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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room Part 16

Sep 14, 2009 - 258 comments










Hi Everyone and Welcome,

Come on in and make yourself cozy.

You can do this!

Love and Healing,

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Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 14, 2009
Hello wonderful people,
This is Polly here, I did three days of Tram only and smashed my arm hiking ( Im alittle OCD about running, exercise, ect.) then I ( or thought I did anyway) needed a Percocet again.
I feel like a jerk. I have three or four seperate tapering methods my Dr. gave me, I am also going through alot of issues with an ex husband. I have to really get all that put aside. I don't know if anyone else had this issue but I could not simply cut him off, run off into the sunset with my new perfect boyfriend, ( who is perfect by the way) and just go get a ring, do all my band stuff, my running, go off Ultram and pretend none of this happened. I am sort of writing alot, journaling.
I do think I am actually beginning to realize what has kept me on it, although an injury started it all. I just absolutely love not having to feel all those uncomfortable emotions, I mean even the good ones. I just don't want to feel them. I think what it says in the N.A. book may be true. That you will start feeling things you either havent in a long time, or at all. This may be one of the biggest challenges for me. I have talked to someone, and decided I have my re-fill of Ultram and as far as the P.C I will give it to someone to watch for me, or dump it, then start weaning off Ultram again. I seriously find it so hard to do all this work, ( I am a writer so I am on my own schedule) its hard to do life and get off this stuff. how do I actually set my life aside and really start to wean more? I am now just trying to keep reading and researching and posting so I can figure out the best possible weaning pace . I have decided to "NOT" refill any more Ultram or any other after this. I have plenty to wean off. But I think I can start at 6x50 mgs a day but does anyone know when to shift to say, four or three? Every three days? Or four.??I mean a week seems too long. I am just struggling desperately to find a more consistent method. And I am being a big chicken sh..because I am dealing with life things, transitions. On and on. But I know that I can almost weekly come up with an excuse. So I am starting over again. Thanks for listening.
Hang in there. Ive made a promise I will...........Until I am in a better place...And even then...

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 14, 2009
One more thing I am pretty worried about. If I keep vascilating ( sp?) back in fro I will have to go Cold Turkey again due to not feeling like I am taking this fast enough. I want off but am down about it, and frightened. Is it really unhealthy to go cold turkey?/I mean you can't say die or something from just dumping them all can you?
Not the best way. I just am sick of the worry.

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by finallyfree1, Sep 14, 2009
hi emily
i am confused. I quit tram tapered all the way down and now i feel great during the day is wierd almost high... then at night i havent slept at all in a week ..and i mean at all. but i am not tired during the day. I just go through hell at night. What  is happening to me? Does anyone else know either? I quit a 5 year habit. Thank you all I really take comfort in reading your posts..

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by Gerty411, Sep 14, 2009

I tapered from 500 mg t/ day to 0 over about 4 weeks.I decreased my dose by half the first week which was alot.  But I felt that it gave me confidence to continue on.  Everyone is different.  I know how you feel.  T kept me from dealing with unpleasant emotions, too.  

Chrissie, thanks for the thoughtful words.

Hoglover, I also thankyou for your thoughts.

I will continue on in my quest.

Take care!


1039436 tn?1255523662
by finallyfree1, Sep 14, 2009
anyone,out there,

it is getting closer to nighttime and my anxiety is getting higher and higher, How is it I dont sleep at all... I have tried all the over the counter stuff and vitamins and melitonin... nothing out there gives me any relief, when can i ever sleep again.. I am so scared of the night. It seems during the day with all my vitamins and water I can cope with withdrawel syptoms.. but at night i want to die...


Avatar universal
by ItsMeNotYou, Sep 14, 2009
When I decided to quit, I just used the method of going CT, but if I felt really super crappy, then I'd take 50mg.  That's how I ended up with a pseudo tapering... adding 3 the first day.  The next day, I also added the fact that I wanted to do less the 2nd day, thus I ended up with doing 2.. then 1.. then 1/2 etc. So in my case I did a CT with benefits.. heh... or maybe it's ugh.   In any case, it was a very quick taper.

So now, 30 or so days after starting to the CT w/taper, I'm still feeling WD, but I can mostly concentrate and I have more energy than last week.  It's all incremental.  If you were to ask if I were feeling better than last week, it would be definitely yes, but also definitely not all better.  I take a few b-12 and a super b complex, and drink lots of gatorade.  I take around 15mg of Ambien a night, hopefully tapering off to 10mg in the next few weeks.

As for finallyfree1 sleep, as I had mentioned, it really helps to try to get some Ambien to sleep before committing to this.   I can't imagine a Dr. not prescribing this to you if you told them you really needed it.   And thank god for generic Ambien now, so prices can be relatively cheap.   Of course, that doesn't help you tonight but like a lot of these posts, it might help someone else in the future.

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 15, 2009
Hi all. Gerty sorry about your disappointment. It is hard, isn't it? I'm thinking of you.
Welcome all new people. You're very brave. I'm one month out or so, maybe five weeks and yes the sleeping does get better. You will sleep as much as you need to, I think, and it is better if you can accept it and be awake. It was at night that I found out what the T was protecting me (stopping me) from seeing. And now those night time thoughts are my inspiration for work. But if you're worried about daytime safety, like driving, as you're not getting enough slepp, I think ambien or some such sleep aid (script) would be useful.
Try the epsom salts. It sounds like it won't help, but it truly, tuly does. You absorb magnesium and those salts were a turning point for me (thanks sweetie jessica ((((hugs)))))
You definitely sweat out the drug, so I couldn't stop myself from walking, swimming, esp. in the early, early a.m. (like 5 or so) when I couldn't sleep. I have noticed that those people who have been able to exercise have had a bit of an easier time with wd. And it is true that you sweat the chemicals. I didn't believe this till I smelled it. It is a weird, chemical, metallic smell. Now that I think about it, it smelled foreign - not of the natural body, which - of course - it was not. B vitamins and gatorage helped too. So did eating high magnesium foods or indeed anything I craved. I craved spicy foods and dairy products, stomach be [email protected]#ned. Imodium ad is a must, as much as you need. I had a mild benzo, one per day, as well. I'm not sure it helped. I found the tiredness it produced annoying, since it was not enough, even with tylenol pm, to produce sleep. And the tiredness aggravated my RLS. I took several baths a day, which I could do since I work at home. Problem? Into the bath. Five minutes later? Into the bath. Hot water with a cold washcloth for the face and neck helped, esp. with epsom and a peppermint, lavender or lemon smell.
This isn't easy. But I promise you, like finallyfred promised me, that you will feel better. You will feel proud and great at moments, even if your body is mad at you. And after a month...and it does take will realize that you're resting, watching tv, enjoying life in a non T way, a normal way, and it will be awesome. Every day is not great, no. But you will gain so much more than you lost when you gave up the T, especially if you were self-medicating for emotional issues. And if you are in true physical pain, if T doesn't work, talk to your doc about going with something that does.
pollycat, I'm not an md. But if you go back to the posts, many have gone c/t and done ok. If you can talk to the doctor, it is always best. But many of us are here because of the doctor and the ignorance in the med field about this drug. So many have gone c/t with no medical help. The research we have seen when people here looked, shows that many of the risks of T usage, like seizures, do not occur in cold turkey w/d. Emily has stated this very clearly a few pages back. Clearly, for many of us, the health risks in continuing T outweighed the risks, if any, in stopping.
As a related side note, I went to the md myself last week for a check-up. I have elevated liver enzymes and those, according to my reading, could be connected with the T. Now that I've stopped, let's hope they go down. They are not sky high, but enough for the doctor to mention.

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by 12Stepper, Sep 15, 2009
Greetings Warriors, Finallyfree, Sorry to hear about the insomnia. That is a huge symptom of withdrawal and it is truly aggravating. Many of us have talked about it in this multi-page journal and you just have to believe that it does get better.

I could not sleep at all without something--and even then if was not 100% effective. I took tylanol PM and sometimes benedryl (same ingredient), and it did work for me. Ambien has been recommended as a prescription drug, also. Of course, tapering off these became necessary too as some OTC and prescription sleep aides cause w/d symptoms, as well.  I tapered slowly off the tylanol PM and then took mixtures of herbs such as Valerian and Passion Flower. Now I am finally (3 1/2 mos. Tram-free) going off the herbs and sleeping on my own most of the time. 3 1/2 months of sleep problems seems like forever, but it does get better and eventually you will sleep well again. It is well worth it to live free of Tram.

As Nancy suggests, physical exercise is very helpful if you can do it--the more, the better. I started out with short walks and now exercise 1-2 hours a day. On days I do two forms of exercise (eg, a walk and a bike ride) I fall asleep very easily. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing.

Nancy, thank you for your inspiring post. Really enjoyed it and glad to hear you are doing well.

Love and courage, Linn

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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.  

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by EmilyPost, Sep 15, 2009
Yesterday I had this really long experience trying to pay a "fix it" ticket. See the drugs and such that I have been on for awhile really exhausted me, so taking care of alot of details, like registering the car, fell to the wayside.

So I got this ticket awhile ago and I slowly worked on getting it all corrected. But yesterday it was crucial to avoid a fine that I take care of it. And everything went wrong. The police man (who was actually very nice) gave me the wrong directions to the CHP place. The CHP place insisted I needed an appointment. Once we were over that, they cautioned me to send this paperwork overnight and to get a receipt and a copy. Getting a xerox copy in the town I live in before 10 am? Impossible, so I drive to another city, run in, and 10 xerox machines are broken. The guy there is not helpful and I'm starting to feel ... crazy. Crazier.

Finally he helps me. Ten cents later, he tells me that they have run out of envelopes and can't sell me any. What? Yeah. So another trip to target. Target is out of envelopes and I start to wonder why the world is so broken. In the middle of the xerox fiasco, I asked two people in a shop if they knew where a Print shop was ... and they sent me to the wrong place. I am a goose, and this is my chase.

Mercury. Retrograde. Apparently ... annoying.

Then enter the Postal Worker. I must have killed a postal worker in a former life. (Sorry!) And so there's a big long discussion about how to make sure that everyone and their brother knows I sent this letter on time.  And all the while I have these "healing symptoms." Like Gravity is 1000 times stronger on my planet. And I am vastly shorter because my body keeps contracting on itself. I am walking on a Boat. Random. It seems like it gets worse if I get stressed, but not always.

Finally the ticket is corrected and the stupid city of Los Angeles has its $25. And I decide that to celebrate I will go to the Thrift Store close to the post office. I love a thrift store!

So I walk in all exhausted and irritated, but also glad *that* is hopefully behind me and there's an older man behind the counter. I'm looking at all the glass cups and vases and wondering what I could find in here. I'm staring in a mirror that is at least 70 years old and I am wondering who else has stared in this mirror. Were they thinking what I am thinking? I hear the sales guy and a customer chatting about the recent fires here. They are talking about how we could all see the fires. Which is true, I saw that fire three times while sitting in my living room on my very own couch.

The flames were hundreds of feet tall and there was fire tornados in the center of the flames. We didn't get evacuated, but it rained ash for days and it really felt like all of us had moved into a giant ashtray.

So after awhile I say hello to the sales man as i am looking in the glass counters. He says hello back and we're making eye contact. I ask him how he is and he says;

"I'm Ok and You're Ok."

And I feel ... very happy at that moment because really, it's true right. We're both ok. Fire didn't eat us. Despite the fact that I am withdrawing from drugs of all kinds, I am ok. He's ok.

He says,  "Just so you know, anything in the store, I'll give you half off."

And I smile. You know that whole sense of well being is so far removed when you withdraw from drugs. You feel so very poisoned and insane and like nothing ever will be ok again because you're hysterical and in pain and it's all so awful. And then, BAM ... it's gone. It swings back and forth, and cannot be predicted. Humans hate unpredictability.

Healing goes from Step A to Step B To Step C and then suddenly you can be at Step A again. And it's hard to remember that somedays you're way way way up in the "W's and the X's"

That's how it goes.

I remember in the beginning of tapering I just wanted to find someone anyone who had been thru it and who had survived and wasn't crazy. And I looked. For awhile I didn't find anyone so I just talked to myself. Which is an honorable and righteous thing!

So back at the thrift store I spot a pair of ornate costume jewelry earrings. $2 ... and a 25 cent jar of baby blue glitter. The man gives me half off and then I watch as he searches for an old jewelry box to put the earrings in. Here's this Dear Dear man who made up a discount for me ... looking to make me happy by putting my "new" earrings in a special box. And suddenly I am just ... overwhelemd with love and compassion for .. well for everyone and ESP for myself. For the sheer humanity of what I have been thru in the last year. (Heck the last 5 at least!) The Horrors. The Pain. The Agony of Defeat. The Sheer terror and night sweat. The fact that for at least 2 solid months I lived in a parka. I was Crazy Parka Wearing Girl.

It's been 5 months, I am on no pills. I tapered Klonopin 2-6 mg (random ... PDoc aka Dr. Groovy told me it was just fine to take Klonopin that way cause he said Klonopin was harmless ... Vitamin K) ... I tapered it for 6 months. It took a year to get off Tramadol, Codeine, Morphine, Amotryptoline. Xanax, Davocet you name it in pain management I have probably taken it. I have been to them all. Even the last stop.

Big Car accidents, big back injuries. Nerve damage. Pills upon pills. Docs upon Docs. The thing is .. it can happen to anyone. We aren't controlling it all. Nothing like a giant fire trying to eat the Mountains to remind you huh?

So I am wearing the earrings thinking .. "I'm Ok and You're Ok." And we are. Truly.

You think it will never end. But it does. It does have an end. I no longer have night sweats. I no longer want to hide in my house. I have problems that are not unique, money problems caused by the drug spiral. At the moment it seems .. not serious. Sometimes it seems very serious, but at the moment, no. I have back pain and neck pain caused by the lingering of the Benzo. It was 4-13-2009 when I took that last tiny itty bitty bit of Klonopin. The symptoms ramped up again in the last couple of weeks. My body feels a rush of adrenaline ... I'm on a sort of speed ... but it's " a healing symptom."

Compassion. Kindness. ESP to yourself. This is the useful lesson. And above all Time. Time. Just straight up time, it's not how hard you "try" or "What you are doing" in certain ways time heals this Benzo situation.

During this benzo thing I have watched the walls breathing, I have seen people where no people are. I can hear like a superhero. I can hear 4 conversations at once in a restaurant. I can smell layers and layers and layers. In fact, scent was one thing that helped me. Perfumes, soaps, simple and effective for anxiety. And yes, my anxiety was caused by Benzos. And it will leave as the side effects leave the building.

I have had depersonalization. "Is that my face? Why is it all twisted? When did my nose get that big? Who is combing my hair." I have had the Fear of taking a shower because all the water was coming so fast and yet it felt like I could count the drops as they touched my skin. And the water would seem to sizzle because my central nervous system was on fire.

I remember the "seizure." I had a "small seizure." You know I always thought a seizure would be scary. Instead it is just like thinking ... "I think I'll sleep for just a minute." Then I had this lovely snoozey happy but intensely long dream. And I thought, "Oh man, why are people always waking me up just when I have gotten so warm and cozy and happy being asleep? This ***** that everyone is yelling."

And then there I was in the Hallway ... on the floor. Cause I had fallen.  I asked my husband what I had said ... and what had happened and he said ... "you said, I think i am going to pass out." I asked, Then what?" He said, "Then you passed out."

I thought it was hysterically funny at the time.

I sleep now. Not always but I sleep. I was waking up like "OH HI! HI I AM AWAKE NOW" at 4-5 am .. now I occasionally need the alarm.

It's getting better. It's remarkably slow but it is better.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 15, 2009


And very relatable.

Ill be back too....
Thank you everyone so much who responded. Im on day two again..
Thinking, Running mile repeats, 5.50-6-50 pace,Writing, editing, hiking, dwelling, reading books on eliminating worry actually.
Im in.............................

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 15, 2009
Mercury retrograde indeed. Communication systems down. But not yours, Emily. I happen to know cause Hermes and I are on a first name basis...he's a trickster, but I'm pretty sure that he likes you plenty. Indeed, I'm willing to bet you're loved in every world - this one, over and under. Do you know what you've done? You used this place to send out waves of healing, just like you say at the top of every page. And that thought and those words just pulled me in, pulled us in, just like magic. But keeping us here - well, somehow your words do that too.
Retrograde ends at the end of the month, I think. I'm a gemini so I keep track.

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by madtram, Sep 15, 2009
Dear Emily, you consistently find the best words to put to our experiences.  I don't know if you make any sort of living from your writing but we surely appreciate your talent here.

Nancy great to hear from you & glad you are starting to see the benefits of being tram free.  Tramadol can undoubtedly cause elevated liver enzymes but thankfully the liver is quite resilient provided that we don't prolong our abuse of it.  The amino acid n-acetyl-cysteine is worth taking during this recuperative period.  It's prescribed to mitigate the liver toxicity effects of chemo & radiation among other things.  St Mary's thistle also helps liver recovery.

Welcome to all new tramadol warriors, I know it's scary but please believe that there is nothing bad about not taking tramadol.  The worst part for me is cleaning up the debris from the tramadol years & this can be depressing, embarrassing, fear inducing & tiring but it's still nowhere close to as bad as being a tram prisoner.   Mainly because the tramadol prison is not a prison farm, it's a nasty place where you have no control & crazy  physical & emotional tortures are inflicted at random.

It was the randomness & unpredictability that drove me to the brink, the not knowing when or if I would sleep, the sudden pain & extreme weakness when I was trying to maintain my low dose levels.  Not everyone reaches that point at the same time but I have no doubt that we all end up in a version of this purgatory.

I am in mid-life, (almost exactly assuming I make it to 100), & now I have crazy hormonal randomness to deal with.  This, unlike the  tram's effects, is normal & a walk in the park compared with detramming.  Especially for the younger tram warriors, tram has been disrupting the production of your sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen & progesterone.  Full health, (not to mention conception if anyone has those aspirations), requires these hormones to be balanced and free-flowing so this is yet another reason why quitting is so worth it.

Finallyfree, the insomnia defeated me, I couldn't control the anxiety surrounding it & I resorted to prescription sleep meds when nothing else worked, including hypnosis, meditation & every herb ever suggested.  As Nancy suggested, for a short period, the sleep meds can help get you through.   Just be aware of my experience, I was so relieved to have found sleep again, "weeks & weeks" went by & I was still on them & because Lunesta is essentially a benzo, I then had benzo withdrawal to deal with.

Wishing you all renewed health,

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 16, 2009
I am on my 3nd week of tappering - trying to stay at 450mg a day - (from 1000mg)  - I think it was madram that said the randomness of tapering is what killed her.  That's what I hate - some days I'm okay - others I am tired, depressed. achy - the ringing in my ears goes crazy - and I hate the sweating!  It is embarassing - all of a sudden I will be soaked - how the hell do you explain that?
Like 12stepper and finallyfree - night times drive me crazy - sleep is elusive.  I also have a benzo addiction - which I am going to have to deal with when I am tram free - but I refuse to increase what  I have been taking.  I have always just used benzo's at night - I have increased my use due to tolerance - and of course now with cutting back on tram - the dose I was on is not working.  But I figure I am better to leave it be - go through the insomnia.  If I increase the benzo's I will just have a more difficult time coming off them.
It is amazing the mess I have made of my life - I can't wait to be free of this damn tram fog.  Right now everything seems so unreal - the only time I feel grounded is when I am reading and relating to all of your posts.

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Sep 16, 2009
     As I read your post I was also drawn into your story. Your description of the last year is so visual. The thought of looking into a mirror and wondering how many other people had looked into the same mirror is not something we would all think about. Your presence here is the reason so many of us come to this site to read everyday. Hoping to see a post from you keeps me clear on my path. I love your description of the thrift store man. Your words sensitive and kind...Thank you for being here for all that come to heal.

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by KC67, Sep 16, 2009
What a beautfiul post!  So engaging, vivid, and real!

Just read it again for the 3rd time.  It brings me to tears and overwhelms me with love and compassion for YOU and for everyone else on this website.  For the "sheer humanity" of what you -  and all of us here  - have been through.

It is exhausting -  and for those of us withdrawing from multiple drugs (for me Tramadol 280 days free, and Benzos 4 months free) it takes an incredible amount of TIME.  You said it perfectly, "just straight up time".  

There have been so many times (since I found this site back in Nov. 2008) where I have felt lonely, anxious, needed re-assurance, defeated.  Felt exuberant, confident, and also void of all emotion.  

I came this site.. with one (or a myriad) of these feelings and either offered the sharing of my own personal experience to help someone else, or gleaned wisdom from another's experience.  I have found healing in helping others just as much as I have received healing from seeking wisdom in others' trials and tribulations.

You have created such a wonderful vehicle to receive encouragement and to share experiences -  and I just feel ....grateful...and overwhelmed at the compassion that is found here.  It truly restores ones faith in humanity.

12Stepper - you write beautifully and you never are at a loss for an encouraging word - thank you!

Nancy - so glad you have reached the other side - thank you for all you add to this forum - I will never forget the image of your cat at the window and your "awakening" from the Tram fog to see the beauty of your world.

NewWay and FinallyFree - I vividly remember the early evening "dread" of having to TRY to go to sleep.  It was so very difficult and I found that if I just relaxed into my insomnia - it made it easier.  Sometimes I would just get up and read or watch TV and other times I would just lay there and pray.  You are right...there isn't anything that helps promote sleep (not even Ambien for me).  I agree with Nancy in that "You will sleep as much as you need to".  But take comfort in knowing that it DOES get better and it WILL get better.  It just takes time.

Polly - I jumped off Tram cold turkey and personally do not feel it is dangerous at all to do it this way.  I know there have been many who have had successful tapers, but for me, I found that I was suffering withdrawals anyway - so why prolong the agony?  Do what is best for you, but as far as I know, there is no danger to C/T.

Gerty - keep on keepin' on with your "quest".  Love your sense of humor!

Grandmagirl and Chrissie - Your posts touch my heart.  I am grateful for your honesty and your ability to relate to me and to so many others.

Fred and MadTram - you guys were already here WAY before I got here.  Just wanted to take this time to tell you what an impact your positive and inspiring posts had on me (and I KNOW so many others).  You are the pioneers who have gone before and continue to inspire long after you reached your healing.  Bless you both!

Okay.  I'm sure I sound a bit "sappy" right now - maybe I am experiencing some more "healing symptoms" from my Benzo withdrawal, but Emily's beautiful post touched me and I wanted to express my gratitude to all of you who are -  and have been - brave enough to share your struggles.   THANK YOU ALL!

Keep up the good fight!

Sincerely with hope and love,

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by finallyfree1, Sep 16, 2009
to all tramwarriors,

Thank you to all, Emily your amazing, you should write a book, the way you relate is so comforting to us in the early battle.  It is so hard .. I get so scared last night i started panicking again at 12am so I got up and took excedrin pm and had a drink ... so all night my body is relaxed but my eyes are awake and i have short little sleeps.. you know the kind where you still are aware and hear everything.. so I get up in the am from the couch and feel strange like half my brain is in a fog.. and pressure on my chest.. and I panick and think im alergic to excedrin pm or something like omg i am dying.
The dr yesterday gave me ueduo something new she said to sleep .. forget it if it makes me feel like that.. i am scared..
that I have permanately ruined my body.. with that ****.. what to do?

thanks newway, and all for comfort..  


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by Lillyval, Sep 17, 2009
Thank you all for the inspiration and sustainence I receive every time I come here.
I have truly had a hellacious ride getting off of tram this time.  I am now 21 days off of tram but only 2 days completely opiate free.  Like a good addict I took one drug to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of another until I ran out of options.  I hope the pain of the last few weeks has made a big enough impression on me this time to never pick up drugs again.  Even though I still feel crappy I'm starting to see the light.  Yesterday I was able to smile at someone and be mellow in a situation where I would have been highly agitated on tramadol.  
A while back Nancy commented on getting her dreams back.  I've been holding on to that because I, too, truly believe in prophetic dreaming.  It just made me realize how fully I had let tram shut down my whole spiritual being.  And I want it back now.
finallyfree - There are many cautionary tales on this site about benzos, but you may actually need one just for a week or so at bedtime to get rid of that horrible anxious insomnia.  Just be very cautious.  I used ativan for a few nights only and it helped.
Jessica - please come back
Peace to all,

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 17, 2009
Having alot of issues, have decided to begin again this week on taper,and then hopefully it will not be too much more awful then before, maybe worse because its been longer, I am having alot of trouble tapering, I have commited with assistance to start CT next wednesday...I will try to get as low as possible till then..from all I have read, CT and waiting on and on, both have pros and cons I just guess I am going to get this as low as I can then go for it..Im having an emotionally riddled week..My people are all upset at me..I think I have somehow not done things as great as possible with my close relationships the issue is I may be all alone in this really. Its scary.....Im doing it regardless. Sad....

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Sep 17, 2009
            Just hang in there..You can do this...Keep posting and we will help you a long....We all have people in our lives that make a huge deal out of what they think is not correct. Ignore it and move on with your plan...Your doing the best you can...The good thing is you have a plan...Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 17, 2009
Sometimes, one word helps. I can't believe how much of an emotional vampire-like drain on me the men in my life are. They seem to try to pass it off like they love me. But its like, why am I the one always delivering???/I think it may go back to my dad even. Who knows. Thanks, I guess Ill just keep doing the best I can..Day by Day...No wonder I run sooo much...

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Sep 17, 2009
What an inspiration it is to read all these by day the healing that is going on.
I am currently day 77 Tram. free after going ct. I haven't checked in on here for about 2 weeks and I take that as a great sign in my healing. Don't get me wrong, I love all of you, but in those first few weeks I HAD to read each and every post every morning...sometimes at 2 and 3 a.m. just to get through the next hour.Now, I can go days without needing the support that this board has given to me and so many others.  
Day 77....2 months ago this day seemed like it was years away and here I am.  My goal has been to hit 80 days..have read that some of the "randomness" of this poision subsides by then...that has honestly been my biggest battle. Feeling ok and then BAM! back to horrible.  Yesterday I was driving during my work day (I am a home health nurse) and out of the blue the feeling hit me that I was feeling good...feeling what I thought at that moment to myself "this is what it feels like to be 'normal', what people who haven't poisioned themselves feel.  What a wonderful feeling.
I have had a rough month and 1/2. In Aug. my closest aunt passed away and it was horrible. My poor 9 y/o sobbed through the funeral...what I would have given at that moment to escape inside myself to get away from it all, but the other side (the healing side) realized for the first time in a while that I was feeling again. Not that this was a good feeling, but it was an appropriate response to a horrible time. Not that numb feeling that I have had for so long.  I should add for the newbies that I was on Tramadol daily for the past 9 years.  I was on it back in 1999 and then went off to get pregnant with our problem stopping then, started back on it the day I came home from the hospital and took it min. 100mg day up to 800 mg in a day. Also took Lortab up until 77 days ago. My son turned 9 in Aug. so it's been a LONG relationship with the T.  Also, today my cousin passed away. He fell last week ended up in the hosp. into ICU on a ventilator and passed away today. Another shock. He was 55. His first grandchild was born 5 weeks ago today so I am holding onto the memory that he was able to be here for his birth and meet him. The next week is going to be horrible as we once again attend another close relatives funeral but I know i don't need the fog to get me through.
I know this is disjointed, but just wanted to say to those just starting this journey...don't give WILL get better. You WILL have bad days but you will also have good days where you will realize you are healing and your life will get back together  just DON'T GIVE UP.  Oh, and I have to say that the Valarian Root (3 each night) and 1 Melatonin has been my savior for sleep. I have been an insomniac for YEARS and those first few weeks of getting NO sleep were horrible. After starting these two within a few days I was sleeping 4-5 hours at a time (before if I did fall asleep I was up at least every 15 min). to finally get into a deep sleep has done so much for my pain. I think my body finally being able to get some solid rest has allowed the muscles to relax and my pain levels are so much less ( I have a spinal fusion and have had chronic back pain for 10 years). I actually have had a few nights that I fall asleep at 10 and wake up at 4 and am ready to get up and go exercise. Don't even want to lie there, don't feel the need to fall back asleep after 6 hours of good sleep.  SUCH A CHANGE!!!

910168 tn?1262462469
by Lillyval, Sep 18, 2009
I am a better person when I'm not on drugs.      (duh)
Even though I only have a short time clean things are 100% better.  Even though I feel lousy half the time, I have random nights when I'm up all night, and all the other bs.  I just feel like I'm becoming a whole person again.

polly - I was on the brink of divorce when I decided to get clean.  And now my relationship is so much better.  I'm not saying quitting tram will fix your problem, but you just have to be sane and healthy first - then you can look at the other issues later.

Missy - that was a great post.  Knowing that you can get through pain and grieving without picking up drugs gives me hope.  Thanks for the positive energy and congratulations on all you've accomplished.
bless you all,

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 18, 2009
Hi all,
Lillyval, thanks for that. I am on the brink of a break up. I realize I have not been healthy with this for quite some time now. I know it has effected my relationships. I am so afraid to "feel" anything. I mean seriously even the "good" stuff. I just have become this, driven, writer, runner, student, professional singer-and what ever else and I took all those pills to just plow through..When something or someone had an issue, I was like, "yeah? buck up!" I had no time for my own feelings so why would I have time for others. My relationships are in serious jeopordy. I know I have hurt people, been careless. I am seeing the red flags all around. And I just am trying so hard to get over the first hump. The rest is overwhelming, I baby sat my little niece last night and she kept saying, "I love you" over and over..And reminding me of my birthday. Brings tears to my eyes. I want to be healthy , soo bad. I am really glad you guys are here. Today is the first of about 6 or so days I intend to wean down off tramadol, hoping to drop Ct next Wednesday. Im praying I can for once stick to a plan..
Good luck. Im working on it.

Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Sep 18, 2009
This may be worth a look at - it could help someone - maybe ME!?

One look at my profile would reveal that I am floundering/struggling/fearful to fight the fight.   =   DESPERATE!!!     I am so whacked out and weakened by 2 years of fighting depression with the use of Tramadol that I am 'looking at'!? a 5 day detox in the UK.

They say one can detox with minimum discomfort (whatever that may be !?) in 5 days. They administer light sedation and pain medication when necessary - the idea being that one sleeps on and off throughout the ordeal.
After detox, on 4th day the patient takes a medication called 'naltrexone' which blocks opiates in the brain. This is continued after detox and they claim that this maintains abstinence and prevents any relapse.

Of course, it costs  -  bang goes my new car!!       But which will bring me the most pleasure!?

They have a web-site   ...  
I would appreciate comments; positive or negative on considering such a programme.

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by madtram, Sep 18, 2009
Tramman, here are my thoughts:

Anything with reasonable prospects of getting you off tram is worth trying.  I assume that you have made several attempts already to go it alone & this may just be the support you need.

Re naltrexone after detox, naltrexone has been around for more than 10 years now & the short answer is that it does work for some people, particularly if accompanied by a strong drive to stay off opiates.  There are lots of posts on medhelp & the net about people's experiences.  Here's a relatively recent thread on medhelp, I'm sure that people like GAGUY would be happy to answer your questions.

Given that you have been self-medicating for depression, any long term plan needs to focus on some healthier solutions to deal with these feelings.  As we have all experienced, increasing the level of  opiates in the brain does decrease depression at least in the short term but is not a viable long term solution due to the tolerance effect, (among others).  Naltrexone can take some adjusting to & the abrupt decrease in opiate levels can lead to increased feelings of depression at first.  This can often be alleviated by prescription ADs but there can be a fair bit of trial & error to find the AD that suits your individual biochemistry.

Have you been on any anti-depressants in the past?  Non prescription ADs include 5htp and St John's Wort which work just as well for some without the side effect profile of the SSRIs.   When you are feeling a bit stronger, cognitive behaviour therapy can help you to rewire your brain in a more permanent way & although hard work at first, has the benefit of being completely within your own control & side effect free.

Polly, you can do this.  Yes you may be in for a scary wild ride while your emotions come flooding back but our bodies and brains are designed to strive for homeostasis or balance, once the synthetic suppressant is removed, your neurotransmitters & hormones will sort themselves out.  All you need to do is be kind to yourself during the process, don't feel compelled to make any major life decisions for a while.  The insights you are having will be valuable to you & are a definite positive side effect of this upheaval but just sit with them & give yourself time to stabilize.  You already have the action side covered but try to take some time to be still.  As dear Emily reminds us, deep breathing is important when processing difficult emotions.

Lilly, great to hear you are doing so much better & that your relationship has benefitted from the changes.

Strength to all of us.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 19, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors,  I returned from a relaxing vacation earlier this week and have been reading your posts the past few days.   I barely recognize the place.  

Nancy, I was so pleased to hear that you are overcoming the power of this terrible drug and that you have stuck around to encourage others.

Lilly, you are doing a wonderful thing.  Moment by tiny moment, things will become easier. It's hard to be patient - to give ourselves time away from the drug.  Unfortunately, there is no easy way except to keep putting moments between ourselves that the last lovely little white pill.  I very much liked the advice you gave to Polly, ".you just have to be sane and healthy first - then you can look at the other issues later..."  Yes!  

Polly, This thing we are doing can't be done for us by anyone else 'cept us. My thoughts and prayers will be with you this coming week.

KC, I don't think you are "sappy" in the least.  It's terribly refreshing to find a little "gathering place" such as Emily began and I too will be forever  "grateful...and overwhelmed at the compassion that is found here."  

We are all in various stages of recovery here.  The wonderful thing I can see in this "gathering place" is that EACH one can share our common experiences honestly with one another.  Successes, failures, difficulties, victories - they are all part of this bond we share with one another.  None of these experiences ANY of us has gone through are unique to us only.  The drug takes us ALL down in much the same way.  I can feel your pain because I know what I went through.  It's - CHEMISTRY - that terribly complicated thing that I dissavow all claims to speak of in detail .  Thanks to people like madtram, who can explain these things to the rest of us.  

Is it any wonder that the drug kicks back - that DRUG which we gobbled down in handfuls with imagined impunity?  

It's been over nine months since I gobbled this stuff down and I still do not know what a brain receptor is.  People have explained these things here, but I still do not understand.  I may have become a doctor, but for those horribly difficult chemistry and calc classes in college.  

But this much I do know:  If I whacked out the ole "receptors" for over six years with the tram, should it surprise any of us that the receptors take a while to adjust to life AFTER being whacked out?  

I'm not sure whether I believe the suggestion that "time heals all things."  But to those of you in the thick of the battle right now, mark my words, time away from THIS drug WILL restore you completely to sanity.

Those emotions we zipped past while on tram will return.  

That vision that had been fogged completely, leaving us blind to the reality around us will return.

Those rooms we walked into, not knowing why we landed there will be no more.

Those books, movies, and conversations we have no recollection of will become clearer in time.  You'll see.

We would do well to occassionally reflect on where we have come from and what new realities we now strive to attain.

I did some reflecting while I was out of town recently.  This was the first year in seven that was was not held hostage to the drug, T.  And I cannot say strongly enough, how grand it was to not be wrapped around the control of this terrible drug this year.

This year, I was free to plan time away without regard to the size of my "stockpiled" drugs.  

This year, I didn't experience WITHDRAWAL those last few days of vacation as I did EVERY year before when my stockpile ran low/out.

This year, I slept the whole night through, unlike years past when withdrawal set in - even before I knew what exactly was happening to me.

This year, I didn't "count pills" even once.  This year, I didn't tear apart the car, looking for that ONE that may have gotten away.

This year, my first stop when I returned to town was NOT to my pharmacy.  

I share these reflections as encouragement to those now in the midst of the battle with this drug.  Please know that things do return to normal in time.  The receptors just take a while to adjust to life without being whacked out.

I arrived at this gathering place, much the same as the rest of you.  Scared and doubting that THAT which had been impossible for me to achieve in over six years on this drug MIGHT be possible this time.  

But I poured over Emily's early writings (click on her icon and scroll down her profile page to "see all" of her journal entries.)  And while I was still scared that first day that I refused to put the lovely pill into my mouth, I believed that if I could simply put time between myself that that last little white pill, I too just MIGHT be able to do this thing.

Any one of us taking this drug for ANY length of time knows first hand the power and affect of the drug.  We know the power it holds over us.  And while our doctors told us that it was "safe" and no trouble to come off of, SADLY, we each came to understand the truth about this drug.

It's been some time since I have said this, BUT IF A DRUG THIS POWERFUL WANTS ME, IT CAN'T HAVE ME. And by deduction, if I seriously desire to be free from this powerful drug, I will be required to mount the most DETERMINED WAR of my life to be free from it's power.

Others have said that we must become comfortable in the discomfort.  (or something to that affect).  I believe that.  We simply MUST take OUR comfort in knowing that the sleeplessness, RLS, indigestion, flu like symptoms and even the post acute symptoms of depression, lack of concentration and the like are, in fact, a RIGHT OF PASSAGE.

I'll leave it to others to comment on those remedies found in the "Thomas Recipe" which will help reduce some of the symptoms.  But honestly, I found that the most helpful factor in my own recovery was something not found in the "recipe".  A all out declaration of WAR against this drug.  DETERMINATION.  HOPE.  FAITH.

I am entirely certain that if someone went back and read my initial posts, you would find some complaining.  But what I hope you would NOT find is lack of determination on my part to declare war against this POWERFUL drug.  

Defeating the T is not something we try, it's something we determine to do.

But as i have said before, it's no big deal.

It's just a matter of life or death.  At least that's the way I saw it.

I'm glad to be back with my compassionate, loving, honest, sometimes struggling tramadol friends,  

Courage, Strength and Love to you all,


910168 tn?1262462469
by Lillyval, Sep 19, 2009
Fred, as always, thanks for being here and thanks for your always inspiring thoughts.

Yesterday I told my minister that I am a drug addict - pretty much the whole story.  It was a cathartic experience for me.  I'm part of the church leadership and I teach kids so this was really putting myself out there.  Unsurprisingly, he had no idea, but he was totally supportive.  I felt so much freer after "coming out".  
I had already been up all night, and then I felt like I was on a natural high after the meeting.  It escalated into full blown manic episode where I was totally flying, mind racing, driving crazy - the whole nine yards.  This was day 3 of no opiates.  I had totally prepared myself for the depression (which is familiar) but was totally unprepared for full out mania.  Thank god for my many years of yoga because I used yogic breathing to calm myself down enough to get home safely.  

If coming off of tramadol isn't "Mr. Toads wild ride" then I don't know what is.  I feel crazy but at the same time I feel I'm being restored to life and sanity.  Hold on tight, those of you who are about to make the jump, it's quite a ride but it is so worth it.
Love and hope,

1039436 tn?1255523662
by finallyfree1, Sep 19, 2009
how come somedays are good and some so bad yesterday ... i almost took a pill after 7 days free? I wanted to kill everyone  I was so angry inside.. Today I want to cry? .. What is normal..

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 19, 2009
Thats an inspiring story Lillyval,, I think talking to people is the hardest piece for me..I think its nice to hear that it helped you that much.. If I had talked sooner to people I think I would not have this Canyon between me and my boyfriend and some close to me. I have pushed people back, by not talking, being really honest about where I am. its my STINKIN BIRTHDAY TOO TODAY>>>>>.
I have a band show, and also my family is taking me and my niece and people to the circus, and dinner and all this stuff. I had diahrea this morning. this is day two of like the six before next wednesday.....I feel so, so. Took 3.5 pills, I am trying to get down to like 3 or 2 then one then off...Next wednesday.. I have so much going on this weekend with going off this stuff even gradually, I keep having these panicy anxiety ridden phases, where I cant even hold the same thought for even a minute..I cant focus on what someone is saying.. Im trying to.
I have not talked to my family about it all.
This is where I am..
I wish I were somewhere else.
I miss my boyfriend who is mad at my behaviors..
I am sad, amped,..and just like many...down as hell about my choices.
Im at the bottom of a great big hill.
I pray I will get up it..Going for a long run before my show....See ya...

910168 tn?1262462469
by Lillyval, Sep 19, 2009
finallyfree - I think being angry one day and ready to cry the next IS normal for someone 7 days off of tram.  Even though I've had a few good days I'm still fighting the urge to take a pill, which I know will just ruin everything.  That's why I identify myself as an addict.

1039436 tn?1255523662
by finallyfree1, Sep 19, 2009
when do  i stop being so depressed? i dont even want to leave my house. i have to literally make myself. I dont want to see anyone or do anything. I am absolutely a mess. How long does this part last?

738790 tn?1377720994
by KC67, Sep 19, 2009
Finallyfree - Lillyval is right.  It IS completely normal in Tram withdrawal to feel VERY depressed.  I remember not wanting to answer my phone and if the doorbell rang, I would hide.  Until Emily shared that she too felt this urge to "hole up" and hide, I thought I was going bonkers.  You asked how long it lasts....for me, it took a long time.  I think it was about the 80 day mark (with several very good random days) that I was able to function normally.  

It doesn't take this long for everyone though - so don't be alarmed.  It may have taken longer for me because I was in tolerance with my benzo (Xanax) and I believe Tram and benzos have a magnified effect on each other.  Anyway, from what I have read on this forum - all the way back to when I first found this place in Nov. 2008 - I have learned that the first 5-7 days are PHYSICALLY bad for almost everyone, but then from Day 8+ the emotional garbage kicks in (i.e.  depression, anxiety, heart palp's, restlessness, apathy).   I experienced all of these and they were intense!  No lie.      

Now I am 4 months free of Xanax and over 7 months free of Tram and I can honestly say that I have way more happy days than depressed/anxious days.  Don't give up!  I promise you will feel better in time...whatever that timeframe is for YOU.

Lillyval - what a courageous thing to go to your minister and confess everything.  I'll bet that was so liberating.  And yes, I too experienced many days where I was "manic" like.  So weird.  I would be so exhausted from ZERO quality sleep - depressed - anxious - and yet, there were days when I had this mega-energy that just defied logic. And yes, even 7 months free of Tram, I still have thoughts of "well if I only took 2 Trams, then surely I could handle it and not get addicted again".  

But I know myself now.  I am an addict and I wouldn't be able to just take a days' worth of pills and then stop.  And I NEVER want to be mentally, emotionally, and physically controlled by that substance again!  Lilly, you are a wonderful human being - so positive and honest -  and I am so glad you are on this forum.  You can do this - it will be a lifelong battle, but we already knew that.

Polly - I too am a professional vocalist and as much as i truly enjoyed singing with my band, I got to a point in my Tram. withdrawal where I had to force myself to go to a gig.  It was very difficult.  Not just physically (diarrhea, flu-like, achey, hot/cold extremes), but emotionally I couldn't do it.  I couldn't understand what was wrong with me.  Everything you shared is so NORMAL for this - and I gets better.  Also, once I got off Trams, my voice improved.  For some reason, Tram dries out the vocal cords and puts a lot more strain on them.  After about 30 days I noticed a huge improvement...another reason to keep on keepin' on Polly!  

Dear sweet Fred!  So good to have you back and read your positive and inspiring posts!  Hope you had a lovely vacation.  Thank you (and MadTram) for all of the wonderful advice you dispense so freely.

Blessings to all.  Don't be afraid.  This hell you are experiencing now is TEMPORARY.  

Sincerely with hope and love,

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 19, 2009
finallyfree - I tried to taper a few times before and it was always the depression that did me in.  I could get past the physical stuff, but the black pit of despair - all I could hear was the tram taunting me - "a few pills you will be fine"  Well I gave into the evil tram voice and all my hard work was shot.  Back I went into the tram fog.  Be patient - like Fred and many others have mentioned - it is normal - normal coming off T is awful, like a roller coaster ride.  
I think I have use this analogy before on here - cancer patients go through hell on chemo, radiation etc.,  - to save their lives.  They expect to feel terrible, and for the effects to last a long time - but it is to save their lives.  That is how I have to see it this time - that seriously - I just can't take the stop, start cycle anymore.  I need to prepare for the battle - to save my life.  
Hang in there - you are doing it - keep posting - everyone here will keep supporting you - don't let the tram take you back - it is during the darkest times when we have to battle the hardest.  

I have just started my taper - I am going to taper down until I have nothing left and then C/T.  This time I am trying not to leave myself an escape.  I have told my partner - who has never had any clue pills were a problem - to my partner I was an alcoholic in recovery.  I have told my Dr.  - basically I want it this time.

Take care all

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by iontheprize, Sep 19, 2009
Two weeks ago I was on day 83 of being clean.  On that day, I took T.  I also posted about it.  I haven't posted to this site since then b/c i don't feel that I deserve to be writing since I've been taking it daily.  Anyway, thank you to Grandmagirl, Nancy and Lilly.  I've appreciated your encouragement, forgiveness and support.  2 minutes ago, I flushed a significant # of pills down the toilet.  I thought about all of you and turned that support into a courageous energy so that I could actually flush it as soon as I dropped it in the bowl.  I did keep a number of pills for a taper that will end next Sunday.  I pray that the w/d is not like what I went through only a few months ago.  I haven't been taking nearly the amount that I used to take and I hope that this relatively short relapse will be rewarded by only a mild w/d experience.  

So, that's where I am.  I am looking forward to having some clean days under my belt again.  Life has not gotten any easier in terms of the things I posted about before.  In fact, it's gotten worse.  However, I have to face it all no matter how painful.

I truly apologize to the people that I have let down.  I feel a significant amount of guilt and shame about what I have done.  So, as of 2 minutes ago, i've started to turn the corner and am proud of that at least.  Kind of ironic that the one prescription drug I was positive I would never take again was T.  UGH.  Anyway, better days ahead.

This too shall pass....


599071 tn?1300068702
by madtram, Sep 19, 2009
Dear Jessica, please don't spend any energy beating yourself up, it's not about strength of character although it may be about approach.  I have had it easy where psychological temptation is concerned.  I lost more than a year of my life after stopping tramadol to chronic fatigue.  Thankfully our children were largely independent but it strained my marriage to breaking point & beyond on occasion.  I was just starting my new dream life, studying medicine, living off my savings from 25 years of corporate lawyering when the roof caved in.  Now I am way behind & funding is much more of an issue as a result of the extra time it is taking & the market crash.

I feared the chronic fatigue would never leave & that the life I hoped for was over.  If I ever forget the devastation of the chronic fatigue, (because we humans do forget), I have a completely torn rotator cuff to remind me whenever I want to lift my arm.  So for me to take the poison that left me in this position, not a hard decision.  If I had minimal side effects & taking tram felt low risk, a whole different battle requiring a different strategy.

I still struggle with the pain & motivation & focus but for now the memories are strong enough to keep me well away from anything pharmaceutical.  This is not a moral position but until we know more about brain chemistry & psychoactive meds are tested for longer, messing with it remains a lottery.

So Jessica, flushing is a great first step & I truly hope you have an easier time of it withdrawing from a lower dose base.  The aversion therapy works great for me but do you have some ideas about what might work for you?  There's no doubt that the stress of life events can feel all consuming but changing a major habitual behaviour like tram popping  sometimes takes more than an iron clad will.  I wish for you to find that strategy you need, (therapy or otherwise).

your fellow warrior, M

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 20, 2009
Day three.
The gig went well. I did find it emotionally taxing..But it gets my mind off stuff.
I tend to do a thousand activities. Even if I am down I run, run, miles. And keep running around.
If I sit down or isolate I get scared. I guess its normal.
Im on day three, I wake up wierded out, still upset about the choices, and beating myself up too

Jessica...dont beat yourself up  its a vicious circle and it just doesnt help...Just start over..
I am....
Ill just keep trying..

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 20, 2009
I am just starting my taper off T - I have no idea if I am going to taper right down or jump off CT at a point.  
I am not new to addictions.  I know that recovery is a process - there are ups and downs, and often relapse is part of it.  I think that it is important that you draw on your support when you are having a tough time - we beat ourselves up, put ourselves down etc., that we do not need help with - most of us have that mastered!
I am sure the last few weeks have been hell on you Jessica - to struggle alone, beat yourself up.  If you would have posted your journey - I am sure the support would have been overwhelming.  I don't think that the people here are only interested in the sucess stories  
For me - this is a new site - I am still isolated when it comes to tram - no one in my life knows about it - just you guys.  I hope that if I stumble and fall that the help to pull myself up, dust myself off will be here.
I am not sure what I would do without all of you on this post.

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 20, 2009
Hello,  I am new here too.   Like Newway above, absolutely nobody knows that I am addicted to trams.  Today is my last day of taking tramadol after about 2.5 years.  I was taking about 10 a day, but I only had two today.  I had been going into Tijuana and getting it there, but today I got caught.  Since it is not a controlled drug, I did not get in too much trouble...just a small fine.  It was a penalty for not declaring.  

I have definitely been wanting to get off of it anyway and feel like this needed to happen.  I don't see me stopping any other way, but I am so scarred about getting sick.  I have felt the start of withdrawal and I know it'll only get worse. I have felt the tossing and turning in the sleep, and the sweats, and the s**ts before but only the start of it.

I have never been addicted to anything else but I have an addictive personality. It started out as fun and games, then one thing led to another.  I am scarred about work.  I figure I can take a few sick days.  Has anyone had to work while going through withdrawals?  How bad was it?

Thank you.  It has helped me reading your posts.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 20, 2009
Fri:  500mg
Sat.....400 mg ..
Sun....350 mg
Tomorrow, 200 or so...

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by florida64, Sep 20, 2009
I was given a prescription for Tramadol 50 mg. over a year ago for pain, and do take four a day as, honestly they really don't do that much, more than likely my body has become used to them, like anything, though my sciatica spelled wrong Im sure flares up quite a bit in the right leg. I have bursitis in both legs, and chronic lower back pain, with muscle spasms, and a partially left dislocated left shoulder, that is getting worse, Im 45 yrs old. I really dont feel any withdrawls from the Tramadol if I dont take it for a few days. I recently had my tonsils removed and was Lortab 7.5 and liquid as well, and Percocet 7.5 back in July, all that now is out of my system. Tramadol from what Ive been told can be a narcotic and addicting ,and then not addictive. I lost my mom to Ovarian Cancer Stage 4 , the pain meds were not Vicodin , Perocet, Pain patches, maradol, you name it, Ive saw it all. The chemo put her through hell, my stepfather died in the same year of 2007 with Lung Cancer small cell he suffered greatly, both in the state of Florida. 2007 was not a good year for me, I walked around in a daze, and ended up taking pain meds to mask the depression of the loss of my mom and stepdad, I wanted to die, I felt I had to reason to live, and didnt care at certain points, smoke pot everyday too. I would fall alsleep with a glass in my hand or even a fork. My daughter walked in my room only to shake me and wake me up and I would was out of it, staggering around the house and walk down the street to my friends only to get more high, it was real bad, I have no reason to lie about any of this. I have been on Klonopin for over ten years and that is addictive, I take 1mg and a 1/2 three times a day. I get migraines and now I take Midrin Capsules, they are red. My daughter is going to college for her AA for Medical Asst. and tells me enough about this and that. I would like to stop taking Klonopin for alot of reasons. Benzo's are highly addictive, like all these pain meds, I know , I have done my research. I only hope that a Dr. doesnt tell me I have cancer because my father just recently was diagnosed with it as well, hes a heavy smoker, has PAD, high blood pressure, hypertension, asbestos of the lungs, which is a form of cancer. He will be 71 next month, and has had more MRI'S and neck and shoulder pain , and I know what the ending result is going to be again. One day at a time is all I can say to anyone. No one is forcing me to do anything. The effects can be deadly I know this much. Im glad I posted this, and if anyone knows what is feels like to lose a parent/parents it can take a major toll on you. Thank God for my daughter:)

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 20, 2009
Just some clarification: I was taking 10 -100 mg pills a day, and today (my last day) I took 200 mg at about 8am.  It is 7:20pm now and I am definitely sweating a lot for nothing.  and I've used the bathroom about 4 times.  Good times are ahead.  Did I say that I was happy that this happened?  

I haven't been sick with the flu in years so this will make up for that.  I secretly thought that something about the tramadol made me immune to getting sick.  Well not anymore:)

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 21, 2009
Hello my dear warriors!  

If you are reading this and breathing at the same time, there is yet hope for you.  None of us should permit yesterdays failures to dictate today's path for us.  

Newway, good luck on your taper and jump off.  The "isolation" you described in regard to our "tramadol problem" hit home.   I have been a grateful member of AA for a while now, but this "tramadol problem" came into my life like a bird with a soft  feather landing, yet with life altering affect.  I was prescribed this by my doctor (who knew my "alcohol problems") after I had bilateral hip replacements.  (Polly, I ran for "miles and miles' every day too at one time, but alas, I am relegated to walking now!)  

The point is that I became addicted to trams before I knew it.  Nobody told me about things like TOLERANCE.  But in my isolated state, I discovered that it was taking more and more of this drug to make be feel less UNWELL.  Within a year, my 100 mg dose shot up to 400 mg/day and I was feeling less unwell than at the start.  I was working my AA program, but I was keeping my tram problem a secret.  The fact is, I didn't really know it was a problem at the start.  I believed the hype that this drug is safe and non-addictive.  Ah the self discovery process as to  how the T ruins lives.

Toward the end of my 6 year tram history, 400 mg/day wasn't making me feel well at all.  I didn't know it, but I was in a nearly constant state of "involuntary withdrawal".   Except I would take way more on "RX day" which of course, ALWAYS left me nearly unable to sleep or work that last week of every rx cycle.  Stupid me didn't realize that instead of going to my doctor with my hat in my hand, I could have ordered this online.  But when I imagine myself doing that, I have the greatest sympathy for those who have (ordered online, etc.).  I am afraid that I would easily have become one of the 30+ per day users.  

I work hard.  I love my wife and kids.  I have never been arrested. I have strived to be a healthy person. I could be an administrative assistant, a politician, a mother, a husband, a food services worker, a flight attendant, a nurse, or an auto mechanic.  WHO we are doesn't matter.  The drug takes each one of us down in the same way.  

But regardless of how many a person has taken, how long that person took this tram, why a person started, or who each person has let into our "tramadol worlds", the fact remains, we have a common problem. And EACH of us came to this place at least suspecting that this drug was no longer working for us. The last time I took a poll, nobody entered this forum by googling, "my happy life".  For me, I arrived her last year when googling "TRAMADOL WITHDRAWAL".  

I may have had a more difficult time stopping this drug than someone who is not predisposed by their addictive personalities.  If you are Snow White the road to recovery may be easier for you.  But I kinda don't think it matters.  It's chemistry see.  :)

Lisa, congratulations on your decision to get off this stuff.  Stick around and let us know how you are doing.  People have withdrawn from this drug while continuing to work, but I wasn't one of them.  The difficulty will be that by about day 3, you may find that you haven't slept a great deal and it sort of accumulates, causing you to be a bit of a zomby by day 3.  But if you can get to that point, it won't be many more days that you will begin to start sleeping again - which makes it a little more tolerable.  If you can make it a day or two, begin looking at what you have accomplished as an INVESTMENT NOT TO BE WASTED.  

Jessica, I echo the other sentiments expressed above. This isn't a moral failure problem, it's a chemical problem.  We cannot allow our worth to be determined by whether or not we took tramadol today.  I know that there is a wonderful life plan for you.  Please don't be a stranger in any event.  We love you anyway you find yourself.

KC, the feeling is mutual you know.  I ALWAYS pour over every one of your posts, drawing great comfort and advice from what you freely share.  

We returned from Southern Oregon a week ago and the trip was fab.  I actually don't return to work until Wednesday, after nearly a month away.  I have been doing a great deal of "yard projects", plantings, errands and catching up with family a friends.  I have been doing a fair amount of reading on the history of this countries westward expanion in the 19th century and our (horrible) treatment of this counry's Native Americans.  As someone with European roots, I find this shameful to say the very least.  

If you are reading this and breathing at the same time, there is yet hope for you yet.  Keep coming back you guys.  Reading your posts is keeping me clean another day today.


Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 21, 2009
Thank you Fred.  It has been exactly 24 hrs since I've taken my last trams.  I took two benedril last night at around 9pm and slept pretty ok except for the sweating. I called in sick today and am hoping I can get back on Wednesday.  I just don't want to be sweating profusely at work.  Not cool.  Luckily the flu is going around at work so it is believable that I have it as well.  It feels like the flu anyway...well kind of.  I am sweating but with no fever.  My fingers mostly, but my whole body is tingling.
I also have company coming to visit me on Friday.  I am hoping I am not too much of a mess.

Fred, It's so funny.  I found myself here by googling "tramadol withdrawal" as well.  I wonder the percentage of people who did the same thing.  I find it very interesting that you were in the AA program when you started trams.  My mom, a nurse, who is in NA for the  more traditional pain killers told me that the nursing association doesn't consider tramadol a real pain killer.  They allow their nurses who have got in trouble for narcotics to continue to use tramadol.  My mom has no clue about my use.

I started tramadol because I liked vicodin for the way it gave me energy to complete a bunch of projects.  I asked a pharmacist in Tijuana about vicodin and he told me about tramadol.  I started taking 1 -50mg pill a day and I did give me some more energy.  That was over two years ago.  I did get up to taking about 1500 - 2000 mgs a day but cut that down.  Taking that much made me super lazy.  I stopped cleaning the house, and just let things go.  This was not why I started taking them to begin with.  Even after cutting back to about 1000 mg a day, I was still way lazier than I had been before I started taking any to begin with.  Also I was never in the mood for anyone's company.  I didn't like to go out at all.

So before I got on this site, I went to an online drug store (the no prescription tramadol source) and ordered some trams.  I got an email saying they needed to verify some info with me and gave a number to call.  I am not going to call.  The one good thing is I don't have any real way of getting trams.  I don't have any cronic pain and I for sure won't go to mexico again.  Yesterday, they were so sure I had some serious narcotics on me and they treated me very badly.  I know they were disappointed that all I had was a undeclared bottle of a non-narcotic, UN-controlled substance.

I love the words "an investment not to be wasted."  so true.  I only want to deal with this once.
Thanks for your support.

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 21, 2009
Tramadol should be controlled though, at least a little.  I wonder if there are tons of people in Mexico completely addicted to this stuff.  You can just by it over the counter there.

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 21, 2009
Jessica honey welcome back. I'm so glad to see you. You deserve to post no matter what. Please don't leave again.
Fred, welcome home. I missed you.
I'm really sick with a cold/flu and it's true that while I took T for seven yeards I had like one cold when I used to get several a year. I noticed that too. Anyway, I feel awful and I'm going to court tomorrow on a nasty case and I'm thinking #### it. I'm going no matter what. If the T can't get me, no one can.
Welcome new people. We're here for you. I'll post when I get my head back from this awful cold.

Avatar universal
by SICKANDTIRED64, Sep 21, 2009

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by Jacqui805, Sep 21, 2009
I'm not new around the forum, but new to the Tramadol w/d.  I just have to post right now because I'm feeling so $hi++y.  I figure, it's better than sittin' and obssessin' about it.  On the plus side, and I feel like it's helpful to post ANYTHING positive for everyone, I no longer am constantly hot since stoppin' the Tramadol, and it really was a problem, sweatin' all the time and feelin' just awful...who knows, maybe I was constantly in w/d.  Also, I have my joie de vive again, even feeling like he!!.  I've done more these past five days than I have since December when I started the Tramadol.  It's weird, I feel SO f-in bad right now, and as much as I'm struggling with anxiety and increased pain and the rest right now, I also feel like DOIN' somethin' again.  
I don't know if it's a real semantics thing or what, and I guess it really doesn't matter, but although I didn't take it to feel any "high", I DID take it to avoid the w/d s/s I started feeling.  Me and my hubby were talking about this the other day, and I'm lucky to have his support and recognition.  He knows what I'm going through and why and is so helpful and understanding.  Chronic pain has led me to try just about anything out there for some quality of life.  I have resisted the idea in the past, but will now happily resign myself to some PT if I can swing it (and I'm sure I can) for a serious attempt to put this behind me and get that quality of life increase I need so badly.  Sorry if I made this post all about me, but I just wanted to say hey, feel some support, and ask for a little room on the bandwagon.  

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 21, 2009
Jacqui - how long ago did you stop?  I know what you are talking about with the getting stuff done.  I noticed when before I'd decrease my dose a lot, I would have more energy to do stuff around the house.  
I would do stuff right now but I feel so weird and feel that I should rest like if I really had the flu.  My whole body tingles, even my eyes and my hearing if that makes any sense.  Both of my hands feel like they have fallen asleep, weird.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 21, 2009
Hi guys.

Down to um.280 or 300 or so. not more today, tomorrow minimum, 200 then off on Wednesday Im scared. I have a plan, and people to do this with and a cabin to go to. I have supplements you guys have talked about.. I have herbs, b vitamins, gatorade, sleeping  ( anti depressive something or another) Trazadone and um..Clonidine, I have an army roommates, and personnal exhusband who are trying to walk me through it. Im just keeping on trying to walk I cried alot today due to me and my personnal issues with people around me. It isnt good. I have to do this before it gets worse or it escalates. I am scared, I know I had withdrawels last time. They were awful. 3 days I pray it doesnt last longer than that. Dont know if I can handle it. I am hyper and amped due to going off it this way, I am not tired, I am not lethargic,,I am going to another Nike run tonight of course to get my mind off the fact in two days Ill be in a cabin somewhere getting a detox lesson again. I have this cleanse **** I got from GNC,,,,I  am obviously micromanaging, and I am leaving work because well I niether could do that FRED>>>
And Fred, thanks for sharing your story is very, very inspiring....Im 39 I guess IM still obsessed with running its my outlet..Fred your story makes me think I can do it...I am really petrified of the pain of withdrawels..I dont like not being myself..Im pretty peppy as it is..Why I started taking pills is beyond me...I had a homeless guy ask me for 3 dollars today,,I was at the mall, I gave him 5. He says, "do you know you are one out of 30 people I asked there is a nice one." I felt actually happy, I almost teared up, now I know Im an emotional wreck right now. He had this Chiwawa he was carrying he said no one believed him he was homeless, because ( he was like um...20?/) and didnt look very badly..So I told him, Im a professional singer, professional in an office, and elite runner but no one would believe the mess I got myself into either. DRUGS SUCK ....Im quiting...

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 21, 2009
good luck polly.  these withdrawals suck, but everyone thinks i have the flu.  crossed fingers for no more than 3 days.

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 21, 2009
Hi all,
So I have started my taper - I was cutting back - but I finally picked a number - I never really kept track of what I used - I had a ready supply - forged prescription and two different Dr's - In Canada tram is not listed as a controlled substance so they don't keep track.  So I just took it when I wanted to - the best guess I have was anywhere from 800 - 1200mg per day.  Two weeks ago I stayed at 800 all week and felt okay, last week I went to 700 and felt not too bad - minor headache.  So this week I am going to 650 - I started today.  I will see how I feel on it and then go from there.  I am trying to taper in a way that I can still function as well as possible.  My partner is on disability and I own my own business - if I don't work, I don't get paid.

I am not sure what I would do if I didn't have all of your experience and strenght to draw on - it is a lonely battle, and I don't think I could do it without this forum.
I am glad to see more newcomers - nice to see a few still at the starting gate.

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by KickTRAM_I_will_help, Sep 22, 2009
This is day 11 cold turkey for me.  Had been taking 18-28 a day, 50MG.  Started buying them online about eight months ago.  My recent job loss gave me the silver lining of having enough time off to go cold turkey.  Yet ... even as it feels good, at night I still stay awake and can get those needle sensations in my legs.  Nights are worst.  

Listening to upbeat music, i.e. old Bealtes helped as did watching comedies (as opposed to heavy drama).  Anything that grants you temporary relief from the misery.

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by Gerty411, Sep 22, 2009
Hi Y'all,

I haven't posted much as I have been very depressed.  My depression started about 1 week ago.  We had dance tryouts and it was so stressful.  In the past I would have turned to T.  I completely decompensated.  While waiting to see if I got n to the troupe I ordered tramadol online.  Immediately I got very frightened and told me husband.  Luckily I could cancel the order. Shortly after that I found out I did make it into the dance troupe.  But no joy.

I'm so saddened that I have missed so much because of t.  Will my whole remaining life be about t or some t substitute?

When will I be able to get through the day and not feel like something is missing.

I called my old psychologist and am waiting for a call back.


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by Lillyval, Sep 22, 2009
For those of you tapering or going ct I feel for you.  It's not going to be fun but it's amazing how much pain and anguish we can endure in the short run.  I'm saying that after having been through it twice and I'm the biggest wimp around.  If I can do it anyone can.

My problem now is staying clean.  After over 3 weeks off tram I took one "just to see what it would be like".  Now do I continue with my recovery or go back to my former drug insulated existance that I am so accustomed to?  After being here for months the choice should be obvious.  But I spend so much time obsessing about how, when and with what I could get high again.  It's insane.  If I'm truly going to live a clean life I'm going to need to get outside help.  All of you guys are more wonderful than I can express but I have just no accountability.  Every day I am on the brink.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 22, 2009
Last day home before cabin............
Wow, all these emotions are crazy.......Some are good and welcome, some are terrifying. I woke up with basic pain all over. Ive been tapering so I could get to doing things, I only slept like 5 hours though. I just know its coming and as much as I try to prepare...I know I have to do it ready or not...Yesterday, I had to start my day before work getting a new car battery from triple aaa. And then I was late to work couldnt fathom my morning run because I felt icky and there wasnt much T in my system..Skipped it.Got to the work thing, moody as hell. Significant other and I are having dreadful issues. Im so emotionally tapped out right now I cant imagine getting over any of this...But Im trying..To have faith I went to both Bible study and church over the weekend in amonst all the other stuff..10 milers. I know I will have to try to be decent to my body I get so angry I id this to myself. So back to yesterday the sig other nd I talked over texts..He doesnt know if he can forgive me probably, he wants to marry me..Now Ive probably wrecked it...Im pretty upset...I just have to keep going Ive made a plan..Thats that..Im done with this...OOps, yesterday,,Then I did Nike run, My girlfriend thought her car was stolen so we walked all over looking for it to realize that she forgot where she parked thank goodness..I got home, and touched base with new coach in route. When I got close to home BOOM!!My tire exploded,,Great.....So now I have a tire to fix each morning theres something to figure out or fix before I even step out the door. Acceptance I think...This is where I am....I long to be so farther along then here. Little things bug me..Alot, I get irritated at people, and I know alot of people, so Im trying not to be snippity, although I have never been chronically depressed.. Even last time...The pain is the same and scary.....I want my relationship to work, "RELATIONSHIPS" really......I have a feeling that all the people who do forgive me and stand by me no matter what,,,I may not deserve them Im blessed to have so many caring people. I got like a ton of happy birthdays...I have to keep going..No matter what this time..No turning back,,

Lilyval:  Please hang in there...Ill pray for you ..dont take them every day if you slipped , dont become dependant on them!!! Seek help first,,this is what I intend to do if I am overly temped I try to remember this will have to be micromanaged for a long time even when Im off..You however already did it.....You can do it....
Thanks all.
This is my last day before the cabin-detox.......I hope it just doesnt last too long...Im already going through alot...
Good luck everyone,....Very sincerely..
Thanks Emily for inspiring me, and others...

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by finallyfree1, Sep 22, 2009
good luck polly,
lilyval.. I did the same thing ..i was about 8 days free and i was so depresssed and sick I smashed up a pill and took about  10 mg practically nothing ,,that was sunday.. havent taken anything since and i feel ok but stupid and gulity and now looking over my life history.. I think I always suffered from depression.. which aloud my mother and husband to completely emotionally abuse and control me. When I am better I am going to make changes in my life.. I just have to take one thing at a time.. Help what to do .. I do notice that when I take vitamin b complex twice a day I feel better. Is that bad for you. Does anyone know a natural antidepressant besides SAMe ?  I have heard that stuff amps you out?

1036514 tn?1252719107
by KickTRAM_I_will_help, Sep 22, 2009
Today, I'm surprised that some rather unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are back.  Not in full force, but there none-the-less; chills, tiredness, shivers.  This is one evil medication.  Even so - I'm glad to have made it this far, my last dose having been on 9/9/09.

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 22, 2009
Today is day two for me.  I think it is a little worse, and I called in sick again with the flu.  Last night was way worse than Sunday night (my last 200mg were taken Sun morning).  So much tossing and turning that my dog had to leave the bed, very sad.  Why are the nights worse?

1039436 tn?1255523662
by finallyfree1, Sep 22, 2009
the first 3 nights were so bad for me  such anxiety .. I literally thought I would never sleep again.. I tried everything .alchohol tylenol pm and benedral..nothing worked... you will get through ... I realized if I only took one tylenolpm no later than 10pm I get 4hours of crappy sleep.. the hardest for me is the severe depression it brought on.. but my taper went on for 2 months all the way down to 1/4 a 50mg pill a day.. good luck

1036514 tn?1252719107
by KickTRAM_I_will_help, Sep 22, 2009
the insomnia is cruel, I finally asked my doctor for Ambein ... it helps, only half a tab.  

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 22, 2009
I took 2 tylanol pms,  then took 2 benedrils, and then at midnight took this super old soma.  I feel that I kind of slept but was rolling around the whole time.  I just couldn't get comfortable.  I have a feeling it won't be any better tonight.  I was hoping to get back to work tomorrow, but I think that may not happen.  I have worked after little sleep before, but that's when I had the trams to help.

thanks finallyfree and kickT.  It definitely helps knowing I am not the only one.  Luckily I haven't experienced any depression, at least not yet.  I'll let you know if I do.

KickTram, did you tell your doc the reason for your insomnia?  I think I may follow suit.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 22, 2009
I just joined and am absolutely shocked at my stupid innocence.I am a pharmacist and had no idea that tramadol was so bad.I did have suspicions that a drug that improves mood,decreases appetite and pain had to be addicting,but all the literature says it is non addicting and safer than opiates,This drug does work on the opiate receptors and really is no different than codeine or heroin.A lot of the doctors in town are now prescribing it in place of narcotics because of its so called advantages.I was trying to find a substitute for Tylenol #1s when I found this site and have had my eyes opened.Because it is not even considered a narcotic it does not have a stigma attached to it when prescribing.People really think they are safe in taking it,altho it has more interactions with other drugs than tylenol#3.I will certainly advise new patients who are prescribed this drug of the dangers.I am so glad I found this site and wish everyone who is trying to get away from its grasp all the luck in the world.I often thought that people must realize when they are getting addicted to a drug,butcan really understand how this one can grab you with little warning.It is not after all considered a narcotic.I remember when Darvon and Talwin first came out they also were not put on the narcotic list,but were added later.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 22, 2009
I read all the posts and my heart breaks for everyone one of you who are trying to break free from tramadol.I have only tried it twice when I had pain and found it quite effective.I may not have taken enough to get a high or to be tempted to try more and am not nor have been addicted.Again I was oblivious to the addicting factors and thought bit would be a good drug for my doctor to prescribe for me for RA.I am so glad I came here before I becaome addicted.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 22, 2009
Hi guys..
Im getting aprehensive, around 250 to 300 today tried to do less felt very crappy. Im off tomorrw. To the cabin, I have some emergency pills Im giving to my people. And like I said I have what I need I think. I really dont like it...I know none of us do....I have a new coach now, I trained with him and I am coaching again, and hes like " well you are farther along then I thought, but not where we want to be. But I think we will have more respectable times in two least your ready." I am at a few starting points I think....G..I miss my boyfriend he keeps reminding me, I have to do something and he cant tell me what....I am just worried about it all..It isnt this issue its our communication, he is very possesive, and serious sometimes, Im just flat out prococious and outgoing...I still want it to work...I think I am doing this to not think about it...He telss me to call him..But I cant bring myself to..Im the one staying away,,,Because of this stuff I acted like an imbisle..Im so mad at myself..About all of it....He is trying to understand why I am so edgy and snippy and um...Why a girl in a band talks or flirts with men I think..I think this is an odd topic, but its what Im going through this Tram just adds up to me not feeling things and making poor choices....
Tomorrows the leave day...
Good luck..Im sad,,scared,,,,worried,,,feeling things I havent felt in a year, I also get excitable very easy thats one of the reasons I took it..To actually CALM me down not pick me up believe it or not..

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by obxcat, Sep 23, 2009
Hi all...another newbie here..I've been off the T since the first of June. I went C/T because I'm just not one to taper. I've always been an "all or nothing" type, when it comes to just about anything. My story started about 9 years ago when I was prescribed T after I hurt my back, and noticed it had a wonderful gave me energy, something I was sadly lacking due to Lupus and being overweight. I wanted more...and more..and thus the affair first I did the multiple Dr. routine, then I started ordering them online..180 at a time..which at the end of the affair, might last me 8 days if I was lucky. And it wasn't just also became Fioricet..ordered online as well. 90 at a time that might last me 10 days. My personal life started falling marriage, my health..was diagnosed with Breast Cancer this spring, and just finished 9 weeks of radiation, and now I'm on Tamoxifen. My husband is leaving me yet again, I'm terribly in debt because of the drugs, and oh, yeah, I got fired a month ago...from a job that I have had for 17 years. But you know what...I'm gonna make it..and so will you. Because as strong as the allure is, our will is even stronger. Good luck to you HAS to get better. There are days I am so far down the rabbit hole, all I can smell is dirt..but then the next day, I can see the sun...and notice color for the first time in years...

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 23, 2009
Hi everyone. Madtram it's so nice to see you again. In my fog of wd, I didn't realize you were a lawyer before you studied to be a doctor. How motivated you are. That's inspiring.
I'm always impressed with all the posters here - I think (and I've said before) that this drug atracts emotionally powerful people (pollycat!) so we can temper our selves. That's what it did for me.
Welcome obxcat. You are definitely one of us. And I mean that in a great way. Eveyone who posts...especially in the last few days, I can fell their intense spirit.
After the T, the spirit roars back. But I have to say, I love engaging in life again. The physical wd's are pretty much gone and they are hell, but the reward is endless when you can hook into it. You are alive. And other people can see it. And you can interact with them in all the complex ways people interact, and appreciate this whole LIFE. I notice that when people stop the T they want to listen to music. Personally, I went to Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush, Traffic, Arctic Monkeys...what was most powerful for me so i could connect to the source of what makes us (for me) human and exotic and ALIVE. So now I make it through the day by looking into other people's eyes and checking out who is AWAKE and ready to interact. Why hold back? I am exploring my power as a person. Emily told a beautiful story last week about the Goodwill guy that illustarted this perfectly. Why else are we here?
You're never going to solve that mystery you thought you would solve with the Tramadol. You're going to live with the whole painful, beautiful mess till the day you can't live with it anymore. That's where we are all. And every great conversation you have, every bit of shared laughter, all those movies that made you cry last week cause you weren't blocking yourself with the T (for me it was Moliere 2007 and the movie that documented Pacino trying to play Richard III), the music that feels like more of life's incantation...that's the reward. You get to feel it.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 23, 2009
obxcat...Your post brought tears to my eyes.You have accomplished great things by quitting the tramacet and will conquer your illness.Good luck and wishes for your continued abstinence from tramadol.I see doctors blindly prescribing it to narcotic dependant people thinking that they are using a better option.In fact one of our doctors lost his narcotic priviledges and prescribes tramacet to all his former narcotic patients(and he has many).These rxs are in the form of sample cards and are free to the patient.Just like the drug dealer giving the first hit free.I honestly thought this drug was ok till I came to this site.I was researching the advantage of tramadol over tylenol with codeine.What better way to find out things than to talk to or read comments from people using them.I especially wanted to know about problems ,not just the good things.However I did have my suspicions about this drug because of its actions on opiate receptors and antidepressant effect and also weight loss.All of this various stimulation is quite addicting in itself.I am sticking to aleve and tylenol for my RA pain.All of you were innocently introduced to this drug without knowing its full effect.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 23, 2009
Let me add that I do not think the doctors are at fault because they believe the drug companies and probably feel that they are giving their patient an ideal substitute for narcoticsThe government has a big role in this because they should check out the effects of the drug.FGS it has been available in Europe for some time before it came to Canada.It is not even a restricted drug here but I am sure it will be soon.

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by Lillyval, Sep 23, 2009
In continuation of yesterday's post I feel obligated to say something I've said before, but it bears repeating.  There really is no going back.  Many here have stated how wonderful tram made them feel at the beginning and how over time it turned on them and life became a personal hell.  When you go back you don't get to go back to that happy beginning and relive all those wonderful feelings.  You pick up again right where you left off, even if you'e been away for a while.  You go back to being under what Jessica aptly called "the thick sticky film of tramadol".
I'm not going back.  I may be stumbling, but I'm not willing to fall all the way down again.
Polly, I wish you all the best.  You can do this.  That fire burning in you will prevail.
with hope,

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 23, 2009
Good luck Polly.  Detoxing in a cabin can't be all that bad can it?  Day 3 for me.  Last night's sleep was somewhat better.  Not sweating quite as much.  Took my last sick day today.  Gots to be productive tomorrow.  I am actually trying to be productive today.  Clean this filth house and wash my sweat-ified clothes and bedding.  Yesterday I just laid here and watched the whole 1st season of Six Feet Under. Good stuff.

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by Gerty411, Sep 23, 2009
Hi y'all,

Back to work after 10 days of.  My depression feels better when I'm working.  I would prefer not to rely on an antidepressent med unless all else fails.  Working on the 3-4 th weeks w/o t.  

I've gained around 7 lbs. over the last month.  Has anyoe else experiened the weight gain?

Nancy, I totally agree how wonderful all music is now.

Still really emotional.  Watched The Hunger yesterday and cried when the vampire played by David Bowie grew old and had to be "put down".

Love, Gerty

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 23, 2009
Packing for the cabin.....
Im on the last 100-30 dose...At the moment I actually physically am fine, just emotionally freaked. Any emotion that could be here is, Im a bit um...Amped up, excited, scared, prepared, not prepared, hopeful, some despair thrown in. Sad, at my state of all my relationships, my sig other is trying so hard to get past the things Iv done, I dont know if he ever will I only know I absolutely have to. I got to thinking As IM preparing my bags for this trip, thinking about the year Iv had and  I actually have had alot of successes, that I may not deserve..I have to have to add this to the list...I Think---Obxcat----that your story is amazing good job!!! Im a spaz so for Lilyval---I can understand the wanting to amp down thing very well, Iv always been told I have an amazing personaliy, unfortunately Its hard being in the person..I lead people and dont know where Im taking them...I want to know also because I saw an amazing sunset it was sooo bright orange and the sun you could look at it!! I want to know what its like again to see these things, clean..Free...Just me..And who ever is still with me..Also I want to wear a dress to my gigs and feel put together, not thrown together, because Im on percs or trams or nervous if I have enough with me..I want to get in the zone its so beuatiful singing that way...I miss it,, My sig other and I are trying to work through it I just dont know though..It relies on many factors most of which are me,,,If Im allowed to do them,,he is somewhat possesive, I think Im trying to decide ( after detox ) who is actually good for me and who is not...Hmm.Obviously..
Im off..Thanks.
Ill be back..
Crossed fingers..
Good luck to YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 23, 2009
Ahh music.  It's good for the soul.  And it is extra good right now.  Happy music or really any music (except psy-trance) is a great natural antidepressant.

Avatar universal
by pollycat, Sep 23, 2009
I meant on the amping down thing...Thanks for the support. As far as in the "Cabin"   ..I think its a great environment I just hope ( and we located one ) I dont need a hosp..Its relatively isolated..I just thought It was better than being around all the daily things I will try to do and actually avoid doing it...

Avatar universal
by mellie0774, Sep 23, 2009
Hi everyone. I am new to the group but let me tell you I am no stranger to the effects that T can cause. It all started out innocent enough I had a fall and was given it for back pain.  Well started out taking 2-50 mg tablets a day. Well as the story goes of course after awhile started taking more soon was up to 12-15 50mgs a day. At this point my prescription would run out very quickly and did not know about ordering online. So I made the stupid decision to go to several doctors to get my prescription.  I knew it would catch up to me eventually but I did not care the only thing I cared about was the pills. In the meantime my marriage was falling apart due to missing money(spent on pills) and just a feeling of nothing mattered(pills again).  

One day I was at work it was about 4 in the afternoon and I get a call from a detective and he had evidence of me doctor shopping and asked me to come down to the station and turn myself in. I was humiliated and finally had to tell my family about what I had been doing. I turned myself in and was charged with witholding info from a practioner. I did medical biling at the time for a hospital and the story ended up in the paper the next day and I was let go from my job.

I knew this was my rock bottom so I checked myself into rehab for 7 days to detox which was hell. But I was finally free of my enemy.  

Long story short my marriage fell apart from the lies and I am on probation for 2 years. I guess what I am trying to say is do not let it get to that, do not let it hit rock bottom to make you stop. Please do not ruin your life like I did.

I have been of "T" for 13 months now. I am in school and have a job and my ex-husband and I are friends again.  I am soo glad that I found this forum. Thanks everyone

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 23, 2009
Congrats mellie!!  How do you feel now that you have been off for 13 months?  Looks like your life is back on track.

I actually feel pretty normal today.  I just cleaned my house.  I know I won't be able to sleep tonight but I'll live. Work tomorrow.  Oh boy.  I wish I could describe the weird hearing I have since I stopped the t.  When a car goes by the house, there is an extra vibration in my inner ear.  Has anyone else experienced this?

Avatar universal
by mellie0774, Sep 23, 2009
Thanks lisalomma. I still have good and bad days but have learned that tramadol is not going to help my feelings go away. Those have been the hardest to deal with I have been working with a therapist who has been helping deal with emotions. I had the ringing in my ears when I first got off tramadol but it went away after about a month or so.  Stay on  the right path and you will do great :)

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 23, 2009
Lilly you are so right.It boils down to the fact that you want one thing more than the other.Do you want to be a (I am saying this in the bluntest way)druggie all your life or do you want to be clean.Anything is possible with determination and you have it in spades.I went thru those kind of self talks when I quit smoking.I wanted to be a non smoker more than I wanted to be a smoker and gave it up.It got much easier with dont think of the pleasure it gives,just think of the pain it causes.It took me 3 tries to quit smoking and each time I learned what not to do or what to do.Just practice runs and the final one I did it.

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 24, 2009
I hate the ringing in my ears - I've been on tram for over 4 years, and the ringing / vibrations in my ears started pretty early in my use.  Right now I have the feeling it will never go away.

I can't wait to be 13 months tram free!  Good for you mellie!
I am maintaining my taper - within a month I should be low enough to jump off.
I know I am in for a few months of hell - but hopefully it will be worth it.

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 24, 2009
Newway, it'll most definitely be worth it!!!  I'm not sure it'll be months of hell maybe just months of weird, which is better I think.  Or maybe just weeks of weird.  

It is day 4 clean for me.  I went into work today, but left at noon.  I am still pretty out of it from the "flu."  I took work home. I'm glad the weekend is coming although I have a friend coming to visit.  My whole body still tingles but no more sweats (at least not at this moment).  My appetite has increased a lot which is good I think.  I didn't eat much when on the trams and I don't need to lose any weight.  I haven't been depressed but still have an urge to look around to find a random pill somewhere.  I haven't done that though as I know there are none to be found.

Regarding the ringing in ears:  the more tram I took the worse the ringing would be.  My ears are not ringing any more.  I am having these vibrations or tremors in my inner ear.  I whole body is vibrating really.  Maybe I am just feeling something now and it is kind of an overload that needs to be smoothed out.

I am alive and it wasn't quite as bad as I had envisioned on Sunday when I had no more pills left.  Oh yeah, I slept better last night...not as restless.  I took some Dramamine that I had in the cabinet.  I am going to not take any sleep help tonight just to see...

Newway, IT'S WORTH IT!!!!

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 25, 2009
Uggh, I have resumed my law practice and it's a shock to the system after being gone for so long.   Oh to one day be retired.

I have only a limited time to read and post tonight, but it has been GREAT to see your posts.

Polly, Newway, and Lisa, YES YOU CAN do this.  It certainly will NOT get any easier to kick next month or next year.  Please continue the good progress each of you have begun.  I am a wimp too.   I stopped taking this drug because I was entirely SICK AND TIRED of the regular withdrawal I experienced.  I wasn't particularly running toward sobriety, but rather I was running from the constant withdrawal I experienced month after month.

As i saw it, my choices were either to continue with what I was doing, or determine to get out from within the grips of this nasty addictive drug once and forever.  

Welcome Pharma9!   As a pharmacist, you know what's been happening with this drug better than us all.   Of course your competitors sell this stuff ONLINE with little and no control or care for the patient.  Thanks for doing what you can to warn potential users.  If a person is already hooked, don't expect them to hear what you are saying though.  They'll continue to demand the drug as if it was a street drug.  Cause, that's what it ought to be.  A street drug.  Not until they find that moment of clarity for themselves will a person glimpse the HOPE that is needed to be finally free..  

It's no surprise that people have come on here over the months I have been hanging around, who have testified that getting off trams is worse than getting off heroin.  I have no basis to compare, but that doesn't surprise me.

Tram is the dirty little secret.  Largely unregulated.  Prescribed because in MOST STATES it isn't a controlled substance.  Our good doctors can avoid the risk of over prescribing a "real" opiate.   Fortunately, there ARE 5-6 states in which it has been classified as a class IV controlled substance.

I keep hoping that some day, someone will figure out how terrible this drug is.  One Sunday night, we'll turn on 60 Minutes and see tramadol exposed for the RAT POISON that it is.  But not tonight.  Tonight we are but pilgrams, gratefully drawn together at Emily's forum, grasping beyond hope that we can endure the suffering yet a little longer to crawl out from under the grasp of this drug.  

"Synthetic" before the word, opiate, doesn't make it any more safe.  Anyone (like me) who has taken this stuff for any length of time (six years) understands the TOLERANCE one builds up to the drug, such that more and more is required of the drug over time just to make us feel LESS UNWELL.  For what it's worth, I NEVER felt well in the six years I took the tram-a-****.  The best I could hope for was to feel LESS UNWELL. and even that possibility escaped by grasp in time.  IT'S ONE BAD DRUG.

There was a time when I was fairly rabid about recommending cold turkey as opposed to tapering.  For what it's worth, despite what some people have "heard", nobody here has encountered serious health problems by going cold turkey.  But today I say that if a honest taper is working for a person, who am I to do anything but cheer them on.  

Honesty with one's self is terribly important.  If you try a taper, set a schedule and stick to it.  You'll know soon enough whether tapering will work for you or not.  But if you find yourself borrowing tomorrow's pills today...if you are honest with yourself, you'll figure out soon enough whether a taper is working for you or not.

For me only, I could have no more kept to a taper schedule with trams than I could expect to taper the amount of air that I breath and expect to eventually taper off to no breathing at all.  But that's just me.

And yes, to those who have commented about "nights being the worst", it's entirely true and a common complaint.  The thing is, acute withdrawal has a window.  It won't be like this indefinately.  There will soon be sleep in your future if you can endure the temporary RLS, indigestion, flu like symptoms, sleeplessness a little longer.

Tramadol won't leave your "receptiors" without a fight.  This is a hard thing you are doing.  

Each of you in the throws of acute withdrawal has my undying respect and sympathy.  There is a light at the end of this terrible tunnel.  Enduring that first 4-5 days of acute withdrawal was terrible.  But I would do it all again in an instant to be finally free of the grasp of this drug.  

Press on for the life you will get back.  

Courage, Strength, and Undying Love for you all,


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by Lillyval, Sep 25, 2009
I feel that I'm finally free of this evil drug.  When I first got clean back in June I posted that I wasn't "done yet" and I wasn't.  I went back into the fog for a good month or so.  But now I finally "got it" that there is no going back.  I took a couple of pills this week and they hold no magic for me.  The don't make me feel better, they don't get me "high", they're just another nasty chemical that my poor liver has to filter out.  After all this struggle, I'm finally ready to kick tram to the curb permanently.  Thanks to all of you I know it can be done!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 25, 2009
If one can imagine what is happening inside the body during withdrawal it makes it easier to understand the symptoms.The brain is so used to the depressant effect of the narcotic or depressant drug or even alcohol that it is firing on all cylinders to make up for the depressant effect.If this has been going for a few years it is set to super high and firing at super high levels.Also the serotonin level has been artificially maintained with the drug  keeping up the antidepressant effect.Also the appetite has been suppressed keeping weight down.If one suddenly stops taking the drug the brain and nervous system is still firing on high,the serotonin level is no longer high and the body also feels hunger again.Because the nervous system is so hyperactive seizures can occur,shakes, restlessness,insomnia,It takes time for brain to slow down to normal levels.It also takes time for the serotonin levels to come back up naturally.The opiate receptors are no longer able to suppress pain and it returns like a rebound effect.No wonder it hurts to withdraw.It is easier on the body to taper and give it time to adjust to the reduced artificial effects.lEven when still on the drug one experiences withdrawal between doses and the body needs more and more for the same effect.Good luck to everyone who is trying to come clean and be able to smell the roses.You can all do it because anything is possible if you want it bad enough.

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 25, 2009
pharma9, I am glad you are on here.  

Day 5, hard to sleep, still out of it, but it gets better every day.  No sweats at least.  I am eating so much.  Hopefully it'll go to my boobs and not my butt :)

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 26, 2009
Reading each of your posts kept me clean again today.   Thank you for your stories.

Lisa, first things first.   Even if you gain 10 lbs but get your life back, it will be so worth it.   As days go by and you remain clean, there will be plenty of time to consider weight loss.  If hot bathes or cream puffs comfort and distract you now, I say be comforted and distracted.   My pea brain wasn't big enough to focus on more than one thing at a time.  

Six months after coming off tramadol, I decided to loose some weight and I have dropped several pounds in the past months.   But I didn't even venture onto a scale during those first days/weeks coming off tram.  Comfort/distraction/hope.

Lilly, I am SO proud of you.  You sound so strong and determined.  To be honest, in reading your first posts in June, I am not certain that I would have given you even odds of getting to where you have arrived at today.   I seem to recall you saying at the start that you felt like you didn't even "belong" here.  But you stuck with it until the miracle happened.  YAY Lilly!!!

It's kinda natural when a person first arrives here to feel overwhelmed.  Uncertain.  Less than.   In my case, a failed overwelmed man, controlled by a drug that stopped working for me years before.

If anyone were to go back to early December, 08  and read my first post, you would see that I wasn't all that certain either.  How can anyone of us feel all that certain about the prospects of beating a drug that has been kicking us to the curb for days, weeks, even years?  I believe that I  figured once I had been trapped by this drug for 2,190 straight days.  Based on my history, I didn't see how it could EVER be possible to go one day without the trams.  


But with as much failure as I had experienced, I read the stories of others here who had become determined enough to actually break free.   People like madtram, Cadillac Jack  and Emily had actually done what I did not believe was even possible POSSIBLE when I got here.  I learned that if I was willing to do WAR with this drug for a few days, I just might crawl out the other side  And in my first post, I timidly declared that that maybe, just maybe, "this place just MAY save my life".  

At the end of my first clean day, I reported that my "record" was then 1 win - 2,190 losses.   Not wonderful to be sure, but it was a START and that seemed wonderful enough for me on that day.    And I sweated and shivered and ached and couldn't sleep and took imodium AD and B12, and I took up to SIX hot bathes in one night and I ate Hylands Restful Legs by the handful and I posted here like a mad man that first five days or so.   I saw that time as MY WEEK AT WAR.   There was nothing as important to me in those early days as continuing to put tiny moments upon tiny moments between that last lovely little white pill and where I found myself.   I came to actually take comfort in each ache and symptom because i knew those symptoms were bringing me closer to freedom.  I recall someone here (Emily?) saying that we need to become comfortable in being uncomfortable.   And so it was for me.

Any one who has been on this drug for any length of time has been through some degree of "withdrawal" at one time or another.  By the time I had that moment of clarity I had had more than my share of periodic withdrawal symptoms at the end of EVERY rx cycle.   As I watched the hands on the clock move slowly to my "RX day".   Tick tock tick tock.   The fact is that those five days of acute withdrawal were really no better and no worse than ANY of those periods of withdrawal I  had experienced FAR too often during my six years on this rat poison.

As I am sitting here, I just counted up 295 days tram clean as of today.  

I suppose my record   is now 295 wins  - 2,190.  losses.  It's still not a record I am proud of.   But the reality is that we can't change the past.   And tomorrow tends to scare the hell out of me.   So I'll just keep coming back, reading your posts and focusing on today.   Because you guys are keeping me clean today.  

Sweet Dreams to all (I hope!)  


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 26, 2009
If anyone is bored this weekend, remember that there is an FDA website where people can report "adverse drug reactions".  

knows whether it will do any good, but if you are interested, go to

Fred that Cat

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 26, 2009
Lisajomama.Keep up the good work and don't worry about the weight gain.You can tackle that later,because once you have conquered one problem you can overcome anything.As I said before,you have to want to be drug free more than you want the "high".Once these drugs are out of your life you will not feel as much pain because you are getting rebound pain initially and later regular tylenol or advil or soaks or muscle relaxants will be just as effective and you can be a normal person again.In fact you are more than normal,you are a superperson in tackling and conquering the big T.My hat goes    off to you.

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Sep 27, 2009
Day 7 and all is well.  A friend of mine visited me and I told her my story.  We have got the T together in Mexico before, but she never knew that I had a problem with it.  It was good to tell someone.

I am not worried about weight gain.  I am lucky and could actually stand to gain a couple of lbs.  It's just that now I eat when I am hungry.  Before, I would be hungry but not eat.  I would take the trams instead.  I ate candy all day on Sat and Sun.  Then would eat a decent dinner around 8pm.

Thank you everyone for your support.

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Sep 27, 2009
Pharma and fred, thanks for being here. Lisa, I have gained a few pounds as well and I kind of like it. I was always very thin even after 4 children. I have definitely gained some weight. I see it as a whole new me. Actually, my metabolism was so messed up even without eating on Tramadol I think I was starting to gain weight. Anyway, it is  nice to crave food again and look forward to eating. Now that I have dealt with the acute withdrawl, I haven't found it hard to cut back just a bit to maintian a healthy weight.
I have no T cravings at all. I never really did during wd. I do crave SOMETHING especially at the end of the day. Alcohol doesn't do it for me and I don't ever crave random drugs. The only thing drug-wise I ever really craved were heart I am a true opiate eater. Spiritually, though, it puts me in an untenable position to take opiates when I don't truly need them. I have discussed this at length (sorry!) here before. So now I crave connections with things that excite my mind. And music, etc. I crave production and a certain kind of interaction with the world. It's not as dependable as tramadol but it's more interesting.'s not a great day for me. Non Tramadol me is sharp tongued and things aren't great right now. I'm living by my wits 100 per cent of the time. Money is tight. 4 kids. House is a bit of a mess. Other lawyers at work circling me like sharks in the water. But you know what? After I stopped the T I feel stronger. I actually have a little more style I think. I know I have more substance.
You can do it Lisa and pollycat and Lily... I'm so glad we did this together. I really depend on you guys. And pharma it is so kind of you to post and encourage us.
Fred, as always...thanks.

Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 27, 2009
It's amazing how so many different people can be brought together by one common thread - and as that thread unwinds - we realize we are not all that different after all.
I am trying to taper - and so far doing okay.  But of course I haven't really tapered enough to make myself uncomfortable yet.  I know as soon as I start to feel uncomfortable I will be in trouble.  I don't like any kind of discomfort - emotional or physical.  
I want to have that warrior feeling that I hear in so many of you - like Fred saying it was his week at war.  I think I am still in a state of denial.  I know that I don't even want to tell my Dr. - cause once I get this under control I will still want some when my back is acting up.  Then other times I want to go into her office and let her know what a horrible drug this is, that it is certainly not none addictive.
I want this - I want to be free of this drug - I know I can go on being miserable for as many more years as I choose - but then eventually I will have to get back to this point again - my breaking point - where I have had enough - but I will have wasted another bunch of years.  I think 5 years on this **** is enough.
I'm glad you are all here - I am going to need all the support I can get to keep my resolve.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 28, 2009
Lisa,  Congratulations on making it through a full seven days.   I hope that you do know that the worst is by far behind you now.

Newway,  Yes, isn't it wonderful that all of us can be brought together by our common thread and yes, as things unwind, I expect that you are right, that inner person inside many of us is not so much different than the others.   In that inner child inside each of us, I expect that we are not all that unique.  

Sure, if you were to get the bunch of us together, there would be different heights, weights, ages, occupations, styles, clothing and certainly interests, etc.  Yet when it comes to how we process life, I do expect there are many similaries.   In many ways, I believe that we are much the same.   When you turn off the TV, turn out the lights, say goodnight to those we love and we pull the covers up tight, I expect that we may have some of the SAME worries, thoughts, and manner of processing life.

Every time I have brought up the subject of my "fears",  people here reached out to me like I was about to off myself.   So let's stipulate from the start, that Fred is doing alright.  I am so blessed in so many ways.   Today I took a walk in the brillant sunshine and watched the water (Puget Sound) with waves shimmering.  Our sons, two baby grandsons and my mother were over last night and I am truly blessed with many loves in my life.

But I do want to get back to the subject of "fear" because to be honest, so much of my life has been motivated by fear.   To the extent fear has motivated me to achieve what I may not have achieved without this horrible thought process, I suppose some good has resulted.  

But in my life, that fear of failure, the constant future tripping, "what ifs", and a tendancy to want to control all things in my life, have made me a bit nuts.  I numbed those "fears" every evening for decades with booze.   And while I began my tramadol journey honestly enough, I  eventually also used trams to fill that place where irrational fear abided.   When the lights go out and I am left in my bed to contemplate life and what my future holds.

I expect that everyone reading this post can easily come up with a short list of your own fears.   Here's an example of how my irrational fears get out of hand.  Today we decided that we would go ahead and replace the furnace in our home.   The existing furnace was installed when the house was built (cireca 1970).    But while we have the funds to pay for a furnace, I begin to imagine whether I might have a need for those funds in the future.  

And my mind begins to offer up examples of said "future needs".  I may not produce at work (Nancy, I can relate to your citation of "sharks circling around you" at work).   And then I start with the future tripping.  What if I lost my job?   What if I lost my house?   And if these thoughts aren't enough, I begin to reflect on the number of "projects" I have done around the house.     How would I feel if they didn't all grow old with me?  

Several months ago, KC asked me whether living soberly was "enough".   I responded by saying that "it just HAD to be enough".   And I still believe that we simply must figure out a way to live life on life's terms.   But some days are easier than others.   Some days my fears go well beyond "motivational".   Some days if I allow myself to wallow in those fears, they can nearly be over powering.  Especially when the house is quiet and I am alone with a mad man.  

I believe strongly in a power greater than me.  I acknowledge that I am not IT.   When I seem to do the best in sobriety, it is those times when I can give up those fears to my higher power.   When I practice the serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.    

For me, fear and the corresponding desire to escape reality comes about when I try to take responsibility for things I cannot change.  When I lay awake in bed and contemplate  the "what ifs" I have absolutely no control over.

Living life on life's terms is a LIFE LONG journey.    I would rather than I could flip a switch and be forever done with worry and fear.   Unfortunately, when a person (me) chooses to live without the numbing affects of drugs and alcohol, we do FEEL life.  We experience emotions.  We can be subject to fears.  For me, when I contemplate "using" again, it's not for the high.  It's for the numbing affects any drug posesses.  

Having stared into the face of Mr. T., and looked him down, I simply cannot go back.   Hearing your stories today, reminds me of my week of war with this drug.   And the  post acute sytmpoms are not always a bowl of cherries either.    Sobriety simply HAS to be enough for me today.  I will die one day, but if at all possible, I am determined to die a sober man.  

Hope, trust, faith, and peace  are  attributes I must PRACTICE to replace those unhealthy fears.   Once we determine to not be under the control of tramadol or any other drug, we are left with only ourselves.  And in many ways, I believe that we are much the same, you and me.   None of us is terminally unique.  

Courage Strength and LOVE to you all,


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 28, 2009
Well siad Fred.I always look forward to your posts.Off to work I go.See yaz all later.

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Sep 28, 2009
Hey guys, I have a bit of a mess on my hands.  I've been on ultram since March and I came off of it on Friday..Saturday was my first day clean.  I've taken 100-200 mg a day for lyme disease.   Is it possible to be running a true low grade fever from ultram withdrawal?  I am wondering if its lyme disease, or if ultram can cause this flu like feeling where my limbs feel like they are burning, I have super high anxiety, can't sleep, vomit, extreme fatigue, etc.   Do your wihtdrawal symptoms get worse at night and in the mornings?  I am really  scared that this is my lyme coming back and not the ultram.  Ive been sick for a long time and i want this whole thing to be over.   I know ultram can cause alot of these symptoms...but im very interestd in the fever.  If it can cause fever, then ill attribute this to withdrawal and the hell my body is going through.  



Avatar universal
by anaenlima, Sep 28, 2009
Hello everyone,
I was diagnosed as bipolar II two years ago and since then have been on different antidepressants and mood ....mood what? my memory is shot... lithium and lamotrigine, anyway. I was prescribed Ultram to aid with chronic back pain at around the same time. I didn't take the Ultram initially, as I was already on what felt like too many pills, but gave up after visiting the dentist and feeling terrible pain as a consequence. It's effect on my depression was immediate: I hadn't felt so well in many, many months.   STABILIZERS, mood stabilizers...
Anyway, after attempting to stop all medication on my own after becoming very dissatisfied with one doctor, I ended back in another's office when a magazine article about Peking made me fill unreasonably fearfull of having to travel there (I had no need, nor had I planned on visiting) or, worse, what would have happened if I had been born there (I felt I would be hopelessly lost). My psychiatrist said, correctly I believe, that I was suffering from accute withdrawal symptoms, and put me back on Klonopin. She also gave me Elavil in a small dosis to help with the depression and the pain,  and lamotrigine to ward off possible mania. Without telling her, I also went back on the Ultram, two tablets a day (fortunately, any more made me feel extremely nauseous). I started feeling better immediately and we agreed that I would begin tapering off the Klonopin. This I did very, very slowly and without much bother. I then decided I would taper off the Ultram, as I felt so well... I thought it would be easy, but it's not. I've been only taking 37.5 x 2 mg but it's still hell. The first time I took only half my daily dose I had an anxiety attack while walking my dogs with my new boyfriend (my 16 year long marriage ended 2 years ago - a period of "madness" ensued). A second attempt has left me feeling scared and disoriented. When I first researched tramadol 8 months ago there was little information on how addictive it is; now this fact seems to have been accepted by the medical community. I'm worried that it may be the tramadol and not Elavil that is keeping my depression at bay. I will see my doctor in two week's time and I plan on telling her this, but the thought that I may have to stop taking it scares me... At the same time, I don't want to depend on drugs forever. I have been going to therapy for a year and thought I was making great progress; it worries me to think that all the insights gained with him can disappear as soon as I try to stop taking this drug.
I've read Emily's posts for the last two days and also many others and they have made me realise that much of what I feel is indeed drug induced: the anxiety and the fear, the flulike symptoms and the pain, but maybe also the sense of wellbeing I have - not a "high", just a sense of having beat the worst of my depression - when I do take the tramadol. I'm very confused.

Avatar universal
by anaenlima, Sep 28, 2009
I also forgot to sign my name. Sorry.

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by FinallyFred, Sep 29, 2009
Vinnie,  Welcome to our world.   The symptoms you describe are spot on for tramadol/ultram withdrawal.   Flu like symptoms, creepy crawly achy limbs (restless leg syndrom aka RLS), vomiting, indigestion, anxiety, cramping, profuse sweating, INSOMNIA.  Sounds exactly like the symptoms I had and those expressed by just about everyone else who withdraws from this drug.   I can't vouch for an elevated body temperature though because I never made it to the medicine cabinet to find a thermometer.   Question:  Did you actually take your temperature or do you just FEEL feverish?   I can DEFINATELY vouch for the feverish feeling.  

The good news is that these acute withdrawal symptoms don't last much past 4-5 days.   If you can hold on another few days, the worst will pass.

Ana,  you have  - um - a pretty complex medical history and I will let others here come with more insight into drug interactions, etc. comment further.  It is true that the masters of the tramadol universe tucked an antidepressent into the pill.   As if the OPIATE itself wouldn't have us coming back for more, they decided to clench the deal by slipping an antidepressent in.  

But if I was in need of anti-depressent, I'd be looking to find one without a strong side order of OPIATES attached.    If I were looking for a bedtime snack, I wouldn't want one laced with something that would keep me up all night and then KILL me too!!!

You said, "When I first researched tramadol 8 months ago there was little information on how addictive it is; now this fact seems to have been accepted by the medical community."    While I would like to think that the degree of awareness and concern in the medical community has become heightened in the past eight months, I wouldn't be so certain.   There continues to be a great deal of (my opinion) carelessness and disregard for a patient's well being when it comes to prescribing this rat poison.  


Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 29, 2009
Ana - when I first started taking tram I loved it.  I was going through a rough time and had been dealing with chronic back pain for what seemed like forever.  I had tried every non narcotic drug under the sun to no avail.  Then my Dr. had one last try - it wasn't a narcotic, non addictive, but could help with the pain. That was 5 years ago.
Tram was great for the first while - my mood and energy level were great.  My back still hurt - but not as much.  Soon what I was taking wasn't enough, so I increased it a bit - and all was good a while longer.  The problem is - it turns on you - it changes.  Soon no matter how much you take - it's not enough.  I found myself in a fog and depressed.  Trying to quit was a nightmare - I didn't want to talk to my Dr. because I didn't want her to stop prescribing.  I was also buying it over the internet - the amount I was taking was well above what my Dr was giving me.
It is a nasty drug to keep in your system, and I now feel more depressed than I ever have and until I get off tram - no anti-depressant will work that well.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Sep 29, 2009
Im back.I had to change my name to yllop......This is pollycat, I um couldnt get logged in for some strange reason. Well. The cabin was a good place to do it, I had three days of acute (RLS) and tremors, I seemed to be cold and then hot.On and on for three days. Then that stuff subsided, and it is day six.....Of nothing. I am wondering as I called a nurse today, how long the sub-acute stuff lasts???II do feel better each day, but I am wondering, I still have chills, and like um...Hot flashes sort of things. I only slept 2 hours last night..I have to admit if it wasnt for freds note, I wouldnt have logged in as I am still feeling, "not normal"Low energy,ect. I have like hot and cold, and they gave me ( my Dr.) some anxiety medicine and stuff. I told them Id try anything for my racing heart, and skin crawling, other than any narcotic!!!!
I guess I just want to know like how long like everyone else....Im doing it, I finally did it and that feels great to know I did it finally....Just suffering the consequences, my bodys trying its best to recover..I think the nurse said give this part like....three more days of laying low....Then see how I feel....Sooo this is where I am, thank you all for inspiring me!! I am grateful to have the means and support...Just feel kind of icky still....
Good luck all!!!!

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Sep 29, 2009
Once you choose hope ...anything is possible.....".Christopher Reeves"

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by vin1382, Sep 29, 2009
Fred, thanks so much for responding.  Yes, I've recorded a fever of about 100.  The only reason I freak out is because I never hear of people actually recording fevers during withdrawal even though it obviously feels as if you've been just been completely obliterated by the worst flu of all time.  For me, a fever in the past has indicated my immune system is still whacked out from lyme disease, but I hadn't really run a fever in a while since I decided to come off of oxycodone as well(several weeks back).  I just hate the lyme disease, its completely ruined my life from the get-go(june 08), and that includes going on all these different drugs to reduce symptoms...but now i don't know if the lyme is gone, or if its drug side effects/withdrawals.  I've been treated for lyme now for 7 months and I wonder whats left if anything..  Lyme can linger with you forever in some cases, and I am prayin thats not me.  

Anyway, today I am doing a bit better.  Anxiety levels are better, i feel a little more clear in the head, slept a touch better, and didn't wake up drenched in as much sweat.  I still feel anxious, i still have the tingles/bug like feeling in my feet and arms(although not all day like yesterday), and im hoping no fever later!!   Actually, just in the past 30 minutes(4:30pm), ive started to go downhill again..i guess its worse in the evenings.


So here's hoping to a few more days where i keep improving :).


Avatar universal
by strugglingnewbie, Sep 29, 2009
hi, vinnie, when i was withdrawing i ran fever also.  i would give it a few more days before attributing it to the lyme disease.  hope everyone is doing well!


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 30, 2009
Vinnie and Pollycat,   You guys rock!!!  Make no mistake, what you have/are accomplishing is a difficult thing.  To be honest, most people get to the point you are at and they bail out.  They cave and take more trams.  Then the vicious cycle continues, until what?  Seizures, ongoing regular withdrawal symptoms while ON the drug  and what...death?  

You EACH now have an investiment.  You have done time/days you KNOW you do not want to EVER repeat.  You have come a great distance.   With everything inside you, continue the good work you have begun.   Don't give in.  Not now.  Not today.  

Thanks for persevering Pollycat (even to the extent of having to change screen names).   You run, right Pollycat?  I used to run 12Ks up and down hills (we have those in Seattle).  I don't claim to have been a record holder, but I was able to get after the pace in my day.   At a certain point in most races, you are faced with the temptation to slow down, to give up or give in.  And at those EXACT moments of any race whey  "why am I doing this"  questions seem to flood in.  Why am I here?  Why am I pushing so hard?   What difference is it in the grand scheme of things if I slowed down, gave up?

Along the path of any race in life, we are called to question the race we have begun.  And it's precisely in those moments of internal questioning, when our inner strength can make the difference.  Do or die?   Fail or win?  The outcome is within your control.  

I recall a Native American story involving a Chief and a young brave.   The story went that the Chief held a small bird in his hands, behind his back.  And he asked the brave, "tell me which hand I am holding the bird?"   "if you answer corectly, I will release the bird.  If you guess incorrectly, I will crush the bird."

The young brave considered his selection.  He knew he couldn't see the bird behind the Chief's back and he also knew that whichever way he answered, the Chief was cabable of moving the bird from one hand to the other.

"In which hand do I hold the bird, the left hand or right hand?", inquired the Chief.   The brave thought for a while and then answered, "as you will it Chief".   And the Chief recognized the wisdom in the answer and he released the bird.

It's no secret that I was essentially a plodder determined to get free of this drug myself.  

Newway said in part, "The problem is - it turns on you - it changes.  Soon no matter how much you take - it's not enough.  I found myself in a fog and depressed.  Trying to quit was a nightmare - I didn't want to talk to my Dr. because I didn't want her to stop prescribing."  BINGO!  I can identify with everything you shared Newway.  

I had a love hate relationship with my doctor.  Hat in my hand, I made a point of never missing an appointment.  The fact is I was suffering from exactly what Newway described.  TOLERANCE builds up to this drug, such that we do anything to get our drug.  It's also a fact that when the drug turns on a person,  TRAMADOL INCREASES OUR PAIN.  So no, it wasn't a stretch to go to my doctor and report the way I was feeling.  (like hell, normally).  Geez, I wish I had known that it was this DRUG that was CAUSING my increased pain.  

This drug never did make we well as it was advertised.   In the end, I REQUIRED the drug to feed the beast inside myself.  The drug posessed me, zoned me out, fogged my emotions and judgments, and changed every aspect of my life for the worse.   I suppose I got to the point of deciding that...


Stay the course you guys.  Everyone here is rooting for you.  Most of us have been right where you are now and I for one, can tell you that it does get easier.  And better.

Acute withdrawl symptoms should pas in 4-5 day (thereabouts, depending on the amount a person took and the length of time you were on the drug).  But recovery is not linear.  Sometimes we progress and as you articulated Vinnie, symptoms can come back and bite us in the butt when we thought we were long past the point of pain.  

I am sorry to report that recovery isn't a straight line to recovery, but I didn't invent the damned drug.  I can only report what my recovery was like for me.   Expect setbacks and prepare for them.  

As a person moves out of the immediate, acute withdrawl, less severe, but significant symptoms will continue.  Depresion, anxiety, blurry, watery eyes.  Lack of focus.  I returned to my practice of law after a week.  But I was not worth much more than a pretty butt in a chair, starring at a computer screen through watery eyes,l unable to pull the pin on decisions that needed to be made.  Foggy.

The only thing I kept telling myself ws that this too will pass.  And I considered all of the years I asked the tram-masters to do their worst to me.  Demandiing the tramadol to please kill my brain receptors, or whatever the heck they worked on.  That sober reflection on the self inflicted damage I had obviously done to myself over the years, caused me to see that it damn well just might take "weeks and weeks" for this horrible drug to unwind it's clutches from me.  With each day i put between myself and that last lovely white pill, I just KNEW that I was giving my body the time it needed to completely dispell the demon drug.  And if a person can continue to do war with this drug and resit the temptation to give in to it again, that person will wake up one morning, "weeks and weeks" down the road, i discover tha tEACH withdrawal symptoms had gone.  One day miraculously, we find ourselves entirely well.  

The good news in all of this, is that this IS something within your control to finish. You could be working with a terminal diagnosis of cancer.   Each us finds ourselves in a 12K race and the temptation to slow down exists.  But with this TRAMADOL PROBLEM, there is hope.  It CAN have a happy ending if you are willing to work for it.  

So, no.  I have never been about holding a person's hand and dragging them into complete recovery.  But as the Indian Brave answered the Chief, it's sorta "as you will it" chief.

Courage, Peace, Strength and Love to all going through this horriblly difficult battle.  


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 30, 2009
Another small success.I received an rx for Tramadol for a patient taking 3 antidepressants and high doses of codeine from our Tramadol doctor.I faxed him with the warnings of the drug effects and interactions saying he was not a good candidate for this drug.I told him that T was just as addicting as codeine and not a good substitute.Dr took my advice
and cancelled the rx.for tramadol.IFred,your posts are so full of wisdom and encouragement.As I said on the last thread that I am also withdrawing from codeine pain pills that I took for rheumatoid arthritis pain in my feet.I work long hours on my feet and they take the brunt of my arthritis pain.Mid July I finally got new orthotics and was amazed at the improvement in my pain and cut down to 2 Tylenol 3 a day.Then I stopped even the 2 pills a day and got withdrawal symptoms for a few days.Not as severe as any of you and I was able to work through it all.That was the reason I researched Tramadol because it is not a narcotic

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 30, 2009
I accidentally posted too soon.Tramadol is not considered a narcotic and I thought it would be ok for me.I am so glad I checked it out.I have been 3 weeks codeine free and no more pain than before.My mind is clearer and my bowels are normal.I find that aleve and extra strength tylenol are sufficient to deal with the pain.At bedtime after a long hard day at work if my feet hurt I soak them in Epsom salts.I am sleeping better and everything is better.The rebound pain between doses of codeine is gone now and often when I do get pain if I persevere it goes away on its own.It is a pleasure to get up in the morning and not suffer a dull throb in my head from rebound pain.I am sleeping better than ever.Love and best wishes to all of you and hang in there.I know it is hard but you can do anything you set your mind to do.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Sep 30, 2009
Hi all. DAY 7....
I had to post before I went to work because I woke up feeling significantly better than I have the whole past week. The symptoms, ( mainly hot/cold skin, blood press.) are there, um and this crazy sneezing.... But.........I actually have energy!!!

FRED!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for all of that encouragement, I hope I can do that for some one one day!!!Yes, running,  ah running....I LOVE RUNNING!!! Yesterday was icky, I am sort of in the mood to get after it today...........Im going to do a hill run at the zoo with some of my team,,,I actually felt alittle like myself this morning, And Fred you are right, the parts after the acute (for me three days) Is not linear, I still have to work on my spazzed out hyper self, and without sedating myself!!! I was suprised how long this malaise has lasted....I will definitely keep it up...Im not immune to mistakes, I just know I am headed for the day I feel empowered about just being me...Running my races, coaching, clear headed, and knowing Im feeling all of it..And its ok to feel...I am finally getting some energy back, and Fred,, those ten ks are starting to seem alot more possible today....It was and is brutal....But I think "all things are possible" You have to believe to recieve so to speak...Ill keep pushing...
Good luck Vinnie!!!!!!I feel for you, these symptoms absolutely suck, but wwhen I woke up this morning I felt the light from the opening door hit me, even just enough to know we an and will heal eventually...

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Sep 30, 2009
Hi folks,

Well I am back from Scotland where I tried the Neuro Electrical Therapy machine and feeling very disappointed. I think it helped a little but I am still feeling dreadful most of the time and very upset. The people who programme the machine told me that I am detoxed and over w/d. I told them I am not. They then told me that what I am suffering is no longer w/d but 'something else' and to see my doctor.  I have checked with KC who assures me that what I am experiencing is most certainly w/d and so I am reassured. (According to their records I seem to be the only one not to be cured by this machine!)

During my 2 weeks away I had days when I no longer had brain freeze and could actually think - but this didnt last. Can I tell you what I am experiencing now and will those of you who are further down the road please tell me what you think. It would be such a help.

I am 67 days clean of tramadol and 29 clean of diazepam. I also left off Zolpidem sleeping tablet and mitrazapine antidepressant about 3 weeks ago.  I am confused as to what symptoms are coming from which drug w/d.

After a week of not shaking I am shaking again. Why? I though this was over.
Insomnia of course and I take herbal medicine made up for me but it only gives me a short sleep.
I cannot eat again. This had improved.
When I lay down to sleep I have adrenaline type surges rushing through my body and waking me up no matter how tired I am.
Palpitations and my heart goes crazy.
Depression which hits me in the solar plexus like a stone.
I cannot think straight or organise a thing. I dont want to do anything and yet I cant sit still either. I dont know what to do with myself and I just keep wishing the time away so that I am further down the road to recovery.
My solar plexus constricts as though I am about to be sick and I can hardly keep still (is this craving?)

The agitation and anger abound and I want to scream and cry and then cant.

Am I experiencing all this due to the tramadol or the diazepam? I have caught up with all the posts and people seem to be feeling well after just a few days (which is great) but I am still half out of my mind after all this time. Am I normal? How much longer before I get my life back? I am so blessed because KC has been helping me. Can any of you speak into this for me also please, as I fear I am losing the plot here.

Yesterday was actually good for about 4 hours and I did some shopping. Today has been one of the worst for a long time. And the sneezing that I had when I first left off tramadol is back. Twenty or thirty sneezes at a time! Does this come back again after so many days.

I would be so grateful for feedback. I am at a very low ebb. Its taking so very long and I am not sure I can stand it.

Thank you.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Sep 30, 2009
Sneezing comes in handy.You can always blame it and other symptoms on a cold or allergies ..My sneezes lasted about a week and everyone at work I thought I was coming down with something.I just plugged on and each day got better.That was from codeine withdrawal and not tramadol though.Keep up the good work everyone

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Sep 30, 2009

I am fairly certain this is mostly the diazapam.   it takes a VERY long time to come off that stuff.  The half life of that drug is 3 days.  So even if stop taking it on a Monday, u wont start withdrawing until weds/thursday which will make you think it might not be the drug. IT IS!   that being said, its the easiest of the benzo's to come off of because of its longer half life.  You were detoxed too fast from it.  I tried to detox fast from klonopin a while ago and i had ALL of the symtoms you are describing.  Its purely god awful, u think your crazy, ur brain convinces u will be like this the rest of your life, ull never get better, and you are lost in your head all day and can't think of even the tiniest tasks like opening the mail, eating, speaking to people, reading, etc.  and they dont just go away either.  

You have a few options.  Withdrawal from diazapam can take months to years depending on how long you were on it, and how high a dose.  You can practice extremely healthy living for the remainder of your withdrawal and help your body to recover its natural tranquizling abilities.  This includes no caffeine, simple sugars, exercising, breathing, yoga, etc.  You may have times of the day where you feel better, and then it will come roaring back.  You may even feel better for a full day or 2, and then it will come back.  These are 'Windows'.  They should increase as time goes on...but it will take WEEKS/MONTHS!  

The other option is going back on the diazapam, finding a stable doseage where you arent freaking out(you may not feel great though)...and STAY there for THREE weeks.  And then cut by half a miligram every 3 weeks or until you feel stable.  You should not cut any out until you feel you are ready.  Rushing is not the best way to get off this drug like it is maybe with pain killers that are out of your system much more quickly.  

Please read the Ashton Manual online about this.  It will really explain to you that this is completely 100% normal for you to feel during diazpam(benzo) withdrawal.  


Avatar universal
by newway, Sep 30, 2009
Thanks for the info Vin - I am going through a bit of benzo withdrawal (clonazapam, diazapam, lorazpam - you get the idea) and your information is helpful.
I understand where you are coming from Chrissie145 - I am trying to taper down - the benzo's and the tram at the same time - but I think I am droping to much at once - because I am feeling most of what you are and I still have the **** in my system!!

What bothers me the most is the low energy and the depression - it takes over, and is unlike anything I have ever felt.
I am going to increase my benzo use and just focus on tram - is there a dose that would be dangerous to just jump off from?
Can you CT off over 800mg?

Hang in there Chrissy - I am sure others who have been through it will give you some feedback - all I have is support and faith that it will get better if you keep going.  If you give in now - at one point you will be back at this exact point.
I am not sure where you stand on the use of Anti-depressants - why you felt the need to get off that as well?
If depression is something you struggle with - giving up tram and your antidpressant without medical supervision could be dangerous for you - be careful.  If you have a Dr you feel safe with you may want to let them in on it.

take care of yourself - just minuet by minuet right now - you can do it!  

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Sep 30, 2009
Hello everyone..
    Grandmagirl up-date....  I have been off tram almost 7 mos....It was awful coming off that ****..I was posting constantly that I had depression and panic...

Long story short..You just have to gut it out...Day by day it does get better...Some days you will go backwards and feel like **** and other days are pretty good.

Brain fog was with me for weeks on weeks as was the walking through the sand feeling and the severe depression..
Finally late summer it lifted and I finally felt like I was half way back to normal..

I continued to work everyday and in hind sight I think that saved me...At work I
had to try and focus and get through the day...I had some really weird days and I'm sure my co- workers and students thought I was nuts.. bottom line I didn't care about that stuff only cared about getting better.

Like Emily said in one of her posts..."I had the day that would make a grown man cry"   Yeah I had a lot of those ..but bottom line I do feel pretty good

I am tapering off zanex very slowly and it's the same drill...Some days are good ..others just suck...

It is what I called so many times...Mr. toads wild ride...The day I wore two different shoes to work ..I thought well that's it ..I've lost my mind and it's never coming back...

My thought patterns are still off and I still can't spell...Hopefully  the brain will return to full function...If not I will tell everyone that cares to listen .."I'm old..get over It"

Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Sep 30, 2009
Ugh, i thought i was doing better last night and yesterday, but today was worse and i am sweating, anxiety, burning, legs feel a little weird, and worse joint pains.   Is this tramadol withdrawal different from traditional opiate withdrawal in that regards... i noticed with oxy withdrawal, it was just horrendous for about 4-5 days..and then the physical stuff lifted pretty quick after that and was gone by aboud day 10...left with anxiety and depression, insomnia, and just didnt care about anything.... but does tramadol withdrawal come in waves that differ between days?  

Today is day 5 for me.   When do you notice your symptoms are the worst?  Mine alwasy seem to creep back around 4 pm(although i feel crummy(sometimes decent) through the day) and peak around 8-11 at night..and then i take my trazodone and try to sleep.  

What ya think?


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Sep 30, 2009
Hello Warriors!

I must tell you all that nearly EACH time I long on here I have no intention of posting.  But after reading some of your compelling stories, setbacks  and progress, i just can't help myself.  

Vinnie,  Yes, tramadol withdrawal come in waves that differ between days.  That's what I meant when I tried to say that the recovery from this in not linear.  In other words, you might have 2-3 good days followed by a bad day.   Over time, the "bad" periods become shorter and the good periods become longer.  

Consider the similarities to any other bad habits we fall into.   What is the cumulative affect of such habits, and how long is reasonable  for us to expect to completely reverse the affect of such habits once we stop?

Diet:  If I over eat for months/years, I might gain pounds and pounds over time.  It is unlikely that I will loose all of that weight the first week I begin to practice healthy eating habits again.  But yet it's a start to begin new habits.

Excercise:  If I sit on the couch for months/years, my body will become deconditioned.  It's a safe bet that even though I begin an excercize regiment, that my body will return to a picture of health after only a week or two of excercise.  But yet it's a start.

Tobacco:  Doctors will tell us that it may take up to 15 years or more after stopping smoking for decades, for the risk of heart attack to equal the risk of someone who has never smoked.  Progress not perfect.  

Tramadol:  This IS a synthetic OPIATE.  There is nothing "less than" about it.   Peoplke have signed on her and stated that it is more difficult to stop tramadol than it was for them to stop using heroin.   And while stopping this drug is a start, is it any more reasonable to expect that we will fully recover from the affects of abusing this drug for months/years, than it is to expect that we will be instantly whole on the day we begin to diet, excercise, or stop smoking?

Polly, kudos and continued strength.

Chrissie:  youv've got a good and wise friend in KC.  I will defer to her good judgment on the issues of which you speak.   Good luck Chrissie.


Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 01, 2009
Thanks for posting again Fred.  Even though i know this is this withdrawal, i still have a voice in my head saying "its not withdrawal, its something worse, you arent gonna get better, this is you now".  its quite scary.  Its comforting to hear that his isnt going to last forever, people on tramadol go through this all the time, its not linear, there shouldnt realy be any expectations because of how it can just come back.  

Today i am feeling SUPER tired, i have ALOT of anxiety, didnt sleep great, my feet/legs and hands are sweaty, and feet feel hot/cold and somewhat tingly.  its frustrating.  My fevers are weird at night.  last night, it hit 99.8 for only an hour..and then it was back to normal!  how weird is that?  never heard of an infection that could do that..(i am also trying to rule out my lyme diagnosis as a causative factor in symptoms).

Today is day 6.  I was on tramadol since March.   All the sudden in in June my pain got alot worse(tolerance maybe) and i was put on percoset which I ended up abusing for about 2 months.  I came off the oxy at the end of august and went through HELL ON EARTH.   So my dr ended up putting me on a new drug called nucynta which is very similar to tramadol but its MUCH stronger and a schedule II. I was on that drug for a month, abused it, and hten came off to another absolutely horried withdrawal.  That was 2 weeks ago.  After 7 days of being off Nucynta, I decided to come off ultram.  I had been taking between 75-125 mg a day to stave off Nucynta withdrawal.   I wonder how much of my pain was actually caused by tolerance withdrawal to the tramadol when it came back hard in June?  I never really abused the tramadol.  Just took between 100-200 a day..and any symptoms I had i attributed it to something else.   So I guess I have alot of detoxing to do.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 01, 2009
Vin I think that most of your pain is from withdrawal.It was for me.I have rheumatoid arthritis and had been on codeine for 15 years.In july 09 I got new orthotics and my feet did not hurt as much.I cut back on my codeine but not entirely.I was due for a urine test for insurance and stopped all codeine (only 2 x tyl#3 daily)Even that was hard and I had withdrawl.That was when I researched tramadol and tried only 2 pills.It is still not considered a narcotic in Canada and I thought it would be a viable alternative.I  decided that T is just as addicting.I had the chills ,sweats,sneezes,and extra pain.I pursued and took only extra strength tylenol and aleve and epsom salt soaks and b12 and there is now almost no pain.Sometimes when it comes it goes away after a while and is not as severe as it was while taking narcs.It certainly is not any worse.I do not wake up with a headache and feet throbbing anymore and regular pain meds do the trick for me.I used to justify my codeine use to myself because I have a real disease that causes pain.It is really difficult to treat chronic pain and what to do.Do you take opiates or what?I see many people who are allergic to opiates deal with chronic pain using non narcotic drugs like antiinflammatories and regular tylenol or tylenol with muscle relaxant.These drugs do not create a high and do not seem to create tolerance.It is this tolerance that causes rebound pain in between doses.Vin you are dealing with many things and I just feel for you.I only had codeine withdrawal and it was tough.I really think the pain will subside soon and try some of the things I mentionedPS It wasn't the 2 tramadol pills that caused my withdrawal but the chronic use of codeine.Fortunately I checked the T after only 2 pills.Nucynta does not sound any better.

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by forget_me_not, Oct 01, 2009
Wow...Wow.  Emily, you are truly an ANGEL to people like me who have come here seeking hope.  I have been reading this journal for a couple of months.  What a tremendous blessing.

Today is my 25th DAY (!!!) with no tramadol.  I want to share my story, too, and I will.  For now, just thank you.  Thank you for being here.

Others on here: it is so good to meet all of you.  Look forward to continuing this harrowing journey together.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 01, 2009
Vinnie thank you for your explanation. It is a comfort to know that this is what happened to you when you were coming off benzo's. (Lost in your head and thinking this is how it will be forever is EXACTLY right) . Are you free of the benzo's now? I had seen Professor Ashtons manual and realised that I was tapering too fast but I had got to the stage where I was in despair whilst using the wretched things - so didnt want to prolong the agony. My worst time by the way is first thing in the morning. I awake with surges of fear, dread and depression rushing through my body. I dont want to get up but I am too agitated to stay in bed. Each day starts with this awful negativity. I was trying not to use coffee as I realise I should not have a stimulant. Sometimes I can get over this part of the day without but at others I coax myself out of bed with the promise of a cup! You asked if tramadol was the same as other opiates to come off. I have been off for 68 days today and really believe it is harder than just plain old opiates. The antidepressant properties cause a good deal of the grief I think.

Newway I appreciate your empathy and as you say I cant go back now!  (Fred is right when he talks about investments!) I know how you feel too with your suffering whilst on the two drugs.  This is what I couldnt stand and so I went c/t off tramadol and then 38 days later did a very rapid taper from the rest. It was awful and as I said yesterday - still is. is honestly no worse now than it was when I was on the drugs. Its not hard not to go back on them because they brought me no joy in the end - just kept me sick. My biggest fear is that I will choose not to live. I got very close to that point a few weeks ago and it is very much the support of this site (and of a couple of lovely people in particular who sent me messages) that I am still here. That awfulness is not so prevalent now though.

I was concerned about coming off the antidepressant but I wanted to try the NET machine and I was only allowed to do that if I was drug free. I believe that the depression was caused by my first attempt to come off tramadol in January and not a true clinical depression. Hopefully it will go when I am free of all the rubbish.

Also Newway you may have read on the posts that the two drugs interact to make one another more powerful. This means that when you leave off one you will probably w/d from the other because the effect will be lessened. I certainly found this but madtram and KC put me right. It is so hard to know how best to do this and I can see why yuou are thinking of increrasing the benzo's. I would just say to be careful though as I think these are harder to come off and take longer.

Today has been better than yesterday but yesterday was worse than the day before - so no pattern at all to be guided by! I can only face tomorrow when it comes and hope to get through it.

Loved the story about your shoes grandmagirl. (Didnt think I could still laugh until I read that!)

Fred is right about another thing too. I do have a good and wise friend in KC.  (Thank you KC).

I hope my experiences are as helpful to some of you as yours are to me.


Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Oct 01, 2009
Hi everyone.  My last post was Sunday: Day 7 clean. Today is Day 11.  My sis had a baby so I haven't been on the computer since Sunday.

I haven't had sweats for a while and I don't have those inner ear tremors, but I still feel weird.  Driving for five hours to see the baby on Tuesday was good.  Driving back home today was good.  It was still difficult to focus at work on Monday (Day 8 clean), but I am hoping it'll be better tomorrow.  It's funny that now that I am off the drugs, I am out-of-it at work.  

I still have a healthy/raging appetite.  In the posts above, there were a few mentions of sneezing.  I definitely sneezed a lot the first five days off the t, but that has subsided.  When I was on the t, I don't think I sneezed at all.
Light body tingles are still with me and insomnia as well.  I wake up every hour during the night.

All in all, I have felt about the same for the last 5 days: still feeling the effects of w/d but being more or less functional.

I wish Newway, Ana, Vin and Chrissie the best of luck in kicking this.  It's tough but it's worth it.

Fred, I am so glad that you post even when you don't intend to.  Reading your posts has helped me greatly.
Pollycat,   YAY!!!!  You did it.  Looking forward to reading your updates.

Avatar universal
by James1207, Oct 01, 2009

Could I be addicted?  I've been taking 2 50mg for almost 2 years for headaches mostly.  Although even when my headaches weren't there i found myself taking the tramadol beacuse I felt "better."  I quit cigarettes after 28 years 6 months ago, expecting to feel better, but I feel worse, much worse.  I'm tired all the time and in the afternoons I get feeling awful.  To top it off my joints are hurting badly, I guess I have arthritis, but no insurance.  I don't know what to do.  Honestly I've thought about the worst.  I feel like I can't get better.

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 01, 2009

In many cases coming off too fast DOES prolong the agony.  I made that mistake with klonopin and prednisone as well.  I was on prednisone for Chrons Disease.  Prednisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory steroid which just about completely shuts down your adrenal glands(cortisol production).  You MUST taper off of prednisone or else you run the risk of permanently damaging your body and adrenal function.  After shutting down your adrenal glands, once you stop prednisone, the gland just isnt strong enough to resume its normally body functioning. Its like not using a muscle for a long time.. if you suddenly use it for a strenous activity you run the risk of tearing the muscle.     This is similar to how a benzo works in your brain by supressing the GABA neuotransmitters.. the benzo tranquilizer replaces that functionality and the part that produces GABA(natural tranquilizers), shuts down.  When you cold turkey a benzo, all the sudden you get a adrenaline, dopanime, norepiniphren running out of control without the GABA to calm them down.  This is why you have ridiculous anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, out of body experiences, de-realization, and a whole ton of other symptoms not listed. It IS possible to recover this way, but it may take months or years and I have seen plenty of hardcore benzo people so lost in their minds its almost like they aren't human anymore.  This of course depends on your use, abuse, any other drugs you've used, and overall health.  

What I had to do, was after stopping klonopin, was go back on it and re-stabilize for a period of 2 weeks.  I HATED to do it because i felt like I was being weak...but this was truly my only option.  I was having a panic attack 24/7 and crying all day long for about a week. My head would just repeat songs and things people said over and over.  Even thinking about moving my arm, walking, moving my car, making food, would send me into the worst panic attack of life.  The way concept I adopted was one of physical therapy.  If you are in bed for a 2 months due to injury or illness, you need to SLOWLY get out of bed, and first, just sit up, then walk, and then walk further, and then maybe start to exercise before can live again.  If you just jump out of the bed, do 100 pushups, situps, etc before you are built up again(cold turkey), you are just going to hurt yourself and you will be right back where you started.  Cutting a benzo slowly is like reverse physical as stable as you can coming off of it, listen to your body, and when your body says you are stable, then you cut a tiny bit again and wait until re-stabilization.  That is how i did it.  It took a while(a year), but I was MUCH better off.  Not one panic attack from this method.  

The reason your anxiety is worse in the morning is due to your spike of cortisol in the morning(energy producing).  This is part of the mechanism that triggers you to wake up.  By not producing enough of your bodies own tranquilizer, this runs amuck and you get the overwhelming anxiety and panic.  This quells a bit as the spike of cortisol starts to come down as the morning goes on.    

In my opinion, if you do not improve at all in another week or 2, re-stabilize on diazapam(take a few mg at a time until you calm down), and once you find your stable level... wait there for a week or 2.   You probably are going to feel less than perfect, but this is a necessary evil.  This will keep your anxiety lower(it wont be perfect), but it will allow your body to be more stable as you taper off.  Once you are off, it will still take months before you start to feel normal again...but it will happen.   If you see some improvements over the next week or 2, try another week or 2 and see if you have more improvements.. if so I say stay off it as your body is indeed healing.

Anymore questions let me know

P.S.  My mind is more clear tonight so I can remember all this stuff :).  Hope it continues!!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 01, 2009
Another good day at work where I have been very vocal in warning people of the dangers of tramadol and codeine.Have suggested to many people to use only aleve or ibuprofen and tylenol with muscle relaxants if needed.I have really stressed the rebound pain that occurs with narcotics.Suggesting epsom salt soaks and some customers say it has helped.I only needed 2 aleve and 2 robaxacets today.Felt almost no pain at all.Life is good.

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 01, 2009
Welcome James,

It sounds as though you are experiencing the joys of Tramadol - when I got to the spot you are - I increased the amount - again and again and again.  This ugly drug makes you increase your use or feel terrible. You are in a constant state of withdrawal.
Read the posts - it can get better and it does. That is what I am holding onto - the stories of those who have fought the battle and are feeling better.  Reading the **** they have gone through calms me down - what I am feeling is normal.
I am exhausted all the time - I do not remember the last time I have felt even close to good.  Most of the time it is a big pit of despair.
Know that you are not alone - keep posting, reach out to those your relate to.  There is hope.
Hang in there.

I am still at the what the hell do I do stage?  Has anyone looked into a medical detox or rehab?  Or do the Dr's just recommend tapering.
I have got to do something - I do feel completely exhausted most of the time.  My goal right now is to try and get my business in order so my staff can run it without me for a while.  It will probably take at least a few weeks to a month - if I can focus.  Then I can just stop and go through the hell.  I've gotten myself into such a mess - If I lose my business - my partner and I will lose our home.
As always the strength and the courage here is amazing.  I also love that those of you that have maintained your sobriety stick around here to help us out, lend us your experience.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 02, 2009
Newway,  I really like the fact that you making a way out and are determined to get off this drug.   Timing is EVERYTHING.  By this time, you have gained so many insights into the affects of this drug on a person and are even encouraging others.    

James, I agree with Newway.   Even though your daily dose hasn't been huge, I'd be willing to bet that you are in constant withdrawal and you just don't know it for what it is.  You said, "I'm tired all the time and in the afternoons I get feeling awful.  To top it off my joints are hurting badly, I guess I have arthritis."  When I was on this drug, I ached in joints I didn't even know that I had.  I was tired all the time except when I took the dose my body demanded.

Unfortunately, this drug doesn't come with a play book.  If the drug came with warnings(I am sure there were), most of us discarded them with the plastic bag we brought home from the pharmacy.

Let me state the obvious.  Tramadol never made me feel WELL in six long years.  The best I could EVER hope for was to feel less UNWELL by taking as much of the drug as my body demanded.  

Old timers, you'll have to forgive me for repeating Fred's Theory on the only three options for tramadol users.  Anyone EVER taking this drug at one time or another falls into one of just THREE catagories.  Considering all of the differences between us all, is it true that we fall into just ONE of three classes?  Listen and pick your class.  Because for all the differences between us in age, geography, emotional make up, vocation, sex, education, humor, intelligence, and social status, falls into one of three slots.

I came up with this theory OF THREE after analyzing the affects of this drug on myself for more than six years.  It is based in large part on research into that term, TOLERANCE and it's implications of the tramadol user.  And I have deduced my theory after months and months of observation on the longest running tramadol forum around (thank you Emily) of thousands and thousands of posts (here) from people like you and me.  But for those of us like myself, who simply bump along in agony for years on this drug aren't aware - aren't told about this stuff.   Until one day in despiration, we google something like "tramadol withdrawal" and we fight through the online ads by places like "".  We come to know this is so true.

TOLERANCE  applies to many other things, but for our purposes, it  is that way in which our body reacts to tramadol.   Simply put, the same amount of this drug over time, will do less and less for us.  Since I got here in early December last year, I have intentionally avoided all the talk about chemistry, receptors, blah blah blah.  My brain isn't big enough to analyze all that stuff so I stick to what I have felt and observed in others like me.  An unoffical behavorial scientist, that's me.

Not everything in life takes more and more of a person and gives less and less in return.  But that's tramadol's gig.  If it would take eight glasses of water a day to hydrate myself adequately ten years ago, I expect that the same eight glasses of water would work just as well today.  If 2,000.-2,500.  calories a day would have maintained my weight ten years ago, that same number of calories would maintain my weight today.  Both of these examples illustrate things that we do not, by nature, develop tolerance to.

Not so with many drugs, including tramadol.   I FELT LIKE THE CAT'S MEOW THAT FIRST MONTH OF TAKING JUST ONE 50MG ULTRACET A DAY.  But after some months went by, I discovered that I felt just like James described above with one pill/day.   My body had become tolerant to that dose, such that unless I wanted to feel exactly like James described above every day, I had to increase my dose.   This occurs to good and bad people alike.   Over the years, in order to feel LESS UNWELL, my dose had increased to 400 mg./day. and I was still feeling like hell.   My body was screaming at me to take more just to feel less unwell, but that's all my doctor would prescribe.  I wasn't aware people could buy this online.  

Withdrawal symptoms occur any time the amount we take is less than the amount our bodies scream at us to take on any given day.   And the amount our bodies demand increases over time due to the tolerance we build up to any given dose.

My solution those last few years was to take that amount my body demanded just so I wasn't feeling unwell at the beginning of every rx cycle.   Which left me counting , sadly under funded in the tramadol department and in major withdrawal at the end of every cycle.  Does anyone relate???  Is this ringing any bells?

THE CASE FOR COLD TURKEY:   First, I want to clearly say that if any person can successfully taper, god bless you.   But my  own experience month after month, led me to conclude that so long as I was feeding the beast to a lesser degree than the beast was demanding, I would feel withdrawal pain. End of story.

I knew RLS and all of the other classical symptoms experienced by every person withdrawing from this drug LONG before I tried to quit.  I just didn't know them as "withdrawal symptoms".     You see, I TAPERED every month as the three week RX cycle wore along, from 10-12 pills/day to 8 pills/day to at best 3-4 pills/day  that last week of every prescription cycle.   NOPE, I was on a "forced taper" every 21 days, and THAT was what I was attempting to break free of.  It's as a result of that regular forced taper month after month that I came so naturally to my views on why I simply HAD to eventually stop this drug cold turkey.  I tapered every month and honestly, THAT withdrawal pain was no more restful, no less agonizing THAN HOW I FELT FOR 4-5 DAYS WHEN I EVENTUALLY DETERMINED I SIMPLY  HAD ENOUGH.  When I  once and for ever finally pushed through to allow the tramadol to flush from that body it had once controlled month after month - year after year.   So while I am a proponent of cold turkey, it's not like I never tried to taper like a gentleman.

I began by saying that I believe that every tramadol users falls into one of THREE CATAGORIES:

1.  LIVE THE HELL:   Those like James, who are not taking sufficient quantities of the drug to feel less unwell.  People in this
     class will be in a constant state of withdrawal, except that most don't recognize their symptoms for what they are - not
     keeping up with the demands of the beast.   James, take a couple more pills.  You'll feel

     Once our bodies have developed tolerance to a given dose, unless we enjoy living in constant state
     of hellish withdrawal symptoms , our only real options are to move ON along to  2 or 3 below.

2.  FEED THE BEAST:  Those who have addressed the tolerance that by the nature of the drug, our bodies build up to every
     given dose.    Sadly, these are the people taking 20-30pills per day.   And who knows the upper end this BEAST will
     demand of us?
      Some have testified that they require 50 pills/day or more simply to feel less unwell.  I'm not a doctor or a chemist, but this
      can't be a safe, healthy option/solution.   There but by the grace of God would I have gone.   Instead, I wallowed in # 1 and
      jumped to # 3.   I was no better and no worse than people feeding the beast all it demands of us.

3.  STOP THE MADNESS:  Yes the first week is hell, and post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) linger for "weeks and
     weeks".   But what other choices might anyone suggest?   Certainly # 1 and # 2 are no way to live.  

This drug takes your name, kicks you to the curb, and will continue to take more and more of us in time, giving us less and less in return.  

"Thomas Recipe" can make the way easier, but we cannot and SHOULD NOT expect an EASY way out.   Not after all this TRAMADOL has put each of us through.   But if we approach our exit - expecting the way to be soft and gentle, we are lost from the start.   There is NO kind, soft way of defeating this beast.   It's ONLY when we become determined to do WAR with this drug, for one week, determine to cover up, hold on, and not give in,  that we stand any chance to escape the clutches of this awful master.

But like I have said before.  I guess it's no big deal, huh?

It's just a matter of life of death.


Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 02, 2009
Thank you for taking the trouble to post your advice and opinion Vinnie. I have to say that I am devastated and discouraged. I appreciate that you have given me the benefit of your experience but of course it isnt what I want to hear.(This is not your fault. You have given me an honest opinion and I have to make up my own mind.)  I cannot face going back on the diazepam, not because I see it as a weakness, but because I am so glad to be free of drugs in my system. Also this has been such a rollercoaster ride and I have tried absolutely everything to get rid of my addiction. (including body detox at vast expense, admission to pyschiatric unit and neuro electrical therapy.) I cant bear to have wasted all that effort and time.

I was never on more than 15mg of diazepam and mostly on 10mg. This was over a period of 6 months. I do feel that I am improving slowly but it is still very hard most of the time. Now I am in panic that this will last for years as I did it too quickly!

Please folk - is there anyone who can encourage me over this. Is there anyone else who did things this fast and came through. I have been suicidal on here in the past and thought those feelings had passed - but I am very vulnerable again at this minute.

Thank you.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 02, 2009
I must just clarify. That is 15mg or 10mg daily. (Not a dose!)

Also I want to say that the reason I am feeling so down over this is because I am vulnerable and easily stressed due to a wretched year of withdrawing from a sub theraputic dose. (James - sounds as though you are in the same boat!) and then going through tough w/d for real! It is no reflection on your advice Vinnie. Just the way my poor worn out mind processes information that scares me. Even so I am hoping someone will disagree with you and offer me hope. I am certainly feeling better than when I was on the rotten drug - and the shaking is no where near as bad.


Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 02, 2009
Chrissie.... you are going to be ok I promise!!!  I apologize for increasing your anxiety!  I only meant to say that you have options.. yes they are rotten, but they are options indeed so you are not without hope.  Even the worst people can start back at a stable doseage and come off of it if they have to!!.

I was taking 1 mg of klonopin for a day for months(the cross tolerance is 20 mg of diazapam).   Once I decided to get rid of it, it took alot of "oh my god ill never get better" days, etc for me to decide to do it, figure out how to do it, trial and error, etc.  Trust me, when I was at my worst...I couldn't process any information either.  everything was terrifying!  "what if i dont get better, i cant live like this, even a psych ward cant help me"..and yes i was in the psych ward too.

You have been on it only for 6 months.  And at a fairly low doseage.  That is why you WILL recover!  The people who get whacked out are the ones who take this stuff for years/decades and take 50-100+ mg of diazapam(or equivalent) a day!.  

What you are going through now is pretty bad for sure and i know because i have gone through it exactly.  The fact that you are already seeing some improvements bodes extremely well!  Your poor body is not as weak as you think.  In fact, when i was at my worst, i couldnt even use the computer, or put sentences together!  I had forgotten how to spell the word 'the' while playing scrabble in the psych unit.  

I'd say you should stay off of it.. and you will SLOWLY improve as the weeks go by.  Just keep as busy as you can(hard to do i know) and let the days pass.  Eventually you will actually be able to distract your mind by watching tv, listening to music, or reading!  at my worst i coudnt do anything, even shower, i just sat in the bathtub all day crying or i was pacing around my farm for hours crying my eyes oout panicking lost in my mind.  But I got better.  You are actually improving faster than I did..and im a young pup yet :).

Keep fighting!!! Write your feelings down every day in the morning and at night.   Each week do a review, and i bet you will start to see a pattern of improvement(this is what i did).  


Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 02, 2009
Bless you for that Vinnie. I am easily discouraged at the moment.

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 02, 2009
I know!  That feeling of dread of the future is just out of this world.  But You are gonna get better.  I'm telling ya, being really bad off you wouldn't even be able to sign on to this messageboard and sign your name!!!  I've seen pretty close to the worst of the worst, and you are no where NEAR it!  I bet this time next week, you will have had at least parts of a few days where you felt better.  maybe not a whole day, and maybe not more then a few hours..but enough to think sometimes "maybe this will really be over".    But at least you know for sure whats wrong with you now, you have the knowledge, and you have a good support system here.   Its just a matter of time before you are better.


Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Oct 02, 2009
Hi newway
I posted the other day (Sept 18th) asking the same question. I am seriously considering 'doing it'. I also would ask people again if they have experienced a medical detox? You sound to be in exactly the same position as I am. I tried cold turkey, but failed (and I am strong physically and mentally!   ...    or was!!!). I tried tapering but was unable to do anything - like being in a reduced c/t for days/weeks on end. (See my tracker/journal to give you an idea of how lost and floundering I am. To give you an idea (out of your reach!) of a not too radical detox, see website If I do ahead I will post, (with all the nasties and goodies about the program) Meanwhile all I can suggest (what I am trying to do) stay at a constant level per day - as low as you can bear, I guess. I have dropped to 400+, but try and keep it there. Even at that I am not much use. You have my support, support, support, support and more support. tram

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by KC67, Oct 02, 2009
I agree with Vin in that ONLY if you are completely unable to function, should you re-instate your diazepam.  

You asked for any survivors of a quick already know this...but I survived a quick taper.  I am now 4 months clean of benzos and 8 months clean of Tramadol.

Yes, I STILL have bad withdrawal days...not sure if it is still lingering Tram. healing symptoms, benzo healing symptoms, or a combination of both.  But thank GOD I hardly ever experience that intense morning dread...also the evening dread of having to attempt to sleep...then the middle-of-the-night dread where you are wide awake and dreading being wide awake.

I thought my withdrawal symptoms would NEVER go away and like many of you on this forum, I thought I was permanently "messed up" - "bonkers" - and that I was doomed to live out the rest of days like this.

The brain is an amazing organ and with all the drugs I put into my body (anti-depressants, anti-anxietys, benzos, and Tram), my brain (like Vin said) needs some long-term physical therapy.  Time.  Time. Time.  So hard to wait.

For anyone out there who is thinking about cold turkey - I agree with Fred.  I was suffering each month from unintentional withdrawals due to running low on my supply.  Fred was right when he said that the suffering he endured each month while "tapering" was JUST AS BAD as the first week cold turkey for me.  So, I figured if I had to suffer anyway, I might as well just jump off.  There have been no documented cases of someone suffering a seizure from going CT from Tramadol.....Benzo cold turkey??? yes, there are documented cases that it is not wise to go cold turkey.  But the only documented seizure related cases from Tramadol was when someone was ON Tram or suddenly increased their doseage.

So, just wanted to encourage everyone to fight this battle whichever way works for you....
*CT or taper
* Taking time off work or using work as a distraction (I agree with Grandmagirl that although it was VERY difficult to get up and go to work while withdrawing from Tram, it truly did provide a distraction for me- especially when the mental/emotional symptoms kicked in).  The days went so much faster while working.
*going someplace to detox or doing it yourself and coming here to this forum for support.

We all have the same goal get off Tramadol and STAY off Tramadol.  It doesn't matter how you get there, but that you arrive.

Sincerely with hope and love,

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 02, 2009
Hang in there Chrissie

you are as determined as anyone I have ever seen - you will do this - but like Fred said - there is no softer, easier way right now - just time.
I am trying to see it as enduring the chemo to beat the cancer - to get the strenght up to do this.  Anyone going through chemo - knows it is going to be hell, that they are in a fight for their lives - they don't expect to feel good - they pray to live, and eventually to feel better.
For an addict - it is a matter of life and death - it's just not staring us in the face like the horrors of Cancer.

Try and just take it one day at a time - and keep focused on the goal - to get your life back, to be free of the disease.  Accept that it is going to be tough - but that you will come out the other side.

You are helping me - you and the others that are roughing it out.  I see your strength, I know what to expect, and I can see it in the posts as people start to feel a bit better - the hope creeps back in.  Then I see posts like Freds - I'm pretty sure I have killed way too many brain cells to ever be able to communicate with his clarity - but I think - here's a guy who has gone through the hell - and he is doing well, he has hope, a desire to live, a nod to the future.  
That's what I want - to wake up in the morning, happy that the day is before me - I haven't had that in years.    

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 02, 2009
Just checking in,
Well, with some off the anti anxiety stuff, I am getting through I definitely can report tingly pains alot yesterday..And today I woke up feeling like new,. It DOES come in waves, its really annoying. The challenge for me now is to keep my eye on the ball.Get back to work and hopefully someday feel "almost normal" most the time..I do have better energy, but its not all there. I did run like 8 miles this morning.But something tells me I may pay for it tomorrow??Hmm.Cant sit still.
Just workin through...Dont want to be dependent on ANYTHING...Except, Love, Life, God, and the all things are possible thing.
I ran into an 18 year old kid yesterday maxing to work, ( these kids just start talking to me its hilarious!) I was a counselor, maybe its on my forehead..
His room mate has aids...
Even though I felt ******.
I know Im on my way back..Slowly..Some cant..We can..

Avatar universal
by Smoof, Oct 02, 2009
Just wanted to post a thanks to everyone for having this blog.  I had a surgery about a month ago, followed by some painful dental work.  Vicodin makes me too itchy to take so I asked for some Tramadol.  I discovered Tramadol through my sister who is a vet.  Here and there, once a month or less for cramps or a bad headache, the stuff seemed fine.  It would make me feel oddly productive, energetic, social, able to focus, and it would ease the pain with seemingly zero side effects or craving for it later.

So for a few weeks following this surgery I've been taking it for pain.  Probably 200-250mg a day.  Fortunately for me, I started feeling nauseous, and wondering how safe this drug really was.  Anything that makes me feel "good" seems questionable and suspect to me.  I am a naturally joyful person who enjoys simple things and despite a teary-eyed Oprah-show worthy childhood, managed to build a life free of most of the self-inflicted burdens most seem to suffer.  That being said, I have always felt a tugging for a substance to make things more comfortable.  That "Unnatural" positive feeling is so attractive on a long boring day at work.  When instead with a pill I could be energized and interested in accomplishing every task.  One time someone who knew me well called me an "addict without a supplier."  The truth is, I'm aware of how easy it would be to get a supplier, but I resist because I know the negatives.  But I'm also aware I would basically be using it to treat ADD, minor social anxiety, things I actually don't need anything but some self reflection and my own natural goofy squirrel-monkey quirkishness to cope with.

My point is, until I found this forum I too was under the impression Tramadol was the good feeling and the pain relief without the negatives.  When I read the posts above I am very grateful I will not have to go through what you are dealing with, likely simply because I googled "Tramadol withdrawl" because I threw up at work two weeks into taking it.  I just know by sharing your experiences you have spared me the same.  

Obviously since it has only been two weeks I am cold turkeying it.  I haven't taken it in two days because of the nausea, while 35 pills sit in my purse not even remotely tempting me.  

I will spread the word, including letting my surgeon and dentist know what I have read.  

Thank you

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 02, 2009
Thank you all for taking the time to post and  give me such a lot of encouragement. I needed you today!

KC - I dont know what I would do without you!  Newway, I lost a friend to cancer in June and I have been thinking exactly the same way as you. She fought to the end and still lost. We have to fight on dont we?!  (And Polly has just confirmed that with her latest post)  Vinnie, I appreciate your kind and encouraging words too - thank you.

Today has been one of the worst for a while and I am not functioning too well. I so appreciate the absolute love on this site.

Tramman I just want to mention Detox 5. I know it is very expensive and I am wondering if it will do all you need with regard to tramadol. Fred talks about Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and I guess you will still have to go through that even after Detox 5. This is the hardest part I think (especially as it is so random). I did cold turkey from tramadol back in January and didnt find the physical w/d too bad. (Although I know some peope have had worse than I had). I went back on the drug due to the PAWS. I was going crazy with agitation and depression. Ten weeks ago when I withdrew c/t again, I went to a body detox centre and had colonics, infra red saunas and veggie juices. This cut out the worst physical w/d but then the PAWS began. I had believed that with the drug out of my system I would be okay. It was very upsetting to then have the very problems that I had hoped to avoid. I wouldnt want you to feel the same disappointment. The difference was that this time I knew that the drug had nothing to give to me and was taking my life - it had to go.

I would love Detox 5  to be the answer for you but I fear that you will spend your money and STILL have to go through the awfulness. As Emily, KC and many more have said - its straight up time!  I find that so hard.  I do hope I am wrong and that there is some special thing about the Detox 5  that will short cut you.

Meanwhile i am swallowing flower remdies, herbal meds and homeopathic 'stuff'. Anything that might calm this poor being of mine and let me sleep. I have no idea if its the tramadol w/d or the benzo w/d thats making me feel so bad. Probably a bit of each.

Yes Newway - to look forward to the day would be bliss.

God bless all.

Avatar universal
by James1207, Oct 02, 2009
Thank you so much Newway and Fred.  I had almost convinced myself I must have cancer or something.  I know I am taking this stuff even when I don't have headaches, and I know that's a good sign of addiction.  It's just i feel so awful and I feel ok after taking the 100mg.  I've never gone for more.  I don't know what to do.  Quitting smoking was so hard and I don't know if I can do that again.  I just can't figure out how these things can be so addictive and yet you don't even need a prescription.  Let's see, I can't get health care, but I can get addicted easy enough...

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 02, 2009
Wow,today was a bit of a b... at work.I worked 12 l/2 hrs and only sat down once.A cold rain outside and my back and joints ached.Not my feet this time.Persevered with aleve and extra strength tylenol and got thru the day.Am going up for my empsom salts soak.The pain pills I have been taking are just as effective as the codeine was and no rebound pain.I do stay at maximum 8 extra tylenol and 4 aleve.Usually 6 extra strength will do it and 4 aleve.A quick thought flashed in my brain that I would no longer be able to experience the slight high that comes with codeine,but it passed quickly and I forgot about it.I would rather not be plagued with rebound pain than feel a fleeting high.Keep up the good work everyone and I am still explaining the dangers of tramadol to everyone who is prescribed the drug.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 03, 2009
Wow, you guys wrote some beautiful, honest, meaningful things today.   Reading all of them just might keep me sober  another day.  Thank you.  

Pharma, are you confident that you won't loose your job - saying what you say to people at work?   LOL   Fred

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 03, 2009
I wont lose my job..I'm married to the owner.I do not refuse to fill these prescriptions,just warn everyone who gets tramadol of the dangers and not to assume that it is a harmless alternative to narcotics.People are thanking me.That is part of my job..I call it nagging..I nag diabetics to watch their diets..smokers to quit smoking..and very diplomatically control people who are overdoing it with benzos etc.Sometime I consider myself a policeman of drugs.People can get very ugly when they can not get their prescriptions early.I slept well last night and feel so rested today.I noticed that I spelled epsom salts wrong yesterday.Was a long dayNo pain this morning at all.Off to another day.No rebound pain...wowsie I am so happy.Keep trucking everyone,my thoughts are with you for weekends are often hard to get thru.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 03, 2009
Can someone give me a link to Emily's journals please?

Not a good day today. Keep having weird feeling in solar plexus (agitation, nausea and retching feeling) is this craving? Been there day and night for about 10 days -  not fun.

On Tuesday afternoon I actually felt normal for about 3 hours. So disappointing when the agony returns isnt it. I keep trying to think what I did to make it good - but as everyone says its random random random!

My heart aches for you James. I know just what you mean, its just that maybe soon the 100mg wont be enough (its lying to you at the moment)  and then you get in deeper.  When you get off (and I am sure you are getting close now) you will find more help on this site than you could ever imagine. As you will see I regularly spill my agony all over the place and someone always helps.

Hope everyone out there is doing okay.
Love Chrissie

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by 12Stepper, Oct 03, 2009
Hi Chrissie, Just quickly, because I'm still not familiar with navigating this site, one thing that has worked for me is clicking on "previous" on the top right of this journal. That will go chronologically back to the beginning. It has helped me several times to reread what the old masters here went through and glean their strength and hope from the beginning. I too think this is the best place to find solace. All the best, Linn

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by 12Stepper, Oct 03, 2009
Wow, I am amazed at the developments here--more people, more knowledge, more strength and determination. It is beautiful to behold. I am still catching up on reading all your posts, so forgive me for being out of the loop.

It is good to see a pharmacist in the community. I had a very invalidating experience when I went to my doctor and spoke of the lingering effects of tram w/d. She told me that it's out of my system (4 mos.) and that I shouldn't be experiencing any related symptoms. The ignorance is truly amazing.

It's discouraging since people are suffering so badly with the long-term side effects --depression, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, lassitude, anxiety--including the physical ones--and the professionals tell you it couldn't be the tramadol. I'm so glad to see that this site is gaining momentum and that it offers real hope to those of us affected.

I think we have a much greater knowledge base about this stuff than many doctors, and there are lots of good articles on Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome "PAWS" available online. The medical people here are immensely helpful in explaining the technical side of withdrawal and why it takes so much time.

Time is what it takes. All I need is a recipe for patience. I'm trying to go easy on myself right now, remembering that many illnesses take time to recover from, and there's a limit to what we can do to speed things along. Worrying and beating ourselves up is not productive, though I've done my share of both. It helps if I remember that, no matter what, it's a good day if it's another day between me and tram.

Really great to see all my fellow warriors still here. Love and strength to all. Linn

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 03, 2009
Hey guys.

I've been fluctuating but i'd say there is an updwards trend.  Today is day 8 for me.  Tonight is the first night wiht a 98.6 temp reading.  By fluctuating, i mean sometimes I get my energy back and feel like im on the way to being me...and then a few hours later i get the tingly/cold feelings in  my legs/feet and my hands.  The anxiety is also fluctuating..its always the worst in the AM.  Yesterday AM wasnt as bad..but this morning was pretty rough.  I am still not sleeping great and waking up with sweats.  My mind is coming back though and my intelligence and memory are returning.  Depression hasnt been overpowering but I can definatly feel it(i am on paxil and wellbutrin tho).  Usualy in the afternoon i get like a burning feelin in my body and i will go from hot to cold etc, but its not been quite as bad.   Sometimes though, it feels like i get this manic rush of energy.  It feels kinda good but its too overwhelming.  its like my mind is racing and all that.  but it doesnt last more then a few hours..seems to be mostly in the evenings.  

All in all, tramadol is definatly a whacky withdrawal and not as linear as other opiates.  Hopefully the upward trend continues.

Chrissie - Keep hanging in there.  You still are experience benzo withdrawal mostly with maybe some lingering tramadol withdrawal.  Benzo withdrawal just takes time.  The windows you get(like on tuesday), will come out at the weirdest times and it will drive you nuts thinking of ways to make it happen again!   I stil remember how weak mentally i felt during the withdrawal(benzo..and even now the pain killers).  Everything is just too hard to do..typing on the internet, eating, showering, walking, doing anything that you think is a responisbility.  That all would terrify me and i just wouldnt move.  I am normally an out going, leader type of person, and this stuff reduced me to the tiniest creature in the world..very humbling.  But I did..and am recovering.  

Pharma - How many days are you off codeine/tramadol?  I beleive you were right when you told me most of my pain was withdrawal pain...the past 2 days i haven't need anything more than tylonal!

James- hang in there.  Making the leap is tough... but almost everyone here who has been off and detoxed of drugs for a period of time is very happy they did it from what i've read.  You will be suprised at how much your mind comes back... and there is a great support system here.  I am suprised actually at how great the support is here...this place has kept me from being lost in my mind wondering whats normal and if i am crazy or not.  

One day i will come back and read my posts just to see how much I have recovered.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 03, 2009
It has been 3 weeks and no codeine at all.I only tried 2 tramadol so do not consider any withdrawal from T.I had taken codeine for 15 years for rheumatoid arthritis pain and now that it is out of my system and my own endorphins are starting to work I really feel no more pain than when taking codeine.As I said before,extra strength tylenol,aleve,and robaxacet work just fine with no rebound pain.2 extra strength robaxacet at night after a long day and usually 2 to 6 extrastrength tylenol and 2 to 4 aleve a day.No codeine at all.Before I quit codeine entirely I was down to 2 Tyl3 a day.Still got the withdrawal but only for a few days.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 03, 2009
Vinnie.I am so glad you are having less pain.Do you find that sometime it goes away on its own?The above dose that I mentioned is on a not such good day when it is cold and damp and I have been on my feet for 12 hrs or more with no sitting down.On a good restful day I often need only a couple aleves and tylenols.I just love NOT HAVING REBOUND PAIN.Its so great to get up in the morning without a headacheand to go to bed without my feet throbbing.I truly do not have as much pain as before.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 04, 2009
Chrissie, 12stepper and others:   You guys were asking about how to view Emily's personal journal entires.  

I am not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to navigating the interweb machine, but here's my take on this place.   This about the 20th thread started by Emily.  As one gets up to about 200 or there abouts, it begins to run really slowly, so she generally begins a new one.  It is true that if you click on "previous" in the upper right hand corner, you will be redirected to the thread immediately prior to THIS one.   I suppose that if you kept doing that 20 times (or thereabouts, you would reach the beginning.  

to my knowledge, her first thread was entitled "Day 45" or some such thing.   I think that is the one we most arrive at and some of us still ventue back there (350 posts, so it is REALLY slow now) just to leave a bread crub re-directing new people to the current thread.

But each time I want to re-read Emily's early journal entires, I click on he icon/picture and go to her profile page.  If you scroll down on the left you will find her earliest jounral entires and if you click "see all", you can read all of her early stuff, which I continue to find motivational.

At times past, I have encouraged people (especially newcomers) to begin to record their own journal entries, which one can do from your own profile page.   You will never have a second chance to record your early WAR with this drug.  It is helpful to journal there or elsewhere to have something to one day look back to.

Those of us who have been around for a while have posts sprinkled all over these threads.  It would take days and days to wade through all of the posts to look just for one given person's posts.  

By coincidence, I just began a little reconcilliation project yesterday - to copy and past my early "posts" into my profile page journal.  

Emily has begun a marvelous work here and I don't claim to understead all of the "ins and outs".  


Hi all!  I'm new  here and I am currently getting off of tram's.  I had a torn rotator cuff in 2006.  I had a surgery on it in 2007 and then another in 2008.  I was initially prescribed Vicoden.  So for two years I took Vicoden and saw that I had a really big prob.  I asked the dr. for something not so strong and was prescribed Tramadol.  So I have been taking them since late 2008.  I have tried 2 times before to stop c/t and with no taper and that didn't work out well at all.  I have been tapering and this morning at 730a -it will have been 2 days since I have had any tram's.  It's now 545a and I have slept for all of 25 minutes.  I'm soo tired.  I wish that I could sleep.  So far for me the w/d's have been tolerable with the exception of insomnia.  I still have a few trams left from my taper but the desire to take them is not as strong as my desire for clean living.  I am so determined to not go back down this road ever again.  Thank you for this site and for all of you wonderful people.  Thank you and peace and blessings to you all!

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 04, 2009
Dear Sick and tired - well done for making a start. Insomnia is a real bummer though and most of us are struggling with it. I 'cobble' together a few hours a night by sleeping an hour at a time. (Not very refreshing). I dont claim to have any answers but I do take lots of things that may or may not help. I consult a medical herbalist and he makes me up a remedy. I also take Avena Sativa drops for relaxation late evening and again at bedtime. And then very often I will use the homeopathic remedy coffea 100 also. I dont know which (if any) work. I just know that I am so desperate for sleep that I dont want to leave anything off just yet!!!  Sometimes I actually go for 2 hours without waking and that a real bonus but I never know what the night will bring until it happens. (Having stopped diazepam and a sleeping tablet I had expected worse - just hope it doesnt come!)

Today I went to church.  My daughter and family were taking part in the service and I wanted to support them. I found it a huge ordeal being among people and feeling so weird but I did it  - and this is an improvement as 3 weeks ago it would not have been possible. I didnt feel able to go home for lunch with them though and this was disappointing. I just wish I could enjoy things. I coped with my panic/anxiety attacks this morning by breathing into a paper bag. (A really old remedy!) It actually helped and enabled me to get into the church.

Good news about the temperature Vinnie. Lets hope that means the Lymes disease isnt part of the equation anymore.

Thanks for tips about the journals Fred.

(It helps if I remember that, no matter what, it's a good day if it's another day between me and tram.) Great motto from you  Linn.

I am sitting here alone and 'tuning' in to my new family on this site. Most of the time I wonder how I will make it through the next minute, let alone the next hour, day and month. Desperation floods over me and I can see no way out - and then I read of the folk who DID make it - and still come back to help the likes of me. I really couldnt do without all you 'wounded warriors' thank you so much.

Love Chrissie

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 04, 2009
Sick and tired have you tried the epsom salt soaks to relax and relieve the muscles?My big reward at the end of the day is 2 extra strength robaxacet i hr before bed.It relaxes me and keeps the pain away.I need to also take the aleve to keep the inflammation down.I always thought my pain would only respond to codeine,but after the initial withdrawal and rebound pain stopped non narcotics pain meds work well.The maximum acetaminophen daily dose is 4000 mg ie 8 extrastrength tylenol or robaxacet or whatever.Maximum aleve daily dose is 1500 6 tabs daily.Those are  the max I have ever taken.I have to watch the aleve affecting the stomach and often take a zantac.I don't see why you could not try an antihistamine sleep aid like benadryl or doxylamine at night.Often an antihistamine can help the pain relieving effects of pain pills.I like your statement that your desire for clean living is greater than the desire for drugs.That is similar to what I have said"you have to want the clean life more than the drugged life"I am so glad you have chosen the clean life because in the end your pain will lessen and you will be able to cope with non narcotic drugs.I am luckier than a lot of you because I only had or should I say have a codeine addiction and did not have to withdraw from benzos or tramacet.
I came here to research using tramadol as an alternative to codeine and viola...were my eyes opened.I am constantly amazed that once the initial withdrawal pain subsided,I have almost no pain.My head is not throbbing in the morning and my feet do not throb.Keep up the good work and you truly will be rewarded and you will like yourself so much more..

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 04, 2009
Hi guys. Its me:)
Its day 11 of (zero.and tram-free)...I think Im on track with Lisa which is kind of fun???Arent you also on day 11 at least last time..I think Im actually behind you a couple days...Any rate, the symptoms: lets see, days 10 and 11 are actually rising up to like, a 6 or 7.I feel pretty normal almost actually I sort of bounced out of bed...I cant remember who asked, but there does seem to be a lull in the middle of the day where I feel symptomatically speaking, icky, fatigued, in a fog, prickly tinglies, geez they should call this drug the tingles."get your tingles here". Any way, it goes away by night, but my symptoms specifically seem to come and go with regularity. I do my wonderful 8-9 milers in the am. before the "tingles' catch up later around three. I am finally having a rise ( some what more steadily) in energy, that is quite noticable.
For anyone who is just starting, the days 567 can be really up and down even though the acute stuff may be gone. Fred, I think in a week or so I can get back to my actual ( training) what IM doing right now is like...Um..Garbage miles so when Im over this WD I can push myself like on hills, repeats. ( Last week that would have been unimaginable and akin to pouring salt and acid in an already burning wound) So I am back to work this week, I do work part time, but with my band, runs, and my writing Im just trying to pace myself. I think one of the things I realized is this stuff, ( these pills of mass destruction) sort of capped my anxiety,worry, spazziness, and I felt I could run myself 100 miles an hour no resting allowed!!! I dont know if I mentioned it, but a month and 1/2 ago I had also done a half marathon,( on a bunch of pills) in the heat, felt nothing, won it. Then ended up in the hospital with heat stroke. I had to go back twice, I kept going downhill, and they kept IVing me..Finally it hit me...Im a big fat idiot. Running is my passion, I ran myself into the ground----on those meds---I felt no pain...It was shortly after that that I realized well,,obviously we "FEEL" things for a reason.....We are human, we need discernment, understanding, connection. I had turned off all feeling, and ran myself into a mess.. Im soo relieved to be past the "cabin" But the posts here, Vin, your story too, you are very wise, keep coming back,,the addictive piece will fight to get you, you fight right back.!!!Born fighters are like this, you have it in you!!!!Thanks for help. I am feelin pretty good today, there will be some challenges in my day, and some lulls of not feeling so great, but I pray that this is making me stronger...I see so much passion in all the people here, no meeting has helped me as much as knowing you guys are doing it with me...Power in numbers...I try to also remember that this is a long term fight, it isnt a um....Well thats done...OK...Nah, Im seeing so much in all you guys, strength, talent, courage, FRED, I hope your Law stuff goes well and returning is most likely causing some anxiety, but your stronger than youv been in a long time...Thanks all...

Dear pharma9- thank you so much!   I will try those and let you know how it works out for me. I am so looking forward to sleep!  :)                                                                                                                                                                  And to yllopcat, Oh I'm looking forward to being on Day 11!  Congrats!  

Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Oct 04, 2009
Yeah, Polly, I'm just a couple of days "ahead" of you.  At 8am, Sunday, two weeks ago today, I took my last two trams.  I did not know they would be my last two, but I am so happy they were.

So guess what.  I was cleaning and reorganizing the house yesterday and I found about 20 (I did not count them) trams in this change bucket I have.  I have no recollection of putting anything in there.  I must have done that a long time ago.
I immediately got them out and threw them in the toilet (and flushed).  I did not give myself any time to think about it or I know I would have taken them.  I am very proud of myself, but I honestly was afraid that taking any more would make the hard withdrawals come back once those pills were ate.

On day 14, I am feeling pretty good.  My friend gave me some sleeping pills which completely help with insomnia, but I get up as soon as the alarm goes off.  When I was on the trams, I snoozed for an hour.  I didn't sleep well on the trams either.  It was a weird, not deep, sleep.

My productivity around the house has increased about 100%. This is how I used to be w/o trams.  I still have some tingles, but I can deal.  

It's good to see new people on here getting clean!!!  I am here to say it's worth it.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 04, 2009
Lisa,You make me proud of you.You could have saved those trams for an emergency...WAIT..You are not going to have an emergency and you are never going to need them you did the right thing by flushing them away.That is a positive action that demonstrates you are in control of your new drug-free life.The minor lingering withdrawal effects are still way less than going back on tramadol.This is the first place I check in the morning when I get up and when I come home from work.I just love to read about the good and be able to encourage someone thru the bad days.Polly,you amaze me with your energy and passion for running.You have come a long way and when you get into serious training,you will probably be serious about diet and supplements and your body will become even stronger and healthier.Good luck to all of you.

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 04, 2009
Lisa is on 2 weeks and "feeling pretty good"
Polly on 11 days and feeling "almost normal"
Vinnie is hanging in there, sickandtired, and chrissy are fighting it out - and all the rest of you who are in the midst of your journey.  Courage and strenght seem to be your common thread - drawing on each other.

I feel like an idiot taking part, listening in on this forum.  I am still using - trying to cut down a bit and figure out my timing so I can take some time to take care of myself, take time off work for a few days.  But at the end of the day - I still haven't taken the important steps - talked to my Dr., stopped the internet repeat deliveries, told my partner.  
I got to a point I was so miserable - that I started looking into any way to stop (avoiding C/T ), Once I made the decision that it was the only way to go - I stalled.  
I've pretty much given up on the taper - even just decreasing a bit made me feel like hell.  I'd like to think that this is just so much harder on me - starting at such a high dose - but the truth is I'm just scared.
Not sure why - I'm miserable, exhausted and watching my life fall apart.  
The addict in me - this drug??  It makes no sense to hold onto it - I have been through ct before - I think it is this cycle, going through the hell to be back here in 6 months. When I read the posts - I believe you guys are going to make it, but I just not sure if the same will hold true for me.  I need to figure out how to get that resolve - that do or die attitude that will keep me going through the doubt, hold me during the times where I am losing hope.

(just me that wishes there was spell check?)

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 04, 2009
Newway,don't be discouraged.That do or die attitude is certainly what you need to be successful.It is extremely hard to resist the temptations of the drugs,but if you do not get your life in order,what is the alternative.Things could not be worse for you than they are right now.People depend on you for a job and you and your partner need each other.If you do not stop the tramadol,what do you see for yourself in the future.At least if you taper or ct you will have a future ahead of you.You may have some pain,OK lots of pain,but it will end and you will have a bright future ahead of you.What do you see for yourself if you do not stop.You made the important step to come here and I hope you will not be discouraged.Love yaz all

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 04, 2009
PS Newway.It is not your fault that you got addicted to tramadol.Doctors are touting it as a non narcotic alternative to narcotics with all these wonderful properties,antidepressant and no weight gain.An ideal drug according to big pharma.It would be very easy to get addicted to this drug because of how good it makes one feel and still is not considered a narcotic or even controlled drug.Even benzos are controlled and this drug is not.People innocently take it and then realize that they are hooked.We here do not blame you for your addiction and would like to see you happy and healthy.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 04, 2009
I have been on tramadol for about 4 years for sciatica pain.  It was only 50 mg each night.  Then I began having terrible leg pain.  I was tested for MS among other things with no answers.  My doctor told me to just increase from 50mg to 150mg per day because it was a "safe and nonaddictive drug!"  That was 2 yrs ago.  After a while it seemed I needed more but I couldn't get more.  My "light bulb" moment happened when my husband and I were sitting in his dr.'s office discussing solutions to his two ruptured disk last week.  The dr. told him about tramadol and that he wanted him to try it but that it could become habit forming.  I immediately said "WHAT DO YOU MEAN - HABIT FORMING".  Needless to say I was astonished when I came across these post (emily's first post til now).  None of the "medical websites" tell you this!

In my research, i found that it can actually make miagrains worse by causing rebound or residual headaches.  That makes sense to me because i have had to have more miagrain medicine (relpax) during the last 2 years than ever before.

I took only one 50 mg on Friday and one on Saturday.  I havn't had any since Saturday at 6pm and I am about to go nuts!   I will beat this stupid drug.  I keep reading these posts and taking advil.  And the most important thing to me is prayer - my motto is the verse from Philippians 4:13 - i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!.

I am now on the "bandwagon" and now that I am aware of this horrible pill, I will tell every health care provider I encounter about its "dirty little secret"!!!!

Hang in there everyone - there is power in numbers:)

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 04, 2009
YOU CAN DO It!! I know and many can relate I am sure that there ar 100's of little moments, before any of us finally "jumped". I had millions long before I got on here, talked to people who didnt keep me accountable ,Id cry because I thought Id never do it,  to people who thought it was "no big deal"!! I dont have any problem because its prescribed, and I was very , very, VERY scared to go to the cabin, last week, I just knew it was like signing my soul to hell. But IT DOES NOT LAST FOREVER< nothing does. And that means the pain of this too. There will come a time when you find, the support--if you need it, the skills, the plan of attack, and you will have covered many many bases.
Even then that stupid voice, "just one" remember it is just the beginning, dont be hard on yourself, you are amazing in coming here, this blogging dealie has saved my butt!!! That and running bazillions of miles!!LOL. You be good to you, and let yourself decide when its time, talk here as long as you need to. No one will push you, this is all your choice. You can do it, you can be as healthy as you want to be. How bad do you want it??
I still have a guy who I was in an engagement store with a month ago who barely is talking to me, but im working on me, thats All I really can do..And It feels sooo amazing when ANY of your energy comes back, thanks to Gods grace I was really worried and still do about that. But tomorrow is day 12, I want to keep waking up, with that little smile, wondering how my people are doing. You are one of us...Hang in...

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
Newway,Is there any way you can do a slow taper by only taking a limited number of pills with you to work and take aleve or advil for in between.Allow yourself a certain number of pills and only have that amount with you.When you get home you should not need the pills and try to limit yourself at home because you should be in less pain then.You will probably have some withdrawal between pills but it will pass.Maybe you can cope with things by a slow taper for this is as least better than continually increasing your meds.A slow taper is still better than doing nothing.My thoughts are with you and I hope the best for you.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 05, 2009
Newway - take heart - we have all been there. I took 7 months to jump off after realising I had a problem - but I didnt have the help of this forum then. I was prescribed tramadol in Sept 08. I realised I was addicted in Dec 08. I went cold turkey in Jan 09 and after 13 days was back on them. I cut the dose in half and spent the next 7 months in painful w/d without knowing what it was!  I also picked up a diazepam addiction along the way because that was how the doctor dealt with the anxiety attacks I had after reducing tramadol. What a mess and how angry I am with the medical profession!

And I am not a bit courageous and I certainly dont feel very strong. I am simply walking through the days and hoping that one day I will get up and be back in my own mind again. I too have read about Lisa and Polly and felt 'what about me'. I am so very glad for them that its going well. Really glad. But I do wish it was that way for me too and its not. But then as I am also w/d from benzo's I think this is causing me the bigger grief.

So you could well have the success of Polly and Lisa if it is tramadol alone you need to come off.  Once the physicals are over maybe you will be as well too. My mum died this year and I spent the whole of the money she left me on a body detox during my first week off tramadol. It definitely helped with the physical. I may not have done it if I had realised that I would still have the other symptoms - but maybe this would help you too. I know I could not have worked (and cant now) so you are doing very well.

I am so alone and would love to have a partner to help me through this. But if you are having to hide your problem then I can see that it is just another strain. I wish you could tell your partner and have some real support and lots of hugs.

Keb - so very well done!!!. You came into this the same way as me. Its so infuriating. I am also hanging on to that verse!

Last night I hardly slept. Today I dont know what to do with myself - but I am glad to be able to chat to my fellow warriors here.


Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 05, 2009

Chrissie - Definately hang on to that verse.  it got me through last night. i slept 2 hours totaly - maybe?!  This morning I couldn't get on my feet to help my children get ready for school.  Thank God for my wonderful husband.  I also told my mother and sister so that I am more accountable, their prayers are also needed, and I won't have to lie to them about while I am staying in the house for this many days.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions on over the counter meds that help with the horrid leg pain other than advil or goody's powder it would be welcome advice:)

My mother is coming today to help me with small chores and pick up my children.  I can't wait to see better days.

For everyone:  I am fascinated at the support and I too am cheering everyone on and praying for everyone's recovery.  This is so scary because I am a mother, wife,etc. etc. and never suspected I had an issue until that day at my husband's dr.'s appt.  Addicts (intentional or not) come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, etc  - but we all share a common bond - and I know we can help others through our experiences!

May God Bless Each One of You!!


Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 05, 2009
Thanks guys - you have no idea how much your support means.
Beating myself up has become a bit of a hobby of mine.

I am trying to taper - and have been for about a month now - I started at about 1000mg and am down to about 650mg.  I'm not sure how low I am going to go before I try to jump off.

I also have an addiction to benzodiazepams - but I am not dealing with that until after the tram horror is done.

I will keep on reading and posting - I will never do it if I don't stay focused on it - and no way could I do it without all of your help!

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 05, 2009
yes we're all here. smile. Leg pains....try epsom salts, really. They work. Jessica honey, where are you? Hi Fred and all...I'm very busy like you all, but Fred I will be contacting you about some medical studies. I need to get one more project off the ground and then I'm focusing on this know what I mean.
Hugs to all and especially emily. Chtissie, I'm thinking of you. newway and keb, and everyone, thinking of you all.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
keb777.Do you see how innocently your addiction started.I don't fault the medical people because they are fed a line from big pharma.I was on a pain specialist site to read about rebound pain and they are still touting tramadol as being non addicting and not as potent as narcotics.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
keb777.Do you see how innocently your addiction started.I don't fault the medical people because they are fed a line from big pharma.I was on a pain specialist site to read about rebound pain and they are still touting tramadol as being non addicting and not as potent as narcotics.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
keb777.Do you see how innocently your addiction started.I don't fault the medical people because they are fed a line from big pharma.I was on a pain specialist site to read about rebound pain and they are still touting tramadol as being non addicting and not as potent as narcotics.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
keb777.Do you see how innocently your addiction started.I don't fault the medical people because they are fed a line from big pharma.I was on a pain specialist site to read about rebound pain and they are still touting tramadol as being non addicting and not as potent as narcotics.

keb777- Thank you for that scripture!  It is always right on time!  and esp. now!  May God continue to bless you and heal you.  I, too, am addicted to tramadol and have been now clean for 3 days!  Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.  

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
Accidentally posted too soon...Tramadol is more addicting because it is not treated as a narcotic and innocently prescribed and taken by people who think it is harmless.I came to this site to research a viable alternative to Tylenol3 and discovered to my horror how addicting the drug is.I am not and have not been addicted to tramadol but was to Tylenol #3 and wanted to take something for RA pain.I now take tylenol 500mg ,aleve,and robaxacet for night.Pain is under control with these.I just had a customer who after 2 months of tramadol 400mg a day was experiencing withdrawal.She was prescribed effexor and could not take the 2 together.She had some samples from the doctor and did take them  together for about 1 month.Then the dr.phoned in an rx for effexor,I told her she could not combine these drugs.She said "that is why I felt so funny and weird.But in stopping her tramadol she is experiencing depression,panic attacks and pain.I told her what to do to decrease the symptoms and to phone me at work anytime she felt weird or needed to.She has an rx for bromazepam 3 mg and I told her that it is ok to increase that to 2 daily if needed,and the dr agreed.This dr is careful about narcotics and was aghast that his rx was addicting and had so many interactions.i tell every single person who is prescribed tramacet about its dangers and possible addicting factor.It has more interactions than Tylenol3

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 05, 2009
Jeez,don't know what I did.Did not mean to post so many times.....What a bozo I am....Actually I am kind of new with computers and sometimes do the wrong thing.I came to this site to see how everyone is doing because I care for each and every one of you and want success for everyone.It is the first place I come to in the morning before work and also when I come home from work.I often think about newway and hope the best for him/her and a bright future for everyone.

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 05, 2009
Day 10 here.  Woke up today feeling alot less anxiety and some more energy??  i was like 'maybe the worst is over...'... fast forward to 3 pm... i started to go downhill and feel kind of flu like.  i got fatigued, some anxiety, some burning/tingling in my feet/hands.  and then throughout the day i get the tingly weird creepy feeling in my legs... its worse in the nights.  last night i guess i was feeling restless legs.  never had that before.   it felt like my legs and toes just wanted to move and i couldnt keep them still.  it almst felt like they werent my own legs.  Is this RLS?  right now, im kind of hot/burny, sweaty, fatigued, fog headed, and crummy.  i feel worse today than i have the past few days.  

During the days though, my head is clearing up and my mind is coming back.  my intelligence level and confidence during the day are returning.  i am not as fatigued once 10 am rolls around and my appetite is getting better.  no more nausea and my stomach is no longer out of control..dare i say its normal now??  i am only getting 4-6 hours of sleep which is never enough for me, esp after weeks of withdrawals.  

Anyone past day 10, what are you feeling these days?  whats left symptom wise?  Did you have days where it felt like you relapsed into withdrawal even after 10 days?

kind of miserable!  I'll catch up more tomrrow.  Glad to see everyone hanging in there.  its so encouraging to see everyone keep fighting just like me so we aren't alone.  even when you tell people whats one really knows what it feels like unless you have gone through it.  no matter what comforting things they say... you dont believe them because.. welll how do they know if they havent experienced it?   Thats why this place is great.  we are sharing a common ground right now.  


Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 05, 2009
Hang in there Vinnie - 10 days - and things are getting better - not great - but better.  From others who have posted it sounds like each day will get a better  - but there will still be some tough times - withdrawal seems to come and go for a while.  The important thing is that you are beating it.  You are taking your life back.

Pharm - thanks for the kind words - actually all of you have made me feel better about myself than I have in ages.
I am trying to find a pain/addictions specialist, as well as meet with an addictions counseller to see what options I have.  There is such a mish mash of drugs in my system - including Effexor - which I had no idea I was not to be taking - that I want to know if there is a safe way to do this.  Come up with a plan that I can be held accountable to.  I am going to need some encouragement to come clean with my Partner, let my Dr. know what is going on - what this drug is really about - you have to know if she is giving it to me, she is prescribing it to others!  Basically, make getting and using tram very difficult for myself - the secrets have to stop if I am going to get out from under this.  A little overwhelming - which I am sure you can all relate to.  
To those of you who are through the worst - sleep well.
To the rest - soon, sleep will come - just get through tonight.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 06, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!  

I actually began a post last night but the "system was down"  for updates.   I sadly see that those updates do NOT include "spell check", but rather more ads for mattreses and free knee pain relief kits.   But hey, this place saved my life.  

Sick and Tired, welcome and congratulations on your first three days to freedom.  

Keb, welcome.  Glad to see that you are off to a determined start and that you have "come clean" to family to hold you accountable.   Honesty is HUGE.    You mentioned the migraine headache research you did on the value/affects of tramadol  on a headache.  It's funny how one of us says something and it kinda rings a bell with the rest of us.  This drug DOES take us all down much in the same way.  

It's crazy, but in all the years I was taking tramadol, one thing it never did for me was cure a headache.

It zoned me out so utterly, that I couldn't tell you why I had walked into the next room.  

It fogged my judgment so significantly, that I turned left across oncoming traffic without the prudence of a normal man.

It sent my mind out the window and I couldn't hear that small tiny voice of my grandson, asking me to please pass the gravy.

But for all of it's worldly powers, one thing tramadol never did - was knock out a good old fashioned headache...EVER.

Lisa and Pollycat,    Congratulations to both of you for remaining tram free for two weeks.   As each of you continue to recover, I hope that you don't EVER forget the "joys of acute withdrawal".  

And Pollycat, that reborn name, "yollpcat" name sends me in orbit ever time I see it.  And I think of how creative you became to determine to get back here when "Pollycat" was defunct.  You really ARE quite the "beat your head into the wall" pusher girl aren't you?   Determination is an admirable quality you know.  It's just that sometimes things that really ARE immovable get in our way and there's nothing wrong with walking around them sometimes.   And this is coming from a "pusher boy" back in the day.

If I am repeating myself, I apologize.  But THAT quality about myself, that got me so many places in life, can also serve to be my worst enemy.   You see, when I pushed through the day and then eventually retired to my little abode, I was left alone to contemplate all the things I didn't achieve that day.  If I did ten things right and one thing wrong, any guesses on which one haunted my quiet nights?  As I pondered the ways I could have pushed harder.  At the end of each day, I was left with a  mad man - me.   And for YEARS I felt that the only way to cope with my frustrated perfectionism was to numb the pain with alcohol and later tramadol.   These are the mechanisms of the outwardly successful over achiever and the story of one disturbed man who EVENTUALLY began to figure out -

That love for one's self is worth taking time to consider,

That acceptance of my limitations as well as of people, places and things I encounter in the day is worth knowing,

And that sometimes, the best medicine on this planet is to forgive myself of my short comings, even as others have forgiven me for them.  

Chrissie, you get my big HUG for today. You have come so far, but I know it still isn't easy for you.  You reviewed my old journal entries I recently consolidated from that first thread last December into my profile page.   As I went back and reviewed those early entries for the first time in ten months I was struck with a couple of things that may have merit for the struggles of others.  Yes, I WAS angry at the doctors and drug manufacturers for peddling this rat poison.      And there is nothing like righteous anger to motivate behavioral changes.  

But the second thing I noticed as I read some of my very first posts is that even in my darkest struggling, sleepless first nights, I was communicating with other fellow pilgrams here, just like so many others of you have/are doing now.  

The best way to focus on my problems is to focus on my problems.   And oddly, as we begin to think less of ourselves and our situations, and instead reach out to another person's situation - our own problems seem to fade away.    Which is in part, why I keep coming back here.

Nancy, I look forward to hearing from you some day to chat about  what can be doneRE: the failure to adequately test and warn the public about this  horrible drug.  And the careless distribution of this drug through sites like "" is really OUT of hand.   I feel for you guys who are still getting emails and calls to your cell phones from these pill pushers.  

This place is geting SLOW with all the posts.  Mom will get us a new home soon.  


Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 06, 2009
Thank you for the hug Fred. All hugs gratefully received!

I am walking through today in the usual torment. Depression, anxiety, agitation etc. But I want to tell you that I did sleep last night!! In fact I got about 9 hours with 3 wake ups (then back to sleep almost immediately). I took 50mg  Nytol. The anti- histamine based one. I am a bit dazed this morning but pleased I slept. I have found in the past that anti-histamines seem to make me more depressed. Does anyone else feel this?  The crazy thing is that because it worked I am now afraid of it!!  My weird mind is worrying that it must be addictive . Can anyone reassure me please! If it is okay then maybe it will help some of you too.

I saw my GP yesterday for the first time since I have been clean. She actually put her watch on the desk and told me that I must not overrun my appointment time. This lady who prescribed me tramadol and diazepam which cost me a year of my life - and almost all of my life in suicide, could not spare me more than a few minutes.  Today I registered with another practise!!!  I see no point in even visiting doctors but I do have a problem with my tummy and felt I should get it checked out. Maybe it is withdrawal. I have had soreness, nausea and  loss of appetite for about 10 days.

Newway, good to know you are feeling better.  Your thinking is all about coming off and thats the best direction to be going in. I am sure its only a matter of time now. I hope you can share this with your partner soon and that he will understand. What enormous relief you would feel.

Vinnie creepy feelings like insects under my skin were a big part of my w/d for some time but I didnt know if they were from tramadol or diazepam. So glad you are getting some respite in the day though.

Take care all.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 06, 2009
Dear Sickandtiredofbeingsickandtired - thanks for the post, it seems we are about on the same timeline - it is day 3 for no tram - and even with a restless night i was able to think clearer this morning and help my husband get the kids off to school.  it is amazing how the little accomplishments help get us through:)

FinallyFred - thanks for the reassurance with the honesty part of it.  it makes us feel like a "disappointment" until we tell them and then they rally to help us:)  I am blessed with the best family ever.  The tram never helped my headaches , i think it was causing the majority of them!  what a crazy drug.  

Pharma9 - i agree with you - i don't fault the medical profession "totally" but I do think it is time for them to wake up to the drug and its "sneaky ways".  your background has provided a lot of information for us all.  thank you.

chrissie - i can't believe your dr. - i am sooo glad you have made an appointment w/another one.  don't stop until you find someone that will wholeheartedly embrace your issues - they are never going to understand the implications of tramadol until more of us "educate" them.  i actually called my dr. yesterday to tell him what i was doing and he wanted me to come in and of course i don't even feel like i can safely drive so hopefully he will give me a call to discuss.  i am telling him about this forum i found!

vinnie - as far as your legs symptoms I think (just from my experience) are due to the w/d symptoms.  when i was first given 50mg 1xday for sciatic pain to sleep I did well for almost 1 year, then started experiencing these terrible unexplained leg pains- they almost felt like i needed to stretch, get a massage, etc. - so he did some testing and when nothing was showing up he said it must be restless let syndrome and gave me requip which made me feel dizzy every morning and didn't help - so i stopped that and he gave me nuerontin , it didn't help, i felt like i was always in a fog when I woke up.  It took about 2 months of different "drugs" and then he said "well it must be fibromyalgia" and we will just increase the tram to 150mg. which is 3 50mg pill each day.  i wasn't convinced of fibromyalgia because i have a friend who has been diagnosed and she seems to ache all over.  now i know that the extra leg pains and sensations were my body's way of saying it needed more tram.  it is almost like it creates another problem while trying to fix another.  As far as the other feelings - i am having them too - yesterday i went outside and started kicking rocks, throwing rocks, whatever i needed to do to get some sort of release from the pain and it actually helped for the moment ( i live on a farm w/no neighbors, so i can do that w/o anyone seeing me:)

nancy - thanks for the epson salt tip.

newway - hang in there, you will make it, and it will feel so liberating, i am only on day 3 , yet still determined, get a "mental" hold on your determination and don't let go, please keep us updated.

A joke for all:  I told my husband last night that he will have a new wife soon and hugged him for his support.  He looked real bright eyed and said, "is she young and pretty??"  i had to laugh:)

It is amazing how strangers can help fill a void than no one else can.  Thanks to all.

Praying for Each of You,
Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strenghten you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 06, 2009
Newway.I think the only drug you should decrease at this time is the tramadol.You need your antidepressant for now.The combination of both those drugs can induce a serotonin syndrome where your blood pressure rises and and body shakes and may cause seizures etc.It can even cause death if bad enough.The benzos help to decrease this effect.I am not a doctor but for now I think  the best thing to do is to decrease the drug that is causing the most harm.For now you need your effexor and benzo to get thru this but the tramadol could slowly be decreased.You feel like sh... anyway with the high doses so why not try lower doses as you have been doing.Are you feeling slightly better or not any different than before on the lower dose?Also get rid of visa or whatever so you can not order on line.Little tricks here and there will help you get thru this.Remember don't blame yourself.You thought you were taking something reasonably safe that made you feel good.Geez,I would have done the same thing if I had not come here.Love to all.

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 06, 2009
I had the worst migraines with the T. I had never had them before, but I could count on two a month, timed by my hormones. They started after I had been taking the T for a year or so. They set in earnestly and every month I had two days of absolute misery. I would not even be able to take the T and would only do so late at night to stave off a next day wd. The headaches were so awful I cried. But I didn't know for sure it was the T - I thought so, though, since my body rejected it when they came. Since I quit, not one migraine. I have a slight hormonal headache once a month which is easily treated with excedrin migarine.

Sleep is still tough over here. I only seem to need six or seven hours max. This is a huge change for me. With the T I would get ten and be exhausted. I don't have those "comfort" momnents that the T provided and I'm beginning to think that humans were not designed for comfort, per se, at least not as much as I craved.

This morning I had five or six hours of sleep behind me, got up and took my son to breakfast and school and errands and now I'm ok for the day. Normal. With the T, I was honestly toast till 11 am. I got the kids off to school and moped till I could work. I would sleep after they left.

In the beginnning, the T gave me that extra energy we all loved. But later, it was in a constant state of deprivation - energy, drugs, etc.

So two months out or so I must reassure all of you that it is genuinely worth it to stop. The discomfort you feel is outweighed by the actual resumption of your life. You are "borrowing" from the T. You will repay. Doing it now, like with any debt, is better than later.

But I'm not a  moralist. Sometimes, the debt just has to happen. That is what defines need. You "need" to look at your own need and see if it is worth it. Sometimes the answer is yes, at least for the moment. We're all adults here. But if like me, there is not enough legitimate "need" to legitimize the desire, you pay dearly. I happen to think that many meds are underprescribed. Just not THIS one. This one is a bad, bad boy because he's sold as something he's not and he will kick your @33  when he was suppossed to be your buddy.

I'm with you all and so glad that we're here together at least.


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by IamJeff, Oct 06, 2009
Hi everyone,
I got into this like most of you injury to my C-6 2006 started my association with Tramadol, Many bad things happened since then, divorce in 2007 I re-signed my 30yr Job as a truck driver and moved west to Ca where my mother was living in need of health care. I now beleive part of the reason for my divorce was my wife's addiction to Lorzepam and that she was in denial and blammed all her problems on me. Not to say I was anything resembling an angel but I was always faithful to her. I had a real problem with her constant depression and she slept most of the day, leaving all the housework for me after a 12-14hr day together we raised 5 boys and all but one was out of the house and he was 24 but I was not at all compassionate toward her, after all she claims she had no drug problem. So she left to live with her mother and they took her in and protected her (from me I guess) I know a couple of times in arguments I was verbally abusive, but never, never physical but since she left in 2006 I have not seen her, as her family would not allow it. I know that she told stories that were not true to justify her actions. The worst part  of this whole thing is what it has done to my sons and their families we are all seperate and there is much pain. Since being in CA I have been unable to find work and cannot collect U E.
Thats the history, now after returning from a visit to see my sons in Ohio, I returned to such depression, I have had it in the past but not like this. I was experiencing total lack of energy, digestive problems, and almost agorafobia. This was not like me and it has been more than 3 yrs since the divorce. So I started investigating this safe drug I have been on for 3+yrs and I found you guys.

I am CT for 48hrs I was up all night with severe RLS but not just my legs it was everywhere, the digestive problems are worse, and my mind is a mess, but that has been that way for a few months now. I decided I could no longer live this way and I must do something about it even if it kills me. I don't think it will but I cannot continue the sad, reklusive existence I have been living. So here we go  I do confess faith in Jesus Christ but know right now the evil T has control of my mind but hopefully not for too long.   Jeff

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Oct 06, 2009
Welcome Jeff,
     Your post is so honest and I can feel your pain. Your doing exactly the right thing getting off of Tram. You will have a lot of suppoert here. What your descriping is a lot like many of us felt when we decieded to look up Ultram/ Tram.
Please know that you will have better days and know that I am praying for you...Please keep posting and if you have the energy as many of the posts as you can...You can do this...Your going to feel so much better as time goes by.

Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by Camuel, Oct 06, 2009
I've just spent the last three hours reading this site. I'm on day 4 of no pills. I took maybe 9 50mg capsules on Friday then stopped. Saturday was okay; I guess they were still doing their work. Sunday was hell. Monday I went back to work. I'm self employed and it had to be that way. I knew they were addictive because I've tried stopping before. I've been on them for just short of two years now and stopped for two weeks a couple of months ago.

For the record I am a recovering alcoholic. This week I will celebrate four years without alcohol. Tramadol withdrawal is exactly the same mentally speaking as alcohol withdrawal and many of the symptoms are the same. But for me it's the wee voice in my head, cunning, baffling and powerful. I told myself that it was okay; I wasn't blacking out on Tramadols and they helped me through the day. I do suffer pain from a bad leg injury I sustained 20 years ago and was on the equivalent of co-codamol in Luxembourg. Before that, when I was still in Scotland, I was on dihydrocodeine. Coming of those was a walk in the park compared to this.

For me the worst thing is the depression. I also suffered from clinical depression for a year or so when I was a student. Looking back, I can see that that was brought about primarily from anxiety and I used to get bad panic attacks. I was on Prozac for that and it worked okay. To be honest, I don't recall it being all that difficult coming off the Prozac either. But now I feel that same darkness since coming off the Tramadol. I also get light headedness whenever I stand up, which I guess would be caused by low blood pressure, which I've read is a side effect or symptom of withdrawal. And I am freezing cold. I lay on the sofa all day on Sunday with a T-shirt, jumper, fleece, body warmer and hat on with a duvet over me and that almost got me warm again.

I'm having terrible trouble sleeping as well and my wife told me that I'm twitching quite violently in bed. I have pain in my leg muscles (not in the bone which is why I was put on them in the first place). And today I sneezed more times that ever before - I actually broke my previous record of 6 in a row, managing 7 this afternoon.

I had no idea that there were so many other sufferers out there and this journal has been a big help to me. I just got a repeat prescription for 100 50mg tablets before Friday and they sit in my back office at work tempting me. I'm too scared to get rid of them though.

There is a good network of AA where I live and I have spoken to three people in the last two days about it. I've been feeling bad at meetings for not bringing it up, but I was worried about how my fellow recovering AAs would react. I needn't have been worried, as I should well have known. Each of the three people I spoke to has direct experience with Tramadol and now I have them to talk to every day.

Forgive me if I've written this in the wrong place. It is, after all, rather an old post I've commented on. I was actually looking to see if you had  a day 4 post but I couldn't find that. it would help me to read your posts for the days that I'm on I think.

I'm contemplating taking three tomorrow morning but am worried that it will just put me straight back in the addiciton loop again and the past three days will then have been for naught. We shall see. Perhaps I'll be as strong tomorrow as I was today. As with the alcohol, it's one day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time.

Cams, Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Reposting here because I probably put it in the wrong place, i.e. on an 18-month old post.

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by finallyfree1, Oct 06, 2009
welcome jeff, camuel,
This is the fight of your life. You have to stick with it. It is a matter of life and death. The drug will kill you in the end. You will make it. Dont think of anything but getting through just today. Take it one day at a time. I am almost a month free and realizing alot of the last 6 years I was in denial about alot of things. Now I can see I need to make changes.. not just float through life in a fog... Stay tough..
peace and comfort from inland empire, california


Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 06, 2009
welcome jeff and camuel,  we are so glad to hear from you both.  i didn't know how many people were in the same boat, but it looks like we need to get a bigger boat!  Anyone know Noah???

this is day 4 for me and a few comforting tips i have discovered are: heating pads on your legs or using one of those large excercise balls to sit on or slightly bounce.  i took some benadryl to see if it helps with sleep, we'll see.

i have to say that at this moment i see the light at the end of the tunnel.  i know i have to be vigilant and steadfast, but just having a clearer mind is motivation enough!

as always, God bless you all!


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 07, 2009
Cams and Keb,  You guys are on day four and the wosrt of this withdrawal is nearly passed for each of you.  You know the old saying, the night seems darkest before the dawn.  Well, it's so true with tramadol withdrawal.  

Cams, naturally, you are welcome to take more trams now if you must, but truly, you hae a HUGE investment in your recovery at this point of the road.  If you can just hold on a couple more days, the worst will be behind you.  And then you will have the pleasure of "enjoying" those post acute withdrawal symptoms we sometimes experience.  (depression, lack of concentration, feeling emotions again, sneezing, etc.). And your comments concerning alcohol weren't lost on me.   I'm alergic to the booze as well and remain a grateful member of a few local AA groups.  -

You asked about looking for details on say, day 4.   Sadly, this place isn't organized so well.  But from the looks of things, you have several other folks here right now who are at about the same place you are so compare notes often.

Jeff, I am glad that you found us.  I have a great deal of compasion for you and the situation you find yourself in at the moment.    I'll talk with you more another time, but I just stopped in before hitting the sack and the sandman is really calling me tonight.  Keep checking in and letting us know how you are doing.  That's sort of how it works here.  We each identify with, care for and help one another and amazingly, it seems to work sometimes.  At least it did for me.

Nancy,  well said my friend.

Courage and Strength to all of you.  fred

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 07, 2009
Cams - I appriciate the comments on AA - I have been pulling away from AA - not sure how they would respond to the tramadol issue.  I also feel like I have relapsed and feel like a bit of a hypocrite sitting there with those around me assuming I am sober.  I know for many here it is a matter of pain management that brought them to tram.  That is also my case - but being an alcoholic - having struggled with addictions before adds an extra bit of guilt for me.

I am still doing the slow taper thing - tryng to lower my dose befoe I can't stand it any longer and quit ct.  I figure if I can get down below 400mg - it will be okay - I know many here have stopped while using 400mg and survived!  

What I have done - was told my partner everything about tram - the whole mess I am in.  It was no surprise, my alcoholism was never a secret.  Over the last few years my behaviour has been erratic, my energy level non existant and I am sleeping more and more.  So now that the tram issue is on the table - there is no turning back.  
Part of me is relieved - it's out, we are talking about it - I will get the much needed support.  On the other hand - it's out - I can't take it back - no more hiding.
Funny thing with this rat poison as Fred calls it.  It's sucking the life out of me, I have lost at least 3 years of my life to it, but when I make a step to break away from it - I panic a bit - just the idea that it won't be there when I "need it"

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by Jude02, Oct 07, 2009
Hi all,

Thought I would post something since I spent about 3 hours reading the majority of the posts on here and getting to know you all via these inspiring posts that you have placed.

I was only on Tramadol for a month after suffering from Tendinitis. No one told me they were habit forming. I am one week free of Tramadol, and its been a miserable week!

The first day I was suffering with the flu, aching all over, insomnia and my mood was terrible. Now, i'm suffering from RLS in one leg. I suppose I have always had some sort of RLS but nothing I couldn't handle (mainly because I didn't know it was RLS and knowing that its RLS kinda makes it worse?)

Basically I am scared that now i have RLS will it go away? Has taking tramadol and the withdrawals made the RLS worse?? Its pretty unbearable at times and i'm forever taking baths and heatin pads on my legs to try and get a sleep. Its really affecting my relationship with my partner as we aren't sleeping beside each other as i normally end up on the couch.

I have also been taking (before tramadol) Paracetamol and codeine tablets. They contain 8mg codeine and 500 mg of paracetamol. Its not a high dose of codeine but i found it made it easier to sleep. Now i'm thinking it was the source of my problem. I want to not take anything to help me sleep, i used to be able to but now i feel i get anxiety over not being able to sleep and it keeps me awake.

I'm in such a muddle!

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by madtram, Oct 07, 2009
Kelly, you have taken a big step by outing yourself to your husband.  It's true that people have jumped off from a range of doses & everyone's tolerance is different, however, my very general observations from hanging out here for a year are that:-

* tapers can be helpful for those who have been on tram long term, (years rather than months) and those on high doses, (< 400mg); and

* long term concurrent use of benzos & tramadol complicates tramadol withdrawal due to the additive nature of the two drugs on each other which means that stopping one may send you into withdrawal from the other even though you have not decreased your dose.  This is probably what happened with Chrissie.

On the other hand, if you have only been using benzos intermittently or for a short time, they can be helpful with insomnia & anxiety when you do decide to jump off the tramadol.

Slow tapers can seem like forever but as long as you are steadily decreasing your dose, you are heading in the right direction.  It's completely natural to wonder if you will cope without tramadol but I can promise you that once you are free of the trama-smog, you will find energy & mental resources you had forgotten you had.  Because we all feel so lousy every time we try to stop, we are fooled into thinking that tramadol is helping us function but this is the delusion of the tramafried brain, not one of us was smarter, sexier, more energetic or competent on tramadol. (Everyone, feel free to argue with me).

You have determined to do this Kelly & you will.

Jeff & Cam, hang in there, you have both appreciated how much tramadol messes with your mind, how you feel now is not the real you, just the vestiges of its creepy influence so for now, please don't believe everything you think.  Prescription antidepressants or St John's Wort or 5htp can all help to restore serotonin levels more quickly & are worth considering if you are struggling with the depression.

Best to all,

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by madtram, Oct 07, 2009
Hi Jude, it's highly likely you will start to feel significantly better any day now.  Have you tried tonic water with quinine or Epsom salts for the RLS, if not, please do & report back.

Codeine can ease the impact of the withdrawals from tramadol's opioid effects in the short term but as Pharma9 has noted, long term use comes with its own tolerance & withdrawal symptoms & RLS is a common side effect of withdrawal from any opiate.

I completely understand your anxiety about the insomnia, I allowed it to get the better of me & resorted to prescription sleep meds which became its own problem.  Given that you were on tramadol for a short period, the insomnia from this should resolve soon & even if you were on codeine for longer, it's a low dose so there are good prospects for the return of natural sleep.  Until then, much easier said than done, but try to relax about it, if you are awake anyway, do something that makes you feel good, no-one ever died from too many baths, just ask Fred.

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by Jude02, Oct 07, 2009
Hi Madtram,

I am so close to going to the pharmacy and collecting some paracetamol and codeine to help me with my RLS. But i'm worried that the paracetamol and codeine tablets were the souce of it all? I only took on average 4 a day and those days were very rare.

I want to stick with it but the thought of not being able to sleep tonight is really upsetting me.

I bought some over the counter sleepeaze tablets from boots the chemist and I don't feel they have any effect on me, but don't want sleeping pills to take over the paracetamol and codeine as then there is no point.

I want to stick with it, i may try and not to take the sleeping pills tonight, I only take them as its a mental thing i'm sure.

I will try the tonic water and Epsom salts, and report back!

Just wish i could not think all day about getting to sleep at night. I've only got myself to blame but i've went cold turkey with tramadol and Paracetamol and codeine in the same week. Tramadol (one week ago) paracetamol and codeine (Saturday)

Thanks again Madtram!  

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 07, 2009
Goodmorning to Everyone - it is day 5 and i actually slept 4 straight hours last night (i did take 2tsp of children's benadryl, that may have helped) - the leg pains and jittery feelings are becoming manageable.  i am now taking naproxin instead of ibuprofren, it doesn't seem as hard on the stomach.

Jude - hang in there, every day is better, i've cried, i've went outside and kicked rocks, walked, ran, whatever i can do to find relief or release.  Just know that you are not alone and you have made the first most important decision to get this drug out of your system.  I have been sleeping on the couch (sometimes I even sit on my legs on the floor and lay my head on the couch - the pressure on my legs helps with the pain for a while) too for the last 4 nights.  Have you told your partner what is going on?  I couldn't have made it without my husband's support - accountability also helps.  

I went to the office and brought some things home to work on.  It is sunny outside, so I am going out to face the day and try to accomplish a few undone tasks!   I am so glad to have all of you - keep  posting!  

God bless,

Avatar universal
by Whoooaaa, Oct 07, 2009
WOW -  I've been through a lot in life (War, alcohol, cigarette recovery, divorce, etc.)- but last night - Crazy- I take like 3 tramadol 50mg a  day for about 4 months for pain. Went to stop yesterday, not thinking much about it. Whamm!  that was crazy! I think I'll try to taper and take some of the advice in this post. I really tried not to take one but at 4AM I had to give in. Thank you all for the help. That was the most exruciating **** I've ever felt! I can not believe that this drug is available over the net or even from a doctor. i am a nurse and have "head knowledge" about meds and have taken several different meds in my life but I am dumbfounded at these withdrawls, shocking. I smell some legal action on this little pill! Unbelievable. Just incredible.
Funny thing, when I first went to order this poison, I saw this thread and discounted it as whining(sorry !) So if you are reading this and thinking about taking Tramadol. BE WARNED!!  I am not a sissy. I am 45 y/o succesful guy with a distinguished military and business career. This stuff WILL kick your ***. WOW just incredible.

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by Jude02, Oct 07, 2009
Hi Keb,

My boyfriend has no idea whats going on and i'd prefer to keep it that way, I think he is being very understanding especially since i've become sooo moody!! I am down about everything and nothing is on the brighter side. He gets the brunt of it, i'm hoping this will go away soon. I want to feel normal again and sleep normally and be like everyone else walking about. I get so jealous of people who can snuggle with their partners. I can't. I just worry about my stupid restless leg!

Will the restless legs go away??

I'm so worried it won't as i have googles RLS a few times and it seems to be a ongoing thing with most people.

Avatar universal
by Whoooaaa, Oct 07, 2009
restless legs and arms
being an jerk to everyone
visions of past events
No sleep
pain everywhere
mental fog
cant work
freaking out

These should be the posted side effects - or black box warnings

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 07, 2009
Hi Folks,

I have been to the chiropractor today so cant type much as neck/back are vulnerable. But.......I have had a good day!!!!  First good day for over a year! I am 74  days clean of tramadol and 36  days clean of diazepam and I know that with the randomness of w/d I mighht have a rotten day tomorrow - but today was NORMAL!  How good is that. Its given me hope and I pray it will give hope to all of you here.

Good to have new people. Sad that you have been trapped too folks, but great that you have come to the best place for help.

So pleased Kelly that you have told your partner. Really well done!

Take care all.

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 07, 2009
yes whoooa, welcome to our world. I have reviewed the medical studies on this ####### pill and it's my opinion that the results don't make sense. I'm taking names if that makes you feel any better. I think that there might have been cases filed but I haven't found them yet. My professional opinion as a consumer issues lawyer (though I am in no way giving legal advise, it just gives context here) is the cases, if they did exist,  might have settled and obviously the warning did not get out. We can petition the DEA, but frankly if they haven't noticed this yet, I don't think they will.

Welcome everyone else. The quinine that madtram (we love you!) cited does indeed help. I have had success with tonic water. Epsom salt soaks help tremendously..more than seems possible. I was definitely in a state of magnesium deficiency when I quit.

If I had a sleeping pill, I would probably use it since I am not sleeping well still. But I'm not sure - I don't crave it enough to go to the md and get it. I have access to one benzo a day and frankly, it's useless. I take it for the ceremony, but when they run out, I don't run to refill. They make me tired, but still no sleep, so its annoying. Again, I have to think I am not designed for sleep right now. The "awake" is my spirit's way of getting me reconnected to the world. Uncomfortable, yes, but perhaps necessary. And interesting. My brain is making a whole set of new pathways.

This is a crazy drug. I want to know everything about it...its history, development, testing, the whole nine yards. In my opinion, it is impossible that those involved in its inception and marketing did not notice its weirdness. Anyone who has info can pm me with it. We can be a grassroots "take it down" club if you like. I can be very irritating when I need to be and now that I'm beginning to recover my strength, I can be of help, as can others here, of getting the word out in an organized fashion. Online antitramdol revolution, anyone?


Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 07, 2009
Hey all.  I'm on day 22 clean from a high of 16 T 50's per day for several years (along with 4 Lortab 10s).  

I've been reading these posts for moral support, so thanks to all!  When I decided I wanted off this merry-go-round, I did a 30 day taper then jumped.  For the most part, it has been a crappy ride, but I've managed.

I don't really have a lot to add that the other fine folks here haven't already said.  I've been exercising a lot and taking vitamins and supplements.  I do, however, have one thing to add:  for sleep, try the supplement Melatonin - I think it has helped me some with the awful RLS.

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by 12Stepper, Oct 07, 2009
Hi Jude, The restless legs do go away--I think most people here have had that experience. The quinine water Nancy mentioned is helpful for that. Also soaking in Epson salt is very soothing. Sleep eventually comes, but it seems like all of our sleep cycles have been disrupted in some way or another. It took about 3 months for my sleep to come without the use of some kind of aid. Still, I often wake up very early in the morning but am getting used to it.

The revolution is a great idea. I'm still slightly miffed at my doctor for dismissing my concern about the tramadol withdrawal. Just checking in today. Good to see all my pals still at it. Love, Linn

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 07, 2009
Hey all.  I'm on day 22 clean from a high of 16 T 50's per day for several years (along with 4 Lortab 10s).  

I've been reading these posts for moral support, so thanks to all!  When I decided I wanted off this merry-go-round, I did a 30 day taper then jumped.  For the most part, it has been a crappy ride, but I've managed.

I don't really have a lot to add that the other fine folks here haven't already said.  I've been exercising a lot and taking vitamins and supplements.  I do, however, have one thing to add:  for sleep, try the supplement Melatonin - I think it has helped me some with the awful RLS.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 07, 2009
nancy - i have to seriously agree with you - now that i am able to focus w/o such severe w/d symptoms I am fighting mad.  i had an A type personality before Tram. but fell into its addiction of tiredness, aching legs, etc, etc.  Now that my mind and body are coming around (just days 5 but doing ok) I want to put this experience to good use.  I work for myself so I can set aside time for researching - legal issues are not my strong points by any means but I have many lawyer friends. ( i worked my way through college working w/lawyers, judges,etc)  I want to be part of anything that will help get the word out about this horrid drug.  It literally causes more problems than for the initial problem it was suppose to be helping!!!

Hillbilly - the restless leg will get better every day, that was one of the side effects of T that my doctor never realized and he prescribed me requip then nuerontin  ( i tried each of them for a while and dumped them because it made me dizzy and more disconnected than before)  

*i went to the grocery store today and actually smiled and had a small conversation with the clerk.  It is an improvement and each new accomplishment should be celebrated:)

My prayers are with each of you,

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 07, 2009
Today is day 14...
Hmm. I have still had the episodes in the afternoon for about three hours where I am malaising along, with the infamous fatigue, and zoned out feling. Sort of a heavy weight I carry in the afternoons, and it does not happen every day..
I have been finally getting my doubles, ( training runs, ) of anywhere from 6 to 8 miles at a shot. Spoke with and am planning with my new coach some races that are reasonably in sight.
Its the difference in days that is disconcerting, I made an appointment with my Primary Dr. on Friday to talk about this "process" that You all helped me with and THEY SEEM to think is no big deal.. I have had some anxiety and panic stuff since I was a kid, my brother actually takes something for it. My grandmother is very phobic and is scared of any small spaces, elevators, and hasnt left the house in years...There needs to be a discussion with my Drs. About how I self medicated to calm myself down....I know, I will never get ( dependent on this **** again!!!) But IM beginning to realize that I may ( like my brother ) need to figure out something in case of an attack or emergency.. The other day I had to sit down in the lot on my way home and cry, I had physical things, not neccesarily pain, but tinnel vision, heart racing, blood pressure up, scared of people, and sweating profusely, and um....more. Like, doom, shakey, It all went away ( sort of ) because I called a friend.. But When I talked to my provider they were VERY unhelpful. My brother handed me something temporary for anxiety, But nowIm ticked that it seemed neccesary for even a moment.  I am on day 14 and I feel great about NO DEPENDANCY what so ever, but am alittle worried about the other stuff, anxiety, the losing weight.. I suppose I can handle it if I need something once and a while, I am VERY< VERY.
Two days good, one baaad.. One day good, one so, so..Two or three pretty normal..Then One icky...IM wayy better than a week ago. But the process is killing me. I actually have a sponser as well. And she wants me to get to a meeting. I do want to do this type of thing. But I guess I see that as a dependancy as well..Im wierd..I know we are not islands, I just wanted so bad to be um....Normal???
Well, this has been a pretty good week anyway, Good luck to NEWWAY!!! HI< FRED THE run--friend..And Lisa how are you???
Good luck and prayers to all.
My boyfriend is really pursueing trying to fix this..Which is just a loving, amazing, undezerving gift to me..He is digging in and coming to me like a long lost life vest..I dont know, we are so incredibly happy when we are being real, he has very deep insecurities and I have to keep being honest. ( which is hard for us eh??) He and I are very open with each other and this has saved us..He is all ready to be married. I am lucky to have people who care this much ...I have to believe I can not just get over this hump, its the future that scares me..I am somewhat of a commitment phobe, I love my freedom. But I think anything is possible with faith, I am going to wait till Friday before I decide anything further about my losing weight and axiety attack nonsense, patience I have found is very helpful with recovery...And it is soo hard..Believe God has a plan...I was just having some hyper, mind zooming moments this week, its hump day !!!!Good luck all ...
NEWWAY< just know the struggle is just as hard for everyone, in different ways, if I couldnt run I may not be here. I just have to pray I will continue, so that I can maybe, just maybe get half my motivation to actually push myself. I do my runs, my writing, but half the time I am still waiting --waiting to be all better...Too not feel any heavy weight in my body..And its physical to me...Very much so,,,,..
Hang on.. I am..
Prayers..Strength, hopes for all!!!

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 07, 2009
One more thing, Chrissie, you are sounding very strong..You are right where you are supposed to be.. Good luck keep on!!
Keb: I have read some of your posts to see alot of drive in you, the research you are doing will pay off!!

One more thing:
Fred,,,I had to laugh, about "INTO ORBIT"...Laugh, laugh..Yeah, I am a real pusher...I think My graduate advisors used persistent more than my real name.( or was it annoying? ha, ha). I have to relaize though, that I have to sometimes, yes, slow down or walk around...There are things that can not be pushed through at all, and especially not quickly for them to be learned right...I'm REALLy trying to tattoo this in my memory...
Good luck all..

Avatar universal
by Whoooaaa, Oct 07, 2009
Thanks Nancy - I did see some info a while back, I think in one of my medical journals, that they are considering "scheduling" Tramadol. I LOVE FREEDOM, I have NEVER been one to support taking anything away from anyone, from guns to gays to seatbelts. BUT.. this stuff is dangerous. I salute all of you who have gotton off it. I remain shocked at what happened to me yesterday, after only 18 hours off the stuff.
I have not done a lot of research YET, but I'm gonna bet that the combined Dopamine aspect coupled with the opiod effect is what is causing the wacky withdrawals, Off the top of my head, I don't know of any other meds that combine these two elements. Who was the freaking  genius who decided that move? I'll look into it further for us all, I have a friend who is a chemist (the guy can write a formula with both hands at once, working from the outside in) he may help.

Keb, that is why I decided to stop tramadol as well - "it sapped my Chi" I'm a kinda chilled out guy now days anyway, but that stuff really is quite sneaky at making you  into a bit of  a zombie. Just ask me about any TV show aired within the last 4 months, I must've watched them all, I even bought this big Azz sectional to sit there all the time. I'm looking forward to "getting off the couch" soon. Good luck to you.

I do believe that things happen for a reason in life. I try to look at any problem or negative situation and ask what is the lesson here? I don't know yet with this one. Definately humility, also to actively listen to warnings before trying anything again. Also that I will be more accepting of my pain after this mess. Be grateful to be free of this stuff and be "me". I'm rambling. Thanks again to all the good people here. Sharing these events is truly a noble thing. I'm sure it has and will, help many folks.

Humor is good medicine - Quick ,funny, and real = addiction story -

I've a friend who was a wicked bad alki, successful guy, but succumbed to the booze. He was quite paranoid. I live a bit “out of the way” so he thought he would come stay with me “til the heat was off”. There was no "heat", he was paranoid. He tells his wife, mom and other friends he’s out of the country. So he’s hanging at my house drinking vodka, passing out , drinking again and passing out.
My Sprinkler guys are in the creek behind my house servicing the foot valve. I decide to go grocery shopping. He is home alone asleep.
I get this frantic call from him, “hey! There are like 3 cop cars and 2 fire trucks in your yard! People everywhere!  There is a freaken helicopter above your house!! what the hell is going on?!!”  poor guy is freaking out!!  
I rush home, seems the sprinkler guy has gotten stuck, up to his chest in the creek and was in distress. The chopper was the news(not much happens here). Wicked funny in retrospect!  I hope you smiled. FYI sprinkler guy is fine, My buddy is 2 years sober now. We laugh about this irony often.

Avatar universal
by Survivor13, Oct 07, 2009
I have been following this forum for some time, but haven't posted until now.  
Before I begin - Jessica - if you're out there, please post.  Your words have touched me and I hope that you have found the inner strength to begin the journey again.  I hope I can.
I had a lovely affair with Percs and Vics for not quite a year.  I managed to kick them, only to fall into the web of Trams.  I had been doing very well since July 6th, which was my last contact with them.  Unfortunately, recently they came back into my life.  It was so hard in the beginning when thoughts of them consumed me, so why now, after nearly making it 3 months without them, do I relapse?    

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 08, 2009
Day 14 tram some miracle..night.zzzz

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by Jude02, Oct 08, 2009
Thanks for all your kind words, I did manage to get to sleep last night without any sort of sleeping aid. Thats a first for me in a long while!

I am hoping to keep this up and not use anything to help me sleep again.

I did have an episode at about 3am this morning as my boyfriend woke me up with his stupid snoring and I had to go get my heat pad to help me get back to sleep but it worked just fine.

I hope that i can continue this and not let it get me down anymore than it has done.

I feel so angry that tramadol has done this to so many people.

Thank again and i'll always continue to read your posts as I feel it gives me strength.

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 08, 2009
Greeting's to all.
I have come from a mysterious place to give what I have to all.
Yeah my name was inspired by the greeting of warrior's by Emily Post.
I will just cut right to the battle at hand.
Today is day four for me of stopping Tramadol cold.
I have seen worse battle's in life,however it is still a hard fight indeed.
I was taking about 20 50mg a day and started out on only four a day.
I have only took them for about three month's and I just built up a fast tolerance and ended up at 20 a day,give or take.
Prescribed from my doc of course for an injury.
So anyway I started researching alot and have been all over and landed here on day 2.
It was good to see people that were being sane and positive about this subject.
Regular people from all walk's of life.
Other forum's like to kid around and love to talk about the joy of drug use.
I have decided to give out a few tip's that I have gathered and of a personal discovery that I made last night.
It was night 3,last night.
I had been up and had not slept in two night's and feeling low on energy,I made a strong cup of columbian coffee.
Strong cup of coffee,good taster's choice regular,just not cheap garbage.
Like two spoonfulls per 8 or 10 ounces.
Ok so yeah I have been getting slammed all night by the jerking withdrawal's and never by day it seemed.
I wake up and drink coffee,good strong coffee everyday about three good cup's.
So yeah I woke up yesterday had coffee,had no energy by 2 o'clock so figured I would pound down another Coffee at about 2:30pm.
Yeah so knowing I was not going to sleep on only night three,but was encouraged from what I have read here and was looking toward's the future in the hope of sleep on maybe tonight night 4 or 5 or 6.
I laid down and watched the end of astronaut farmer and it was now 430pm then 5 pm came and I thought wow maybe I will be sleeping tommorow or maybe even tonight because I had no jerking withdrawal at all,no power surge's of the withdrawal.
630pm,surges return and then I am awake all night jerking,getting up walking around laying down and I am like oh no it has returned and was mad.
So I prepared for the third night at 7 of no sleep and having shock's all night long.
Oh and yes immodium or generic helps this and takes away about half of the restless legs and make's you feel better then without,just wanted to say that and take twice the dose if you can,I noticed no problem at all doing so.
Needless I am now down to the regular dose for day four.
I know that this is chaotic,but hey this is a war and I am at war.
Ok at 2am on the dot,I say well I might as well pound down a coffee,because there will be no sleep tonight because of the shocking withdrawal's.
So I drank the coffee and it was strong.
Now this is only for the first couple night's when there is no way you will sleep anyway,so it will not disturb anything anyway.
Maybe tonight I will get a bit of sleep,so I might not drink some tonight,but I wish I had on the first 2 night's.
Ok ten minutes after drinking the coffee any and all surging/shocking withdrawal's were gone.
I was not going to sleep,but I also was not wired from the coffee to the huge tiredness of my lack of sleeping.
So I was watching TV peacefully and 99% free of withdrawal,it was gone.
So strong coffee makes the withdrawal shocks stop and allows you to just be alive without the shocks and that is important for the first few night's when you will not sleep at all.
Ok so I said after noticing it all gone at 2:10 am,I am going to see how long this last's for and the remember and report it to that forum.
So yeah here it is.
Coffee stop's the withdrawal's 99% for about 2 to 3 hour's per one strong cup.
Meaning if you are not going to sleep anyway on night1 or 2 or 3 or maybe 4,you might as well be withdrawal free all night.
Ok so it is morning now and I have drank another coffee and it is 7am where I am and I know a little secret that will help the battle in the beginning.
So coffee is a drug and it will release some seratonin and some dopamine and therefore will stop your withdrawal symptom's of the shock's.
Now you will be so tired from not sleeping that you will not feel wired and what is to lose you will not sleep anyway in the first three night's.
Plus it is perfect for the daytime shock's as well.
There it is my story and my contribution,night four tonight and yes I will win.
Have the greatest day everyone.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 08, 2009
Goodmorning Everyone,

It has been since saturday since i took the last Tram:) Yesterday was better, sleep is still a problem and today i am totally exhausted.  after having a good day yesterday, i was hoping for a better one today.  i suppose that is how it will be for a little while.  i am staying positive because i know the great gain of what is to come!

Praying for each of you,

Avatar universal
by SweetT24, Oct 08, 2009
Ok so I was a little taken back from this chat room I was just recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have been suffering from terrible pain. I immediately told my doctor I didn't want any narcotics because I've had family members become addicted and I didn't even want to test the waters of taking a narcotic on a daily basis. So I was just prescribed 300MG of ryzolt after taking regular tramadol which wasn't really work working. They gave me 120 (I think 50 mg) pills which lasted me almost two months because they didn't really do much besides take the edge off. After that scrip ended I didn't notice some extra tiredness but figured it was from my fibromyalgia could this have been a side effect of ending the tramadol. I didn't realize that Tramadol could be addicting I never had any real crazy side effects that made me want to take it all the time. Should I be concerned with them uping the amount the mg? And what signs should I look for when it comes to being dependent? That is the last think I want I've seen to many family and friends who have gone down that long terrible road. Thank you all for sharing your heart and soles and I wish the best to everyone suffering from this form of addiction.

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by 12Stepper, Oct 08, 2009
Hi SweetT, Upping the amt. is the beginning of dependence, meaning that the old amt. isn't working as well, so one needs more to get the same relief. Almost everyone started by taking the lower dose and gradually increased to the max allowed and some went beyond even that. So that is the dose factor.

Then there's the duration factor: How many months, years, will a person be on this stuff? It does impair cognitive function, with many of the same results one faces on opiates. Many of us regret the time spent in the fog and all the poor decisions that went with it.

Because the medical community doesn't recognize the need to monitor its use, Tram is is very easy to get, making it all to easy to up the dose and take daily. A lot of people on this site are not addictive personalities, yet many found themselves using tram daily for months or years. As you can see from the posts, the withdrawal is a nightmare and can take months. Anyway, I hope that some of what you read here will direct you toward  another solution to your pain relief. All the best with your recovery, Linn

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by 12Stepper, Oct 08, 2009
Hi Polly, Thank you for your inspiring post. Your story sounds a lot like mine. About two weeks into w/d, I started getting anxiety attacks, depression, and so on--mental stuff. And it would come out of nowhere and disappear again. Just know that that is the withdrawal--just knowing that it was chemical helped tremendously. The only support I got was on this site, since doctors do not acknowledge the w/d symptoms. I knew that if these feelings were part of the w/d process, they would pass. Reminding myself that helped a lot. Also, I developed little survival strategies to help make it through those times. Sometimes just a walk around the block would bring me out of it. It took a long time for the mental symptoms to stop--about 2-3 mos., but they do. Good luck with your recovery, you are doing great. Linn

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 08, 2009
Hello SweetT - just wanted to tell you that I was in the exact same boat.  I had told my doctor about a grandparent who had become addicted to narcs and didn't want to end up that way.  He said that tramadol was very safe and non addictive - he was terribly misinformed.  If you do increase your dose there will be no stopping point.  I only got up to 150mg - 200mg per day but am having severe withdrawals because of the years I was on it.  My mind is already clear at day 5 - my body has some catching up to do, but I know it will stop eventually.  Please research this more, talk to a dr. or a pharm. and tell him what you are hearing about.  Knowledge is Power - and what you do with it is up to you:)

Take care, keep us posted, and God bless,

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Oct 08, 2009
        Great story, so funny....Sprinkler guy.."stuck"... and your friend freaking out...Loved it

Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 08, 2009
Hey guys, Glad to hear how some of you are making good progress!   Im proud of everyone here who has kicked and stayed off even though the suffering of being off can be quite unbearable.   It DOES get better...and for the longest time i thought i never would( especially being sick also with chrons disease AND lyme disease!!!).  Been sick since june 08, on and off disabled, and then hooked on pain killers since march 09.   Tramadol from March until 2 weeks ago, and oxycontin/nucynta combination from june until middle of september.

Today is day 13 for me.  I am noticeably improving.  Yesterday and today, my normal afternoon flu like feelings were mostly gone and my temperature was a perfect 98.6.  The burning and tingling feelings are getting better as well and today weren't that noticeable.  The brain zaps ended 4 days ago.   My energy is returning(though not back to normal) as is my mental clarity.  My anxiety is much improved as well and I feel i can breathe better and i am not on the edge of a panic attack.  Night and morning anxiety were brutal, but now i dont wake up in the morning feeling the urge to have to get moving asap yet feeling lost in my mind.   My mind isnt cycling bad thoughts all day and i can actually read books and watch tv for enjoyment and relaxation as opposed to just using it as a distraction.  My appetite is much improved and my diareha and stomach pain is completely gone.   Sleep seems to be  getting better now  and I am not waking up at 3-4 am anymore and sleeping most of the nights through.  The hot/cold flashes are much better although i still get the sweats a few times a day.   I am still suffering from some depression at points during the day(like now) but i figure that should ease up over the next few weeks.  Joint pain is MUCH better and i dont even take tylonal now.  I am still achy in spots but its not enough for my mind to be bothered with it.   I still have some RLS at night but its not enough to prevent me from sleep.

At this stage of the game, i am functional at most things, and there are times of the day where i am almost feeling normal again.  Music sounds better and ellicits feelings of happiness, as do good conversations, being with my girlfriend, and other things that used to make me happy so i can see i dont need the tramadol for mood regulation as i thought before.   Some of the withdrawal symptoms still come and go but once your mind starts to feel sharper, you don't seem to be bothered as much by them and its easy to distract yourself from them.   I still expect some yo-yo-ing up and down but its amazing how much better i've gotten in just the past few days.   Hopefully in conjunction with the pain killer withdrawal, the lyme and chrons disease is also coming under control and I can have a life again.  

Keep strong everyone, i was in one of the deepest darkest holes for a long time(at least for me).  Being sick has cost me friends, my fiance, my mind, my will power(very strong A personality), my sense of self, my confidence and almost my life several times in the last year and a quarter.  Ive been on and off about 20 different medications, hospitalized 4 times, told i had a fatal liver disease, told i was having my colon taken out, told i would never recover from lyme and be confined to a wheel chair and a mental hospital forever because i cried all day and night with panic attacks(lasted months due to lyme), told i would be a drug addict, told i would lose my job, told i was a bad person, told my best years were behind me(i am only 28) etc.  But i fought when there was no fight left just because i am so damn stubborn and CANT quit even if i wanted to.  Even if i didnt feel it, i fought like there was hope even though it had no meaning.  Now i am starting to feel it for real.  If i don't relapse in another few weeks.... i might really believe it :).  Theres hope for everyone even when EVEYTHING is against you.  Never give up...just living one more day gives you an extra chance.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 08, 2009
Vinnie that was a wonderful post and so encouraging.I was concerned for you because you have 2 diseases that are painful.But just as you have found out I also do not need as much pain medicine as previously and the pain will often subside if I am distracted or at work all on its own.Its interesting how we can blame our use of narcotic (including tramadol) on our disease state.Really we seem to need the high that comes with it at least as much as the pain relief.Also much of our pain is caused by the meds and it became a viscous circle.It is good to control pain with over the counter pills rather than depending on a doctor's rx.Keep up the good work for I am proud of you.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 08, 2009
Vinnie - wow, you are very strong willed, you now have a clear goal to focus on.  I thought of you when I read this Bible verse:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."  ISAIAH 43.2

We are all "passing through" a tribulation and with focus and determination we will WIN the battle.  My great strength is God, if you havn't figured that out yet.  He meets us at where we are - we don't have to try and be good enough before we ask Him to walk with us.  There is a poem entitled "Footprints in the Sand" and it relates directly to what we are facing now.  

Praying for All,

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by IamJeff, Oct 08, 2009
Hi Everybody,
After 72 hrs CT with not 1 min of sleep and muscle spasms worse than any cramps I ever had and the restless body, I paced the floor without being able to sit down for more than 1min, I tried to watch tv but to me it was turning into a bad trip and I feared I was losing my mind. In and out of the tub 5 times in 8hrs to regain my temp and then I would get super heated, especially my feet I think something to do with type 2 diabeties. My abdominal cramps were so bad I couldn't breath, my mother wanted to call an ambulance. So I decided to take 1 50mg T waited an hour no effect took 1 more after about another half hour the cramping and spasms started to ease and I was able to breath. The physical pain was real bad but what was worse was the idea I was losing my mind? I am ashamed I was  not strong. I was good most of the day wed and managed to hike about 6 miles and go to the gym and sweat in the sauna, but about 7pm it all started again, being such a wimp I took 1 T at 11pm and it was still intensifying so after another hr I took #2 slept some last night, but today was not a good day, I went out ran some errands, then trimmed bushes for the neighbor came home planning to go to  bible study tonight and sat down for 1 minute I was done totally exhausted and its all ramping up again so about 8pm I took #1 hopefully that will be all I will take tonight. I always thought I was a strong person (so wrong) I am thinking of seeing my doctor and maybe some help with anti-depressant and some way of getting through the night and possibly a referral to a detox center. Does anyone know anything about these detox centers there is one here in San Diego called South Coast Recovery I have no idea what it might cost but I can't do it alone I will look for help.

Avatar universal
by Whoooaaa, Oct 08, 2009
The name Vincent means "the conquerer"

If you don't mind my asking, did you test positive on a blood test for Lyme? I think I have it , but I came up negative. I know that blood test is not very accurate. Docs can't seem to figure out what the heck is causing my pain.

Thanks and hang tough - Conquer

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by IamJeff, Oct 09, 2009
11:35pm still awake and no more T so far so good, calling my doctor tomorrow to see what she thinks about it. If I get through the night tonight without to much craziness I am going off completely again so far I went 24hrs on 1- 50mg demon, but since Sunday I have had 4-50mg 200mg total for 5days, before sunday I took 300-400 per day, and did that for the last year, the two years previous I was close to 200mg per day. A little more than 3 years on this stuff, so maybe I was to negative in my previous post. Sorry about that, I see without looking very far, the some of you have had much more physical trials than I and seem to be very upbeat Vinnie you are an inspiration to all of us, I was reminded of my sister who endured 15yrs of a terminal disease, she passed 9 yrs ago, but she lived to the best of her ability and tried to be hopeful for her kids and husband......I think I can do this, with help from Christ Jesus...... I like kb777 look to my savior for strength............

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 09, 2009
Well after that good day on Wednesday I have plunged into the gloom again. I thought it would be eaier to handle knowing that good days can happen, but it feels like the end of my world!  I think this is down to the benzo w/d more than  the tramadol but of course dont know for sure. I am so angry that I was given diazepam to counteract the panic attack I had when I first tried to w/d from tramado c/t. If the health care professionals had known their job they would have seen that it was tramadol related and dealt with it accordingly. Now I am in a worse mess. But like Vinnie - still fighting!

Vinnie - so very good to hear your news. This will give so much hope and encouragement to the folk who are fighting tramadol. You have overcome massive things - well done!

I read the posts from people who have joined over the past few weeks and if they are on tramadol alone the w/ds do seem to be over in a couple of weeks. I know there are folk here who are wanting to jump off but fearful. I think that if they could see it being over in a couple of weeks it would be easier to take the plunge. Also Jeff and others are thinking of expensive detox to help the initial phase. This would maybe be worth it if the w/d would then only last for another few days. Butr of course if they still have to cope with w/d for another 2 months or more it could be disheartening, especially after spending a lot of money.  From posts I have read from months back, it does seem that some of us have had to suffer for longer and I wonder if people more experienced than I am could give an opinion please. (I am hoping Fred especially!) This is not a question for myself as I am just walking through the dreaded benzo minefield, but I feel for the guys who are hovering on the brink of detox expense and not sure which way to jump.  My own experience is that the w/d C/T were not too bad as they were over in about 7 - 10 days. BUT the depression, agitation, brain fog, insomnia are ongoing and I would have been disappointed if I had paid good money to get over something that was do-able and was left with the even more grotty bits. (But then as I am w/d from diazepam too the issue is clouded and I cant give a clear opinion.)

The thing we need to remember though is that however long it takes  - we will be free at the end of it. As Fred says often - tramadol will not  make you well and you end up taking MORE just to feel less UNWELL!!!!   They really do keep you sick.

Jeff - you have done brilliantly and no need to feel anything other than immensley proud that you are tackling this head on. There is no way that you are going to stay on the things - I beliebve that! How you come off is not so important as eventually being off. I went C/T because I had 2 addictions and a taper was confusing. However I was advised that a taper can be done much more easily with soluble tramadol. They come in 50mg tabs and you dissolve them in water and then take a small amount away each reduction by using a syringe. This can be as slow as you like.

If anyone can suggest anything I havent already tried for...agitaiton, anxiety, brain freeze - and deep deep depression, I would be eternally grateful!  Oh and insomnia! I did get a very good nights sleep on Nytol (antihistamine version) but woke up with worse depression. Also got freaked out by the fact that it is still a drug and I need to be drug free. So after one night of sleep I am awake again.

Good to hear from Polly. How are you Lisa?

Keep praying please Keb - we need you!

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 09, 2009
Having read my post again I feel I must make clear that I am not suggesting two weeks of w/d isnt absolutely awful and doesnt take enormous courage. I meant that it is a darn sight better a prospect than 3 months!!!!  Somehow we can see an end to 2 weeks, but 3 months gets kind of fuzzy!


Avatar universal
by SweetT24, Oct 09, 2009
Wow I would like to thank you all sooo much for opening my eyes to this medication I posted yesterday and had some great replies. I am on month 3 of taking this medication sounds like I should try alternate means of pain managment. This past 14 day dose they gave me was suppose to be just enough to help me manage until this new medicine Savella they started me on starts to work. I've heard it has had positive results for fibromyalgia patients. If I can get the pain handled with exercise and the Savella hopefully I"ll never have to worry about a pain pill again :-)

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 09, 2009
Good Morning Vietnam !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by Lillyval, Oct 09, 2009
Hi Everyone, it's great to see all the newcomers here to fight the good fight.

For those who are new, I'll briefly tell my story.  I found this site after 2+ years of using tram on a daily basis with increasing doses.  At the beginning of June I went through a pretty harrowing withdrawal after a quick taper.  By July I had relapsed back into a daily habit, but not up to the doses I had been taking previously.  I let my doctors know that I was addicted to tram and went through a much slower taper ending in August.  Since that time I have felt the freedom that has come with with getting out of the tram fog.  I've been able to laugh with my kids and be a more genuine person.  I have also had very dark days where I could barely get out of bed and felt like I was at day one again.

Throughout it all I've struggled with the urge to use opiates and have succumbed on several occaisions.  As part of my process I've "come out" about my addiction to the people close to me and my minister.  Having struggled with addiction in the past I finally made the decision to see an addiction specialist.  I have an appointment for this coming wednesday.  I anticipate getting into a program of therapy, NA and possibly medication.  I'm really nervous about the whole thing, but staying clean on my own just isn't working for me.

The wonderful support on this site proves that this can be done.  Some here have gone into detox, treatment, AA / NA or have done it on their own.  But there is freedom from this drug and it's worth the suffering to get off of it and get your life back - or as Emily said, start a new life.  I wish you all hope and healing.

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by IamJeff, Oct 09, 2009
progress I hope I went through the night wide awake until about 5am then slept 20-30 mins a couple times until 8am, but here is the good part, I was not restless I could lie still close my eyes, no sleep but not the crazy feeling that before made move every minute as I experienced the first 72hrs. Such an encouraging development, I have greater hope, without hope one cannot survive. Thanks for the encouragement Chrissie, I agree with you, the prospect of detox center would be a great letdown if you were to suffer another 30-60days of w/d after your release especially if one's finances are not that good to begin with. So far so good I guess one day at a time, I have had 5-50mg t-tabs since Sunday 4th and my last dose was 1-50mg last night at 8pm. I went CT my first 72hrs then with the prospect of losing my sanity I medicated with 2 to get through the night and 2 more Wed night and 1 last night I am going CT again now. Praise God I have hope. I am not sure of anything except that this is  WAR, I am fighting this war because I want to survive, but much more than that I want to live again. It has been so long since I really cared about anything. On T I didn't care about anything, I didn't desire anything, it was easier just to sit and watch and think of what was and is no more. I was suicidal for almost 1yr I thought it was my circumstances causing my depression, but my physical body was shutting down, my digestive system was not working, I had no physical stamina. I used to go to the gym everyday for 1-2hrs no more, I am an offroad motorcycle enthusist racing enduro's for years no more. So if you are reading this wondering why you are experiencing losses in your body and mind, look to the cause tramadol whether it be greed or lack of testing this is a drug that should be outlawed. I thought to myself what if a person unknowingly found themselves somewhere like in the wilderness on a backpack or something of the sort where they had no access to a pharmicist began to experience w/d having not a clue they were on an addicting substance. Sounds a little scary to me. I think its greed. Maybe Obama can help.......ha..ha.....
stay with it, there are some very dark periods but every once and while a glimmer of hope and those instances seem to be increasing for me..... I know there is much more to come, but now I have hope again. Looking for a better day.. Jeff

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 09, 2009
Hello everyone - day 6, things looking up, slept several hours last night and able to run errands, etc today.  I am so impressed by the determination of you all.  Giving up is what the drug wants us to do, so let's fight w/all we have.  Make sure someone is aware of what is happening to you, support is key.  This forum is a great support.  I am still having fatigue, nervousness, leg issues, but nothing like the first 48 hours, so hang in there.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In my research on this drug i have found several case studies that dr.s have put out there, let's make our own case studies.  Keep a journal on your experience w/this drug.  Let your doctors know, give them a copy of your journal, we need to continue to get the word out.  Until about 10 days ago, I was unaware of this horrid drug.  Now I am turning my anger into something productive.  We are going to make it:)  

Cam, are you out there?  Havn't heard from you in a while?

Take care and God bless,
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind." II Timothy 1:7
       This verse seemed fitting for today:)

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 09, 2009
Day Five.
The Warrior Salute's You All.
Totally Cold From 1000Mgs A Day.

I guess if there is a withdrawal from this drug,I have felt it and lived it at it's ultimate.
I will tell you that in a way I did at least use this drug to train for the battle against it.
I came in strong and after 4 night's of no sleep,I actually still have energy.
Though it is slowly disappearing.
Yeah I am hoping to sleep soon,because I cannot really live like this.
I am not alive right now.
It is like I am de-evolving mentally back into an animal.
I feel pretty good during the day,even with the massive King/Kong of fatique that I carry both mentally and physically.
It is a lesson that will make you listen to it.
Ok well so I have read of the past war's that people have had on this site and could only become inspired.
I would have to say that this drug is much like some sort of speedball mixture between a stimulant and an opiate.
Yes it does make one feel invincable while on it and almost superhuman.
It is just like the evil ring from the lord of the ring's.
It is nothing more then pure evil hiding within a disguise of a shining beautiful feeling.
Once you take off the ring,you are worse then you were before you put it on.
Ok well anyway folks.
It is indeed just another thing in life that we must overcome.
In a way this drug resemble's mankind to me as it has some very beautiful qualitie's and at the same time is capable of some of the blackest most evil deed's that could be done on Earth.
Throw the ring into the fire.
That is the lesson to be learned with this.
You will however never forget such a thing ever and it will forever seal itself within your being.
Ok wow I should write a book.
Well anyway that's enough of all of that.
My brother gave me about 20 of these thing's 3 yr's ago and I took just five a day for 4 day's.
I went through 3 night's of no sleep just from taking them for four day's after being totally sober.
So even at the smallest dose and least amount of time it bites you.
That was a year ago and then boom I ended up getting them prescribed and I knew what was ahead when I would stop.
I got a partial tear in a shoulder tendon just three month's ago and had an MRI to discover it.
Then was put on these thing's and here I am at twenty a day.
So I knew that I was going to have to battle this withdrawal and knew it would be bad.
So yeah this must be treated as disease and it must be handled very,very serious upon withdrawing.
It must be prepared for and trained for.
Gather your Bible,Book's,Vitamin's,Immodium,Protein Drink,Milk Thistle,Flax Oil,Coffee,Tea's,Etc....And anything else you can think of or may read here and prepare to slay your enemy and return once again to your original glory.
Afterall you were better off being just a regular human being and happy in life.

I'll Be Bach !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Oct 09, 2009
Thought you all might get a laugh out of my Friday morning....

The fire deptpartment just left.

One of my students thought it would be funny thing to hand cuff another kid to the window Jam of the class room..

First they asked to open the windows..I said " yeah Ok"

Then without me noticing they took the screens off two a joining windows.

Then one student was handcuffed to the inside metal bar that runs between the two windows.

When I heard a kid say" hey this kinda hurts" I LOOKED at them.

Two calls to ... 911...  and our main office the Fire Dept arrived and cut the hand cuffs off.

I'm supposed to be doing the report.

The students nick names are "PORK CHOP" and "THROW BACK"

Yeah it's a gettho school.

Yes. I'm still tappering off the benzo's and yes I am still off the Tram


Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 10, 2009
Has anyone heard from dear Emily recently?  I'm concerned about her and the fact that this thread is growing fairly long and slow now.  

Suggestions?  Anyone?    Fred

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 10, 2009
I was so moved by your post Lilly. Its helpful to me and I am sure to others. Folk have told me that 90 days is about the time things get easier, so not that far to go for you now. Seeing someone for help is good and I am sure will make all the difference. Please let us know how it goes on Wednesday.

Keep going Jeff - you are a real fighter. And Keb - how fantastic that you feel so much better!  Warrior.....what a huge drop. I hope you are okay. Keep us up to date!

I registered with a new practise yesterday and met my new GP. He was a very pleasant young man (who looked about 12). Very sympathetic etc. But when I told him that tramadol had antidepressant properties, making it very complicated to w/d from - he looked at me with a totally blank expression! Soo....he knows now, but how crazy that this stuff is given out by doctors who have no idea what is in it!!!! How can they be prepared for the depression people feel when they stop tramadol if they dont even know the reason. (And of course the poor patient doesnt know the reason unles they have been on here!)

A private heartache I have at this moment concerns my lovely son, married with a little boy. A year ago he had a serious accident - and guess what they put him on!!!  We spoke last night and he sounded and felt awful. He is unable to be without pain relief as his spine and skeletal frame have been badly damaged. We have talked about tramadol and he is aware. The trouble is he is on a shed load of other mediction too and coming off is going to be such a trauma for him. He is flying to Poland in 2 weeks to see a specialist there and I am praying this will be the beginning of healing. This awful drug is EVERYWHERE!!!

My mind is in benzo/tramadol torment today again but KC is helping me stay afloat! .Grandmagirl, your story made me smile - thank you!

Bless you all.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 10, 2009
Finallyfree, Lisa and Gerty - are you okay?

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by Dev0n, Oct 10, 2009
Hi everybody
I have been reading this forum for a few days(just lurking) and just couldnt believe how many people are having problems with this horrendous drug!
I was prescribed this a year ago for a grion problem which had lots of complications,initially it was brilliant but soon realised i had become totally reliant on the dam stuff,like most here i took more and more(1000mg a day) with less and less effect.
I have slowly been tapering and am now down to 50mg a day.
The biggest thing for me is the incredible mood swings i get,one minute i feel great the next down in the gutter.
Tomorrow is day one and already i am feeling anxiety,but after reading your stories i feel i can do this.
I just want to say how i admire all of you and your strength in the fight to be off this evil drug.
I think my motto will be "one day at a time" or "one night at a time" as nights seem to be the worst.
Ok well i am off now as concentrating is difficult for me.

Best  wishes from sunny Devon uk

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 10, 2009

1066768 tn?1315752325
by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 10, 2009
Day 6
1000mg  Ice Cold.
Hey folk's do not get the wrong idea about my dosage that I dropped down from.
I have been only taking this stuff for three month's and I only go up for about four or five day's to 1000mg or 1250 and then I would usually cruise along at 8 or 10 a day for more of the time.
So when I went cold it was only after four day's straight of 1000Mg or so.
Yeah so It is not like I took that for weak's on end or month's.
Yeah I was crazy on it a bit,but not insane.
There is a difference.
HAH !!!!!!!!!!!

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 10, 2009
I was up all night.
I realized that it was going to be more of the same when I tested the water's of sleep early on and there seemed to be no enemy around and then just at the point of sleep,it came out of nowhere and blocked my path and then smiled at me saying I am still here and then I pretty much said to it that I was also still here as well.
Then the war began and lasted all through the night,each side trading blow's.
Then at some time between 3am and 7am I was alive and awake for all of that time,but I was just laying there in another world somewhere between conciousness and sleep,repeating in my mind over and over sleep,sleep.
I wanted to just lay there and keep trying to sleep,however I realized it would not come and I felt bad.
The mist of the morning was around me and the fog was floating around the battlefield above the warrior and his enemy.
The warrior was unaware that he had indeed made it to the summit and then delivered a powerful blow to his enemy that was standing on the wall at the top of the mountain,the enemy fell off the wall and was wounded as the warrior crawled over and passed out without knowing it and he also did not know for how long.
He may have slept maybe a half hour,but it was good and enough.
He did not even realize that the battle had stopped and he opened his eye's and still felt terrible,but something was different.
Ok that's enough of that folk's.

I noticed as I came to my feet that I was lighter on my feet and mind.
I was only carrying myself and no enemy King/Kong on my back and I guessed that I must have finally passed out for a half hour.
In war a half hour make's alot of difference.
So yes I just barely made it over the wall and I did in fact wound my enemy who became enraged and then disappeared into thin air.
I laughed as he made his retreat.
Then I made a cup of coffee and it tasted good indeed.


Avatar universal
by lisajomama, Oct 10, 2009
Hi everybody,  My last post was a week ago (day 14).  I haven't been on here since, but I have thought of y'all.  I have had company and have pretty apologies.  
In the past week, I have finally been able to focus more at work. Today is day 20 and I still have trouble sleeping through the night.  There is no restless leg syndrome or sweats, just thinking I guess.  My friend gave me trazodone HCl and that works to get me to sleep, but I am up after 6 hours. Today is Saturday at 7:20am and I have been up for an hour all ready.
At least I don't have a problem getting up for work anymore.  On the trams, I would sleep until the very last minute and not have time for a shower.  Just plain laziness.

Good luck to all of the new "warriors."  It does get better, I promise.  I still feel a little weird at certain times of the day but it is manageable for sure.  I feel good at night, but can't sleep so well.  For me though, I feel so much happier and want to engage with people more.  When I was on the trams, I avoided my friends phone calls....couldn't be bothered.

I read some very old posts when I first got on here 20 days ago.  One man gave the advice to stay busy, take walks, etc.  I liked that advice.  
Pollycat doesn't just take walks, she runs 8 miles, WOW.  That is awesome.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 10, 2009
Hi Ultimate.I love your analogies because this is truly a war that we battle every day and it will be won by us.Keep informing us of your progress in the entertaining way that you have.I personally have not been addicted to tramadol or benzos but had a problem with codeine and am clean now.Love to everyone

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 10, 2009
Welcome Dave, you are absolutely on the right path, I am on day 6 of no tram and I actually slept 6 straigt hours last night w/no sleep aids.  Couldn't believe it, but I celebrate every little milestone!  The w/d does come with incredible mood swings, highs and lows.  That has been my biggest mental hurdle.  One minute I am helping my kids w/homework, the next minute I just want to scream w/an anxious feeling and retreat to my room.  It is not only a physically addicting drug but mentally as well.  

TUW - great metaphors, it truly portrays what we all have felt or feeling!  Keep your armour on and keep fighting!

Question:  about how long does the tired legs last?  i know it depends on the amount and time you took it, just needing a little reassurance:)  Also @ times I feel a little ADHD.?.?  

God bless,
"Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." Proverbs 3:25-26

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 10, 2009
It's the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.
I am surrounded by family and friends, the sun is shinning and the leaves are at their brightest coulors.

I am trying to engage in conversation - but wanting to hide upstairs alone.  This drug has sucked all the fun out of my life.

I am tapering after being on this stuff for almost 5 years and am now down to about 600mg.  Once I started taking more and more tramadol, I noticed a ringing in my ears - I have now had ithe ringing for about 4 years.  
I'm not sure what's going on - but as I taper - the ringing is not consistent - it intensifies at times - enough to be very distracting.
The other thing I noticed was that I am seriously jumpy - loud noises etc.  make me jump like you wouldn't believe.
Any one else experience this stuff?

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 10, 2009
Hi guys:)
Its me!! Thanks for posting Lisa, was missing ya!! I am on day 17.....Tram-free...I was reading Lisa's post, and I can agree with her that there are some wied times of day..I too wake up quickly, and its so nice to get out of bed and just feel normal...Not like hung over or like I better scramble to find a pill of some kind...Its the fredom thats so great!!
I do have this lul as I described earlier, the lul is in the smack dab middle of the afternoons, I wake up feeling really just great actually!! I am sleeping, and feel good energy, but ( and not EVERY day) but like 2 or three at least out of the week I still have these 3-4 hours in the afternoon where I go donw hill for a few, like 3-hours...It starts with that hot skin feeling, my headaches, I drink lots of water, and am taking B vitamins, this icky piece concerns me, its like I have to go run again, or read until its gone...The rest is ok though....Are these sort of the up and downs of PAWS??I think Iv heard people mention it quite often, the post acute stuff...The Drs. got me some stuff like ( xanex, and this Robaxin ) for emergency in the case of the panic--anxiety attack, I thank the 12stepper for talking about some of the issues, they had as well...I now have a series of appointments with the Psycholigist at the clinic I attend for my annuals etc..   He has been very helpful in giving me good weaning plans, and talking about triggers.  ( There are some obviously) I guess I hadnt thought that far, but I am now just beginning to construct a more specific plan for the PAWS part of this... It can be quite a debbie downer to feel great in the Am, bounce all over then have to go through 3-4 hours of H..I am not sure if these hours, well actually I am sure they have shrunk. He gave me the anxiety stuff for like, one time a week or something..Im 17 days tram free and I do not ever ever, EVER, want to take anything everyday again..So I will be researching everything they do or give me..Im going into "talk thereapy"..
I guess I realize as an adult, I cant JUST run to feel better, it worked when I was a kid...But I have grown up feelings, things to do, resposiblities, ...Getting healthy first is hard because---I feel guilty for spending time on me..But I HAVE to be healthy before I can do relationships very well..Thats why I settled on my therapist, and ( minimal anxiety meds) However, I do have a funny story, I did the "Hood to Coast" this year, dont know if anyone has heard of it, HUGE relay, 190 miles each team runs 6 guys in a van and switches off to the other van, I was leg 7, and had like 19 miles over all.
Our team capton was somewhat of a slave-driver, she kept throwing her clipboard all over, and getting mad at this one guy on our team who was ( UM,,a snowboarder, due?) You know that kind of personality, they DID not get along, however he was fast..
She kept saying how bad her week was and all she did for the team, and he would not listen..Well, the poor guy actually ( teared up at one point) he quit the team and we all had to fill in. She was acting sooooo entitled, we found out later his wife had cancer...She was treating him like some irrisposible kid. His wife is fighting cancer, for crying out loud!!
Its just that I see people all around with these sense of entitlement, and lack of acceptance, they dont even try to understand before they go off half cocked...I know we are all trying so hard, and it is a war, no one is entitled ...So I try to remember that I am like everyone else, no matter what I must do the PROCESS. Even if I have inconsistant days. Its not knowing.
So Ill work on faith, posting no matter...And trying to be resposible for sataying clean, and I heard someone say "Is that enough?/"
For me it has to be, no more dependancy will take effort, not just the physical part but the OCDing about oh, maybe one or on and on..It feels selfich, but It has to be enough for now, and LIke many here--hopefully I can be or my body will get more predictable about how I feel ( lest I have actual flu..LOL)
CHeers,,,Off to a race. Felt crappy yesterday, For some reason feel great today....Tomorrow I may pay for racing,,,Its my thing...:)
Also got a band thing tonight. I am so grateful to you all, Im taking your advice and trying to stay busy..The only sure thing is ---I dont know what tomorrow holds but thanks to Gods grace I know WHO holds my tomorrow..Heres praying that the OCD, and PAWS wont last forever.
HUgs, Good luck everyone.
Welcome newcomers...
JUST DO IT>>>>>>>>>>>>

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by IamJeff, Oct 10, 2009
Good Morning to All
Congratulations on making it through another night, my last t was 48hrs ago 10/8/2009 so day one would officially be 10/9/09 I guess I need to remember when this all began, because Lord willing I am not going back. I am looking at a new path for my life in many ways. But this is the only battle that matters now and I will focus on it. Last night I was jumpy all night but did find times to rest. Yesterday morning I woke up and my left eye was full of blood, I googled and goog told me I had broken a blood vessel under the clear layer most likely caused by a violent sneeze and it should clear up in a few days?  I have a doctors appt monday 9am I talked to her but she said no help with sleep or depression until she could see me but that I could come to urgent care if needed over the weekend. So much compassion I am all choked up. ha  anyway..............
newway I have had the ringing also for years didn't make the connection with tram but it makes sense. The jumps I guess is what some have referred to as shocks, I get those also but mine come out of nowhere don't need a noise to set them off. I would be sitting and my body will jerk like somebody threw a body check? Worse at night in bed feeling.........Oh ya I am going to sleep Oh ya then bang! ha what the hay.  but I must say they are less in frequency now for me anyway.  The main reason I want off this stuff was the reklusive nature it gives you, when I looked in the mirror I didn't recongnize the guy looking back at me. I think the depression would have gotten me, normally not subject to deep depression that is where I was most of time. A brighter day is on the horizon I know its there can't actually see it yet, but I know its there.

Thanks to all for you encouragement,

Ay, fight and you may hurt, run and you’ll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance to come back here and take your FREEDOM!!!’

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by 12Stepper, Oct 10, 2009
Greetings Warriors, So many posts I can't keep up with them, but so good so many are finding this site!

Chrissie, and others suffering from depression, just know IT DOES PASS EVENTUALLY! I was on a benzo, too, Ativan for 7 months along with the tram, and maybe that's why I got hit so hard with it. The effect was that my mind was tricking me, talking to me in a very negative way, latching on to any possible occasion to feel bad, and my self-worth plummeted. That was really hard to take on a daily basis.

Of course, the gloom would come back just when I thought I was over it, so that would make it particularly irksome.

Just know that all that negative stuff is part of this whole syndrome, and that it will pass.

It seemed like it lasted a really long time, and others seemed to be feeling great a lot sooner, making me doubt that the depression was the result of the tramadol/benzo withdrawal. Of course, patience is not one of my virtues. I had a deadline by which I was planning to try an antidepressant, and that was after 4 mos. Fortunately the moodswings stabilized just before that deadline. I know that must sound like a huge amount of time, but it really does come around if you just keep surviving each day, and go easy on yourself.

In my research, I found that an antidepressant called Trazadone had been helpful with treating Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, though I am loathe to recommend anything. I took this for years to help with insomnia, as it makes you very sleepy. I was just about to go back to it when I started feeling better more regularly--not sad, but just irritable and restless, which is far better than gloom and doom.

The best part is we are not alone, and it's so good to see you all here. Love and courage, Linn

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Oct 10, 2009
I had to post today....DAY 100!!  so hard to believe it's been 100 days since I took my last poision!  I have been reading all the post and welcome to all the new WILL beat this.  

I know when I started reading post from others who were past the first few weeks helped keep up my faith, determination and hope.  Fred, Emily, and so many others are the reason I am still free of this pill.  
For those who don't know me, I had a relationship with Tram. for over 8 years up to 10-50mg pills a day (and to be honest with myself more on some days) also on Lortab, Robaxin, Zoloft, Neurontin and Zyac. I currently only take my bp medication. I went CT with all the meds. It was terrible, but it was the only way for me.  I have had great support from my husband.
I currently take St. John's Wort, 5-HTP, DLPA, Multi-Vit and to sleep I take Melatonin 3mg and 3 450mg tab. of Valerian Root...I am a firm believer that the Melatonin and Val. have saved me.  I haven't been able to sleep for years, but starting the first night of taking them I slept 4 hours without was amazing!!  I for the first time in years had a dream!!! I think getting into the REM sleep was the key to helping my pain. Finally able to let my muscles relax some.  I still seem to get 4-5 hours of good sleep followed by another 1-3 hours of waking/sleeping.  My husband and I started 3 weeks ago tomorrow getting up at 5-6 a.m and doing the P90X workouts together.  WOW, I am getting stronger each day, but so, so sore from the exercise. Using muscles I forgot were there.  I think doing these workouts and suffering the "pain" has helped me see I can handle the pain and cope without turning to T or Narcotics.  I haven't taken anyhthing stronger than Aleve/Advil in the last 100 days...don't get me wrong I have been tempted to take the Lortab...NEVER the T...I will never go near the T again. Anyway, I haven't taken anything and still take an Epson Salt bath probably 1 time a week. There is a light at the end...I promise. Just knowing that the bad days will be followed by good days..and good days may be followed by bad days. I have my times of depression and exhaustion but they do go away. Today I woke at 6 did our workout together then showered, did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned up the house, listed 3 things on ebay,put dinner in the crock pot, cut the grass, took another shower :-) and then relaxed and watched football with my husband.  2 months ago I wouldn't have left my room before 2 p.m. because I was so tired....time passes and helps.

I hope everyone finds peace in their journey and remember to fight, fight, fight!!!

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by IamJeff, Oct 10, 2009
very encouraging missy..............I had a real bad day, tried to make it good but no luck. I went to sauna at the gym and could only stand about 15mins did about 10 in hot tub and thought I would go to the beach it was overcast kind of like me. not so much physical mostly all psychological maybe day 3 will be better?

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Oct 11, 2009
Ugh, perhaps i spoke too soon(figures).  The past 2 days have not been good at all.  Day 16.  I have felt tired again, had some tinglyness in my feet and arms and even lips, had ALOT of joint pains in the afternoons, and felt flu-like from about 3-5 PM - 7-8 PM at nights.  Most major symptoms gone by 9 pm.  Weird!   Sleep hasnt been great either.  

Is it possible to still relapse back to borderline severe wtihdrawal symptoms even after 16 days?  And even after I had a good steady improvement over a period of a week?  I am hoping its not a recurrance of lyme!  I will just be so mad!!!!!  I thought it was really getting better!  

Ideas anyone??  Hope you are all doing better than I am right now!!!


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 11, 2009
Yes, it IS you Polly!   Isn't the "Hood to Coast" a race in northern Oregon?  

I liked so much of your recent post, especially, "Its just that I see people all around with these sense of entitlement, and lack of acceptance, they dont even try to understand before they go off half cocked...I know we are all trying so hard, and it is a war, no one is entitled ...So I try to remember that I am like everyone else, no matter what I must do the PROCESS. Even if I have inconsistant days. Its not knowing.
So Ill work on faith, posting no matter...And trying to be resposible for staying clean, and I heard someone say "Is that enough?"    "For me it has to be.." ,   Wisdom of the ages Polly!  

Missy, Thank you for coming back and letting us know that 100 days of tram freedom is possible.   Missy, if anyone new here were to come back and read through your early posts from days 2-6 (or mine for that matter) they would see that what THEY are going through now in acute withdrawal is SADLY entirely NORMAL.  It doesn't FEEL normal at the time, it;s terribly hard and we are beset with symptoms most of us never experienced before we came to the tram.

Vinnie, Sorry you had a hard day or two my friend.   (hugs)  I can't exactly recall day 16, but I do recall that even after busting through the worst of symptoms, I did have a day or two where I had some set backs.  Um...I sort of used those kind of days to remind myself of the destructive power this drug had held over me.  Recovery from this stuff isn't linear (there isn't a straight forward arching line as the symptoms fade completely.   Sometimes it seems, ycome back to serve notice that the affects of the drug is not entirely gone.   But take comfort (if you can) in knwoing that you are putting yet another moment between yourself and that lovely little white pill.  And take comfort in knowing that one day, as moments turn into days and weeks, this drug will ENTIRELY loose it;s ability to cause you any more pain.   At least that thought helped me through some dark days.

Jeff, Iv'e been following your heroic fight with this drug.   You asked, maybe day 3 will be better?" Maybe.  But I don't want to kid you Jeff.  Day's 3-5 can be some of the hardest days to get through.  I hope not for your sake, but if I am right and tomorrow is a bad one too, it may be time to consider the INVESTMENT you have so bravely paid down.   Because from my own experience and that of most others here, there IS AN END to what you are feeling now.  So if you are tempted to give up and give in, ask yourself whether you really want to go through the last few days again, or whether you will continue to fight the brave fight you have started.  

I have talked about this many times in the past.  But I went through "withdrawal symptoms" at the end of every RX cycle.   Just before I arrived at that date circled on my calender marked "rx day".   One of the main reasons I wanted OFF the tram-a-go-round was because I just couldn't take several days of withdrawal at the end of every rx cycle.   If only I knew how close I had been some months from never having to feel those symptoms ever again.   If I had known that if I could "hold out" for 5-6 days and be done, I would have stopped this drug YEARS before I finally did.  Acute withdrawal won't last forever Jeff.  Hang in there my friend.  I believe in you.

12stepper aka Linn,   Your words of wisdom and encouragagment mean so much to the rest of us.   All any of us really want to know is that "it will be OK in the end."  Or as I used to ask Emily, "how much longer will this last?"  There is a happy ending and your testimony is living reassurance of that fact.  

Hey Canadian, Happy Thanksgiving!!!  I don't want to migrate away from here right now, but I was just googling this stuff yesterday and ringing in the ears was listed as a symptom in higher doses.   So was - um - death.  Maybe madtram or others could weigh in on the "jumpy symptom".   I know that some times when I was in the fog, something would startle me back to the world around me.   Maybe jumpy some times.  

Keb,  Congratulations on six days off this drug.  That is HUGE man!   How long do "the tired legs last".   I never really had TIRED legs, but I sure had legs that felt like electric pulses shot down into my feet and toes.   That and restless legs.  Those symptoms eased after 5-7 days, though it's not like a lawn mower running out of gas and then it's empty.  It's more like the gas line begins to get squeezed shut and slowly those sorts of symptoms fade in time.  Your faith and confidence will pull you through though.   And that WAR like attitude you so obviously have put on.  

Dave from Devon and Ultimate,  Sorry I didn't extend a welcome when you first arrived.   Keep posting, letting us know how each of you are doing,  and drawing strength from the others here.  

Courage Strength and Love to you all,


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by madtram, Oct 11, 2009
Hi Missy & Linn, so glad you have broken through.  I think it's so important to regularly remind ourselves of how far we have come, I well remember those days when doing one load of laundry & preparing the family meal were the sole achievements of the day.  Which brings me to Polly, you are the postergirl for the Nike slogan. It took me "weeks & weeks" in Fred time to get back to my pre-withdrawal exercise routine & here you are racing.

Vinnie, unfortunately, there have been no studies done on tramdol to establish even what the average period of withdrawal symptoms is for any period of tramadol use as the establishment has regarded tramadol symptoms as negligible or psychosomatic.  However, we are gathering a body of anecdotal data on this site & others, (which  will also probably  be dismissed as unscientific).

So based on my own experience & some others, I suspect that for those of us who also had viral illnesses while on tramadol, (I had an entero virus that has been implicated with chronic fatigue), withdrawal might be slower than for those who were otherwise well & also that the withdrawal symptoms might mimic the symptoms of our original illness.  The opioid effect of tramadol is all about turning down your nervous system which in turn effects your hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis which is basically your whole system.  In withdrawal you have a period of hyper-sensitivity as everything wakes up again but for some of us all this renewed energy over-taxes our adrenals & we need some more down time while our systems reboot.

   The less welcome news for you is that you may continue to have the occasional bad patch for a time yet but  they should definitely become less frequent. As your adrenal system has already being stressed by the lyme disease, you just have to allow it a little more time to recover from withdrawal.

Newway & Jeff, the shocks & jumpiness are also common & result from the "raw nerves" that are caused by the sudden drop in serotonin & opiate in your nervous system.  You might find the amino acids 5htp or tryptophan helpful for this.

Keb & Lisa, you guys are doing great for so early on.

T.U.W. you are so poetic, my thoughts about the insomnia were much whinier & pretty pathetic, you are a worthy warrior indeed.

As Polly says, let's just do it.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 11, 2009
Hi everyone.It is such a pleasure to read all the positive posts and even the not so positive,because they are all still full of hope and not despair.Two steps forward and 1 step back still ends up being i step forward.The good days will far outnumber the bad days.Since my withdrawal from codeine I have a better mindset and have also been able to diet more successfully.Since I have learned to deny myself the short term pleasure of a "narcotic high",I can also use the same thinking about food and have been able to moderate my eating habits.As I said before,my day progresses in 4 hr intervals because I am allowed tylenol only every 4 hours.I often stretch the 4 hours but never take 1 sooner.I had a long and busy week and still stuck to my tylenol limit and even if I encountered some pain,it was not nearly as bad as when I took narcs.It is a beautiful sunny day today and I am off to work.Keep trucking everyone.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 11, 2009
Hi guys,
Thank you so much!! Madtram, I just keep pushing, I wanted to say to ( VINNIE) I have also like on day 16 or so had a horrible few hours in the afternoons, I remember someone saying the icky parts shrink and the feeling beter parts grow.  Thats pretty simplistic, but that seems to be whats happening, Fred is correct--its no linear, there is like this silly graph--going up-down-up-down...
Sort of like my training!!!LOL.
But I have hit somethings that stick, good mornings, feel better when running instead of other way around. Able to um..Focus a bit better....I am seriously going to stay on here to let you all know how my season gos this year!!:)

Im wondering where Emily is too Fred?? Is she ok or? The page is gettin longggg......
Fred God Bless and you crack me up!!!You really inspire me on those days, ( I do have them ) Where I am soo unmotivated...(PAWS) Yucko....

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 11, 2009
Yeah I'm Bach.
Day 7.
Well I just wanted to check in here.
I am starting to feel like David Blaine or Criss Angel and I am doing a show or performance and I have to stay awake for a week straight while being strapped in a chair//in a glass box/that is on a pedestal 200 feet high/all along getting shocked by a no bark dog collar that give's me a shock everytime I close my eye's or near sleep.

Hah !
No just kidding.
Well I wish that I could say that I am better then yesterday,I do not remember sleeping at all and feel worse then yesterday.
However I am doing better because I am 24hr's ahead of yesterday I guess.
So in this study of myself I can conclude that if you just drop from a high dose,you will indeed get hit off with a long withdrawal without sleep,unless you are taking something to sleep,as I am not.
So thank's for reading and I know that reading every person's post's here has kept my mind at ease,so I feel that it is the least that I can do for other's and return the favor,from my perspective.
Peace to all.
I will see you all later.

Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu, Oct 11, 2009
Hi everyone and thanks for providing everything on this site!
I've been prescribed tramadol for only about 4 months. My dose started at 100mg/day, not long after it would take at least 200mg/day to help the pain. This tolerance ultimately had me taking up to 500mg/day on some days. My doctor prescribed it to my for bursitis in my hip, telling me that it was not addictive and not like other stronger pain pills. I was comfortable with that, until about a month ago i let my bottle run out and just decided to stop taking it. The day i stopped (a friday), i left the office around 12:00 because of flu symptoms, went home and slept until 5-6 that evening. When i woke up, i felt horrible. I had just been on an airplane up and back the same day, and i often get a cold after flying. The next day (saturday, after not being able to sleep until 3-4am) i woke up w/ flu symptoms plus shakes, dizziness... it was bad. I wanted tramadol... and then i knew what must had been happening to me. I Googled tramadol addiction/withdrawal and it all became clear. I got my Dr. to call in a refill that afternoon, got to the pharmacy and took about 3-4 pills in the parking lot. Needless to say, i felt 100% better within a few hours.

I want off of this completely. I've tapered down my dose to 4 50mg pills a day. I take all 4 right when i get out of bed 6:30am each morning, and i'm good throughout the day until the next morning. I'm planning on going down to 3/day sometime next week, and continue this until i can totally eliminate it. So far everything's going OK. The mornings kinda suck until about an hour after i take my dose. The weirdest thing is a random tingle in my fingers. (anybody else get that???).

I think i'm lucky that i figured this out early on (thanks to the people at this and other sites). I've only been on tramadol for about 4 months... and I feel that the longer i stretch out the taper down plan, the harder it will be to finally quit. I need this... as i can NOT have something like this have SO MUCH control over my life.

Thanks for all the posts, it's comforting to know i'm not alone in this.


Avatar universal
by lovegm, Oct 11, 2009
Hi Mitch -

The tingling is normal.  The tingling is part of the withdrawal of Tramadol.  In addition, I just wanted to share an experience I had with Tramadol - whether it helps or not...when the doctor was tapering me down, I noticed in after the first tier (from like 400 mg to 200 mg after 5 days),of the taper, that I needed to break up the dosage throughout the day.  I bought a pill cutter to break the 50 mg tablets into 25 mg.  When I was taking it in one dose - it was not carrying me long enough.  You may just want to keep this in mind if you run into the same issue.  

Also, I can really relate to you in the sense of the doctor stating it was non-addictive.  I even stated to the doctor that I was an addict and was still assured this was not addictive and not a narcotic.  WOW.  I have accepted this now, however; this was difficult for me to deal with because , like you, I thought I could just quit at any time.  I tried to quit one day and it finally became clear to me, all the increases in my dosage was just dealing with withdrawal all along and not other ailments me and my doctor suspected, i.e., "Restless leg Syndrome".  

Good luck to you my friend...

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by IamJeff, Oct 11, 2009
Hello friends,

Just a note, as predicted another bad day, mainly no sleep, and horrible depression. I am not expecting anything good for a long time, but still got to have hope, no reason to be here without hope. I think I complicated things by conversing some with my x wife that was my fault. Looking for love in the wrong places.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 11, 2009
Goodevening Everyone,

Today has marked 7 days w/o tram. and although each day is better, I still prepare myself for those moments or hours of fatigue and moodiness.  I have managed today w/o a nap and will hopefully have better sleep tonight.  I too, still have tingling in my legs and even arms, it is worse at night.  As Fred reminds us, it is better with each passing moment that we have put between us and that last white pill!  I find courage w/each new day, just knowing that soon I will be better for making this decision.  As most of you, this pill caused more problems than solutions.  I sat in the sun today and felt the warmth and that actually helped my body and mind.  

These posts help keep me focused and on track.  There are moments that I think someone else is inside my body and mind and I have to snap back and take control and stay on board!   Praying for a good night for everyone.

"Though, I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me." Psalms 138:&

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 11, 2009
Hello everyone,
I have been reading these posts for about 3 months. I feel so bad for all the pain & suffering you all have gone through. Hang in there!  I hope you all can get off this awful drug forever. I will keep you all in my prayers.

This vile drug has been in my home for the past 4 years. I HATE it. But, I am not the one taking it.  A "friend" gave it to my husband about 4 years ago and slowly life as we knew it was over. I didn't realize until a year and a half ago just how much of a hold this drug had on my husband. Yes, he is an addict. Those words are very hard to type.  Tramadol, Oxycodone, Vicodin, whatever.... he admits.... he likes the buzz.  He tells me if he wants to take these pills - it's HIS body and he'll do it if he wants & it's not affecting me. If I have a problem with it - DEAL with it.  Sadly, it does affect My stomach churns. The trust is gone. Respect....I'm trying to get it back. He's usually such a strong person but this stupid little pill is like "the other woman".  He'd rather have "her" in his life than me. He tried getting off the Tram cold turkey in Nov. '08 when I told his Dr. he was taking more than was prescribed. The Dr. refused to renew the prescription. My husband was so mad at me for telling the Dr.    He found a website where he could buy them on the Internet. So for the past 8 months he's been back on them "to get through golf season".  He swears he wants off of them. That when this bottle is gone, he's not ordering any more. He has to do it "his way".  We've seen a psycologist who specializes in drug addictions. He went twice. Says he'll do it on his own. He doesn't need any help. I soooo want to believe him.

I went to a few Al Anon meetings. Some of it helped... But they mostly talked about alcohol. Can any of you tell me how I can help my husband when he truly decides to quit this poison?  In hindsight, what would you have told your family members to do to get you through the bad days ahead?  He has 100 pills left. I think the Holidays are going to be rough.

Thanks for any advice. I could use some. And a few prayers wouldn't hurt either..........

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by IamJeff, Oct 12, 2009
I am sorry to hear of your situation, I was unaware of this drugs properties and it was prescribed to me by my doctor who told me it was not addictive and it was safe. I became aware of the fact that there was something wrong with me when the only effect the drug had was to eliminate all of my desire, drive, and will to do anything, The only thing it didn't take away was my pain, so I uped my dose thats when it took away my will to live and I never felt any kind of a buzz, at least I thought. I decided this is enough and quit cold turkey for 72hrs but with no sleep and no ablility to relax, muscles twitching and jerking 24hrs a day, and all the other stuff I thought I was losing my mind, so I took 2 of these evil pills for relief and within 2hrs I was great, that is when I realized I was addicted.

The only way one can do this is to have the will to do it, for me I had to hit bottom and decided I wanted to live. Obviously there is self denial but this is a hard and scary thing to go through. Thats why it is imperative that you want to do it for your own survival and the survival of your family. It is a war that nobody can fight but the one addicted , support is essential.
I will pray for your husband Dee, and by the grace of God he will come to the realization that he is truly dieing a slow death and hurting his loved ones.

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by Dev0n, Oct 12, 2009
Good morning everyone..Day 2
Feel like somebody has filled my veins up with lead! everything feels so sleep again..i am so tired but unable to sleep at all.
This is the second time ive tried to come off this evil,first time was c/t didnt last very long .
This time i have gone to a different gp and decided a long taper would be better for me.So after a month here i am on day 2.
I am taking Amitriptyline which is a antidepressant but has been used to reduce pain(only very small dosage) will let you know if this has any effect.(takes about 2 weeks apparently)
Have an appointment to meet a psychologist on thursday,who may be able to help me relax enough to sleep

Chrissie hope you are feeling better today keep fighting, so sorry to hear about your and others on here are my inspiration

Keb are a week ahead of me well done ..keep posting  and never look back.

Just to say my daughter was prescribed this drug last year,for a urinary tract infection however the first dose made her so ill she didnt take any more.And i am pleased to say she never became dependant like me.I have told everyone i know not to touch this vile drug, got to get the message out there.
Well i hope things get better for everyone

One night at a time

best wishes and healing thoughts to you all

Dave in Devon

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 12, 2009
Thanks Jeff.  I'm just sitting here on the sidelines, waiting for him to take the next step.  Or should I say.... the First Step.

Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu, Oct 12, 2009
i tried to take the step down from 4 pills/day to 3 this morning... mornings are the worst right now! I Hate that tingly feeling in my fingers! Anyways... i couldn't do it... i just took another pill a few minutes ago... feeling shaky and unable to concentrate. I guess i'll have to stay on the 4/day level for a little longer.

it seems like it there were less w/d's going from 10/day down to 8/day and then 4/day...

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 12, 2009
Dee,  It was awesome to hear your story, told from another prospective.   My heart goes out to you.  I took this stuff for six years and I wouldn't have stopped a day sooner than I did, regardless of how many pills I had left or who wanted me to quit.  FYI, we have heard from people here, who have told us that coming off tramadol is harder than kicking heroin.  Sadly, the hooks of this drug are not as benign  as the good doctors tell us they should be.  The medical community is WAY behind the actual experiences  that people ACTUALLY  have at trying to get of this drug.   Some have attempted to be admitted into rehab programs, but because the "community" doesn't recognize it as an addictive drug, they can't be admited into some programs.

There IS hope however as so many here have testified to.   My only caution is for you to not get ahead of DH's own desire to quit this RAT POISON or you will become frustrated/angry when "his" time doesn't match yours.   It may be the greatest battle of his life and it will take a 100% committment on his part to make it sucessful.   When HE has a moment of clarity and desires more than anything, to break free, THEN, he will need a supporting loving spouse.   It isn't quite as simple as my wife's occassional "programs" to update my wardrobe.  

If you have gotten something out of the Al Anon meetings, I would encourage you to keep going.  Simply substitute tramadol for the word alcohol.   The impact on the family is not the same, but in many ways (as you so elequently described) there are similarities.   Good luck.

Mitch, Dave, Jeff,   You are in the dog days of withdrawal and my heart goes out to you.  The insomnia compounds by days 3-5, which is the main reason it is difficult to work while withdrawing.   There is an ending to your temporary suffering however.   The aches, tingeling, insomnia, RLS, indigestion, etc. etc. won't last forever.  Remain focused on the prize.  

Courage Strength and Love to all of you. fred

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by EmilyPost, Oct 12, 2009
This thread is closed.

Please move to Part 17

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