  Good on you for getting outside & walking, vitamin D is important to mood & you are probably deficient if your appetite is down so the more sun exposure the better.

As for the advice of your psych nurse, I think it helps to know that you have indeed been through a chemical change of great magnitude, as is withdrawal from heroin & also that it will come to an end.  The specifics of equivalency & timing are a lot more individual in my experience.

Tramadol is a synthetic opiate which acts on the mu opiate receptor at a strength of approximately 1\6000th of morphine so it's difficult to compare with heroin since the mechanisms are different.

The half life of tramadol is around two days which means that for most people, their systems will be clear of the drug by this time.  This does not answer when the nerve receptors will recover their sensitivity which is a highly individual thing but is influenced by how long you have been taking tramadol.  In your case,as in Emily's, mine & many others, receptor functioning is also significantly impaired by the effects of the benzos.  No neurochemical in the nervous system acts in isolation.  Benzos act to increase the effect of GABA, the main inhibitory neurotrasmitter so any changes to GABA levels will impact on serotonin, noradrenaline & dopamine as well.

Please don't feel that I am pressuring you into anything you are not ready for but I do believe that the benzos are a significant part of your problems & think that you will regain so much more strength when you can get away from them.

To this end, can you ask your doc about switching your sleep med to ambien?  The rationale is that ambien acts specifically on the benzo receptors associated with sleep whereas zopiclone is more like valium & acts nonspecifically on the receptors.  This may enable you to start tapering off the valium without losing your precious sleep.

Linn & Mike, great advice on managing your thinking, it's so important not to believe everything you think, especially when those thoughts come from a nervous system under stress.

Rock, welcome to the warrior clan.  I can't add much to the others advice, I agree with you that distraction is the key in the early days, maybe rent some extra funny movies, get out in the sun, even if you have to crawl off the couch. Most importantly, know that this is a process, a non linear one for sure, but every single one of us recovers & every day without tramadol brings you closer to that point.

Hugs to all,
Michelle

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Aug 19, 2009
I love your posts too Michelle. It's such great info.
I really believe this shopping thing is widespread. I noticed this about five years back but I thought it was just me. Wow.

Emily so glad to read your posts. It's like an honor to have you, the Tramadol wd pioneer, here on your thread. I will never be able to thank you sufficiently for changing my life. Truly, madly as they say.

Chrissie I am SO  glad you're still here. Thank you for asking..I am a full week off! Party! But no Tramadol!
I think you're getting some good info. I'm not sure if it is all correct since its not my field, but you're learning and that's key. Bless you for trying, we should all be so brave.

Hugs to Gerty, Mike Finding, 12 Step. rock and Saphire...I hope I didn't miss anyone.

Kev...how lovely your story is and the report of the state of the graden. I had a full garden at my previous house, even a pet duck but now I'm a city girl and here is just my pepper and eggplant on the balcony. I wanted to do full hydoponics but I'm too poor and weak right now:)

If I forgot anyone, forgive me.  I had a regular day...woke up early and walked a bit with a swim. The exercise is important, I think. Really helpful. Just gentle since I want to ease back to a healthy patter. I've really WANTED  the air and slept better last night because of it.

Hugs to all
Nancy



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by Gerty411, Aug 19, 2009
hi y'all,

To MMarty,  There are many ways to get off tramadol from cold turkey to tapering.  The key to tapering is doing it slowly and having a schedule already figured out prior to beginning. I started 7/27  at 750/mg per day and currenly am down to 25 mg/day. This Sunday I'll be down to 12.5mg/day and then I plan on jumping of soone after that.  I  know how you feel.
I'm proud you are doing so well.  Keep it up and get off of that crapping drug!  We are all hear for you.

Nancy,  So happy that you are a week out!!!!

Any smart comments I can use on the next Trammy sales associate that unwittantly calls my house.  I can't think of any more myself.

I wonder if the fed ex man knows how many times he's thought about.

Love, Gerty

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 20, 2009
hello all you late night tram dodgers! Here is one about to lose it to the restless body syndrome that is attacking her ability to stay still comfortably...makes it about impossible to type more than a sentence at a time.I've taken some dextromethorphan to try to help the RLS, to no avail yet. I also took a muscle relaxer a bit ago and hope that it will allow me to return to sleep...sweet sleep which is so hard to come by lately. Finished with day two without tram. I actually stopped on Sunday and then saw my doc on monday and he gave me a few more....so I took them all that day and started my sobriety countdown yesterday. Wish beyond wished that I were closer to the end of this than the beginning, but I tknow I'm not. I have absolutely no support system to help me through this detox. You guys are it. And that makes me so very grateflul that your're there. It's on for real now. and it really *****. Went from 30 to 15 pills in about a week and then couldn't follow the titrate any longer so I just took what I had and then stopped when it was all gone.I am currently so uncomfortable within my own skin that I can't focus to ask for help and or suggesttins   I gotta go now and will try to write something more then.  B

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by jbr999, Aug 20, 2009
Hi rock,
Ct is a hard way to go,  I did it for 5 days about 6 months ago and caved, thinking, after 5 days of feeling like he11,
that it couldn't be w/d after that much time.  I learned differently here on these forums. Seems like 4-7 days for the worst of it bo be over. This time I'm tapering slowly, hoping to avoid the chills, feeling hot/cold at the same time, the flu like symptoms of aching all over, the sleeplessness and restless legs, etc. that all u tram warriors know so well. Right now I'm just very tired, like my body weighs a ton and it's har to make myself move, even to get up to go the bathroom. I am down to 75mg a day, 25mg at 10am, 4pm and 10pm.  I will stay on this for a week, to let my body get used to this small amount, then go to 50mg, for a week, then 25mg for a week then off...for good! Yes the emotions are labile, with a lot of depression, feeling hopeless, inadequate for the tasks of life.  You people are my lifeline now. Thanks for being here.

~jbr999

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Aug 20, 2009
Helloooo Tramadol Warriors!

I  have busier than a $10.00 dollar ***** on a $500. dollar night at work lately.  I apoligize for not hanging out more with you guys.  I am facing self imposed pressure to be totally caught up before taking off for a vacation. And I am beginning to think it aint goning to happen.  

Nancy, I am still smiling over your "weatherman cat" post a couple days ago.  

You remind me that there was SO much of life that passed me by while in the TRAM-OFOG.  Forget the stars and the moon, I was discovering all sorts of things right around here, that were simply blotted out of my purvue while on trams those six years.  

At the time, I thought I was energetic.  I am told Meth addicts feel that way too - except nothing is finished.

At the time, I thought I was feeling well (except when I was unwell which was most of the time.)

In the weeks coming out of the tramafog, I began to feel emotions that had been bottled up inside while on the drug.  I began to cry and shed tears over simple things again.  Like over mamma birds being chased out of their nests by the 4th of July fireworks down the street.  TEARS.  

We have a security system and there are signs outside.  In the weeks coming out of the tramadol fog, I realized for the FIRST TIME that the signs were in the shape of a stop sign.  "what a good idea" I thought.  Why hadn't i ever noticed that?  It's the FOG baby.

If any one of us were to actually sit down and write out a list of the "discoveries" we have found once coming out of the fog, it would be scarry.  Things like Michelle's books she hadn't recalled reading, or the movies I watched multiple times yet only had a vague recollection of seeing them before because I was existing in the mind numbing fog this drug causes.  

Death by tramadol may actually happen suddenly for some  Siezures mainly.  But most of the time, tramadol simply steals our precious moments we are given to live on this planet with our children and animals and books and gardens, etc. etc.  As we sit gazing out the window or across the room in a constant happy haze while those precious moments and those precious people SLOWLY pass by... tic toc tic toc tic toc.  

I imagine that if we could get enough of this drug, such that we continued taking "theraputicly increasing doses of this drug" we would be able to live out our lives and never have to feel again.  

To never cry or laugh with the children given into our care.

To never really notice that our FINITE time in this world is passing us by.  or if we noticed, we would not care.

While we sit in our recliners and watch for the FedEx truck.  tic toc, tic toc, tic toc.

Is this synthetic opiate safe and non-addictive Barbs?  Sadly it is nether "safe" or "non-addictive".  

Not one of us found this place by googling "my wonderful life".  I expect that EACH of us got here after we began to feel those all too common withdrwal symptoms caused by tolerance to this drug that impacts each one on the drug over time.  When we began to question the wisdom of what our doctors had told us.  And we googled "tramadol withdral".  Or maybe rat poison!  

*****

Kev, Madtram, Emily, you continue to be the rocks of this place.  It is amazing to me how each one here adds a slightly different FLAVOR to the overall tonic required to beat this devil.  

To all of you in the dark days of working off this drug, my deepest wishes and prayers are with you.  

Rock and Marty, all I can say is that your stories remind me that I am so thankful that I was mercifully able to string moments into hours into days into weeks into months to finally become WELL again.  Each one of us will take a different path and find our own way.  This journey begins with just a glimpse of hope.  That regardless of how long we took this stuff, no matter what our daily dose, no matter (insert all the reasons _______why it just doesn't seem possible for US to beat this) IT IS POSSIBLE to becomeWELL again after discontinuing this drug.  

Gerty, those calls from the "sales associates" telling you "it's time to re-order"  are so annoying.  Here is what I would do if I were you:  (1) stay calm and polite and get as much information about the saller as possible.  his/her name, direct phone numbers, the name of his/her supervisor, ask what sort of list they have you on, (it's gonna start getting ugly here) get the name and address of their risk manager person, (if they are still on the phone at this point, it will get REAL ugly) ask them for the name of their liability insurance carrier is and how to make a claim.  (2) Next the "telling".  If they are still talking at this point, they are probably repeating something like, " I cannot give that information out".  That's fine.  Next tell them that you expect them to take your name and contact information off every list they have.  Ask them if they understand what you are asking them.  Tell them to send you confirmation that they understand what you are asking them.  (3) tell them that there are laws and huge penalties for making unsollicited phone calls like they have been making to you.

I'm not sure if this will help or not, but you might feel more empowered than snapping at them.

Sweet Dreams to all (I hope),



Avatar universal
by MMarty, Aug 20, 2009
You all make me laugh...I am on a first name basis with my Fedex driver...lol. I will NOT miss him and the shameful rattle of a pill bottle when he hands me the pack. VERY sadly I asked him about delivering meds because we have become friends. He told me that he is in my nieghborhood daily delivering "medication" by the dozens. Wonder if he realizes he is the local drug runner? Marty

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 20, 2009
I have had my tram shipped to the local FedEx holding facility all along. It's safer and easier for me.  Anyhow, about two months ago I got out of my car at the FedEx and noticed a sort of 'grim reaper' face looking back at me from behind the tinted glass of a crew cab truck.  Figured it was some kid or something.  Went and got the package inside and came out to find this face looking at me again. Tracking my every move. I was going to go though my usual routine of eliminating the evidence - pulling off Rx labels, tearing my name off of the package and things like that before I got going again, but this face..this spookiass face would NOT stop watching me. If I moved, it moved. Creeped me out. So I left right away to go and do the breakdown elsewhere. As I pulled out, it watched me go as if it were looking into my eyes the whole time!  That was my one really WEIRD FedEx experience. Prayed I wouldn't run into that again at Fed Ex or anywhere else, ever.  Kinda gave me a creepy message....like "keep this up and I'll be sitting in your backseat"....hahahahha

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by 12Stepper, Aug 20, 2009
Another day tram-free and so far no dragons (depression) to fight. Just caught up with the posts and was reminded by Madtram that Benzos do increase the effects of the T. and therefore increase the time needed to recover from T. That may be why I seem to have this lingering intermittant depression after 9 weeks tram-free. I was prescribed Ativan at the same time as T. to help me sleep. When the pharmacy ran out of the Ativan, I thought no big deal, but went into a terrible withdrawal. Finally discovered what was happening and tapered off Ativan while still taking the T. for 3 more months.

The two must have worked together since it does seem like my body is taking so long to start manufacturing its own feel-good chemicals. As I am currently having a good day, I can view the positive side of this ordeal: It has strengthened my resolve to stay away from opiate-based pain meds (I had used hydrocodone before T.) and anything resembling a benzo. I'll have to research every pill I'm prescribed before taking it. I believe this is a healthy mistrust.

Really enjoy everyone's sharing. Have a good day, Warriors! Linn



Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 20, 2009
Just a short one tonight folks as its been a hard old day.(Couldnt even make it to get my epsom salts!) I am so grateful to all who have encouraged me and I want to encourage you Rock.  We have all faced day 2 and thought how far away the end is. But the next day is day 3 and so on.  I say this for me as much as you. But Christmas will come whether we continue our abstinence or not. Those days WILL pass and suddenly it will be Dec 25th. We can be there tramadol free - or not!!!!  

My thanks to Michelle again for all the advice. My GP and her doctor husband have just been on a months holiday and are both too booked up to see me next week - but I shall phone. (I struggle not to feel very angry that these people dished out the tramadol with absolutely no knowledge of the dangers - and whilst my life is on hold they can get on with theirs) (Sorry if this is petty!)

I shall change to ambien and I shall try to reduce the diazepam.  I am a bit scared as I am so isolated and alone and am afraid of feeling even more suicidal.  So good to come on here. I will try the bookmark thingy Michelle - thanks.

I spoke to a rehab today, as a safe place to come off the diazepam whilst going through the tram w/d would be nice. No chance I was told. I live on a pension so cannot afford to pay and funding is only given to people using street drugs.

Something feels wrong here. We are put into the position (by members of the NHS)  of being painfully addicted to a substance that will keep us very sick for the rest of our lives - and then told that we are in the group that does not qualify for NHS funding.

Day 26 and taking courage from all your posts. If the diazepam are holding back my recovery then they have to go - but slowly. Jumping off the tram was hard enough for an oldie! My 16 year old granddaughter rang tonight and told me how much she loved me. I shall make it through the night tonight but it seems to get harder. Like so many of you I canr function and for an ex workaholic thats so hard.
God bless
Chrissie

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 20, 2009
Day three is being very very weird...kind of like alice in wonderland behind the scenes. Funny stuff...keeping me smiling and I am still sane enough to know it''s not real... but it's funny!  Have to be here to get it though, I think.  My doctor gave me some .5mg  ativans to help me through the tram withdrawal. They help.  Is that a big no no here? I can only take then every 4-6 hours and if I take them too often or too much, I don't function very well.  I see double and list to the right when I walk and stuff like that. No fun and very embarassing.  Does anybody know where the real person goes to when they are going through this detox?  I sure know that this isn't me....and I know it's temporary, but I would like to keep tabs on the real me while this impostor takes me through these posturings. This is  sooooo weird.  I am so grateful that I don't have anything that requires me driving a car today until later...around 4pm and I may just cancel that...even thought it's the first real day of class....we'll see.  Think I'll take a walk and watch the bushes grow.  I know the area well so I know I won't get lost...did I happen to mention that this is a  very weird day today?  More later . Thanks for caring .....

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 20, 2009
Quiet around here today. Guess all of you guys with some time  are getting your lives back. Good for you. I am going thru a very unpleasant detox now of three days.. . I am hungry so I eat...nope throw it up. Um, tired..Ok, lay down, nope too many weird thoughts;  Try to do something productive...better that it not be important  cuz I'll mess it up undoubtedly. Don''t have any money or I could buy something stupid...that always worked before when I was in tramland....but I'm not in tramland any longer and I don't have any money and I just don't know what the hell to to with the shell of myself trying to be me!!!  Awwwgh!  Can anyone relate? This is not my idea of a good time!  This is not even close. I'm wishing I had a support system I could turn to and come unglued to them, but I don't. This whole detox is on the q and q. So I am turning to you all.  My sense of humor is strangely still with me and quite intact! Funny. I don't know what's up with the rest of me. I can think, but it's in sort of a carnival mode.  You'll never understand.... anyhow, I feel really lost. I don't know what to do next. I wish I could sleep.  Walking for 1.5 hours was the highlight of my day.  I would walk now too if I didn't feel so cruddy....maybe I will anyway.  If any one is relating to the confusion and all of this detox, could you please write to me and tell me what worked for you. How do you deal with your time and your energies? I feel so lost!

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by EmilyPost, Aug 20, 2009
Rock and a hard place. Your screenname gives me no end of amusement for some weird reason.

I remember the place you are talking about, the discomfort and the urge to try and fix it. To make the uncomfortable ... more comfortable. The urge to "travel." Like in basketball, or other sports. To try and move forward, backwards, sideways. Anything to escape.

According to GoEnglish *******, your screen name is defined thusly ... (I hate that word "thusly" ... gah. What a gross word. Benzos. The withdrawal has given me word paralysis or disability. Annoying.)

"To say that one is stuck "between a rock and a hard place" stresses that there are two forces which are restricting one's movement. Often it is the opposite direction of these forces that causes the sticking point. One is unable for some particular reason to do something that one would like to do, such as act or not act in a certain way. "I'd like to help you but I am stuck between a rock and a hard place." To have someone between a rock and a hard place is to have them in a position that causes them to make a choice that they don't want to make. "You've got me between a rock and a hard place; I'll sell it to you at the price you quoted."

So there you are. There i am. Here we are. The idea that I'm getting my life back ... is ... a little entertaining. Because ... i think I burned my life down. I sort trashed the joint. Only now, I'm the one left picking up the pieces right. It's alot of Reality. The Reality of Sobriety is pretty well ... sobering. BWAHAHAHahhhhhhhaa

OK so I'm still cleaning up the room o doom. Just expect me to be doing this for 6 months and we'll all be good. I told Dear Husband yesterday while I was working on it to please not make any remarks. Not to say I was doing well, or not doing well or make any suggestions. It's so much work right now to be inside my head, that there's no room for anyone else's comments. It just slows me down.

I had to laugh when I found yet another pair of sunglasses and FIVE sticks of deodorant. Apparently I stank on drugs. Five. Five. Yeah. I remember thinking ... "I have deodorant already right?" Then apparently I'd buy more. The sunglasses did amuse me. I found the case, opened it and there's orange Gucci sunglasses in there. At least with the last 4 pairs, I had a receipt and everything in the bag. Apparently (God, the word apparently is awful too) I was planning on returning those glasses. (At least there is that!?)

The Gucci I found are orange. Which means I should have been about to return them, as I look horrid in orange. So I'm sitting ether staring at the glasses thinking ... "Mo FO-er!!!!" Then I try them on and realize .. "Oh I bought these cause they are HOT!" Good for me.  I'm .... insane ... but my eyes are never going to see the bright sun again ...

Anyhow Rock and a Hard Place ... what I did and do to help myself is I write, I read, I research. I keep my mind distracted. I watch only funny movies. God i watched Coraline and Gran Torino in one day and I swear it thru me backwards. No more sad movies. Comedy only thank you very much. When I was coming off Tramadol I would cry alot. As Fred has mentioned. It's good to cry. It helps your Biology. It speeds healing.

I really am familiar with the sense of humor and carnival ride mentality. Withdrawal does funny **** to our brains. I think Lewis Carrol was on ... mushrooms? Acid? I forget. But he was on something!

(((((((Rock&Hard place)))))))) Sorry about the puking. Sorry about the not sleeping. Support system for this is very very very specialized. Almost no one understands Tramadol Withdrawal but the people who went thu the fire!

Hugs love and healing,
Emily


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by 12Stepper, Aug 20, 2009
Rock, Just hang in there. Just keep posting if you need to. There is always someone listening here. Sometimes I liked to go back and read the early posts of the people who have made it many days more than me. I can see where they've struggled and still didn't give up. And now they talk about being happy again. I can remember just wanting to feel normal since I'd forgotten what it was like.

You are doing great making it through the roughest spot. A 1.5 hour walk! You are doing fantastic! If you can just hold on a couple more days, the worst will be over. I understand your state completely. In w/d I was restless beyond belief. I'm usually a person who likes to do things and I was full of restless energy and couldn't focus on a darn thing.

I think it was hard to be good to myself, also--I had to learn to give myself the time and patience that I would give a sick friend. I had to care about myself enough to make it through the bad days and want to come out the other end of this. You only have to go this way once. It will pass. High five to all the T Warriors making it through another day.

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 20, 2009
thank you so much Emily.  Made me cry. I saw so very much of me in your pokes at yourself...there really is insanity with this detox from it  I am a weary third day traveler whose head could have been eaten for someone's dinner and I wouldn't have noticed or cared... I am sort of excited to see where it's mostly gentle path takes me tomorrow.  As long as it's not to fed ex.,than we're cool . How long for the insane and rambling thoughts?  How long for the heaviness???  And the tears???do they ever go awyy?  I pray to all deities: please let me sleep a full and sound sleep tonight.  I can do anything if I get my sleep. I love this forum. I hope to help someone in my place in the not too distant future...it works that way. Well, I am going to give it my best.May hear from me tomorrow early or early tomrorow or late tonight ...soooo glad that you are all  here for one another. Peace to you all. B.

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by Gerty411, Aug 20, 2009
hi y'all,

Some pretty interesting posts.  I'm in a complete brain fog and feel like ****.  My body feels like it's been beat with a baseball bat and I can hardly move,  I burnt my hand with the straightening iron.  No workers comp for me!

I' m in my third/fourth week of tapering and almost ready to be free.  I hate it when I have a day like this because it makes me want to take about 4 t's and chill out.  

I dread this weekend as I am on call and have the potential to not get much rest.  The thought of having to be up all night working really bothers me.  In the past I would rely on T for "energy".

Emily, I was thinking about "the scary Parka girl".  I've been nicely comforted by my favorite black hoody for several weeks.  It seems to fit my mood and look good with scrubs.  It also keeps me frome freezing my butt of at work which is as cold as the artic tundra.

The fight will continue.

Take care, Gerty
w
.

Avatar universal
by 2Sue, Aug 21, 2009
Chrissie, maybe the drug units arent helpful for you, but you should be admitted to a place of safety if you tell doc you are not coping ,have noone and feel suicidal..demand a psychy urgent referral....im sure by the time you get it youll be feeling better...however if things get bad present to casualty,say u rnt well.
Have you been in touch with help the aged...They have lots of advice,might be able to support you...you dont need to tell them about tram,just that you are on your own and feeling isolated..
can your granddaughter stay for a while....just some suggestions for support.
I work in n.h.s. and am appaled at the lack of support etc etc,but shouting loud usually gets you wha you need.sometimes.
it will get better with time though.sue

Avatar universal
by Printer989, Aug 21, 2009
Good Morning,

I'm approaching my 7th month of being off  Tramadol, But i would like to say that on hot days when i sweat i can still smell it coming out of my pores. I believe tramadol stays in your liver for years that's my assumption, Not only that i was taking the slow release version of tramadol according to what the pharmacy printed on the perscribed vile i read on their. As i'm sitting here now i can remember there were times when i wouldn't take any of the tramadol for days, And its like my body would release it from being stored up and i would feel all the effects as if i had took a pill that day. I believe that's what i'm going through now eventhough i have been off near 7 months that stuff hasn't left my body completely yet. I flush with lots of water so i don't have the constipation problems, But i still have the heart burn and the head swimming feeling at times. This is the reason why i believe i have been able to stop using tramadol these past 6 months because that junk is still inside of me!

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 21, 2009
Thanks  2 Sue for advice. I am so on the edge today that I may have to go into the pychiatric ward. I will also ring help the aged. Thank you.

I am on Day 27 and suffering. Confusion is caused by the diazepam. I tak 4mg at 9 am amd 4mg at 5.30 pm. So around mid day I begin to get very bad. Is this the tramadol or the benzo's???? It gets unbearable and is helped when I take the 5.30pm dose. Nothing is right but its easier to bear.

I think Michelle is right when she says that because of drug interaction my diazepam effects are reduced so I am withdrawing from both. I cant think. I cant function. I shake and feel so bad. I am so tired and sleeping forever feels like the only option because I dont know what is causing what or what to do about it.  How do you guys hold down a job. I cant even take care of myself.

Chrissie

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 21, 2009
Sorry but its me again.  Can someone tell me in simple words as I am not capable of making sense of anything more!

Did you feel this bad on Day 27 from the last tramadol.  I cannot think straight. I cannot get out of the chair and I feel very nervy and agitated.

These symptoms will be slightly relieved for about 3 hours by the 4mg of diazepam I take at 5.30. Does this mean its the diazepam or the tramadol causing them.  So many of you seem to be okay after 7 days. So please can anyone tell me - is this the tramadol. Did you feel like this on Day 27?

I have spent all day on the phone looking for help. Help the aged line is permanently engaged. Turning Point have a protocol that takes weeks - and then its unlikely to fund me for detox from the diazepam. My GP practise said to ring on Momday when my own GP is back from a months holiday.  Ant the local psychiatric unit wont help me and  advise me to increase my diazepam. They say this is an anxiety illness and not w/d.

Michelle I dont want to increase as your advice was to decrease but I am not going to make it for much longer if I cant get help and there is no help to be had.

Thank you.
Chrissie

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by KC67, Aug 21, 2009
Hi Chrissie,
For me, it took about 65 to 70 days off Tram to feel the beginnings of normalcy again.

Right after I hit the 70 day mark, I decided to quit my benzo's (Xanax) as well - thinking back, probably too soon after quitting Trams, but I wanted them out of my system.

I am now 3 mos. clean of the Xanax and I STILL do not feel completely normal yet.  It is getting better though.  I can sleep again and I am having less and less "morning dread".  I am at work today and I noticed that when I woke up today that I didn't have an ounce of dread today.  :0)  Great feeling - no dread.

So what I am trying to say is that Tram (for me) took a LONG time to get out of my system and the benzos are taking even longer.  Before I quit the Xanax, I was suffering greatly from depression and no desire to do ANYTHING.  This was tolerance as I had been taking the Xanax for 4+ years.  I too questioned whether it was the Tramadol or the Xanax or both?  I understand your frustration - been there.  Horribly frustrating and depressing.

Michelle (MadTram) mentioned in an earlier post that Trams and Benzo's react with each other to cause an intensified brain-receptor reaction.  I think I really damaged a LOT of my brain's receptors from using both of these drugs together.  Which makes the time it takes to heal a lot longer than the average Tram. user.

The good news is that I am beginning to see the real "me" again and my brain's receptors are beginning to heal.  Yes, for some it only takes 7 days to feel normal.  But for me it took (and is taking) much longer.  I have no doubt that I will one day return to the pre-drug KC that I used to know....the one who would pop out of bed in the morning and not dread the day or feel "blue" all the time.  Every day I catch glimpses of that old "me" and they are increasing in frequency.

So, that's my story Chrissie.  I don't want to give you a diagnosis of what I THINK is causing your symptoms.  But one thing I know for sure...Tramadol is one heckuva powerful drug.  Benzo's are even more powerful.  The 2 taken together are magnified by 10x.  It is totally possible that all of your symptoms are drug-related.  Again, the good news is that it is 100% possible to feel the way you did before these drugs entered our bodies.  

My advice to you is do some research.  Google "diazepam tolerance or withdrawal"  Ask lots of questions to anyone and everyone who has taken benzo's and Tram.  Send me a message any time...I will be happy to answer any questions on my personal experience with these awful drugs.  And don't give up hope.  What you are experiencing now is most likely drug withdrawal/tolerance related.  However, if you are feeling you seriously want to take your life, you MUST seek some outside help.  

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 21, 2009
Thank you so much KC. for bothering. I have printed off your reply to give me courage. I want so much to live. Its just getting harder by the day and I cant find a safe place. Everyone I have spoken to today in my efforts to get help has shut the door in my face.  The medical profession do not recognise this as drug withdrawal and tell me I am having anxiety attacks.

I begged the local pyschiatric unit to admit me and let me come off the diazepam safely. They told me to take more of them and calm myself down!!!!

Thank you for caring.  I just dont know if perhaps taking extra diazepam to see me through the next month might be a good thing and then start to taper after that. But it will all take so long.  The future does look uphill at the moment I have to confess and I am so tired.

Your reply was encouraging, supportive and so good to get. Thank you!
Chrissie

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by 12Stepper, Aug 21, 2009
Chrissie, Have you recently decreased your dose of diazepam? It seems like this has been an important point in the discussion lately--the combined effects of tram and benzos. If you quit the tram, as KC says, then the withdrawal would be worse than the average user since the diazepam increased tram's potency, making it even harder to withdraw from than it would normally be. Then, if you decreased your use of diazepam by even a small amount, it would seem like even more is being withdrawn, since the tramadol isn't there anymore to increase its strength.

All I can say is that this is not a good time to decrease your diazepam by much at all if you are having such alarming symptoms. If you are tapering the diazepam, do it in very minute increments over a very long period. When I was taking Tram and ativan, a benzo, I quit both together for a while and had terrifying mental symptoms such as you describe. I stayed off the tram but continued to taper the ativan very very slowly. I remember cutting those tiny pills into 4 pieces and taking 1/4 less every week. Although I loothed to continue taking something that had made me so ill, in this case just knowing that I was on a plan to be free from the ativan helped me a lot.  It seemed to take forever, but it kept me from having those terrible symptoms and eventually it was gone without any more acute symptoms.

Because I was on both drugs, I believe my recovery has taken longer and sometimes I'd wonder what was wrong when other people seemed to be totally free in a week. Day 27 wasn't that great for me! I didn't start to really feel I was making good progress until about days 45-60. So yes it can take "an eternity" of about 2-3 months.

I think the research KC suggested would be helpful. I had no idea what was going on and found, perhaps on this site, that ativan must be tapered off from very slowly. Someone described my very same symptoms and told how slowly they tapered from the drug. I am still amazed at how very potent the ativan was and how that and the tram were affecting me and how long it takes to get better! I hope you'll get some help, someone to be with you or a doctor you can talk to. Just know that you are not alone and please keep us posted on how you are doing, Love and hugs, Linn







Avatar universal
by Printer989, Aug 21, 2009
Hey Chrissie,

Back when i first got off tramadol around that sametime i had 2 tooth extractions, And the dentist prescribed tylenol Extra Strength + anti biotics so i started taking both for about a week. After that week i stoped taking everything the anti biotics and tylenol, But i really believe by me taking the tramadol time release version those years its still inside me which is why i didn't experience any withdrawals. My last pill of tramadol i took was February 5, 2009 which was the day before my tooth extraction, The day of my tooth extraction i came home waited 4 hours then i took the tylenol and anti biotic. Right now i'm looking for something that will completely flush out any tramadol that might be still in my body, I think i will get into taking herbs from the health food store maybe, But knowing me herbs will just be another habbit or addiction i would have to kick so maybe not.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 21, 2009
Linn - thank you. You and KC have given me a clearer picture. I havent tapered my diazepam for about 2 months. I think as you say it is not working at the same strength so I am withdrawing from that too. I may have to increase it in order to cope with this awfulness and then decrease very slowly.  It upsets me to do that but I dont think I can make it if I dont support my system in some way. You are right about having a plan. That will help for sure.

Thanks for responding Printer. Sounds as though you havent had w/d - have I understood correctly? (My brain is scrambled!) Thats VERY good news!  I think the epsom salt baths we have heard about could help draw it out of your body.

I ache all over and still havent made up my mind if I will increase my diazepam tomorrow. I so dont want to - but it might be the lesser of the 2 evils as I cant continue like this.

So grateful for help from you all.
Chrissie





Avatar universal
by delymebr, Aug 21, 2009
Hi there, I was given Tramadol on 8/1/09 after lacerating and fracturing my left Great toe. I only took one or two at night for
no more than five nights.  In the morning I felt bad and decided to stop. Since then I have had general sick feeling along
with fatigue, neck/headache,  muscle ache, hot flashes, inablity to sleep, and increased resting heart rate before getting out of bed (83-90bpm). My husband also has been on Tramadol at the beginning of the year -and when he stopped he went through the same feelings - he went back on Tramadol because he couldn't stand the way he felt not thinking it was the med causing it.  I got off as soon as I began to experience the ill feelings that he experienced when stopping it. As of today 8/21/09 I still do not feel better.  I went to the doctor today and my heart rate was 107 bpm  and she referred me to a cardiologist because she heard a heart murmur and irregular heartbeats. I have not felt like this before taking the Tramadol.  Am I feeling this way because of the Tramadol that I only took for 4 or 5 nights and stopped taking around 8/6/09?? How long could the effects last??   Thank you.

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Aug 21, 2009
Chrissie...

Hang in there it's going to get better. I went thru the same thing...Just a thought you might want to taper of the Tram first and THAN go off the other med. I went off Tram first and now am tappering off Zanax. The Zanax helped me get through the W/D..I had panic attacks too and the Zanax was the only thing that helped clam me down. I also upped my hormones...If your on hormones don't stop them now...When I upped the hormones the depression started to fade fast. Every one is so different but as I have read the posts over the last 5 mos. most of us have had very same w/d effects. Your going to get past this and you WILL feel better soon. As Emily pointed out...coming off this stuff gives you big time brain fog....I still can't spell or put sentences together that make sense....I left you a note....Peaceful wishes from California

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 21, 2009
I live in a clean and sober home and manage the few women that we have. I got on tram via docs that thought they weren't addicting or opiate realted. and would not interfere wit the clean and sober mission of our houses. I believed the lie for  a  long time because I didn't  abuse them and if I acknowledged that they might be problemsome to get in the future. Well. long story short, they are highly additing and have a really uncomfortable detox.  I didn't mind . I needed them....they were expensived to get online but that's what I did and I have the debt  to prove it. My whole self esteem started going down the toilet with all of the lies I was telling  to my newly sober residents, to my managers, to my friends to evereyone. It was just time to stop.  So I picked a day and sort of weaned myself down to it and now I am clean for three days. OH JOY!  My mind is all messed up how it's thinking. M y mood is in the toilet...I have chonic gas and intenstinal problems....all of it.  Problem is. I live alone in a grounp of women that are newy sober.  I need to be an example of recoverry in action.  But as I try to be, I realize that I am talking to women that don'f have much more interest in recoverey as I do.  Then there are those that spunge it up. Either say, and either way,  I am being  a hypocrite Now I'm going through it without the pretenses and feeling lke total crud.  Soon, I will be able to function again withoit the damn pills and I will make it my mission to talk this drug down into the hell where it was brewed up in. I have a lot more tosay but am too messed up without the tran to pull it off very well...thanks for all of you being her to suppont me and all of us there to support you today. W e can make a didffereence.

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by madtram, Aug 21, 2009
Chrissie,so sorry to hear you feel so bad.  I'm glad KC & Lynn pointed out that withdrawal is a much slower process for those of us on the tramadol\benzo combination. Your body is telling you it needs more time to stabilise after the tramadol withdrawal & that is understandable.

  As you are on 2 benzos, the additive effect with tramadol may have been stronger than for just one & there are probably interactions between the three drugs which all have elements of CNS sedation.

Withdrawal from any benzo is best done very very very slowly, (tapering can often take more than six months). It seems that stopping tramadol has thrown you into accelerated benzo withdrawal so adjusting your valium dose to compensate is definitely worth a try.

Professor Ashton's site has a list of UK support groups on the ground.  I don't know if any are in your area but you could telephone to see if anyone has any advice about experienced doctors or other resources near you.  The link is:

http://www.benzo.org.uk/index.htm

You have achieved a great thing in becoming free of tramadol & allowing your body a rest is a perfectly reasonable part of a withdrawal plan.  The Ashton manual provides for 3-4 week rests between dose adjustments before tapering down to the next level.  You have just had a major dose adjustment so it makes sense to wait at least that long before tackling the next change.

You may want to refer your GP to Dr Ashton's site if she wants more information about suggested tapering schedules.  This can be done more comfortably for you, it may just require a little trial & error at the start to resolve the drug interaction complexities.

Hugs to you,

Michelle

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 22, 2009
Will follow that link Michelle thank you.  Am going to take extra diazepam today althuogh it hurts so much to do this. My body is so tired and my mind worse.  So appreciate the love and kindness and personal messages.

Dear Rock. I am so sorry you are in this awful place too. I dont know how you do a job, especially such a hard one.

Love to you all
Chrissie

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 22, 2009
Does taking a benzo to counter the side effects of withdrawal from tramadol help or hurt?

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by 12Stepper, Aug 22, 2009
delymebr, I do recall my heart pounding more rapidly along with other general sick feelings when I quit Tram, so it could be a result of the Tram. Of course, I don't know the mechanics of the drug. I think there is a warning about taking Tram again suddenly at the same dosage as before since it could cause seizure.

It is good that you are getting your heart checked, and it may be the withdrawal that is causing the irregular beat, however, many doctors do not recognize the withdrawal effects of Tram, so you may find that theory shot down quickly. But at least you'll have care for the heart problem. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing.

Rock, The Thomas Recipe (which I haven't tried) includes valium. Apparently Zanax helped Grandmagirl, and some people have used perscription sleeping aides in that class. However, these are powerful addictive drugs that take a long time to withdraw from themselves, so I see them useful as a last resort only. Madtram has stated that they take months to taper from and my experience with Ativan makes me believe this is true. So one has to weigh the pros and cons.

Of course, I'm so shell-shocked by all these drugs, I am almost afraid to take OTC stuff nowadays. When I had so much trouble sleeping, I took tylanol PM (or benedryl, same thing) for a few weeks and then tapered off even that. Then I was able to take herbs to help sleep and now am getting to where I can sleep on my own at last (10 weeks Tram-free). I know it's tough right now, but you'll have so much strength and hope to share with your sober women after this.

Just reporting, I had a full day without any depression yesterday! My appointment with my GP isn't until Sept 30, so by then I'll really know if I need antidepressants. So far, just walking when it starts is really working. Best to you all today--by the end of the day, we'll all be a little closer to health and sanity, Warriors! Love and hugs, Linn



Avatar universal
by nancy652, Aug 22, 2009
Checking in, getting children ready for school. Last night was first normal night since the process began. I got about seven hours of sleep, awoke at a normal hour (6 or so, early for me...impossible with Tramadol) and slept fine. I am having amazing dreams that are helping me in my work. Work-wise I have never been so inspired.

Cravings have come and gone after the physical stuff (acute) waned. Nothing to serious because I am very distracted with my brain.

It is not easy though. The whole family has had to get used to a new me and they don't except dh know what is happening. Positive things are happening with my interactions with the kids.

I am still coughing and sneezing ALOT. And stressed at the end of the afternoon, just the time I'd normally be throwing back my reward pills for crossing off another day.

It's a whole new life. It's exhausting, but my brain is excited with the challenge and that's carrying me through. This is the best I can do. All I know is its happening and I'm so glad that you're all out there. it gives me tremendous inspiration


hugs

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by KC67, Aug 22, 2009
Hello everyone.

I just received a PM from Chrissie.  She asked me to relay the following to you since she is unable to access this website:

  She is safe and was admitted to the local psych unit this evening.   They have agreed to help her detox for 2 weeks.  She refused the opiate substitute they offered, however, they are going to have to increase her benzo to help get her through this difficult time.

She is very grateful for all of the support she has received on this forum and I am sure she would appreciate any encouraging words that you have to offer.

Sincerely,
KC




Avatar universal
by Printer989, Aug 22, 2009
delymebr, Yes its the tramadol giving you the fast heart rate. delymebr also check with your doctor to see if your anemic i had anemia  from tramadol, I'm forced to eat nuts as we speak to help build my blood back up and thank God i love mixed nuts.

Avatar universal
by Printer989, Aug 22, 2009
Hey chrissie145,

I didn't experience the withdrawals but, I do still have some of the same side effects from back when i was on the tramadol. My body stays hot so i always have the central air turned on, Heart burn never left, When i get up from laying down or sitting i still get dizzy. I'm just glad i did get rid of the raccoon eyes i looked like a zombie out of a horror film. chrissie145 i also believe the fact that i over eat helps me not to experience any of the withdrawals, I also over ate back during the time i was taking the tramadol, My mind told me if i over eat while taking this my liver won't corrode i know that's silly but i think it helped.

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 22, 2009
Okay, it's been five days now and I feel absolutely insane!  I fake it sort of ok around others, but they've been wondering about me too.  I want to scream and cry and cry and cry....and once I start the tears, they're almost impossible to stop. I have been taking .1mg ativan three times a day and that just makes me calmer in my craziness, a little bit.  Physically I am not having too many troubles...nausea and RLS a little but emotionally I am flailing around.  Talked to all my "advisors and personal friends and the truth of the matter is...I have to go through this ****....no one else can (or would).  Don't feel suicidal yet, but I happened to be listening to a song I hadn't heard called You...main lyric is I don't want to be you and I thought and thought about that and just lost it emotionally.  I am on one helluva rollercoaster ride!  I just don't want to blow my living circumstances. so I am telling everyone that I am coming off of an antidepressant. And everyone is telling me to go back on it!  Was taking 10mg of flexeril q8h for the past few days but I think it interacted with the ativan and made me more nuttso. Last night I got doing something and I have no memory of what it was but I have three burn weld marks around my left wrist...like I was sticking my hand into something boiling.  No memory whatsoever.  The whole night was pretty much a wipe for me..  So the roomies come to me today and ask me what is going on...and out comes the detoxing from Effexor excuses.  Dumped the flexeril this morning...and using the ativan for emergencies only. What a ******* of a detox!  How much longer is my life gonna look like this?  Feel like this?  BE this?  AAAGGGHHH!!!
Some one....anyone....send me some hope. ......If not hope, sanity.

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by Gerty411, Aug 22, 2009
hi Y'ALL,

So glad miss chrissie is safe!!!!

Rock-  I know how you feel.  I also work with patients /  md/ rn's.  I've been using the depression / messed up throid hormone excuses which is partially true.

People do wonder what's gping on.  If you can maybe you can get some time away from the other housemates.
It's going to get better.  The anxiety was helped  by me by working out and valerian root extract.

My weekend on call .  Very hard as I relied on t heavily when on call in the past.

oTomorrow I decrease my dose to 12.5mg per day.

Soon I'll be on my own.

Nancy,  good to hear from you.  I have not felt as fruitful at work.  It feels like an indeterminable chore.  My energy level is still not what is should be.  

Next weekend is my first bellydance performance.  How exciting that I will not be zoned out on t!!!!


Hope you all have a good evening


Love, Gerty

Avatar universal
by Printer989, Aug 22, 2009
chrissie145 & Rockandahardplace,

Suck on ice cubes your body will worry more about the cold ice cube on your tongue than anything else.

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 23, 2009
To those of you who have gone before...at what point does the heavy detox subside?  I have detoxed from Hydro many times and it almost always was better in four days.  How long do you think that feeling of "better" comes with Tram?  Beginning day six and am so ready  to be sane and normal again  Please advise.  thanks

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by iontheprize, Aug 23, 2009
I haven't posted in a while now. my life has been busy and tough.  I still try to read this post as much as I can as it continues to help me.

Rock, the standard answer is 7-10 days of the bad stuff.  It might be more; you were taking a lot.  I was taking about 15-20 per day and the tough stuff lasted for weeks.  I have written that I never felt such misery coming off of percocet or hydrocone.  I have a huge list that I want to report to the FDA regarding "adverse events" of Tramadol.  I have promised mysefl that I would do this.  Anyway, it makes sense that you are having such discomfort.  So, as Emily says, be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself.  Don't give up....chances are the process will be worse the next time you w/d.  I got by telling myself "maybe tomorrow will be better," and finally it was.  The discomfort is proof of your healing and you are really healing right now.  Congratulations on your progress so far; it's a huge accomplishment.

~jessica

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 23, 2009
Hey Iontheprize
I remember reading your posts when you were about where I am now. I was just a quiet lurker in the shadows trying to get some sort of idea of what I was up against.. You and the rest of your group have pretty much moved on now that the tram is out of you and you have returned to normal functioning....I am so looking forward to that time. The doc gave me some lowest dose ativan to help with the anxiety and also a muscle relaxer because I was having such tension in the back of my neck. The drugs did NOT mix, especially in my compromised condition (detoxing) and I got very weird. I went into some sort of blackout state and lost about two days. When I came out of the blackout, I was hallucinating a little bit too...like when I walked, the road looked like it was at eye level.  I have burn welts around the base of my left hand that I have no idea what they're from...I've lost things.  At least now I am some what sane again.  Dumped the pills and am only using the dextromethorphan for RLS . No other drugs.  My detox so far has been mental/emotional.  Not too bad physically.  Wish it were the other way around so others could make sense of it... the"flu" vs "insanity"  I sure do appreciate the help from this place.  Somewhere to vent and to ask for help.  No one in my world, except my doc, know that I am detoxing from tramadol.  No one knew I was addicted to it even though I was taking in excess of 30 per day. Having someone to talk to is HUGE and very important to me.  Thank you for listening and caring   ALL OF YOU!!!

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by 12Stepper, Aug 23, 2009
Rock, So sorry you are going through so much. You can take heart in the fact that you are going through the worst of it and that it won't be long before it's over. Most people say the acute phase only lasts about a week. If you stopped the Ativan suddenly, you will go through withdrawal from that. So I hope you're not trying to detox from both. That would be too much to take on at once.  

I remember dividing the day into parts and just trying to make it through that part of the day, deciding what I would do during that time to make it go a little easier. Maybe take a coffee break by a window, or walk around the neighborhood, fix a good meal. I'd spend some time being good to myself, knowing that I deserved the same care I would give a good friend going through one of the worst times in her life. You have to make yourself a priority now, so treat yourself lovingly. our thoughts are with you!

Gerty, Congrats on the 12.5 per day. That is really a low dose! Bellydancing sounds fun!

I'm so glad Chrissie is in a safe place. Being with others going through the same thing would really be the ideal. Chrissie, I hope you feel better and know that we are still here for you.

Off to make it through another day, Warriors! Love to all, Linn

Avatar universal
by delymebr, Aug 23, 2009
12Stepper and Printer989

Thank you for your responses and comments.  You're right, the doc said the Tram was not connected.  I'm still
running a slightly elevated temp and still ache.  I still think the Tram was the inititial cause and perhaps I my
immune system was stressed  and now I'm fighting a bug - I am using natual ways to boost my immune system..
I will also supplement with alfafa for the anemia (which in the past I have sometimes had low iron).  Thanks for the advice.
Blessings to you all for speedy recovery.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 23, 2009
Hi folks,

Lovely KC sent me a link so that I could find you all again! How good of you all to care - thank you.  I am using the 'patients' computer but am not sure if I will be up to much as the next few days go by so may not be able to post..  I was so glad to be listened to and believed by a doctor!!!  I had previously been treated as an anxious depressive and could not make them understand that actually it was the tramadol and then the tramadoil w/d.  I have beeen admitted for 2 weeks for an in patient detox. This means that they recognise that I am w/d from tramadol and possibly diazepam too. BUT the deal is that I come off the lot(!!!)

They initially increased the diazepam to make me comfortable yesterday and are now taking me to zero by August 30th. When I said 'isnt this a bit fast' they said 'not for an inpatient detox'!  So last night and midday I actually held the extra tablet under my tongue and got rid of half of it in my room. I couldnt see the point in being taken from 8mg up to 15 mg just so I could be brought down to zero in 8 days. I am shaking a bit now and have 5mg due at 10pm which I shall swallow. I am so grateful for the place but once again realise that we - the sufferers - know more than the clinicians. I have to tell you its very scary as the tram w/d are enough to deal with. However if I can make it then I will be free much faster wont I?!

Rock please take care and dont give up. I agree that the physical is easier than the pyschological and I get such agitation in my solar plexus that I could scream. I admire how you manage to keep working. I simply couldnt do that. If I was at home now I wouldnt even be able to make a meal. You are being incredibly strong.

Because this is a general pyschiatric unit I havent met anyone else here who is detoxing Linn, but being in a safe place where I get fed and cant hurt myself is a big comfort. (I cant believe I could even think of taking my life but these w/d are evil things)

Will try to look in again tomorrow. Love to all
Chrissie



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by KC67, Aug 23, 2009
Chrissie,
You said it perfectly when you said, "I am so grateful for the place but once again realise that we - the sufferers - know more than the clinicians"

So true.

We know our own bodies better than any doctor.  Period.  It is simply the truth.  The doctors may know more about the human body and its functions in general,  but only WE truly KNOW and can convey exactly what our own bodies are feeling and suffering.

Personally, I feel that a 2 week taper of a benzo is too quick.  Again, listen to your body and if you are suffering withdrawals (whether the clinicians feel you "should" be or not) and do what is right for your body.  From what I have researched and from personal experience, it is okay to jump off of Tramadol cold turkey, but it is NOT okay to just suddenly discontinue a benzo.  I took a moderately quick taper of my benzo (xanax) and still suffered greatly.

Chrissie, so proud of you for taking control of your body and knowing what is best for YOU.  You are right...it doesn't make much sense to increase the dose of benzo  - only to take you down to zero by Aug. 30th.

To everyone going through Tramadol or any other withdrawal:
IT IS THE FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE.  Probably the most difficult battle you will ever encounter - but well worth it to get to the end results....not being controlled by a substance, not having to worry about a seizure-induced car fatality, not having to spend countless dollars on Rx refills, and not having to live in a constant brain fog.....

all worth the suffering.

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC

Avatar universal
by MarkNina, Aug 23, 2009
Hi all, Nina update...

We have been away for a week, and Nina decided to stay at 100mg instead of dropping 50mg while we were on holiday. Now back and she has dropped to 50. This coming Friday is the dreaded drop to nothing!

I have been trying to catch up on the posts and all I can do is wish you all the best to carry on the fight. Believe me, I can see the battle, just living with someone coming off. It is an absolute nightmare.

Nina is taking the vitamins that were recommended, B12 I think. Don't know if they have helped. She has this thing where she can't keep her legs still now, especially at night, hence deprived sleep. Also, lots of sneezing! WTF is all that about!? Also, really feeling like she is going to throw up (and she has!) on several occasions! plus, still aching all over, so don't know if original problem (back) is fixed???

She is staying positive, and that is the message to all. Once off them, it can only get better!

All the best!!

Mark...(and Nina)

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by 12Stepper, Aug 23, 2009
Chrissie, that does sound fast. Especially since (and you may not have a doc that understands this) the effects of the benzos were more than normal due to their interaction with the tramadol. I don't know to what extent the benzos were enhanced by the tram, but the combination might have made them quite a bit more potent than if you weren't on the tram. So I think that does sound like a very fast taper. I took eight weeks to get off my 2 tiny ativan pills that I took every night. I do hope you'll continue to inform them of your own needs. Your fellow Warriors are with you!

Mark and Nina, the Restless Leg Syndrome and sneezing are withdrawal symptoms. I don't know why. I believe some of our people have found things to help with them. I'm sure someone will post soon with suggestions. On the last thread the value of Espon salt baths was brought forth quite a bit. I don't know if they helped restless legs, but they are very comforting. I took valerium root and passion flower capsules to help sleep. Also Kava tea and sleepy time tea was beneficial for insomnia. What a great team effort you're both making. It makes my heart glad to see such dedication in the two of you.

KC, You're so right. It is well worth the suffering. I believe we can even be better and stronger than our old selves. If only from all this exercise I'm getting to fight off depression, I'm feeling far more well than I did before the pills. Also, I'm developing a great appreciation for many things in life I took for granted.

Hope it is a peaceful night for all, Love, Linn

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Aug 24, 2009
Mark (for Nina) Glad to hear from you again my friend.  I hope your holiday wasn't disrupted too badly with Nina's taper.  I liked what you said, "She is staying positive, and that is the message to all. Once off them, it can only get better!"  Amen Mark.  

KC said it well in stating, "IT IS THE FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE.  Probably the most difficult battle you will ever encounter - but well worth it to get to the end results....not being controlled by a substance, not having to worry about a seizure-induced car fatality, not having to spend countless dollars on Rx refills, and not having to live in a constant brain fog..... "

I was thinking this afternoon about THIS FIGHT we find oursleves in. And let's never kid ourselves, nobody ever got free of the power of the trams without a concerted effort and FIGHT.  I mean, it's not exactly like deciding, "I'll bake a cake today."  It took EVERY ounch of my feeble body and mind to defeat the trams.  

When I stumbled onto this forum, I knew were I was (tram-a-hell), but I really didn't know (1) where I was going or (2) what to do to get there.  It was only through reading the posts of others that gave me the HOPE that it was even technically POSSIBLE to stop taking this drug.  For - um - six years, "not taking tramadol" had never even been an option for me.

The tricky part laid between  knowing where I was and where I WANTED to be.  I read ALL of Emily's personal adventures with this drug in her journals.  I am afraid that in my tram-a-fog, it took me reading her journal entries 4-5 times to even BEGIN to see that there was hope for somebody like me.  One of the things that really helped me were the words of someone named "Cadillac Jack" who stated that defeating this drug required a WAR.  Dude, that is serious talk!    I wasn't sure if I could muster a small skirmish, let alone a WAR.  

Then it struck me, the difference between where I was and where I wanted to be was WHAT I DID.  

In the past months since returning to (my) normal, I have thought a great deal about that WAR.  And I realize that in a larger sense, nothing of value, no momentous change in my life, has ever come about by anything LESS  than an all out 1000% dedication on my part to the desired change.  Maybe good change happens easily with som folks.  Maybe some do STUMBLE into freedom from this drug, but I kinda doubt it.  

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE WANT TO BE IS WHAT WE DO.  


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by madtram, Aug 24, 2009
Mark & Nina, I think that the epsom salts are a must try.  Bioavailability can be tricky, especially when you are still throwing up so absorption via a relaxing soak in warm water can only help.  Try some Indian Tonic Water for the restless legs, (quinine is the active ingredient) & it helps with staying hydrated.

Chrissie, glad you are getting some help.  Can you to refer them to Dr Ashton's site, she believes a slow taper is definitely the way to go.   Here's the link to her tapering schedules if you can get someone to take a look.

http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s1

You will all be surprised at how many things you feared were permanent disabilities, disappear over time.  I am back to studying all night, (goes with the med school territory), which I thought was never going to be possible again.  It's still not healthy or fun but at least now I have the choice.

Best to all,

Michelle

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Aug 24, 2009
OK, I didn't mean to hit "submit" there...sorry for the interruption.

As with any fight, we need to stay focused on the prize.  

This is not to say that we will NOT have a tough fight defeating this drug.  We will.
This is not to say that we will not experience all of the symptoms that many of us have and will report.  We will.

But for our own survival, I think that it is important that we not get in the weeds here.  Not become distracted by the temporary weights and pains that can so easily consume us.  

One of the greatest basketball  coaches of all time was John Wooden.  Google his name if you need inspiration.  But one of my favorite Wooden quotes is this, "don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do".  

I am standing with you tramadol warriors.  I think that there is hope for each one who sets about to do war with this drug.  Just don't become sidetracked from the prize.  Write it on your forehead, on the bathroom mirror and on your monitor.  

Because from where I sit, the diference between where any one of us is at today and where we WANT to be, lies in what we do about it.

Courage Strength and love to you all.

Fred

Avatar universal
by Ella789, Aug 24, 2009
I am so sorry for everyone going through the withdrawls from Tramadol,  I detoxed from Norco in Feb. and after 5 yrs of use, it was bad.  The depression led me to the phychatrist(sp?) and Cymbalta 60mg x 2 and a Remeron at bedtime.  Honestly, it is tough for anyone but having chronic pain and fibro has made me wish many times there was something that actualy worked for me with the pain issures and wasn't addicting!  I take Neurontin 600mg three times a day, and ibuphrophen, the nurse said I could take up to 2400mg a day with food to help with stomach issures to take with pepcid or nexium.  Always something.  The depression issues really bothered me too, and all the things that Emily wrote abt. buying sprees and not realizing what was going on,  this happened to me also.  Do not even know why I did the dumb shi*  I did except perhaps it made the addiction thing okay when I bought something,  I bought for everyone tho, my kids mostly, and myself.  I do love makeup still, and god knows I need it.  Some days I have to sneek-up on a glass of water!  lol.........   I hate being cold but can not take the humidity that we have here during the summer !!  So, I go out and come back in and if it gets too bad I start messing with the thermostat and my husband hates that!!  I do love the monster energy drinks, next to coffee,   yeah, I'm still an addict to other things(caffeine).  They start my day now, better than the feeling of a pill tho.       Am glad for the book information too, need some good reading.  Hope I just can take the time to read any of them!!   It sounds like everyone on here has such a good heart and such good humor, makes me smile!
      All I can say is that for me, the antidepressant pretty much saved me as I know I was in need of it mentaly.  I have no regrets with it and maybe, perhaps someday, I can wean off of it, but not right now.  I spent too many years in need of something I labeled as a "crutch" and man, was I ever in need of it!!  Did not want it but needed it!!  I am in my opinion in a drug-free life now, even tho I do take meds for depression and pain,  sometimes it is tough to wade through it all, it has taken me 58 yrs to realize many things, but I now know that an addict is not necessarily the person in the back alley anymore, nor has it ever been,  just in my long ago thoughts,  I am an x addict,  don't need the norco anymore, have slain the devil and am an informed person now armed with alot more knowledge.  Never too old to learn!!  
To all of you that are hurting, I want you to give yourself time,  be kind to yourself, tender and loving, as you are fighting for your life and the good days will come again, when the T clears out and this takes time, good nutrition,viatamins, good fluids and water,lots of it, along with long walks......... God bless

Ella

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 24, 2009
Hi Fred  Great post!  What we do counts for everything  - no matter what the life circumstances. It doesn't always have to be with the warrior approach for it to work, but it can also be accomplished through love and compassion, depending on what "it" is.  I quit smoking last year and thought I would need the warrior approach and was amazed that I didn't need it at all. Love and compassion...I guess for self...ran the show.  Anyhow, this withdrawal will definitely grow us.  Seems like there isn't much growth unless there's pain.

I am now beginning day 8 tram free. So far it really hasn't been terrible, at least physically. I have been super emotional and depressed and have had some hallucinations - generally when reading: like the words come off of the page and hang in mid air and like that. I've been taking  0.1mg ativan every 4 hours PRN and ibuprofen and acetaminophen.  I take the DM (dextromethorphan) cough stuff for the RLS (which works great for me but can be rough on the stomach).  Other than that, I am doing pretty well. I make a point to walk hard (10-15min mile) daily....but that was a habit of mine before and during the tramadol time. Ya know what's weird?  I had worse night sweats when I was using the tram than I do now. I  haven't woken up drenched since I stopped taking them!.  My biggest problems are super super upset stomach...eat - wanna puke....eat - wanna puke routine and not having something to look forward to...as in the next handful of pills.  Is that sick?  I gotta find something to replace that little thrill/gurarantee of relief...

Today is a good day so far.  Hope it is for the rest of you as well.  Thank you for all your open hearts and minds and willingness to share them.  RockNHard...

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by Lillyval, Aug 24, 2009
Hi Everyone,
Just returned from vacation and I haven't had time to catch up on the posts but I wanted to thank you kind people for your notes and condolences about my cat. Before I left I asked my neighbor and her 3 daughters to keep an eye out for her and they promised to feed and water her if she turned up.  But I knew in my heart that she was gone.  I have accepted it.  I was also worried about my 15 year old Siberian husky who I had to leave in the care of my 15 year old nephew for the first time.  But he was absolutely fine and was lavished with attention while we were gone.

As far as my taper goes, I did take more than I had planned.  However, I'm not ramping back up.  I'm going right back to where I left off at 50 mg.  I really am done this time and I feel calm about it.   In other news I got an e-mail while I was gone that my refill is ready.  That is my 90 day refill.  After everything I went through with the doctors office before I left they still haven't cancelled that prescription.  But I guess I already knew I couldn't rely on them.

My vacation was both better and worse than I imagined.  Better in that we really did have some good times and some great beach days, and the kids had a blast with their cousins.  Worse in that one set of in-laws kept blowing up at people, yelling, name calling and stomping out of the room.  It was hard to take.  But overall it was pretty good and I'm sorry I got so worked up about going.  

Now I have to jump back in and start dealing with my real life responsibilities, without the help of drugs.  I know it can be done though.  All of you give me hope.
Peace,
Lilly



Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Aug 24, 2009
Hello everyone,

I am almost 3weeks without tram. and feeling fine in terms of coming off the stuff, however my neck pain and constant stabbing pain in my head doesnt go away with OTC meds.. how do people live life, with this degree of pain without pills??

I have tried the herbal remedies, bubble baths, ice/heat, therapeutic rubs, exercise etc.. and nothing helps.

My doc suggested Lyrica, i tried it for a few days, but got scared about side effects and w\d if i was to stop taking it.. so now i am back to zero... no help.. lots of pain and feeling like i would pay any amount of money not to have these physical problems.. the funny thing is,,i am not craving for tram, ****.. i would eat piles of bubble gum if that is what it would take to get rid of this pain!!

i am going for acupuncture tonight and hope it does me some good, or i may be on lyrica despite my fears.

good luck to everyone in your own personal fight!

farrah

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by Gerty411, Aug 24, 2009
Hi y'all,

Why is it I can have several wonderful days followed by the most difficult days?..Today has been pure hell.  I'm exhausted, depressed and despise everyone.  I hate it when I feel this way!!!

Today I also decreased my tram dose tp 12.5 mg.  I also had this horrible urge to screw it and take a whole 50mg tablet.  What good would that do me?  I'd feel like dogcrap anyway and feel like a worthless dog.  It's funny what a friggging little pill can do to a person.  Do you all want to know how I really feel? lol

I've decided my jump off date will be in 1 week.  I'm very scared.  I know my dose now is nothing compared to 450 mg/day. but I know that I'll still get that "reward" at the end of the day.

I'm so glad I have the support of everyone.

Carry On!!!


Gerty




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by 12Stepper, Aug 24, 2009
Good going Gerty! You asked why you can have wonderful days and then a difficult one. One very obnoxious thing about tram w/d is that is it not a steady decrease in symptoms. They seem to be gone then come back which is soooo agrivating if not downright depressing. Over time, however, they do get better but in the short run, sometimes it seems like you're not making any progress. Many have shared about this and call it a "random, non-linear" process rather than linear (steady decline). It still drives me crazy when I have a bad day for no apparent reason! Take care, you are really doing great. Linn

Avatar universal
by Muppet627, Aug 24, 2009
Hi Guy's & Girls i stumbled on this web site last night after googling tramadol withdrawls,i have been on the 50mg dose for about 6months due to mass migraine's About 4-6 tabs a day  i still have the headach's  but like many others i have read in this thred and found that when i had stopped taking tm for a few days i found the horror of the withdrawls lack of sleep,sweats,dioreah,vomiting but most of all this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and the fear of doing anything or talking to anyone not just about the withdrawls but to pepole in general also i am feeling guilty for no reason this is pure hell and i am astonished to see how many pepole have and are going through this with me this site has made a lot of diffrence to my state of mind just to know that i am not alone and you guys are here to talk to and i will post from time to time to let you all know how i am doing :-)

Avatar universal
by newway, Aug 24, 2009
This is a heck of a support system you have here!  I have been reading, lingering in the shadows for a while.  I have had this secrete for so long, the denial is so strong - I forget it is running my life at times.  I carry an extra bit of shame around with me as well.  I am in AA and have also battled a benzo and opiate addiction.  For the longest time I didn't count tramadol as a "real" drug - it was non adictive - or so I was told.  Even though it had hold of me - I still continued to ignore it - embarrassed that this "mild" drug had me.
I have been on it for 5 years for chronic back pain.  For the past year or so I have struggled to get off it - tired of the fog.  I was up to 800 - 1000mg a day - chewing the extended release pills.  I had gotten down to about 300 - but now I am back up to about 600mg.  I keep messing around - not taking any for a day, then taking way to much back down to 100mg the next day and so on.
I am in a bad way - physically and emotionally.  No one knows and my partner, my family and friends have no clue what is going on.  I've become someone they don't know.  
I am exhausted and at my whits end but the idea of fessing up to everyone who has supported me in my recovery from other
substances.  But I am not sure how much more I can take.
I am glad I found this place - it is just a relief to put it out there.


Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Aug 24, 2009
Newway, I started out on this post exactly like you have tonight. Months ago, I was in your very position, with no one to talk to. I am proud of you that you took the step to talk to "us" your fellow recovering addicts. The first step towards recovery is admitting your problem, like you have done already. A bit of advice I have for you, is in regards to telling your partner, and or family/friends. I was terrified to tell my boyfriend about my addiction. I was so afraid that he would leave me, but one day I was so sick, and needed to tell him the truth. I told myself: "anyone who judges you and doesn't support you, is not a person you need in your life."  They either need to except what your going through and love you regardless, or they need to pull their head out of their ***. I bid you good luck, and remind you that in your darkest hour, you will always find the light within yourself.
-peace and love, KS

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Aug 25, 2009
Newway, Welcome to our world.  I am glad you found us.  Your description of your current state is SO copmmon (unfortunately.  Exhausted, sick, foggy, embarrassed and a little upset that this "non-addictive, safe, synthetic opiate can pack so much punch and wrap one's life around it's lovely little white pills.  

I too am in AA.  I was prescribed the drug by my family doctor and I didn't even think of talking with my sponsor about this any more than I would feel compelled to "admit" that I take BP meds regularly.  It all seemed so harmless and necessary at the start.  The miracle drug, right?  WRONG!  

The truly horrible thing I expect you have noticed is that over time on the drug, a person builds up tolerance to it, such that it takes more and more of the drug just to feel LESS UNWELL.  For the record, I  don't believe anyone increases their dose of this lousy drug over time for any reason EXCEPT to try to feel less unwell.  In the six years I took this RAT POISON, I can honestly say that I never felt WELL.  So the best I can say for the lousy drug is that on those days when I took enough of it, I felt less unwell - never well.

Here's the secret about tramadol.  It CAUSES pain, it doesn't take it away.  I was attempting to be "good" and staying within the daily 400 mg rx, but in reality, by the time that blessed day circled on the calender rolled around, I took a "theraputic" dose for the next week (i.e., more than 400 mg./day), once again and always running short by the time that blessed day circled on the calender rolled around again.  I didn't recognize it then, but I was in opiate withdrawal a great deal of the time.

I had so many places in my body that were painful toward the end, that I  SERIOUSLY believed I had fibromyalgia.  There are SO many reasons to stop this drug, but for me, getting OFF the meri-go-round of ongoing PAIN seemed to be worth the price of a week in hell (withdrawal) just to be done with this.  

And yes, withdrawal is hell, there's no way to sugar coat it.  But the truly amazing thing Newway, is that now I can honestly say that all those pains that I suffered from are totally gone.  Admittedly, some with physical reasons for their pain (blown discs, etc.) will still be left with that pain.  but a great many here who are able to get off this drug, find that they are in considerably LESS pain once they stop the trams.  

I know you will find the right time and manner to quit when you are ready.  When that time for you comes, I'm with KS, " (people) either need to except what your going through and love you regardless or else..."    If you can allow the light of love to shine into what I suspect you feel is your dark secret, you will be amazed with the stuff that happens.  

Keep coming back and I am so glad you arrived here.

Lilly, my heart goes out to you over the loss of your beloved pet.  You should KNOW that I really do understand this pain, having just lost our kitty a few months ago.    I do think that cats tend to want to go away by themselves when they get ready to pass on.  Ours was an inside cat and she was so weak at the end, but she still wanted to crawl into a corner to die.  You took preperations by having your neighbor and her daughters keeping an eye out for her.  Sometimes things happen to people and pets we love,  despite our best efforts at the time.  It's important for you to know that you did what you could do at the time Lilly.    But, I know it's so hard.  Glad your huskey was well when you got back.

Courage and Strength and love to you guys,

Fred

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 25, 2009
Hi Newway. Boy can I relate to your circumstances. I have been in AA for years and should be celebrating four years clean and sober in less than a week!  Those four years have taken literally 22 years of in and out of the rooms of AA to accomplish. The thing I did this time was to move in to what they call a "sober living environment"....a halfway house for people coming out of rehab before they go mainstream. This SLE as they're called have a little bit of structure (curfews, house meetings,etc) but the residents can come an go as needed. I have lived at this one place for several years and have worked my way into management, which is some work, but also has some benefits, too.  Well, long story short, my doc started giving me tramadols for chronic hip pain and I found that they did a great job when taken in larger doses than suggested.  I also liked the way they felt at the higher doses.  Moved beyond getting them from the doc and started getting them online. Fast, easy, no questions...but costly.  Ok, so here I am taking 30+ pills a day and trying to run a sober home.  How hypocritical is that???  I was lying, cheating and stealing from everyone I came into contact with in some way,shape or form.. I could play the game pretty well, still can, ut the lying, the hypocrisy and the deception has been just too much for me.  Tram never stopped working for me.  I still love the pain relief and the cool little buzz that I get from taking a few.but I can't live within my skin to the point where I am lying outright to everyone and everything I hold near and dear; Won't take on a sponsee and generally just go to meetings to save face since I am the manager. BUT, I am now tramadol free 8 days!!! I feel such a huge sense of relief1 And when I wonder what it is I am feeling, I know it's total freedom..."freedom from bondage"   Good luck and keep in touch

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by Lillyval, Aug 25, 2009
I just caught up with the last weeks' posts and I really feel for all of you - the struggles you're going through.
At this point I wake up, I don't want to get out of bed.  I lie awake until I force myself to get up.  Then I have diarrhea.  Then I drink a cup of coffee because I'm so out of it (I know I shouldn't with diarrhea).  Then I just feel crappy and start to think about when I can take my dose.  I just don't function like a normal human being.  And I'm supposed to be taking care of kids right now.  I've been pretty much just letting them do their own thing.  But they're starting school in 6 days and they're going to need some new clothes, etc.  I'm going to have to pull myself together.   This really is hard.
Lilly


Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Aug 25, 2009
The struggles and success people share here are remarkable.. Rockandahardplace: I give you so much credit for getting off the tramadol..going from 30+ a day to clean for 8 days is truly heroic!! good for you!! I am free of tramadol for about 3 weeks, and it is true, that you have a new sense of freedom that you didnt realize you were really missing before.

Lillyval:  i understand your struggle with having children to care for.. it is difficult, however for me; my daughter is what motivated me to come clean from tramadol. i really wanted to be there for her more, without being agitated and short tempered. being off the tram has improved my mood and i have more patience for her. i hope you soon feel better and best wishes for brighter days ahead.

farrah



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by EmilyPost, Aug 25, 2009
Gerty asks, Why is it I can have several wonderful days followed by the most difficult days?..Today has been pure hell.  I'm exhausted, depressed and despise everyone.  I hate it when I feel this way!!!"

I know how you feel. Such a huge amount of time is devoted to trying to figure out how not to feel bad. How to control the withdrawal.  The answer to your question is;

Withdrawal from Tramadol (and Benzos) is random. You can have several great days, and then get slammed so hard it brings you to your knees and make you forget that you had good days. After it brings you to your knees, it could smack you again and leave you face down on the floor.

This happens because our bodies don't necessarily detoxify on our time schedule. the substance can be held in fat stores, joints and can disorder the rhythm of the brain and organs.

No one know how long it takes. But we all want to know how long it takes. That was what I started out online looking for. How long does it take? I wanted to find people who knew exactly how long it would take. Then i wanted to see if they ever were ok again.

It took about 80 days before I was 100% ok from Tramadol. That doesn't mean it was steady freddie bad. It was on again off again for 80 days.

Keep in mind that during that time I was on Klonopin.  I stopped klonopin April 13th, 2009. So it has been over four months and I've had quite the time recently. Yes, Hell. I have to deal with Benzo Belly. Which hit really hard a few days ago.  It's been present all along, but more than likely the more acute withdrawal symptoms grabbed my attention.

Now it's like being pregnant in an extremely painful way. I actually iced my belly last night. There's a tight hard distended belly. Making sure all my clothes no longer fit. How annoying is this? Annoying and painful and anxiety provoking. And .... 100% Normal for Benzos.

It's better today because I cut out all junk food, all sugar, all sweeteners, and am eating minimally. But yes, the long lasting relapse stuff? ... depressing. I know eventually it really will go away. But the only reason i do know that is that it's now almost noon. By noon, I'm not bad as far as mood.

Early morning dread and depression and anxiety have to do with Cortisol levels. You can whack out your cortisol cycle if you have alot of pain, for a long time. Which; I have. So, although I know intellectually what is happening; viscerally it's a rough gig. It's not easy, it's not fast. It's not over in three days. (The worst part is though, at least for Tramadol)

And no one will understand unless they have been there.

It's like telling someone that you have pain from withdrawal and they say, "It's impossible, it has been over four months."

Yes, I know. But that's the way it's rolling. That's just the way that it is. It all gets better if I don't resist. Yes, it is painful. Tensing up against that pain, makes it worse. Breathing, praying, writing all helps. Sometimes researching the situation helps. I don't think that the Benzo sites are at all helpful. Because they are filled with the most profound despair and can scare you worse than you already are scared. I'm not sure that people need more Fear.

Hallucinations? Yes. I even have false thoughts. Things that I believe are true, in my head, are not necessarily true. I can be filled with dread about a situation that is in no way based in reality and that .. is extremely unnerving. It honestly makes you believe that you are crazy. But, no, it's the withdrawal.

During withdrawal you cannot necessarily trust your mind. Your mind may not be helpful. so you have to switch to the beating of the heart, or the breath. You switch to what to do to help in the next minute. You have a deeper understanding of what compassion really is. What healing is. Prayer, contact with the Divine is always helpful. even if you don't believe because you are in too much pain. It helps.

Distraction goes a long way when you feel as if you have been poisoned. (You have been)

So this weekend there was more movement thru the cluttered room. More dread. More exhaustion and more "What if" and an understanding of the word Resentment. Grabbing your life back is hard work. I am going slowly. I was in pain, but bed rest is no longer necessary ...

It's very emotional to go thru all my stuff. (and yes, I found yet another pair of sunglasses ... dude ... wtf?) Having to sort thru it all is a cold glass of water over the head. It's like being in light that is way way way too bright. The urge is to compare myself to others. Which; never works. And will make everything worse.

If I were to compare myself to say ... Michael Jackson .. who it would appear was killed with drugs ... how would I come out? I'm still alive. There's still lots of hope. It's just painful. Pain. My old friend.

Despite all of that, it feels like the kind of pain that you experience when you have to clean out a wound to get it to heal.  I think Benzos and Tramadol divorce us from Reality and make our minds slow and dull. So waking up is quite a shocker.

Many times during my taper and quit of Klonopin, it all became way way too much. I'd have to get in bed with headphones, a movie and tune out. Keep in mind that while in pain (caused by the Tramadol eventually) I'd also have to tune out. On the benzo sites, almost no one is working. It disables people. I'm not saying I am better than that. I am saying that thank goodness I had to work.

I'm completely embarrassed and grossed out by what I had to go thru to get here. and here? Here isn't the greatest yet. But ... we're not guaranteed anything but he Pursuit of Happiness. and that pursuit is an honorable goal. It's honorable and wonderful that we're all here together trying to get off drugs, trying to stay off drugs and finding new ways.

Finding new ways is much better than the "getting back my life.' There's too much pressure in the whole "getting back my life." I'd rather start again. Plus, I'm pretty sure I couldn't find my old way even if I tried. I think my little footsteps in the sand have been tsunami-ed.

But keep in mind, you are not alone. Your mind will tell you that you are, because Drugs are Bad Mmmkay!? You have us, we know. We know what it is like to look around after the battle is over and wonder ...

what now?

Hope. Right?

It reminds me so much of the Legend of Pandora's box ...

"When Pandora opened the box a plague dispersed and doomed humanity to suffer ruin, insanity, and despair. She hastily closed the box to stop the plague but, pathetically, only Hope remained inside."

Love and healing,
Em


PS. I'll be back ;-)

Lilly so sorry about your Kitteh :(





Avatar universal
by nancy652, Aug 25, 2009
Hi everyone.

First of all FinallyFred, I didn't see my inbox till today. Everytime someone emails me, it comes straight to my regular email but yours didn't. So sorry not to get back to you. I want to respond to your thoughts when I get some free moments. We need research very much. Thank you for thinking of me.

Gerty...me too. Some days feel fine and some are very tough. I'm trying to throw myself into work and that works, but it's exhausting. If it helps, I didn't feel any worse after the final taper day than I did right before it.

Lilly, welcome back! I missed you!

Farrah and Rock, so nice to see you and hear from you...I love your posts.

Mark and Nina...those are my symptoms exactly. Exactly.

Oh my. Such a struggle. Thank goodness you are all here. Once again, I couldn't do this without you. I'll post when I'm not so tired.

Everyone else...big hugs, esp. Chrissie

But I have parts of my life back. This is so worth it.

hugs
Nancy

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Aug 25, 2009
Hello all....
    
Emily, I just finished reading your post.. Fantastic insightful information...As you know I have been off tram for almost 6 mos. I have started the zanax taper....I thought it was going to be a lot worse. Maybe it hasn't hit full force yet...I do feel   better with this taper than I did with the Tram W/D . I really thought I was going to go insane on the tram W/D...Depression that sucked so bad I had thoughts that it would NEVER go away...Well it did and I am rolling along at work.

For some reason working  has been a good thing for me also. I never missed a day of work while on the Tram W/D..except one afternoon when I truly thought I was having a heart attack and was taken to Dr. by my husband...Well the good news was no heart attack...just panic..

I'm coming to work every day no matter what the voices are saying in my head...Most of the time I think it's going pretty good... Than I have the odd day of crazy... Same as I had from Tram W/D. I'm glad I came off the TRAM FIRST..IT GIVES ME SOMETHING TO COMPARE WITH THIS W/D with... This seems to be going better...Maybe because I want it so bad and actually survived Tram W/D..so I know the bad days will come and than I will have good days..One year from now I will look back and say..What a hell of a ride that was..

Lilly..I'm so sorry about your cat..I'm the cat lover of the world. That's just heart breaking that your kitty disapeared. Don't lose hope ..We have had very old cats in the past ..one was 18 years old. he went missing for a few weeks and turned back up in the yard eating..Lasted another 2 years...

best to all..keep up the good fight..

Peaceful wihses from California

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Aug 25, 2009
Well as you can all see I still can't spell...Last sentance...Should say..Peaceful Wishes from California..Not Wihses..What is that ..Brain rot..???

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 25, 2009
Hi everyone. I've missed sharing with you cuz I've been going thru it kinda hard and  the typing gets in the way.  I am on day 8 but it feels like day2. My tongue is so sore I can barely speak. I began school last week and I hadn't opened the book until today and then I fell apart because I can't comprehend anything and I'm three chapters behind all ready!  Don't feel sick, but don't feel well either...just want to climb back into the womb and give up.  I'm tired of the tears.  I am tired of the flickers of hope that then bend and burn out.. I'm tired of being a used up human being due to a drug history that spans my lifetime. Tram was just the most recent. Ya know...depression really ***** the oxygen out of the room...and makes it hard to breathe and then....I get tired.

Avatar universal
by kelaltieri, Aug 25, 2009
hi everyone. i've been mulling around this forum reading everyone's story and i've decided to post the short version of mine.

i was in a car accident 3ish years ago. i was prescribed tramadol and/or ultram ER on and off for a while. i quickly became addicted. my doctor then stopped prescribing it to me and i detoxed. it wasn't that bad from what i remember, but i wasn't taking it for all that long either. and i've also detoxed from heroin in the past and it wasn't all that different from that.

so, some odd months after that, i started working for a veterinarian and they had tramadol on hand . as much as i wanted! so, i started taking it again .. alot. i was up to 12 - 50mg pills at a time .. a few times a day. then, i had a complication from my gastric bypass surgery and was hospitalized for almost a month. there, i was receiving IV pain meds at regular intervals, obviously. so, i comfortably detoxed from tramadol.

more recently, i started taking 750mg tabs of vicodin and became addicted to that. the person that i was getting the pills from gave me her doctors name and i started getting tramadol again, on top of the vicodin .. and 300mg ryzolt (extended release tramadol), which i was breaking in half and taking 3 of them a day, instead of the 1, as directed. i wasn't as bad as i was in the past, but i got up to 6 or 8 - 50mg tabs again, if i didn't have the ryzolt or vicodin, which i was taking at 3000mg at a time. i don't have the willpower to taper myself off these pills. so, i decided enough was enough and decided to get some professional help. i decided that an outpatient methadone clinic was best for my life style and financial and personal situation. so, i went there, filled out paperwork, saw a nurse and they did a urine screening. because tramadol isn't an opiate, my urine came back clean and i was told that they couldn't help me. but, the director told me without coming out and telling me to go get some narcotics and come back. ethically, he couldn't come out and tell me that .. but, i read between the lines and swallowed a handful of vicodin and went back the next day. i've been on methadone 40mg for 7 days. besides making me tired, i feel NORMAL. finally. i haven't decided on maintenance or detox yet. i'm taking it one day at a time.

i just wanted to share my story.

good luck to everyone.

tramadol is the devil.

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 26, 2009
Second or third night without sleep...can't remember. It's all beginning to be a big smear of time and space in my mind.  Feel like I am the only one in the world awake right now and I sure wish that weren't so because I would love to speak with someone...especially about this detox. I am just beginning day 9 without any tramadol. I've been doing okay all things considered except for the emotional component,, which I'm not liking all that much.  I have some low dose Ativan to take the edge off, which has been a god-send...but then they're going to need their own detox a few weeks down the line. It seems as though this detox is taking at least twice as long as an opiate detox.  I wonder if it has methadone beat as far as length of detox! I am so very very tired and wish I could sleep, but there's a point where you have to just give up and get up.  Had  a lot to do today, too. Some of which sounded fun...maybe I'll be up enough to attend and participate. If not, nothing major lost;  I am disappointed that I am already 8 days along and am seeing so little progress. I thought I would be able to wrap my head around a medical coding course with no problem, and here I am barely able to read the text; I got straight A's on my last work...and coding was a fun class for me so I should be okay. It's just going to take some mental discipline.  I am SO looking forward to having a clear head and both feet planted firmly on the gtound.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 26, 2009
Phew...what a lot of stories in the few days since I logged on.. Stories of agony and wasted precious time. How did we get here? Most of us through gross negligence and uninformed doctors. I am typing this from the pyschiatric unit. The NHS having put me in this position and stolen almost a year of my life (and thats only up til now) have deigned to give me a 2 week detox from the diazepam. How really generous when what I need is 8 weeks to do it properly . (Not too rapidly which could blow up in my face!) Even so, having been conditioned to say thank you for any attention in this nightmare - I am insanely grateful! I am also very scared.

I am on Day 32 clean from tramadol cold turkey. They put my diazepam up when I came in here. As Michelle had spotted I was w/d from that even without reducing it as the tram had previoulsy enhanced the effect. Even so the huge amount they put it up concerned me as they were putting it up only to then reduce it rapidly. I did a little bit of harm minimisation by holding the tablet under my tongue, not swallowing  - and then taking a bit off before I did swallow!!  Naughty - but this is my body and my life!  Anyway today I am on 10mg. (I came in on 8mg) I am comfortable. But its not going to last long as they plan for me to be on 2mg by Aug 29th.  

Two days ago I was moved from my single room into a room with a dear sweet lady who has a chest infection. I poiinted out that perhaps if they put the lady with an infection into a single room and let me share with a healthy individual it would be better sense. I am not keen to be fighting an infection as well as a detox. But absolutely no joy. I am here to do as I am told!!!!

Nancy - thank you for the hug. I need it! Lilly - how are you coping with the kids. How very hard for you. And Rock. Day 9. Brilliaint person - keep going it all adds up. I have realised that I can only come out into the light if I walk through this very dark tunnel. I am just so glad to have yuo all to hold my hand! KC and grandma girl - your private messages bless my boots off me. Kelalteiri - I too had wondered if a methadone script would help at one point.  I only know I couldnt even get an appointment with my local drug agency Turning Point. I wish you the very best of luck. 40 mls isnt impossible and if you are getting support then informed reducing is a good way forward.  I havent told you all this before but I was a drugs worker for 7 years in  a previous life. After my nursing career ended due to a back injury I worked in rehabs and prisons with folk addicted to heroin. (Which makes it even more ironic that I ended up like this) . I had retired but after this I am thinking I will work on a voluntary basis if anyone will have me. I shall really know about the pain of w/d this time and not just think I do!

I am now going to have lunch - great not to have to shop or worry about cooking. I expect to suffer any day soon and am worried that I will embarrass myself and go up the wall begging for a diazepam. If I dont post it means I am not in great shape.  Can I also throw a question in here? I would like to go to a place where there are people and meals etc for 2 weeks after this. I cant afford a fortune but reasonable would be okay. Any suggestions? I know it wont be over when I go home and I dont want to go home and fall into negativity and climb under the duvet again.

Love and good wishes to you all.
Chrissie

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by Lillyval, Aug 26, 2009
Thank you all for your kind, caring words.
Farrah - thanks for reminding me that being agitated and short tempered with my kids is one of the main reasons I wanted to get off this **** in the first place.  Sometimes I lose sight of what I'm really fighting for here.

RockandaHard - I feel for you.  I can feel your pain and anguish with each post you write.  Someone once told me that how you're feeling and how you're doing are two different things.  You are doing awesome.  Keep moving forward.  I can sense the strength in you.

Chrissie - you sound so much better.  You sound decisive.  You are going to beat this and go on to help others.

I think I am going to stop tapering and just go ct.  I've already dragged this out so long.  My only hesitation is the kids start school on Monday and I don't want to be a mess for their last few days before school starts.
Blessings everyone,
Lilly
  

Avatar universal
by newway, Aug 26, 2009
Good Morning all, (here in Ottawa Canada it is 7:45 am)

After reading all your posts for a month or so and then finally posting myself, I feel like I should start doing something.
I am stuck on about 800mg of tram, and I don't even know how many benzo's per day, and at night to sleep.

I have tried to go cold turkey - but I couldn't function - and that is not an option for me.  I run my own business, I can get away for a long weekend or so - but that is about it.  I know that I am no where as productive as I would be clean - but I have staff that depend on me - I just can't disapear while detoxing.  I have gone CT from oxy - and that was a piece of cake compared to tramadol for me.
I was thinking of trying to taper - starting with the tram and then the benzo's.  But given my history - I don't know?

I wish I could just disapear for a month - go to a treatment program - then reappear as good as new and no one would be the wiser.

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 26, 2009
Hi newway...You still sound in pretty good spirits. ...would make sense since you are still using.  I found I could not cut down or taper in any way shape or form on my own meds.  My MD held a week's worth of pills for me for a couple of weeks,  I wold be given just so many per week and I stuck to it until the doses were too small for my liking so I took more of them than I had planned and ended up with none.   Then start again when I got to see the doctor again (usually only a day or two without,  If you were taking any thing like I was , you had enough left in your system to sustain you for a few days.  I have found being at day 8 that this detox isn't quite as debilitating for some as it is for others... Some people get really sick and then there are folks like me who can handle most of the physical stuff, but be wiped out by the emotional stuff.  Either way, I have not had to change my routine too much to stay functioning.  Ya don't always feel so great...but it passes. Good luck on your titrate.


Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Aug 26, 2009
Hello everyone, hope each of you are moving forward in the capacity that you can. I am glad to hear that some newcomers have found this thread and can get the support they need, just as I have.

I am struggling with chronic pain since coming off tramadol (the pain that i was originally given this med for), and since I head back to university in less than a month, i am wondering how i will cope once i have a hectic schedule to contend with?? i need pain relief without taking nasty medication......any suggestions??

p.s.. the Lyrica didn't do me any good (gave me severe headache,aches/pains and blurred vision etc)


take care and keep fighting!

farrah

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by Gerty411, Aug 26, 2009
hi y'all,

I've had a rough one.  On Monday I promptly came home had a beer and a coctail ( I have not drank since I began my taper for fear that it would lower my inhibitions)---And guess what  miss priss did?  I promptly went to my pill bottle and took 2 or 3 50mg piils.I FELT LIKE A WEASEL IN  THE HEN-HOUSE. I really cannot remember the exact amount.  I knew I was going to do this the minute I got home because of my call weekend (very stressful as I outlined on previous posts) and  I also had a very crappy day on that Monday.  I knew this was much to easy.  The next day I told my husband and decided to throw all the remaining pills down the commode. I only kept 2 to complete my taper.  Today will be the first day in 2 years that I have not had Tramadol.
I am human and am not anything near perfect.  I know I may make more mistakes before all is said and done.  I will continue to beat this mofo skanky crapping tramadol down!!!!!  Whatever it takes to be free of this.

Thanks all for giving me the courage'

Peace,
Gerty

Avatar universal
by kelaltieri, Aug 26, 2009
hi chrissie,

thanks for your well wishes.  i'm not on 40mL .. i'm on 40mg.  they started me on 30mg and planned on bringing me up 10mg/day til i was at 60mg.  but, 40mg was enough for me .. it really knocked me out.  that was a week ago.  i think they're going to re-evaluate tomorrow.  i'm starting to get used to the dose and am starting to have cravings.  so, i think they're going to raise me to 50mg tomorrow.  we'll see how it goes!  i'm going to start taking B12 too for energy.  i feel like a zombie some days.  i was really worried about depression from the serotonin and norepinephrine dip from not being on the tramadol, but i have none, thankfully .. yet.  any suggestions on something natural?  what kind of facility are you in and what for, if you don't mind me asking?  congrats on getting off the tramadol!!  it's a b!tch!!!

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Aug 27, 2009
Just thought I would stop in and say hi. I have been lurking every few days over the past few weeks...good sign that I am able to be busy enough not to be stopping by all the time like before?  Today is day 57 after ct for me.  Physically doing ok. STILL having some GI issues but think the fish oil is part of my prob. but it seems to help the joints so trying to decide which is the lesser of two evils.  I am dealing more with the emotional/mental issues.  Last week VERY depressed.  Last Wed. drove home from work and cried the entire way. I screwed up some at work and my boss "let me have it"  I was very upset home and right to bed.  By Sat. I could see that she didn't "let me have it" near as bad as it seemed at the time and since then my mood seems to be finally improving. I never thought 57 days out that I would still be having so many depressing thoughts.  But, I realize that for the last 3-4 days I have been happy! Yes, I said it...happy! I was able to take each of my kids to their back to school nights/meetings (for the past few years I have had my husband do it because I couldn't concentrate and retain what they were told) it was soooo nice to be involved again. I have been able to help them with their homework, setting out clothes, making dinner..all things I did before but always seemed like I was going through the motions...now, I feel involved!!  I have one more to get off to school here the day after Labor Day but feeling positive that will go well too.  I am taking St. John's Wort still(really think it's starting to help) along with 5-HTP, fish oil, B-12, multi-vit, Mag., Pot. and stil take at least one Epsom salt bath a day to deal with the muscle spasms I still get especially if I have to sit much during the day (still have that spinal fusion to contend with).
Ok, so I guess what I want to say is keep up the good work everyone, the stories I am reading break my heart. I KNOW the pain you all are feeling but hopefully better days are ahead.

Peace to all
Missy

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 27, 2009
B12 is good Kelalteiri. And I think taking magnesium in through epsom salt baths is good too - as so many have said here. I dont have access to that whilst in this unit so will take it up when I get home. Methadone tabs (I only know a bit about the liquid) is a new one on me but a structured supervised plan is so good and means you are not on your own. I do think it best to stabilise on the meth even if it means going up a bit. You have the time to come down slowly then with the minimum discomfort.  I dont like methadone at all long term but I have seen it work for folk in the past as long as they stick to the plan.

You ask what is good for depression. Serotonin 5HTP is recommended for depression and the bottle says take one x 100mg tab.But..... I spoke to a guy in Dumfries who runs a Tuesday evening helpline. He says to take it at 1000mg a day. This is high and I would not like to suggest that to you in case it made you ill. It must be taken with food and can cause indigestion.  I did take it at that rate for 3 days before I came in here. On day 2 I had an upset tummy. BUT the depression lifted.  Yesterday I bought some (I am allowed out). I knew they wouldnt let me take it in here so I took a pair of socks out with me and divided  the bottle of tablets between the socks - and then stuffed them down my bra. (In M&S changing room!) So when my bag was searched on return I was clean of all natural substances!!!  I dont mean to minimise the seriousness of mixing medication (even natural stuff) and this is a risk I am prepared to take but wouldnt set it up as an example to anyone else. I am taking 500mg at the moment and will go up to 1000mg tomorrow.

You ask where I am.  I live in Somerset England and am in the local psychiatric unit for 2 weeks to do this benzo detox. I look at some of the folk here and although they dont have the w/d pain that I am experiencing they have real problems with their minds that may never heal. I keep telling myslef that I just need courage and time and I will be better - and so try to count my blessings.

Its not much of a counting blessings day today though. The sweet lady I am sharing with snores - very loudly!  I was ok for 4 hours as my sleeping tablet made sure of that. But then from 3.30 til 6.30 I slept on the floor of the lounge! I am very tired today and there are no spare rooms so I guess its more of the same tonight.  I do have herbal medicine here which was made up by a registered medical herbalist especially for me. It relaxes me and takes me on from the sleeping pill sleep. But it is not allowed in here. Just drugs. (You know those things that caused us all to be sick!!)

I got up and had 3mg of diazepam. I shook all morning and thought 'okay girl - this is the beginning - hold tight'. And then went for the next 3mg at lunch time. The nurse made a mistake and after I had swallowed the tablets informed me that he had MISTAKENLY given me the wrong strength. So I had 7.5mg. (two and a half times as much). I wanted to cry. The last few days of reducing blown out of the window. He was sorry and would never have meant me harm - but it did bring me down.  Anyway new plan is that I have nothing tonight and start on the 3mg again tomorrow. It means I have lost a day. Not much in the scheme of things but they wont tack it on to the end of my detox period so it feels a bigger deal than it really is!

And its the reason I am able to type this. I think come tomorrow I may be shaking too much. And I dread going home to the isolation and having to look after my meals etc. I have so much admiration for you who are working and looking after children etc.  

My post is lighthearted and I can giggle to know that I would smuggle 5htp in my bra(!) but I am seriously scared and need you all just as much as on that first day. ( Its 33 days no tram today. )

What a rotten experience you had Gerty - but what a fighter getting rid of all the demons. Keep going forward a day at a time and when I am climbing the wall in a few days - please say it back to me!

Farrah I have had the most amazing pain relief from acupuncture. I do think it depends on the practioner though.  Also a Chiropractor has helped.

Hopefully I shall see you all tomorrow.
Love Chrissie







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by 12Stepper, Aug 27, 2009
Greetings everyone and hope this day finds you getting closer to your goals. It is good to see new people posting and seeing that there is hope. Little by little, we will get there, even with so-called set backs, sometimes they strengthen our resolve to keep on course. I wonder how dedicated I would have been if I hadn't had to experience these prolonged w/d symptoms? For a while, I thought I'd take vicodin again. After going through this intermitant depression stuff, I really don't want anything. Now, even the thought of taking antidepressants is frightening because at some point I'd have to go off them. Then I'd once again have to learn how to feel good on my own. I'm not willing to go through this again. By the time I see my doc, it will be 4 mos. Tram-free, so I hope I can bypass the need to treat the depression.

I'm about 11 weeks Tram-free, and for a while I took both tram and ativan for about 7 mos. I didn't have bad physical symptoms, but depression has been on and off. As Gettinglifeback and others have shared you can have great days and then wham--it feels like the world is ending. I'm getting a lot better at recognizing the onset and seeing that the duration is not that long. No matter how bad it is, I don't see using pills again as the solution. Instead, I'm getting in the best shape with all this exercise--for someone in their late 50s! Really good to see you all hanging in there. Thank you for sharing, Love, Linn



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by 12Stepper, Aug 27, 2009
P.S. Just read your post Chrissie, so funny to hear your story. That 5HTP must be good stuff to smuggle it. I'll have to try it. I'm so glad you're among us--I'm so grateful for everyone who posts here.

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by Lillyval, Aug 27, 2009
Gerty - Please forgive yourself.  I took extra too, last week when I was on vacation.  Maybe being so hard on ourselves is part of what keeps us addicted.  I jumped off today along with you.  It is day one of no tramadol for me.  I just couldn't bear the tapering anymore.  I wish you all the best and I know you can do it!

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Aug 27, 2009
Gerty and Lily both, you are so brave. I would have taken extra in a hearbeat if I had had them during the taper. I literally had just enough. I knew I would be in too much pain to get more, but if they were in front of me, that taper would have lasted as long as they lasted. I think I have been tapering for five years and somehow my taper always ending with me taking more for excatly the reasons you stated. It is visious. But you've done the hard part - you made the commitment and now you just have to run out. We are not like those that can keep them in the house, I guess, at least not under our control.

It is not so terrible to jump off. I have had days after the last one when I felt both better and worse. It's a process.

I'm here for you. It's really really tough.

Hugs to you and everyone else.
Nancy

Avatar universal
by kelaltieri, Aug 27, 2009
hi chrissie,

the methadone i'm taking is liquid form.  at least they give it to me in liquid form.  i don't know the form they have it in, as they give it to me already dosed up.  i've been on the 40mg for 7 days and i'm just starting to have cravings for tramadol or any other pill i could probably get my paws on.  i spoke with my counselor today and she's going to work with the doctor to adjust my dose.  i'm also going to talk to the doctor about some herbal remedies too .. so, thanks for the suggestions.  i'll ask about them.  :)

i'm sorry that you're having such a hard time with the benzos.  i dabbled with those a few times and they never really caught me.  i guess i should be glad for that.  but, i'm sure you'll come out ok.  it's a struggle, but you've got lots of people rooting for you.  :)

good luck, i hope you get some sleep!!  talk to you soon.  

it's been 9 days for me without tramadol.  :)  i think i'm digging myself out of the hole!!  

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Aug 28, 2009
Chrissie, it is so heartening to read your posts.  You are doing so fabulous.  Fred

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by Lillyval, Aug 28, 2009
I thought I knew what to expect having been through this before.  It's day 2 and I have a debilitating headache.  I have my son's middle school orientation in 1 hour and I just took ibuprofen and coffee, hoping for the best.  I didn't have this last time.  Do any of you think it's the tram withdrawal, or maybe it's one of the remedies I took yesterday not agreeing with me.
Hope everyone is well,
Lilly

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 28, 2009
This has been the week from hell for me. I have now got 11 days without tram, but the withdrawal just keeps on marching.  Tried to do something good for myself even though I didn't want to and took a power walk...guess what?  I fell down and severely sprained my wrist....oh goody, more pain!  School started this week and I haven't even opened the text for any appreciable length of time because it feels like it's over my concentration ability right now. I haven't slept well in days.  My roommates are getting really disgusted wit me...they just think I am coming off an antidepressant and think I should just go back on it. I literally have zero money until the first and I am low on gas and groceries. I do have a credit card for emergencies, but my whole life seems to be an emergency anymore and it's been getting used.  I am in the worst mental, emotional, physicall and spiritual place Ive been in years.  This past  February my son's father (my ex I was married to for 10 years) blew his brains out.  At that time, my own option for suicide was taken from me.  I couldn't leave the most wonderful and important person in my life without any parents...all alone in the  world.  Today I am pissed at my ex because there is nothing I want more than to lay down and never wake up again!  Long story short...It's very very tempting to just give up and use...anything...  I know through a lot of experience that this will pass and life will look more promising, but right now....I am hating it.  I love my son more that myself so I shall endure.  I am just very unhappy   Think I'll try some prayer  Thank you for listening and for any other support you may send my way. I am go grateful to have someplace to vent  The first 10days have  been relativity easy.  These 11+ days don't look too good...if it keeps on like it has been.  Thanks for  everything. I promise my next whine won't be so vocal. It's GOTTA get better.

Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Aug 28, 2009
Dear Rockandahardplace;

Sorry to hear you are going through a rough time, however you sound hopeful and that is most important. I have worked with people for many years, and so many that contemplate suicide: you sound as though you have a great son to live life for, and soon you will see that you also have yourself too! In my own struggle with tramadol, I found the first week to be easier than the following week as well, but I think the hate for what this drug has taken from me is what makes me pursue brighter days. We all understand how hard this overwhelming task can be, I still find myself looking for that "special something" to make me feel better.......OTC meds/herbal remedies....but I think the truth of the matter is that I have to face this with only the help of myself, and no magic mixture will cure me.

I really do hope you feel better and that through prayer and with time that you beat these demons.

Farrah

Avatar universal
by MarkNina, Aug 28, 2009
Hello all.

Firstly, we Just wanted to first say that I do try and read a lot of the posts, even though I feel that all I do is update you all on Nina's progress! I/we don't seem to offer any advice to others! but have to say that the info we are getting from you all is fantastic. Thanks.

Nina Update. Today was the reduction from 50mg to zero (no pills). It is 11:30 at night here in the UK and Nina is in bed and has not taken any.

We had a day out today with the kids and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. She was ok for a bit this morning, then very quickly turned into someone with absolutely no tolerance level at all! Not ideal with a 3 year old and a 6 year old to test you! They (and me) found out that things were not right. This passed though once we got on our journey. The day itself went well, with Nina describing at times how she felt, which sounded really weird. She said that it was if her body was sort of floating after her movements! She fell asleep in the car on the way home and woke up having a nightmare!! Made me jump and I was driving. Bloody strange. Got home and she tried to sit and watch t.v but couldn't sit still! Now in bed.

She said that her back pain is really bad. She reckons that the operation that she has has definitely not worked. Could this be the Tramadol????? and not actually her original back problem?

Not been able to get the Epsom salts yet. Will do tomorrow. Thanks for the tip MadTram. FinallyFred, thanks for your comments! The holiday was great cheers.

There has been a bit of a laugh today. The sneezing has become a bit of a joke (Nancy652)! WTF!!!!!?!?!?

Hang in there everyone, it can only get better!

Will be back in a few days.

Take care

Mark (and NINA!!!!!)



Avatar universal
by nancy652, Aug 28, 2009
wow Rock, your post really resonates with me. I so feel for you. I am a little further out, about 15 days. I'm not even sure because it's all a blur. All I know is my whole life has changed and my timing was really right in tune with everyone else in my life. It's like my whole world shifted in the last month and with it the lives of everyone I'm intertwined with. It is strange and getting stranger, but it is good and healthy, if not very very challenging. Somehow my change seemed to coincide with some major shifts - my mother married for 50 years (!) tells me to day that she must leave my father. I had no clue. My father-in-law was diagnosed with nasal cancer last week, my work load is skyrocketing and last child went to K so for the first time this week in 15 years I am working full time. I feel like my life is in some kind of weird stellar formation. Pattern upon pattern from the past keeps getting uncovered and arising in my present circumstances. I don't know how to describe it. I guess it had to happen and I was just in tune with the timing. I think it is that way for you all too. It's the energy of the changes that keeps me going, even when its negative. It's like I'm tuning into proof of a larger picture than what I can normally see. The Tramadol apparently shielded me from these things for so many years. It is really tough to deal with all this but I have to say that it feels right that I am doing so without the Tramadol and that gives me strength.

Love to all.
N

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by oxfinx, Aug 28, 2009
i am 3+ months post op, had multilevel spinal fusion, 14 vertebra, quit tramadol on feb 27 2009, will never forget that date or the 10 following days, worst of my life. just got off the norco 10's down to 7.5's, with robaxin to help. goal is no drugs by a year from surgery. was taking 400-600mg tramadol no need to mention the 3 other pain drugs including methadone, or the 3 muscle relaxers, or the supplements. the tramadol is where the problem laid. after about 2 and a half weeks cold turkey i felt better and was able to cut back on some of the others. i actually would smack a doctor if they tried to prescribe tramadol to me now. however MY doctor wouldn't do the surgery till i was done with it and the w/d from it first, was almost 8 weeks after quitting before he would agree to do surgery.he's not the one who prescribed it in the first place years ago either. i have since stopped seeing the pain specialist, internal med, and family pract., since each one prescribed a different med and agreed i needed all other meds as well. only my surgeon and his nurse now. i dont know if i would have never thought to quit and would have just postponed surgery until i had no choice if it were not for me stumbling upon http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/16650, all i can say is thanks, good luck, it is soooo possible and yes, soooo hard, but well worth it!

good luck!

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by madtram, Aug 28, 2009
Rock, how lucky your son is to have you in his corner & determined to get through this.  My ex husband & my sister have both grappled with crippling self destructive addictions for most of their adult lives & there have been periods when any unexpected phone calls send me into fear & trembling that this time one of them has really done it.  It must be hard dealing with unsympathetic roomies, as has been said many times, anyone who has not been through the alternative reality of tramadol & its withdrawal is unlikely to get that a semi-strength pain pill can wreak so much havoc.

MarkNina, it's way too early to conclude that Nina's op was a failure.  Many of us had a period of exacerbated pain in early withdrawal which either resolved completely or eased off significantly.  For a short time, I had lower back pain that I had not experienced since an injury fifteen years ago.  Tramadol is weird like that.  In the meantime, it's tough & depressing to feel that the pain is here to stay.  The epsom salts may help calm the nerves & I also found acupuncture helpful.  My acupuncturist is a Chinese md who cheerfully states that we don't know why acupuncture works or if it works beyond placebo but his patients keep reporting relief from his treatments.

Chrissie, it's great that you can find some humour in your situation.  I have visions of Angela Jolie in Girl Interrupted.

Lily, hope your headache has let up.   As you know, anything can happen on day 2 & going through it more than once just seems to result in more randomness than ever.

Emily, what strong images about finding our new lives rather than struggling to find the vestiges of the old ones.  Here we are still with our aches & pains, our 'benzo bellies', (me too) &  our anxieties and yet our paths are clearer because we can eliminate the well trodden routes from our maps, knowing they go nowhere we want to be.  We are experts in surviving random & what better qualification for life can there be?

Strength to all,

Michelle

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 29, 2009
Hi guys! Thanks for all the responses and insights to my last post. Farrah, I agree that there's no magic pill or potion to make this experience any easier...but I do believe on some level, somewhere within me that the greater spirit is not only helping  me through this, but growing me in the process.  I think that may be part of what you were referring to, Nancy.  The feelings of big changes as a result of moving through this very unpleasant, but totally healthy commitment to ourselves.  I don't know. Who am I to say?  I just have this feeling that big change is eminent.  I just pray that I am happy with the new changes, or can at least adapt to them readily.

Madtram, speaking of the late night phone calls and the living in dread, the day they found my son's father's body, my son said to me "I always knew this would happen. I just had the wrong parent" for I have always been the one with the depression and addiction issues.  As far as the unsympathetic roomies...well, they're putting up with a lot but don't understand the necessity of it all.  They believe I am coming off an antidepressant and think I should just go back onto it. If I told them I was addicted, life as I know it would end abruptly. I dislike the dishonesty, but it's vital for my survival right now.

Well, it's a very early start to my 12th day without tram.  When I went to the urgent care yesterday for my messed up wrist they offered me a few vicodin (hydro) for the pain. I accepted them and then took a couple and felt WORSE than I had before taking them. I thought it would give my withdrawal symptoms from tram a rest...nope. I must be getting better.  Threw the rest away. Progress!

Think I'll either go lay down or go make some coffee...I am so grateful you guys are here and to know we are not only doing this alone but even better; we are doing it together!  Spirit strength to us all.

Avatar universal
by wakia, Aug 29, 2009
hello,
I was taking tramadol for back pain 2/ 50mg first thing in the morning followed by 25mg doses through out the day until 6pm for a total of 200mg a day. This was only for 2 months. Last Friday my prescription ran out and after reading soooooo many horror stories I decided to not go in for a refill....however, this meant I came of abruptly. The withdrawal hit me within 12 hours, RLS, insomnia, aches, sweating...the works. After one day feeling horrible and staying home I forced myself to take long hikes. Luckily I live in place with that has lots of beautiful mountains to wander in....hiking REALLY helped. It has been 7 days now and things are getting better as long as I stay physically active however I am still in the battle...mostly sweaty palms, chills, anxiety but I am sleeping better because I wear myself out hiking everyday. Also the hiking seems to help with RLS. It does come in waves, which is very cruel...you think it is over then WHAM!

In conclusion, tramadol helped my back pain and I felt great but even with the short time I used it the withdrawal is awful and it seems MD's just don't understand the drug well enough yet...(yes my MD told me I would have no problems coming off of it...booo on him).  The problem is now my back is killing me again...so I am taking up Yoga not pharmaceuticals. Thanks for all of your sharing as it helped me feel less alone and to all of you going through it now...get active, stay active( I know that sounds cruel but it helps)  and hang in there.  

Avatar universal
by wakia, Aug 29, 2009
Hi folks!
I had to re-paste the above post to this thread. I found your forum through a web search and evidently landed on an old one so I copied and pasted to here...I hope this is the current thread?!

Rise in Love,
Wakia  ( lakota for Thunder)

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 29, 2009
Hi folks,
I missed you all yesterday as the computer was busy all day. Its a nice way for all here to keep in touch with the outside world - and as the place is overflowing it was a busy computer day.

Rock I am so sorry that you have reached such a place and it hurts like h***. I wouldnt have made it without the folk here telling me that this is 'normal' and that it would pass. It was the same for me too at that stage  - but today is Day 35. (Somehow I got there!!!) My kids are all over 40 (as I am ancient at 65). But they are what kept me from taking the long sleep. So often I was weary to my bones and wondered what I was fighting to stay alive for when living was so awful. My daughter rang me one day in tears. (I had been honest with them as to how I felt). A neighbours car had been broken into and the police were knocking door to door to see if anyone else had had problems. My poor girl took one look at the uniform and thought "he has come to tell me my mum is dead".  How could I do that to her (My 40 year old baby!!!) The tramadol messes up our thinking - but life WILL be good again. Only you can know the best way forward for you but I want to tell you that you have nothing to be ashamed of. We have all fallen into the tramadol trap and we are all fighting back. Thats something to be proud of. I just know that it is so much harder for you because you are having to keep it quiet at a time when you need all the understanding you can get.  I wish it were possible for you to get more support. Hope the wrist is healing. Have you tried arnica cream and arnica tablets?

I read Mark and Nina's story with amazement. What a marriage!

Thank you Fred and everyone for your encouragement to me.  (Angelia Jolie, Michelle - I wish!!!!)

I am not too bad. I have only had 2 lots of 2mg of Diazepam today. I have a bedtime dose of 2mg which I am thinking of refusing as I am okay.  Tomorrow I just get 2mg am and 2mg at bedtime. I think missing the middday one will hurt as I needed it today. I have been quite uncomfortable, all heavy limbed, trembling and lethargic. But night time is always a bit easier. I am so lucky to be here as I get my meals cooked and I am not sure I would be able to do that for myself at this moment. I guess I am still w/d from the tram too. Sleep is still a problem due to my room mate snoring. KC sent me a message suggesting a fan to mask the noise. Brilliant idea - but we arent allowed fans I was told (Just drugs!)  Oh well!

I am still taking my illegal cache of 5htp. It does seem to be mostly holding the depression at bay. I do want to say that it is said to be inadvisable for people on an antidepressant to take it though. So please dont be led astray by me. I am taking it very carefully although I am on mitazapine (antidepressant).  I guess its a bit of rebellion as much as the fact that I think it works! But I need a bit of spirit to fight this battle!

God bless all.
Chrissie



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by bjb97, Aug 29, 2009
Oxfinx,

I just read your post about the multi level fusion.  I am hoping to get my insurance to authorize an artificial disc replacement (C 7) but if they don't I may have to have another fusion (I've already had C 5-6) fused two years ago.  I'm worried about lack of mobility if I have to have this done.  

I quite Tramadol C/T on March 27 and have not looked back once.  I am taking occasional Vicodin and Soma (muscle relaxer) now but am trying to use sparinging because I don't want to build up a tolerance in case I have surgery in the near future AND most importantly, I fear addiction to the Vicodin.  Was is hard for you to get off the Norco after surgery AND what is the robaxin you mentioned in your post.  

I hope your pain has been reduced due to your surgery.  I can't imagine 14 vertabrae being fused.  I remember you posting back in March when I got clean from the evil T.

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by bjb97, Aug 29, 2009
I didn't mean to dismiss everyone else in this room in my previous message.  It is kind of bittersweet following this website -- while I'm so happy that Emily established this room a year ago because so many lives have been recovered from the Tramadol demons, it is sad that Tramadol is still being diagnosed as a "safe" drug, especially for those of us with huge addictive personalities that this site is constantly filled with newbies.

Thanks to Fred, Emily, Madtram and all the others who post so religiously even though they've been clean for quite some time.  You still stay connected and help encourage others.

Congrats to everyone who is fighting the battle.   Life without Tramadol is soooooooooooooooooo much better.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Aug 30, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors.  This will be the last time that I post for a couple weeks.  Mrs. Fred and I are leaving in the morning and taking a much awaited vacation.   Neither one of us are taking work or laptops with us.  I am SO looking forward to getting away and not wondering if my trams will last until I get back.  It's so great not  being tethered to a pill like this.  

I picked up some of Emilyis recommended reading  to take with us.  I picked up a  Walt Whitman book and some books on the history of settlement of what now are the western United States.  I selected these latter books to better appreciate the white man's treatment of the American Indians as we/they moved across the wild west in the 1800s.

To those of you "in the fight" with tramadol right now (Lilly, Nancy, Chrissie, Rock and others) KNOW that the battle will not last forever.  KNOW that there is a power greater than tramadol.  May you experience the fullness of that power in your lives today.  

Each of our stories are different.  Each began the tramadol journey for our own reasons.  Each one of us took different doses and for varying lenghts of time.  But the thing that binds us together, is the way that each in our own way became controlled by a drug that was advertised as the "safe", non-addictive" alternative to REAL drugs.

But we each KNOW the  truth about this drug.  Whether you are a "lurker", never posted before here, or whether you are are trying to beat this thing against all odds, we all do know this drug.  

The only question each one of us needs to ask ourselves today is this, "what are we doing about our relationship with the drug now?"  

For years I gave in to this drug, even as I tried to wean myself or otherwise get out from under it's grasp.  I preferred the short term fix over the long term solution.  As the T LIED to me and told me that I was incapable of EVER crawling out from under it's control.  LIES.  

Let's be honest, this drug has never done any of us any favors.  It has left us with really only three viable options:  (1) continue to take more and more of the drug to compensate for the tolerance our natural boides have built up against this drug, (2) we can stay at the same dose and experience withdrawal symptoms, even as we continue taking the drug, or (3) STOP.

About nine months ago I had that moment of clarity, when I saw that options (1) and (2) were really no options for me at all.  And I realized that the only people who had beaten this thing, were those who were willing to WORK for it.

Getting free from tramadol doesn't come easily.  It won't happen for those who "need" to stop or even to those who "want" to stop.  The only people who have succeeded in jumping off the tramadol train have been those who have been willing to WORK to beat this thing.  To those people for whom options (1) and (2) were no longer viable options.  

Many years ago I asked one of my teenage sons to do some weeding for me.  His heart wasn't in it and he complained about the amount of weeds, the heat of the sun and he even rationalized that the weeds would come back regardless of how he did his job.  (I was paying him to do this for us.)  Needless to say, he didn't get very far with the weeds!  Oh, he spent some time at it alright, but he wasn't motivated to do the job.

A week or so passed and he came to realized that he needed to earn some $$$.  I gave him anoher chance, but only if he would get serious about completing the task.  He was motivated this time and I went with him into the flower bed to lend him a hand. I talked with him occassionally about what he planned to do with the money he was earning.  As he visioned the reward, his attitude seemed to improve.  He apparently managed to keep the prize before him and while it took him a couple of days to finish up, we were amazed at what a difference proper motivation made. The difference it seems is that he had a vision the 2nd time around, that provided the motivation for him to stay at the task.  

So what vision do you hold up in the dog days of withdrawal?  Are you able to see the end of your labors? Are you committed to tackling a tough task and seeing it through to the end?  Are you able to comitt to being unwell a little longer for the prize that is set before you?  

I was listoning to some of Ted Kennedy's mass Saturday and there was a beautiful theme developed of overcoming adversity.  Ted was an advid sailor and one of his sons (Patrick?) told a story about spending long hours on the sail boat practicing their sailing.  The son noticed that it was getting late and the rest of the boats had alrteady returned home.  Ted's son asked why they were still out there when everyone else had returned to shore.  "Because", Teddy said, "there is a race coming up".  "We are not the most intelligent or knowedgeable sailors.  If we stand any chance of winning the race, we will beat those more intelligent and knowledgeable than us because we worked harder thay tihey will have done".  

We have talked about this before, but I don't believe that any amount of "work" or effort short of a declaration of all out war on this drug will be sufficient to beat this drug.  It's not eactly like switching from 1% mild to nonfat milkon the cereal.  

It's so great not  being tethered to a pill like this that takes more and more of us over time while it gives less and less in return.  You can do this thing.  You'll see.  

Courage, Strength and LOVE to you all,

Fred  

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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 30, 2009
Thank you so much, Fred...your message moved me.  I just feel really grateful today for all of you guys and the support I have received through this process.  I am still a mess, but I now seem able to push through and function on some sort of level of "normalcy"...today is day 13.  I think the very best thing I have found to help me through this has been the walking.  I have done the benzos, the supplements and the soaks and all help, but the walks really seem to affect a change within me that lasts throughout the day....guess it also hastens the detox by filtering your blood faster and oxygenating it as well.  It also helps with sleep.  I don't know the exact particulars but this is what has worked best for me...it also keeps the anxiety at bay.  Hard to do sometimes, but so worth it.  I missed the first three weeks of school (I am finishing a certificate program at the local JC) because of the detox and now face my first exam on Tuesday!  Yikes!  I hadn't even done the reading....guess what I am trying to do this weekend?  Unfortunately, the just-off-tram-brain doesn't absorb much. I am having to re-read sometimes 8-10 times to comprehend.  It's just not that important though.  Being free of the T is the prize! Hope all of you are finding your strength and courage and standing up to this drug today...today is all we need to deal with, thank goodness....

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by oxfinx, Aug 30, 2009
bjb97:

robaxin is a muscle relaxer and neither i or the doctor is worried about it. kind of need it when all muscles have been dissected from where they belong. i am not totally off the norco but by my request (of course the doctor agreed) i have gone to a lower dose and less a day. i was started taking about 6-8 norco 10 a day, 3 months post op was down to 3 a day, sometimes 4 since i went back to work. now i am takeing no more than 4 norco 7.5 a day. i take 6 robaxin a day, i tried giving those up. lasted 3 days but the back got so tight and sore i had to go back on them. stopped takeing the norco for 2 days and it wasnt anything like W/D, it was just fatigue. the difference between Soma and robaxin is that the Soma has to build up and the robaxin doesnt, usually kicks in, in about 20-30 minutes. personally i wont take anything that has to be built up in my system. for every day to build up seems to take two to get rid of. i had T2-L4 fused witha reinsertion a week later. spent 10 days in hospital, went home 2 days after second surgery. i never realized the scope of what i had undergone until about 2 months after, now i believe i am the exception. that or i have a determination now that i dont realize and dint know i had. i take care of and do everything for my 4 and 6 year old. i am working again in construction/remodeling, i do most of the house work daily and all the yard work weekly. i was home from hospital 2 days and was out cutting crass with push mower till the 70 year old neighbor yelled at me. only now do i realized how lucky i am. good luck to you, you sound as if you are conscious of yourself and that is to me the most inportant part, next is acting on your own premise. for those thinking of quitting, just quitting, new and feeling the W/D.... there is nothing better than your independence from that evil evil tramadol. i now have a relationship with my kids that the tram took from me. my wife likes me again. i can sleep!! i can do!! and.....so can you!!!!!

good luck!

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by Lillyval, Aug 30, 2009
Rock, I think of you often and I wish you well with your exam.  You're in a much more difficult living situation than many of us.  I hope you have a sponsor or others in recovery in whom you can confide.  I understand you not being able to confide in your housemates.  You're carrying a lot right now and I admire your courage and perserverance.

This has been a tough week.  I haven't been able to write much with kids over my shoulder a lot.  I had my niece all week as well as my own two kids to care for while going ct.  Her parents (my brother and his ex-wife) recently divorced.  Her mom is mixed up in an unhealthy relationship and her dad is working crazy long hours, leaving my niece (11) and her two older brothers to mostly fend for themselves.  It's a very bad situation.  I finally got a chance to talk to my brother last night but I realized he'd been drinking, which only added to my worry as he is an alcoholic who had many years sober.  As is often the case with me I'm walking a fine line trying to help others while at the same time trying to save myself.  

I've been drinking poppy tea to alleviate the withdrawals.  You can google it - it's illegal.  Basically it amounts to me using a small dose of opiates until I clear all of the tram from my system.  The reason I'm doing it is that I know I can stop the tea with minimal withdrawals (I've done it before).  It's nothing like the evil tram.  I did what I needed to do to care for my kids and get them ready to start school tomorrow.  That's my rationalization anyway.  I will taper the tea and plan to be drug free in one week.  It's day 4 without tramadol for me and I'm just plain tired.

I know others are at the same point in the journey.  Let us know how you're doing.  I know day 4 can be a b****.  I wish you all hope and healing.
Lilly

PS Chrissie, your story about your daughter is a poignant reminder of how connected we are to others even when we feel so alone.

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by Gerty411, Aug 30, 2009
Hi y'all,

Finally all my tram is gone.  This taper was very difficult.  I' m glad I flushed the remainder of my supply.  I suspect my taper would have lasted for at least another month.  I hope the next weeks to month aren't as difficult.  My energy level is improved but I cannot control my nasty side.  I have no ability to hide any displeasure or perturbance.  I suspect this is just part of me coming back that has been hidden by the t for so long.

Scared as hell about being done with t.  But I know there will be much better times in the future.

Love, Gerty

Avatar universal
by kelaltieri, Aug 30, 2009
good luck gerty!!  i'll be rooting for you.  keep your head up.  lots of hot showers help.  :)

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by bjb97, Aug 30, 2009
Thanks for you response Oxfinx.  A couple of months ago I asked a few of you if you thought I should have the artificial disc replacement surgery or get a steroid injection in C7 to buy some time.  You responded to buy some time with the injection which I did about 6 weeks ago and it offered no pain relief so if my insurance company will authorize the surgery, I will have it ASAP.  My numbing and tingling continues to worsen and I'm worried about losing feeling/use of my left arm and hand.  I already am finding myself dropping things, having problems opening jars and doors, etc.  It scares me.  United HealthCare denied the original request for my surgery so I am appealing and should have an answer by Wednesday.  Send good thoughts my way because if they deny it, I fear I have exhaused all options other than another spinal fusion which because I already have one at the level above where this one would be, would probably cause some loss of mobility.  I went and got a 3rd opinion and this doctor agreed with the others that due to the length this pain and problem has been going on (20+ years) that non-invasive options such as accupuncture or physical therapy would be a waste of money and time.

Anyway, if anyone has any wonderful solutions for pain management that maybe I have overlooked, I'm open for suggestions.  

Nancy, Chrissie, Lilyval, Rockandahardplace -- keep up the good work.  The end result is sooooo worth all of the sweat and pain to get there.

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by madtram, Aug 31, 2009
Go Gerty, Go!  Low dose tapering can often prolong the agony so you may find that you feel better earlier than you expected.

Rock, the very best of luck to you with your exam.  I can relate to the last minute cram, having been up pretty much all night for the last three days with term papers & no relief in sight either.

**, best wishes for a positive outcome from your insurer, you would hope that three doctors would outweigh their poxy assessors but I know how it goes.

Oxfinx, you are a tower of psychological strength, "I can do and so can you", love that.

Lily, glad you have found something to ease the withdrawals a little.  My opiate receptors were still so fubarred in early withdrawal, that even taking tylenol triggered a relapse.

Welcome to Wakia & hugs to everyone else,

slightly delirious but still not as mad as on tram.

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by madtram, Aug 31, 2009
Weird, it seems that B & J together is some sort of covert drug code that can not be mentioned on Medhelp.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 31, 2009
Just a quick post as today is a bad old day. So glad that Fred and Mrs Fred are taking a holiday. Prayed for Rock's exam tomorrow. And Lilly - how do you cope?!  Taking care of children is such hard work.

My room mate is such a snorer I slept on the lounge floor again last night. (Except that I didnt sleep. But the silence was nice)

I had 2mg of diazepam at 8am and another 2mg due at 10pm. The whole day has been spent in an agony of withdrawal. Cant think straight. Feel anxious, depressed, tired, tearful (but cant cry) arms and legs like shaking boards.  Tomorrow I am down to a 2mg and a 1mg dose.  I know it will go on for some time yet so need to be strong.

Have just been called for tea (some good things about being here!) Hope to post later.

Chrissie

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Aug 31, 2009
I just wanted to pass on some information that may or may not be helpful. Its stuff I have found in my desperation!  

There is a machine in some small rehabs in the UK (and I think in the USA but am not sure).  It is called a NET machine (neuroelectric therapy).  It was pioneered by a Dr Meg Patterson some years ago but she was unable to get funding for proper clinical trials. Dr Meg died in 2002 and her family have continued with her work. Her son is Lorne Patterson and her son-in-law is called Joe Winston. If you google Joe Winstone NET machine you will see some reports on this.  

About a month ago I tracked a machine down to Glasgow Scotland. A lady called Maxie Richards has for some years felt called by God to open her home to addicts. Maxie was out and I spoke to Mark who had just detoxed from heroin and methadone. He had gone cold turkey and then the machine was attached to him. Electrodes were placed behind his ears and a machine a bit like a TENS machine gave out a comfortable electric current. It was expected to take only 9 days to reload the brain receptors with the chemicals he needed to stop withdrawal and cravings. (A process that can take weeks or even months normally) Mark told me that it took only 5 days and he was feeling great. In fact he no longer needed the machine and was well for the first time in many years.

I spoke to Maxie next day and she told me that she has seen this machine work with all types of drugs - including benzo's. I was excited as I hoped it would help me. Unfortunately you have to be off all drugs in order for the machine to work. (Even when I have done this diazepam detox I still have my antidepressant and a sleeping tablet to get rid of). It doesnt take away withdrawal but reduces the strength of them - but most importantly it reduces the length of time we have to suffer. A programme is written for each client dependent upon their addiction.

Dr Meg was a Christian lady and some of her family share her faith - others dont. However they are committed to treating addiction without the use of other drugs. Of course it begs the question "if its so good why is there not one in every rehab and prison?" One strongly held belief is that the drug companies would lose a lot of money if methadone were to be withdrawn in favour of a non pharmaceutical answer. Another answer I came across was that health care professionals need addicts to keep them in work! (I am keeping an open mind!)

It does have critics who say that it is not effective but the folk who have seen it work (Maxie Richards for one) totally believe in it. I would love to give it a try but they wont accept me whilst I am taking any other drugs. I feel having given up Tramadol and Diazepam almost together that I need to take care over the Mirtazapine antidepressant and the Zolpidem sleeper. (Any advice here woud be greatly appreciated).

Anyway my fellow Tram warriors. I dont know if this machine is as good as it is said to be, or if it could help any of you out there - but I wanted you to at least know about it. Wouldnt it be great if those of you tapering could link into a place and come off the wretched drug without the long drawn out agony. Maxie hadnt come across Tramadol but had used it successfully on people coming off diazepam.

As for me - well I expect my noisy room mate to keep me awake again once my sleeper has worn off - so please pray that I can find a quiet comfortable place to sleep tonight. I am so tired.

Love Chrissie

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Aug 31, 2009
Lily, I tried the tea too. I used the seeds and they worked minimally. Those are not illegal themselves but they are very weak. I used it the days around 50 mgs and down. I find the tea prettty foul so I have no problem stopping it either. I have also tried kratom which is foul too. But Kratom is legal and it does help.
Hugs Gerty Chrissie and all
N

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by Gerty411, Sep 01, 2009
Hi y'all!

A new month!  I honestly had the best day yesterday that I've had in 6 weeks.  My concentration was almost normal.  I could do a procedure and not feel like I was going to drop over midway through.  Most importantl;y I felt like I haven't felt in a long time.  Kinda like I was still on t but much better!!!

I'm still taking vit b12, and I recently started taking 5-hpt.  There is starting to be a lght at the end of the tunnell.

I don't think I will try that poppy tea or kratom.  The valerian root extract was more thatn enough.---NASTY

Love, Gerty

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Sep 01, 2009
What a gift concentration is Gerty - cant wait to get mine back. Encouraging to know that it can happen!

Well folks today is 38 T free. I took only 1mg of diazepam this morning and am wondering if I will take the 1mg tonight or not. I do feel very very uncomfortable and moods are up and down but if could hit zero tomorrow I would be relieved.

I have a worry that you may be able to help with. I take 10mg Zolpidem at night to sleep. In fact the only thing that gets me through the day is the knowledge that I can escape for 3 -4 hours at night. I am just a bit concerned that they will keep the Benzo cravings alive. Not sure how I could give them up but I do need to know the truth of the situation.

Hope you are all having a good day.
Chrissie

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by Lillyval, Sep 01, 2009
The poppy tea I am talking about is made from ground poppy pods (not seeds) and is very potent and potentially very addictive.  It contains all of the alkaloids present in opium.  I also tried kratom the last time around and it got me so buzzed that I decided I better get rid of it.  Overall I think it's better to go drug-free.  I think all I have succeeding in doing is putting off my withdrawals, which I will still have to face over the next week.  However, both my kids are in school now and I'm in a much better place to be able to deal with being sick.

Gerty, you sound great!  Hope everyone else is doing well.
Lilly

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 01, 2009
Hi all,

I am trying to keep track of how much I am actually using daily - what's the minimum amount I can start tapering from.

I don't take the same amount at certain times of the day - it depends on the day, where I am, how busy I am.  I have figured 800mg is the least I take - so I am going to stick to 800 all week - and then next week start to taper.  I know with my history of addictions the chances of a taper going well are slim - but I have tried CT and I just can't function.  I am self employed - if I don't work - I don't get paid.  
I feel like I have to at least try the taper - see if I can manage.  If not - I am not sure where that leaves me.  
I am so sick and tired of this damn drug - I wish I could go and do a medical detox, a 28 day treatment program and come home to start fresh.  Get back to my AA meetings - back to my life which has been one big fog for the last 4 years.
But I just can't - a month away could ruin my business, and would but me in a dire financial state.
I have this hopeless, trapped feeling.

Kelly

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by Rockandahardplace, Sep 01, 2009
Hi Guys
Seems like everyone is still trying to feel better...I am too...I am now clean of tram two weeks and I still feel terrible. I take a little ativan to take off the edge and that makes the depression worse...it's a trade off and one I make carefully.  Don't want another addiction to deal with.  Well, the excuse of being taken off of one of my antidepressants worked wonderfully, now everyone is asking why I haven''t gotten back on it or why I'm not feeling better yet.  My excuse/lies only got me so far and now I am trying to function as I did when I was doing well on thirty tram a day...yah, right!  I cry a lot and have fears of inadequacy I can't even begin to name. Trying to push through all this **** and act normal is just about too hard for me to do....but I keep trying....everyone is expecting me to.  I have no motivation to carry on anymore. The pills were my "friends" and they rewarded me and they made me a better person....and blah blah blah...but true.  I have to find something that gives me rewards similar to those the trams did.   I walk hard everyday....used to love it and now just force myself to do it because it does make me feel better... Some sort of hobby or physical activity ....I dunno. That's a little ahead of myself at this point, I think.  I'm still trying to do a normal day without tears, giving up or running away.  I used to be a pretty together woman prior to all this mess....tomorrow...another day to be even better....even if it just means I don't cry or I smile at someone or I let it be okay that I didn't do it perfectly.  I am in awe of us all.  We have a major hurdle ahead of us and we're doing it!  Thanks for being here for me. I hope I can help someone too. Lots of love.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Sep 02, 2009
Two hours sleep only last night. Have not had any diazepam today. Am gibbering shaking wreck and just want to die. May have to take 1mg but dont want to.
Keep going everyone
Chrissie

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 02, 2009
I'm here about three weeks out now. I do feel much better, nights are almost normal. It was hard but worth it so hard.
It is so difficult to give up the reward mindset, I know. Very hard not to have the T buzz to look forward to, esp. at the end of the day.
But I can't handle the trade-off. Rockandahardplace, the only real reward I've been able to find is the synchronicity connection, the feeling of reestablishing a connection to the "source." Whatever that is inspires me and I've rejoined the world. Straight, but connected. I do have minimal tranzene on hand monthly, but frankly it's not doing much for me, so I keep it for hormonal flare-ups, bad nights.

Work is working for me. Exercise is working for me too. Nothing dramatic, but in those early days when I couldn't sleep I arose and walked and those six am starslight views inspired me to rewrite my interior life. When it's good, I'm riding off that high - it's always been the biggest. On a bad day, well...you know how bad it can get, especially with depression (Chrissie, I feel for you so much). I haven't had much depression or anxiety yet so it is not as bad as it could be. But I can't forget that those issues led me to T in the first place and quite honestly, I live in fear of it.

Lilly, I can't see you grinding tea forever. It's alot of work, right? I think you've done great so far and you're right, with the kids in school, you can focus on the fianl jump.

Yay Gerty!
Welcome newway...this is your spot now.

Hi madtram...I so love your posts.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred....enjoy the vacation! I know you're already gone, but I love thinking of you out there, t free.

love
N

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by 12Stepper, Sep 02, 2009
What brave Warriors we have today! My heart goes out to those of you struggling in the early days. These are the days of trudging, when just making it through the day is all that one can do. It is good to remember that the greatest responsibility one has right now is to oneself. Our health has to be our number one priority, and this is a huge deal, even if we have to put everything else on hold.

Rock, You are such a loving, caring person being way too hard on yourself. Those feelings of inadequacy are not real--as many Warriors have said, "That's  the Tram talking."  They are one of the horrible symptoms of withdrawal resulting from the chemical changes happening in the brain which seem to occur after the acute physical symptoms fade--just when you think you should be over it.

For me, it was and continues to be the hardest part of my struggle, even after 3 mos. Sometime during the first month of my recovery, thoughts and feelings of failure would begin to descend on me from out of nowhere, and it was a living nightmare! Remembering that this is w/d and that that means those negative thoughts are NOT REAL and that they WILL PASS helped me make it through.

I felt, in those moments, that they would last forever, but they didn't. In fact, I started to have whole days of feeling great not too far down the line. I had to shake my head and wonder--it was like a whole different person would emerge. Suddenly, I'd be up to the challenges, calm about changes, and experiencing a sense of contentment with my life far greater than the foggy high Tramadol offered. Maybe this sounds melodramatic, but the experience has been one of the darkest nights of my soul I've had to face in life. It is really, really hard, so give yourself credit for making it this far, and take courage knowing that there is an end to it.

Chrissie, Sorry you are having trouble sleeping and are feeling so bad. You are on a very fast taper, but at least you'll be done with it all soon. Then you'll be back in your home and can try the Espon salt baths and Sleepytime tea, and all the other good stuff suggested by other Warriors.

We are crossing the hurdles and each one get us a little closer. Your courage and strength is inspiring. I am so grateful to all who post here. Love and courage, Linn

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by Maxx14, Sep 02, 2009
Hi, I am new. I'm 40 years old, female, married with husband and 2 year old daughter. We are middle class, both work, generally financially ok but careful with money. I discovered Tramadol 1 year ago after I learned that the cough syrup with codeine I was taking for my sinus infections made me really happy and I wanted to have something like that on hand. I could by Tramadol online without a prescription and charge my business credit card, which my husband doesn't see. I remember the wonderful day that I spent with my extended family my first time after taking 2 pills. Normally this family causes anxiety, they never listen to anything I say, and I really just want to be home alone, reading a book. But I actually enjoyed being there, watching my daughter play with them, and I felt like I was finally, after MANY years of trying to, live in the moment. I wanted that feeling ALL THE TIME. So fast forward, now I've found myself taking up to 30 pills a day. Usually less than 10 but sometimes I get a little crazy. I have faked my work hours so I can pay my credit card. This is repulsive, I can't believe I'm even writing this. I've had the FedEx packages sent to my workplace as well as my home, once under my husbands nose on a Saturday when I had been out of pills for 3 days and could barely stand up. We had a couple of vacations this summer and I ran out of pills at the end and it was utter hell. Trying to take care of everyone and do things that were supposed to be fun but were just awful. I could barely give my daughter a bath, much less play with her.Then I get the 3 or so pills into my system and I feel like a heroin addict might feel (I never tried this) and wait for that warm happy feeling to settle over me. And the extra ENERGY I get from this drug! Wow, I would justify my "extra" work hours (I work by the hour) by saying to myself that I work extra fast when I've got Tramadol in me. God, that is so sick, can this really be me??? I thought I was an honest person. And my relationship with my husband has even improved, because on Tramadol I have a "so what" attitude about his anger toward me and also the things that formerly irritated me about him don't any longer. I feel like I'm even closer to my husband and daughter when I'm on Tramadol, because I'm not distracted, I'm so present with them. So I've now decided (for the 10th time) that I must stop this, and I am tapering down now. I should add that I had an eating disorder up until 10 years ago (all gone, thank god) and also problems with alcohol so I am clearly an addict. I don't know if I ever could say I was an alcoholic because when I discovered Tramadol, alcohol ceased to interest me, and I still can have a drink sometimes, but it is no big deal and I don't really care for it anymore. Clearly I have switched addictions. What next? Needle in the arm? I have a grim picture of myself for the future if I cannot get a handle on this. I obviously cannot deal with my life as a sober person, I'm not clueless about that, and I've been trying for years to put down substances and increase my self-awareness and self-esteem so that I can deal with issues without any drugs, but I cannot let go, it seems. I've tried AA and I can't get God in there for some reason so I'm honestly not interested in hearing this from anybody, although it doesn't seem like people talk about that here, thanks. Today I took my last 3 and am waiting for the package to ship tomorrow. I have to get through tonight and tomorrow morning with the sweats and lack of energy but I do want to do this tapering down. I cannot stop CT, I have too many obligations and I cannot let anyone know what I've been doing.

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by Rockandahardplace, Sep 02, 2009
Oh Maxx, do I ever relate to everything you wrote.  I have been an addict all my life, of some substance or another and have manged to survive all of the addictions so far.  I don't know what it is that we think we need in addition to our full lives to make us even better (and that always turns on us in the long run)...but over many many hard lived years, and with much difficulty, I think the answer is spiritual in nature.  However you find it, call it, believe it or not...there is that essence that we are not in touch with that needs to fill our souls.  I run from it like it was poison most of the time...probably because I am so used to the hard way, the normal way, the self-sabotaging way...until I am in enough pain and then I seek it and usually find it and stay with it until things get good again and then I run.  I think in my case I am very afraid of myself empowered by spirit....it would be a HUGE responsibility that I really don't want.  I don't know if you relate to any of this, but I know someone out there does.  Too bad I have to leave for work in a few minutes. Anyway, back to earth, I tried weaning myself so many times it was ridiculous.  I had to have help.  Someone to hold my pills for me and give them to me a day or two at a time.  Just a suggestion  The person who held them for me was my MD!  I am not two weeks free of a 30 pill a day for over a year habit....still going through it, but I finally have hope I didn't have before.  I was waiting for my liver or kidneys to kill me to end my habit.  Gotta go.  I would love to write more if you are interested.  I'll check back tonight.  Love you guys!

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 02, 2009
It is a relief to read things that hit so close to home - this big secret life has been killing me.
Maxx - I have done many of the same things - paid with work credit card, snuck around - my partner has no idea.  It is tricky to get the stuff delivered to Canada - I risk them getting seized at the boarder - it has happened twice - lost money!  I have taken to forging prescriptions, changing the amount etc.  My Dr. gives me a pretty liberal amount - she just doesn't see them as addictive - she knows I am an alcoholic and have fought an addiction to other pain meds.
I cannot afford to go CT - I have done it before with opiates - but I tried with tram and the depression was crazy - I couldn't function, and that is not an option for me - I run my own business - it is just not financially possible.  But I have tried this before - I don't know if the taper will work.  I feel trapped.  It is so hard to tolerate feeling so low when I know that with a few pills I am good to go.
But - tram doesn't affect me the way it used to - I have been on it for 4-5 years - we have extended release here - so I started  100mg ER and then 1 or 2 50mg for break through pain.  I am now chewing anywhere from 2 to 4 300mg ER a day, as well as up to 12 50mg a day.  I don't even know half the time - I have two or three prescriptions on the go so I never seem to run out - I just take them when ever.
I am so thankful I found this place - I just want my life back - for over two years now I have either been in a tram fog or so depressed I can barely function .
This forum gives me hope that I can get advice, others experience and support to figure out how to fight this.
I admire all of you who are taking this head on.


Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 02, 2009
I keep forgeting to ask

Does anyone else have a ringing in their ears?  I have been linking this annoying side effect to the tram.


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by Maxx14, Sep 03, 2009
Yes I have ringing in my ears too.


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by damnitol, Sep 03, 2009
Haven't posted here in a while, but I am now over a month free of tram! And I have been reading and rereading everyone's posts here every few days, and I have to say that I am proud of all of your bravery! It takes real gut and gumption to attempt to rid yourself of this stuff. I just about completely lost my gumption, and I'm pretty sure some of my guts as well, especially in the first two weeks, but I am happy to say that things are starting to level out. I'm working 10+ hours a day, which keeps my body and mind off my still lingering withdrawals, ie: especially the depression/anxiety. And two days ago, we got a 5 week old kitten! Which we will hopefully be able to afford now that I'm not throwing our money into pills. He was going to be put to sleep because he has hydrocephalus, though at the moment he is very happy, very playful, and very vocal! We have a vet surgeon friend who has agreed to help us take good care of him. We know he may not live a very long life, but we're determined to give him a happy life! So while I work, my wife works from home and takes care of our new little charge. It helps to have something to really pour myself into. Something to focus on. Something to look forward to after work aside from a handful of little white pills.
Stay strong, it gets better. Thank you all for all your bravery and support!
Dana

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Sep 03, 2009
Good to read the posts and know I am not alone. I am 40 days clear of tram today. But am in the jaws of hell as I gave up diazepam 2 days ago. I know this is a tram site but so many of you seem to have used both. Please can anyone tell me how many days after the last pill the awful times last? I am struggling more than I did with tram. (Or perhaps I am stil w/d from both)

Also PLEASE can someone tell me if its okay to take zolpidem sleeprers whilst I am coming off the diazepam? Or will this keep the addcition alive. Is there anyone out there who managed to come off benzo's but still kept a sleeper. (I would go crazy without the 3 - 4 hours it gives me.)

Am in the worst state I have been in in my life. Am grateful for all those who encourage me. This site is all the help I have. I am safe in the unit here - but it is not a detox unit and no one really knows what I am trying to cope with.

Sorry to whinge.
Chrissie

Avatar universal
by infectedgenetics, Sep 03, 2009
Ugh. I screwed up SO hard.

After a month off of Trams, I fell off the wagon. I was having severe pain that needed an antiinflammatory and I should've just gone for Ibuprofen or something and I screwed up really bad. I only took about 10 in all, but thats more than I'd taken in over a month.. and seriously.. that was so stupid of me. I'm beating myself up over it every day because I felt so weak at that point. I had run out of my hydrocodone and my uterus was hurting something awful, not to mention the tremors that came with spontaneous withdrawal..

I shouldn't be substituting one for the other, but goddamn was it painful. The tremors leave me incapacitated for almost 8 hours if they get bad enough, even after I've taken something. I'm trying to get insured still so my FIL is still my main doctor for now, and he can't prescribe me anything over Hydrocodone 10/325. The pain is just so bad, guys. i can't even properly explain it. I'm going through some pretty nasty tremors as we speak, but I can't do anything about it. I barely have enough to get me til tomorrow when i can refill my Hydro. Some encouragement, please? It's been rough because I helped my best friend move over the weekend and barely slept at all, which is why I'm running so low. The best I can do right now is vitamins to help with the tremors.

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by 12Stepper, Sep 03, 2009
Just checking in this morning. Welcome to the newcomers and those who haven't been here for a while. I can relate so well to all that is being said. Infectedgenetics, sometimes we just have to forgive ourselves--maybe that slip was necessary to stregthen your resolve and help you hit bottom with the Tram. At one point Bill Wilson said about a slip that it "kicked him UP the stairs."

Max, you have made the decision, and now is the time. Keep coming back to this site and posting. You are not alone. There are many miracles among us, people who are going through the worst times of their lives and coming back stronger and more spiritually awake because of it. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. I think ringing in the ears is another symptom.

Chrissie, you are so brave. I remember getting off the Ativan on a very slow taper and can only imagine what you must feel. I couldn't sit still and yet I couldn't focus on any task. I felt like my world was falling apart. The worst of it was that sleep, the only refuge, was taken away from me too. I was fortunate that someone told me what was going on and I began an extremely slow taper. I started taking Tylanol PM for sleep or sometimes Benedryl, which has the same active ingrediant. They did work most of the time. I remember sleeping every other night for awhile. I tapered off these, too, eventually.

I think some of the people on this site used prescription sleeping aides, but they tapered off them as soon as possible, as many are Benzos. I do not know about Zolpidem. It really does sound like you need something. Perhaps even this site has some info on it. We are here for you Chrissie. We are survivors! Love and Courage to make it through the day, Warriors! Linn

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by Maxx14, Sep 03, 2009
Wow, thanks for all the support. I really really need this now. I've joined other recovery sites before, but all the 12 step stuff, even though I am a member of some 12 step programs (OA and AA) and I am a strong supporter,  is not what I want right now. I only want to feel that I'm not alone. I only want to be able to share the gritty truth about what I've done and how I'm trying to get off this drug and hear other stories of recovery from this particular drug. So this site is great for me. Thank you all again.

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by 12Stepper, Sep 04, 2009
A very quiet day on the Tramadol front. Hope everyone is okay--Rock, Maxx, Chrissie, Newway, Infected, Lilyval, Gerty, and everyone else fighting the battle. Victory is not that far off if we just keep on going, finding some relief to make the symptoms tolerable moment by moment, having faith that this will pass.

I am optimistic today for all of us. Although it may sound like a puny victory, but I've had three whole days in a row without the debilitating depression that has been plaguing me every other day for the last 6 weeks (about 3 mos. total Tram-free). I am finding hope that I will be able to function again.

When this depression aspect started, I just wanted to feel normal again. I would make myself walk (I was prescribed Tram for foot pain, so walking would not have been something I'd really enjoy doing). But I'd walk for short periods, checking out any changes in the local lawn ornaments--flamingos, dwarfs, nymphs carrying water, etc. This would take my mind off of the negative storm in my brain. Recovery has seemed painstakingly slow during this period, but now I realize that I'm actually feeling very good, better than my goal of "normal." I make myself exercise for about an hour every day even though it often seems incredibly selfish to take so much time for myself.

Maxx, I really like this site being particular to Tram. also. I think there is a special bond among those of us who experienced this illusive drug and its paiinful withdrawal. One of the reasons I was so relieved to find this site was because even though there is a nightmarish withdrawal, hardly anyone who hasn't suffered through it believes that there's anything wrong! It must be changes and stress causing the symptoms, they say--so frustrating. Here, we can read though the treads going back to Emily's brave beginning and see how others have experienced very similar effects. Knowing that others survived really gives me hope.

I'm grateful you are all among us today and hope everyone has a good day at battle. Love and courage, Linn

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 04, 2009
Hi all. Just checking in. I know this is a long weekend. I hope you all find some peace and strength to draw upon for your resistance ( a covert op!) to the Tramadol.
love
N

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by Rockandahardplace, Sep 04, 2009
Hi guys, I haven't checked in for a while either.  I am now 19 days without tram and I have had some good days that actually lasted for a while...not just a few minutes....I am getting better.  The depressions does creep up unannounced from time to time, but it doesn't get a foothold very often anymore.  I am still taking Ativan but have reduced it to .5mg 3x/day instead of 1mg3X.day.  I have been on the Ativan now for about two weeks and I think it's time to continue the reduction of dose steadily and be off by next week.  I find that I kind of miss the "friendship" I had with tram....the getting and using of it.  Always looking after it. Having something to look forward to  during the day.  To see them tucked away in their place  in my purse. Always knowing that the tram would be there for me when I needed them.  They were reliable and didn't' talk back....they were also killing me, but there were so many friendship-type behaviors from  them that I could ignore the kidney pains or horrible thirst..etc.  Well, I finally did see the light and got so much help from my doctor therapists, friends and so much from all you guys.  Ir's been hard work, but it's so worth it!!!

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by madtram, Sep 05, 2009
Just a quick fly by from me too.  My schedule is especially crazy with not nearly enough sleep for my liking but at least I am awake because I choose to be in pursuit of a worthwhile objective.  I still remember the nightmare from the tram days of having severe tramadol induced insomnia the night before one exam.  The exam wasn't until the late afternoon so in total desperation, I took a sleep med in the morning feeling the need to get at least a few hours sleep beforehand, (didn't know zopiclone was a benzo in those days).  I did sleep and woke up in plenty of time to get to the exam but I shouldn't have bothered, everything I knew was buried under layers of wet concrete.

Last night, during a break, I watched the addiction dance, (Kayla & Kopono, SYTYCD, season 5).  The portrayal of seduction & strangulation is a powerful reminder that tramadol is not the sort of friend you want in life.

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by Gerty411, Sep 05, 2009
Hi y'all

I'm starting my second week w/o t.  It's so wonderful not always thinking of pills.  How much do I have?  When can I get more?  When can I take another pill and so on.  I've had two days ina row where I feel good.  In fact one of my coworkers said the old gerty was back yesterday.

I know I'll still have crappy days and accept that.

I still can't believe the amount of shopping I did while zoned out on t.  I must have 100 tubes of lip gloss.

Maxx, I read your posts.  I know how you feel. I've had various addicitions over the years.  Nothing as seductive or as sneaky as t.   The w'd is not fun but is possible.  You need to have support here and at home.  My husband had no idas that I was  popping 10-15 t's/day.  He thought the fed ex delivereries were my thyroid pills.  I finally tod hime and his support was awesome.  We are here for you!

Oh yea, the fed ex came to my house the other day to deliver a new bellydance costume.  I could actually look him in the eye.

Have a good holiday all!

Love ,
gerty

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by Lillyval, Sep 05, 2009
Hi Everyone and welcome newcomers.  I am 10 days free of tram now.  I really haven't suffered much except for extreme tiredness.  This past Thursday I slept nearly all day.  I really had to resist wanting to beat myself up and feeling like a lazy, useless person.  I'm trying to be more forgiving and allow myself to do what I need to get through this.  Overall things are going pretty well, but I have to admit I'm afraid of a completely drug free life.  I know that's sick considering everything I've been through with the trama-hell.  I want to be a better person for my kids and myself.  So I just have to keep moving forward.

infectedgenetics - Don't beat yourself up.  You were off of tram for a month, so you can get off of it again before it's got you physically addicted again.  I hope you'll be able to address your medical issues so you won't have to rely on pain medication that is only covering up symptoms.  I'm sending you healing thoughts.

Wishing everyone hope and healing,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Sep 06, 2009
grandmagirl
Thank you very much for responding and your kind advice. I have been on vacation with the family - was just squaring up to go cold turkey!! (and I had to 'perform' - you know what I mean} OK for you in California!! I had to nip off to Spain to get some sun!! I want to be off this stuff before the winter comes in UK. Don't half feel the cold when one is on this stuff. Now I shall do as you say and cut down first - then taper then when I feel ready for the challege I shall go cold. I will keep posting as you say - the reason being, as I said in my posting mid July, I don't really have anyone to talk to - I can talk to them, but they don't understand - and this is, in fact, worse! It is a vey lonely and frightening situation. Once again thank you for your kind support.
Would welcome other support!!

Avatar universal
by findingfarrah, Sep 06, 2009
Good morning to everyone,

I have been tram free for over a month now and feel much better mentally, however, when my real pain hits, I still think of the tram and pace and wonder what else I could take to take the edge off. I have noticed a significant decrease in headaches/migraines since stopping the tram. I have been taking naproxen and using pain rubs when needed, but sometimes it seems that it is still not enough.

I do feel a sense of control though, knowing I have one pill left in the bottle, that I haven't used despite some terrible days. I just hope I continue with the same strength in the future.

Best wishes to all of you as you fight your own personal battle!
Farrah

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 06, 2009
You can do it Tramman. That's how I did it. Some just go ct and that works too I think, but for me the taper was the way. No matter how you do it, the important thing is you're doing it. Life is not harder without T than it is with, unless you have serious pain issues. In my opinion, if you do have serious pain issues, you should not have been on T to begin with, but a regular normal opiate.
I am starting to function normally totally off T for about a month, I think. I am focused at work and processing information like nobody's business. I feel connected with my children and the world and the planet in a way that I has been trying, I believe, to temper. I wanted "nice" not real interaction. The T was my cocoon and while I was able to function with it, I was not able to truly engage and align with life. I knew that to be true because every time I cut down, the first thing I would want to do was write and be creative. I didn't want creative. It's dangerous. I wanted safe.
Right now I'm trying to be balanced. It's hard, but not as hard as dealing with trying to get, keep and manage Tramadol. Maybe that's what I needed when I was doing it. It was almost like a self-induced coma, although I was hardly unconsious and actually T made me very happy when it was kind to me. But times change and medicine becomes, as Emily has termed it, poison. That's true for any med. That's what happened to me. And when that happens, you stop. My experience is that when you stop, the people on this board will be here for you, no matter what or when or how or how long its been since you checked in or failed and want to be here again. We can't be responsible for each other since we're all so far apart, but we can be here for you whenever you want.
Love
N

Avatar universal
by ItsMeNotYou, Sep 06, 2009
Hi all,  Lurker for a while, but posting my tale of woe (though not as bad as some)

I was on 400mg of T for a few years and recently had thought in my mind the renewal meds were being cut down and not the same potency, so I just tried to up it up a bit to around 600mg/day to compensate.  After a month of that, I realized that enough was enough and decided to quit.   Wife was out of town, my job was not working me to death (a lag in work for a few weeks), so I figured this was tje best time to do it.   And I save $150/mth.
.  
I started around Aug 12th. at 10 50mg pills, then went quickly down to 3, 2,1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/4, then stopped.. somewhere around Aug 18th.  I told my wife when she came back and she said she'd help out.  She, of course, wasn't around to join in the fun of the first few days of WD.  Mainly that was the RLS, insomnia, the runs, .. you know... the whole feeling like crud.   But that went away after 3 or so days.   I called in a few days sick (flu) and that made me not to have to deal with things at work.   I doubled up my does of Ambien (1 CR and 1/2 reg) and overall  that probably saved me.  I was able to get a few hours the first day (the RLS really gets you for the frst few days), but after a few days, I could get 6-7 hours pretty easily.   I've had some sneezing, but not a whole lot, and of course the fogginess that happens.   Make you think you're high.

I totally agree with everyone in that the very bad stuff only takes a course of 3-4 days.  In my case, it was the quitting that started the WD symptoms, it was the cutting down.

The only other thing I'm using is the Ambein for sleep.   (I would tell people that whatever you do, get a sleeping prescription before trying to go CT.)  About the worst thing in the world is to not have any sleep.   I've had a Ambien prescription for about 8 years, and usually take a full 50mg/night.

But anyway, It's been 18 days since I stopped completely.  Things are "maintaining" ok.   Mornings are pretty good for a few hours, then the foggy stuff starts up and continues.  But it's off and on, and there are many hours that I feel 80%, and some I feel 40%... just depends.  Usually I still feel like crud around 4pm, and bear with it until 9, when I take the Ambien to stop all my troubles.  

My WD symptoms are just the general malaise unwell feeling, body heat temperature variations, fogginess, some energy loss, but no real depression (I've never had depressions issues)  I'm still on 15mg of Ambien/night

I have a bood work coming up (mainly for cholesterol) next week, so I hope nothing weird shows up due to the WDs causing chemistry problems... but I guess I'll find out.  I'm keeping this from the Dr. for the time being since they didn't prescribe the T.

Goodl luck all..
ItsMeNotYou

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Sep 07, 2009
I have just caught up with the posts and want to tell you that I am still hanging in there!  Its been hard and I am never sure which w/d are attributable to tramadol and which to diazepam. I am still in the psychiatric unit and a bit scared by the fact that I am likely to be discharged this week. It helps to be here as my meals are provided. (I never know how you all carry on caring for a family - esp Lilly).  Also there are other people here if I am desperate. The downside is that its very noisy at night - and even if I could sleep the door banging wakes me up!

The symptoms I have are pretty random but the shakes are always with me - as is the insomnia. The blurred vision, brain freeze, sense of unreality, tense muscles and jerky legs are never far away. Sometimes a fear courses through my body and at other times its a deep depression. (I think the 5htp are helping keep this at bay a little)

I am hoping to link in with the people who use the NET machine I posted about. I had been turned down as you need to be totally drug free before you can go on the machine (or they negate one another). As I was w/d anyway I decided to really 'go for gold' and stop everything. (Somehow this seemed preferable to prolonging the agony). I have no definite date for being able to move into a detox unit where the machine is used and am hoping that it will dovetail nicely with my discharge from here. I am still very low first thing in the morning and am scared of the suicidal thoughts - so dont want to be at home alone.

So my position at the moment is:
44 days Tramadol free
6 days diazepam free
2 nights Zolpidem free.
Down from 45mg of Mirtazapine (antidepresant) to 15mg. (Off by Sept 10th)

My poor 65 year old CNS doesnt know what has hit it and for the first time in my life I feel my age!!! But I have set my face to get out of this dark tunnel or die. I would prefer the former and so am doing my best to hang  on. This site and especially the notes from KC and grandmagirl have helped me more than I can say. I cant tell you I will win - but I can tell you that I am giving it my very best shot!

Today I spoke to an organisation called 'Bright Futures'. They are going to let me have information on voluntary work in the area of addiction. (I have mentioned before  the irony before of having been an addictions worker with heroin and methadone users). I wont be fit to work for a while but if indeed I do have a future I would like to use this truly dreadful experience to help others. This time round I will absolutley know what they are going through (and not just think I do!).

I walked for 20 minutes today and took Linns advice of looking around me and checking things out. Just to be out of my own problems for a few  seconds was helpful. (So glad you are beating the depression Linn!)

Really encouraged that Rock has made it to Day 19. Well done. I can remember agonising with you on day 9.

Keep going all of you and keep posting as it really does help others.

Chrissie





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by 12Stepper, Sep 08, 2009
Welcome to the site, Itsmenotyou, and thank you for posting. Every bit of sharing seems to help us gather knowledge and gives us more resolve to keep going toward a tram-free life. Congrats on 18 days, you are through the worst of it, and the malaise, restless legs, and temp changes may be gone soon too. The discomfort many of us experienced has been well worth the freedom. Even when I'm experiencing certain aches and pains nowadays, I feel a type of joy that I am not popping Tram every few hours. I think quinine water has been mentioned as helpful to restless legs.

Good to hear Chrissie, Nancy, Lilyval, FindingFarrah, Rock, Gerty and ALL others are hanging in there. So many days we now have Tram-free, and more each day. We are really getting our lives back.

Thank you for your encouragement about the depression, Chrissie. I believe it is finally getting better. Living close to the beach in CA, I've had the opportunity to jump in the ocean this summer. I believe the sun and water are really helping get the dopamine back in my brain, and I've recently had six days of feeling great (really a first in weeks!). If this continues, I won't have to even think about an antidepressant when I see the doc at the end of the month (4 mos. total tram-free by then).

Reading the threads here has helped tremendously when I thought that tunnel would last forever and I have much gratitude to those who have shared their experience with the post acute phase. I hope everyone has a successful day--if we just put more distance between ourselves and Tram, the day is a success. Love and courage to all, Linn

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 08, 2009
I am overwhelmed at the moment - fed up with the fog - but terrified to move forward.
I have tried to keep track of what I am taking - but I seem to convieniently forget by the end of the day.  It's like I don't want to actually know the truth - face the starting point.  If I don't know how much I take how can I start cutting back??

I know I have to do this - I've got to start with the taper and then if I find it too hard I will go c/t.  My biggest fear is for anyone to know - but how can I be sucessful if I don't tell anyone?  My pride may be my biggest problem.

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by iontheprize, Sep 08, 2009
Hello all.  It's been a while since I posted.  When I initially joined, i was several weeks into recovery from a 15-20 tab per day (expensive) habit.  I came out of that and was living my life full of hope and optimism despite the stress in my life.  

Stresses: I am losing my house as a result of a fraudulent mortgage that should have been just a simple refinance.  I made it through lay offs at work and have been struggling with the remaining coworker in my department...work was hard enough prior to the layoffs and then we lost 1/2 of our staff.   The loss of friends at work was painful and the remaining workload was so grueling.  My mother's health is as bad as ever.  My 90 year old grandmother is caring for her daily, but then my grandfather had a bicycle accident that left him with broken ribs, and a collapsed lung.  My grandfather has since experienced other problems in the hospital and he's in the ICU.  Despite the fact that work is hard, I am claiming bankruptcy and losing my home, having to move soon, going to court for the legal stuff, I was able to handle the thought of leaving for my dreaded trip to my mother's home so that my grandmother had help and I was doing "ok".  

Enter Friday.  My coworker, my ONLY coworker in my department besides my boss, told me that she was leaving for another job.  She was giving her 2 week notice  So, my friend, support and mentor of sorts is leaving and the news of that was the final straw.  

On Friday I was on day 83.  

I actually left work, drove home, and ordered it just in time for a Saturday delivery.  I CANNOT believe I did that.  What's worse, is that I didn't even care about was the meaning of my actions.  I couldn't stand feeling LIFE and all of it's stresses any longer.  So, on Saturday my ears were perked for the FedEx truck until the arrival.  

I'm sharing this not for a 'feel sorry for me' kind of thing, but as a reminder of how easy it is to slip up.  

I didn't realize how far I had gone in my recovery until I took that stuff again.  I couldn't sleep on Saturday night, my heart was racing, my hearing was hyper-acute, I was hearing things too; like music that wasn't playing,  I was losing stuff, having trouble engaging in conversation and felt like I was going to get sick.  It didn't take much for those effects and i am astounded by the fact that I used to tolerate so much.  It took 36 hours for that to wear off and I had one of those hangover-type headaches all day.

I used to post a lot.  I always tried to be positive and encouraging to others.  I shared things to help others not feel alone.  I stopped doing all of that because my life got so busy and so hard.  On saturday, I happened to hear from a member of this site via email who was checking on me.  Kind of amazing that on the day I messed up, she emailed me and her words were kind; almost contained a sense of knowing I had made a mistake.  On Sunday, another member emailed me.  It's really something given that neither had known anything about my backslide or heard from me in some weeks.  Thank you both.  

This is an amazing community here; full of forgiveness and support.  I have been able to do so well prior to my mess-up in part because of this site; the giving and receiving.  I felt that I owed it to this post to be honest and to share.

~jessica

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Sep 08, 2009
jessica,
     It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now. The last thing you need is Tram. So you slipped....everyone has weak moments. I'm just so glad you posted. Everyone on this site has had weak moments and some have caved in to live to tell the tale. Please keep posting and know that what ever else happens in your life....the best thing of all will be that you are Tram free....Keep going your doing great...With all the stuff you have going on in your life it must seem like God has his foot on your neck. Please keep posting and try and not worry about the slip. Flush that tram as soon as you can...You will look back and be glad you did....If your having a lot of depression ...it's pretty normal. it will pass and you will feel better....Peaceful wishes from California

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by 12Stepper, Sep 08, 2009
That's right Jessica. Do not worry about the slip. We start again from where we're at and begin trudging again. I've always gained much strength and hope from your posts and it takes a lot of courage to come back. I'm really grateful you're back and admire your resolve to get off Tram again--even with all that is going on in your life. So good to see your post! We may be weary Warriors, but we are not defeated! Welcome back, Love, Linn

Avatar universal
by strugglingnewbie, Sep 08, 2009
hi, everyone, i've been around for awhile as an infrequent poster.  i went c/t from a nasty tram habit in april, around 24 a day, and the first week was he!!.  i had all of the nasty flu-like symptoms to the brain shocks, etc.  i was still having a lot of pain in my shoulder and back and ended up having surgery on my shoulder.  i was rx'd norco and then when i was still having pain the "safer" tramadol.  i ended up taking the tramadol even though i knew better.  i've been interchanging the regular pain meds and the tramadol, but have been off the tramadol completely for two weeks and have no desire to ever touch it again.

i didn't realize how lucky i was the first time around, even though those first 7 to 10 days were brutal, because i didn't have the soul-sucking depression that seems to hit me out of the blue now.  i'm not really sure if it's the lack of tramadol or my brain telling me "no more pain meds"!  all i know is that it's never hit me like this before and really just can't take it.  i had quit the norco about 10 days ago and stupidly asked my doc for a refill of those on friday.  needless to say, those are gone, and tomorrow starts another day one.  for the first time in a long time i'm looking forward to this day one.  really just can't take this emotional merry go around any longer.

i wish i could be more positive and that the name i picked for myself in april could be the complete opposite of where i'm at now, but the only thing that is the opposite now is the newbie part.  i'm still struggling, but i am looking forward to a completely NEW start tomorrow.

to everyone in this journey with me - thank you for posting and sharing your stories with me.  it's kept me sane on more than one day.

Shanna

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 09, 2009
Hello, I am new here, I am preparing to wean off of Ultram. I find this site very helpful, I went off Ultram cold turkey once on vacation and it was really not a "best practices" way to do it. I have an appointment this Thursday and I usually, ( usually) will get enough to do this. I am seriously disturbed by me "need" to continue using this **** due to not realizing it was sooo addictive, at this point it is mainly the fear of the withdrawel pain. I am an elite competative athlete and I think it really goes against everythiong I believe in about ( not being dependant on something) It has been about 9 or 10 months I had portions in there where they gave me percocet as well, also it probably pays to mention that I did have an injury back in July and October of 2008, so that is what started it. I just decided I couldnt deal with the pain or something. Not even sure I never made a concious decision to keep "using" this ****, its just really painful to immediately stop?? I also, like many was clearly told, "Ultram is not in any way addictive" Um, yeah right......I can not believe what happened when I told them I needed them to give me a taper plan, they looked at me and went "Huh? you can just stoip its not like its addictive, just deal with it". I was in shock because I had stopped cold turkey being a tough girl, and I thought Id end up in a hospital.. What I need here is support, and maybe some ideas on a taper plan you all have tried. I am willing to try anything at this point.

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Sep 09, 2009
Hi All!  Just checking in...127 days Tram Free!!!


TO:Pollycat and anyone else that wants info on tapering.

check out my tracker and the journal that tells you how I did it...

Remember that everyone is different...Listen to your body and always consult your doctor.

To all that are in the good fight..or thinking about it....Remember that you're one step closer to a better life!

YOU-CAN-DO-IT!

*Hugs*

Amy

Avatar universal
by strugglingnewbie, Sep 09, 2009
14 days tram free and still dealing with the head games that tram leaves behind.  at least there are moments of normalcy, but then there are the 30 minutes of tears for no reason.  grandmagirl, chrissie, rock i really feel your pain now and grandmagirl it's so good to know that the depression lifts.

today should have been 100+ days and i kick myself for caving and agreeing to the tramadol rx that the doc gave me.

next time i'll stand my ground and ask for something that isn't so painful to come off of.

good luck to everyone.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 09, 2009
Amy and Emily, anyone who is on, ( today I mean)
Thanks for the reply, Where is the tracker thing you mentioned? I know everyone is different,But I could not open it? I am alittle computer challenged, but very determined to learn as much as possible, I got some Percocet to tie me over, which really ticks me off, because I will have to wait one more day to start the Ultram, its wierd to me that I found I could taker actually less Ultram and get by than the P.C. I am starting tomorrow after I visit my doc. I am having all kinds of head games, just like you "struggling newbie" I completely understand, I am breaking up with a fiance, and I have a new one ( practically) I am in the middle of going back to school for my masters in counseling ( can you believe the idea of that? ) I am in the intern part even, wow. Also, I am in a band and we are playing three times this month. I work part time thank god or I may go numb. Well, I wish you luck and I really look forward to conversing with all of you.EMILY?? If you come back on I just wanted to say due to your motivation and consistant research, intelligence and concern I was pushed to get on here, meetings did not work for me at all. I am somewhat of a, um..SPITFIRE?? My college coaches phrase for me. I needed to hear the challenges you faced, "How is your cleaning of your room going??" Well I am off to get my dirt bike hooked up, I did my 8 miles of running, this is what I do I sure hope its ok to at least ocd about running while doing this. Ill keep looking for the weaning stuff. I am in this current head game where, I want to go 100 miles ahead too fast off of it like before, which isnt safe, or I am soo scared to start. I am alittle amped because I am trying to taper with P.C. which I hate, I wanted to start with Ultram, I am 97 lbs. and 5.4 anything effects me right now. I also had heat stroke ( hospital version) a month and a half ago, so I did wait until that was over, I almost just went off everything but felt like ****,..( excuses, excuses) I am ready to start somewhere..And keep going this time.NO MATTER>>>
Thanks,
Pollycat

Avatar universal
by BVD660, Sep 10, 2009
Polly,

Here's a link to Amy's tracker.  Copy and paste it into your address bar and hit enter.

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/index/887114?personal_page_id=486063

Best wishes,

Boe

Avatar universal
by BVD660, Sep 10, 2009
Never mind the copy and paste.  Just click on it.

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by Gerty411, Sep 10, 2009
hi all,  

Hope  all my wariior friends are hanging tight.  Not much time to post as quite busy.
I'm still delightfully t free.  My main problem is I have no impulse control as far as my biting wit and ascerbic tongue goes.  I basically  say exactly what I feel.

Hopefully the weekend will be kind.

Take care, gert

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 10, 2009
Hi all,

It is 11:30pm here in Canada - I can't sleep.  At night - I get no relief - during the day, I can hardly stay on my feet!?
I have started to taper.  I was taking up to 1000mg a day - in Canada it is called tramacet 37.5 and ASA - or extended release in 100, 200, 300mg.  I had a few prescriptions on the go with different Dr's - and a "friend" who worked at a clinic and would give me some of the samples they got.
So I am starting at 700 mg a day - no chewing the extended release - I've been doing it for a week - and not too bad.  I am so worried about the depression, the RLS and the stomach issues I had other times I have tried that I have got myself so worked up that I am afraid I am going to make it worse than it is - if that makes any sense.
I am trying not to increase my benzo use - I will have to deal with it once the tram is long gone.  What a mess - I can't believe this is the reality of my life.
I feel like the last 4 years have been nothing but a big waste of time (and money)
I really need to get through it this time - I know I have to talk to my Dr., find another way to deal with my disc pain, and let my partner in on what is going on in order to be sucessful.  Time to swallow my pride and save my life.

This forum gives me the determination and hope that I can do it.  We can do it - beat this damn drug.
My biggest worry is the depression - for those of you going through it, or have gone through it - how did you get out of bed?
I am self employed - I don't have to be at the office by a certain time.  Last time I tried I almost lost my business - I certainly disapointed a number of clients.  If I taper slower will the depression be less - or am I just drawing it out more?



Avatar universal
by MarkNina, Sep 11, 2009
Nina Update....

Hello all, today (Friday) is day number 14 (two weeks) that Nina has been tramadol free.

The first week was complete hell. There were emotional outbursts, aggressive moments, sleepless nights, flu like symtoms and general all over pain. In other words, a really **** time!

(Nina says, and I agree as I had to live with her! that the w/d's were far worse and way more severe during the taper than they were at the end. Don't get me wrong, the first few days/week after getting to zero mg were awful, but it seemed the taper each week produced more horrific reactions.)

The second week however has seen a lot of these feelings fade a bit. She is sleeping ok and reckons that her energy levels are rising. It does come in waves still and there are ups and downs, but it seems like the downs are getting less. Still sneezing a lot!!

The main problem, is one mentioned numerous times. She still has a lot of pain in her back. Some of you mentioned before that it was too early to coming off Tramadol to determine if this pain is pain from her original back problem, because Tramadol can make you feel pain when withdrawing. So how long do you think before the Tramadol withdrawel pain can ease off?

Nina is a real positive type of person, unlike me! God knows how i'd deal with what you all have been/are going through!?

It is easy for me to say I know, but if you can stay positive and ride that initial time of hell, with the help of friends, family and of course everyone on this site! you can overcome Tramadol. After that you can start to get your life back on track.

Nina is only two weeks free, so the fight is far from over, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Will be back soon with another update! All the best everyone, keep fighting!!!!

Mark (and Nina!!!!)



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by Lillyval, Sep 11, 2009
Jessica, I just want to reach through the computer and give you a big hug.  You've always been so encouraging and supportive of the rest of us going through this battle.  The last couple of times I heard from you you indicated that you were facing problems, but I didn't know what they were.  It seems like the harder our problems get the less we ask for support.  I know that is true for me.  I am so sorry for everything you're going through.  Any one of those things is extremely stressful, but to have it all going on at once is a nightmare.  My whole battle with tram has been two steps forward, one step back.  If I had stuck with it the first time I would have months clean by now.  So there's not much  I can say about the fact that you took tram.  I'm glad you didn't enjoy (that helps).  I sense that you are still resolved to continue in your recovery.  I know you can do it!

As for me after 10 days or so of drinking poppy tea with basically no withdrawal symptoms, I'm facing the fire now as I predicted I would.  I have an upset stomach, diarrhea, anxiety, RLS (or in my case arms).  I'm in a fog and I feel like a dark cloud is over me.  I'm leaving today for a week-end with some girlfriend (which I've never done since I've had kids).  Its supposed to be a big fun party type thing, but for me it's going to have to be rest and rehab.  I haven't decided yet how much I want to share with the group about what's going on with me.
I wish you all peace and healing,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 11, 2009
Thanks BOA,
Im on it..
First day Tram only...Starting thanks again Ill check it out. I understand the biting nails, and anxiousness I ran for 2 1/2 hours today. Cleaned my parents property all up. Even worked in my Mother's garden. Im alittle hyper but ready to get and keep it going..
Good luck everyone!!!!
P......

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by KickTRAM_I_will_help, Sep 11, 2009
Hello, I'm on day two cold turkey.  I have a real sense of victory.  But the withdrawal is wicked; ringing head, tired, runny nose, sneezes, hell.  Helps to avoid watching the news, or movies that are dramas. Watching comedies helps as does listening to nice music, i.e. the Beatles.  I fessed up to my doc today over the phone that I was buying off internet.  I just wanted to know from him, if I should fear the withdrawal.  When I'm better I will write him a letter advising him NOT to use this medication on anyone.  And ... that if anyone has a problem, they can talk to me.   Last night I was on the verge of tears and I wanted to go out of my mind.  

Avatar universal
by hoglover, Sep 12, 2009
Hello everyone,

I'm new on the list and getting ready to try and quit the Tram.  I take about 7-8 50 mg a day for about the last 2 years.  It's the classic story.  I used Tram to get off Vicodin which worked great but I never let go of the Tram.  I have been fooling myself about weening.  That is nonsense because I am such an addict that I know I will never be able to "control" the dosage.  I am going to have to go cold turkey and to be honest I'm chicken sh** not about physical pain but totally about emotional pain and depression.  Still, it has to be done.  I can see that I will be on this stuff for the rest of my life if i don't commit to getting clean.  I'm praying that this cool place is my answer.  Thanks everyone who has shared here.

hgl

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 12, 2009
Welcome to the list hoglover and Kick. I find for me there was no depression right off the bat. If anything, there was slight overinflated mood - not great energy, just charged to make it through, with a boost from those starved opiate receptors reaching out to touch places that hadn't been in a few years. New connections.  
The physical is not fun though as we all can attest. Gerty (bless you) has mentioned my new annoyance, restless ARMS, if you can believe that, at night when I'm not sufficiently tired to sleep. And it's a month out. When in acute withdrawl, benedryl made the RLS and RAS (ha!) worse, but now if I am tired, it helps for sleep. I had a mild benzo, one mildest dose per day, alloted and I can honestly say that I don't think it helped. It made me tired, but sleep in the beginning of the kick is tough, so it's annoying to be pulled to a place you cannot go. Better to get up. And I did. Alot.
Reading and writing skills greatly improved. Studying math for fun (Kicking T made me a GENIUS!) No jones=enhanced algorithmic function!
You know I'm kidding.
Gerty, lack of T has made me acid-tongued as well. Or at least tart. Is this us, just real without the T blanket?
And beautiful Jessica, I appreciate you more now than even before. We don't care if you ordered. Keep posting. You have no obligation to be positive and post, or off T and post. I thought this was all about not being perfect. I just want you here for my own selfish reasons, no matter where you're at. It's a long journey. Someday that truck will pull up to my house and I hope I'll be as brave as you and post. Maybe it won't have T, maybe something else. Who knows. I just know life is complicated and if you weren't complicated too, you couldn't really encourage anyone when it's all said and done. And you've encouraged me so much.
Music does help.
Love
N

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Sep 12, 2009
Hi folks,

I havent checked in for a few days as life has been a bit upside down. I was discharged from hospital on Tuesday and its been a struggle to say the least.  I am not sure if w/d from tramadol or w/d from diazepam is causing me the problems - or maybe its both!

I am still shaking but mainly my problems are pyschological. I seem totally unable to function. My brain and body feel frozen and its all I can do to make food for myself. Nothing seems to matter and I feel spaced out and unreal. Also great surges of fear and panic rush through me (usually at bed time). Depression is sort of lurking but not quite getting me. The feeling is that it will break through at any moment and engulf me. The days seem very long as I am unable to do much at all.

I am booked to fly to Scotland on Tuesday to use the NET machine. (If anyone is interested google Lorne Patterson NET machine or  Dr Meg Patterson). This machine is supposed to help symptoms by 50 - 75%  - but I am almost afraid to hope!  I may not be able to use a computer whilst away but will check in when I get home again. I pray it will cut my w/d time as I am only 11 days post diazepam and cant imagine making it to the 3 month mark when hopefully it will be easier.

I am glad to see that new people are posting. Its good to know that more of us are fighting back. I dont know if I am through tramadol w/d yet as I didnt wait until the end to give up the other drugs and so am not sure what is causing what!  (I am on Day 49 tramadol free.)

I dont know if this might be helpful to new people but I have had two experiences of the very physical side of tramadol w/d. Both times I went cold turkey.  The first time I had upset tummy, shivering, sneezing and terrible back pain. (Helped by acupuncture).  I lasted 13 days and caved in not because of the physical - but because of the awful depression.  The second time was 49 days ago. I went to a small health clinic for a week. They did colonics, infra red saunas, massage and lots of detoxing veggie juices.  I escaped just about all of the physical w/d this way. (I think the treatments flushed the tramadol out quickly)  Unfortunately the pyschological w/d are something else. On week 2 I was hit in the solar plexus by dreadful depression and agitation. (I believe this is because the receptors to which the tramadol sticks are now empty until my brain/body generates its own.) I found that an important factor for me was keeping my blood sugar even by eating little and often. I seemed more prone to depression when I had gone without food for some time. (And low blood sugar can cause depression). I also take Serotone 5HTP. However be careful with this if you are tapering as the tramadol has serotonin properties and serotonin syndrome can occur. (Also 5htp should not be used with antidepressants).

Newway - about diazepam. As my days without tramadol increased, so my w/d discomfort also increased. Folk on here explained that because of drug interaction the tramadol and diazepam were each making the other more powerful when used together. Therefore as I reduced the tramadol I was also reducing the effects of the diazepam (even though at that point I had not cut the diazepam down). This meant that I actually needed more diazepam to keep me comfortable. (I mention it in case you have the same problem).   Rightly or wrongly I decided that this was where I got off diazepam too and did a ridiculously fast taper. I am not sure if this was wise or not.  (To be able to use the machine I mentioned I have to be drug free so this encouraged me.) I do echo your sentiments and wonder how on earth I got into this mess too.

Nina seems to be doing really well. I certainly didnt feel good at 2 weeks off tramadol. So pleased for you. Shame about the back pain though - have you tried acupuncture?

Keep going everyone.

See you soon.

Chrissie




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by Gerty411, Sep 12, 2009
HI y'all,

I'm free of crapping tram!!!!  I want to thank you all for giving me the balls to get off of that nasty vile drug.  I never thought I would be able to go through the w/d.  I'm still glad I tapered and didn't go ct.

I started my taper 7/28 and have been t free for just over 2 weeks.  I finally can workout and practice my bellydance almost daily.  I also am much more into my husband and family.  As mentioned before I cannot stop myself from speaking my mind even if it is hurtful or not scoially acceptable.  Hopefully I'll regain my "impulse control" soon.

Yes, Nancy,  t  probably covered alot of my feelings so I wouldn't have to deal with issues that now just send me over the edge.  

Hoglover and Kicktram,  Just one hour at a time.  I know the w/d ***** but the payback is having you and your lives back.  No more worrying about pills or waiting for the fedex man....

Take care!!!

Love, Gerty

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by Gerty411, Sep 14, 2009
Hi y'all,

Yesterday I had my first gut wrenching disappointment t free.  I tried-out for a bellydance troupe and didn't do as well as I had hoped.  I haven't found out the results yet but it is all I can do not to reorder t.  I'm so anxious,  I know it won't change a thing but make me feel much more miserable.  But there's a part of me that feels that if I was still on t maybe I would have done a better job.  On the other hand maybe I didn't do as well because of my addiciton to t for the last 2 years.

I'm really pissed right now  

Gerty

Avatar universal
by hoglover, Sep 14, 2009
Hello everyone,

I am trying to keep checking in even tho i have not begun w/d yet.  I am really afraid of the feelings that are going to come up.  I know the physical w/d will possibly be he** but I know how to kick drugs physically.  I have been off of alcohol for 12 years and kicked meth many, many years ago.  The problem is the FEELINGS.  This is what caused me to pick up vicodin "in sobriety".  The Tram was a godsend at first but you all know how that goes.  I feel like such a fraud because I simply can't bear to talk about my problem in myy 12 step group.  I just don't feel like I need to go back to day 1 re my sobriety from alcohol.  I just want to get free of the T and move on in a positive way in my life.  I know this may sound like a cop out but I have always been so brutally hard on myself when it comes to sobriety.  I'm afraid of just throwing up my hands and walking away.  I have a beautiful husband and daughter and lots of reasons to be clean.  Thank God this thread is here.  Honestly, I don't know what i might do if it weren't.  I am planning on cutting my dose in half in the first week of Oct. and then trying to go from half to 0.  I just don't think a slow taper will work for me.  Tried it before and failed.

Gerty - thanks very much for your post.  Just MHO but the results of the tryout don't matter as much as the fact that you TRIED and you were clean!!  That's the  whole deal right there.  You are already a success.

Take care and as Arnold says - I'll be back.

hlv

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by EmilyPost, Sep 14, 2009
Good Morning Pretties


This thread is closed


Please come to Part 16

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/121261

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by KickTRAM_I_will_help, Sep 15, 2009
I'm on day five cold turkey.  What a feeling of joy - in spite of the fact that I still get tired easily and my head buzzes.  But I'm happy because after 1.5 years of daily doses, ending at about 18 - 30 per day 50MG, having five solid days is remarkable.

This is not an easy thing to endure.  But, I have to endorse cold turkey over tapering off - in my case anyway.  Tapering off is dicey because having a supply of pills on hand can just keep you in the cycle.  Cold Turkey will give you two days of hell, a third of moderate hell and plenty of hope on day four.  If you need a helping hand, give me your number and I will call you.  No problem.  I sure that I had someone to call those first few days.  My email is ***@****.

Avatar universal
by lorenzo118, Jan 27, 2010
I was on hydrocodone 10mg four times a day for 6 months. I got off of it and started taking Lyrica, I halluciated
and moved slowly, like a 90 year old man, instead of a 51 year old.  I had no pain on lyrica but I was also spacey
and the hallucinations were quite vivid.  Like speaking to a person that was not there, but I felt they were sitting right next to me.  Many times I would snap out of it and realize immediately that I was hallucinating.  No pain, but a complete zombie.  I finally started Tramadol (300mg a day)I guess I am lucky because I have stopped taking tramadol for days at a tme and have had no problems.  On a scale of 1-10 my pain has been a six with tramadol whereas it was a one with hydrocodone and Lyrica.  Hope this helps someone..
e-mail ***@****

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by netty01, May 31, 2011
Hi, I am new on here and I take tramadol on a "as needed" basis.I sometimes have terrible back and neck pain due to a degenerative disc disease. I had no idea it is addictive. Is it addictive when I only take it once or twice a week? It seems to work well and I have one side effect. I have a lot of hand shaking. Although familiar tremor runs in my family , this drug exacerbate them allot.

Avatar universal
by turkeytrotter, Nov 22, 2011
Hi I am a transplant recipient of 20 years. I have back/hip pain; I started taking Aleve and that worked just fine, take one a day and I could function just fine without hurting. When I told my doc this, he told me to stop that day because it could hurt my kidneys. So, I told him he had to give me something that I could take because I couldn't live in pain and he put me on Ultram. I've been on it since 08; the weird thing is, it worked WONDERS the first year and little by little Its lost its effect.

I think it doesn't work 80% of the time but I still take it in hopes of not having pain. My dose is 50mg every 8 hrs. I've noticed the last two times I've ran out, I've gotten what I assumed was a bad cold and never thought about it. This time, I took my last dose Friday and woke up Saturday feeling ill again like I was coming down with a cold.

I've had chills, sweats, my body aches, I'm sneezing constantly...been doing this for now 4 days. Today I woke up feeling somewhat human so decided to TRY to run...barely ran a mile but felt good to be doing something after being confined to my bed.

Is what I'm going through a stupid cold or WD? I've been on Morphine and other strong pain meds before from surgeries and never had any type of WD that I remember. If I am WD, then how long will it be before I completely have my energy back and stop aching. Its confusing because I don't know if this aching is my normal thing or from this....

Thanks for any input!

Avatar universal
by suazzz, Dec 18, 2011
hello my name is ivan.i been taking tramadol for 6 years for fybromyalgia.at first tramadol was a god send to me and now its a curse.im so addicted to it so much i cant function without it.your not gonna believe it but i take close to 800 or more tramadol a month.i tried to stop but i'd rather be dead than go thru the withdrawal.if anybody can help me please email me  @  ***@**** need someone to tell me how to get off this crap without having to go thru the hell of withdrawal.

Avatar universal
by theirmommie72, Dec 18, 2011
@turkeytrotter ~ i would just keep telling myself it's a cold.  i wish i was that oblivious to my w/d's when they happened.  some try and tell themselves it's the flu and that helps with the overall situation.  tram is a beast to get off of so if you are a little achey and flu like then consider yourself lucky.  sometimes i think the internet is our worst enemy.  reading about all the horrible w/d and scary symptoms just builds it up in our minds ya know?  you are on such a low dose that maybe yours are minimal.  good luck and keep that mindset.  

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by GA_need_help, Dec 18, 2011
Suazz,
    I know you will find help here.  Is it possible to taper?  I am tapering from Opana ER, another very tough opiate.  So I am getting to know my drug Opana really well.  I don't know tramadol really well, but people that post on this forum do--- Please get their advice on what to do.
   I just want to see if tapering is an option.  I know a lot of people say they don't have enough self-control to taper.  
   I can't see any other way out for me.  I am experiencing a lot of issues that have made me want to stop taking an Opiate.  One issue is our brains get hypersensitive.  And when tapering the anxiety can get very, very bad.  Still I don't see another option for myself right now.
    I am tapering slowly because i have learned by cutting back 20% one day last week, that I have to take the decrease very, very slowly.  I went into terrible withdrawal.  I have to remember how strong Opana is.  So I have ordered a milligram scale to start tapering by so slight as one milligram.  I pray to be able to reach my next goal-- a good decrease by the time of my next doctor's appointment.
   This is really hard, but we don't have much choice.  We have to decide on our path.  Pray like crazy (in my case) and move forward in action.
     I look back to my highest dose of Opana ER, and I was on twice as  much as I am today at one point!  So, I slowly chip away at it.  I just wanted to tell you what I am doing.  And to tell you that I really care about what you are going through.  
   Marie

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by GA_need_help, Dec 18, 2011
I believe a new post may be started.  Actually -- I think it is number 50.  i could be wrong.  But, please see if there is another place people are posting more frequently.

Marie

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