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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room Part 23

Dec 07, 2009 - 231 comments
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tramadol

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ultram

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Recovery

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Healing

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withdrawal

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withdrawl



Welcome Tramadol Warriors!

Please come on in and make yourself snug and comfy. We're delighted to hear from you!

Lots of good nourishing words here Friends!

Love and Healing,
Emily


Comments
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1130590 tn?1261434971
by Pinkmonki, Dec 07, 2009
This is my post from 16 minutes ago........I love all the support out there.  Today is day 3 and I am in the dumps.  First of all I am at work right now and this is just hell.  I have one arm out of my sweater because I am hot and a fan is blowing.  My finger tips are freezing cold as are my toes.  The office building is only heated to 70 degrees.  I obviously will be doing lots of washing over the next month.  I can not get focused except to read posts here.

The other thing the Tram was helping me with was my father died on 10.18.09 from pancreatic cancer and watching this happen with the decline in him, his death, helping my Mom, the Tram kept me numb and plugging through everyday without hesitation.

I just burst out in tears and feel more coming on.  As I've been reading everyone's post this is "normal" for WD.  How weird to think of things as "normal" with withdrawals.  I am having anger issues right now at my doc for even prescribing this garbage to me.  My goal is to make it to 9 am at this point in time.  My boss called in and I have to make it sound like all is well.  I hate living this lie.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 07, 2009
Pinmonki- Day three is probably one of the worst days.  It will pass.  I found it hard to concentrate at first too.  I also had the hot/cold thing.  Cold mostly and I used to always be hot.

I'm sorry about your father.  You will probably have some grieving to do.

Jenny

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by forget_me_not, Dec 07, 2009
Pink, you are in the thick of it right now.  I so relate to your words.  There were many, many things that I had failed to deal with during the tramadol years, and yes, the emotional bottleneck is very hard.  Very, very hard.  But as hard as it is, it's also normal.  Unresolved grief can really take a toll over the course of years.  Find ways to let it out when it needs to come out.  Cry, scream, and most of all, come here and share your experiences without fear of judgment.  We are here for you, and there's pretty much nothing you can say that will surprise or offend this bunch.  We understand.  Yes, we do!

warm wishes and prayers for strength to all the warriors this morning,

~fmn

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 07, 2009
Tomorrow is my first weekly taper day. Should I go down by 50mg or just 25mg as originally planned?

I could try 50, see how I feel, and if it doesn't work out, go back to 25mg.

Any thoughts?

1130590 tn?1261434971
by Pinkmonki, Dec 07, 2009
Thank you.  I've made it to almost 10:30 now and have almost wiped out a box of tissues.  Thank God none of my bosses are here until after 1 pm today.  Going through this is one thing and doing it at work is another.  There is no way to use sick time because our manager is out and I am the fall back person, plus I wiped it out with the funeral, etc.

On day 1 (Saturday) I got a speeding ticket and this one can not come off my record, so my husband is not pleased, nor is the budget.

I did call my doctor and left her a msg that I tried her step off method, but was having withdrawals, so I bleached the rest of the pills Friday and went cold turkey.  Just having those darn pills around was like wearing a noose.

From what I've gathered from reading almost a years worth of posts it seems like the first week week and a 1/2 are the worst.......is this correct?  Of course we are all different, but for generalization purposes.......

Again, thank you all!!!!

1059641 tn?1277525976
by forget_me_not, Dec 07, 2009
Yes, Pink -- the first ten days or so are the worst for most people.  And really, even within that time period, there are many upswings that will give you hope, sort of a glimpse of better days on the way.  It is all random and unpredictable. My advice at this point is to be very gentle with yourself, do the best you can do each day, and focus on the words from folks here who have been there, too, and promise you that it's going to get better very soon.  Your brain is adjusting to the lack of tramadol, and all the symptoms you experience are part of the healing process.  The physical, cognitive, and emotional -- all of it.  Just stay in the moment.  Each moment you put between you and the last pill is another step toward freedom, precious healing.  

I admire your ability to work during this very hard time.  You and all the others here who soldiered through those days while remaining productive.  You are troopers and I salute your strength and courage.  I didn't have to work, although I am raising a three-year old, and that kept me firmly planted "just outside myself", enough to push on and try to seem ok for her.  I wasn't, God knows.

Elf, you can give 50mg a shot and see how that goes.  If you feel ok with it, it certainly won't hurt you and it will decrease your total time to freedom.  We are here to help in any way we can.

peace, warriors.

~fmn

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 07, 2009
Thanks FMN...I think I'll try it.

Another weird w/d symptom I have when I 'forget' to take even 50mg worth:  a COUGH... a tickle in my throat.... somehow Tram is an antihistamine for me. go figure.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 07, 2009
Pink- I had to do this at work too.  Everyone is different though.  Physically, I was better in a few days.  I had some depression kick in about a week out, but it improved quickly.  Being at work stinks, but maybe the distraction will be good.

Elf- I'd start at 50...25 would take too long for me.

Jenny

1059641 tn?1277525976
by forget_me_not, Dec 07, 2009
Warriors, this is for those of us who are experiencing PAWS-related difficulties.  If you are, you may find something here that is comforting and assuring to you.  I did.

Apologies for the length this will take up on your page.  I don't know how to do a cut, or if that is possible on this page, so I'm posting it in its entirety.  

Copied from the Substance Abuse Community.

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

Exerpted From "Staying Sober" By: Terence T. Gorski

with additions by: Lee Jamison

When most people think about alcoholism or drug addiction they think only of the alcohol/drug-based symptoms and forget about the sobriety-based symptoms. Yet it is the sobriety-based symptoms, especially post acute withdrawal, that make sobriety so difficult. The presence of brain dysfunction has been documented in 75-95% of the recovering alcoholics/addicts tested. Recent research indicates that the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal associated with alcohol/drug-related damage to the brain may contribute to many cases of relapse.


Post-acute withdrawal means symptoms that occur after acute withdrawal. Post means after. And syndrome means a group of symptoms.

Syndrome: A group of symptoms

Post: After

Post Acute Withdrawal: Symptoms that occur after acute withdrawal.

Post-acute withdrawal is a group of symptoms of addictive disease that occur as a result of abstinence from addictive chemicals. In the alcoholic/addict these symptoms appear seven to fourteen days into abstinence, after stabilization from the acute withdrawal.

Post-acute withdrawal is a bio-psycho-social syndrome. It results from the combination of damage to the nervous system caused by alcohol or drugs and the psychosocial stress of coping with life without drugs or alcohol.

Recovery causes a great deal of stress. Many chemically dependent people never learn to manage stress without alcohol and drug use. The stress aggravates the brain dysfunction and makes the symptoms worse. The severity of PAW depends upon two things: the severity of the brain dysfunction caused by the addiction and the amount of psychosocial stress experienced in recovery.

The symptoms of PAW typically grow to peak intensity over three to six months after abstinence begins. The damage is usually reversible, meaning the major symptoms go away in time if proper treatment is received. So there is no need to fear. With proper treatment and effective sober living, it is possible to learn to live normally in spite of the impairments. But the adjustment does not occur rapidly. Recovery from the nervous system damage usually required from six to 24 months with the assistance of a healthy recovery program. Recent research is showing that for some recovering people the symptoms of PAW often occur at regular "moon cycle" intervals and without apparent outside stressors. Often those 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 1 & 2-year sobriety dates seem to be "triggering" times for PAW symptoms to increase. People recovering from long term opiate and stimulant use often have PAW symptoms for no apparent reason for up to 10 years after they have stopped using their drug of choice. Often PAW symptoms appear to come and go without apparent reason and without any specific pattern. Individuals who intend to have consistent long-term recovery must learn to recognize these symptoms and learn how to manage them.

SYMPTOMS OF POST ACUTE WITHDRAWAL

How do you know if you have PAW? The most identifiable characteristic is the inability to solve usually simple problems. There are six major types of PAW symptoms that contribute to this They are the inability to think clearly, memory problems, emotional overreactions and numbness, sleep disturbances, physical coordination problems, and general problems in managing stress. The inability to solve usually simple problems because of any or all of these symptoms leads to diminished self-esteem. A person often feels incompetent, embarrassed, and “not okay” about themselves. Diminished self-esteem and the fear of failure interfere with productive and challenging living. Let’s take a look at some of the PAW symptoms that contribute to the inability to solve usually simple problems.

TYPES OF PAW SYMPTOMS

1.   Inability to think clearly

2.   Memory problems

3.   Emotional overreactions or numbness

4.   Sleep disturbances

5.   Physical coordination problems

6.   Stress sensitivity

Inability to Think Clearly

There are several thought disorders experienced by a recovering person when PAW is activated. Intelligence is not affected. It is as if the brain is malfunctioning sometimes. Sometimes it works all right. Sometimes is does not.

One of the most common symptoms is the inability to concentrate for more than a few minutes. Impairment of abstract reasoning is another common symptom of post acute withdrawal. An abstraction is a nonconcrete idea or concept, something that you cannot hold in your hand, take a picture of, or put in a box. Concentration is more of a problem when abstract concepts are involved.

Another common symptom is rigid and repetitive thinking. The same thoughts may go around and around in your head and you are unable to break through this circular thinking in order to put thoughts together in an orderly way.

Memory Problems

Short-term memory problems are very common in the recovering person. You may hear something and understand it, but within 20 minutes you forget it. Someone will give an instruction and you know exactly what to do. But you may walk away, and that memory becomes clouded or may disappear completely.

Sometimes during stressful periods it may also be difficult to remember significant events from the past. These memories are not gone; the person may be able to remember them easily at other times. The person realizes that he or she knows but just cannot recall it while experiencing the stress.

For an alcoholic named Jan this created a problem in AA. “I have trouble presenting my story at AA,” she said. “I have trouble remembering events that happened before my drinking days, let alone things that happened while I was drinking. So to put my life in story form is hard for me. I don’t remember all of my story. I do remember that some things occurred, but I get confused about when they happened. Many times I can remember things when I am alone with no pressure that I can’t remember under the stress I feel when I talk at meetings.”

Because of memory problems in recovery, it may be difficult to learn new skills and information. You learn skills by acquiring knowledge and building upon what you have already learned. Memory problems make it difficult to build upon what you have already learned.

Emotional Overreaction or Numbness

Persons with emotional problems in sobriety tend to overreact. When things happen that require two units of emotional reaction, they react with ten. It is like holding the “times” key down on a calculator. You may find yourself becoming angry over what may later seem a trivial matter. You may feel more anxious or excited than you have reason to be. When this overreaction puts more stress on the nervous systems than it can handle, there is an emotional shutdown. If this happens to you, you become emotionally numb, unable to feel anything. And even when you know you should feel something, you do not. You may swing from one mood to another without knowing why.

Sleep Problems

Most recovering people experience sleep problems. Some of them are temporary; some are lifelong. The most common in early recovery is unusual or disturbing dreams. These dreams may interfere with your ability to get the sleep you need. But they become less frequent and less severe as the length of abstinence increases.

Mike was a periodic drinker. Periods of sobriety usually lasted for several months. During the time he was not drinking, he had dreams that severely disrupted his sleep. His wife said, “I never realized the nightmares Mike was having had anything to do with drinking or not drinking. He would frequently jump out of bed, screaming in terror. When I was able to awaken him and calm him, he couldn’t remember what he dreamed, but he remembered being afraid. After a year of sobriety, he seldom had the dreams. Only then did I realize that they were related to his drinking.

Even if you do not experience unusual dreams, you may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. You may experience changes in your sleep patterns; sleeping for long periods at a time or sleeping at different times of the day. Some of these patterns may never return to “normal,” but most people are able to adjust to them without severe difficulty.

Physical Coordination Problems

A very serious PAW problem – though perhaps not as common as the others – is difficulty with physical coordination. Common symptoms are dizziness, trouble with balance, problems with coordination between hand and eye, and slow reflexes. These result in clumsiness and accident proneness. This is how the term “dry drunk” came into being. When alcoholics appeared drunk because of stumbling and clumsiness, but had not been drinking, they were said to be “dry drunk.” They had the appearance of being intoxicated without drinking.

Stress Sensitivity

Difficulty in managing stress is the most confusing and aggravating part of post acute withdrawal. Recovering people are often unable to distinguish between low-stress situations and high-stress situations. They may not recognize low levels of stress, and then overreact when they become aware of the stress they are experiencing. They may feel stressful in situations that ordinarily would not bother them, and in addition, when they react they overreact. They may do things that are completely inappropriate for the situation. So much so that later on they may wonder why they reacted so strongly.

To complicate things further, all of the other symptoms of post acute withdrawal become worse during times of high stress. There is a direct relationship between elevated stress and the severity of PAW. Each intensifies the other. The intensity of PAW creates stress, and stress aggravates PAW and makes it more severe. At times of low stress, the symptoms get better and may even go away. When you are well rested and relaxed, eating properly, and getting along well with people, you will probably appear to be fine. Your thoughts will be clear, your emotions appropriate, and your memory all right. At times of high stress, however, your brain may suddenly shut down. You may begin experiencing thinking problems, inappropriate emotions, and memory problems.

If your thoughts become confused and chaotic or you are unable to concentrate, if you have trouble remembering or solving problems, you may feel you are going crazy. You are not. These symptoms are a normal part of your recovery and are reversible with abstinence and a recovery program. If you do not understand this you may develop shame and guilt which leads to diminished self-esteem and isolation which creates stress and increased PAW. It is a painful cycle that is unnecessary if you understand what is happening. As your body and your mind begin to heal and as you learn ways to reduce the risk of post acute withdrawal symptoms, productive and meaningful living is possible in spite of the very real possibility of recurring symptoms.

Recovery from the damage caused by the addiction requires abstinence. The damage itself interferes with the ability to abstain. This is the paradox of recovery. Use of alcohol or other drugs can temporarily reverse the symptoms of the damage. If alcoholics drink, or drug addicts use, they will think clearly for a little while, be able to have normal feelings and emotions for a little while, feel healthy for a little while. Unfortunately, the disease will eventually trigger a loss of control that will again destroy these functions.

For this reason it is necessary to do everything possible to reduce the symptoms of PAW. It is necessary to understand PAW and to recognize that you are not incompetent and you are not going crazy. Because post acute withdrawal symptoms are stress sensitive, you need to learn about PAW and methods of control when stress levels are low in order to be able to prevent the symptoms or to manage them when they occur.

1130965 tn?1260237707
by CleaningUp, Dec 07, 2009
Thank you soooo much forget me not for posting this. I really do have moments where I think I am going crazy, like it is more than just the addiction, this really helps ease my thoughts about this subject of going crazy.
I just am so excited for this to be over with! I know it takes time, and time heals all, but I am ready for the long road of recovery.
I am just so thankful that I found this forum today!

1059641 tn?1277525976
by forget_me_not, Dec 07, 2009
Cleaningup, glad you found it useful!  I definitely don't want to discourage anyone in the early stages of withdrawal or those considering breaking free.  This all has to be kept in perspective, and I want it to be very clear that PAWS is something we can deal with.  It's nothing, NOTHING that can't be managed.  

I've experienced the memory problems and stress-induced emotional "explosions" in particular.  It was so good to learn that this is all a normal part of healing, not permanent, irreversible brain damage.

The prospect of starting a new job (a very stressful one at that) makes me a little nervous.  Well, maybe a lot nervous.  I have been really trying to challenge my brain daily in the hope that those brain connections will sharpen up again.  But if it never got better, it's still manageable.

peace,
~fmn

Avatar universal
by Tilly536, Dec 07, 2009
I have visited this forum many many times over the past two years.  My addiction to Tramadol over the last 3 years has altered my life in so many ways- I have lost the ambition I once had, I have become insular and avoidant.... I have quit over and over, but always seem to find my way back to the arms of this hideous, life stealing, personality destroying drug.  I hope that this time will be the last.  Sometimes I worry that life will be boring or disastisfying without this drug.  Those of you who have come through to the other side, please please tell me this is just the drug trying to hang on; please please tell me that enjoyment can still be found in life.  
For the last month or so, I have been taking a few days off from Trams and then going back on.  I would love to give myself the chance to really experience my life in the present again... I dont know what it is that holds me to tramadol- I have never been addicted to anything before.  I guess it seems to help me coast through my life without feeling anything, but that has also led me to live without changing things that need to change.  I started abusing Trams during a particularly awful marriage and subsequent divorce, but even after that man had left mylife, i let the trams stay.  I so want to come back to sobriety because I don't feel like I am really participating in my life. Its more like I am floating through it if that makes any sense.
I was taking about 4 a day, on and off.  I was off for about 5 days, took 2 yesterday, and took none today.  I really need some encouragement.  I really need to hear that I can do this....

Tilly

1130590 tn?1261434971
by Pinkmonki, Dec 07, 2009
The 4 posts above, yes you can do it!  The strength is there in you, it is tough...I am sitting here in day three of sobriety and I was taking 15, 50mg per day.  I am thankful that I've made it to almost 1 pm.  I feel like hell and want to get out of work soooo badly and I swear the clock handles just turned backward on me!

Tram has made me numb to my life as well, and now I am paying a huge price.  By you staying on it you will only be hurting yourself in the long run.  You had the guts to post here, so you have it in you to go 100%.  Is this something you can talk to your doctor about?

I've only been here posting for less than 24 hours and have had the most kind life changing advice from multiple people who do not know me, but care.  Asking for help took guts, I know you can do it!

Avatar universal
by Tilly536, Dec 07, 2009
no, it's not really something I can discuss with my doctor.  The worst part of the whole thing is that i have spent my life feeling like I am so high finctioning- this is like a terrible secret, and that nmakes it even harder in a way.  i don't really feel like I can discuss it with anyone because i am so ashamed.  i guess that the unnatural high makes the natural low seem that much lower when you stop.  I just want this stuff out of my life so badly and hope that I am strong enough to do it this time....I am so sick of getting 3/4 through a detox and then starting back on them.  I guess i need to come here to remember that it's not worth giving your life away to mask the unpleasant parts of it with a chemical haze...

Thank you so much for your encouragement.  When I see people with those banners that say how many days clean they are, i feel so envious. I just cannot understand how this drug is prescribed so EASILY to ANYONE who wants it!!! It's criminal.

1130590 tn?1261434971
by Pinkmonki, Dec 07, 2009
Amen!  I wish that I had done more research myself to truly learn what I was taking.  Oh yes, I sure could get a TON done in one day and everyone would say "wow sure do have lots of energy", yea, if they only knew.  Oh my, please stop or step off gradually ASAP.  I am so glad that you were not taking as much as I was, but you were taking it long than my 6 month stint.  I am sure others here will have more input as I am in day three and feel like my face is sliding off.  Yes, I am trying to keep my humor going because I am a shell sitting here right now.  I have faith in you.  After going through what you have had to endure don't you deserve this?  Aren't you worth it?  Damn it I am worth it and and I am going through hell, and more to come, but those beautiful rays of sunshine always come through the clouds!  

Avatar universal
by Tilly536, Dec 07, 2009
you're right- they do.  I guess the thing is to just look forward to getting through another day without the drugs.  I can't stand to be high around my family or friends anymore, always feeling like I am somehow lying to them. i guess I am hopiong that the fact that I have been so on and off with how I took tram that the withdrawak won't be too terrible.  Today isn't too bad, but I guess day two is really the test...

1130965 tn?1260237707
by CleaningUp, Dec 07, 2009
tilly- let me tell you, I just came to my parents last thursday about my entire situation. It has been 3 years of hiding this secret, and then just putting it all out on the table. Even though I bawled my eyes out and wasn't sure how they would take it, I knew I wasn't the first person who has ever done this. My parents were more understanding than I could imagine, because they will always be my parents, and I am so greatful.
If I didn't have them, I think I would have gone to either a psychiatrist or just a doctor. It comes to a point where you just cannot do it anymore.
It will be ok!! just keep your head up and stay positive... we can all do this together!

334144 tn?1423248271
by booba77, Dec 07, 2009
FMN~ thanks so much for the PAWS post.  I never really understood what it was, but I do now and boy am I in the midst of it.  I have no patience and fly off the handle at any little thing.  My poor 4 year old.  And husband.  I have put them through hell, but am determined to change. What helps the PAWS? they never say in the article.  let me guess, time?

Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 07, 2009
Once I came to terms with my addiction to this evil drug and found this web site - it was such a relief.  I thought I was losing my grip on life, lack of energy, lack of interest - I went from being a social being and a bit of an overachiever to this isolated woman who was just waiting for the day to end - I enjoyed nothing.
It was also my big secret - no one knew - you people were the first ones I opened up to, gave me the courage to face the realities in my life.  I decided to taper - my experience with CT had been brutal - the physical stuff I expected but I fell into a deep, dark depression - thoughts that scared the heck out of me - so no way was I up to that.  Over 4 months I have tapered from over 20 - I am now down to 2 per day.  During this taper I have shared with my partner and explained some of my behaviour and are now working through the toll tram has taken on my relationship.  I have started to re connect with some friends and get out of the house a bit.
The taper has not been easy - I have had the physical withdrawal symptoms come and go - and have basically felt kind of crappy the whole time - but my mood has stayed stable - the depression I feared has stayed away - I am exhausted a lot of the time - but that is much different than depressed.

For those of you who are new here - there seems to be more and more luckey soles finding this site - please remember that many of us have slipped along the way - recovery, getting off this evil drug many not prove to be the linear experience you are hoping for - the key is to keep trying, keep posting - I have learned as much from my mistakes, struggles and slips as I have from my sucesses.

Way to go Gerty - hang in there - you are starting to see your way clear!

Avatar universal
by couple_seeks_advice, Dec 07, 2009
I have fibromyalgia and was prescribed tramadol 9 yrs ago...It "worked" great as it numbed my physical and mental pain.  I was taking about 4-5 a day and I was prescrbed 8 per day, but couldnt figure our why each month my script ran short. Last Saturday, my husband confessed his deep dark secret... We have both been taking the drug for 8-9 years and I had NO idea. HIs last pilll was last Saturday morning(8days ago). MY last pill was just this Saturday. So I am one 1/2 days in.

I read somewhere about vitamins that could help ease withdrawal symptoms....anyone know which? The creepy crawly feeling and suicidal anxiety thoughts are almost  unbearable. Last Saturday night I had to call our pastor at 10pm to talk my husband out of suicide. Hes never been depress or even cried before this week, Ive seen him cry so much this week. In the midst of quitting we both confessed every  deep sad dark secrets throughout the 19 yr marriage as a means of complete exposure to one another.  Some of the secrets were VERY painful, but I feel numb and anxious when I should feel something else. Some of our emotions are "normal" considering what we have exposed to each other, but much of it is the drug.  

We are working through our problems and are committed to ending these addictions....any advice as far as natural supplements to deal with the detox  symptoms at least the physical crawly feling and inability to sleep???...vitamins or foods??



Avatar universal
by couple_seeks_advice, Dec 07, 2009
Also anyone else sneeze alot??

Avatar universal
by doonthegallowgate, Dec 07, 2009
Although i am addicted to tramadol and share the same WD'S everyone is describing when trying to come off them,i have to say that the drug itself is having no adverse effects on my personality, ambition, life in general etc Only issue i have had is decreased libido since taking it 8 months ago, but that has improved of late.They also give me great pain relief when other things have failed. My concern is that i know i will have to stop them eventually and having experienced the WD's from trying to stop before, i don't know how i will be able to get through it. As far as tram effecting me as a person, if i am honest it's probably chilled me out a bit. Made me a little more laid back. That might not make sense to anyone but that's just how it is for me. I'm actually a little worried that when i do come off them, it might have a negative effect in that respect. I wish everyone who is trying to stop the very best of luck, and i'm pretty sure i will be on here quite a bit for advice when it comes the time i will have to stop because i deep down that taking 10  50mg capsules a day is doing me more harm than good. Scared out of my wits though.

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by forget_me_not, Dec 07, 2009
Couple_seeks_advice... first of all, Welcome to the best healing community I've ever been part of.  The people here are unbelievably wise and have so much excellent advice to share.  Stick around, and when you can, read back through older posts.  There's a tremendous amount of information tucked inside them.  

There are some things that ease the severity of the early withdrawal symptoms, but yes, the most important binding ingredient in all of them is Time.  You will get through it.  The depression (I don't like using that word to describe what happens to our minds during early withdrawal because it seems hardly to do it justice), the anxiety, and the severe pain will abate in just a few days.  Try to stay in the moment.  Understand that tramadol recovery is a long process and certainly not predictable, and commit to it with that knowledge, but focus on NOW.  Also, if you can, help keep your husband focused on the present too, and show him these posts as well, if he will read them.  Neither of you is alone.  We are here and we understand.  

It's the toughest fight you'll ever fight.  But you can win.

I understand the need to address the marital issues, too, as they have surfaced at the same time you're going through withdrawal.  My advice (hate that word, but...) is that you might consider focusing on getting to a point of clarity before trying to solve those problems.  Talk to one another as long as doing so is helpful to you both.  But if it becomes too heavy, realize you've got all the time in the world to deal with those issues once you have gotten through the worst of the tram withdrawal.

Lots of love and prayers to you tonight,

~fmn

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 07, 2009
So many people here feel ashamed about being addicted to tramadol.People..it was not your fault.This drug was and still is not considered a narcotic or even a controlled drug in Canada and most of USA.It was marketed as a non addicting(oh yeah) synthetic opiate that has some antidepressant properties.If it was legislated as a narcotic or controlled people would be more careful using and doctors would be more careful prescribing it.It has even been recommended for opiate addicts to replace narcotics for pain.It is a sneaky little pill that also is an antidepressant and most antidepressants are hard to discontinue and should be tapered to prevent worse depression.Everyone thought they had a safe and better alternative to taking opiates.I do not blame anyone here for their addictions and blame the big pharma and government for not watching out for us.They certainly stick their noses in everything else and when it really counts they are not there for us.On paper it sounds ideal..non addicting,non narcotic,opiate receptor pain pills with additional antidepressant properties.No one anticipated the fast tolerance that develops and that people would need more and more to get less and less.I am embarassed that when this drug first came out that I as a pharmacist parrotted the literature and advised this drug as being non addicting and some new and wonderful.i have since done a lot more research and tell all our patients that get it about the tolerance and addicting and especially the antidepressant properties.To think you can but tramadol in Mexico and HongKong without a prescription.It should be highly regulated.Just don't blame yourselves or even your doctors because we were fed a line of bull by the drug companies.We asre just learning the extent of problems that come with tramadol.

Avatar universal
by couple_seeks_advice, Dec 07, 2009
Thanks....fmn


Avatar universal
by couple_seeks_advice, Dec 07, 2009
Pharma 9~any advice on vitamin supplements etc... To help ease this beginning stage of horrific discomfort

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by madtram, Dec 07, 2009
Welcome to the boot camp, couple & Tilly.  None of us got here intentionally but like all character building opportunities, it's possible to emerge from basic training with a great sense of achievement.

Couple you have quite a project to share.  You have done well not increasing your dose over the years & that will make withdrawals a little easier.

Helpful supplements for depression include 5htp; St John's Wort; d-l-phenylalanine; sublingual vitamin B12; B6 & vitamin D, (unless you get lots of natural sunlight take 2,000 iu vitamin D, per day).

Insositol at doses of 8 grams per day can be miraculous for anxiety & l-theanine can help.

Foodwise, high quality protein foods & complex carbs will help rebuild your brain chemistry.  Try to avoid sugar & simple carbohydrates as they will contribute to serotonin spikes & slumps which is the last thing you need right now.  If you find you are having sugar cravings, 5htp can help stabilise serotonin levels.

If you read back through Emily Post, you will see that unfortunately the suicidal feelings are quite common & are 100% caused by the drug.  I would never deny the validity of anyone's feelings but it doesn't hurt to bear in mind that withdrawing from tramadol is playing total havoc with your neurotransmitters so not all your thoughts are coming from a healthy well balanced brain.

As Fred so often advocates, keeping a personal journal through the process can be very helpful to keep track of your feelings.

Please let us know if there's anything you need help with.

And yes, sneezing is very common.  Tramadol is also a histamine antagonist, (aka antihistamine).


Avatar universal
by Rickee, Dec 07, 2009
I cannot believe their is a site truly for tramadol.  I have been an addict for most of my life.  I had back problems with my son so they described me lortab and of course I liked them way to much.  Now a year ago my doctor put me on tramadols.  My husband and I fight constantly over them.  I do have a great deal of pain every day, but I also use tramadol for everything in my life.  I take about 15 a day.  I cant admit that to him, but it is the only way I feel I can function.  I wish I could just taper off of them, he has tried and everytime we fight and I win.  I know all about addiction I have taking many classes, but the withdrawals are so awful when I have 4 children who depend on me.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 07, 2009
Continuing because I somehow posted before I wanted to.Tramadol is marketed as a non narcotic pain pill.How many non narcotic pain pills are there available for consumers?NONE...only the antiinflammatories and plain tylenol..thats it.All the others are narcotics.So when something comes out that is said to be a non narcotic of course everyone wants it and the doctors prescribe it.The drug directorate did not do thorough studies on this drug before they so blindly approved it as a NON NARCOTIC pain reliever.They also did not stress the antidepressant effect and take into consideration that people would be taking the drug up to 4 times aday.Who takes an antidepressant 4 times a day?Couple..don't blame your husband for taking the trams..he probably thought he was taking something no more harmful than tylenol..but it worked better.This sneaky devil of a drug is disguised as a harmless pain reliever..but we know better.

Avatar universal
by couple_seeks_advice, Dec 07, 2009
Thanx SO much madtram...We really are just looking for some supplemental healthy advice. Somewhere someone said to start smoking pot to get you thru..NOt a healthy option..lol

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by madtram, Dec 07, 2009
You are most welcome, couple.  Due to our individual biochemistry, everyone responds differently to different supplements so a bit of self-experimentation is in order to find your personal recipe.  There is reasonable published research for each of the above producing results beyond placebo only.


Magnesium Ascorbate is a good supplement as vitamin C & magnesium are both important for many essential physiological functions.   Epsom salt baths are another good way to absorb magnesium, particularly if you are having digestive problems.

You didn't mention insomnia but valerian & sub-lingual melatonin can be helpful there, also sedating antihistamines like phenergan or nyquil, (although I have to say that none of the non prescription remedies helped my insomnia at all).



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by CleaningUp, Dec 07, 2009
Couple- The health pages are very helpful as well, they have different kinds of food that help out with your body. Anything that will help is definitely worth checking into!:)

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by gerty411411, Dec 07, 2009
Hey all,

Lots of new posts.  Welcome everybody!!!!  We will all kick some butt, together.  But, as Newway says we have all had ups/downs and backslides.  I relapsed in August but gave it another go around in November and am in this for the long haul.  I don't think I was truly ready to be free in August.  So realize that we are all human and be kind to yourselves.

FMN, thansk for the PAWS info.  All I know is that for me my paws seemed to worsen during PMS- seriously.  I was like the Psycho Killer in slow motion.  Not looking forward to the next episode.

Take care!!!!  Gerty

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by forget_me_not, Dec 07, 2009
The PAWS stuff also gets worse for me at certain cycle-related times.  Strange how it's all related, and hormonal changes definitely trigger things I'd rather not experience.  I have been especially bothered by memory loss and cognitive malfunctions -- the word hunger, for example.  I sometimes struggle to associate ideas or concepts that have everything to do with each other logically.  It's almost like I can "see" the relationship in my mind, but cannot translate that to anything meaningful whatsoever.  This happened repeatedly during my recent job interview, and it happens at random times just whenever.  Associations and relationships are hard for me now and they NEVER were before.  I could take any two things in the world and explain at least ten ways in which they were related to each other.  Well, that was then.

And the word hunger.  Even if I can put something together in my mind, so often now, I cannot communicate it.  I can't find the vocabulary.  Again, something I never experienced before.

The memory loss is most frightening, though.  I literally have to make lists and notes for EVERYTHING, from needing to pick up two things at the grocery to paying the bills.  If I don't write it down and put it somewhere I will certainly not miss, I will forget it all.  If I need milk and cheese at the grocery, that should be easy, right?  Both are dairy and they are right next to each other.  I'll remember the milk but not the cheese.  No kidding, I have to make a grocery list for two items!  

Oh, and I forget names of things that are as familiar to me as my own.  And I've grown so accustomed to it that I tell myself when it happens, "Nope, can't remember.  I'll try again later."  And surely enough, ten minutes later I can successfully recall it with no prompting or help at all.  Brain blips, I call them.  It's just a scary thing to experience.  

My dream is to go to law school, and I now fear I may have done too much damage to my brain.  If I have, I will accept it.  But I hope not.  This article and others I have read give me hope that it's all reversible.  I am banking on that and not getting too discouraged by the ups and downs.  I am just thirteen weeks into life after tramadol.  I'm a newborn as that goes...

best wishes for a wonderful night, Warriors.  May you all be infused with peace and strength in the places you need it most.

~fmn

Avatar universal
by inspiring, Dec 08, 2009
for couple seeking advice on healthy supplement and vitamins, go to the link below, I found it to be invaluable in my quitting

http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Addiction/Thomas-Recipe-Re-Posted/show/16?cid=66

best wishes

Avatar universal
by inspiring, Dec 08, 2009
forget_me_not   you have such a marvelous way of offering advice with such kind loving words, I wish I could put it all so eloquently and I thank you for answering the newcomers questions

pink - I feel for you with the loss of your father.  I too popped some pills that I felt I needed for such a traumatic event in my life when my own father fell ill and passed. I was so glad I had something to numb me out as I felt I would not have handled it  however - I still have guilt that I didn't FEEL at that time, and I have spent months with it all whirring around in my mind. I have relived it over and over ntil my mind could believe it and start to accept it, and that is part of the grieving process. I had to forgive myself. THAT was hard, but time DOES heal, I commend you for wanting to FEEL again.

I used to think life might be 'boring' without popping a pill to make it better, thing is that pill is REALLY limited, while our drug free minds can achieve miracles, joy and delight

thanks to all the ones who helped me on this site, I'm still sticking around to say thanks and also to read the posts to stay strong and not go back on ANY drug that warps my being. When I read about the worry and fear that people are experiencing, I remember and I am grateful that I got thru it, the support here was the ONLY thing that saved me, and so I stick around to read, like Finally Fred who is so wise kind and accommodating, as I feel a kinship and a debt of gratitude to all who post here and help others

I feel honored to be a part of these group, to all newcomers, it WILL get better, the personal hell cannot last forever, each minute counts, cry rant scream if you have to but get that devil drug OUT of your system


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by madtram, Dec 08, 2009
FMN, your brain will recover.  Do you have to sit the LSAT?  If you want to start exercising your brain before the tests, there are good brain gym programs available.  I use lumosity.com & some of my scores were woeful to start but you can see the training effect kick in & it's encouraging.

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 08, 2009
Going down from 300mg to 250 today for 1 week. I am really nervous, as I think I have a threshold level/tolerance/whatever at around 300. This is going to suck.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 08, 2009
I find it interesting how many highly intelligent and ambitious people we have here.  In some ways, I think that is a common addict attribute.  For me, I was often striving for perfection and to please people that I've been trying to please since childhood.  Pills or alcohol were ways to escape that or sometimes to acheive it.  Anyway, I've realized that my job is becoming unbearable for me.  It has been for a year now, but the trams helped me get through.  I'm now actively looking for something in a field I'd like and actually have an interview in two weeks.  YAY!  FMN- Your brain will recover.  Don't despair.  I often wonder that too.  More about my anti-depressant than tramadol or my past alcohol abuse.  I hope I get my "self" back.

Couple- Just a side note, if you are currently on Anti-depressants, be careful with the natural ones.  Just wanted to say that.  I had major rebound depression about a week out and I'm on an AD.  It passed though.  Are you in counseling at all?  It sounds like maybe a good therapist or your pastor could help when the withdrawal has past.  My husband and I have greatly benefited from our premarital counseling.

Doon- I didn't feel strongly altered by them either.  The withdrawal may not be that bad if you go slowly.  Mine was fairly easy except for the couple days of depression.  I was helped by my klonopin at night because I was able to sleep and heal!

Jenny

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by cake698, Dec 08, 2009
Today has not been a good day or so the past 2 really havn't.  I'm doing the whole tapper thing as i said before and am doing good but for some reason its like my brain desided to work against me. withdrawal symptoms were very tolerable till now and i haven't really changed my dose. just by one pill.  its like yesterday i started balling my eyes out and i'm home from work right now cus i couldnt take it!!!!!!! i'm suffering sever withdrawals like the chills they are the worse for me to deal with cus i hate being cold. also couldn't sleep like normal but not cus i couln't cus i couldnt seem to calm down.  i have never been this depressed in my life and to the point it scares me.  sorry for my rambleing but i just had to get it out of me.  i want to be free and boy i cant wait.  

Avatar universal
by Rickee, Dec 08, 2009
After reading everyones post I am amazed how serious this tramadol thing is.  It scares me.  I have defended it for so long because my dr said it was safe, well justified the fact that I need 15 a day to function.  I just pray I can be strong and I have kicked herion, and there is really no natural or prescription medication to help- its just called willpower and and strength beyond yourself- you have to believe.

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 08, 2009
cake - how many mg do you take per day, and what is your taper plan?

Avatar universal
by desperate2getWell, Dec 08, 2009
Going through this w/d thing is like going through the stages of death for me.  Denial (I don't have a tram problem), Bargaining (I'll just order it this one last time and do a taper) Anger (those *()_ drug companies!!!).  
Help me out here, I can't remember the other phase but I do know that Acceptance and moving forward is the goal.  
Doon, it was funny to read your post because I can remember standing in the shower yesterday thinking, 'maybe I am just one of those people that functions better when I am medicated.  Afterall, I did fine taking them . . . blah, blah,  blah.  Drug talk.  
The point for me was that I wasn't having any pain but my body was (and still is) convinced that it needs it - which I know is addiction.  My mind, body and spirit decided to make a different choice, but it was a place I had to get to, no one could have done it for me.
FMN - thanks for the PAWS info.  It is alarming to think that these feelings may come and go randomly- that really unsettles me but at least now I know what I am feeling is within the norm.  During the first two days of this CT jump I came to know what the term 'disassociated' means.  Overall, I have gained great empathy for anyone trying to break an addictive habit and what that will translate into is much more understanding of where the patients are coming from.
Overall, wanted to let you know that at this point (almost three weeks, memory issues) most of the intense stuff is over, but still notice things like leg cramps, sneezing, no interest in food.  The energy comes and goes so I am either drinking green tea or putting a B12 under the tongue. Bloated off and on.  
I am definitely feeling your pain out here.   With pleasure, joy, sadness and relief I read all your posts.  Love & Light & Believe (I like that comment Rickee)

Avatar universal
by Karen2010, Dec 08, 2009
I have a question.  For those of you that have had a seizure on Tramadol can you tell me if you feel it was situational or something that once it happens your "prone" to them.

I have been on Tram for over a year..yet on TG I had my first seizure and hopefully my last.  I was taking alot that afternoon as it was one of those days I lost track.  Kept taking "2 more" ...then I was going to stop.  Anyway, it got away from me then I apparenly seized later in the hallway.

Thank GOD I was not driving and I never want to expose my daughter to me seizing again for her safety and sanity.  Obviously stopping cold turkey is something I am terrified of so I am still taking them just ensuring I cap at a reasonable dose a day and eventually plan to cut back.  

I feel that night I was way over what I usually take but I still am uncomfortable.  You feel so powerless and out of control once you have seizure.  I am more scared now.

Can you all let me know your experiences with seizures if any?  I don't take any other drugs, no anti-depressants, I dont drink or smoke.  I only take 50mg trams..usually about 12-16 a day now.  I am working on getting down to 8.  The night I seized I think I took as many as 20 or so..insane, I know!!!!!

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by forget_me_not, Dec 08, 2009
Desperate2getwell, you're welcome.  I am glad the information is comforting to others as it is to me.  I felt a bit concerned after posting it that it might be too discouraging to folks who are considering quitting tramadol, or to those who are just beginning withdrawal.  I want to once more stress the fact that PAWS related symptoms are very manageable with some body/brain coaching and positive thinking.  Nothing to be afraid of, just something to be aware of.

Madtram, thank you!  Lumosity is great.  I was appalled by my scores initially, but I am now looking forward to seeing those scores improve.  I will have to take the LSAT, and one of the things I've done to help my brain along this process is study the LSAT study guides and take the practice tests.

Worth mentioning, in my experience, is the physical coordination problems.  The information I've come across suggests that not everyone experiences those, but I certainly have.  Many days, like today, I have a tough time with hand-eye coordination.  I drop things ALL the time.  Tasks like putting a key in a lock are really difficult sometimes, as well as judging spatial relationships.  I've burned myself cooking again and again because I misjudge distances (like the distance from my arm to the very hot oven wall -- ouch!).  It's just something to be aware of, the perceptual inaccuracies.

All in all, at 13 weeks out, life is really, really good.  Steady good.  A little turbulence here and there, but good.

blessings, Warriors...
~fmn

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 08, 2009
All the posts are so great and I wish the best for everyone out there.  I've made it to day 4.  I've upped my protein intake and by eating two bananas last night there was no restless leg syndrome!  I feel like a slug and want to get out of work....I can't believe it is only Tuesday and I have to make it to Friday.  I know I can do it, but my boss will be back today and you can look at me and see that something is REALLY wrong.  God forbid my employer figures out what is wrong.  I am once again going to have to lie and just say it is the flu.  I am tired of lying because of this drug.  When you lie, you have to remember that lie, and remembering just isn't in the cards right now, nor do I want to lie.

My three added bonuses from yesterday was getting an ultra sound on my left knee-which is now confirmed as a bakers cyst and I will not take anything other than Tylenol for this and only if absolutely needed, mammogram that was fun, then my mother's power was knocked out and she did not even know how to work her fireplace.  My Dad did everything so my brother and I are slowly training her to be more independent.  I am glad that she is in driving distance.  I will say I have NO idea where my energy came from to get these things tacked, but I did it and in day 3 of my recovery.

I am really looking forward to meeting with my doctor next week to let her really know what I am going through coming off this drug.  I am not going to be mean, but I just want her to know so that maybe I can help save someone else from having to go through this.  OK, back to work I go, if you can even call it that.  Thank you all for listening and offering your encouraging words and wisdom.

Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 08, 2009
This afternoon I have an appt. with my PA about my addiction to tramadol.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have to go to a dr. for a drug problem!  Especially at 56!  

I have not tried to stop taking tramadol yet.  I want to see the PA first.  I'm not going to take this afternoon's dose so that she will see me weepy and depressed.  When I've had to cut back in the past due to running out before refill, that's how I would get.  She needs to see me like that, I think.   I'm just so thankful I found y'all last week.  What a crash course I have had since reading the postings from everyone.  

Pinkmonki, we haven't heard from you since yesterday, unless I just missed it.  I was right there with you as you described sitting at your desk with your sweater half-off and your hour by hour reports!  I don't know how you or any of you can go to work while withdrawing.  You sounded so desperate yesterday morning but by mid-afternoon, you were giving another person a pep talk about withdrawing.  That gave me a lot of hope as I face this huge ordeal of withdrawal.  

Y'all will be with me in that exam room this afternoon as I relate all the info and advice you so generously give to all of us.  I hope the PA is receptive.  I pray she listens with her heart.  

Hope today is easier for everyone.

Marlene

Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 08, 2009
Well Pinkmonki, I guess we were posting at about the same time.  After posting mine, I saw yours.  How on EARTH did you do all of that yesterday?!!! I'm in awe!

I hope your boss looks at you and says, "I don't want what you have, go home with pay!"

Marlene

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 08, 2009
Oh Marlene, if the employer world would do that!  

I will say, a lot of that strength came from going back and reading lots and lots of posts and just knowing that I am not alone.  Knowing that someone out there is probably having a harder day than myself and life has to go on.  Once again I am sitting here with my white t-shirt on and both arms out of my sweater, I am very excited when my body can properly self regulate it's temperature again.

My husband just IM'd me and told me to use some sick/vacation time if I need to, whatever it takes to get me over my hump and that was nice to read.  

Marlene I am so glad that you are armed with information for your doctor appointment today.  If physicians are more aware of what it truly going on with this medication, then maybe they won't prescribe it like candy.  Unless they have taken it themselves and have walked our path.

The best of luck to you and everyone.........we've made it to 9:24 a.m. PST, pheeewwwwww

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by CleaningUp, Dec 08, 2009
Pink- Awesome job on day three of your recovery, you really are a saint to be able to do those things.

Today is day number 8 or 9, not sure how to count it. I am definitely starting to feel a lot better. I still have these like out of body experiences, but not near as often as last week.

The most difficult thing for me is that it is not just the addiction that I am battling, I also have a fiance who is as well an addict. So, along with all of the things that are coming along with this addiction, I have to figure out my relationship. Talk about stressful!
I can do it, We can do it... I just have to keep thinking positive!!

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by cake698, Dec 08, 2009
I"ve done a tapper from 20+ to 3 to 4 a day. its just getting harder for me to cut back at the times my body is used to taking it.  plus i have been having bladder problem like a lot of feeling like  i have to pee all the time anyone else have this problem lol

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 08, 2009
Made it to 11 am and just dragging a*s.  All I want to do is go home and hide under the covers until next Monday.  I am really thinking about looking as hellish as possible by the time my manager comes in (which should not be hard at all) then calling in sick the rest of the week.  Since I no longer want to live a lie, I am just not being honest with my employer as to not doing the proper production that I should be doing.  I want to be free of everything associated with this drug.

Cleanup-be true to yourself first and foremost, especially since nothing is written in stone yet.  Take care of #1.

Cake-bladder infection?  I had the opposite problem on the drug, I never knew when to go pee.

Avatar universal
by doonthegallowgate, Dec 08, 2009
where do i stand legally about the fact that my doctor didn't warn me of any dangers of addiction when prescribing me tramadol? All i wanted was a painkiller to help my backpain. 8 months later im stuck with an addiction.

Avatar universal
by couple_seeks_advice, Dec 08, 2009
cleaning up~ Im only on day 3 but my husband is on day 10... Is your fiance addicted to an opiate as well? We wish you the absolute best.  The best you can do is love each other through this difficult time..You CAN do it.


I cant find who posted it, but thanks for the bananna advice and the websites, and everything ....


The advice is so encouraging

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 08, 2009
Just took my 50mg fewer for the day...YIKES... will post tomorrow about how I feel...not looking forward to this.

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by forget_me_not, Dec 08, 2009
Coupleseeks, wonderful!  Day three is famous for being hellish, so you'll be over one of the "humps" soon.  Day ten was also hard for me, so best wishes for healing for your husband as well.  

Doon...I have wondered about the legal aspects of this as well.  Unfortunately the drug companies marketed the drug as non-addictive, non-habit-forming, safe, etc., ad nauseam.  Unbelievable considering the simplest google search turns up all sorts hits describing in depth the tolerance and severe withdrawal associated with this drug.  So it's really the pharmaceutical companies that I believe will have to be held accountable at some point.  I was furious...so blind-raging angry at my doctor for not telling me, too.  Looking back, I don't think he knew.  But I think big pharma did.  And there needs to be a reckoning.

Have to say that I still get incredibly overwhelmed emotionally each time I log in and read the posts of the newcomers who are still in early withdrawal.  The empathy and compassion I feel for you guys is so, so powerful.  You are in the middle of a miracle right now.

Bananas, yes!  And epsom salts in your bath water.  I usually shower, so I made it a point to soak instead at least once each day, usually at night.  That really helped, too.  And if you're still having severe body aches, try wrapping your limbs (the ones that hurt) in an ace bandage loosely.  The pressure really helped alleviate the aching, and it also helped me with the chills and painful skin.

My goodness...how proud I am of every one of you.

~fmn

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 08, 2009
I needed to be good to me so I am now at home and left work sick, with the flu is what they are aware of, but you out there know the truth.  The mental strain and the stress of having to remain at work was too much to take and with everything in my body on pins and needles as is this extra hump needed to be dealt with.  I called a pharmacist, as a blind call, and gave the basics of what is going on and she said a B complex vitamin would help with any energy issues in combination with the vitamins I was already taking.  She also hammered on drinking the water, staying away from too much sugar and caffeine.  

She did go into detail about stepping off, which I told her at this point in time I will never put this drug back into my body, but she asked me to listen to share with my online group, so here it is:

The pharmacist said first to speak with your doctor, second if you were taking 8 pills per day, then take 7 pills for one whole week, then 6 pills for the entire 2nd week, 5 pills the entire third week, etc. She said that if you were taking the pills for a year + you may want to step down by taking 7 pills for two weeks, 6 pills for two weeks, etc.  She warned very carefully about this drug and that there is improper information out there about it, especially with the antidepressant quality that exists in this drug.  I told her that I just learned about this part 4 days ago.  

I hope this can help, but I will say when it comes to any prescription in the future for me I will drill my doctor on it, drill the pharmacist on it, and do heavy research on it before taking it.  I am going to not be a victim and be well educated!  

Now, I am going to go put on my PJs, grab my jug  o' water, put on a DVD, and let my brain and body veg out with my kitty cats!

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 08, 2009
Yes, I am back again, but.....thought you would like to know that my doctor just called me back to discuss what I am going through and she said that she was not aware that there was an antidepressant quality to this medication!  She did thank me for letting her know and that she is now going to search further into this medicine and patients that she has prescribed it for.

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by forget_me_not, Dec 08, 2009
Pinkmonki, way to go!!  You just set into motion a ripple that will spread out and help stop the misinformation that causes people like us to get false info about this drug.  I am so glad you came back online to share this with us.  What a momentous thing to be able to reach out during your own struggle and start a chain of events that can make such an impact.

Knowledge is power!
http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/142432#
Get some rest...you deserve it!

healing prayers,
~fmn



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by forget_me_not, Dec 08, 2009
I have no idea how a link got in the above post.  Please disregard...

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 08, 2009
Pink- It's good that your pharmacist is giving people that information.  That would be a good taper and would help with the SNRI discontinuation symptoms.  I'm not sure it's totally necessary as I didn't do it.  I'm doing something similar with Effexor now, but I don't know what the equivalent amount of Effexor to Tramadol would be as far as the SNRI qualities.  I'm not exactly sure if Tramadol acts like an SNRI or if it actually has an SNRI in it.  Madtram or Pharma might know?

Don't feel bad about leaving sick.  People call out sick to go shopping or hang out with friends! You are sick.

Jenny

Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 08, 2009
So I'm sitting in the exam room, waiting to see the PA.  Have played this conversation out in my head for days as to what I was going to tell her.  Didn't take an afternoon dose of tram because I wanted to be able to cry.  I've been weepy around the house and wanted her to see how close to my heart this whole issue is.  The nurse does her usual bp and all.  Tells me the PA will be in soon and leaves.  I'm nervous, scared, didn't have to worry about crying because I could feel the flood gates opening!  I think I hear the PA's voice outside my room say, "Okay, I'm leaving, bye"!  I'm thinking, that can't be her, maybe someone else has a voice like hers.  Sit there another 10 minutes and a very sweet, little timid nurse comes in and says, "I'm sorry, the PA just left for our other office because they are backed up there and are short a PA, would you like to see Bob, he's our only PA here this afternoon?"  No, I would absolutely not like to see Bob because our families use to go to church together and no way am I unloading all this on "good ol'never even prescribes a Tylenol, Bob"!   All I said was, "no thanks".  So I'm rescheduled for next Tuesday, the only day my PA is there.  A whole week!  Oh, well.  I've been at this 8 - 9 years so what's a week.   I'm starting to wonder if maybe my PA, the one who increased my dose earlier this year, didn't want to see me?  That's probably just my imagination..............  

It's all good though because I'm going to try to taper before next Tuesday so I can give her a firsthand account as to how I'm feeling.   I'm starting a temp. part-time job Friday in a gift/candle shop, but I don't think a slight taper will hurt that.  I may be kidding myself, I don't know.  

Good going Pinkmonki, you deserve this time off after what all you've been thru!  Enjoy the down time with the kitty-cats!  Thanks so much for the info from the pharmacy.  I'm taking the schedule she suggested to my appt. next week.  I guess another good reason it didn't happen today.  




Avatar universal
by Rickee, Dec 08, 2009
So I tried harder today.  I did awesome 3 until 1pm until my children were due home and then dinner time came and i took 3 back to back!! oh my every day i say i am getting off these things and then the day happens and here i am- i pray i can be stronger

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by CleaningUp, Dec 08, 2009
Rickee- You can be stronger, it takes time, it really does. Just take it one day at a time. I promise it gets better, i'm just getting through day number 9, and I never thought I could do it either. The first 3 days are the worst.
Stay positive and Stay Strong Everyone... good night

Avatar universal
by howcouldiknow88, Dec 08, 2009
Hey, everyone.
Rickee, I know how you feel. Seems like every day in the peak of the high I say to myself "I'm going to cut back or stop tomorrow" and I feel really positive about it. But then morning (and withdrawal) rolls around and the pills are down my throat before the sleep is even out of my eyes. Been on this drug since I was 15 and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I remember the first time I felt withdrawal. Had no idea what it was that day. Just shrugged it off and took my dose and noticed I felt normal after doing so. Then I realized what had happened. Been dependent since. And I can't believe 25mg used to take me high. I guess it was my age when I started, plus I was very naive to drugs and hadn't taken anything prior. Now I need 150-225mg in a day.

Well, guys. I started my taper the other day. Cut down half a pill. No withdrawal at night, but I do feel an urge to take what's been cut out. I am able to sleep and have a good mood thus far. I'm expecting to have a little trouble when I get down to 2 or 2 1/2 pills a day. May decide to just jump off then. If I feel it's not working out.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL.
And congrats to those who have succeeded. I look up to you more than you know.

Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 09, 2009
I am finding the drop from 3 pills to 2 terrible.  Not what I expected at all - considering I started at 20 - 25.  
I have been at 2 pills for almost a week now - and the physical discomfort is setteling - but my energy level is zero.  Not the time of year for no energy!!  If it wasn't for the holidays, I would drop the 2 and be done with it.  I guess that is how I will start my new year - tram free.
I think I might start breaking the pills in half and spreading it out more during the day - I have no idea if it will make any difference - but for this whole taper I think my positive thoughts have helped.  I am a big believer in the placebo effect.  I have convinced myself that the taper will ward off the depression - and it has, Every drop I made - I thought this will be okay - and even though it was uncomfortable - somehow it was still okay.  Physical chores have helped lower my anxiety - even when I am bone tired - if the anxiety hits - I am doing laundry, or dusting, - many a time it has taken me hours to vacuum the family room - needing 25 breaks to get it done - but it was the only thing to keep me steady until the next pill.
So - I have it in my head that dividing up the 2 pills will give me the energy and strength I need to get through the holidays - so it will!!!
God knows what is working for me - but I have not had a positive thought in over 5 years.  My energy level has been awful, and I have felt terrible about it - now similar symptoms - but different attitude - I spoke with my nephews last night about Christmas - they are so excited to see me and my partner (we are the favorites - spoil them to death) and for the first time in years I was actually looking forward to it - not dreading how exhausting it would be - or how many tram I would need to take for a week away, or how quickly I could get away from the family crowd and be on my own.  God Bless the positive thoughts and attitudes I am having.  At many points I had resigned myself to living the numb life forever!
Keep posting and reading - it is what has made the changes for me!

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 09, 2009
Ok, so yesterday I went from 300mg to 250mg.  The main difference was that by 9pm I felt very heavy and much sleepier than normal, and I slept like a log. By midnight (I take doses at Noon and midnight), I felt sort-of crappy overall and just really uncomfortable in my own skin, but I did NOT have aches or chills. I felt fine after I took the dose, of course.

I am encouraged because I thought going down to 250mg would be painful and so far it's doable. Will do this for a week then go down to 200mg.

I just know that somewhere in there, though, there's a threshold level beyond which it's going to be very uncomfortable to taper/quit. I don't know what that is yet.

All of your thoughts, comments and stories have given me the strength, courage, and willpower to do this. Thank you!

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 09, 2009
Edit: Gone down from 6 pills to 5 pills per day. So far OK and doable.

Avatar universal
by Rickee, Dec 09, 2009
Another day and I am going to try again.  Of course I got up at 7 and then I waited until just now, was going to take 2 and then my daughter was getting into everything, so of course 3 went down my throat.  I so wish I was up against 5 or 6 a day.  I am really scaring myself.  When the day is over with and I count in my head how many I have taken, it scares the crapt out of me.  So just for right now, I will commit to taking 2 my next dose, which hopefully wont be until this afternoon.

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 09, 2009
Rickee- how many are you taking, out of curiosity? You don't have to share that, of course, if you don't want to.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 09, 2009
Newway- I felt that way when I got to three.  Believe it or not, after I went from 3-2 (for one day) and then nothing, I felt better in 3 days or less.  The energy thing was much better.  I think at such a low dose, Tram feels more like a sleepy opiate and not the high we so like.  Not trying to push you, but if you stopped now, you might feel better before Christmas!  Just a thought.  Sounds like you're doing well though.

For some others, I've found that I have really had to own my addictions and take responsibility for them.  Alcohol doesn't drink itself, the pills don't jump down my throat.  I put them there consciously.  There will always be outside sources that make life harder and we just have to push through it.  This is why AA or NA are so helpful to some.  You take ownership and then let go and put things in the hands of a higher power.  You have to trust that things WILL get better and will be okay.  They will.  

Believe me, I totally know the feeling and I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time.  Right now, I've moved on to an Effexor taper and I have days where I think oh, I'll never stop feeling depressed/anxious, but it passes.  I also have a benzo taper to do at night soon and when I've tapered it before, I've had thoughts of "oh, I'll NEVER sleep."  Well, of course you'll sleep.  We have to sleep eventually or we die.

I'm not a religious person, but part of this journey is having faith and letting go.  You have to trust that things will be okay with you and will be the way they are meant to be.  I say this as much to myself as anyone else.  Things always work out the way they need to.  Just don't take that next pill (unless you're doing a taper).

Jenny

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 09, 2009
Today is my day 5 of COLD TURKEY!  Today was the first day I wanted to and did open all of the blinds in the house and let the sunshine in.  I called in sick to work and this was a stress reliever.  Even though the paycheck will be short the mental piece of mind is sooooo much more worth it.

Thank you to everyone and their posts.  The hope you gave me to get to this point, well you just can't put a price tag on it.  I truly feel like I am going to be OK.  I know there are going to be tough times ahead, but getting through to day five is huge.

This morning I went back and looked at the different trackers and studied the change of the different things I've been checking off, this was helpful to clearly see the different changes.

I started out with yogurt, which has been helping to keep my bowels in check, and I made eggs to keep the protein train rolling.  It was so so nice to wake up today and not be sweaty!  My mind is a little racy right now of things I want to do, but if I can do just one thing today that will be OK with me.

I wish everyone the very best and send my positive thoughts to you!

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 09, 2009
Awesome Pinkmonki!!! That's so exciting! I am so, so happy for you:)

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 09, 2009
So, I am a little annoyed.....I placed a call today to my doctor to request a doctors note for work and she said that she could not issue me one.  She said the reason for this was because I did not follow her instructions for stepping down.  I reexplained to her that I was already having withdrawal symptoms from her step down plan and she said that I should have taken more of the medicine then.  Am I the only one scratching my head after that comment?  I told her that I am never putting that drug back in my body, thanked her for her time, and ended the call.  My husband is a little baffled by this as well, but told me I would be stronger for it.  One of my thoughts on this is she did admit yesterday that she was not aware of all of the properties of the tramadol and the danger she possibly imposed upon someone having already  gone through stepping off 14 years of being on an antidepressant.  It all just makes me wonder.  Today was a much better day and I hope everyone else had at least one positive experience.

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by madtram, Dec 09, 2009
That's so great Pinkmonki, (I love your fat cat btw, I have one with a similar head to body ratio).  Pretty inflexible of your doctor, given that she admits to knowing little about tramadol, to be so prescriptive with her taper regime.

Newway, I agree with Jenny, it's seems to be very common to hit withdrawals again at the lower end of a taper. This is relative to your original dose so for those coming off a low dose it could be at 25-50 mgs but others will hit a higher plateau.

Your positive attitude will continue to serve you well, it makes all the difference as both Jenny & you have posted.  Sometimes it's easier said than done though, so you both deserve big rewards.  Coming off 200mg after 5 years was right up there with the toughest experiences in my life, I don't know how I would have done having to quit 25 doses a day.

Best to all warriors.

Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 09, 2009
Okay Jenny and Madtram - On Friday I am going to jump.  I hope you are right - the idea of feeling more miserable for the holidays is not appealing.
I was considering it - otherwise I was going to have to call in to get another prescription from my Dr.  The thought of it made me feel terrible - I really wasn't sure if I could do it or not.  I hate this addictions so much - to call the Dr for more - I don't know, I think I would feel defeated.  

Funny - the anxiety it causes me.  I have dropped 23 pills a day - and the idea of 2 sends my anxiety through the roof.
But - I will continue to get through this - and my mood will continue to get better.  Once my energy comes back there will no stopping me!!

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by gerty411411, Dec 09, 2009
He Newway,  I'm rooting for you!!!!  I think there will be a huige burden lifted from you.  You are already in w'd.  Now is the time to be free!!!

Love, Gerty

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 09, 2009
Newway, WOW!  go for it!  The huge drop you've already taken is EXCELLENT!  If you do your jump on this Friday, you will feel better by next Thurs./Fri.  Today is my day five of cold turkey from 15 pills, so it is my hope that you would have a much easier time than myself, already taking yourself down so low.  By Christmas time you will be over (from the 100's of posts that I've read) a huge hurdle.  That was my goal as well to not feel icky during X-mas and be able to enjoy my family.  You can totally do it, look at how far you have come!  For your energy level don't forget about taking a B-complex vitamin.  I've only taken mine for one day and can feel the difference.  Also, just so you know here is the vitamin regimen that I've been following and everything is two hours apart:
1. first thing in a.m. multivitamin, Omega 3/6/9 odorless @ 1200 mg with EPA @ 400 and DHA @ 200
2. ginkgo biloba 240mg
3. calcium citrate with D 500 mg (your body only absorbs calcium in 500mg increments), vitamin D or D-3 1000iu, vitamin c complex 500mg, Omega 3/6/9 odorless @ 1200 mg with EPA @ 400 and DHA @ 200
4. B complex
5. For me I am a gastric bypass patient (I also take iron, but omitted this from the list, unless you've been told to take this by your doctor) so I start again here with #1, you would probably want to skip this and go to #2.  The ginko will help with memory issues, not solve all of them, but will help.  For females I would also continue with #3, but with the second dose do not take the extra "D", them move on to #4.

The reason for having the two hour breaks between is so that certain vitamin will not cancel out others.  The vitamins I take are all from Trader Joe's.

From other posts here upping the protein is an awesome idea.  I jacked my intake up to 120 grams.  Yes, I eat protein all day long, but I am feeling MUCH better!  I was also having restless leg syndrome with my detox so I was told to keep up my potassium, so I've been eating 2 bananas a day and this has cured it.

I wish you the best of luck and you can do it!

Avatar universal
by inspiring, Dec 09, 2009
Great post Pink - the vitamins and supplements REALLY help - in my taper and CT I felt so rotten but made myself swallow them - then as I began to feel better I also cut back on the supplements (I just have a hard time swallowing those big pills - big mistake - I felt low again, until I realized I NEEDED those vitamins - I have now started juicing, I think putting all that incredible ALIVE fresh fruit and veg MUST be good for me - I want to FLOOD my body back to strength and vitality

PINK - you are awesome, you came to this scared and now you are giving good advice and encouragement

feel better all

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by gerty411411, Dec 10, 2009
Hey all,

Just a lttle story.
Yesterday I was quite stressed out as I had to wait hours to do a surgery.  Someone else was working and we didn't have a second team .  I saw a "friend " in the hallway and she asked me if I wanted a "headache" pill. From previous interactions I knew what that was all about.  I said no thankyou and got the hell away form her as fast as possible.
I'm proud of myself and could not have done that 2 months ago.

Thank you all for your support and guidance.

Day # 24 is beggining!!!

Take care!!!  The Traminator is going DOWN!!!!

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by adamIScool, Dec 10, 2009
I think I found out what caused my addiction to get so bad. After a recent car accident they did a CT scan of my head. They found a big *** cyst on my cerebellum.

Whenever I'd tried to stop taking tramadol I'd experience all the classic symptoms of parkinson's disease or worse. If I'd stop cold turkey then in the middle of the night my arms, legs and head would flair and jerk so uncontrollably that I really hurt myself. I truly believe the two are related.


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by adamIScool, Dec 10, 2009
I forgot to mention- the cyst is called a posterior fossa arachnoid cyst. It's roughly 11cm x 2.5 cmx2.5cm and engulfed about 3/4 of my cerebellum. I can deal with every symptom of tram withdrawl except for the shakiness and flailing. I don't mean just a little shake- I've THROWN my wife out of the bed with one hand accidentally.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
Newway- I would just think of it this way...If you stop this Friday, give yourself a week and that will be the Friday before Christmas.  If you still feel horrible, then you can always go back to one or two pills a day until after Christmas.  I'm not recommending that because I think you will feel okay by then.  I just know that the addict mentality is all or nothing, so if you feel bad, don't throw it all away and start taking 10 or 20.  You know what I mean?  You've worked SO hard and you've done great.  Honestly, physically I felt better in a few days.  About a week later I was a little depressed.  If you're not on ADs, then try one of the natural anti-depressants.

Pink- I think that's odd that your doctor wouldn't give you a note.  I thought they gave them for anything.  If you went to an urgent care with cold or flu, they would give you one I think.  Your vitamin structure looks good.  I can never seem to get on track with mine.  I've been wondering if Omegas or protein would help me with this Effexor taper.  I stepped down again today, but will remain at this dose 112.5mg until after the holidays because my in-laws come in on the 19th.

Jenny

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
Wow,I'm finally able to get on this site.There was alittle computer glitch with the medhelp site and I was not able to scroll to the bottom of the page for a couple of days.Pink..I loke your vitamin regimen ,even take them myself.Gerty..good for you refusing the pill.Didn't need it anyways.Good to be back and see that everyone is progressing well.

Avatar universal
by desperate2getWell, Dec 10, 2009
Gerty, I am right behind you, still hanging in there.  Actually today, #24, I woke up feeling almost normal.  Everyday now is getting better and better.  It is hard to be in medicine and not have something constantly on hand to help you feel better.  Headache, then take a narcotic, can't sleep, then take a pill, on and on it goes.
Don't have much to add since our wise warriors say it so well, except thank you.  Without this site, I am pretty sure I would have jumped back on the tram train. Particularly days 2-5 which are like a blur I'd rather not refocus.
Going through w/d isn't pleasant but this tapering sounds like it just prolongs the agony.  Just the thought of tapering seems to stress people out and gets them worried and frightened.  Of course its easy for me to say, having just endured hell, a very unexpected hell based on the fact that these pills were not supposed to be addicting.
Pink, I think you need to look for another doctor.  The doctor I saw day 1 into withdrawal  was well aware of tram withdrawals in addition to how many people unsuspectly take them thinking they are a pain reliever.  I was never told that there was an anti-depressant component, and for that reason I feel that at some point someone is liable here.  
I was asked if I wanted to taper, substitute for a less addicting substance to which I am with Pink - I will not put another Tram in my mouth again.  I was given a few diazapam for the first few nights sleep which helped and now I am fine.  I d/c'd the diazapam after 5-6 nights and now use sleep-md which is herbal based.  
Jenny, I have a friend(s) taking Effexor and want to stop so I am closely following your progress.
Thank you everyone for giving me a few minutes to check in.  May peace and joy replace those of hopelessness - for all of us.

Avatar universal
by desperate2getWell, Dec 10, 2009
Oh yes, on a lighter side, I think that Pink's cat, Madtram's and my cats must all be brothers and sisters.  Honestly, if you could see my cat's belly!  For us fortunate ones to have furry friends, they seem to sense when we need extra TLC and my cat was very nurse-like when I was down the first few days.

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 10, 2009
So yesterday was my 2nd day having gone from 6 to 5 pills...and I didn't feel or notice a thing...I felt fine. how weird is that?? Once again, I am assuming I haven't hit that threshold level... but I can't help but be encouraged by that. Am I fooling myself?

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
Desparatetogetwell- Feel free to PM me if needed.  I try not to talk about the Effexor stuff too much here because that's not what this board is for, but it's where I am now.  It's hard.  I can tell you how my psychiatrist is doing it though and whether it works out or not.  It will be awhile.  Jenny

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 10, 2009
Today is the start of day 6 and thank God days 3 and 4 are behind me!  I am actually in a good, good mood today and want to get some things done around the house....yes, I called in sick-last night.  I do not like having to do that because I have to remember the lie, but for mental piece of mind it just had to be done.  My husbands request from me today was to pick up a Wii fit board - he killed ours last night.  He is exercising to drop weight to join the Army....he discussed this with me the day after my Dad died, good timing (yes, 3 trams went down my throat while he was talking, but that was back in October)!  My point to that rant was I had a little anxiety about going outside and even driving.  My brain is so used to being controlled by something other than me, but I sat myself down and talked myself through it all.  I will let you know how it goes I have a few hours before stores open.  

Jenny - I think everything is all interrelated and hearing about other peoples medications is helpful.  As you've read I was off the Effexor for 8 months, after having been on it for 14 years, before the Tramadevil.  When I see your dosage #'s it is all to familiar.  Also, it helped me realize why it was so easy for my body/brain to adapt to the Tramadevil sooooo easily.

Elf - that is awesome!  I hope your body does not do what I just went through.  If you find yourself having a challenge try smaller steps by cutting your pill in half.  

d2gw - If I did not have my kitties I don't know what I would have done.  There were a few moments where they were driving me nuts because they knew something was terribly wrong and both of them wanted to sit on top of me.  Foster is 14 pounds (normal), but as you can see with Dexter he is 21 pounds and on a kitty diet!  I am excited for your 24!  You give me hope and ABSOLUTELY I am getting a new doctor!  My husband just brought home his open enrollment paperwork and I am thinking about leaving UC Davis altogether and going to Sutter.  If anyone else out there is in Northern California and has an opinion please send me a note.

Pharma9 - I had problems all day too, but not today!!!!  I hope all is well!

adamlscool - I am so sorry to read this!  Is it something that can be removed or treated to reduce the size?  Keep positive thoughts and I will some your way!

gerty -awesome, the strength you showed was fantastic, keep you your wonderful work and inspiring notes!  Just say NO!

inspiring - I've done juicing in the past, but it like something was missing, so I just threw everything into the blender now-a-days and get all the fiber I was missing.  I throw in everything including protein powder, spinach, and yogurt!  My new switch has been upping the blueberry intake and protein powder over this last week and it has definitely helped!

I wish everyone out there a great day, make it your own, I am gonna give it 110%.

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by forget_me_not, Dec 10, 2009
I think we have stumbled upon yet another unexpected effect of tramadol addiction... Fat kitties!  Mine is at 23 pounds and would weigh more if I didn't keep an eye on his eating habits.

:-)

So much to celebrate here today.  Way to go, Warriors.  You are being delivered into life that is SO much better than anything you experienced on the drug, and I am glad to share each day of it with all of you.

blessings,
~fmn

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
LOL...my kitty is only about 12 lbs, but he was 10 lbs when we got him at 3 years old.  He's the best cat ever (no offense).  Pink- How did you taper Effexor?  Did anything help?  Did you notice more anxiety after each cut?

Jenny

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 10, 2009
Thanks pinkmonki...I am sure it will hit me like a ton of bricks when I go down to only 3 or 2 pills, then especially at 0... I will have to be strong then...that will be after the New year.

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 10, 2009
The Effexor I took was the XR - extended release, but I was at 300mg and stepped off by 37.5mg per month.  So, 300, 262.5, 225, 187.5, 150, 112.5, 75, 37.5.  During this time I was taking all the vitamins I listed above except the b-complex and boosted my protein to the 120.  

Mentally though I took a hard look at myself and asked was I really depressed, was I really sad, and my answers kept coming back as...a particular situation made me sad, but just that one situation.  I just knew that I was not depressed and pushed on through.  

I've always had a little anxiety, but it was not heightened.  I kept my brain as busy as I could.  My husband bought me a Nintendo DS and got me some used "brain games" and this was great.  I just knew in my heart and brain that getting off the meds was the best thing for me.  I was not seeing a therapist or psychologist, just my PCP.  What were the things in my life that I was not dealing with head on and trying to mask with the drug?  This is why getting hooked on the Tramadol was so easy.  Yes, I used it for pain, and I did not know all of the properties of this drug, but what was at the core of my being, why did I want to keep taking those little white pills?

This is going to sound bad, but it is the truth....if I was having a low moment I would turn on the TV to the news and guaranteed I would see at least 3-4 or more stories of other peoples misfortunes, then compare their situation to what I was going through and this would "wake me up" to realize that my life could be sooo much worse.  This is the only time I would turn the TV on.  I quit the TV/news altogether and just watched DVD's.  By cutting out the negative it made me more positive.  This also made me reevaluate the people that I surrounded myself with.  There are people that I cut out of my life that only had negative things to say or do and I do not miss them to this day.  I learned to define who was a friend and who was an acquaintance.  Changing your focus and outlook is key.  Simple things like the glass is half full, not half empty.  My boss loves to tell clients that "if the building was on fire I would find something positive to say about it".  

Also, I needed to feel better about what I was going through and something positive to look forward too, knowing that I could make a positive change in someone else life, so I started cutting coupons to help military families.  Each day, even on days and 3 and 4 of the Tramadol WD I would say to myself...self, what is something that I could do for me today?  Something as simple as taking a hot bath would be the answer.  Getting out my journal and writing a thank you note to myself for getting off the medication.  Just little tricks like this is what did and is helping today.  

Here is something simple for you right now.....you have the ability and the will to use a computer to get help.  You are now empowered!

I am going to force myself to go drive and do an errand, I don't want to, but I need to - mentally need too - because I am in-charge of me!

Keep going and make this day your own!

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by cake698, Dec 10, 2009
I think im going to cut myself off tomorrow completly like JG525 said earlier i should be fine by next friday.  I work on sat but have tomorrow sun and mon off.  If sat get bad I get to leave at one anyways.  next week i don't have anything going on thats important its the following week that counts.  Thanks everyone for inspiration. I'll keep posting.  I'm so glad there is so much support.  
LOL and my cats r fat too my 13 year old is 16lbs and my 3 year old is 18 lbs.  

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
JG I think this forum certainly can talk about effexor withdrawal,because tramadol is so much like effexor(in fact a cousin) and the worst part of tramadol withdrawal is not the opiate part but the antidepressant part.Any shared experience about effexor withdrawal is valuable to all of us

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
Pink..that was a powerful post.Yes we have to see the best in ourselves while being aware of our weaknesses.You have done a good job so far in your healing and will certainly continue with an attitude like that.By decreasing and eliminating the drugs,you are more aware of your own body and what it needs and seem to be doing it in a healthy and good manner.Great post.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
It has been 3 months with no opiates for me and I do not even miss them or crave them at all.Now if I could just do the same thing with chocolate....sigh...

Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 10, 2009
Okay - today is day one - I woke up and figured - why wait until Friday?  I took my last pill at 6pm last night.
So far a bit of discomfort but nothing major.  To be honest - I never really thought this day would come - and it probably wouldn't had I not found this site.  I started the taper over 3 months ago - trying to avoid the depression I had experienced previously when I went C/T - but to be honest - I think it had more to do with not shutting the door on tram - not making a firm commitment.  After a few months of being on this site - the more determined to get off this evil thing I became.  It is because of the folks that have suceeded and keep posting to encourage us, and because of the new ones who start the battle and add the days together.  Funny how people you will never meet change the course of your life!

Gerty - you rock - to turn it down and walk away!!!  Good for you.

Elf - just be patient - we all respond differently - maybe you are going to be one of the lucky ones who has little symptoms. Keep thinking positive, eating well - for me I think attitiude plays a huge role in getting through the tough times.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
Pink- Thank you for that post.  I have a difficult time with being positive.  I might benefit from some cognitive behavioral therapy or exercises I think.  Hmm...maybe I should have gotten a DS for Xmas! I wonder if I'd like the brain games.

Did you discover what you were hiding from?  I also don't believe that I am chemically depressed.  Well, I think right now because of the up and down of the SNRI withdrawal I sometimes am and I definitely am more prone to negative thinking than positive normally, but not depressed.  I am in therapy and that helps me.  I know in my heart that I need a more rewarding job.  Not that it will solve all my problems, but I know that right now this is one of my major problems.  Not enough human contact in my job.  I have an interview in a couple of weeks for a different one that is more suited to me!

I like some of your ideas.  I do do things for myself as much as I can.  I get massages every few weeks, etc.  I take thyroid medicine, so I get really confused about vitamins and supplements.  I also take Vit D because mine was low and my Ferritin is a little low, but I get confused about when to take the iron.  It overwhelms me.

Pharma- Good job on your clean time! I'm grateful to be clean today! :)

Jenny

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
Newway- That's awesome! WTG.  I like to try and start things on Thursday too.  Gives an extra day before Monday!



Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
What a huge step for you.I think that everything will go fairly smoothly because you will be so high from getting that gorilla off your back and just doing it.Armed with your vitamins and minerals and nutrients we will probably see a new and improved Neway by Christmas or at least start the New year in a healthy way.We will be here to cheer you on and I am delighted you have come so far.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
JG Iron interferes with the absorption of thyroid and I suggest you separate them by 3 hours.take your iron at night and thyroid in the morning.Keep on with the Vit d and B12 1000mcg/day and I also take b complex with zinc .I think zinc has some antidepressant properties and helps with immune system.Omegas also help brain and vision.Got to go to work.Lots of love and luck to all of you.I missed everyone the last 3 days.Was in a sort of withdrawal from this site.Glad to be back.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
Thanks Pharma! That is what I try to do and I take Vit C with the iron because I'm told it absorbs better.  Need to add the omegas and complex.  

Avatar universal
by Karen2010, Dec 10, 2009
Pink, what you wrote was very inspiring. Thank you.

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 10, 2009
OK, I did 3 hours of many errands, ppphhheeewww.  I was very careful because my depth perception is off.  It got better as I was out, but at the end of my trip people were making me so agitated.  I am home with the kitties and calming down now.  Even though I was agitated it was nice to feel again!!

Jenny, I was hiding from myself, insecurities, being a doormat for people, not speaking up for myself, afraid that people would not like me for me, being something I was not.  When I found the internal strength to finally ask for help with my weight problem, which was a battle since I was 8.  December 13, 2004 was a rebirth for me.  This was the day of my gastric bypass.  That was the first of my 9 surgeries in the last five years.

I now love me, I now accept me, I am not going to please myself or others all of the time, I am going to stand up for myself.

I am glad you are getting help, this is a good strength and a new job that will be very, very rewarding!  This was a change I went through as well.  With your iron it also interferes with calcium absorption and your multivitamin, that is why I give myself a 2 hour window (i have to do 2 hours because of the vast amount of supplements that i have to take).  Give yourself time with vitamins it will work out in the end.

newway-kick a*s, you can do it.  I wish that I would have started on a Thursday as well, the timing would of been better, but hey I did it and truly feel like I am over hurdle #1.

pharma9.......I dig chocolate, but Sweet Tarts or Red Vines.....drool!

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 10, 2009
Pink- Congrats on the errands.  I have read that Dramamine can help with that shaky head feeling if that's what you have.  Not sure if it's the same though.  That's that SNRI thing.  

I am insecure too, but generally react in different ways.  I want to make people happy, but I am more likely to get easily frustrated and become aggressive or too dominant.  One thing I remember from my Nicotine Anonymous group and this is probably an AA expression, but it stuck with me: We learned how to be assertive, rather than passive or aggressive.  I always add or passive-aggressive in my head LOL.  Being assertive without being aggressive would make life much easier :).  

I had a weight problem as a child and I think that's where a lot of my insecurities started too.  I was teased a lot, like many kids.  I always wanted to fit in.  I'm overweight now, but not a lot.  It's hard for us to emotionally reconcile the heavy person we were when we were young with whoever we are now though.

Anyway, everyone has there thing! :)

Jenny

Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 10, 2009
Reading all the postings today is so uplifting!  I am getting very "addicted" to this forum.  Today is my first day to really taper, from 8 to 7 a day.  I have done this before so I know this isn't going to bother me much.  My first goal is to get to six.  I'm only concentrating on achieving that right now.  I started a part-time job today and I went about 6 hours between doses and really didn't even think about tram or miss it.  It was good to have my mind on something else for a change.  I'm trying to lengthen the time between doses but I start getting a headache.  I really think I could go longer if it wasn't for the bad headache.  I have Imitrex for migraines because I have had them in the past.  They help for awhile but the headache comes back.  Would it okay to take Excedren between doses of tram?  Also, I read something on one of the postings about not taking some of the herbal remedies if you take Imitrex?  Does this ring a bell with anyone?  

This evening I told a very dear friend of mine about my drug problem.  Two weeks ago, I could never have done this.  Because of all of you, I'm learning so much and feeling less embarrassed and ashamed of my problem.  This was such a BIG SECRET with me.  It feels so good to be in the company of such strong, compassionate people.  Everyone is so "bonded" on this site and we are walking thru the valley together and experiencing emotions and sharing so much of ourselves and yet we will never meet!  When I was telling my friend about this site and all of you and I was saying "madtram" and Pinkmonki, and telling some of the stories, I realized how fortunate and how big of a blessing this site and all of you are in my life now!  Can you imagine going thru a withdrawal before the internet was invented?!  Yuk!

Praise God!







Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
Marlene.excedrin is fine between trams.There is a pain reliever in USA called percogesic that contains acetaminophen and an antihistamine called pheyltoloxamine that is very effective.Also tylenol pm is also effective but both may cause drowsiness .Also taking aleve or ibuprofen as well can help.Try not to combine the ibuprofen and tylenol for too long because they can both affect the kidneys.5htp is a precurser to serotonin and is probably not recommended with imitrex or tramadol because of their serotonin effects.I feel the same way you do,I love this site and had withdrawals for the last 3 days when I could not get on.You get involved with each persons progress and healing and we cheer each other on.There have been many success stories and there is no need to feel ashamed.

Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 10, 2009
Is Percognesic over the counter?  Usually anything with antihistamine makes me wide awake and have RLS.  So is .5htp the only thing I should absolutely NOT take while tapering tramadol and and possibly taking imitrex for headaches?  Is melatonin safe?

Finally, do you charge by the hour or per posting?  Thanks so much for the help!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 10, 2009
Melatonin and valerian are fine for sleep.I live in Canada and we have otc pain relievers with muscle relaxant in them .They are good for tension pain .Percogesic from what I read is an otc.I take otc robaxacet at night and extrastrength tylenol during the day.There is always Nyquil.the one without the decongestant helps a lot of people get a much needed night of sleep.It has to be the one without the decongestant because decongestant keeps you up and can cause serotonin syndrome with tramadol.Do all first generation antihistamines ie the ones which cause drowsiness cause RLS and wakefullness for you or is it just benadryl that does it.Nyquil contains the antihistamine called doxylamine and it causes drowsiness.

Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 10, 2009
Benadryl and Tylenol PM can cause me to have RLS and be awake.  That's all I've ever tried.  I will initially fall asleep but wake up after an hour or so and start chasing rabbits with my legs. Infact, regular tylenol will make me sleepy and stay asleep much better than tylenol pm will.   I have high blood pressure so have to be careful.

Thanks so much for all the good advice.

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by Prospero73, Dec 10, 2009
If anyone is an alcoholic, be advised that Nyquil contains a fair amount of alcohol.  I think it used to be more about 30 years ago, when it was instrumental in blowing two years of sobriety for me.  Apart from that, it could be very helpful for sleep.

Alcohol is much more selectively addictive than, say, opiates or nicotine.  If you're not prone to alcoholism, it is a great blessing as a sedative, soporific, digestive aid, and all-round promoter of conviviality.  The rest of us have to make do without it, as I've been happily doing for 22 years.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Dec 11, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!

First, WAY to GO Newway!!!   I'll be rooting for you this weekend.

Maybe I should be filing this under a "social network".   My apologies to to others here for not commenting directly on your progress.  It seems that I have been spending EVERY waking hour researching new washers and dryers this week!    It's a jungle out there.   After spending 20+ hours on the internet and driving all over town for two days, I finally settled on a Fisher and Paykel out of Australia.   I am certain that nobody except maybe madtram has even heard of it, but I am excited about the purchase.

Fat cats:  yes, we had a dear 22 lb. cat pass away in May after ten years of blessing.   Hmmm, does anyone really think that enabling "fat cats" is a by product of tramadol use?  Could be.  

I put a picture of our two recently acquired tuxedo girls (sisters) on my profile page.   We knew full well they would chew the stuffing out of pre-wired lights on our artificial tree (being kittens), so after making the move to "artificial" a few years ago, we went out and bought THE CATS a noble fir that they can climb in without hurting anything.   No lights this year, however.   The tree just sits there and I must say that the kittens look awfully cute, relaxed and balancing on the brances 3' off the ground.

Sorry I was absolutely no help to any of you in your tramadol journey this week.

I still think of you, even when I am not posting you know.  

Regards, Fred

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Dec 11, 2009
Pink,  i I am so PROUD of you and your progress.  I found that a little anger at my doctor was terribly motivating.   They admit to not knowing much about the withdrawal from this, they citicise your methods from getting off this horrible drug, and then they won't even write you a prescription to be off work.  AMAZING!!!  

One of the things that lead to my determination to get off this drug was my doctor's misunderstanding.   My good old doc retired and I was assigned to a new gentleman, who was somewhat shocked at the # of trams I had been prescribed (8/day) for six years.   His solution was to "reduce" my dose to 5 pills/day, which my system did not understand, since I was already in nearly constant withdrawal pain on the 8/day I had been taking.   I figured, **** em all!   Shortly after that, I googled "tramadol withdrawal" to see what I ws up against and I found you all here. (thank goodness)  

Prospero,  good "catch" on the alcohol in cough surup.  I am alergic too.    I do think that some of them come without alcohol as well, but it pays to be circumspect and read the labels.

A word to the wise:   Be careful how much tylenol PMs you take.   I recall having horrible insomnia and there were nights when I took more of the PMs than was recommended, desperate to sleep.  What I found was that when I took more than the 2 pills recommended, it didn't make me fall asleep, it just made me wired (and still not able to sleep).  

for RLS, use hylands Restful legs or tonic water with quinine and drink lots of it.   I also found gabapentin to be effective in knocking out the RLS FOR ME.  Something to consider if anyone suffering from RLS still has a relationship with an M.D. who cares about you.

Good Night to All (I hope!)  fred

Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 11, 2009
I am an appliance Junkie - actually anything to do with the kitchen.  When we moved to our new place and gutted the kitchen I was in heaven picking out new appliances.  I do the same thing - look them up on the internet, get an Idea of pricing and off I go.
You would be surprised that Fisher and Pakel are sold in Canada - not in Sears lol but in the strictly appliance stores.
The way the new washer and dryers look - I want to put them on display in my living room - a thing of beauty - to be hidden away in the laundry room is a shame!

After an agitated first day, and many trips to the bathroom - I spent the evening floping around in bed like a fish out of water.  I could not stay still to save my life.  I woke up this morning with an extremely sore back - but not feeling too bad.  I am trying to get as much work done as I can before my energy crashes!  This site is my distraction - like when I was in university I would clean my apartment, water my plants - anything but get down to the paper I was writing.  This morning I am on here when I should be spending the time making a living!
Take care all.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 11, 2009
Good morning all.I should have mentioned that Nyquil does come in a liquigel without alcohol and the otc drugs I mentioned are only meant as short term temporary help.Also only in recommended doses.Anything that helps us stay on the wagon those first difficult nights and is legal helps.If you can get gabapentin from the doctor that is good too.I am convinced that the vitamins and nutrients help the most and can be continued fir life to keep our bodies strong and healthy.Off to a long day at work and won't be back till after 9pm.Have a strong day 2 newway.

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by GreatWhite, Dec 11, 2009
wow take a few days off and I have no idea who anyone is. I am on day 30 or 40-something going CT after tapering. I never even would have had the courage to do this without you people here. Tapering was difficult for me so I decided just to jump but the max I was taking a day was 6 pills. But tapering from 6 to 4 made no difference I still had symptoms and same from 4 to 2 and 2 to 1. So I just jumped. It was all worth it. I definitely have more headaches since coming off , but oen thing I have noticed is that I have not been sick. I used to get sick all the time on the trams, i am talking about a cold every 2 weeks. My sleep is still not normal but I am taking all natural sleep pills and there have been about 5 nights this past month that I have fallen asleep without any aid for the first time in years. So hope is out there. The only symptoms I have are a huge appetite for junk food, and still a little bit of stomach issues, but that has more to do with my eating habits and nervousness than anything i think. Since the start of this i have been seeing a Therapist and that has really helped because there was a reason I turned to trams and vicodin and percocet for my problems. But every day is a new day, adn my faith is getting stronger, my confidence is rising, my appreciation for people and places continues to rise and all in all my love for life is at an all time high. Remember, family is extremely important, God is extremely important, and having faith in yourself is extremely important. This drug will take you down to hell, especially at night, but the only way to make it  back is to WANT to make it back. Fight through the minutes not the days, and things will get easier. Put on inspirational music, get some exercise when you dont feel like it and take your vitamins. You guys are all fighters and you will beat this thing. !!! Catch ya on the flipside!
=Chris

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by madtram, Dec 11, 2009
Yes Fred, although we have the European & American brands here, I do indeed have F&P laundry appliances.  Just to extend the digression, F&P is actually a kiwi company, which is my birthplace but as with you, it's not a matter of loyalty when it comes to appliances but researching the consumer choice website.

Newway sounds as though you are doing darn well, all things considered.  Oh yeah, when term papers are due is about the only time that cleaning becomes suddenly a fun thing to do.

You know the pets are true family members when you buy them their own Christmas tree.   I am a hopeless enabler of dougal's overeating, he's made it to 17 years old & I just can't bring myself to deprive him.  Thankfully, obesity is not yet accompanied by diabetes & he is otherwise in great shape for his age. It's just embarrassing when the vet says but you all, (meaning the people side of the family), look so fit, what's with the fat cat.

Have a great Friday, all you warriors up over, mine is nearly done.

Avatar universal
by bikerchick1964, Dec 11, 2009
Wow! I am in shock! I just read all of your comments to each other! I thought I was the only one going thru this. I am just amazed how much I have in commen w/ you all. I am having a rough time right now w/ the physical detox part, but the emotional stuff, I feel like the lowest **** on earth. I can't stop crying. My Dr. told me Tramadol was a SAFE non-narcotic. I feel like such a fool for just trusting him and not looking into this drug. It's just about destroyed me. I am getting worse and worse every couple of hours. How long does this last and how bad will it get? I am scared of this more than anything I have ever done. I am just learning the computer so I pray someone will get this! If you do, God Bless You All!

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by forget_me_not, Dec 11, 2009
Bikerchick, your reaction to finding this place was exactly the same as mine.  I couldn't believe there was a community of people who actually UNDERSTOOD what tramadol had done to my life!  And what it is like to get off of them.  It's one of the hardest things you will ever do, but you can do it.  We are so glad you are here.

Just a few questions... How far into withdrawal are you?  Was it voluntary or did you run out?  How badly do you want to get off the drug?  As you hang out here you'll discover many, many people who have been right where you are at this moment (including me).  We know how bad it is, how scared you are.  Most of all, we know how determination and persistence will deliver you to a MUCH better life without tramadol.  It's scary when you are in the depths of withdrawal, but know that your brain is healing, even in that lowest he)) on earth that we all pass through.  Keep going.  You will come out the other side soon.

Tramadol withdrawal is very unpredictable (know those folks who say that, with opiates, wd peaks at about day four, then fades gradually to last about 7 - 10 days? There's no such formula with tramadol) -- but we can give you some general guidelines.  Usually the dark, frightening depression/suicidality peaks at around day 4 or 5.  Sometimes earlier!  So keep going, whatever you do.  It is going to get better SOON.

In the meantime, if you aren't taking any medicines that affect serotonin, you might consider 5HTP to help ease the insomnia and depression.  Also, eat plenty of protein, and if you can get the amino acid tyrosine, that helps as well.  These are precursors to the neurotransmitters that get depleted in our brains during withdrawal and cause the pain, RLS, depression, and other miserable symptoms.  While your brain is healing and learning to work in the absence of tramadol, you can help in these ways.

Potassium for restless legs, too.  And epsom salt baths for the body aches.  Most of all, time.  

Read through the old posts here and you'll find a wealth of information that will help you.  At the top of the page, click "journals" then "all journals".  You've got lots of reading to do!

This is the best healing community I have ever seen.  Welcome.

peace and healing,
~fmn

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 11, 2009
Ugh!  It appears more and more to me that those of you who have originally found these posts close to a year ago now have all dwindled away and moved on with their lives... hopefully with some success.  It gives me HOPE (and also a sense of astonishment- as to HOW MANY NEW PEOPLE find these Journals everyday- there clearly is an underlying problem the medical community needs to be aware of.  Most general practicioners recommend Tramadol because they have "less addictive properties..."  BS!  

I pretty much have gone on and off with these posts, looking for encouraging words and tips as to how to stop this possession I have been dealing with the past six years.

I've tried about 4 times to quit, each time stumbling downhill, basically wanting to kill for some tramadol, or kill myself.  I know how hard this is... but the other day I received some bad news..... REALLY BAD NEWS... that have basically given me an Ultimatum... either get off the TRAMS or DIE... being a loving father of two young ones and a beautiful wife, I have chosen to live... but am finding it so hard to combat close to six years of Tramadol use.

Here's the underlying problem (as I'm sure I could type a 5,000 page essay as to how I got on the trams,) but that's not the issue.  The issue is the decision to take Tramadol will lead to my death.  

About three years into taking Trams, I had a normal blood test done, which showed elevated levels of Eosinophils.  Typically, high eosinophil counts are associated with allergies and parasitic infections- in which generally occur if you've been out of the country.  Since I didn't have any allergies and never was out of the country, my general practitioner recommended I see a hematologist, thinking I might have a form of Cancer or something like Hodkgin's lymphoma.  The good news was that the tests for Cancer came back negative.  The bad news was that doctor's ruled out this problem and basically said "it must be some type of allergy" and that I shouldn't worry about it.  So I didn't worry about it.  I just went on doing my normal thing- taking Trams every waking hour- like usual.  Every year, get a blood test... everything else normal except Eosinophil count getting higher and higher (normal range 30-600 count- mine was at about 1200).  

Just this past year, got test again- Eosinophil count was at 1700.  Caused doctor to send me back to the Hematologist, who basically labeled me with Hyper-Eosinophilic Syndrome- meaning that they have NO CLUE what is causing the high eosinophil count- BUT ALL ALONG I KNEW IT WAS THE TRAMS- but yet kept it a secret.  The fact is, there were like only 50 labeled cases of Hyper Eosinophilic Syndrome in like 10 years in the US.  I would've had a better shot at winning the lottery than being diagnosed with this disorder.  I KNEW IT WAS THE TRAMS.  I kept this addiction a secret because I just didn't want to tell my doctor- a good friend- that I have been taking these damn pills for the past SIX YEARS without his knowing- buying them online from various online drugstores from site to site.  What started out as a temporary fix six years ago to a man in college without health insurance had led to a full out hidden BLOWN ADDICTION to TRAMADOL.  

I was sent to a blood doctor at PENN MEDICAL, one of the best in the country.  At this point, I've had enough- new doctor- no need to hide my addiction- so I came clean.  He was amazed.  He didn't even look at my chart yet and had told me to get off them.  I said the usual "I know, I know... " but knew he didn't know ANYTHING ABOUT TRAMADOL ADDICTION.

It was a few weeks later when I got the call.  The doctor had done some research and TRAMADOL DOES INDEED CAUSE A HIGH EOSINOPHIL COUNT- generally in older senior citizens, but in my case, appeared to be the case.  THE BAD NEWS:  high eosinophils cause damage to the heart and lungs and other major organs.  I'm 28, and since I've let this go on for the past few years without treatment (generally prednisone and other corticosteroids to lower the levels) I have already started to damage my vital organs.

That is when I was issued basically a death warrant.  Either GET OFF THE TRAMS or DIE.  Kinda is something I bet no one had to realize here on this forum, huh?  Pretty eye-opening.  Now I'm coming out... primarily because I'm asking for help... for guidance.  I've read the posts... tried before... but now HAVE TO QUIT.

I tapered rather drastically (dropped from 800 mg a day to 300 the next day, to 150 yesterday... now I'm officially on DAY ONE- and it's already starting to affect me.   Experiencing general anxiety, malaise, weak body... all the typical stuff you read about here in these posts.

If there is anyone out there.... any word of encouragement will help.  I know I can't do this alone.  

As I write this, my 9 month old son has wandered up to the computer... staring with a half-smile up at me.  I want to see him grow older... take him out and do things- father and son.... I NEED TO LIVE.

PLEASE HELP!


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by forget_me_not, Dec 11, 2009
Wantmylifeback, WELCOME!  While I am sincerely sorry you have the condition, I am glad to see you have come to this forum with a desire to eliminate this poison from your life.  You could not make a better decision!

You need to live.  That sounds like your primary motivation right now.  And it's the best one you can have.  The truth is, as you know, tramadol withdrawal is very unpleasant.  But it's TEMPORARY.  No matter how bad it gets, it is transient and will pass in a period of time that can be measured in DAYS.  Your doctor sounds like someone who understands how poisonous this drug is, and support from your physician would certainly seem helpful in getting off this stuff.  So work with him/her and draw on the support you will get there.

What can we do to help you?  Do you understand the withdrawal process and know what to expect?  There is a lot of wisdom on this forum and a GREAT deal of information about supplements that can help you through the withdrawal process.  And they work.  If you haven't done so, read back through Emily's older journals and pay attention to the experiences of others and what worked for them.  

Based on your past experience, what is it that will be your biggest obstacle in getting clean and staying clean?  The physical pain, the depression?  We want to help you, and we will point you in the direction of excellent resources to help arm you with information.  Knowledge is power.

Ultimately, it comes down to this.  You have to make a choice and stick to it.  You have to be "bigger than your body" as the song goes, strong enough to tough out the pain and depression knowing that it WILL pass, and life WILL be better after it does.

Let us help you.  We are so glad you are here.

peace,
~fmn

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 11, 2009
Thanks Forgetmenot,

I think my biggest concern within the next few days is the seratonin syndrome I have been hearing about.  Like a dummy, which I constantly do, I am a cyberchondriac- meaning I always turn to the websites to "self-diagnose" myself.  Only problem is, this seratonin syndrome really seems substantial and relevant since tramadol is a leading inhibitor.  I think my only concern is this for the time being.  I just hope someone out there has any response to seratonin syndrome?  I definitely would say I am already beginning to experience the overwhelming effects of withdrawal, which may or may not be associated with seratonin syndrome:  sweating, body aches, dialated eyes, etc.

Hopefully, as I've read, these subside within 24 hours and get better gradually.  However, when should I consider that there is a potentially dangerous problem on my hand?  Maybe it's just my mind and anxiety racing.... whatever the reason... I AM DEFINITELY NOT LIKING DAY ONE c/t.  

Ugh.... a rough road ahead I guess.  I know from watching these posts for a few months now and sitting in the dark.  I knew there would come a time to stop... just never thought it would be in such a fashion that has been so forthcoming.

Here's how you can help.  Keep bugging me.  I have a tendency to always check this post daily (if not hourly).  If you haven't heard from me in a day, it may (or hopefully may not) mean I've given in to the symptoms again.  Ask how I'm doing... chances are I'll be reading and too embarrased to admit self-defeat yet again.  

However, there is really hope this time.  This time I have a major health reason as to WHY to quit.  I always figured this stuff would kill me one way or another!  Geez... what a horrible drug!

The biggest obstacle right now would probably be (aside from the fear of that seratonin syndrome) the feeling of DEATH.  That's about how I could place it right now.  I just want to curl up and go into a coma for about a week or two so I can completly avoid these withdrawal symptoms.  I guess for now would be just to sit back and read the posts as to what others have done during this time frame of their withdrawal.  To be honest, it really is hard, especially with two kids wanting me to be my "silly" active self, having the massive energy to swoop them up into my arms, play airplane, and run around the house with them.  As of now, I can barely stand up to type this sitting up.

I'm not too concerned with depression, as although I might have a bought of it, I really don't think I'll get too "down" aside from the physical feelings.  I have a pretty good head on my shoulders, a beautiful family, and a wonderful job.  What more could I ask for?... aside from ridding Tramadol from my body.

You guys (and gals) are my hope!  I'll just need gentle nudging from time to time.  

Tramadol really is a terrible drug... by far one of the worst things I have ever seen and dealt with.  I absolutely ABHOR it, yet never felt like I could compete in the marketing world without taking a few to "get the upper edge" as I put it.  I know it made me feel energenic, superhuman, and above competition, but I know that's just a farse.  That person did all that was ME, not a stupid white "magic" pill.  I was stupid to believe it was the drugs.  Maybe it was because everytime I tried to quit, I felt so terrible and got right back on it.  

Now I know.  I'm armed.... and I'm f'in ready (excuse my language!)

Thanks fmn!  Keep me going!

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by forget_me_not, Dec 11, 2009
I totally understand.  Seriously, totally.  As totally as any other person can understand your personal experience, I do!

I also experienced the hatred for the drug, yet also the weird self-deprecating "yearning" for it as a performance enhancer.  I wonder how many of us used it primarily for that purpose?  Because yes, at one point, it did work.  Like you, I wondered how I would make it in the dog-eat-dog work world without the creative edge the drug gave me.  But I can only put it this simply: the "burst" of neurotransmitter activity that led to all that creative energy was crippling my brain, from where all the creativity comes in the first place.  It was crippling it in a sense that it temporarily took away my brain's ability to manufacture its own neurotransmitters, and I am now healing and dealing with that.  Let me be clear: it's manageable, and it isn't something to fear, just something to know.  Your brain will have to heal, and you will be so surprised to see that it does recover!  It does!

As for the physical pain... it's what it is.  There is no way to get around it, but there is a way to get through it.  Eat plenty of protein (lean meats, eggs, protein shakes, etc.) during the initial withdrawal, as this helps fuel your brain's creation of those neurotransmitters.  Simple carbs tend to produce spikes and slumps in serotonin which make you feel worse, so try to avoid those.  Complex carbs, proteins, amino acids, and potassium.  And B12.  B12 really helps with the energy for a lot of us.

Serotonin syndrome.  This happens when you get too much serotonin, which isn't going to be a side-effect of withdrawal.  This is more a risk when you are taking the drug.  However, be careful if you take supplements that boost serotonin, like 5HTP (which I recommend) along with other serotonergic drugs or supplements... like decongestants, even some antibiotics like Cipro.  Pharma and Madtram know much more about this than I do.  5HTP is a serotonin precursor and will help with insomnia and depression.  However, just be cautious not to use it with other drugs or supplements that increase serotonin.

It is a matter of life and death for all of us, including you.  Get mad, get furious, get FED UP with the fact that this drug is tearing you apart physically and emotionally, and then make a decision.  And give yourself NO possibility of failure.  

Stay in the moment.  Get through today, and then you can focus on tomorrow.  Each moment you don't take a pill is a moment closer to freedom.  

Can you tell your family that you're sick?  Perhaps it will help if they understand you are simply not able to perform at 100% right now.  You'll be back to yourself soon.

We are here for you.

~fmn

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Dec 11, 2009
Wantmyselfback...I just read your post...I'm so glad you found us...Bottom line you do not have a choice ...you HAVE to come off Tram..

Your going to feel depressed
your going to feel panic
your going to be hot and stickey
your not going to sleep well
your going to have little or no energy
your going to feel like crying

Bottom line your going to" LIVE "if you STOP using..

Everyday above ground is a good day..

So suck it up and do what you need to do...

Flush that crap.

Post and read as much as you can..It's going to get BETTER with TIME.
Next year this time you will be helping someone else get off Tram..

Peaceful wishes from California

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 11, 2009
Starting day 7....phew!  I am so glad to have days 3 and 4 behind me.  As everyone here has said it will and does get better.  For all of us....just imagine how much Tramadevil you were taking and how long you were taking it for.....now, for your withdrawal.  For the years of use, the high doses we were all at, to give up 7ish days of our lives to get off stage 1 of WD of this stuff....I am glad that it only took this short amount of time to get over hurdle #1.

Yes, I have about 10 loads of laundry to do from all the sweating in clothes, sheets, towels.  Taking a shower, stepping out and be drenched in sweat with in 5 minutes (or less), then back to the shower again.  We all remember, we get it.

Honesty with myself, my husband, my mother, and my brother was key.  I had to lie to my employer, but my mother this morning told me to put my hand in front of my face and she asked if my nose had grown, I told her no, and she said that sometimes a lie is necessary.  In reading back in posts you will know I can't stand lying, but I had to do it for me.  I forget who posted the this comment, but your initial withdrawal symptoms will mimic flu symptoms and get you off the hook, so to speak.  My boss and co-workers took one look at me the morning of day 3 and told me to go home.  If they had not said to go home I would have left.

Yes, I could have gone to work today, but I am giving myself a break.  LIFE will and does return in a very short period of time compared to the amount of time we were all on this evil, evil drug.  

It is raining and cold here in Northern CA right now, but I can see rays of lights through the clouds.

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 11, 2009
Here is part of a post from one of our heros, Emily Post.  I don't know how many times I've gone back to read her words, but I thought this is very appropriate for today......

“Welcome.  I know you are here because you - my body - are doing its best to rid my very cells of this poison that should never have been ingested in the first place.  I welcome you because you - my body - are doing its job.  I know that these symptoms won’t last forever and I know I have to go THROUGH this to beat you!  There is no easy way around it.  My body and I have declared war on the residual bits of poison that you (Tramadol) have placed within my cells.  But this stronghold you have over me is temporary.  I embrace these awful symptoms because I will eventually win!”

Avatar universal
by DizzyMom34, Dec 11, 2009
Oh my... I think finding this forum might save my life. I am alone right now with a three year old who can't figure out why Mommy is so sad today. Today is my second day of only 150mg... instead of 500-600mg a day. I-might-die. Am I INSANE for doing this over Christmas?????????

I can't order more.. unless I cancel my plane tix to take my little one to go see Grandma!! I HATE her.. I could have my tramadol if she didn't want to see us for Christmas!!... oh, nevermind, it's ME I hate. Why did I start this?? I feel so dumb.

I have my whole plan written out... 5 days on 150mg... 5 days on 100mg... 5 days on 75mg... 5 days on 50mg... 5 days on 25mg... then I will have run out of pills anyway. Am I going to be able to hold it together during Christmas??????????? Ah, I am screwed now.

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by gerty411411, Dec 11, 2009
HI Y'ALL!!!

fmn-- I too used Tram as as performance enhancer.  With it I felt that I was wonder women.  The fact is I wasn't as sharp and I'm very fortunte that I didn't kill someone or myself.

At day #25 I'm beginning to enjoy things again.  For awhile in the first 7-10 days I really had a hard time caring about anything.  I have no idea how I worked and took call.  Pherhaps being busy helped me not to continually think about how bad I felt.

I also have chose to give up etoh (alcohol) as I was also chugging 2 fifths/week along with my 20-25 trams/day.  Yikes that didn't phase at the time I was in the thick of it but now it scares the hell out of me.

I'm beginning to reconnect with my family and my hobbies.  Tomorrow my 10 year old daughter and I are going for a pedicure!!!  My first sober pedicure in 2 years.

Newway,  hope you are hanging in--Soon you will be over the worst of it .  You are in my thoughts.

Continue on Warriors!!!

Love Gerty

Avatar universal
by inspiring, Dec 11, 2009
wantmyself back and dizzy mom,  YES this forum can save your life, it did for me!  I read and learned and read some more.  Knowing I was not alone, that other caring souls who had been in it MUCH worse than I had beaten it and were helping newcomers.

the feeling of lethargy, of not caring, of sitting for hours slumped miserably in my chair, not even picking up a piece of paper that bugged me for FIVE days. i just didn't have the energy to bend down, what was the point anyway. IT WAS A DARK FEW DAYS, I was very scared and depressed, I would just sit at computer and read the posts and they helped me SO much.

I am here to say it DOES get better, once out of the horrible physical and mental horrors, I began to see life as precious again, I started exercising, a mere one minute at first, but I had to 'train' myself and knew each effort was making ME stronger.  Friends are commenting I l0ook good and I can see my muscles coming back  COOOOL

DO take advice from the thomas recipe, all kinds of tips about supplements and vitamins and Pharma will be here to advise about the drug interactions  BLESS HER!!!

The first few days are the worse, you just MUST soldier thru, knowing you will come out the other side, knowing that you will feel SO good. I used to take tram for confidence and energy and it turned on me and kicked my butt, I NOW feel better than when on the tram, MUCH more confident and satisfied with my life

NEWWAY  -stay strong my friend, you will be so proud of yourself to be real again,  IT FEELS GREAT!!!!

pink you are doing SO well, I worried about you at first but I can tell you are one strong person, go for it

Love to all and thanks to all who helped me



Avatar universal
by Marlene1177, Dec 11, 2009
Well, I only took 7 pills yesterday, one down from my 8 a day.  Today, I only took 6.  Two weeks ago the thought of only taking 6 in a day seemed impossible, the thought of going 6 hours between doses seemed impossible.  Mentally, I've come so far because of y'all.  The fear of withdrawing isn't such a monster to me anymore.  I read the postings and so far no one has written that they totally "lost" it and ran naked down the freeway at 2 am or ended up in ER in a straight jacket or that they are dead!  So far, haven't read anything like that!  Those are the things that I worried about two weeks ago, the total fear of "losing it" if I tried to stop.  

I feel a peace about all this now.  I know I haven't really done enough withdrawal to warrant major side effects yet but it feels so good not to be so scared and fearful.  What I repeatedly get from reading the postings is yes, it's tough and probably one of the hardest things some of us will ever do BUT it's DO ABLE!  We will make it to the other side of this, we will wake up from this nightmare and be so thankful it's over.  

This forum is such a wonderful gift.  Thank you all!  

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 11, 2009
Both of you are right on!  I was looking back at some of my posts on days 1-3 of my cold turkey and WOW what a difference just a few days make.  I am thankful for this site and everyone on it!!  

I don't know why, but tonight my kitties are really trying my patience with constant MEOWING...because of this my husband just pointed out I am dropping the F-bomb like there is no tomorrow and I apologized and just realized this is part of my recovery.  Maybe my kitties are having withdrawals from the old me?  

Tomorrow is going to be a little challenging, the dentist!  I am having all of the remaining mercury fillings removed, the more garbage out of my system the better.  I REALLY hate Novocaine, but I think it is the injection part that totally ooks me out.  I went out again today and driving was MUCH better!  One of my stops was to Bed Bath & Beyond to get some 100% cotton sheets.  These will breath easier and hopefully help with any night sweats.  These have REALLY decreased for me, but not 100%.  

For those who are new and are reading from afar this place has been invaluable.  Please, please take the time to go back and read lots of posts.  There are 1000's filled with great info and inspiration.  Send a note to someone here that you feel you can relate directly too, we will all try to help in whatever way we can.  I've only been here a week and everyone has treated me with such kindness, respect, and open arms.

You only have one thing to loose, the drugs.  Oh, and maybe your clothes from Marlene's post above!  LOL!

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Dec 12, 2009
Newway and madtram,  I am relieved to hear that someone else raves by Fisher and Paykel.   It was a great deal of work to research washers and dryers, but I knew full well that if I brought ones home that tangled laundry, spun with unbalanced loads, and worst of all, created that all too common oderous mold smell, Mrs. Fred would not be happy.   And you know the old saying, "when Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

Wantmyselfback,  Welcome to our world!   Yeah, we all felt that this drug made us "energenic, superhuman, and above (our) competition".   Sadly, that seems to be the language of many insideous drugs.   I started taking speed many, many years ago while in college and the drug told me that it would cause me to be "energenic, superhuman, and above (my) peers.    After staying up all night (apparently) studying and flunking the test the next morning, I had one of my earliest looks at the language drugs use to convince us that they are our friends.  

Tramadol is definately NOT our friend.

It will kick each one of us to the curb and care nothing about the emotional zombies it creates.

Tramadol will suck out our money, our energy, our emotions, our relationships and our souls if we let it.

Drug manufacturers didn't care enough about us to even adequately trial this drug before introducing it into the market ...so they could begin to suck our money, our energy, our emotions, our relationships and our very souls.

From what everyone here has shared, there is a total lack of understanding and care in prescribing tramadol by our medical community.  

I am sorry to share my bias towards those companies and indivuals marketing drugs.   And I have a good friend who RETIRED from the "pharacutical field" at an early age with tons of $$$.   But with all respect due, they seem to be selected for this profession of "drug rep." based on their physical appearance and the ability to balance a large plate of ham sandwiches with one hand and ball game tickets in the other.   I love my friend dearly, but he never was the brightest bulb in the box.  While he could balance a try of sandwiches, I am not alltogether certain that he could balance a checkbook.

I was scheduled for my annual physical at my doctor's office at 11:30 Friday.   Lunch time works well for me to sneak away, but it also seems to be a prime time for the drug reps to bring in their wares.   As I sat their WAITING MY TURN, in walked the very handsome, well dressed drug rep. with a hot plate of ham sandwiches for the medical staff.  Zip, he was ushered right on in.   I recognized him as the driver of the Lincoln Navigator that narrowly missed hitting me in the parking lot.

The nurse had mustard on her blouse and crumbs at the corner of her mouth by the time she came into the exam room to check my BP and temperature.   Without even telling me what my vitals were, swish, she was back out the door for more ham sandwiches.

My doctor came in and took his place at the computer terminal across the room from the exam table as usual.   He asked me a couple questions and then came closer to listen to my heart and lungs before declaring that he would see my in six months.   I had some questions to discuss with him, but I swear, he couldn't get back to that marketing rep and the ham sandwiches fast enough.  

He does have a sense of humor however.   (Now I am really digressing)...but one time I must have arrived between "marketing reps."  and I convinced him to check my prostrate.  (for cancer, silly!)    As he was putting on his rubber gloves, I told him that I wasn't much looking forward to this particular exam.   "It isn't exactly the high point of my day either", he replied.   We both laughed.   But such touching moments aside, my doctor seems more motivated by the goodies his drug reps bring in, than by those of us placed into his medical care.  

What do you all figure was the particular "price" that convinced your doctor to hand tramadol out as if it were candy?   My guess is that it didn't take much more than a hot ham sandwich on rye bread.

Wantmyselfback, there are all sorts of reasons for stopping tramadol, but I haven't heard a better articulated reason for wanting to stop than the one you described.   Nonetheless, it won't be easy.  Day after day while on tramadol for six years, I constantly told myself "tomorrow" I will stop taking the tram-a-crap.   When I got here I was as surprised as anyone that there were so many with the same problem that I had.    

You mentioned that you had read that the worst of the symptoms would begin to subside in 24 hours.  Really?   I would be remiss if I didn't warn you to buckle up for a good 4-5 days of intense withdrawal symptoms before acute withdrawal symptoms begin to subside.  Before the insomnia and "kicking at the sheets" begin to subside.   On the other hand, if you can string 4-5 days together between yourself and the last lovely white pill, this does have a happy ending.   Withrawal symptoms will not last forever.  

Marlene, yes, this is do able.  You will see.   Keep coming back and we will be with you as you continue with your taper plan.

Pink, congratulations on a week off tramadol.   ***major***accomplishment and sooo nice to see.   (Your mom sounds like such a sweetheart.)

Gerty, you raised a good point about (all of us) being fortunate not to have killed someone while in the tramafog.   Yes, this drug convinces us that we are on top of our game, but the reality is that our game truly suffered, yet we just were not aware of that.  

I for one know that I drove without normal awareness of the traffic around me while on this drug.

I for one know that I was oblivious to other people, as I sat in a tramadol induced stupor as people tried to get my attention.

And surely, I am not the only one to have walked into another room...and  knew of no earthly reason why I had entered that room.

Yup,  I was definately lucky not to have killed anyone while in a tramadol stupor.  

And what shall we say about death by siezures?    We have had SEVERAL come here to report the siezures they have had while taking high doses of this drug and some while driving.   Any guesses at how many people have died in auto accidents due to tramadol induced siezures?   Any idea how many familes have uttered those words, "we just have no idea what might have caused him to loose control..."

The suffering of acute withdrawal will not last forever.   Stay close and stay strong.   You will recover...you'll see.

Courage Strength and Love to you all,

fred

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 12, 2009
Fred..loved your drug rep scenario...But to be fair to the doctors,they were fed a line of bull by big pharma about the wonders of tramadol.They probably only got good reports from their patients and maybe don't even know about the addiction factor.I'll bet most patients are ashamed to tell their doctors about their addiction and often supplemental use from internet pharmacies.The doctors are blindly thinking they are prescribing a wonder drug for their patients.I was suspicious from early on and warned my customers that I really did not believe that it was not addicting because it works on opiate receptors.Those types of drugs are all addicting.The doctors here have a hard time believing me when I tell them of the addicting factor.I blame the regulators for not classing it as a narcotic right from the beginning because if it was classed,doctors and everyone would look at it differently.Everyone just thought they had a drug better than tylenol that is not a narcotic.

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by Lillyval, Dec 12, 2009
Wow wantmyselfback, that's a scary and mind blowing story.  I'm so ANGRY and so fearful of these synthetic drugs.  As we on this forum are finding the truth about tramadol, new drugs are being synthesized every day.  There is a new on that someone mentionned here a while back that is basically the same as tram but about 10 times stronger.  Wow, what a great idea - as if people haven't been able to ruin their lives enough with regular tramadol.

We've come to know that tram has anti-depressant properties which make it much more difficult to withdraw from than regular opiates.  But what about the "unknown mechanism of action"?   It wrecked your eosinophils, what else has it permanently damaged in our bodies and minds.

I asked my addiction dr. if I could have ruined my brain chemistry permanently.  I was hoping he would give me some reassurance that most people recover and return to normal.  But instead he told me the truth which is that we don't know.
I'm still on buprenorphine and I'm worried about having to do my final taper and get off of it.  But I still believe nothing is like getting off of tram with all of it's unknown effects on brain chemistry.  Every day I put between me and that crap is a day that I affirm my life.  Stay with it everyone.  You WILL get better, you will feel things (good things) that you haven't felt in the months and years you've been in the trama-fog.  It is SO worth it!
Lilly

Avatar universal
by DizzyMom34, Dec 12, 2009
I think I actually slept a little last night.. not sure, though. I was glad to read the posts here re: sheet kicking, because that's what I've been doing for two nights. And my hips are killing me. I actually can't tell if they hurt or if they have little ants in them. This morning I thought, Hey this tapering thing is working, I feel okay! And then I heard someone in my daughter's cartoon singing 'Auld Lang Syne' and I cried my eyes out.

Avatar universal
by DizzyMom34, Dec 12, 2009
Re: trama-fog... Now I know why I would be reading my little girl a book for bedtime and I couldn't remember how I got to the end of the book. I wonder if I read it, and don't remember it, or if I just turned the pages like a robot and the poor kid is too young to know that I only read the first and last page of the story... Wow...

Avatar universal
by DizzyMom34, Dec 12, 2009
Tramadol and Eating Disorders

Another reason why I have been scared to go off tramadol. I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but I found I could eat any junk food I wanted and not gain a pound. I worked very, very hard for a year (before I got on the trammies) to lose weight through healthy eating and exercise. I had to, because that was my bid to avoid back surgery. I enjoyed being my healthy body weight for a few months, first time in my life I wasn't overweight. Maintaining it was a challenge, though, I couldn't go back to eating cake and enchiladas. Still had to use self-control. Finally, so they SAID, I needed the back surgery anyway. Then, the tramadol. Then, didn't take long to notice that I lost my appetite, and even more weight, with tramadol. And then, when even taking a dozen pills a day didn't keep me "up" and didn't kill my appetite, I went back to eating any old junk I could find. And I didn't gain any weight. Now, that I am ready to be finished with the grip this has had on my life, I am terrified that I will gain back the lbs I worked so hard to lose. Rational Me knows that it doesn't have to go that way, but Rational Me is barely winning these internal arguments...



Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 12, 2009
I never lose my appetite! LOL I wish I ever had that side effect.  The one thing that has helped my weight was getting my thyroid straightened out. I think substance abuse and smoking may have contributed to that problem, so it's always worth checking!

Avatar universal
by desperate2getWell, Dec 12, 2009
Not much to add today-have finals next week so you know how this week-end will be spent.  Good to see people finding this haven to get help.  I owe each post here because without hearing the continual words of encouragement as we prepared to endure a few days of Hades, I don't think I could have done it.  
I send each and everyone of you suffering through withdrawal my warmest, most loving hug and whisper that soon, this too shall pass.

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by gerty411411, Dec 12, 2009
I also relied on tram not only as my best friend but as a diet aid.  I didn't want to eat and when I did I ate very little.  I'm amazed that I actually lost weight and became frightenly thin as I was also drinking a ton of crown and coke.  Can you beleive that was my first concern about quitting was the potential for weight  gain?  Man do I have alot of layers of the addict swirling around inside of me.  Drugs, etoh and a bit of an eating disorder thrown in for good measure!!!

Since geting sober I have put on a few pounds but it's a small price to pay to be feeling like a did before t.  I'm still in counseling and will have to be on the lookout forever about my issues.  This is something that has been long in comming and at the age of 45 I'm finally ready.

I've asked this question before , is there any relationship between t w/d and paws and migraine headaches?

Take care all, Gerty

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 12, 2009
Wow!  Thanks all for your kind words!  I'm now officially in Day 2 of being clean.   I'm not going to lie, yesterday was probably one of the hardest things I've had to do in my life... PERIOD!  I was absolutely in the most-godawful-intense agony... a feeling I would never wish on anyone.  Shaking, sweating, muscle-spasms, the inability to control my body from jerking all over the place... and much more.  As this was happening, I kept getting more and more ANGRY for what this posion had done to my body.  I can only imagine what it must be like for those poor heroin users out there that go through withdrawal.  In some ways, I guess you can say I'm experincing it.

Anyways, yesterday was absolutely terrible.  I basically was in bed starting at 2 PM fighting off the demons.  Talked to my doctor after reading fmn's post, and he recommended some xanax for the initial withdrawal period.  I got them and attempted not to take them,  but by six pm, was wrathing in agony that I took one... and am relieved I did.  It knocked me out for about three hours.  Woke up, took another one... then went back to sleep.  As for the overnight sleep, I was off and on, and can't really complain that it wasn't as bad as the previous hours during the day.

Woke up this morning still feeling terrible, but no more restless legs and twitching.  I'm hoping yesterday was the worst of it... but from reading some posts, really have no clue what to expect since everyone's w/d is different.  All I know is that I AM SO GLAD I AM DOING THIS!  I dragged my butt out of bed this morning to get dressed and go to breakfast with Santa with the kids... and I am so glad I went.  Although I still felt like I had no energy, I would have hated myself even more if I didn't go.  

I have such an amazing wife to be by my side during this difficult w/d period.  She's defintely understanding and accepting... as well as proud I'm doing this.  In fact, funny thing is that the good ol' fedex guy came to our house this morning... and with guess what?  TRAMS!  The Italian in her came out and she must've threated the guy to death, which I thought was quite hilarious... and was so proud, cause there's a good chance I might've gone down there and picked them up.  So that's it!  I've made a final stance... and god willing... will never touch another Tramadevil again.  

Today isn't so bad, but I'm still in bed.  Not nearly as bad as yesterday, so I'm praying that the worst is behind me.  I know I'll have more days of feeling completly without energy, but will take the advice of all you wonderful people out there.  

All I know is that I defnitely couldn't have done this without your help.... SERIOUSLY.  I thank God for finding this website, and for sending Emily Post the courage to start this entire group.  Someone should go to congress with these hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of posts explaining the dangers of this drug.

Onwards and upwards as I say.  

Thanks all for your kind words, prayers, and help!

Avatar universal
by fedupp, Dec 12, 2009
WOW!  Thank you all!  Because of all of your posts I am coming clean for the 1st time in apx 4yrs.  I have had to hide this dependance from work/military and home.  I actually work in the health care industry and thankfully not selling this one!! and have been trying very hard to get off this med. for years.  I started on 1 or 2 aday and went up to 10-12/day before really bad headaches stopped me. I was  taking more to have the "energy","mood", and "desire" to get thru each and every day while feeling like a piece of crap because I knew I was "CHECKED OUT" for my daughters and husband.  I am now tapering down and am down to 50mg/day.  I have tried and tried to get off but the WD are soo awful and mostly RLS and anxiety.  I am now at the point where I want to stop cold turkey or taper off as much as possible before doing this.  I only have so much left,(besides Ultram er which I don't take) and want to make my WD less severe.

I am going to tell my husband tonight so he can help me prepare to stop but I need a question answered from you all who have been thru this:

***1.  Is it worth it to go to 25mg/day and lower or just quit now and deal w/what happens?
PLEASE PLEASE respond to help guide me!!!

***2,  I already suffer from migranes and was on amitriptaline(sp)  for help w/ this, I have pretty much taken myself off of this med before I even knew about this site and wonder if I need to go on an SSRI(it think) again to help WD or wait until I am off Tramadol and then look at an SSRI for headaches and deptression.  I have never really felt relief from them and have tried them several times over the years.(Mother and brother had serious mental prob. mine where mostly low energy and depression).  I guess I am not sold on how they can help me.

I have managed over the years to "appear" very successful in my career and what I am able to accomplish and now change is on the horizon and I feel great anxiety about not being able to perform and staying employeed....Please excuse all of the misspelled words, I am typing fast and a poor speller.

Emily and Fred and alot of new posts are really inspirational to me and  I feel stronger to try to let it go for good and be free and clear from this crap!!!  

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 12, 2009
I am gaining more encouragement from your reading your posts.  Today is my day 8 of NO drugs - only vitamins and life is awesome!

I got a little annoyed today........I went to the dentist to get the remaining mercury fillings removed and of course had to tell my dentist what I was going through because God forbid there be some terrible complication and no one could get a hold of my husband!  Anyway, the minute I said Tramadol her eyes got HUGE, then a sigh, and a shaking of her head as she said that so many physicians have no clue about this drug and what it does.  She was VERY glad for me to get off of it and thanked me for telling her.  So, my dentist knew about Tramadol, but not my internal medicine doctor from UC Davis!  WTF!

So, I am typing and drooling...LOL!  By the way, I spent a lot of time yesterday reading about Tramadol on the FDA website, very intering with all of the details they have there.  I wish some of their details would have been put into the patient guide that pharmacy's hand out.  In reading their information there were many points that raised my eyebrow that they were totally wrong about.  If you are bored and if you can hold your focus long enough here it is (as you can imagine there were tons of breaks): http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2004/20281slr030,21123slr001_Ultram_lbl.pdf

Through all of this I have really learned to educate myself and will ask tons of questions before EVER taking another medication again!

The 100% cotton flannel sheets were awesome last night!  Very, very minimal sweat and they helped with my Raynaud's phenomenon.

Have the best day possible!

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 12, 2009
Hi Fedupp, and welcome.  I'm on day 2 of w/d... and feeling better and better by the second.  Keep checking these posts, and you will find they make you feel better after reading/typing.  

As for you questions:

1.  The tapering method I have really no experience with.  All I know is that I tried it repeatedly, only to find myself the second to last day without trams frantically getting more.  It's a HORRIBLE feeling knowing you're down to only a few.  I pretty much did a super quick taper because I was on my last of the bottle, so went for three days from about 10-12 a day down to about 4 the next day, down to about 2 the last day... and yesterday was day 1 off w/d... which wasn't pretty.  The Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is indeed a major part of the w/d process and trust me... it *****.  I kinda made it into a competition, though.  As I was laying in bed in agony, legs kicking this way and that, I got so ANGRY that the drugs were making me do this, so I decided to run in place (obviously laying down since I didn't have the energy to stand up) and pretty much said: (You wanna go?  wel'll let's f#@kin roll! And kicked like freaking crazy for about 30 minutes straight.  I'm sure if my wife came up, she probably would've started calling the looney bin on me, but heck, I wore myself out and was able to lower my anxiety.

2.  I asked my doctor about the same thing about getting and SSRI to combat the w/d, but as forgetmenot mentions (and is true) the seratonin syndrome happens WHILE you're on trams, not after.  The doctor recommended 10 MG of Lexapro (an SSRI) and wrote me a script, but I took one yesterday and I think it led for me to have more w/d symptoms, so I'm off that crap as well.  

You are like all of us here.  I used tramadol to move up in the workplace from lower entry-level to a full out administrator in only three years.  I thought it was the trams that did this, but trust me, that was only a farce.  It was really me that did it, not the damn medication.  I know I used to think the trams were like these magic pills that gave me awesome performance powers, but they didn't (although they might have seemed like it).  Truth is, they fool the brain to make you think you have these awesome powers, and when people get off the tramadols for up to a week, they get completly lethargic and miserable, in which they start back up again.  I've never made it past that point.  Usually by then I'm re-upping my prescription and getting more.

But this time is different... Read my post above... I HAVE to get off the tramadevil or else it will eventually kill me.


Best of luck.... and trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.  We can do it together... I'm on day 2... with a not-so-long road of w/d ahead of me.

Trust this site, it is a godsend.

I'm off to the drugstore (yes, I'm getting out of the house!) to get some soup, B12 (thanks fmn), and other goodies people recommended.  

Has anyone heard of that 5 hour energy shot?  Anyone know if that can give me the energy I need to start off work on Monday? Might give it  a shot (no pun intended) to see if it will give me some of that "Tram Energy" I used to start every work day off with.

Avatar universal
by fedupp, Dec 12, 2009
Few more quick thoughts on Dizzymoms post...On the weight loss subject, Yes I too lost alot of weight and it seemed to just fall off me when I have always had trouble keeping weight off.  This is short lived and as soon as I dropped my intake, I gained it all back.  At this point I don't care!!!  I want to be free and then handle my weight and emotions from a good clean place.  This is soooo hard and I need help and support but I know I can do it.

Second..I had to laugh at Freds comments about the drup rep, while I completely understand how it appears and it feels good to get pissed at someone especially if we think they have contributed to the lie, in all fairness...the doctors usually care very little about what reps have to say and if you have a great relationship with a doc, you have real clinical discussions and not just yummy lunches.  THe staff and doctors like everyone love a free meal but take it from a person who knows....The doctor is the final choice in what they feel is best for their customers.  My personal doctor did say be careful w/ T but I am too ashamed to even really tell her the complete truth.  

Thank you all for sharing your experiences, I am going to rely on this alot in the days to come!!

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by cake698, Dec 12, 2009
today is my last day of taking tram. I took my last dose this morning and Im ready to take on whats going to happen. i'm sick of wasting my money on them.  Im sick of them all together.  I know i've said this all before but its just destroying my relationship and i need to get up the courage to do this.  Today is not a good start as i was at the store to by my supplements at the dietary store and i realized i couldn't find my walet and as of right now i still cant find it! i bought the stuff that i could find at the grocery store like the vitamin b-12 and so on yesterday.  i know i'll have difficulty sleeping tonight and tomorrow and the next day.  i know that i have to go back to work on tuesday so hopefully the worst of the physical symptoms wont be that bad.  the only thing that ***** and makes me upset is that tomorrow is the only day i have off that i can spent some quality time with my boyfriend  and i'm going to feel like complete crap. i cant believe i did this to myself again.  i'm so mad at myself.  there is no chance of me getting anymore so i know i wont relapse during the next 3 days atleast.  my biggest problem is the chills that bothers me so much.  anyone know what helps with that. i'm hoping monday night i'll be so spent that sleep will just come.....one can hope

Avatar universal
by fedupp, Dec 12, 2009
Thanks so much wantmyselfback!!  I too have had serious medical problems and even surgery and NEVER mentioned I was on Tramadol.  Your story is not only scary, it rings sooo true and I think most people who coninue will eventually have serious medical problems.  I can not believe you went CT so fast and I wish I could speed ahead a few days and just take the plunge...I am going to try tonight to not take one at all.  Even though I am on very little...the WD are HUGE!!!  I was hoping the WD would be smaller and less painful and long...We will soon see I guess.  What a God send finding this site...I am off to run errands and get some self care stuff.  Thanks again!!!

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 12, 2009
Hi All,

Just got back from the drugstore.  Literally chugged one of those 5 hour energy shots right in the aisle.  Too early to tell if it's working... but I think it's given me some "boost"... only question is how long it will last.  If it does work (since I bought a six-pack for an ungodly amount of $15) I will let you know if this can help with those first few days.

As for the question about Tramadol and weight control.... this was a side effect for me.  Although I was never really a heavy man (189 lbs max) I am now down to 164.  Everyone kept asking how I did it, my answer:  I just don't eat... and that's the truth.  When taking tramadol, I was a working machine.  I used to sit with everyone during their lunch breaks, enjoy the most awesome philly cheesesteaks and all the other good (well ok, not good- but damn tasty) stuff that most people eat.  But, as tramadol consumed my life, I would completely bypass lunch altogether.  In fact, my daily routine was coffee for breakfast, then dinner, then a bowl of cereal or a tastycake before bed.  Although I lost a good amount of weight and look great, I'm sure this completely did some damage to my body.   In fact, I'm too skinny now- but ok.  I'm willing to sacrfice putting on 150 LBS to get off of Tramadol.  Trust me, if it's weight you're concerned about while giving up Tramadol, THE TRAMADOL IS TELLING YOU THAT SO YOU WON'T GET OFF IT.

Trust me, get off it... and you'll see it won't be too big of a problem.

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 12, 2009
Oh, and by the way, since I took a xanax (which I don't recommend unless you're using them for w/d purposes only)- I am feeling a little giddy.... so I figured I throw this out there to you all..... I LOVE YOU MAN!

Once I'm through with this w/d and hopefully a strong advocate like so many of you on these journals... I plan to DO SOMETHING about this.  Gert, Your link about the FDA is very intersting.

Something has to be done about Tramadol.  Doctors too frequently give (and keep prescribing) Tramadevil to so many people because it's non-narcotic and non-addictive, which the hundreds of us on here know is full of sh^t.  What we can do?  I don't know right now... but I do know something has to be done.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 12, 2009
Hi wantmyselfback..We all get a little giddy on this forum esp when we hear good news about somebody's positive progress or find that that everyone totally understands us.I get so attached to the people here and want the best for them all and often sign off with Love yaz all,which I truly do.

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 12, 2009
UPDATE:  Surprisingly, the 5-hour energy shot I took seems to have taken some positive effect.  I feel much better... not nearly 100%, but was able to head downstairs and get some soup and chug a bunch of Gatorade.

I've taken quite a few science courses in college (although my job has nothing to do with science- mainly selling BullSh*t, a.k.a Marketing) so I know I am jumping the gun.

Along with the 5-hour energy shot (Max Strength) I took, I followed forgetmenot's (my new guardian angel) idea of B-12, a multivitamin, as well as something that was on sale at CVS called 7-Day Detox.... which kinda reminds me of drinking ground up alpha-alpha we used to give our pet rabbits when I was a kid... but oh well! :)  I also took some xanax .25 mg every 4 hours since the doc recommended it for my w/d symptoms... which I HONESTLY have to say has done wonders for my RLS.   I guess it all amounts to coming clean and confessing to your doctor your addiction to Tramadevil.  You see, my doctor is my good friend, so I never got my Trams from  him.... went to one of those darn online drugstores.  But since coming clean, he's helped me tremendously.  Not that I'm an advocate for Xanax... but seriously think it is helping.  I would tell your doctor (or even find a new doctor and tell them your situation... HELL, even give them this link).  Most doc's have no clue about the ABSOLUTE HELL we are going through.  I've since emailed my doc/friend with these links, and he's absolutely ASTOUNDED by this.  Hence my point that our doctors have NO CLUE as to what POISON they are prescribing.

Normally, I would say all this stuff I've bought at the drugstore is BS, but I'm up for anything compared to sitting here feeling like I'm dying.  

I'm not going to lie, yesterday was ABSOLUTE HELL... but today... much, much better.  RLS symptoms are almost gone, not nearly as bad as yesterday.  Energy level after taking that 5-hour energy crap...has gone up drastically.  I'm not sure what the solution is, but right now I am doing A.O.K.  

Not to mention the wife gave me a break today with the kids and went to the in-laws house, so I have the day to myself to lay here in bed and watch repeats on the Discovery Channel, which I don't really mind.  

I will let you know how it goes, but so far... what I mentioned above seems to be my current remedy:

B-12 (thanks FMN)
5-Hour Energy Shot (Maximum Strength)
7- Day Detox (the alpha-alpha of choice- YUM!)
Multi-Vitamin
.25-.50 MG Xanax every 4 Hours to help with RLS/ w/d symptoms

Not to mention I'm a grown man and have to admit today I've taken about 3 bubble-baths... which seems to have calmed me down drastically.

I know I'm not through it yet, but am feeling better every minute.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Avatar universal
by fedupp, Dec 12, 2009
wantmyselfback...I am so glad for you and am watching you to see how things go.  I have about 25mg in my system and am scared to death to feel the crap to come!  I can ween for a few days but I am not sure it is even worth it.  i am going to get some detox stuff and I think the biggest issue for me will be the RLS and the jumpy nerve endings in all of my body.  I also yawn alot when i am missing a dose(is that weird?)  It really is true that it is not even that you want T it is that your body and mind feels soooo sick w/out it.  I am going to make sure everyone I love knows about this drug and never ever starts up.  it doesn't take much and your body goes thru terrible w/d symptoms.  I hope you are even feeling better tomorrow...Sleep well and keep those RLS at bay!!!

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by cake698, Dec 12, 2009
i was wondering about the detox stuff too if that would help accelerate the process lol or help let me know. my last dose was at 9 this morning and im doing ok starting to get the chills but thats about it.  I took some of that over the counter rls stuff and that really seem to calm me down.  im kinda sleepy.  anbody know what other stuff helps with that that can be bought at the store? 5-htp? i just wanna get through this the best way possible.

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 12, 2009
To be totally honest, I've done some research on those detox stuff that they sell, and basically, you'd be just as good as shooting saline solution up your rear-end... pardon the disgusting image.  Those detox things they sell ARE NOT the answer... but I'm trying to use them as an additive to dealing with my symptoms.  They supposedly "flush" your system, but don't let the term "detox" fool you.  It has nothing to do with actual detoxifying your system.  Google "Heroin Addiction and over the counter detox" and you'll see my point.

The only reason I'm using these "detox" supplements it to flush out my colon and stomach.  Will it help the w/d symptoms more quickly... honestly, I would say no.  If you ask me, I would think it's a complete waste of money... but use them because maybe to me it has some sort of MENTAL factor, fooling my brain that I'm flushing the toxins from my body.  I suggest you all think the same thing I do... it IS helping!  But I definitely wouldn't rely on it by itself.

Seriously, every person is different.... it might take many different things to help you feel better... but to quote my guardian angel (well I have two of them....) Forgetmenot and of course our disciple Emily Post (who started this movement)... "IT TAKES TIME."  and that's what we need... TIME.  It really ***** a$$, but that's ultimately what it leads to.

Take it from me... yesterday I could've killed for a Tramadol... but I'm glad I didn't fall back.  Just do WHATEVER IT takes to make it through that first day...  it seriously gets better and better.  That first day is the worst.... and gets better and better.  Trust me, it's not over in a day... I'm on day 2 going on day 3, but can tell you I fell 150% better than I did yesterday.  

DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE IT THROUGH DAY ONE... and you're on the right track.  Flush what you have, and suck it up as my good friend gradmagirl mentioned to me.   You CAN DO IT.

It's only a few days... day one *****.. day two not as bad... just do it.  I don't care if you drink yourself silly, smoke a doob, do something crazy (as long as it doesn't kill you), have a friend hit yourself over the head with a baseball bat.... whatever it takes to get through day one is what you need.  You'll find yourself getting better and better by the minute.

The only thing that has made me make it thus far was by checking this post HOURLY... you'd be surprised how many people are here with the SAME EXACT problem you are dealing with... trust me.

We Love You... and I love you ALL!

Signing off for tonight... but look for something new coming up.... hopefully a HOTLINE for this post... just one of my tram-wd-induced thoughts.... but I think sometimes typing isn't just the answer.  Sometimes people need to TALK... and that's my goal.... looking into some sort of SKYPE group... feel free to do your own research... but it's quite apparent it's not like 10-15 people dealing with this issue... more like thousands dealing with this tramadevil.

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 12, 2009
wantmyselfback- normally my husband would say that you would have to give up your man card for the bubble bath comment, but after everything he's seen me go through, he gave you the thumbs up!  And we are laughing our heads off!  I've kept him very involved in what I'm going through and he likes to read over my shoulder.

That is the one thing with this WD is that I've not lost my humor and I'm glad to see no one else has either.

FMN had told me to keep my potassium up so I've been eating 3 bananas a day plus anything else with it and this completely wiped out the RLS on day one and naturally.  

In others posts I had read a lot about yawning, sneezing, and a runny nose - I experienced all three and at day 8 the yawns are gone, in fact they've been gone since day 6.  The sneezing is reduced, but the runny nose persists.  I have no interest in getting an OTC for this, there is a reason my body is doing this and I am going to let it run it's course (ha, ha).

Also, for those of you with the emotional crying, let it out!  I've been doing a lot of reading about the chemicals in our bodies/tears and that this is a normal thing to occur that our body is trying to flush.

Continue to have a good day!!!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 12, 2009
Pink..I think you have some of the best answers because of (I have had a couple glasses of wine and bear with my typing) your vitamin and nutrition regimen because of your bypass and absorption issues.You have good advice about vitamins and nutrients .I really believe in vit b12 1000mcg/day the methycobalamin,b6 or complex 50mg with zinc ,vit c 500mg,magnesium,and calcium 1000mg/day and omegas at least 2 /day as absolutely necessary for ,the body to regenerate.These are vitamins and can and must be continued even after withdrawals.Magnesium is necessary as well for restless legsEpsom salt baths(most bath salts contain epsom salts ) even for our men to absorb the magnesium which soothes the muscles and the NMDA receptors in the brain.The MNDA receptors are responsible for mood and pain perception in the brainI personally feel the zinc helps in depression much like lithium.In fact there is a lithium oxalate supplement that is available to help depression and mood.I have had my 2 glasses of wine thjat I am allowed each week and forgive me if I have made a few mistakes.LOVE YAZ ALL

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 12, 2009
OOPS.Iforgot Vit d 1000u./day and 2000u/day in the winter with  no sun.I am usuallu an otc specialist but am becoming a nutrient advocate as well.Vit C at least 500mg/day is necassary as well.I have posted my suggestions for otc help for RLS and sleep problems which seem to be the biggest problems of withdrawal many times and also for rebound pain..

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by cake698, Dec 12, 2009
i think i'll be able to sleep tonight thanks to everyone here. just knowing i'm not alone makes it so much easier.  i did this once i can do it again

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 12, 2009
Fedup: I was already on an anti-depressant prior to withdrawal from tramadol.  You will experience some temporary depression when you withdraw, but it should pass.  Anti-depressants won't help until you've been on them at least a couple of weeks.  I don't recommend it unless you feel you need one long term.  I am trying to withdraw from Effexor and it is worse than tramadol.  As people have mentioned, I found klonopin (above poster said xanax) to be helpful at night.  It can also be addictive, but in the short run is ok.

Also, I doubt tapering to 25 mg will feel good.  I stopped at 150.

Jenny

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 12, 2009
A note to all the new posters...I have been here for 3 months now and have seen some incredibly good results.People who were literally crying on line have now been crowing about their success.Desperate calls for help have been converted to cries of triumph and encouragement for others.Many of the posters had nowhere else to go and came here and found support.Each and every one has been able to drag themselves out of that deep pit of tramadol addiction and find a new life outside of it.I myself was fortunate that I came here to research the possibility of taking tramadol instead of Tylenol #3 and found out that tramadol  was worse.I was able to withdraw from tylenol #3 without the additional problem of tramadol.I actually dodged the bullet in that one.But as a pharmacist I knew in my heart that tramadol had to be as bad as a narcotic if not worse because of its properties.I had it a lot easier than most here because I only withdrew from Tyl#3 and have never taken antidepressants or benzos.I had tried the occasional tramadol and found them no different than Tyl#3,but do remember one day after taking tramadol,I was able to work 12 hours and  did not even think about eating,but at this point I had already decided that all Rx pain meds were not going to be a part of my life.That was when I javexed all my pills and watched them fizz away.After the initial rebound pain and other withdrawal effects went away,I have had less pain and what I do have has been controlled with otc pain meds.It happened to me and it can happen to you...a little rap song from Trailer park Boys..

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 12, 2009
Just a little hint to all of us going through this and concerned about weight gain, watch your carbs!

The Placebo Effect

In the not so distant past, doctors sometimes prescribed what they considered inert substances to patients when there was no real medicine to cure their ills -- or when they believed that a patient was a hypochondriac. They called these pretend medicines "placebos" from the the Latin meaning "I will please." An oft used placebo was a sugar pill. After prescribing this placebo, doctors were surprised to find that patients did actually feel better. This is known as the "placebo effect", and it still confounds results in clinical trials, where some of the subjects are given a "real medication" and some are given a placebo. Many consider the placebo effect to be purely psychological.

However, no substance is completely without physical effect, least of all the sugar found in many placebos. Taking sugar does have an effect on our mood. It is not just a psychological phenomenon. There are chemical reasons for how this works.

Serotonin and insulin

Here is how ingesting sugar -- or some carbohydrate that is broken down into sugar after digestion -- can alter our mood for the better. When we digest carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels rise, and then insulin is secreted, lowering the blood levels of most amino acids with the exception of tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. When there is more tryptophan than other amino acids, it enters the brain at a higher rate. The brain then produces more serotonin.

Serotinin is a substance found both in our brains and in our gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin has many functions. In the brain, it acts as neurotransmitter, and it helps to regulate mood.

Antidepressants
are also called serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, preventing the supply of serotonin in the brain from going down. However, antidepressants are not the only way to elevate serotonin levels. Many ordinary people self-medicate when they are feeling depressed by eating lots of carbohydrates. We don't need a doctor to prescribe us a placebo. We crave carbs when we are feeling down, and eating carbs can be an effective means of elevating our mood. The problem is that the effect only lasts for a little while, and then the patient comes crashing down, in need of an even higher dose of carbs.

Well, I was just at Walmart because we were out of laundry detergent, yes because of all my sweating, and I picked up a Kit Kat and a mini microwave pizza.  Some of you are scratching your heads saying "wait I thought she had gastric bypass".  Well without even thinking, because I have haze in my brain, I wolfed down the Kit Kat on the drive home and the second I got through the door the pizza was in the nuker and my coat was still on.  After two bites of the pizza I stopped, looked around and said what the heck am I doing.  My brain was on auto pilot and now I feel sick from all the sugar.  I ran upstairs to post this info so no one else would let their brain trick them.

Our bodies are withdrawing and our transmitters are going wild and they are going to throw everything they've at us to get back the chemical that they are missing.  So I say ....FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU! FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME!

I hope this will help someone not do what I just did!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 12, 2009
Well time to go off to bed now..sweet dreams everyone and happy healing to all.

Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 12, 2009
Okay - not sure why others are looking for ways to encourage detox - seriously - anything I have been putting into my system comes shooting out of me faster than lunch out of a super model - my body seems to have it's own idea of cleansing out the system!!
I took my last 2 tram - on monday - and am feeling okay.  I am unable to keep anything in my system (as mentioned above) - a bananna, piece of toast - but 2 pieces of toast sends me running to the bathroom.  I am sleeping in small chunks - and two nights ago I felt like a fish out of water - RLS ???  I was flopping around - it was crazy - I couldn't stay still to save my life.
My energy is coming back in bits and pieces so when I have some I try and get out and get some fresh air.
But every day is a bit better - and that beats tram fog any day.
I love reading the newcomers posts and always enjoy hearing from the ones that have been supporting me from the begining.
This place works - no way would I have gotten this far without it - the knowledge and support I could not have gotten any where else.
Sleep tight.

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by madtram, Dec 12, 2009
Pink & anyone else, as 5htp is a precursor to serotonin & helps to regulate levels to a steadier state, it can also assist with sugar cravings.  Eating frequent small meals of slow release carbs should also help.

As a biomedical scientist, I have done a lot of research on the placebo effect & only wish I could get it to work for me.  I have never had any results from placebo based remedies such as homeopathy.  Being somewhat skeptical to begin with doesn't help but there are documented cases of placebo working even when people don't necessarily believe in the  remedy they are being given.

As Fred reminded us, tonic water with quinine is the go for the RLS.  Quinine used to be prescribed for this condition, (Pharma may recall) until it was discovered that a very tiny % of people have a genetically predisposed inability to tolerate quinine & it was withdrawn, thereby freeing up the market for the more expensive GABA moderating meds like neurontin, (please forgive the cynical aside).

DLPA which is a precursor for tyrosine which is used to make dopamine & noradrenalin can help with energy.  Many of the energy supplements & drinks include phenylalanine or tyrosine.

As for weight loss, I don't have any specific science for this but I think that tramadol is an aging drug.  If taken for any length of time, it turns down all your natural hormones, (a documented side effect of opiates) & in the same way that elderly people often lose weight because their total metabolism is winding down, we lose weight but the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor effect seduces us into thinking its because we are vibrant & full of energy.

Some people successfully lose weight with the use of 5htp because they are eating less junk carbs & their blood sugar profiles improve which gets them out of the pre-diabetic syndrome X.

You are all true tramadol warriors & I have no doubts that you will soon be joining us on the tram-free journey of self discovery.



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by Pinkmonki, Dec 13, 2009
The info above is great, but  ...I will not go quietly into that dark night....

Here is my concern with taking anything such as 5htp, the interaction while coming off Tramadol or any drug.  Here is info from this website that is clearly listing Tramadol:

"What other drugs will affect 5-hydroxytryptophan?
Do not take 5-hydroxytryptophan without the advice of a healthcare provider if you are using any of the following medications:
    *      dextromethorphan (cough medicine);
    *      St. John's wort;
    *      an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), doxepin (Sinequan), fluoxetine (Prozac), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone (Desyrel), and others;
    *      an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);
    *      medicine to treat Parkinson's disease, such as carbidopa/levodopa (Atamet, Lodosyn, Sinemet); or
    *      prescription pain medication such as meperidine (Demerol), pentazocine (Talwin), or tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Tell your healthcare provider about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your healthcare provider."

This is the link to the above info: http://www.medhelp.org/drugs/5-HTP/show/5605

Right now I am so concerned with what I've done to my body and brain I just don't want anything else to happen.  With my body/brain in a state of shock who knows what could truly happen.

Avatar universal
by recordcollector, Dec 13, 2009
Hello all

I posted here a few months back after coming off cold turkey but then relapsed a month later - so I felt embarrassed!

However I came off again about a month ago and used the taper method - much easier!

I was only on about 250mg a day during the addiction, but for the last year was taking it to feel "normal".

As I said in my previous posts, now I start to wonder if I will ever feel "normal" again - that bright sprightly guy who always looked on the bright side - where is he?  1 month down the line I feel depressed, angry and with little motivation.  I can get things done if they have to be but sitting in front of a computer is very tiring and boring.  I moved into a nice new house but have little enthusiasm for the new things it offers that I never had before.

Having recently seperated from the wife and daughter I am finding it hard seperate natural sadness about that and Tramadol withdrawal - it is evil!  Sadness is not on illness and I shouldn't be taking pills for it, however I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Luckily most of the physical withdrawal has gone, I only occassionally get visual wobblies, a bit odd.  Strangely I seem to have developed tinnitus, hmmm ....

however ....

Great to see so many people who were more heavily addicted kicking it - good luck everyone.

Gradual withdrawal worked for me.  I ended up with 3 tabs left and taking a half day - I eventually just flushed them down the toilet - it was a fond farewell.

Some have said it can take 6 months to get back to "normal" - even for only a 250mg a day addicition?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Cheers eveyone and good luck,

S.



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by cake698, Dec 13, 2009
thank god i was able to sleep last night i woke up  uncomfortable this morning but was able to fall back asleep for about an hour. this is going to be my first full day without the evil stuff.  the chills r here but not as bad as i was dreading.  i have a feeling im going to get worse cus im just at the 24 hour piont of not having them in my system. i just want to get through this. i will get through this.  i hate myself for getting caught up in these evil pills.  im so glad that this place is here it takes my mind off things for the time being and gives me so much hope.  ive been taking the suppliment listed in this and they seem to help seeing how last time i tried i didnt take them.  the rls pills over the counter seem to work too. i cant wait to get this over with.

Avatar universal
by desperate2getWell, Dec 13, 2009
Great job Cake, you can do it and you will do it.  I'm , about a month out and let me tell you, the water's great out here.  Still a few murky spots here and there but it gets better and better and better everyday.  Hope everyone has a healing day - I send you all good thoughts from rainy Sierra Nevadas.  Back to books . . . d2bw

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 13, 2009
Ahhhhhhh..... a BEAUTIFUL DAY!  3 Days off the tramadevil and feeling MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better.  The RLS appears to have stopped, sweating is minimal (possibly because it's like negative 20 degrees out here at the moment), and overall feelings of satisfaction and confidence have skyrocketed.  

I'm sticking with the general routine, but have added bananas to my regimine, although I'm not a big fan of them, I'd eat DOG POOP if someone on here told me it worked for them :)

Anyways, I have to truly say all of you on here are absolutely AMAZING!  Never could I come out about my addiction to my family, friends, coworkers, etc.  This site has had so much truth to it, and I not only was awestruck, but simply AMAZED as to how many were in the SAME EXACT situation I was.

I do truly have to say those 5 Hour Energy Shots (only taken 2 so far) have done wonders for my energy.  I'm definitely not near 100% (about 75% now), but was able to get out of bed this morning (first time in two days) and make some scrambled eggs.  

I'll be back off and on today, but good luck Warriors!  If I can make it this far, so can ANYONE!

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by cake698, Dec 13, 2009
I'm going to get out of the house in hopes that will help pass the time.  I have such a headache now. i cant wait for my day three the only thing that ***** is that I work 3 days in a row.  Basically I work days 3, 4, 5, lol.  I don't think I would have been able to get through work today if I had to or tomorrow.  I think that 2 days off will rest my mind and not get so worked up that I have to work the next day how will I do this!!!  Thats the reason I think I always went back to them cus I would stop at the wrong time. I just wished I had the week off!!!  Its a pointless job anyways so if i want to call off i will.

1106880 tn?1260898678
by wantmyselfback, Dec 13, 2009
Although I probably could go in to work tomorrow (which will be Day 4), I'm taking a "mental health day."  Probably the first time someone's said that and actually MEANT it!  Rest is the only thing (well, aside from all the other goodies and trinkets of info people post on here).  

As they all said above, it DOES get better, and I can attest to it.  Although I'm only on Day 3 (well, you could consider it day 4 counting the time I took my last Tram)- I have been seeing much better results and I know I have a rough road ahead of me, but I seriously think the worst is over.  I no longer feel like I'm dying and want to kill myself to end the misery.

It's raining/snowing out.... but to me it's as SUNNY as could be.

Happy Healing cake and others!

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by cake698, Dec 13, 2009
I just tried to go out and do something and here i am back in my room on my laptop.  I feel like complete crap mentally and physically.  I wish i was able to knock myself out for awhile.  I will get through this no matter what but boy is this a struggle.  Im still so mad for taking these stupid pills. i just keep thinking that this time last year i didnt have this problem what is wrong with me.

1106880 tn?1260898678
by wantmyselfback, Dec 13, 2009
Hey Cake,

Just relax.   Put that Anger to good use, do away with the tramadevils... If you read my posts from above, I felt the same exact way.  In fact, I believe my exact words were "I wish I was in a coma for a couple of weeks"  You're almost to that point where you'll start feeling better soon.  For me, it happened about the 48 hour mark.  

Do you have access to a close doctor or someone (I know definitely isn't kosher) who could prescribe you xanax or some other barbituate?  I know they, too have addictive qualities, but for me, they have worked wonders and did indeed knock my a$$ out for a few hours at a time.  Definitely helped.

If you don't, try some herbal remedies like going to the drugstore and stocking up on melatonin... that works for some.  There are all sorts of sleep aids in the drug aisle.  Just do something to knock yourself out for a few hours.  That's seriously what worked for me (although I did have the xanax to do the trick).  Hell, I know I"m sure I'll get hell for putting this up and out there, but drink yourself silly or something... anything to get that much needed rest.

Time is all it takes... and there's nothing more to say, except that by tomorrow or the next day, you'll start feeling better and better.  FOR SIX PLUS YEARS I took this stuff daily, and I can honestly say I feel soooooooooooooo great right now knowing for the first time in six years I am actually "myself," or at least almost there.

Hang in there.  Who knows, if you drink yourself silly, you might have such a hangover the next day that you'll be too busy hugging the porcelin god that you won't even remember you're in w/d.

Just remember, feeling like crap is normal.  Just don't let the tramadevil convince you that you need more.  Hell, the numerous times I tried quitting, I remember looking in couch cushions, empty winter coat pockets, the car floor,
everywhere to feed the demons.  Just don''t give in.  If you have any left, flush them.  You've made it past the 24 hour mark... just get some sleep somehow and hang in there... We're here for you.

Have faith!  We love you.

1106880 tn?1260898678
by wantmyselfback, Dec 13, 2009
Hey Pink,

Tell your husband I would GLADLY give up my man card by taking bubble baths.... :)

Anything to make it through these next few days!  I'm serious... if someone said eating dog poop worked wonders for them, I'd probably be out there in my back yard with a silver spoon!

The advice everyone gives here is honest and truthful (well, to be honest, if anyone DOES say eating Dog Poop worked for them... I might have my doubts).  Heed these words, develop your own system, but realize there are so many of us just like you and me... and let's stop every now and then to thank the woman who started this all.... our very own Emily Post.  

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 13, 2009
Hey Warriors,

Have a HUGE request:

Wife saw these posts as I left them up.  Had NO CLUE about the dilemma I'm going through.  Is EXTREMELY upset that I kept this from her for the past six years.  I tried to explain....tears in her eyes.... she's breaking my heart.  I've shown her this website, but she thinks I've been living a lie (which in fact I have been).  I've told her that the tramadol I was taking really didn't make me dopey, but more was like a performance enhancer... but I'm not sure that has consoled her in any way.  I'm asking for ALL OF YOUR HELP right now to help explain this situation I'm going through.

I know I'm breaking her heart because she sees me as some sort of addict... but I know otherwise.


PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... help me explain to her the truth... as she doesn't believe a word I say right now.


Thank you... and god willing... we will all conquer.
'

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 13, 2009
Mrs want,I understand your anger and disappointment,but you should be proud of your man because he has recognized that a drug that has been and still is touted as being a non addicting non narcotic pain reliever with antidepressant properties.Many people were innocently given this drug because it is considered to be so mild.We are now discovering that it is indeed physically addicting and very difficult to stop because of the antidepressant properties.Your husband is trying his hardest to stop this drug and I admire him very much for it.He is putting himself through the withdrawals for himself,you and the family.Please understand how hard it is for him and that he did not get addicted on purpose because this drug is not even classed as a controlled or narcotic so the addiction sneaks up on one.Many people here did not let their spouses know they had a problem because they were embarassed that they could not control the use especially after told it is not harmful.

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by cake698, Dec 13, 2009
thanks for the post funny you said that cus i went for a ride to an old friend house explained my problem and she gave me 4 xanax. took two and thank god i feel at peace. i told my boyfriend and he understands but has a hard time wondering why im feeling like crap if its a non narcodic. its not like your an heroin addict he would say and i'm like no im not but i'm going to feel like a have been one. i'm not thinking to clearly but i hope this helps. one thing above all is that if i knew what the fing stuff was in july when i got perscribed it i would have refused!!!!!!!.  ive been an addict before and refused to ever be one again and going in knowing i would go through this again do you thinkn i would have taken the pills? i just hate the fact that i'm going to go through this cus i swore up an down i would not. thats what frustrates me the most. oh well it happened and i WILL get better i know it.

1106880 tn?1260898678
by wantmyselfback, Dec 13, 2009
Mrs. Want here......

I fear my upset reaction may have made my husband take a minor set back.  Please keep your encouraging posts coming to him from all of you who understand and are going through this.  I wish I only would have known sooner so I he wouldn't have felt so alone.  He is a wonderful man and, after this, he will only get better.  

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 13, 2009
Everyone that has been through this experience has had a valuable life lesson and all have become more empathetic and understanding people because of it.I understand your disappointment at being left out of an important part of Wants life,but he probably wanted to spare you the pain.By Christmas he will be almost normal and you all will have a good and loving Christmas together.He does sound like a keeper and I love his spirit and determination.You got a good man and he will be even better soon.We will be here for him and you and the kids.Love and healing to both of you.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 13, 2009
Heck..maybe you can have some of those bubble baths together.

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 13, 2009
Mrs. Want,

My husband was and is going through everything you are.  He his trying to be as nice as possible to me, but there is an under tone of "why couldn't she of trusted me enough to tell me" going on.  I get it.  My hubby watches over my shoulder as I read peoples posts to have a better understanding, but I know he is still frustrated with the how, who, when, why of it all.

My husband is a very good listener, which he has been doing a lot of over the past 9 days especially.  Not only did the truth come out, but I am gushing every single little detail because I just want him and need him to understand, maybe it is too much information, but I want him to have a full understanding.  The peak of the iceberg hit him between the eyes yesterday when I told him that my dentist understood more about this Tramadol than my internal physician.  As simple as that statement is, he got it.

Not only are we coming off a pain medicine, that is supposed to be non-narcotic, but it is laced with an antidepressant that we were not aware of.  We trusted our doctors to know more than we did, but they did not.

On my 3rd day of withdrawals I placed a call to my doctor to discuss what I was going through and asked her point blank if she was aware about the fact that there was an antidepressant in this pill and she told me "NO".  So there are doctors out there just handing this stuff out willie nillie.

Your hubby loves you, your family, and most of all himself for wanting and needing to get off of this evil, evil drug.  There are going to be some tough times ahead, but if we love and support each other as a team, we can conquer anything.

1130590 tn?1261434971
by Pinkmonki, Dec 13, 2009
Today is a low, low, low, low energy day.  It is my day 9 of being clean.  I will take zero motivation over taking these stupid pills again.  I got caught up last night on the MASSIVE mountain of laundry because of the sweating, chills, chills, and more sweating.  I am going back to work tomorrow and got a hold of my boss to see if there are any client appointments, and there are not.  That means a more relaxed day, jeans, and no makeup (not that I would have the energy for it anyway).  Last night was amazing with my body...I poured myself a few sips of V8  and found my body wanting more and more.  Nothing like downing 64 oz of V8 in 34 minutes!  Obviously, my body was needing something in there, but what?  With all of the vitamins I've been taking and making sure they are properly spaced out, drinking TONS of H20, eating my protein, and getting carbs from veggies and fruit what could it be.  Was it the KitKat?  Whatever it was I will just roll with it.

Take care of yourselves, you ARE important!

Avatar universal
by Tilly536, Dec 13, 2009
Want, did your wife know that you were detoxing from Trams before, or did she just find out from looking at your computer??

Avatar universal
by Tilly536, Dec 13, 2009
By the way, I am at 7 days tomorrow.

1103276 tn?1330784868
by cake698, Dec 13, 2009
Im watching apolo 13 at the end of the movie BALLING MY EYES OUT AND I KNOW HOW IT ENDS!!! lol  Im going to thank want for the xanax sugetstion cus i took a nap and omg i felt a big improvement if it just last for and hour or longer i on't care it bring me so so so so so much hope.  i even went down stairs with my boyfriends family and ate dinner with him. Mrs. Want my boyfriend did the same thing you did when he found out too but I just told him to do you want me to keep taking these pills or get off them for good and feel ****** for a few days but live the rest of my life as ME! All I ask is that you help me and i PROMISE you will not regret it.  My history may not be like his so my boyfriend took it very hard and didn't really belive me.  ie i was a hard core addict from 17 to when i checked myself into rehab at 24 from every drug that is illegal.  But its all in the past and boy have i learned from those mistakes i went on to graduate collage with my bs in accounting hold my job and never miss workno matter how ****** the job is.  im so glad im active in this journal. im im 33 hours clean and feeling better every second!!!

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by Lillyval, Dec 13, 2009
Wow I can't keep up on all the posts, but I had just two comments
-I actually used the weight loss aspect as my excuse to relpse the first time!  I have gained weight since I quit which is a problem for me, already being overweight, but I still think it's better to be off the tram and get rid of the weight the old fashioned way.

- Also, wantmyself...You said you took lexapro for 1 day & quit.  It really takes a week or more to take effect, so the bad feelings you had that day probably weren't due to it.  I think an SSRI can really help in getting off tram by letting you withdraw from the opiate while not having your seretonin plummet at the same time.  You might want to give it a two or three week trial.

best to all,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by Gettingcleanagain1221, Dec 13, 2009
I can't believe that I have been missing out on this group the last 3 weeks of my life!!!! I'm so happy to find a group that understands the he!! that tramcrap withdrawal is. This is my second time to withdrawal after a significant time on it. Im starting to feel the black cloud leaving. Thank the dear Lord!!!!!  I don't know about you guys but I refuse to ever take this again. I would eternally greatful if I could join awesome group for support so that I never have to experience this again. Thanks in advance!!!

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by forget_me_not, Dec 13, 2009
Cake... 24 hours is a ROUGH place to be, but be CERTAIN that it gets better soon!  You're in the thick of it, and no doubt, it's awful.  When I was there I remember thinking, "This is why.  THIS is why I will NEVER, EVER put another pill in my mouth.  This is why I will sit here and seethe in anger until it passes, because I want to remember every single ache, every disgusting lie the poison screams at me, every chill and every moment of sleep blasted apart by thrashing legs, because this hell is one I will NEVER repeat in this life."  It may sound sadistic to some, but I just wanted to lie there and feel it.  And never forget it.  And I won't, as long as I live.

Why?  Because once, on a weird, stormy night with lightning and hail and raging wind at 3am, I was out in my pajamas with a mag lite in bare feet searching under my car seats, between the carpet and the floor, anywhere, anywhere I might have dropped just one.  Just one, because I had run out the day before and was in the throes of withdrawal, suicidal and hurting so, so badly that I would have walked across razors to get one stupid pill.  Picture that.  I'm sure you don't have to try too hard, as we've all done it, haven't we?  I also remember finding just one pill in my closet floor, and dropping to my knees and just crying.  Just sobbing.  And you know what?  That was the moment I declared it would end.  I took the pill.  I slept for a couple of hours.  And I never took another one.

I had a prescription that came around the next day and there were 90 pills in my closet for the longest time.  I was never even tempted.  My rage at the drug, and at myself for being addicted, galvanized me.  The hatred I feel for this poison is tremendous.

Warriors, wherever you are tonight, whatever you are feeling tonight, FEEL it.  Triumphant?  FEEL it.  Hurting?  Sick?  Angry?  FEEL it all.  And then make up your mind, too.  This stuff is truly poisonous.  It cripples those it takes captive, and only the strong survive it.

I am proud of you, Warriors.  Fight on.  We have been right there where you are.  And we are here to help you.

blessings,
~fmn


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by Pinkmonki, Dec 13, 2009
Thank you fmn, I was having a real low moment.  I came upstairs crying to my husband because I feel awful, like I did on day 3.  Today has been hot, cold, sweaty, no motivation, weepy, nothing will help make me feel better, until your post.

There is a reason that I need to feel everything like this and the positive that I am actually feeling something.  My brain is now reset.

Thank you!!!

Avatar universal
by fedupp, Dec 13, 2009
Hello All,  I am constantly keeping up on the posts and preparing myself.  I have a week off during xmas and even though that is a crappy time to completely w/d, I have to do it sometime.  I still haven't told my husband but will before I do this.  The thing that is the hardest...I have completely hidden this for over 4 years and I am not even sure of my "normal".  During Jan-Mar I will have to take a drug test again and this time I will not be nervous at all to see if I fooled anyone.  It really ***** that a 40 something yr old prof. can feel so small w/ this stuff and powerless to the pain that will come.  I plan on going off after my last taper Dec. the 19th and hope by the 25th I can be present for my kids!

Getting clean again...it was good to hear from you and welcome to join us all in this war!~!!

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by madtram, Dec 13, 2009
Just a quick note on 5htp.   Pink, I can only applaud your caution as there is a risk of serotonin overload if serotonin promoting pharmaceuticals, (all on the list you posted), are consumed together with serotonin precursors such as tryptophan or 5htp or monoamine inhibitors like St John's Wort.

If you are on other meds you should certainly check with your doctor, or Pharma here.

However, it 's also useful to note that 5htp is much more subtle in its effects than the SSRIs which act to increase the amount of serotonin in circulation by blocking its reuptake at the receptor level.  By contrast 5htp is merely part of a chain that has its own continuous feedback loop so that more ingredients to make serotonin doesn't necessarily result in more serotonin in circulation because the receptors may increase the rate of uptake.

Provided that you have ceased your tramadol intake & are not on any other serotonin active meds, you will be safe starting on the lowest dose of 5htp, (50mg).  I am not promoting it's use but just wanted people to have the information as it can be a very helpful supplement for some. You should absolutely not try this at home but there are medical studies where 5htp has been administered together with an SSRI, (under medical supervision) & it has enabled people to stay at a lower dose of the SSRI, which decreases the side effects.

There is a large body of research for St John's Wort which has been found as effective as prescription ADs for depression other than severe depression which is often difficult to treat pharmaceutically anyway.

Fedup, I think your tramadol free presence for your family would truly be a gift worth having.

Getting Clean, welcome & stick with us.  We will remind you on an hourly basis if needed, that things go better without tramadol.

Wishing all a peaceful Sunday evening.


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by forget_me_not, Dec 13, 2009
Pink, I understand so profoundly that frustration of getting through the initial few days, feeling triumphant, and then being knocked through the pavement again.  This addiction is vicious.  Recovery is definitely not linear, as Fred and Emily and others here have told us so many times.  I came back again and again to read Emily's post in which she said something like, we go from A to B to C, then get knocked back to A again.  And we get so angry and frustrated and tired from it that we forget that some days we are way up in the X's or Y's.  It's the way it goes.  Don't be scared by that, just be aware of it.  It's a process.  In the long run, if you average it all out, you are moving FORWARD, even though there are days when it feels you've been knocked back to square one.

Soon, VERY soon you'll stop having Really Bad Days.  Instead, you will have really bad hours.  And then Really GOOD days with just a few sort-of-hard hours.  And then, you'll look at your ticker and see that you've got MONTHS between you and the last pill, and the few remaining issues you are dealing with are those post-acute things that all of us have, which serve as reminders of how far we've come and keep us anchored to our humility.  For me, it also keeps me coming back here every day that I can.  I want to throw a rope out to anyone who may be struggling.  I do not want even one to be lost, not when victory is just around the bend.

Hang in there, Pink.  We are all SO proud of how far you've come and how you are reaching out to others and truly helping them, too.

peace and healing,
~fmn

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 13, 2009
fmn, you and everyone here just rock!  As I said, your post did wonders for me, so I got up, dusted myself off, and decorated the whole house with Christmas.  There is no substitute for a good story, that you can relate to, coming from someone that is grounded, and with grounded advice.  I am ending day 9 on a good positive note and look forward to starting day 10 back at good old work tomorrow.

Thank you all for your posts and strength!!!

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Dec 14, 2009
Mrs. Want,  I apologize for the lateness of this responsive post.   You said, " I fear my upset reaction may have made my husband take a minor set back".   I wish only the very bet for you both.

Naturally, I have no idea what "your reaction" was or what sort of "minor setback" Mr. Want has taken.   In general however, I do NOT feel that it is at all helpful for anyone to take responsibility for the wellness of their addict-spouse.   If the addict is to make it through to wellness, it is only by the grace of God and the strength of their decision to stop _____.  You might want to google alanon to learn more about co-dependancy and living with an addict/alcoholic.

Having said that, what Mr. Want is attempting to do is extremely difficult.  The fact that he has continued to post during the past 3 days or so is evidence that he is deadly serious about stopping tramadol.   I wouldn't venture a guess at how many stop by here, read these posts and continue on their not so merry way.   Support him if you can.

Tramadol is a synthetic opiate.   But it is no less an OPIATE than any other.  It was simply "man made".  

It hardly matters WHY anyone began taking this drug.  In the end, all who take it are subject to this drug.  No matter how good a person they are.  No matter how caring, strong, and loving the dependant/addict is, we are all taken down the same.

TOLERANCE is a word you should familiarize yourself with.  Tolerance is the body's acceptance of a certain dose of this drug, such that we require more and more of the drug just to feel less unwell.   The user in time, is not a bad person with a drug problem, but rather, we may indeed be good people with a bad drug problem.  I expect Mr. Want is just such a person.

While I don't feel that it is healthy for you to take responsibility for Mr. Want's success or failure, you ought to know that he has been going through a hard thing and I expect he could use your understanding and concern.   Many have posted that defeating this drug was harder than stopping drinking, smoking, and even defeating heroine.

I am hoping and praying the best for both of you in the days ahead.   Each of you will need to continue to devote 200% of your efforts to this battle.   Anything short of an all out WAR will probably not be sufficient.

Courage, Strength and Love to all,  

fred

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by gerty411411, Dec 14, 2009
Hi Y'all,

I just want everyone that's suffering there truly are better days ahead for you. I've been free for 1 month and can honestly say that I feel better than I have in a long time.  No more sweats/chills and no more rocking socking robots (my personal term for RLS)  My energy level is good for 6-7 day stretches and I feel that I actually care for other people.  For awhile I didn't have much empathy for anyone.

To another t free day!!!

Love, Gerty

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 14, 2009
Ok, tonight/tomorrow is when I go from 5 to 4 pills. (250 to 200 mg). I am nervous... I know one of these times I will realize my threshold # has not been met and I'll have w/d symptoms...   I will see what happens... I will be posting tomorrow.  I hope I dont wake up coughing and choking like I usually do when I dont take a "full" dose at midnight.

4 pills doesn't sound so bad....  Before I know it, I will be at 2 pills, and then can "jump".... although that really scares me!

This taper thing seems to be working, though... so far.

Thanks everyone for the support, and congratulations to all of you who have made so much progress. you truly ARE warriors and you have inspired me and given me strength to stay on this path.

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by cake698, Dec 14, 2009
Ok here i am to the end of day 2 starting day 3.  And I dont know if it just me but holly sh!t do i feel better.  I took two xanax before bed at 7 (yeah i know early) and some sleep aids and it took sometime and i was very uncomfortable but I was out at say 8 till 7 the next morning! I woke up to look at the clock and was dreading it said 8:45 or something that ment i got no sleep but just knowing that i was out like a light till the next day just alone made my mood better. I've never taken xanax before so i could have prob taken one. I too was a tapering but stopped cus i started tapering the wrong way so just threw them out. At my worse i wouldn't be suprised that i took up to 30 a day for like a month straight.  Like what some say why go through the withdrawals longer.  I just stopped cus Im someone who never really delt with depression so I wasnt dreading the mental aspects of withdrawal just the physical.  Yeah i still have a little bit of the chills i got LOTS of clothes and i'm off today so as long as i'm not asked what one plus one is i'll be ok.  Keep the faith iwas one of those people wishing i was one of the ones with 5 or so days under their belt but here i am at day 3.  try and make me feel like crap this time your going to need to fight me!!!!!

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 14, 2009
Good morning warriors!

The minor setback Mrs. Want was referring to was myself acting like a blubbering sobbing idiot.... maybe it was a good thing I left these posts up for her to see.  I think the hardest thing that we're dealing with is that this addiction/withdrawal has become more of a family issue. If I only had one more day, I would've acted like my somewhat normal self.... but instead she saw these posts.... confronted me.... and broke my heart.

I know for these years that we've been married she's known I was on Tramadol, but not to the extent that I was completly addicted to them.  I kept telling her that they seriously didn't do anything for pain (because to be honest, I would still have to take ibuprofren if I had a headache or something on top of the Tramadol).  Anyways, I know she felt like I betrayed her by not telling her... but I tried to explain that keeping an addiction is common in a lot of people.

Why would I want to come out one morning over breakfast and say, "Gee, honey, you know what?  I'm a full-blown addict of Tramadol, which totes itself as a non-narcotic pain medication.  Oh yeah, I've been taking it daily for six years.  Could you pass the butter?"

Anyways, the minor setback didn't cause me to shove seven tramadols down my throat.  I think it was more me getting upset with her confrontation, which seems to be the case when most people are confronted. They get extremely defensive and deny everything... but leaving these posts up were proven evidence that I was indeed living a lie.

She's understanding, and that's all I say at this point, but I know she's still upset.  If you want to talk to Mrs. Want, I'm keeping her in the loop with these posts.

On another note, TODAY is DAY 4 and Feeling much, much better.  Aside from the whole issue last night, I couldn't feel better.

Love you all!

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 14, 2009
Want- There is nothing wrong with crying or getting upset.  A relapse would have been a minor setback.  If you're open to it, I think couples' counseling is great or Al-Anon for the spouse.  Even just reading some books about addiction and how it works can be helpful for both.

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by cake698, Dec 14, 2009
Just had to say that today is my refill day for 200 of the little buggers and the only way that i remembered that was because I found and old bottle in the trash that i was burining. And for that i'm going to the store to buy somthing I want not "need" ha ha tamadol you lost i won.  I don't know why im feeling so good this day but i'll take it and pray it continues.  I FOLLOWED like a shadow everyones tips and it works so this place is my savor.  Before i would try i just took a vitamin and thats it and just slothed around till i gave in. Thanks to everyone here I may not know you personally but I feel like your my best friends. Off to the store to buy a present for me and if my family is lucky i'll get them something for christmas too. lol wow the real me is coming back and i'm such a dork lol

Avatar universal
by sharron1971, Dec 14, 2009
hi can anyone help, been on tramadol 4 years nearly and i have managed to wean myself from 300mg down to 50mg and i cannot seem to get off this last one, i am fine dealing with the symptoms all day but as soon as i go to bed and try to sleep i get very edgy nervous twitching too and it is impossible to sleep so i get up and pace for a bit and watch tv hoping it will go away but it doesnt so for sleep and sanity i usually last till 2 or 3am and have to take one just to get some sleep and then the whole cycle starts again, this will be my 3rd night and i dread it so does anyone have any sugestions on getting to sleep without having to resort to taking the tramadol. I really want this horrible drug out of my life for good.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 14, 2009
Sharron- Have you talked to a doctor?  I take klonopin at night and I think it really helped me sleep through the withdrawal.  Another thing is clonidine, which lowers BP and is used for withdrawal.  It should help with nerves and RLS.  Klonopin/Xanax, etc. are addictive too in the long run, but if you can get a few nights worth, it shouldn't hurt you any.

Jenny

Avatar universal
by Karen2010, Dec 14, 2009
Ok, I typed this long note then it never sent.  Sharon, I think it is fabulous you take only one.  However I agree, if you could get past that one it would make your day even better.  You mentioned you survive the symptoms during the day..although minor with one pill, every time you take Tram you have those witchy withdrawals.  Just think how you could feel without any.

What I suggest is Clonodine. It is not a sleep aid and is given to addict to assist in withdrawal.  It does make you sleeping, relaxes you (brings your blood pressure down) and elliviates the twictching and RLS.  I was prescribed that when I went to emergency room when I had a seizure.  Unfortunately for me, I am still at 20 a day (or something like that, I refuse to count as I feel better in denial..)... but I know that could help you.  Many, like the poster above do go as far a prescribed sleep aids, Klonopin I heard was great but hell to get off of.  I would stick with Clonodine or atleast try it.  

But anyway, 1 pill is fabulous and you should commend yourself.  I hope to get there one day.  Would love to know how you got to one?  Best wishes, Karen

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 14, 2009
Just to clarify, I was already on Klonopin for night terrors.  I will be withdrawing from it soon too and I don't recommend it to anyone for long term use.

Avatar universal
by sharron1971, Dec 14, 2009
Thankyou guys for your kind replys and i will be making an appointment with the doc asap but i will try and go as long as i can tonight without and see what happens but just thinking about it makes me anxious, i think i will ask for the clonodine and see how that goes as i really dont want to be hooked on anything ever again. As for you karen my god you poor soul i was never on that many and my life seemed like a long blur so goodness only knows how you must be feeling as it just eats away at you and i really do have a new found empathy on addicts of any drug and the hell we have to go through to get off the stuff, it has been really hard but im very strong willed and have managed to cut down to the one in 4 days, hell though it was i have been able to handle the hellish head pain sweats cold and non stop sneezing which was a weird one but its the ones im left with that are causing the most problems, cutting down fror me was waiting as long as i possibly could before i would take a pill and also telling myself i had taken 2 instead of 1 which was how i cut down to begin with as i would always take 2 at a time and then only 1 but always at the same time as i would normally take the 2 and then i would cut out the mid day doses and then the morning ones and now im just stuck with the last one. I really wish i had never taken the horrible things but i trusted my doctor to give me what was best for my pain but i wish i had just put up with or tried something else cause now im paying the price. Good luck to you all on your personal quests of coming off this awful drug. Thanks again to jenny and karen

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by Pinkmonki, Dec 14, 2009
Good morning all, continue your fight!

I am back at work - the beginning of day 10, sluggishly, but back.  The night sweats are really reduced as are the chills.  With the RLS on my first night of WD I took a Valium and that knocked me out until the morning (I told my husband what I was doing because it was his pill I took from his back surgery).  Then I followed fmn's advice on potassium and this has given me 100% natural results.  For my system it took best to bananas and avocado, but then I branched out to other foods.  Here is a great link I used as my shopping list:

http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food/potassium-foods.htm

With everything I am going through, I am glad to be going through it, I am very thankful to EmilyPost for this journal, and thankful to all of you for your kind words, information, and honesty.  To feel again, to understand thing better, not just go through some motions to get "stuff" done.  I will relearn to prioritize my life, my work life, and not be the Superhero I thought I was.  Everything will take time, and now I have more time, on my side, now that I am T free.

Make it a great day!

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by cake698, Dec 14, 2009
im still stuggeling in day 3 but i'm much more hopeful i will get through this. the chills have returned which i CANNOT STAND.  for me its the worse feeling ever!!!!! but atleast i was able to get up get a shower put on makeup and go to the store i just feel like i'm missing something like a should be doing something but what?  i would definatly recommend somthing to knock you out at night cus thats the only way i was able to sleep and doing so has made this the longest ive been off the stuff nowing i could get them anytiume.  anyways i give hope to all others that you will get through this i cant wait till the end of the week and i know i'm a better person each and everyday.  most important thanks to everyone here!!

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 14, 2009
Nyquil or Benadryl knocks me out :)

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 14, 2009
Ok Tram Warriors....

Just wanted to let you all know a few things...

I am SOOOO glad Mrs. Want found these posts.  Although I told her if she had given me one more day she would have never known about this terrible addiction, but then again... I would've been hiding a lie to her.... like having some sort of secret affair, which is not what I would've wanted.

If there are people out there (and I know there are) who have been hiding this addiction from your loved ones for years... trust me... you're not alone.  I've done it for over six years and all this while, thought that it was no big deal.  

To see the woman (or man, daughter, son, whomever) ball their eyes out by finding out you've been hiding this addiction is a real eye-opener.  In fact, if you were to ask me still to this day if I had an addiction, I'd probably lie and say "no."  The truth is, Tramadol has to be one of the most addictive non-narcotic drugs out there.  

I fear for everyone out there who gets prescribed this stuff by their doctors.  I've heard from at lest ten different people during my addiction to these drugs (including my brother-in-law) who get prescribed this because of it's non-addictive, non-narcotic effects, which we all know is complete BS.  How many THOUSANDS of people out there are searching for this website for help?

If you were to do a study on all of these posts, you'll find that about 95% of us came here b/c Tramadol was prescribed to us by a physician.  It's just so sad the truth has yet to come out to these doctors.

Mrs. Want found my posts, and I couldn't be happier.  Although she is finding it difficult to believe anything I say to be the truth right now, these words hold true to her.  

If you have a loved one out there and you're going through the w/d... just show them these posts.  Hell, bring them back from emilypost's orignal journals from over a year ago... that's what I did.  Once they see that you're not "one of a select few" going through this problem... they'll jump on your side.

And of course... you have all of us to back you up and support you.  

God willing... day 5 is tomorrow for me... and I'm so proud.


Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 14, 2009
Want...for the real true healing to continue,I am glad your wife now knows.I know you were not prepared to tell her of your problem at this time,but it is a blessing in disguise that she discovered our posts.At least you were in the process of stopping and by her being involved,you will be more determined to succeed.Just think if the table was turned and it was her problem,how would you feel if she kept it a secret from you.You would feel hurt and pushed aside.If the withdrawal process was a 3  day process then back to 100% normal,maybe you could have gotten away with hiding it from her.But this is a longer process and better that you both do it together.I used to hide my cigarettes from my husband but I finally realized that he and my family were more important than those cigarettes and quit.That was 26 years ago.I also quit Tylenol#3 3 months ago and do not crave them at all.You could both take the vitamins and supplements and bubble baths cause they are good for you.My husband knew I was hiding those stupid cigarettes anyways but never said anything....Gotta love that guy..Good to see you back posting with such spirit.I love reading yopurs and everyone's posts and good healing.

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by cake698, Dec 14, 2009
day three almost in the books well 9am tomorrow and i cant believe it. thanks to everyone in here for helping cus i know with out the advice and support here would would have been back on the tramatrain. back to work tomorrow and i'm not to excited but i know im not going to feel like complete crap. still have the chills but not as bad and i don't have the restlessness anymrore.  sometimes a good budweiser will help the chills too i give everyone my best wishes and thanks

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by forget_me_not, Dec 14, 2009
Cake, just try to stay firmly in the moment.  Don't worry about how you are going to get through the day, or the week, or anything else.  Stay in the "now", and pretty soon you will start feeling dramatically better.  The turn around really is quick once it starts to happen.  It's rarely consistent, but when you feel better, you feel a lot better.  Consistency comes a bit later down the road.  For now....focus on now.  And reach out to us here and let us help you through those moments that are really tough.

You have so very much to be proud of.  And Want...I'm tremendously proud of you AND your wife for recognizing this for what it is -- an illness.  You'll be stronger together for having confronted this and dealt with it as couple united.  

Not having a great day.  In fact, I have had a really, really hard week.  Even when I don't post much I am still here reading and pulling for you guys.  I am proud of you.

blessings,
~fmn

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Dec 14, 2009
Sharon,  You said, "i have managed to wean myself from 300mg down to 50mg and i cannot seem to get off this last one."

Question:  How quickly did you taper?  fred



Avatar universal
by newway, Dec 14, 2009
Okay - Tomorrow will be 7 days tram free - yes, none, zero - the taper is over!!  From 25 per day 4 months ago.  I still find it hard to believe that droping from 2 was almost the most difficult.  But all the advice on this site helped me deal with the discomfort and I kept reading everyone's posts - and I made it through.  Most of the symptoms are pretty mild now - my stomach is still causing me a bit of discomfort - and I keep waiting for the ringing in the ears to go - but I will be patient.
5 years on this poison - I realize my body is going to take some time to heal.  My energy is low - but better.  Right now I am trying to focus on eating well - I got into some really bad habbits on tram - not really eating meals etc.  So now it is the three meals a day, multivitamin deal.  After feeling so terrible for so long - I never imagined I would care about my health so much.
My back is causing me some serious discomfort - I am at the chiropractors a few times a week, just so I can function.  I am scheduled for the steriod injection in Feb.  I am icing it, using the tens (sp??) machine - whatever I can - but I am concerned - it's tough when I know how to make the pain stop.

FMN - sorry to hear it has been a rough week - I wish there was more I could say - you have been so supportive of so many of us here.  I hope things take a turn for the better - positive thoughts will be coming your way.

Want - a very similar thing happened to me - my partner found out - by mistake - the computor did not shut down properly and when it started up an e-mail I had sent to an addictions specialist was front and centre.  Like you  - it had all been a big secret - we addicts isolate ourselves with shame and guilt.  Like you - after the major uproar - it was the best thing that could have happened.  My partner is now taking an active role in my recovery - being supportive.  The trust is not there yet - I answer all the questions I can and realize that the anger is justified and I will have to work to earn the trust back.  It's nice not to feel so alone in the battle - besides you all - I had no one.
I am now back regularly at AA (with much encouragement from my partner) and being more honest with myself.  The things with secretes is - that at least for me, I can  end believing the lies.  Even when I know I am in denial - I can still manage to convince myself that "I can handle this"
Reaching out for help was on of the hardest thing I have done. To be open and honest with my partner, not making excuses or trying to downplay things, just listening - accepting the anger, the damage I had done to myself and my relationship without getting defensive or angry was a truely humbling experience.  My pride took a beating.  But it is what I needed - until I accepted that I had no control - that tram was going to win if I didn't do something - that's when I started to want my life back.

So Michelle, Jenny - thanks for the push - it looks like this may be the best holiday season I have had in years!

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by madtram, Dec 15, 2009
What great news Kelly & what an heroic effort.  I hope you are taking some time to celebrate your magna *** laude graduation in mind control.

Cake, good for you too.

Pink, you have found your own way & it will be so helpful for others to learn different methods that have worked to beat the demon T.  While there are some common symptoms, tramadol is a complex drug & with all respect to Thomas, there really is no one recipe that will help everyone.

Sharon, I have been there with the insomnia.  I quit cold turkey but I understand the anxiety around not sleeping as this was the worst symptom of withdrawal for me.  Given that you have been trying for a while, you may benefit from a short course of trazodone or neurontin which will make you sleepy & probably help with the nerve zaps.

Alternatively, you could try tapering down to 25 mgs for a week or two.

FMN, sorry to hear you are having a bad patch, I hope this week is much better for you.

My thyroid meds have stopped working & I see the doctor about an adjustment tomorrow which will hopefully bring an improvement from the hypothyroid symptoms of low energy, crazy hormones & brain fog. I can say without hesitation, however, that compared with the effects of tramadol, these health problems are so much easier to deal with.  You go get a blood test & something shows up instead of the doctor shrugging or diagnosing strange viruses.

We have been planning our vacation for next year, (I am keen to go biking in Bhutan) & I remembered several years of holidays where the occasional morning would be a wash out because sometimes we would sleep late & I wouldn't take my a.m. tram dose until much later than usual.  We would go over to the breakfast buffet & I would start feeling lousy.  Back then I figured it must be something in the food or just exhaustion from putting in the long hours required to get away on holiday when really I was just in withdrawal most mornings.  

Now it feels as though as I have always known these things about tramadol but without Emily & the sharing from everyone who posts here, who knows if it would have occurred to me that 4 little capsules could cause so much havoc.

Thank you all.



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by madtram, Dec 15, 2009
You gotta love the censor, of course it's true that a lot of latin words became the smutty phrases in Chaucerian English but it's very selective.

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 15, 2009
Well,  OFFICIALLY DAY 5!  Thank the good Lord!  I am almost quite certain the worst is over.  I know I'll have to deal with PAWS the next couple of weeks and months, but heck, that's something I can deal with.  Mrs. Want left post-it notes on the bathroom mirror, which was a complete shock to find stating that today was Day 5 and she was so proud of me.  

I am so glad she found this website, as I now know we are doing this together.  Newway, I completly understand the whole truth thing, though.  It's going to be hard to regain trust from my wife, as I used to have a drinking problem awhile back and would hide being drunk (although I'm sure it was quite obvious because I probably looked like Popeye with one eye open and most definitely sounded like him)... so it's not quite a new concept for the wife about the lies (or hiding things from her).  So I completely understand how I hurt her tremendously.   We have decided to go talk to a marriage counselor just to get a third party involved (but trust me, this website has done wonders for me opening up the truth about my addiction to the tramadevil).

But anyways, as for Day 5... can you believe it... Day 5?  Over six years of taking this stuff daily and I feel it is finally out of my system.  And for those of you who have been following my posts, I had to get off of the Tramadol because it was causing a blood condition called Eosinophilia which could ultimately have led to my death (like 10 years down the line).
Anyways, went out and got my bloodwork done yesterday.  Not sure if we'll see a drastic change, but I'm hoping my eosinophil count will already start to go down, but will keep you all posted.

Five Days!  And I couldn't be happier.  Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive.  

Avatar universal
by Elf_1977, Dec 15, 2009
Ok, this is the afternoon where I will only take 1 pill instead of 2.... then 3 in the middle of the night, so I'll be down to 4 from 5. I'm nervous....

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 15, 2009
LOL Michelle- You can't even graduate with honors with these censors!  I really think the thyroid med switch we talked about will help you.  This has become a common problem with the meds lately.  I have some blood work coming in now to see about my own med adjustment.  Actually, I just got the fax and my Vit D, despite high doses of supplement, is still in the low end, as is my Free T3.  I will hopefully be able to add more Cytomel and maybe he'll know why I'm not absorbing the D.  Maybe you can tell me in PM?  It is better though.  I went from 21 to 37.9.  Free T3 is 2.9 on scale of (2.0-4.4).

Sorry for the digression for everyone else, but I highly recommend that you have your thyroid checked if you have hypo thyroid symptoms.  It seems to be more prevelent in addicts and ex-smokers...that's my theory from people I know.

Newway- I am SO thrilled for you!  I had three "nerve" shots in my spine and it really helped my L4-L5 disc herniation.  I think that might be the same thing.  It can take three to work sometimes, but it did help a lot.  YAY for being clean! Now you don't have to stress about quitting over Xmas.

Want- It sounds like you, like many of us, are in the revolving addiction door.  Do you go to AA or anything?  Maybe you could do some sort of recovery program?  There is a board on here for that.  I do not go to AA, but also bounce from addiction to addiction.  I do see a therapist and my husband and I have gone and it's amazing how much it helps.  I'm happy for you that you're going with your wife! It is a chance to talk about those resentments freely and safely on both sides.

Hope everyone has a good day!

Jenny

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 15, 2009
Hi Jenny,

I might want to check out that board.  As for AA, no never gone, but fought those demons awhile back.  Have managed to overcome that hurdle (at least I like to think so)- don't drink anymore.  Haven't completely abstained, but only drink on very special occasions which don't happen often.  I used to drink daily, so I think I can honestly say I've overcome that obstacle, but it's worth looking into that support group.  I think the counseling will be the best option for me and my wife.  

It's just that now I'm fighting to get my energy back.  Six years of taking Tramadol daily really takes a toll on your body during recovery.  So I'm trying... and at least am happy I'm off that crap.  I have total support from my wife... who is an amazing woman... so I'm doing well.

And of course, I couldn't have made it this far if it weren't for all your support.... so again... many thanks to you all!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Dec 15, 2009
Hi want..I think we all have the potential to get carried away when doing things that give us pleasure eg drinking,smoking,pills and even eating.It takes a lot of effort and self control to realize that we are overdoing it and slow down.I have been through times of too much wine,smoking,opiates and came to the realization that overdoing it gains nothing and too much alcohol gives me a headache.I have stopped the cigarettes and opiates,but still drink wine but stop at 3 glasses ,and only 1 day a week if that.I take methotrexate for my rheumatoid arthritis and have to limit my alcohol intake cause I love my liver.We all have the potential to be substance abusers,but must act like grown ups and curb our excessive impulses.My daughter realized she did not like her lifestyle and quit smoking and drastically cut back on drinking last Jan09 and now lives a healthy lifestyle.I am so proud of her.I guess we all have to realize that it is time to grow up.

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by forget_me_not, Dec 15, 2009
Want, you are such an inspiration to be carrying yourself with positivity through this experience.  It's so, so hard as you (and all of us) know to keep your head up when you feel like you're being dragged through hell by a pack of wild horses.  But it passes, and that knowledge is often enough to help push us through the first few days.

So amazing are our bodies and our neurons that they DO heal, despite the damage we inflict upon them.  

I've talked to many people who say that tramadol is more difficult to withdraw from than either morphine or heroin.  So that kinda puts the suffering in perspective.  And it also provides a backdrop against which we can fully appreciate the magnitude of what we've done.

Mrs. Want, I have to say this.  YOU ROCK.  Your support of your husband during his fight with this monster is so valuable, and I can't tell you enough how much of a difference it makes.  Without support, this is a tough fight to win.  It's tough even with support.  But you have helped him overcome something that will, in the long run, make him an even better person, more empathetic and caring and better able to be supportive of you when you need it.  Isn't that what it's all about?

Blessings to all the Warriors this day.  Keep fighting.  Always keep fighting.

~fmn

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 15, 2009
Hi Want: I also mostly abstain from alcohol and have only had a drink here and there since I quit smoking in July 06.'  I don't go to AA either, although I have been to meetings and they are helpful.  I don't go because I've not considered myself "AA Sober." One of these days, I will probably abstain totally.

Just be mindful that as you drop one addiction, you will probably seek another.  It might be food or spending.  Or if you don't pick up another, you may have a lot of emotions come to the surface.  The counseling will help that.  It could manifest itself in anger or depression.  That has been my experience.

The other forum is called the Addiction Recovery Forum.  Avisg started it and I'm not sure how to direct you to it.  Maybe from her page?  I go from my watch list.  It's also on Med Help.

Jenny

1103276 tn?1330784868
by cake698, Dec 15, 2009
3 hours into day four and my stomach is reminding me of all the evil stuff i made it digest. Mainly in bloating to the point where i throw up.  I went to work felt great until that started acting up.  Wasn't able to sleep last night 2 hours mostly, but i think i could nap now. the rls is gone and the chills r there but not as bad mostly with temperature change in the room. i left work 2 hours early but hey when you do nothing but lift things and move around for over 8 hours i think thats pretty damn good.  Oh also i got a real real heavy pressure on my chest. High bloodpressure cus my body is coming off the trams? Well i'm going to try and nap.  Stay hopeful everyone come here and post or just read them i wouldn't have done it without this site!!!

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by wantmyselfback, Dec 15, 2009
Thanks so much Jenny! :)

Not sure there's many more addictions I CAN pick up, as I've pretty much been through it all (except drugs like cocaine, heroin, or all those other seriously deadly things that I know not to even go near- not to mention I don't know anyone who does those types of things anyways).  I gave up smoking (Thursday will be 3 months to the day), drinking (at least on a daily basis and only have one from time to time- about once every 3 months or so), and now Trams.... so I've been through quite a wild ride these past few months (and especially past 5 days- which was the hardest of all).

If shopping becomes an addiction, that's something I can deal with :)  As long as I can be myself- free of any drug, then I truly am the person I want to be... and God willing.... will be that person.  Loving husband, father, advocate, and inspiration to others.

You have all done wonders for me and others.  If there is some higher power out there, I'm sure he/she/it is looking down on us smiling, knowing  that we've fought (or are fighting) the devil and won.

Peace to you all!

1130590 tn?1261434971
by Pinkmonki, Dec 15, 2009
Today is the beginning of day 11 and I am in the dumps and at work.  I am having feelings of being mad, angry, frustrated, I just want to go postal.  I am so incredibly mad at my doctor for prescribing this medication!  Not only had I been off of antidepressants for 8 months (after being on them for 14 years), but I was reviewing the FDA write up on Tramadol again and I NEVER should have been prescribed it because I am allergic to morphine.  So what else has gotten screwed up in my body/brain?  

I am mad at myself for not questioning my doctor more closely, for just trusting someone and not giving a second thought to what I was getting myself into.  You had better believe that I am printing the FDA info today and will be highlighting it for my doctor when we meet this Friday.

Also, my husband and I completed our open enrollment forms last night and I am getting a new doctor!

I need to turn my frown upside down and it will take time.  At least I have everyone's posts to read and I am so happy for everyone for getting off or stepping off this evil drug.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Dec 15, 2009
Don't worry Pink, the brain has amazing capabilities to repair itself.  I felt very down around day 11 too.  This too shall pass :).

1106880 tn?1260898678
by wantmyselfback, Dec 15, 2009
OK Good Friends/ Warriors... I have the most AMAZING news!

If you've been following my posts, I was pretty much faced with an Ultimatum:  Either get off of Tramadol or risk Death.  And for those of you who are thinking "Yeah Right..." it's no lie.  Google "hyper eosinophilia syndrome" and you'll see that it leads to death.  Well, that's what I was "diagnosed" with.  Truth is, only like 50 people in the last 20 years were diagnosed with that.  Long story short, there's something in our blood called eosinophils which act like a double-edged sword... they ward off infections but too many of them attack your white blood cells and attack y our major organs.  Normal range is from 60-600.  I was at 1700.  My doctor had no clue why my count was so high, so I was sent to a hematologist/cancer specialist to see why they were so high.  Anyways, long story short (you can read the full story above) I never told ANYONE I was taking tramadol, not even my doctor.

Well, since being five days clean, I got my blood taken yesterday, and guess what?  Lo and behold my doctor calls me about an hour ago saying, "I don't have a reason to tell you this, but your eosinophil count dropped from 1700 to 250, which is something I can't explain."

I got off the phone and literally jumped for joy.  I knew all along Tramadol was poison for my body, but NEVER, EVER, did I realize if I kept taking it that it would have eventually killed me.

I am so thankful for this site, for all of you, and for the second chance I was given on life.  No one would've ever believed me that a pill was killing me, but it was. I knew high eosinophil counts usually were a result of an allergic reaction, but I never would've put myself on being allergic to Tramadol.... now just another reason why NEVER to touch this f'in poison again.

I love my life... my wife... my children.... and all of you.  As of this moment, life has a new meaning to me.... and Tramadol is a part of my past.... as it will be for all of you.

God willing... be strong... and use my story as an example.

Peace and love.

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by EmilyPost, Dec 15, 2009
This thread is closed.

Please move to;

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/144709

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