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Day 30(ish) Tramadol Cold Turkey Journey Continues

Jul 20, 2008 - 5 comments



cold turkey










30 days

Life Happens.

There's never a good time to stop taking drugs.

There's also not really a great time to start taking drugs either, since one leads to the other, you end up having to stop doing the drug at some point.

However, there's a point of vulnerability and trust that any patient has when in acute pain.  

I hear that; "You need to research any drugs before you take it line ... " and it never convinces me of anything EXCEPT that the person saying this has usually never hit a 9 or a 10 on the pain scale. 10 being the most amount of pain you could possibly stand before losing consciousness.

I remember only vaguely saying something like, "Ok so this isn't a narcotic and won't make me feel horrible and it isn't addictive?"

Yes yes yes .. Oh it is not a problem ... no no no it's is the best thing for chronic pain.

So, they were very very very wrong about Tramadol. I thought it was great because they told me it was great. It wasn't ever great. It cut the pain a little bit. Enough to still remind me that "I was a chronic pain patient."  Not enough to make it pleasant or easier and then it turned on me ... made the pain worse... tried to make me dead dead dead. You have heard the story, Morning Glory!

So it is a little after 1am here. I'm not asleep cause I have a headache. Feels like a migraine, but it isn't a true one .. it's one of the Faux-migraines I am getting from the faux-opiate I was on! *kicks tramadal ... hard.*

I had a way too busy day. Not as physical, but lots of strange emotional situations thrown at me today and there was one point where I felt like hiding in the backroom of the office. Actually it was when  called my husband to say, "Hi. I think I am going to hide back here with the filing cabinet for the rest of the day." ;-) It was too much attention and I got a flash of the early withdrawal symptom of being freaked out by other people. I had to kinda laugh at my sweet husband cause he said when I told him how anxious I was, "Yes, but there's no immediate danger. Nothing bad is happening." LOL!! I said, "Yeah I know. And even THAT FACT freaks me out! It's the drugs man! My brain feel fried!" Look out kid, it's somethin' you did!!

The headache didn't start pounding until after I found out that a cousin eloped ... basically and it made me feel so sad. The wedding plans were a mess; but still, her Mother and sister weren't there. I watched the short video of them being married with her Mom and ... I guess I felt such sadness radiating out of her. She did say, "I wish she had been married in the Church." :( I felt bad for her sister, they are very very close. And she was not there. I am sure that is when the faux-migraine reappeared.

Alot of anger today, alot of emotion. Too many voices ... too much emotion.

I told my Husband about the, "drug thoughts." He was very stunned by the severity of the thoughts. But then, so am I! It's some more brain surgery up there tonight. Feels again like brain surgery. Someone is reattaching wires.

I know for sure that there was just way too much emotion for me to handle without throwing my into a physical tailspin. I spoke with my friend whose Fiance jumped out a window in France two months ago today. I was stunned when he said it had been 60 days. I have been cold turkey for 30 days ... So I started to allow myself to run out of pills 60 days ago.

He talked alot about how hard it is for him to find a therapist. Two horrible insensitive put their claws into him. One "treated him like a science experiment," And one said to him, "Well if your Fiance killed herself, she must have had severe mental illness and so what were you even doing in a relationship with her?"

Nice! (said sarcastically) Needless to say he's never going back. There was alot of tragedy today. He said that part of him wants to die. Part of him doesn't want to be here alive anymore ...

He said, "I don't feel better when I am awake, I don't feel better when I am asleep. I don't feel better if I am super active and I don't feel better if I am 'relaxing.' Every five seconds my brain says her name."

Seriously I just wanted to burst into tears.  She was only 31. And yes, she had un medicated mental health issues, no therapy, no "help." He blames himself for not being there to save her. But of course he couldn't because the only person who could have saved her ... was her. And she couldn't do it.

A suicide is like a pebble dropped into the center of a very still lake. The ripples touch every person that person ever came into contact with. Literally everyone; because we are all connected.  Her tragedy and the severity of it and the FACT that I was having Suicidal Ideation BECAUSE of Tramadol (how do I know? Cause it vanished almost immediately and only returns if I go onto physical overload ... too hungry, angry, lonely or tired ....) Scared me into stopping the pills.

So I lay here ... with a head that feels hurty. At Day 30. I function well at least 50% of the day. Even on a crash and burn day now .. I function at 50%. That started to be true on Day 25.

Some days I get 90%! But not lower than 50% which is amazing. A true testament to the ability of the body to heal itself given the right tools and ... well ... if you remove the poison.

When I feel an energy dip, I drink more water which is spiked with powdered vitamins (EmergenC) ... Every hot shower I take I use the mineral salts by Queen Helene. Lavender. This stuff is amazing. Super duper high mineral content in there. Not expensive, east to find.

Still zero appetite. Which is so completely crazy. How dies it Do that!? Too bad they can't filter whatever effect THAT is and help people wh suffer with obesity and eating disorders huh? DOC for me, was food. From 18-to 32. Weight up and down. Six years and holding at goal weight soon! And guess what, Chicken Butt, my back doesn't hurt. I can feel my sciatic nerve, but it isn'tr painful. You know how amazing that is? To gofrom ... "Just take more ... take more you aren't taking enough!" to ... "OK so I guess the key to staying outta pain is to NOT take pills huh? Wow. Who knew! Can I get a refund on that last 5 years please? I wanna talk to the Manager!!!"

One day at a time. I know people look at 30 days and say, "You are outta the woods kid!!!"

To quote the wise and good man who calls himself The Eagle; (and he is well named indeed)

"  ...the basic rap - the only easy day was yesterday - and fear will kill you - it is a fight. It should be treated as a war. For the rest of your life.... "

Love and healing,

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Avatar universal
by plamp, Jul 20, 2008
                 Well day six yesterday was much better.=] I would say I was probably like 95% normal but it seems like the last bit of me that isn't normal will take a little longer to heal itself. It was a good day, I went out to eat with my friends and then we hit up the movies to see the dark knight. I felt really good and amazingly close to my normal self. Only when we left the movies did I start to feel that "energy drip"(I like that term lol=p) but I was able to drive home and then I pretty much fell asleep the minute I hit my bed. I slept a solid 6 and a half hours straight which is my personal best so far without being disturbed.

"Hide back here with the filing cabinet for the rest of the day". Haha;). I felt same way at work thursday and friday at times during the day. Im personally experiencing alot of mood swings throughout the day. At one point I feel almost completely normal, and at another point I feel like day 2...I think I hate that part about it the most.

It seems like the feelings of depression and fatigue are the last symptoms that are going to go for me which ***** because they are the worst haha. But I was wondering, although my insomnia has finally subsided, I'm still having very bad dreams, and very vivid dreams at night, you experiencing the same? I looked at the withdrawal symptoms again and I couldnt find anything about nightmares but I'm having terrible ones. First couple nights I would have some that would actually wake me up and I'd be sweating. (not sure if the sweat was from the nightmare or the icky tramadol sweats haha). The anxiety is still there though I remember I was driving yesterday and this guy went totally nuts on his horn and I almost jumped through the hood of my car I was totally freaked out, same thing at the restaurant with the loud plates and people randomly laughing really loud.

It ***** to hear what happened to your friends fiance, I've had friends that have lost girlfriends at wives because they committed suicide also and it takes them a real long time to get back to normal. Most of them were too stubborn for therapy and counseling, but they got better eventually as is the same with all things=].

Hang in there Emily! 30 days thats really amazing as I've said before I probably wouldnt be able to do that on my own, I wouldve probably needed the help of a clinic or something>_<. Your a really strong minded individual and you will get better because you have such a great attitude! One day at a time is best because if you wouldve known from day 1 that you would be in for 30+ it wouldve probably seemed impossible right? But your going slow and thats the best way to beat the sh*t out of tramadol.=]

Lastly, two things that have helped me have been listening to music (REALLY LOUD!=D) and being around my friends and family. Like yesterday I kind of wanted to just sit inside and rest but I pushed myself passed the anxiety and went out there!


544292 tn?1268882668
by EmilyPost, Jul 20, 2008
Dear Paul,

Those dreams are common. They are usually very dark, kinda bloody, scary dreams that can wake you up. Or you'll wake up and think, "Oh wow, did I make a low budget horror film?" Almost everyone has mentioned them. They are a good sign in a way, because it means you are dreaming again. You may not have been getting deep sleep (meaning getting Deep REM ((not the band)) sleep) while you were on Tramadol. Like so many things with this one drug, it's annoying and weird and synthetic!!

You write, "At one point I feel almost completely normal, and at another point I feel like day 2...I think I hate that part about it the most."

YES!!!! Exactly! Hit the nail on  the head.

So unpredictable and not a straight curve from abnormal to normal. Like i have said before three steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one step back. Or, one step back and three steps forward. Or three steps back. Today is the first day I have experienced the solid three steps back experience. Deep fatigue and unyielding mild games. Tramadol thoughts are dark and scary, and they seem to be speeding up, as they are leaving the building. The inside of my head feels light ...

The jumpiness is caused by the nervous system being overloaded by the withdrawal. I noticed that even though I am taking quite a bit of B vitamins, it is NOT turning my urine yellow. Which is what B vitamins do when they aren't needed, they flush thru and so, I am assuming I need all these vitamins I am putting into my system. Which is amazing and unusual, but I think helps me understand exactly what a beating the Tramadol gave me. It helps to me to also be kind to myself and go very slowly on a day like today. The days still seem abnormally long. It's absolutely messing with my sense of time.

Yes, the icky Tramadol sweat is very noticeable. I'd do alot of hot showers, and still wake up in the morning feeling as if I had been out in the dirt working hard, sweaty. Gross.

Thank you for these words!

"30 days thats really amazing as I've said before I probably wouldnt be able to do that on my own, I wouldve probably needed the help of a clinic or something>_<. "

Yes in the beginning there's this constant, "You should be in a clinic voice." Problem is, as you have learned so many of these Docs think that tramadol is the cotton candy of the pain world, that you'd risk them telling you that you were not experiencing withdrawal at all. Or shoving some tramadol down yer throat! LOL!

I had to laugh nce, cadialac jack who absolutely saved me when I was new, said, that story about 4-7 days being what it takes was not exactly true, but that it gets people thru the worst withdrawal and so why argue with something that works? I paraphrase. But you get the idea.

Also the freaky no hunger thing has beaten me today. I forgot to eat anything for awhile. Once I eat, I feel better. Always. The intestinal symptoms are lessening.

Yes, music reallllly helps. I have no idea how any of us lived good lives until the iPod appeared! LOL! I love being able to change that mood with a playlist though. And yes, being around people, eating or in the sun ... or both is excellent.

You're doing great Paul! You sound good and your symptoms are getting better every day.

Love and healing,

PS. Did I mention I think it's kinda ironic that we have the same injury at the same area!? Freaky!

544292 tn?1268882668
by EmilyPost, Jul 20, 2008
Here's some heavy scintific reading if you are bored and stuck in early withdrawal;

This is interesting, the Australians have caught on ...

This I'm just LAUGHING at cause it is called Rats Like Tramadol (Seriously, they can have all of mine cause I am done with it!)

Avatar universal
by seekingbetterdays, Jul 21, 2008

Good to hear your thoughts.  I had noticed the change in your "mood" line of your journal.  I must admit some concern when your "Day 29" went without comment.

It makes sense now that I read your written thought.  The "pebble in the pond" effect of losing a friend and seeing another whom you care about suffer.  Also, topping all of that off with an unusual family circumstance seems quite a challenge.

You are soooo way ahead of me.  You are actually coping with life.  As imperfect as coping is in a "tramadol haze" you are pushing into it -- fighting it -- leaning your shoulder into the trials of reality -- and healing.

I especially enjoyed hearing the comment regarding your supportive husband.  Sounds wise.  

You wrote:  

It is 8:00 am here the north coastal area of florida.  Sun coming up over the bay.  Bay is calm.  Beautiful.

The test of my endurance of non Tramadol reality is about to begin.  I'm headed into work in a few moments.  I have my own business so can control the day somewhat.  Others are counting on me, though, and my "Cold and Flu" alibi lent to last week’s absence has worn thin.  

So  ... "once again into the breach!"

I'm taking your husbands thoughts with me "... there is no immediate danger."  I will chose my battles carefully today, and tactically retreat if needed.

I am feeling the anxiety...but will also lean my shoulder into it as you have done.



You are a winner.  How did you get so wise for your age.  I certainly was not.  Your sincerity and honesty in sharing your thoughts and experiences in a real way are remarkable.  I celebrate your success with you.

By the way, I had severe troubles with my brain "fighting me" with dreams. I do not understand vitamins, but took Emily's advice and noticed some help with night calming.  Not totally, but enough to be very important to continue.

Later ya'll ! *

* Footnote:  Ya'll is southern expression.  I don't know why but it is.  Traditionally used affectionately when parting company with good friends.  Some say it is short for "you all" but actually means much more in the cultural context.

544292 tn?1268882668
by EmilyPost, Jul 21, 2008
Hi SeekingBetterDays!

Into the breach ...

Yes yes yes!

Indeed! Thank you for the early morning pep talk! I LOVE IT! It is a beautiful morning here. Calm. Cool. Gorgeous cats sleeping around me. Husband still asleep. Both of us have Mondays off.

For me, I still have no cravings for drugs. None. I want it all gone. Out out!

It is true, I am coping with it. Thank you for pointing that out.

Like you, I run my own business and had to go back to work.  People counting on you at this point is probably a good thing, because having the mind be distracted with other tasks. It is excellent medicine. It's hard, but keeping the sublinguals close, and your diet and water up will help. I find that my concentration at work in intensely improved.

My husband was right, "There is no immediate danger."

Very factual.

The good thing about Tramadol Anxiety is that it is being chemically created and B-12 sublinguals get it back in line for me. I think it is amazing that the vitamins have yet to be tossed out by my body. It seems to need a huge amount.

I used the cold and flu when I was in a fast taper. Now I am of course wondering if the fast taper was a good idea or if cold freaking turkey would have been better. Who knows!? I did what I could you know.

You made me laugh with the description of the pills screaming on their way down the white porcelain God's throat yesterday!  Which was a remarkable feat! The last thing I am is a "serious person," So having it get so grim and solidly serious in my head, makes me feel like I am losing it. *kicks the freakity-frack Tramadol in the head*

That anxiety isn't real. It's the Tramadol leaving the body. It likes to attack the brain. The thoughts of doom are not real. The only doom is to stay ON the stuff, after you know it is poisoning you!

I knew a guy once, who was a massive drug addict. He told me about the sublingual B-12 and B vitamins stopping bad trips on acid. So, if it works for that ... it works for Tramadol. That relationship turned into a huge disaster, naturally. He jumped off the wagon and straight into crystal meth. There was and is a huge amount of Meth in Los Angeles.  But I will say, that before he destroyed himself (and his brains) he passed on a huge amount of useful knowledge about drugs, recovery and separation of real emotion from drug thoughts. None of which I would have known, without meeting him. Huge chance he's dead now.

I grew up surrounded by Hippies, so I watched alot of drug use as a small child. It made me Straight Edge. Meaning, I thought they were stupid and made people do stupid and unkind things to each other. I saw them as the Enemy, and now I see them even more as the Enemy.

You write, "I will chose my battles carefully today, and tactically retreat if needed."

Exactly!! Exactly! Nothing is more important right now than getting clean and staying clean. This drug is a KILLER and no one wants to admit it. They think it's koolaid. It is, just with a little poison added!

A conversation I had with my husband in early withdrawal ... Probably Day 7.

He said, "You used to, always be DOING THINGS. For months now you haven't."

I answer, "More like a year. And it's the drugs man. It's the drugs. It's like being a Tramadol FOG. Tramadol Haze. It snuck up on me. I just stopped. It turned on me."

He said, "Have you been in a fog the whole time you have taken it?"

I answer, "Yep. Only, at first, it didn't seem like it. It  tricked me into thinking everything was supposed to be that way. Like living in an altered state of reality."

He looked very sympathetically at me. It was kind. He didn't know. I didn't know!

And I have to question; "DO the DOCTORS KNOW!?"

Cause I think they do. From my research yesterday what I can tell is that there are certain countries who know about Tramadol and are starting to be much more careful with it.

It doesn't really matter, because I'm out. I'm off. But I hope that other people who think they are losing their minds will find this discussion!

And I agree about Paul! Smart kid huh!? Yep. Wise beyond his years!

Thank you for the pep talk Seeking Better Days!

Love and healing,
I will chose my battles carefully today, and tactically retreat if needed.

I love the expression "Ya'll," and I didn't know that it has added meaning. I sensed that, but it is good to know! I went to Tennessee once and thought I had landed in heaven. Coming straight out of a City that is so tightly wound, which LA is, being dropped into the South was a life changing experience for me. I ate Fried Green Tomatoes and LOVED them! And grits, those are fab!

And to part ...

"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."

“I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.”

“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”

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