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Tramadol & Ultram Withdrawal & Recovery Room Part 10

Jun 06, 2009 - 185 comments
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withdrawals

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withdrawal

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ultram withdrawal

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ultram

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tramadol

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Recovery

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taper

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cold turkey



Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Part 10!

Please make yourself at home :D

Love and Healing,
Emily

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929961 tn?1244656815
by GoghsMissingEar, Jun 06, 2009
Congrats on your sobriety!
Isn't Ultram the name brand of Tramadol?

Is tramadol a drug that you can become resistant to quickly?
It's not working for my dental pain anymore. Neither is viccodin.
=[

874556 tn?1242369511
by sandie1977, Jun 06, 2009
hello

Its been  awhile, and I thought to check in.

I am 12 days post tram now.

Let me tell you the first day was sheer HELL. Chills, sweats, anxiety, RLS.

Then the next 3 days occured... I didnt sleep for 48 hours.  No shit. The RLS was about to kick me in the ass, and the benadryl was not cutting it, nor was advil PM or tylenol PM.  I tried ace wraps, warm compresses, baths, epsom salt soaks, magnesium, and nothing helped.  Then pure exhaustion set in and I slept.

Like the dead...

I woke up 18 hours later, and its not so bad now.

Occasionally I get chills, anxiety is my middle name now. I absolutely depsise my job, I am always analyzing my life now. On tramadol I wouldnt be doing all this thinking, I would be walking around and just existing. My attitude has went from decent nice person, to pure hell bitch, and believe me EVERYONE is letting me know this.  

Something to do with getting off trams? Or is this the real me?  

Well, good luck everyone, hopefully your post tram days are better then mine.  

sandie

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 06, 2009
Just a thought for sandie1977.  The benadryl may be causing your RLS.  It's diphenydramine.  An antihistamine which is the main sleep agent in Tylenol PM and Advil PM.  If you take benadryl plus the other PM's then you are getting double or triple dose of that antihistamine.  I quit taking all those PM's because of RLS and numbing of my right side.  I hope this helps you.  I have a RX for ambien as a substitute for benadrly  and it works OK... Good luck,  clen.

738790 tn?1377724594
by KC67, Jun 07, 2009
Hey Sandie,
It gets better and ALL of the symptoms you are experiencing are normal.

I too was an anxious, depressed, tired, apathetic, irritable b**tch.

Keep going.  Don't give  up.  It really does get better.

For me, it was around day 45 of being Tram-Free that I felt all-around better and had significant improvement of all the above mentioned symptoms.

Sincerely with hope and love,
KC

710395 tn?1249143251
by kevzx81, Jun 07, 2009
Sandie- I also found anxiety a persistent symptom. Our fight or flight reflex is triggered by anxiety but because we can do neither the energy is deflected into our thoughts and feelings; causing them to spin. It was like my thoughts were pacing my head as I paced the room!! Hang in, it will get better.

KC- good to see you,hows the benzo w/d going?

Gogh- Yes Ultram/Tramadol is highly addictive and tolerance can build very quickly. If its no longer working for your dental pain you may have become tolerant to your current dose.



738790 tn?1377724594
by KC67, Jun 07, 2009
Hi Kev!  So good to see you and read all of your posts!  I love to see how you have come through all that you have endured and are fighting your pain with positive thoughts, gardening, and new hobbies - in spite of the cold, damp weather.  You are such an inspiration to me.

To answer your question, Benzo withdrawal is a roller coaster ride for me.  Some days are good and others are pure H E L L.  The biggest problem for me is depression and homicidal anger.  Totally NOT the real me.  As Emily said, only time will heal the damage I have done to my brain with drugs.

Oh why didn't I pay attention to the fried egg commercial when I was growing up????  "This is your brain....this is your brain on drugs".  Oh to have been smart enough to take notice of the meaning of the fried egg.

Have a wonderful day!
KC

874556 tn?1242369511
by sandie1977, Jun 07, 2009
hello

I am pushing through. Trying to chill out, but it doesnt help when I have 750 inmates telling me they are in pain and want something every single solitary day.  it gets exhausting. I am thinking, why? Why do you want something to alter your mind?  Mind you the majority of the inmates are there because of drugs one way or another.  

personal life just sucks for the most part. I dont enjoy being around my children. I try to get involved, but my mind is always wandering. Its like all I want to do anymore is run far and fast, and escape the thing I hate most... myself. HA! I cant run from me!

I dont even have interest in my boyfriend anymore. I feel like I just exist with him anymore, and have little to no desire to anything with him. I guess it doesnt help that I cant talk to him without fearing him telling me to get over it, or giving me his thousand of opinions.

I guess I should try to care. But I JUST DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANYTHING AT ALL ANYMORE.

Is this the depression everyone is talking about?

I took benadryl for a night or two, then tried advil pm for a day or two and then tylenol pm for same amount of time. Now I just battle to sleep at night. Lucky to get 3 hours a night. Followed with 20+ hours of sleep every 5 days or so I assume from pure exhaustion?

I dont want to get on another drug to help me sleep, cope, deal, or anything. My whole idea of coming off medication was to do just that... be clean of all drugs. But I completely understand if others on here must take another form of medications to help manage side effects. Kudos to you!

Good night



910168 tn?1262466069
by Lillyval, Jun 08, 2009
Hi Sandie - I'm glad you're back.  I really identify with the "I can't run from me" part of what you said.  That's where I'm at right now, too.  Please give yourself a break and don't underestimate the effects of lack of sleep.  Even without the withdrawals - operating on 3 hours sleep a night is enough to make anyone frustrated, apathetic & irritable.

I really feared the physical withdrawal from tramadol, but now that the worst of that is over I've been obsessing over how I can change the way I feel.  As bad as using tramadol got for me at the end it still served as a barrier between me and reality - and now I'm really feeling the reality.  And it's not like my life is so horrible.  I just got used to being numbed to life's every day frustrations and now I'm finding it hard to cope.

I'm on day 7 off tram.  I'd like to say I'm hopeful, happy and free - but the truth is I feel like I'm walking a line right now and I could go either way - on to recovery or back to using drugs.  I know that sounds pathetic, but it's what is true for me today and I feel like being honest is the best thing I can do for myself at this point.  Despite everything I have no urge to take a tramadol.

Wishing everyone the best,
Lilly

931518 tn?1244489112
by scotstram, Jun 08, 2009
Hi people

Firstly thank you to you all for all the supportive information on this site.

Now for my story..

It started around 2 years ago, i began to take my boyfriends co-codamol for head pain which quickly progressed into an addiction.
I battled with this addiction for almost 2 years, on a bad day taking upto 30 tablets with codeine content.
I realised this had to stop as i was always constipated and had rectal bleeding.

I successfully weaned off co-codamol over a period of 2 months or so.
However i replaced it with tramadol.

Iv been taking tramadol for around 2 months now and decided that i wanted to be off this muck as it was supressing all of my emotions.....Not to mention the fact that the tramadol is not mine (Its my boyfriends and he takes it for chronic headaches and my drug counsellor told me that i either try to quit or she will tell his doctor).

My regular dose was 200mg(extended release per day) and 2 times 50mg tablets(per day).
This is my 6th day from tapering down from 300mg daily to 100mg daily.
Days 1-4 were absolute hell on earth...The shakes, Stomach cramps, muscle pain all over (especially my thighs!!!), nausia, diahreah, and terrible mood swings.

One thing i can recomend to everyone tapering/w/d is going to the sauna, This is the only time i had relief from the horrific symptoms.
I am in Scotland and the average temperature just now is around 10 Degrees C. So as you can imagine the shakes are made ten times worse than in a warm U.S state for example.

My next plan of action is to reduce to 25mg in the am and 25 mg in the pm, but to be honest im terrified i will go through the same days 1-4 as i did with my first reduction (300mg down to 100mg).

The thing that scares me most about tapering down further is that im getting married and going on honeymoon at the end of the month and im pertified that it will be ruined with tramadol withdrawal.

Should i reduce to 50mg per day (say tommorow?) and continue on that dose to tide me over until after my marriege and honeymoon?

Or should i just go CT tommorow and hope that all the ill effects will have subsided in time for my big day and honeymoon?

Any feedback would be massively appreciated as i feel completely alone in this battle and dont know what to do for the best.

Warm wishes and heeling to everyone :-)

Marc

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 08, 2009
To sandie1977:

From sleepnet.com:


"ANTIHISTAMINES, particularly benadryl or diphenhydramine can aggravate symptoms of RLS. A wide variety of over-the-counter medications for colds, hay fever, sinus, etc. will have benadryl or diphenhydramine in them. Yet, in others, it seems to help them sleep."

I once said "If you can't breathe nothing else matters",  Now I can add  "If you can't sleep, breathing doesn't matter".

Conquering sleep deprivation, RLS and other sleep related symptoms, while trying to slay the tramadol beast and working at the same time is heroic indeed. You will survive.  Give it time.

Lilyval:  Day 7 already?  You're on the other side, maybe 3 or 4 days at the most for the "severe" WD pains, then it will be over.  Soon you will no longer remember how many days have past.  Good for you.

scotstram:  Welcome to the battle.  If you read some of the past posts you will find out that being at 50mgs (2/25) is the "ideal" cutting off point and starting a cold turkey withdrawal process.  You really can't taper further and just as in your original taper the CT is really bad from day 1 to day for 4  (or 5) and then it will ease off.  In any event it's your call.  Good luck!

Thank you all for your support.  Gotta go, it's time to flush a couple of trams.......clen



544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jun 08, 2009
Clen, you think Ambien is better than Benadryl?

Marc! You can do it!

Sandie it'll be ok. It's the Tramadol with drawal, keep that in mind.

Lilly I can relate!

be back ...



Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 08, 2009
Hello Tram Warriors!

KC, Sandie and Lilly, good to see that you guys are doing well (my opinion).  

I have been a little "blue" which is guy talk for damned depressed...since our sweet 9 year old cat died on 5/31.  This was not just any cat, but she would come stand in front of me, whenever I sat down on the couch in the evening and talk to me until I picked her up.  She would sit in my lap for an hour if I let her .

Naturally, she "came down" with respiratory failure on Sunday morning so we had no way to get ahold of her vet.  The last time we had a sick cat on a weekend we went in to the "emergency vet" place and that was such a FIASCO that we elected to keep her home with us and let her die at home.  I have had to take animals to the vet to have them "put to sleep" plenty of times, and I have had others get hit by cars, etc., but this was the first time I have actually witnessed a beloved animal die in front of us.  PAINFUL.

I have been constructing a little memorial outside tucked away in our yard and I'll post pics after it is completed.  It's good therapy anyway even though my wife thinks I am "nuts".  

More later...Fred

544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jun 08, 2009
That's so horrible that your Kitty died Fred! :(

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts go out to you.

Love to you and Mrs. Fred at this terrible time
Em

895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Jun 08, 2009
A new thread and good to see my old pals Clen, Kevzx81, and Lillyval. Still on the Tram-free highway. Good to see new people (to me, anyway) Scotstram, Sandie1977, and KC67, and Goghsmissingear joining in. These discussions are so full of hope. They really helped me understand my "mental illness" (so I thought) was a result of Tram w/d.

It has been a month now and some anxiety and depression persist at random intervals. My experience is the good day/bad day syndrome. I'm glad KC67 reports a better outlook after 45 days. Marc, I do not know how you should taper. Read the previous strands available--people share about how much they took for how long. I went ct without realizing it was the Tram. making me crazy. It has been incredibly helpful to know what the symptoms are. Since they are w/d symptoms, even the emotional stuff, they will pass eventually.

When having bad days, I'm trying to be good to myself--take time for walking, meditation, tea, a good book. We need the extra TLC right now, not beat ourselves up for getting sucked into Tram's evil core. I can't really share this stuff with anyone except you guys. Glad you're here! Keep on flushing! Linn

895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Jun 08, 2009
Fred, Just saw your post and my heart goes out to you. They are just like family--sometimes better. I have two very old cats and I know I'll be better able to deal with their daily care and even their death without the Tram. Glad you shared this. You're in my prayers. With sympathy, Linn

667826 tn?1233726740
by Organica, Jun 09, 2009
Marc...
If it were me, I would go down to 50, then taper before the wedding.  It is such an important time in your life.. if you could possibly get off the stuff before then I feel you will be so much happier in the end.

I was on Tram for many years, and now, 5 or so months down the track, am back to my old self. I regretted the important things that happened in my life when I was on the drug. Just my thoughts.. I really wish you well with this.

Fred.. so sorry about the loss of your feline friend.. so hard.  Have a fluffy hug from me...

Best, everyone,
Sue

Avatar universal
by 2Sue, Jun 09, 2009
marc
I agree with Sue, go to 50mgs for couple of days but then if you feel strong enough best to c/t/ as lower doses give the worse symptoms however much you taper. at least you should have a clearer head for your wedding. however be wary of the anxiety,depression that may kick in after, ITS THE TRAM and not always your actual thoughts.
Sue

803105 tn?1238330680
by bjb97, Jun 09, 2009
It has been awhile since I posted.  I'm still Tram-free 75 days!  Although my neck/shoulder/back pain is much worse.  I had an MRI and they may have to do disc replacement surgery on C7.  I am having a selective nerve root block done in a few weeks to determine if that is indeed, the cause of my pain/tingling/numbness.  I've tried pain patches, had 3 epidural steroid injections, facet joint injfection and nothing alleviates or substantially dimishes the pain.  The doc prescribed me Vicodin for the pain but I'm using it sparingly as I certainly do not want to get addicted to that.  I had even taken a 4 a day for a few days when the pain and inflammation was really bad (I moved some furniture by myself -- naughty me) and then when I cut back to 1 or 2 a day I experienced some mild insomnia and restless legs.  

I have been reading about Gabapentin for pain.  Has anyone used that or IS using that?  I would love to get off this vicodin and if I do have the surgery, be able to take something other than vicodin post surgery.  Is sounds like it helps hot flashes and moodiness for menopause which would mean I could eliminate another med I'm taking for that.

Fred, so sorry to hear about your cat.  As one HUGE animal lover I can understand your sorrow.  I don't know if I told anyone that when I was 4 days Tram-free -- still in the throes of severe withdrawals -- I woke up to find one of our cats dead on our living floor.  That was surely a test of my willpower over Tramadol because I still had some in the house at the time.  Fortunately I did not cave.  My animals are the loves of my life (besides hubbie and kids) and I cherish their companionship.  My sympathies go out to you Fred and I think it will be great therapy for you to create a Memorial for your cat.

Glad to see there are more newcomers here and congrats to them.  That means more and more people are finding this wonderful site and getting the support and encouragement they need to break free from the evil hold of Tramadol.

Becky

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 09, 2009


Emily Post:  In the benadryl vs ambien debate we must remember this: Benadryl is the antihistamine diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is not a sleeping agent.  It's main use is to treat allergies.  However one of the side affects of diphen is drowsiness.  So diphen for sleeping is actually making use of the side affect of the medication and not the original purpose.

Long term use of diphen can cause RLS, numbing and tolerance.  Excessive use can even cause fainting (like it happened to me,  first time in my life that I had fainted)

Ambien on the other hand is a sedative or a hypnotic.  It is made to put you to sleep. It also is RX only and prescribed for temporary use.  One or two nights of solid sleep is probably all we need to get back into the rhythm.

However because of the benzo-like chemistry  of ambien care has to be taken because you will probably have WD effects after long term use.

With all medications it's a balancing act.  Sleep is extremely important but prolonged use of a sleeping medication will cause problems that will make the sleeping troubles seem like a walk in the park.

I can no longer take any diphenhydramine product.  Maybe for one or two days it might work OK, but after that it's up all night with RLS and jumping out of bed to stomp my legs.  Not worth it.

Taking one drug while withdrawing from another doesn't sound too smart but everything has to be one at a time.  Step by step.  Check the priorities and work out each in order.  Trying to do too much at once could make you do nothing at all.

I went to the dentist yesterday (on my 25th anniversary no less!) after postponing for 2 months. Before I couldn't wait a mere 10 minutes before running out gasping for breath.  But yesterday I spent 2 hours in the chair getting an overhaul with no problems (and no extractions which was my main fear).  Which means that I'm slowly getting back into the mainstream of things sans tramadol.

Hello to 12stepper and to all the newcomers.  Fight the good battle......clen

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 09, 2009
Hi all!  Just checking in after 35 days Tram Free. For those of you that are tapering and have questions, I have posted my symptoms and tapering posts on my tracker if you'd like to see how my process went...I know that for me, it was comforting to know what to expect...but all in all, you have to do what is comfortable for you. Listen to your body!

At 35 days, I feel great....I still have good days and bad days but mostly good now (you were right, Boe! Thanks for the HOPE)..I went from sneezing 30 times a day, down to once a day and my lethargy is pretty much gone. After all of the acute w/d's were over, I felt like crap for awhile, yet so empowered that I actually made it through the worst of it all. After that, I could handle the rest with patience because I knew it was just a matter of time (literally) before I would begin to feel better. I have made it to the point of living LIFE again.

I have learned how to manage the chronic pain. It's amazing that after the whole tapering process, I am able to recognize the difference between my own pain and the pain that tramadol creates with it's daily withdrawals. That alone is rewarding. Hindsight is 20/20, isn't it, folks? I wish I would have known before what I know now.

For those of you wanting to stop taking tramadol, let me tell you that once you rid yourself of this painful drug, you will be able to enjoy life again with time. Find another way to manage your pain if you can. Tramadol is a creator of a pain that is unnecessary in controlling other real pain. Jeesh..I know this will make sense to the posters that have realized this, but more importantly, I hope it makes sense to the curious ones out there that are considering leaving this drug behind as well as the once in the middle of their acute w/d's that think there is no end to the madness. We're always here to support each other, but please learn to be patient with yourselves, as you would your best friend...because at a time like this, you NEED to be your OWN best friend.

Emily/Boe/Fred/TramaQueen/Sandie : Again, I am forever thankful for your inspiration, support and encouragement. I wouldn't have made it without you guys!

Wellness and strength to ALL!


910168 tn?1262466069
by Lillyval, Jun 09, 2009
Fred - I'm so sorry about your cat.  I have a 14 year old siberian husky (they're only supposed to live to 10) who is definately on "borrowed time" and I dread the day he passes away.  I know what you're going through and how hard it is.

Marc - I would second what others have said and go down to 50 mg for maybe a couple of days and then just quit.  Like you, I also went through withdrawals while I was tapering and I agree that it's best to just get the worst over with.  Then hopefully you should be feeling better by the honeymoon.

I'm on day 8 and have no urge to take a tramadol. My stomach problems seem to be getting worse instead of better to the point where if I eat anything I wind up in the fetal position in pain.  My husband (an EMT) is convinced that I have a medical problem unrelated to tram withdrawal.  At his strong urging I broke down and made a doctor's appointment.  But I dread it like the plague.  I don't want to see anymore doctors or any more medications - I don't want any of it!  I just want to get better on my own.
Courage everyone,
Lilly

895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Jun 09, 2009
Good to see you all posting regularly. It helps so much to read the experiences of others. After about 30 days Tram-free and tapering on the Benedryl for insomia, I finally had a normal sleep with only a very small piece (a few grains)  from the Benedryl. As Clen and others note, it has its dark side, and I want to get off it entirely. It feels so good to be practically free of both. I feel more confident and my memory is starting to return.

Bless you all for being here, Linn

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 09, 2009
Fred,

I just read your post about your cat...I'm a pet lover too and I can't stand the thought of one day losing my furry friend....My thoughts are with you during your time of grief.

Amy

Avatar universal
by tramaqueen, Jun 09, 2009
Hello all,
So sorry to hear about your cat Fred. Losing pets is always a very heart-wrenching experience. I've always felt that it's best for all involved to be with them when they die, even if their death comes by artificial means. Rest assured that your cat felt your love as he left this world and moved on to other playgrounds.  I'm sure other animals will come into your life soon and reap the benefits of your company.

I am 3 weeks + post tramadol. Today as I was driving I turned off the air conditioner, opened the windows and let the hot, summer air flow in, turned up the Beach Boys on my IPod, and ROCKED OUT!  I could smell the salt air and hear the waves crashing on the shore...(even tho I'm a good 600 miles from the closest beach).  

Last night at work one of my patients told me what a wonderful nurse I was, and that her granddaughter (who is starting nursing school in the fall) should strive to be just like me.  

I believe my true personality is coming back.....after 3 and 1/2 years of being suppressed without me realizing it.

Thanks to all who are ahead of me who keep reporting that it gets better. I tried and tried and tried to get off this stuff by myself, alone, and always failed due to the extended withdrawal times. If I didn't have your words, urging me on, I would've failed once again.

"Let's go surfin' now everybody's learnin' how come on a safari with me!"

Love,
TQ


Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 09, 2009
Dear Fred...
      I'm just so sorry about your dear cat. It's just an awful experience when we lose a dear pet. Your loving cat felt your soul reaching out to her and knew it was o.k. to go. I am the cat lover of the world and cry a million tears with the death of a pet. I always feel better when I go to the shelter .usually within a few weeks and save another pet. They always seem to know how much we really do love them. My heart goes out to you...be good to your self this week and take it easy.

931518 tn?1244489112
by scotstram, Jun 09, 2009
Just a wee post before i go off to the land of nod.

I feel very fortunate when i read about everyones sleeping problems caused by tram WD.
The reason for this is i take quetiapine which is an anti-psycotic to treat my obssessive compulsive disorder and it has a tranquiliser in it which means i have a great nights sleep.

Im now 12 hours tram free which doesnt seem much but i do feel a sense of achievment already.

Strangely i have had no symptoms of withrawal yet....Im starting to think i may be blessed but am also trying not to get complacent as tommorow is a brand new day which will probably bring fresh challanges.

I am very confident that i will not cave to the call of the deviltram! If temptation comes my way i will read everyones bad experiences to inspire me and spur me on.

Fred....I am so sorry to learn of your loss.
           I have two wonderfull cats and cannot imagine anything happening to them.
           Im willing you the strength to come to terms with your loss and my thoughts are with you.

Anywhoo thats all for now people.

All the best for everyone and il see you all tommorow

710395 tn?1249143251
by kevzx81, Jun 09, 2009
Hi Everyone, I am so inspired by what Im reading here today.medhelp friends old, new and absent-my love to all of you.

Fred- Each animal is unique and different, as much so as humans I believe. Likewise irreplacable :-(

Organica(((good to see you again))).

Lillyval- You said it for me ---" I don't want to see anymore doctors or any more medications - I don't want any of it!  I just want to get better on my own." That may sound stubborn/over-ambitious/dr phobic to others. Ive had some critism for following just that strategy. But I think its typical of the stubborn fighting spirit we summon to defeat Tram. We may have to compromise this position in the future,who knows.....but I admire you running with the ball. I love your courage and it inspires my own. Just because weve been brought low is not good reason to abandon optimism,hope,faith,confidence in our self-recovery. We should still aim high. Even if I had no successs healing by myself after the first year I would still appreciate thr holiday from those wretched money grubbing poisoners that cooked up this sh^t.

People are remarking on how much Ive changed lately. Its not all compliments of course. What people are seeing is my emotional awakening brought on by Tram w/d and a steady diet of reflection and self-validation. Physical exercise outdoors has also been very benficial.

Emily- The rewards are piling up- those I love are better loved than before. Those that I intensely dislove, dislike being anywhere near me. Thats a good achievement without resorting to violence,backmail or bribery I think.
One of my mothers methods, reseverd for liars,liberty takers, bullies et al was too give them what she called " short shrift and a broad brush".  If we approach the world with an attitude of generosity, if we care for others/life we attract freeloaders. But to give up caring would be a loss to profound to contemplate. So Ive taken up my mothers broom. and YES it does fly lol.

Scotstram- good luck tomorrow. follow in your proud nations footsteps and treat Tram like you might king Henry VIII !!!

12stepper- Congratulations on your complete month!! Yes those are good bad days stategies; I love a good read,walking,tea, meditation too. throw in home grown food, hot baths and quiet and you could easily take me prisoner lol.

Tramaqueen-thanks so much for that important testimony-yes there are a whole baggiesworth of post Tram benefits just waiting for us. Youve proved that career as well as personal life can be SO MUCH better without Tram. and exhilirating too!!

Miss_Amy-thanks to you too for posting your success and advice. we are close to helping finish a complete testimony of the Tram experience. From horrendous long term addiction to renewed lives.

I think its very important to complete this testimony which Emily started and did so much of by herself. To provide as complete a reference as possible,in general and in detail, about quitting and rebuilding after Tram. I believe it is the very least we can do to thank her.

Bjb97- I used codeine in the past on an as needed basis-skirting the addiction. Yes I suffered some occasional stomach upset but it wasnt a drug that had hooks for me so I used it on and off for a few months. These drugs are addictive beyond our bodies ability to resist but if the person is addiction resistant,especially pro-actively it is a matter of balancing pain versus relier versus w/d symptoms. I really do believe that while we must not be complacent, quitting tram has made us a harder victim for other drugs too. I hope you get relief from your pain.  My back injury is not so severe as yours ,nor is my pain. But my inability to wave a magic wand feels like nails on a blackboard with me being the blackboard sometimes.Empathy....no one could ever call it cheap in any sense...

Clendenon- I think youre so right about chemical sleeping aids. We only need to nudge our sleep-cycle back to where we want it. One of the drugs Ive used for this is diazepan(valium). but only as a single hitter and taking it at the right time of day to wake up at the desired time and then using hard work/exercise to exhaust me for the following couple of nights. This is one of the few points I do agree with my doc about...longterm sleeping aids = trouble. I suspect though that for some people this will be a forced compromise sometimes.

Grandmagirl- Any animal rescued and homed with such love has not only survived disaster but met with great good fortune. If only we could all be so lucky............I truly hope we are.      


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 10, 2009
You guys are the greatest friends, you know that?  I was blown away by all of your kind words.  THANK YOU for your stories prayers, good thoughts and compassion.  Which shows to go you that people with this darned tramadol problem ARE some of the warmest, comassionate, loving, caring and sensative folks in the world.  We...uh...just got sold a bill of goods on the old tramadol front.  

But there IS life after weaning ourselves from this terrible drug.  I am looking at the calander and I realize I crossed the six month mark tram free on 06/02.  And trust me when I say that if an ordinary guy like me can beat this terrible rat poison, there is hope for you as well.

Lilly, I recall reading one of your posts recently on day five (congratulations, kid), commenting about all of the emotions.  Yep, on day five I would have cried at a rock.  I still recall being at my nephew's wedding that day.  He is a fine nephew, but I wasn't particularly close and the wedding wasn't (apparently) all that touching, because I was the only one crying.  Even his mom, my sister had dry eyes.  And I was blabbering on so at the reception with the minister who officiated , that he tore out a section of his sermon notes and handed them to me.  My adult sons were there and they took me aside, saying, "dad, are you OK?  Get a grip".  I am afraid that over the top emotions are entirely common at that stage of recovery.

One of the worst parts of this drug is that it NUMBS a person to their natural feelings, passions, and cares.  As the drug leaves our bodies, those feelings seem to flood back in a bigway.  However, in time, our emotions seem to balance out and I dare say that afte a couple weeks, we will become the persons we were before beginning our tramadol journal into the wilderness.

BJB, Do you recall me mentioning gabapentin to you before?  I don't want to be acused of being a paid advocate of the drug, but one of the "off label" uses is to knock out neurological symptoms of the extremities (arms or legs).  I found it particularly helpful with the RSL symptoms during my early withdrawal.  I am assuming that with C-7 issues, you have some numbness and tingeling in your arms/hands?  It isn't a pain killer per se, but you might want to talk to your doctor about using this.  I am intrigued with the disc replacement surgery.  It's an extremely new technique you know.   If you are planning to have this done at OHSU you should receive excellent care.  

Alright, that's it for me...the first night back and all.  

Sweet dreams to you all (I hope), Fred

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by scotstram, Jun 10, 2009
I woke this morning at 3am thats only 15 hours into CT

My shakes were that bad that i struggled to stay in my bed my whole body was palpatating and i felt like death so needless to say....Caved in and took a tramadol.

I feel so dissapointed in myself....A sense of failure and feel like giving in to tramadol.

I think that its not worth the suffering i had this morning...I would officially rather die than feel like that again.

PLEASE can i have some words of wisdom and advice as im really at my wits end with this drug and cannot see a future post-tram.

Please help

Marc

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 10, 2009
scotstram

Don't be so hard on yourself.  The fact that you are here and WANT to get off is the first positive step.  Just sit down, relax and reconsider your options.  Maybe a longer taper?  Maybe a more controlled dosing schedule pre-cold turkey?   Now that you know what to expect during cold turkey you must be mentally prepared before you start again.

There will be suffering (no use in kidding ourselves) but it IS worth it.   Three weeks ago I was on my hands and knees crying like a baby thinking it was the end of the world.  Now I am 2 weeks tram free and almost sleeping like a baby  (maybe a few more days and I will sleep like a baby sans ambien).

The shakes, the insomnia, the depression all of that is unavoidable.  I know that sounds negative but it's the truth.  I wish there were another way short of a detox program in a hospital but I can't think of any.

I would suggest re-reading all the posts here from day one over and over again.   Check out the natural remedies.  Try things out with care, find out what works for you.  But most of all don't despair and don't feel guilty for taking a pill.  Just start over again.....good luck......clen




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by bjb97, Jun 10, 2009
Yes Fred.  I did vaguely recall that it was you talking about Gabapen.  Are you still taking it?  What side effects did you/do you have?  How much did you/do you take?  

My doc prescribed for me yesterday as I am very scared of becoming addicted to Vicodin.  I know how easy my "all or nothing" personality takes over.  Right now I'm only taking 2 day but now that I have the Gaba, I want to get off them.  Today I will only take 1 1/2 day or maybe even one then hopefully none in a few days.  The Vicodin does actually help a lot with the pain but I just am so scared of having horrible withdrawals after being on them.  After cutting down from taking 4-6 a day for about a week that I did that, I had some mild diarrhea, RLS and insomia.  Echoes of tram withdrawal past.  Yikes.  I don't want to go there again.

You are right Fred.  The people here are the best.  So compassionate, caring, supportive.  We are so grateful to Emily for uniting us.

Avatar universal
by flippers, Jun 10, 2009
Fred,
Sorry to hear about your loss. I have a house full of cats and can relate. We once lost 4 in the span of a few days (they were all very old), but it's always tought to deal with.

Scotstram - hit the "previous" tab at the top of the page and go back to the older threads. Reading all these stories, stuggles, and ups/downs helped me throught "the nightmare of my choice" - to quote a line from Heart of Darkness. There is no way I would have stayed off of this crap (24 days now) without knowing all the various stages of recovery. This drug is unique and the "truth" about it's side-effects, addiction properties, and withdrawal characteristics are not well documented (to say the least). These ARE the true stories.

Glad to hear  that so many here are doing well of late. The period of 10 to 20 days out has been very odd. Low energy, little desire to do much, but there are glimmers of light and I think I am getting close. I hope this is light at the end of the tunnel (and not a gorilla holding a flashlight). Boe got there at day 27, other at days 35 and 45 and beyond.  There is no going back now and I will patiently wait for "my turn". Thanks to everyone here!

Hang in there everyone!

Flip

Avatar universal
by zodiac666, Jun 10, 2009
Thanks for making this Emily,  I'll try to write a little more when I'm feeling better (day 4 after 3 yrs of avging 1g/day).  I stopped the tram completely but have used kratom and then kava last night after going the first 48 hrs with nothing.  The kratom is an opiate so I don't plan on using it for more than the first week.  The kratom won't help you sleep and will make you sick as hell but it will stop the RLS but last night I actually slept most of the night after using the kava.  I do know that you can NOT mix kava with tramadol (some kind of serious interaction happens although I was taking a very high dose of tram when I tried mixing them a while ago).  Has anyone else experienced any relief with kava?  I'll let everyone know how the next few days work out but I have a little hope that the kava might help and it's actually healthy in low doses I think.  Also I think eating very little might have helped yesterday (way too sick to hold hardly anything down).

Thanks again, it's helpful to read a bunch of people going through the same shit as I am.  Tramadol seemed perfect when I started taking it 3yrs ago, made me sociable and cured all anxiety and allowed me to sleep without bouncing around all night.  I'm sure as shit paying for it now though, I can't believe it's still legal to order without a script although I'm not blaming anyone but myself for becoming dependant.  

I'm 28 yr old male, just got out of the army 3 yrs ago and want more than anything to start feeling emotions and living life again.

Avatar universal
by zodiac666, Jun 10, 2009
And I think the best thing to remember and keep telling yourself is that you WILL feel pleasure in life again, also don't think too deep and don't care what anyone else thinks of you

Avatar universal
by westpost, Jun 10, 2009
hey all this is a first time post for me. i was hoping i could get some advice on a course of action here.

i have been taking tramadol for about 8 months now. i started because of a lower back injury. at one point i was about 800mg/day. i am taking the bar exam in july and had planned on tapering down to be off it for the study period. i got down to about 100 mg/day over the course of 3 weeks or so and have no stopped all together. i am 2 days off but having terrible withdrawal. i cant sleep, i cant focus on anything, and im always tired. the reason i was trying to get off now was so that i could focus everything on studying and pass this exam. now reading all these stories im thinking maybe i should go back on for 6 weeks until after the exam. 12 hours/day of studying right now is not happening, in fact, im lucky if i get in two.

if i could feel like this for a week or so and then have 5 weeks of great studying i would be ok but i cant afford much more time than that. i dont ever want to have to go through this again, but i cant fail the bar and really derail my life either. if anyone has advice i would be extremely grateful.

thanks so much.


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by Lillyval, Jun 10, 2009
Marc - I, too, took tramadol while trying to go cold turkey and I know how you feel.  I'll tell you what others told me.  Give yourself a break and keep moving forward.  You're still very far along in the process and you may have already experienced the worst of your withdrawals.  Taking one tramadol won't bring you back to square one.  You've still weaned down from the high doses and you are closer than you think to getting free.

An update on my situation.  I went to the doctor today and (surprise) he wrote me yet another prescription (for Reglan).  This time though I read the user reviews on rxlist.com before filling it.  It was full of horrible reports of Parkinson like tremors, extreme fatigue, anxiety, depression and one woman said her mother ended up killing herself on it!  What the f***!  Needless to say I'm through with conventional medicine.  The doc also pretty much dismissed the suggestion that my physical pain was connected to withdrawing from tramadol.  But the more I read the more I understand that taking opiates suppresses the natural opiates produced by the body - resulting in more pain.  

I don't feel well, but I still feel that going forward is better than going back
Peace and health to everyone,
Lilly

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by Lillyval, Jun 10, 2009
I wanted to add: Kev - thanks for writing "Just because weve been brought low is not good reason to abandon optimism,hope,faith,confidence in our self-recovery. We should still aim high."  Those are powerful words - especially since being brought low is really what's happened to most of us.

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 10, 2009
Hi, westpost.

After reading your post a few times I can say that coming down from  800/mgs day (a huge amount) to 100 mg/day in 3 weeks is an accomplishment in itself.  Stopping cold turkey and being just 2 days off will definitely produce the WD symptoms you describe.  The anxiety produced by the upcoming bar exam and your inability to study will add to the symptoms.  I think in all honesty even if you do the cold turkey it will be at least 2 weeks to be clear enough to study.  That will leave you just 4 weeks for the exam.  Tough call.  One thing I could say is that failing the bar exam  will NOT derail your life.  That's the anxiety talking.  I am, of course, assuming this is a state lawyer's bar exam, right?

The only way I might help is saying what I would do.  I would say to heck with the tramadol  I am going to keep on studying and focus on the end result, ie, successfully completing the WD process,  studying my way through the pain and completing it all by passing the bar exam.  Easier said than done but, especially,  in your case the rewards are too big to let tramadol take that away from you.

You have already taken the plunge so going back to tramadol might not even help you at all.  Remember,  nothing is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  There will be more exams available.  Don't pin all your hopes and your future on one event.

Good luck with everything.......clen



Avatar universal
by westpost, Jun 10, 2009
Clen -

thanks so much for the post. i am indeed talking about a state lawyer's bar exam. the reason i say it could really set me back is that i have a great job lined up (which is very hard to come by these days) and failing the bar would mean that was out of the picture.

im thinking long and hard about this. i AM going to stop taking tramadol. i am very determined in that. my only question is whether to do that now or in six weeks. i know that no one can answer that question but me, but after reading about people's struggles on day 30 and day 45 im not sure no it the smartest time to do it. i just need to figure out what is going to be best for my studying. maybe i should continue the tapering. the only problem is that puts me in for another few weeks anyways! ohh decisions decisions.

Avatar universal
by zodiac666, Jun 10, 2009
westpost, you have already come a very long way and it is definitely possible that you will feel much better after 10 completely clean days.  I'd suggest going the next week completely clean (a HUGE accomplishment itself that will show you that it is possible) and see how you feel.  I have been putting it off for one reason or another for years, it's amazing how I've convinced myself, and used anything possible to justify staying on.  If you start a new job do you think you'll quit then?  I couldn't imagine going through this shit while working at McDonalds much less starting an important new job.  I understand your position but it is possible for you to get clean and still pass the bar in 5 weeks, that would let you know for the rest of your life that you have the willpower to do anything.  

Good luck

Avatar universal
by flippers, Jun 10, 2009
Hey westpost, I would stay on your c/t plan, since you already have 2 days under your belt, and you are half way through the worst of if. You could risk taking the bar with lingering taper-fog if you continue to slow taper. And you are down from 800mg? Yea, stay off this crap if you can. You will probably start to feel better by Sunday.  Then the "blah" period that follows is not that great, but you should be able to get some studying in for sure. I would reverse taper you study plans and increase you study time as each week passes off of tram. Right now it seems impossible, but in 10 days you will feel a lot better and should be able to study pretty well. I was surprised how my mind cleared up at around day 3 or 4, even though I was i the middle of w/d's.

Flip

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by bjb97, Jun 10, 2009
Westpost.  I agree with the others since you already have 2 days.  When you read about 30 and 45 day struggles those were probably minimal and from individuals who had been on more tramadol and used longer than you too.  I don't know if you exercise or have access to a gym.  But, for me, working out helped immensely get through the first few days and also to flush the toxins out of my system.

I forced myself to go to the gym even if I only had the energy (due to lack of sleep from the w/d) to do 5 minutes on the treadmill, lift a couple of weights and then the best part -- sit in the sauna and/or steam room and sweat.  The sauna and steam room will be your best friends during the withdrawals, at least they are mine.  Good luck to you.  You are the one that needs to decide because you are the only one that can fight this battle.

Avatar universal
by Ella789, Jun 10, 2009
Hi everyone,  I just wanted to say that I take 1800mg ( 600mg x 3 ) of Neurotin a day.  I am sure it helps with my nerve pain as I have had it increased on the dosage to a higher amt. the past two months.  For regular pain I take 3- 200mg ibuprophen at a time.  I think a person can actualy take 800mg, but not brave enough to do that yet.   I take Cymbalta 60mg day and night and remeron at bedtime also.   The down side to the cymbalta and neurotin is that it makes you gain weight,  which has never been an issue for me until the past few months.  A year ago I weighed 94 lbs.  now I weigh  117 ,  I have never weighed this much unless when I was pregnant.  I always lost my weight after a few weeks post delivery.  and always weighed around the 100 mark until a year ago.  

Anyway,  TMI  huh?  lol          Best wishes

Ella

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by kevzx81, Jun 10, 2009
Lillyval- you say "I don't feel well, but I still feel that going forward is better than going back."  I remember having exactly that perception a few weeks post Tram. My situation lately is that I am' not completely well but am moving forward.' Choosing to go forward, taking the more difficult seeming path,resisting meds, is in itself a powerful affirmation from yourself to your body that you 'wish it well'. If we back this up by treating our bodies well (sincerity) the intent to heal is complete. I dont expect miracles from this theory, but it does do some good. I think we should bear in mind though that meds aside we may have neglected ourselves by bad diet, lack of exercise et al. Patience......thats the hard thing, for me anyway. I expect my own body is still partly in shock from learning that Im caring for it at all!!!!! Patience is having patience with patience.

Bjb97- You are SO RIGHT- exercise- sweating is good m'kay!!! My most rigorous exercise is digging, which if done with the proper technique benefits almost the whole body. It especially develops small muscles in the back that increase spinal support and builds a great set of buns too!!! I remember walking in the snow during w/d, the cold was invogorating and I walked hard enough to build a good sweat then came home and had a hot bath. Oh,those werent the days. lol.....



Avatar universal
by choose_life, Jun 11, 2009
Hello All,

I have been following this journal for a few months now, and I am proud to say today is day 6 of being tramadol free - yah!!!
To all of the regular posters on here, a HUGE thank-you for giving me the strenght to to this!......

I taperred slowly over 3 months or so, down to a final dose of 12.5 twice a day then jumped into w/d land...... I honestly believe that a slow and steady taper wins the race.......but i still have experienced all the nasty symptoms - chills, rls, insomnia etc. I found regular paracetamol helped me regulate my body core temp, and the rest? well I just had to take the bull by the horns and suck it up!!!

My question is how long does this feeling of general blah last? What i mean is the heavy legs and lack of energy.....are we talking days or months?? Please any advice would be great......

Thankyou to all who have been before me in this journey, and esp. Emily for this life line....
Cheers xx

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 11, 2009
Hello New TRAM Warriors,  

Choose_life, how cum you didn't start posting six days ago my friend?   We may have had a few yucks together while you wre coming off this thing.  Congrats on 6 days between you and little white pill.  You hve made it through the acute withdral, YAY!

There are a variety of symptoms in "post acute withdrawal", which will linger for "weeks and weeks".  I continued to have some difficulty sleeping ( on and off ) and a lack of concentration at work.  Others feel depressed, anxious, etc. for a while. but all of these thinggs will pass if you keep putting time betwen yourself and the white pill.   PEACE.  

Marc, Don't feel bad for heavens sake.  The slip isn't terminal.  The good news is that you will have the opportunity to start anew if you want to.  This is one of the few things in life that we GET to determine the outcome with.  Others here have said it well.  Nobody said that this withdrawal from the demon drug will be easy.  Frankly, some have come on her and told us that kicking trams is harder (for them) than kicking heroin.

You really do NEED to become single minded about what you are attempting to achieve orwait until you develop that WAR like attitude.  .  I'm not saying that yours were half hearted in your efforts, but nothing short of a a personal declaration of all out WAR on this drug will get you through that first 3-5 days.  Period.  But like I said, the good news about thissituation is that you get to determine your outcome.

Many of us suffered regular withdrawal symptoms for years (when we found ourself running low). So one needs to decide whether they want to continue to subject themselves to these regular withdrawals or put in 3-5 days of HELL to be totally done with this drug.  

West, if you have INVESTED  over 2 days now, don't give up before the miracle happens.  You WILL find focus and concentration difficult for the next few weks, i don't want to kid you.  But your gears will kick in in time for you to successfully study for and pass the bar exam.  If you told us that the bar exam as this month, i might be tempted to tell you to stay on thedrug until AFTER theexam.  But my late July, you should be fine. you'll see.  

I know I have not responded to some of the questions some have posted tonight. It's nothing personal, it's just 1:15 a.m. PDT and I am needing to hit the sack now.

Be of courage, strength and filled with love,

Fred

Avatar universal
by choose_life, Jun 11, 2009
Thanks for your words of wisdom Fred! I really seriously didn't have the proper head space to post earlier , all my concentration was spent , if you know what i mean!! However I did gain sooooo much strength from reading on here what i could as each day past, and now i feel at the end OF DAY SIX !!!!! I can finally start to get on with communicating with rest of the world!

Which brings me to West - You can do it man! Once you get thru the first god awful 5 days or so, i am sure you will have the strenght back to begin studying - i know i feel at this stage if i had to i could.....STAY STRONG...!!

It is a war like attitude you need to be rid of this nasty pill, which is why when i had to think of a name for this 'Choose Life" sprang to mind immeadiatly, because its war and i choose life not defeat.......

We can do this, and come out the other side much better off for it.......

Cheers xx

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by bjb97, Jun 11, 2009
Ella -- Thanks for your comments regarding the Neurontin.  I know weight gain is a side effect that I'm hoping I can curtail by lots of exercise and staying on a very low dosage.  I am going to slowly increase the dosage as I feel needed but right now (and I just started two days ago) I am only taking 300 mgs/day every other day then on Sunday I will increase to 300 mg/day and stay at that if I feel it is working.  My body is really sensitive to starting new medicine so I need to do it very gradually.

Do you think the weight gain was due to your increased higher dosage?  Do you have any other side effects?, i.e. fatigue?  Does it help your mood?  I was hoping I could quit using the combipatch I use for menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, moodiness) because I read that neurontin helps with this.  Is this true?  

Thanks for your help Ella.

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by Lillyval, Jun 11, 2009
Westpost - I think everyone already said it all, but I'll just add that I'm only 10 days post-tram and I'm reading again.  I have always enjoyed reading a lot but towards the end of my tram addiction I just couldn't focus or I'd read a whole book and pretty much forget most of it.  The point is, even in early recovery I still think I'm better off than in the tram fog.  I would definately study for the bar tram free.

Kev - thanks for bringing up the concept of wishing our bodies well.  It's so true that we haven't taken care of ourselves physically.  When I went to the doc I learned that I had gained weight- and in the past I would have beat myself up badly for it.  But now maybe I'm at the point where I just need to stop neglecting my health and try a little nurturing for a change.  Since I decided to ignore the doctor I stopped drinking coffee because it was killing my stomach, and now I'm drinking tea with local honey.  I'm also eating better.  It's a small start but hope springs eternal.

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by EmilyPost, Jun 11, 2009
Marc I absolutely wish I had no idea what you were talking about with the severe pain and wish to die instead. But, yeah, I know. The thing about withdrawal is that it can be managed. ESP Tramadol withdrawal. You can fortify and strengthen yourself by using good food and vitamins.

I barely remember some of the withdrawal and tapering from Klonopin except to say that if anything people have minimized the severe suffering of Benzo tapers and withdrawal. This is serious brain scramble. I actually think that 30 days after jumping off, it got a little bit worse. Yesterday it was like having a migraine again, only it was withdrawal related. I couldn't work. Heck, I couldn't leave my room. I can't even imagine trying to drive like that. I found the parka again and did the only thing I know how to do during such severe pain. Distraction. Computer, movie, magazines, anything but focus on the nerve wracking pain. It's very much like being electrocuted. The nerves are all on edge. I feel like a loaded spring. Today is better, but the symptoms are back somewhat. Sweaty, clammy, gross feeling all over the body. Someone turned up Gravity on this planet. Almost NONE of my thoughts belong to me and almost all of them are 100% insane delusional nonsense. Yes, Darkness. Dark as coal, black as night. Evil. Creepy.

I remember a number of years ago I had this ... "friend" who insisted that I needed to go to a Pain Management Clinic. I laughed at him because in my experience they put your on methadone, and have you make "art" from macaroni. I made him call and get the details on what they did, and sure enough .. "Yes, we do have the patients make paper clip holders ... with elbow macaroni."

Just the thought makes my pain increase.

To be fair, the pain flare was no doubt due to pushing it, trying to do too much way too fast. They say that STRESS increases withdrawal symptoms. And to be honest Tuesday was ridiculous. The type of stress where you wonder how much more you can take.

Like KC, I have no fuse and ridiculous amount of fury! It's ... really awful. But the Science behind it is solid. It's Limbic Primitive Rage. The truth about the Benzos is that they use them inappropriately. None of these Doctors has a single clue about tapering or how to actually get off the Benzos. Certainly in the US, they are on a Gravy Train. Really it is the truth that during withdrawal, you want to speak to others who have been thru it and "Get Their Life Back." Mainly cause your brain throws you fast curve balls all day long that say, "You're DYING!" It is terrible and very realistic.

It's the drug withdrawal. It's just the symptoms and the symptoms will not last forever.

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 11, 2009
Hello all, this may be of interest to some:


Headache attributed to substance withdrawal
Usually follows daily intake of a substance for longer than 3 months, which is then interrupted.
The headache develops in close temporal relation to withdrawal of the substance
The headache resolves within 3 months after withdrawal
Common examples of substances causing withdrawal headaches include:
Opioid-withdrawal headache
Oestrogen-withdrawal headache
Caffeine
Headache attributed to withdrawal from chronic use of other substances; it has been suggested, but without sufficient evidence, that withdrawal of the following substances may cause headache: corticosteroids, tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

From patient UK site. Headache from substance withdrawal.

Tramadol is an opioid.

I post this because a migraine or tension type headache is the only major symptom I have after 16 days tram free.  But get this,  the headaches did not start on day 1 but on day 8.  I should have wised up because the headaches are exactly like the caffeine headaches one sometimes get if they are big coffee drinkers like me and stop abruptly.

I took a half pill of fioricet (a barbiturate w/acetaminophen and caffeine)  and it helped but it also causes breathing problems (just like tramadol) so I decided to forget pills and just wait it out.  The same article above says the headaches could  last up to 3 months.  Heck, bring it on.  I'm paying the piper anyway so he might as well play!

Apart from the headache things are getting back to "normal".  At least the anxiety is abating and I'm cutting the ambien use in half.  I'm almost there.

Emily,  I like your gallows humor and your last statement.  I agree, unless otherwise diagnosed it's just drug withdrawal.

Blessings to all. Lillyval,  congrats on day  10.  Reading and eating better, huh? Great news!  Finally Fred, thanks for your posts, they are always inspirational.

Choose_life,  good for you on day 6 tram free.  Probably just like you there are other anonymous "just readers" out there also being helped by this forum and that is VERY good.

Blessings to all......clen

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by 12Stepper, Jun 11, 2009



Just checking in--I've had fllu like symptoms for the last 3 days (about 5 weeks tram-free). Was in terrible pain all over (mainly headache, weakness, acid stomach) for about 2 days. Don't know if it's w/d coming late in the game or just a nornal flu bug. Guess it really doesn't matter. The important thing is that regardless, using tram was the last thing on my mind! Also, I had my first night of sleep without the benedryl sleeping aide. It has been so long since I've slept without a chemical aide, it was truly refreshing.

Westpost, I believe tram affected my memory. While on tram, I felt like I was doing better than I was, but I now have trouble remembering the things I learned while taking tram. During acute w/d I could not concentrate on anything. Today my memory seems to be improving. I know there is life after tram.

Bless all for sharing! Linn






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by 12Stepper, Jun 11, 2009
Great timing on your comment Clen! 3 mos! Oh well, I can survive this. Every day gets better. Even when I'm in bed and can't move, I know I'm still moving forward, putting more time between me and tram. It was inspiring to read the posts even when I didn't have the energy to write one. I'm grateful new people are discovering this site. We can make it through the day, blessings all, Linn

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by Lillyval, Jun 11, 2009
Choose_life - I'm glad you found this forum.  I check in here every day now and it really helps inspire me to keep going.

I had a rough day today.  Up to this point I kept saying I'm doing better than I expected.  So I thought the worst was over.  But today I was so lethargic.  I took my daughter to the doctor, bathed and barely got up the motivation to make dinner - and essentially not much else.  I even cancelled a committment I had this afternoon.  I thought I'd be on the upswing by now, but the house is a mess, the laundry is piling up and it's a challenge to stay up long enough to put the kids to bed.  I don't have the urge to take tramadol - which I should count as a blessing - but I just want to be a normal human being again.
Blessings everyone,
Lilly

PS Clen - I'm sorry about the headaches - but I can see your resolve is unshakable and you will prevail!

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by madtram, Jun 12, 2009
Choose Life, hi from another Aussie, hope you continue to feel better.

Westpost, don't know what you decided but for what its worth, my studies have gone so much better post tram, (I worked as a corporate attorney for 20 years, before going back to school to study medicine 2 years ago).  Particularly in the last year of tram where I was getting regular withdrawal symptoms as a result of dose tolerance, my retention & memory were fubarred & I had periods of being incapable of grasping any but the most simple concepts.  I was on the stuff for years, so my recovery is likely to be  more protracted than yours after 8 months. There is solid evidence for the benefits to brain function & neurogenesis of supplementation with acetyl l carnitine & alpha linolenic acid, (you can buy as a combined supplement).  Piracetam can also increase the supply of energy to the brain.

Em, what have you got against art therapy & macaroni, maybe you should explore this with your therapist, (if only you didn't fire Dr groovy).

BJ, Neurontin acts on the GABA receptors so is good for decreasing anxiety which would likely help with menopause related mood swings.  Hot flushes on the other hand are likely caused by fluctuating hormone levels so your patch would be more effective for relieving those.  Maintaining estrogen levels can also assist overall brain function & energy levels.  Why do you want to quit the patch, (if I'm not being too personal?).

For anyone else suffering anxiety, I am still finding high dose Inositol very effective.  I need to take 10-12 grams per day but it was the only thing that worked for my withdrawal heart palps.

Extra hugs all round,

Michelle

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 12, 2009
bjb,  Okay, you know my eyes glaze over when people talk about chemical properties of this drug and that.  It's never been an abiding interest of mine to reasearch this stuff - and maybe that's to my shame.  

But as to gabapentin/neurotin causing weight gain,  that's not my experience.  I have actually lost 10-15 pounds over the last six months since stopping the trams and starting the low dose of gabapentin.  (6-900 mg/day).  

My theory on weight gain/loss is pretty basic - like most of my other thoughts seem to be.  The way I figure it, if I eat more calories than I burn, I will gain weight.  Yes, some drugs supress appetite and some stimulate it.  Some increase or decease metabolism.  Some drugs make you forget how much ice cream you ate last night and other drugs make you lethargic and not want to excercise.  But ultimately, if one puts in more calories than one burns off, over time...it's just math.

And I should add that I am thinking about the weight and excercise stuff these days.  I have 30-40 lbs to loose.   So I am not speaking as an "arrived" healthnut, but someone who recognizes that this too (weight) is (fortunately) something that is entirely within my control.  Sorta like the decision to use tramadol or not use tramadol.

***

Yeppers, there are post acute symptoms.  I suppose headaches could be one of them.  but not everyone who stops taking tramadol is doomed to have a  headache for three months.  Likewise, not everyone will wind up with anxiety, or depression, insomnia, or lack of concentration.  I am apt to draw critcim with this next comment, but some of us had some of these symptoms before we started using tramadol.  

And stopping tram use will not solve ALL of our problems.  But here is what I know.  (1) Tram use CAUSE S pain.  (2) Tramadol use also masked things we GET to feel again after discontinuing the drug.  We have a finite number of days on this planet.  And we GET to chose whether we will live it on or off the drug.  With our without the foggy brain that trams cause.  (3) I am pretty certain that everyone who uses tramadol will stop one day.  For six years, as I  lived with tramadol, there was never any question in MY mind about the fact that I would quit one day.  What I didn't know were the circumstances surrounding "my quit".  Whether it would be before or after they put me in the ground.

Every tram user has three choices:  (1) stay on the lousy prescribed dose and continue to experience regular withdrawal symptoms, the FOG, and so much more, (2) take more and more of the drug over time to try to overcome the tolerance this drug builds up in us, or (3) quit.  If anyone has another option, I'm all ears.

I have seen folks come on this forum and report taking more than 30 pills/day.  And I would be the last person to critise someone else's huge quanities taken each day.  It's one of the three options.  The nature of this drug use is that it seems progressive.  It won't get any easier in time to quit.  I came to believe that the first two options were no longer viable alternatives for this person.  So what remains are the terms and timing of our "quit".  

***

We talk about lack of concentration, lack of energy. I get that.  But I firmly believe that I lacked these things while I was in the TRAM-A-FOG, except that I didn't know or I didn't care.  Am I the only one who was perfectly content  to GAZE out the window in the tramadfog as somebody tried to get my attention.  What sort of "concentration" was that?  

I recall complaining to Mrs. Fred that first month or two AFTER trams about how far behind I was getting at work.  The enlightening Mrs. Fred said to me, "you have always complained about being far behind at work as long as I have known you."  Ouch.  Maybe the shoe fit.

Maybe we need a refresher on how well we concentrated while ON the drug.  What are your stories?  Here are a FEW examples of MY lovely  concentration while on the drug:  (1) walking into a room and not remembering why I had entered that room, (2) scraping the dishes into the garbage can every night after dinner...and wondering months later where all my forks had gone, (3) turning left against traffic and being unaware that there was oncoming traffic until I heard the HONKS of horns, (4) lacking all natural passion for people places and things, (5) ignoring the symptoms of my LAST cat that died in August 08, bercause I was tram-a-spaced until it was too late, (6) watching the same movie numberous times, with nothing more than, "this SORT of looks familiar.  (6) ______________.  Tell me how wonderful YOUR concentration was.  Mine sucked.  

***
There ARE so many things in life that are entirely OUTSIDE our control.  Things that regardlesss of our determination and desire to change them, will be unaffected by our will to change.  A month or so ago, my doctor sat across the room from me,  typing things into his computer the way they do now.   I still recall when an "exam" was an exam.  When they looked down your throat, and pushed on your chest, and listened to you breathing.  But I digress.  After my doctor duly documented in his computer my weight and the BP reading his nurse had taken while he was talking to the drug reps, he had the adacity to sugget that I needed to loose some weight.

I'll be honest, my first reaction wasn't positive.  I actually told him, "that isn't goning to happen doc."  But as I  left his office, I began thinking, shit, he could have told me that I had terminal cancer.  Something that regardless of how much effort I expended, there would be no changing the outcome.  So I determined that i would begin to watch what I eat and start to excercise again.  Because this thing TOO is within my control.

Why am I talking about weight loss on a tramadol forum?  Because I think there are a great deal of transferable lessons.  (Emily, maybe you will chime in on this)

First, for both the tramadol user and the person who is overweight, these predicaments didn't hit us overnight like a runaway freight train.  In both cases, we were lulled into the current state, over time, as the unacceptable became slowly acceptable.  I didn't wake up one morning suddenly realizing that I was a tram addict or that I was overweight.  

Secondly, UNLIKE some things in life, BOTH situations are entirely within my control to change.  Neither battle is fun and neither battle is easy.  But at least in both cases, the seemingly impossible CAN be possible if I am willing to work for it.  At least in these cases, ther can be  a happy ending.

Third, I believe that change in either case begins by experienciing that moment of clarity we each experienced at the start - as we realized that it WAS at least POSSIBLE  TO BEAT THIS DRUG.   I have "thought about" stopping the TRAMNSD or loosing weight many times.  But until the penny dropped and I GOT that change was indeed possible, I lacked the vison to affect the change.

Finally, in both cases, it isn't necessary (or even possible) to walk into the promise of sudden weight loss or a tram free life without experiencing both pain and setbacks.  Really pain?  Yup. Setbacks?  Sure, you bet.    But while we may not be suddenly and painlessly transformed, there is something terribly EXCITING that ocurrs inside me, as I vision the prize.  As I begin to believe that change is possible.  That today is but a start.  And that where I am at today, isn't where I will hope to end up.

Regardless of how low we have fallen,

or how overweight we are,

O how terribly addicted we have become to this rat poison,

There is something magical that happens when we realize

that the place where we are standing TODAY,  

isn't the promised land we hope for.  

When we KNOW that where we are AT THE MOMENT,

isn't THAT place where we will end up.

A book somewhere says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.  And it's a MARVELOUS THING to stand right where we are, and yet know that where we are headed, will be a different place.  

My hope tonight is that all who read this WILL have faith, that you are able to  keep your eye on the prize and know that while the battle will surely be difficult, it at least CAN be won.  

This "tramadol problem" is something you can do something about.  

Because you could have gotten  up this morning with a problem that WAS outside your control.  

Like terminal cancer.  

Courge Strength and love to you all,

Fred

Avatar universal
by BVD660, Jun 12, 2009
Well said Fred!

Hope and faith keep me moving forward every day.  I am becoming more and more
receptive to change much unlike before.  I lived in my own little bubble for so many
years on tramadol and have now realized all that I didn't fully experience during
my trama-hypnotic years.  I woke up and realized I was 8 years older, my kids had
grown, and nothing was the same.  But change is good and I accept it now.

I forgive myself and am looking forward, excitedly, at what the future brings.

Today is day 60.  I'm eating right, exercising, and I feel good.  I am mending relationships,
I have more patience, empathy, and caring for others.  The numb feelings are gone.

At 60 days, all of you new warriors will look back and say that the suffering you're
experiencing now was well worth it to get here.  

Keep fighting tramadol!

Boe

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 12, 2009
Wow... Fred,, What a wonderful piece of writing. I really needed that this morning.  Could not have come at a better time.  I have not posted for a week. last week was rolling along pretty well...I even had a sense of humor. This week has been hell week much like Emily is describing. I am still off the Tram and have NO intention of ever returning to the evil drug that has made me so, so sick.
I would like to come off of zanax in the future. This scares the hell out of me as I have been on it for a very, very long time.... It was given for an inner ear balance problem that I have had for over 20 years. My balance system was WIPED OUT ..either by a stroke or viral illness years ago. I spent 2 years vomiting and unable to walk, drive or work. I was sent to a university for evaluation and was told with time... my brain would heal and I would relearn how to walk and I would not throw up.  The zanax is given to me to SLOW the water down in my ears and stop vertigo. I guess when your balance system goes down there is nothing to slow the water in your ears. With out meds. water spins around too fast and thus the vomiting, vertigo and no balance again. My doctor has no intention of taking me off this medication. He says I need it to not have the spinning sensation, vomiting and vertigo. I have been on the same dosage for years and that dosage is 5mg. 3 times a day. Some days I only take two doses and still feel pretty good.
The question that I fight all the time is do I dare go off this and become so ill... that it starts the no balance thing up again with the vomiting and vertigo? ... or do I go along with doctors plan?..Very scary  

Anyone out there that has this condition may know what I'm talking about. When I walk my eyes still bounce and sometimes it's still hard to focus....but I am so much better than I was when balance system went out.

Last but not least ...my hubbie told me last night he was tired of me talking about coming off of Tram. He cannot understand why it has taken me 3 mos. to feel better. Bottom line..he's just really pissed off that I have not had the energy or focus to run around all weekend like a{ hyper active jack rabbit.}
So for me this week has sucked big time. I cried a ton of tears last night after hubbie did the verbal attack and do feel that he has no idea what this W/D is like. Like I said .." I feel so much better" ...but still would like to relax on the weekends as I have a VERY demanding job. Does this make sense to anyone? Today I'm sorta losing it..Any information would be most helpful...peaceful weekend to all..

544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jun 12, 2009
I think that people tend to get really scared Grandmagirl when we are no longer Superwoman during withdrawal. Tramadol withdrawal kicked my butt heartily. I'm a very strong person, but it wiped the floor with me. The Klonopin withdrawal, taper and now .. this lingering High Gravity/ I'm Insane Portion is very scary for me. I see my husband starting to get impatient. I see him getting scared and I know that he could potentially verbally attack me the way your DH did.  

I know that doesn't erase the fact that he verbally attacked you. But he is indeed helpless. He's not able to fix you or help you. People often respond to being helpless with aggression. I can only hope he is sorry he did that. Only Time Will Heal. Time will heal you. (and me)

As to the Xanax and the vertigo and tolerance ... I find it really hard to believe you are not in withdrawal tolerance from the xanax. DO you know what I mean? I haven't heard of anyone given Xanax for that long w/o reaching WIthdrawal Tolerance. But ... I don't know for sure.


(((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))


Em


Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 12, 2009
Update on my post earlier today...I'm taking   .5 mg. 3 times a day  { Not 5 mg. 3 times a day}.. so it's a gram and one half a day of zanax for balance vomiting and vertigo..

When I reread my post ...I realized the error in the dosage I posted...Not to worry everyone I know a gram and half is a lot....but at least "land of the Large" is not on 5 mg. 3 times a day. That would be a way bigger problem than I already have. Thank you for all your posts today ..they have helped me so much..

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 12, 2009
Hello all.

Finally Fred was right about those headaches not necessarily lasting 3 months.  That article on withdrawal headaches probably meant the extreme was 3 months long.  My headaches started to abate today about day 10 since start of the headaches.  Which means one less symptom to worry about. It's really a strange dance this withdrawal.  Headaches go and abdomen pain starts.  I either sleep well or eat well, but not both!  However none of the symptoms are as bad as day 4 of WD.  I'll take the headaches and tummy aches anytime.

I have cut down the ambien use in half.  Soon I'll try a no-amb night.

I'm sorry to hear about some people having problems with their mate. On top of all the physical problems with tramadol use we also get problems when we DON'T  want to use it.  I really can't help much in that area since my wife thinks I'm crazy.  She says "tramadol, shramadol, all you need is a swift kick in the..."  She's right but it's the tramadol doing the kicking.

I really don't have much to add today.  I guess once you're post tram there aren't  too many horror stories to tell.  I really am a humorous person but I hesitate to joke too much while many are going through the pain of WD.  It's no laughing matter.

Regards and blessings to all, another day tram free......clen




Avatar universal
by westpost, Jun 12, 2009
hey all. thanks for all the advice and support. i actually went back to taking about 100-150mg/day for the last two days because my girlfriends family was in town and i felt like i couldnt even get out of bed. excuses, excuses . . . i know. im trying not to fall back in.

i went to my doctors this morning and she suggested taking an extended release version (at 100mg) for a couple of days (one every 24 hours) to help step down and then take 25mg or 12.5mg of the regular stuff (since the XR does not come in a does smaller than 100mg) for a while before cutting it out completely.

has anyone tried this approach?

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 13, 2009
Westpost,  I'll bet someone here will have some experience that may benefit you.  I am afraid I don't.

Grandmagirl,  Personally, I would be slow to start tackling another withdrawal (zanax) until the tramadol in a long distance in your rear view mirror. But that's just me.  Maybe KC or Emily can weigh in on this one for you.

I can understand your not wanting to " run around all weekend like a hyper active jack rabbit. "   (that was a little funny, the way you put it.)  For those of us working at demanding jobs, weekends may be much needed times to charge our batteries. And adjusting to life without trams is an adjustment.

Being on tramadol(and most other drugs)  for a long time while DOES impact our relationships with our spouses.  I don't think I personally appreciated how much until I stopped.  

Consider this, we were a near zombie for years.  Our spouses may not like who we have become, For years, we carawled  into our little zoned out world and thought everything was FINE.  But it's not fine.  

To illustrate this point, I draw on my prior addiction to alcohol.  I drank every night for years.  I think my wife got used to living with someone whose primary purpose after work was to "vacation from the day" by drinking large quanities of wine on a daily basis.  And thankfully, eight years ago I was able to stop drinking.  

After that, I thought that I had escaped without having done any damage during my drinking days.  I had never been arrested for DUI, I had never lost my house, I had never beat my wife, and I had never lost my job. Like many of us who get free from tramadol, I thought that my years in the bad zone hadn't affected much.  Until one night, I STUPIDLY remarked how fortunate we were that my drinking had not affected our relationship.  Oh boy.  Did I get an ear full.  

My point is that I think our tramadol use DOES affect our spouses, it does affect our marriages, it does affect our friendships. In fact, we become a different person after we stop taking trams.  If we are very fortunate, our spouses will adjust and get to like the new improved person we have become.   But this PROCESS does require an appreciation for the changes we have been through.  It does require talking about these changes.  It does require work.

Clen, you said, (my wife)  says "tramadol, shramadol, all you need is a swift kick in the..."  She's right but it's the tramadol doing the kicking."   I just don't think that anyone who has not followed our path fully understands what we have gone/are going  through.  Being the most kind and loving peson in the world doesn't help that person understand and no amount of explaining can substitute for what they cannot experience for themselves.  

There are probably people who have succeeded better than I have at this adjustment.  But I know that an adjustment must be made. It's not like we are the same people.  Even changes for the better take adjusting to.

And I know for a fact that when I was going through acute withdrawal, Mrs. Fred was impatient and tired of hearing about how I was doing, "my tramadol friends", etc.  Recovery sometimes IS a lonely journey. We travel a road not well understood by others, including people who love us.   But shall their impatience alter how I feel about this drug?  Shall their impatience stop me from continuing the course I have chosen?  Shall their impatience stop me from sharing my experience, strength and hope with others?  

Each one must answer these questions for themselves.  

In the meantime, I'll just keep busy.  Because as someone said here recently, it's the journey, not the desintation that ultimately matters.

Goodnight to All,

Fred



Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 13, 2009
Hello,
I’ve been lurking around and getting so much help and inspiration from these posts.
This will be my 3rd attempt to rid myself of Tramadol.

I’ve been addicted to anything and everything since my teenage years. I lived overseas and my gang of friends and I helped ourselves to all sorts of things, literally by walking into pharmacies and asking for pills and taking huge amounts of them. There were contests to see who could take 200 of a synthetic morphine tablet for the Bicentennial in 1976, for instance. I don’t know what happened to that guy but he never walked the same again.

When I reached my 20;s and no longer had instant access to pills I started to drink, and man did I drink. I am only 5’4 and weigh 125 pounds but I drank, drank and drank. Finally at 26 I quit, cold turkey mainly because I began to experience weekend long black outs and that scared me to death.

At the hospital after the birth of my son I was given a Vicoden to help with pain and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Not having a doctor who would give me any of these, I just stole a prescription pad and wrote my own scripts, for about a year before I was caught by a pharmacy. Bad C/T that night, and that was really the first C/T I ever had up to that point.

So I quit that routine and went to many NA meetings and was clean for most of my 30’s and early 40’s. Then I found out about the online pill pushers. Wow, I was so excited to be back in the game again. I signed up with one of these online pain clinics based on some TMJ pain records I had laying around---yes, that’s all it took was to fax the doctor those and he charged me a $100 consult fee, talked to me on the phone for about 2 minutes and prescribed 180 Norcos with 3 refills. That was a pretty darn expensive 2 years and those people (mainly Florida) were so shady. I actually had a nurse on the phone once and she was slurring her words so bad I could hardy understand her. All of the time wasted waiting for the phone consults and the Fed Ex guy. The withdrawals were pretty bad when I ran out…BUT hey there was always tramadol to take on those days and it helped.

OK, skip to 5 years later. I gave up on the expensive Norcos because the tramadol was so much smoother, cheaper and easier to get. OK here I am now addicted to the worst thing in the world and the most painful to get off of.

More Later.
I’m just glad I found you guys.



Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 13, 2009
I should add that I am tapering off of the tramadol, but after reading all day I've decided to "cease and flush the crumbs".....I think the thing that got me to decide that was the discussion about breaking those "non scored" pills into pieces. i have been feally really ill and I think that especially the pills that are purchased online are created in shady pharmacies and therefore the amount of medicine is not consistant, so why waste any more time? I'm DONE

738790 tn?1377724594
by KC67, Jun 13, 2009
Dear onemoretry48,
Thank you for your honesty.  

You have found a safe and non-judgmental place to come and receive support as you rid your body of Tramadol once and for all.  

You will find that there are some people here who have been prescribed Tramadol by doctors - not knowing that they would become addicted.  And you will find people who have used it recreationally - also not knowing its addictive potential.

Either case - it is a highly addictive drug that not only causes physcial withdrawal, but some emotional withdrawal as well.

Glad you have decided to kick the Tramadol to the curb!  

Looking forward to reading your posts as you enter into battle.
Sincerely with hope and love,
KC67

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 13, 2009
onemoretry48:

Like KC67 I  welcome you to the forum and I'm glad you decided for the cold turkey try after what appears to be short taper.  You are probably more experienced with the hardcore withdrawal effects of tramadol type drugs than others here so I guess you know what to expect.  And you know it won't be easy otherwise this forum would be meaningless.  Just keep focused on being rid once and for all of tramadol and associates (tramadol like medication) and the big day will come faster than you expect it.

I agree about the online tramadol pills.  The QA is probably not as rigorous as major brand drugs.  I use to get my supply in capsule form from Colombia and I know as a fact that some of those capsules had NIL tramadol.  Yes, tramadol is much "smoother" than other drugs or medications that's why it's so dangerous.  One day you're playing with it and the next day it bites you.

I would suggest you keep rereading the posts here and see how bad some of the WD symptoms are so they won't surprise you.  It will be tough but for me and a lot of people here the worse part is about 4 or 5 days into cold turkey then it will be downhill.  Although the "downhill" part could last a while,  once you're there just deal with the symptoms and forget about the trams as a solution.

I and others here will be looking forward to your "progress report" and maybe offer a hint or two.  Lots of luck..

blessings to all......clen

895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Jun 13, 2009
This is such an active--and life-saving--board. Good to see new people sharing. I have a wonderful boyfriend but I don't think anyone who hasn't experienced this will take us seriously, especially after 2 or more weeks Tram-fee. "It's time that we just toughed it up and got over ourselves." They just don't get that our souls are fighting a life or death battle. I've just decided to stop mentioning my w/d, for fear of appearing whiney once more.

Since quiting, the old motivation has really been low. In the first few days, finding a reason to go on living was a big deal. Now I am doing better, but still no hyper active jack rabbit--haha. We just have to know that we are doing all we can for today, and if we just don't use, the day is still a success. It's amazing that anyone can keep a job and go through this. If Tramadol was recognized as an addictive drug, we would be in rehab right now doing our 28 days!

It's important to keep posting and letting everyone know how you're doing, because there is so little sympathy out there. It's nice to come here are say what symptoms we are experiencing without fear of judgment. Tramadol is a very illusive drug and w/d is very strange. For me, having no motivation or being depressed is very scary. I've had all my old ghosts come out of the closet and bite me. It has been a month I am grateful to have survived. So lets just pat ourselves on our sleepless backs and be grateful we made it through the day. Onemoretry, welcome, and I hope you find the same comfort and help in these posts as the rest of us.

Blessings, Linn



710395 tn?1249143251
by kevzx81, Jun 14, 2009
12stepper-You are so right about little sympathy out there. I think thats the reason I still post here even though Im several months post tram. No one wants to hear about it, people are focussed on fleeting, inconsequential things a lot of the time it seems. My few friends long ago tired of hearing about my progress; yet this site and my tram w/d has opened a whole new life, a whole new way of life. What else am I supposed to talk about if not my life!!!

I guess we cant expect others to change as we do or understand the changes we go through. Its making for a lonely life for me right now as the people I know just dont get it at all. So here I am, talking to those that do understand.

Ive had some bad days this week, not helped by lots of wind and rain. Ive just had several crops smashed by a late spring storm after a slow start cos of no rain in early spring. But the compost heaps are doing well. The land Im working on was treated very badly by the previous tenant and much of the soil must be renewed. Hence Im pleased about the compost heap.
Just seeing all the worms breeding there, ready to help renew the soil...it feels so good to do something that nurtures life.

KC67-(((HI)))

Fred- Yes, the journey,not the destination. In the arts this is expressed as ' the process, not the object'. In sport 'how well we play, not wether we win or lose'. Yet people in general ( within my limited observation) seem fixed on winning,owning and arriving... If I seem maudlin tonight its because I feel so out-numbered in the world...alone in my views,values and interests.
When I do have plenty of positive energy I have no-one to share it with. So I take strawberries,peas,rhubarb etc instead. Everybody loves a free lunch. I worry that I may be turning invisible.

I have to move to someplace else. Does anyone have a positive energy detector? My work/life do not hold me to one place so I could go anywhere.....out of the frying pan into the fire most likely lol. But somewhere there are less people would be good.
I want to be somewhere new.

Could the DJ play 'I want to break free' by 'Queen' please............

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by madtram, Jun 14, 2009
Hi Kev, how about moving down under.  Of course we have our share of tribes with strange cultural practices, (mall shopping; football obsession & celebrity spotting), but enough of us love our vege patches & contemplating ways to give something back to our planet, you would fit right in. Aren't worms the best, we have a worm farm with 372 "pets".

You current tramawarriors are so wise to cut back on the sleep meds very quickly.  The insomnia was the withdrawal symptom I just couldn't deal with.  Tried every other known remedy including the dreaded diphenhydramine, (established to have a sustained negative impact on cognitive performance as it has a high affinity for crossing the blood brain barrier). Prescription zopiclone, (cousin of ambien) was the only thing that worked.  I was so excited to sleep again & didn't have any morning after residue, that I continued taking it way too long & didn't treat it seriously as a benzo, (which of course it is).  Eventually my script runs out, no big deal I think, time I stopped.  Time for another learning about drugs opportunity, when you quit a benzo cold turkey, (even a "safe" benzo like ambien), not only does the insomnia come back but the tramadol withdrawal symptoms might return as if it was the first week of withdrawal not a month later.  With the benefit of hindsight, toughing out the sleepless nights would have been the better way to go.

For all the injury I inflicted, our cells forgive us eventually & as Boe says, hopefully we forgive ourselves.

For those of us sold the tramagunk by our friendly medical professionals, it's encouraging to see that version 2, Tapentadol, (the same opioid features but with a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor instead of serotonin), has been unable to get Schedule 3 status in the USA so Grünenthal are reconsidering whether to market it there.  Maybe some of the tramadol horror stories are finally being taken into account by the DEA.

Strength to all.

M




Avatar universal
by Jenn2981, Jun 14, 2009
I'm going through Ultram withdrawal and I need help.  I'm severly depressed and am having a tough time dealing with life.  How long will I feel this way. Should I be on antidepressants or will I eventually start feeling better?

Jenn

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by kevzx81, Jun 14, 2009
Jenn2981- The depression is most probably part of the Tramadol withdrawal, it will pass. You may also suffer anxiety, insomnia etc- please read all the posts here for a fuller list of possible symptoms. The first 5-7 days are the worst although the symptoms may persist in milder form for a few weeks.

It would help if you told what dose you are on or if you are in c/t....whatever you do, DO NOT suddenly increase your dose or start re-taking Tramadol if you are c/t as this can cause Grand Mal seizures.

I know it can be scary but you can get through this..keep us up to date on how you are doing. We are all here to help and be helped.

Avatar universal
by Jenn2981, Jun 14, 2009
kevzx81-Thank you so much for responding.  I am very new to this website and actually have never posted anything in the past so I'm not too familiar with the lingo (I don't know what you mean by c/t).  Sorry!  I have taken Tramadol for years to help with my Crohn's Disease (digestive disorder).  Last month I was up to taking 6-8 50mg tablets a day.  I started feeling very disoriented, had a hard time concentrating and just felt like something was wrong mentally.  So, I started weaning myself off.  I have been off for about 6 days and am able to concentrate better but have become very depressed and lathargic.  When I started taking Tramadol it not only helped me with my Crohn's symptoms but also gave me a "better outlook" on life it seemed.  I don't know if it was effecting my serotonin or what but now I feel just really depressed.  I'm very happy to say that I'm off of Tramadol and after having that "not in control" feeling, I really think that I will not be going back on it.  It was a scary thing for me.  I know a lot of others are a lot worse off than me but I do really, really appreciate you responding to my post.  I feel better finding a website that others know what I'm going through and someone who can give me a little encouragement.  Thanks so much, you have helped me.

Jenn

PS I did read through a lot of the posts and then gained enough courage to post something to ask for help/support.

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by kevzx81, Jun 14, 2009
Jenn2981- c/t means 'cold turkey' ie quitting without weaning off ('tapering').
At 6 days you are doing great, the worst should be nearly over though some symptoms do persist a while longer. Mental and emotional effects make quitting tramadol a roller coaster ride, its not good to have our coping mechanisms knocked out just when we need them most! The lethargy is also well known in Tram withdrawal and also passes. Well done for having the courage to persist through this frightening time. Keep up the fight and keep us posted.

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by 12Stepper, Jun 14, 2009
Hi Jenn and welcome, The lethargy, insomnia, and strange lingering melancoly have been the hardest symptoms for me to deal with after over a month Tram-free! Maybe that's because tramadol helped improve my outlook too--more energy, less fear. I wish I understood how it works better, but I believe it did affect seratonin levels. I believe there was a post in previous threads about Tram being an antidepressant and a pain killer. One thing I found disturbing about the post Tram depression was that it comes and goes without any clear pattern.

From reading and posting regularly here, I've gained faith that it will go away eventually. I've had to take a sleeping medication which I'm finally getting off of. Exercise, sunshine, a good mystery novel, movies, hot tea, baths, remembering that it is the tramadol and not just me going crazy, all help. It sounds like you were blessed not to have a lot of physical symptoms, maybe that's because you tapered. It is definitely a time to be good to yourself. I hope you find comfort in these posts as I have. And you can congratulate yourself for being Tram-free! Bless you for sharing, Linn

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by madtram, Jun 14, 2009
Welcome Jen, I agree wih Kev & Linn that after years on tramadol, it just takes time for your neurochemistry to return to its pre tramadol state.  In addition to Linn's excellent suggestions, there are natural remedies that can help with depression as effectively as prescription antidepressants. The amino acid 5htp & the herb St John's Wort both help to restore serotonin levels & have been studied to have no significant side effects when compared with pharmaceuticals.

I need to clarify what I wrote about prescription sleep meds & benzos after a couple of questions came up. My DH came into the room in the middle of that post & wanted to know why I wasn't studying & then wanted to read my post & look at all your profiles so I got distracted.

Firstly, Ambien is the most benign of the Z sleep meds in that it binds to the least number of benzo receptors & as such is less like a full benzo than Lunesta which I was taking. There are 6 subtypes of benzodiazepine receptors & ambien only has high affinity for one subtype with low to medium affinity for 2 subtypes.  By contrast,  Eszopiclone/ Lunesta binds unselectively to all 6 subtypes as do benzos like Xanax & Klonopin.

Although I came to understand that taking sleep meds for around three months had complicated my recovery, I did not appreciate that I was taking a benzo.  I have not found any published studies on the impact of benzos on people whose GABA receptors are already altered as a result of long term tramadol use.  It's quite possible that the symptoms I experienced when I stopped Lunesta were just pure benzo withdrawal & only coincidentally manifested identically to the symptoms I had when withdrawing from tramadol.  However I didn't have those classic benzo withdrawal symptoms of brain zaps etc described so eloquently by Emily & others.

Given the factors of long term use of tramadol & a total benzo sleep med, I don't think my experience can be applied to people withdrawing from short term use of tram, (I don't have any scientific evidence for how long it takes GABA receptors to change but I think that 5+ years of daily use would do it).

Ambien seems to be the sleep med least likely to exacerbate tramadol induced problems with the GABA receptors, although as I'm sure you are aware, it can have some other wacky side effects in some people.  If you don't experience those side effects, I would assess occasional short term use as a much lower category of risk than my lunesta use.

I should also say that in spite of my unfortunate experiment, my receptors have pretty much fully recovered & yours will too so there is absolutely no need to have any anxiety about any change being permanent.

Hope I haven't completely confused everybody.

M

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 15, 2009
Good Morning!
A weekend of Tramadol withdrawal and I am back to work today. It was really an unpleasant weekend.
Some thoughts about tapering….
First of all I must admit that I used tramadol to taper off of Hydros many times so I thought I was oh sooooo clever. I was not successful in my last year 2 attempts to get off this little white jerk of a medicine.and the first or second time it was Cold Turkey.
As I suspected there is still acute pain and suffering in both methods.
The C/T method caused extreme lower body problems, sweating, stomach cramps , just miserable flu stuff.
I relapsed after that cold turkey 3 months ago and I started on my one 50mg a day plan, which now I can see was a long withdrawal that could have been avoided.
Anyway, this time around most of the pain and suffering is from the neck up. Dilated eyes (that one is new), twitching eyes, a huge headache, runny nose, sore throat, just a miserable experience any way you look at it. I didn’t however have the stomach problems or the sweating this time around. So for what that’s worth, but it’s not much.
I’ve never suffered from seasonal allergies but if I did, this extreme case would have had me in the ER.
So, my news this morning is that tapering can make some things easier but it’s really not any better, just different and the 3 months I tapered was cruddy anyway so I would recommend cold turkey. Get it over with, it’s not any better or worse, just different.
THANK YOU grandmagirl for your prayer ,and everyone who posted shortly after I did with encouragement.  


Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 15, 2009
Hello all, good news.  Just went to the psychiatrist at the VA and came out without a RX for anything!  No benzos, no tramadols, not even a sleeping pill.  The doc looked at me and said,  "Well I think we're all done here. I won't schedule another appointment.  If you think you need might in the future need some help just make an appointment"

So I'm through with all those psycho drugs.  And it's strange because they were there for the asking.  He asked me about all the benzos and I answered no to all of them.  I could have had any pill I wanted but now I know that those days are gone, finished, finito, no more.  

I still have some lingering WD from tramadol but no big deal.  Migraines come and go but they might be triggered by a bad tooth.  Have to check that out.  The med I was given for the migraines I chopped into 1/4 and not taking the whole pill as recommended.  We must all be very careful (and fearful) of any medication that is prescribed; you don't want to get on another future WD wagon.

Today is day 20 of cold turkey after a 10 day taper.  Not yet 100% but getting there.

Madram, thank you for the info on the benzodiazepines.  I'm moving cautiously with the ambien as I try to get to the "no pill" sleep point.  

Let me point out something about habitual use of substances and how you can tell you're heading for trouble.  The first sign of trouble is what I call the "pill count".  If you are continuously counting your pills to see how many you have left,  or counting the days to your next RX that is a sign of trouble.   That is happening to me with the ambien.  It's not a matter of knowing how many you have left but the obsessive counting and recounting that could be a sign of something wrong.  So if you find yourself counting your pills and five minutes later counting again you better take that as a sign or warning that something is wrong  and make the appropriate decisions.

That's all for  now tramadol friends,  good luck to all and especially those in a taper and in CT.   Regards to all the fine friends I have met in this forum and remember, it might not be the best of days but it's another tram free day...blessings,  clen.......

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 15, 2009
OMG, just sitting here all day is painful.
I would definetely recommend anything but a desk job during withdrawal.

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 15, 2009
I have random moments today where I remember things I did to stay on Tramadol.
The energy I had to have to stay on this substance, not run out, exhausting, not to mention expensive.

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 15, 2009
The "pill count". I once received more than my usual 180, yep i counted them and i was so grateful, such wonderful customer service from the online grug dealers.......fargin bastages

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 15, 2009
HI ALL!  Just checking in...I'm 41 days TRAM FREE and feeling GREAT! Although, I read the posts regularly, I don't post daily anymore. Just here and there to provide support and give back what was given to me: HOPE!

So here it is:

For those of you that:

1) Have the desire to quit taking Tramadol
2) Are in the middle of the acute W/D's (i.e., Anxiety, Chills, RLS, etc...)
3) Are over the worst few days, but are wondering about the lingering W/D's (i.e., Lethargy, Depression, etc...)

I want you all to know that you WILL feel better after ending your relationship with Tramadol!!

It doesn't matter which method of madness you choose to end it, you WILL be outside of your comfort zone and it WILL be challenging...but you CAN do it.

As for me, I felt that I had to wean from this drug as I could not fathom the thought of going C/T...but let it be known that there are plenty of people here that prefer the C/T method..so, to each their own.

The TRUTH is: You're going to feel like sh** either way...so choose your method and plan a good time to do it...understand that life is not going to stop and everyone is busy, so if you have to, MAKE time. Just remember to go easy on yourself while you suffer (i.e. don't feel guilty about neglecting chores or taking time off of work for a few days)...but more importantly, KNOW that the WORST of it all, usually only lasts a few days. Then, it's like the sun comes out after the storm and you'll be able to cope with the other W/D's that may last for a month (or more for some)...those seem to drop off over time...if you can make it through those few days of the storm...the rest is like a walk through the park in comparison (although still rough...)...

When you are trying to quit tramadol (tapering or C/T), the acute w/d's are 100% unavoidable...it does NOT matter which method you choose, you WILL SUFFER. Many here will tell you that I'm not being negative...I'm just not sugar-coating the TRUTH.  Be prepared to have a few REALLY bad days..but KNOW that the end of your relationship with Tramadol is CLOSER THAN YOU THINK! (literally, you will feel like it will never end...but you'll actually be right on the other side of the door that is about to open for you) HANG IN THERE!!!!!!

Going through W/D daily WHILE TAKING tramadol is never ending, because your body builds a tolerance to the drug and you'll start feeling UNWELL until you take more of it...that is how Tramadol turns on you..Just remember (especially during those few days that are TOUGH....that suffering for a few days of Tramadol at it's worst HAS AN END....and dependency on Tramadol, DOES NOT.

KNOW that you WILL have a BETTER life without TRAMADOL and you WILL get there if you want it bad enough.

Some of you may be going through the lethargic/depression phase but that seems to wear off somewhere around 30 days...but keep in mind that we're all different...along with the different pill taking habits that brought us here.

For me, I felt like I couldn't do ANYTHING. I tried to take my dog for a walk and couldn't make it out of the driveway..Getting THAT far was a task..EVERYTHING was a major EFFORT and that's IF I GOT UP to TRY to do something.

One thing that I was told here and learned very quickly is that these W/D's don't last forever...but keep in mind that these W/D will come and go...as Emily and BOE have said to me: THE W/D's ARE NOT LINEAR..but if you are like me, you will appreciate the good days (or hours, or minutes) so much that you will try to do as much as you can with the time you feel well enough to do them...which I believe helps with the process, because you will be more physically active, etc...which feeds into your recovery...just my opinion, there.

Anyway, you'll notice that it's hard to find even ONE person on this site that will say that it's an EASY task to complete...but you'll find TONS of people that will say that YOU CAN DO THIS!

Listen to your body...and more importantly, ALWAYS consult with your doctor.

This site is a life saver...I truly believe that without this journal, I would possibly still be on Trams. THANKS EMILY!


41 Days TRAM FREE and LOVING LIFE AGAIN!  KNOW THAT YOU CAN TOO!

Strength, Hope and Determination to you all that are fighting this GOOD FIGHT against Tramadol!

~Amy





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by Lillyval, Jun 15, 2009
Hi everyone - I haven't posted for a few days because I haven't wanted to admit  that I broke down and took tramadol, then I took some more.  The only good news is that I stopped before I set myself up for full blown withdrawals again.  I'm clean today and I just feel very, very tired and disapointed in myself.  I wish I could have read Amy's post above before I made that decision because she described exactly how I was feeling when I caved.
"For me, I felt like I couldn't do ANYTHING. I tried to take my dog for a walk and couldn't make it out of the driveway..Getting THAT far was a task..EVERYTHING was a major EFFORT and that's IF I GOT UP to TRY to do something."

My energy was so low last Friday I FORCED myself out for an hour and a half hike in the woods to try for that "feel good" feeling and to snap myself out of it.  Afterward instead of feeling energized I felt like death warmed over and in a sense I guess I lost hope.  So I figured what did it matter if I poisoned myself again - even if it were to only get an hour or so relief.  To make it worse since I didn't have any tram I rummaged through my husbands stuff for a bottle that he had somewhere that I had asked him to keep away from me.  When he found his stuff all torn through he just about threw the bottle at me and said he was done being involved in my recovery (I don't blame him).

For anyone who's ever been in recovery or 12 step programs tell me what this sounds like:  Part of me still believes that I can use sucessfully.  I don't want to be a miserable addict using daily like I was when I got here, but I want to be able to use "once in a while".  I know that's insane.  NA says that a prerequisite for recovery is complete abstinance from all drugs. Peroid.

What may be saving my life right now is having logged on and read Kev and madtram talking about the worms.  I was actually involved in a pretty large scale worm farm here in New England for a time.  Thinking of that really brings me back to the essential things in life.  Thanks you guys.







Avatar universal
by flippers, Jun 15, 2009
Lillyval,  I went through the same thing. During the first two weeks off tram I felt the need to go do the things I used to love doing when I was taking tram. I went on two hour hike that I have done dozens of times on tram. It was horrible and I couldn't wait to get back to my car. Low energy, every bone in my body aching, foggy thoughts. The 10 to 20 day period has been the hardest. No like the acute w/d's but I have tried to get back to normal things and  have found everything to be an effort. I held on to what the veterans here said, but I was just about to give up, thinking "this is how it's going to be for now on". Yesterday (day 28) was the best day I have had in a long, long time. I felt normal for about 75% of the day. I was walking around Home Depot yesterday crying, trying to hide my tears,  because I couldn't believe that I was feeling normal again. The energy was back, I was interested in doing things, etc.  Today was about 50 to 60% normal, but I know that this is not linear, just like everyone says. Still, today is great and nothing like a week ago.  I am soooo looking forward to the next week or two.

For me, that 10 to 20 day period was far more challenging than the acute w/d's. We all know that you are supposed to feel like crap in that first week and I was prepared for it and took it like a champ.  but we have to keep the battle plan in full gear during that "intermediate period", when I feel we are most vulnerable to give up the fight. The best advise I can give you is be patient and try like hell to get to the three week mark. It now seems a little silly that I ever took tram, I mean I honestly feel a little embarrassed over the whole ordeal. But 15 days ago, I was considering every little option about wether or not I could take some "once in a while".

Flip

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 15, 2009
Welcome all new comers....."Time heals all wounds"...I've been told.... I have found this to be true so many times in my life. The good thing that we all have going for us is that ..." we have spent another day above ground." To be alive is the true gift that we give ourselves, friends and family. If your having the day from Hell ..it will get better with time. Time is on our side and it will in the end be the thing that helps us get well.  

Thank you friends for coming to my aide last week. I was really a mess. " Land of the Large" is up and running again.  Except for a small zinger on Sat morning.  I awoke rather happy...Then it hit....I realized that we were out of CAT FOOD... TOILET PAPER... DISH SOAP... COFFEE.. and LAUNDRY SOAP... things at  "Land of the Large do not run well when we are out of these items. No cofffee for hubbie ...ugly... no cat food for LAND OF THE LARGE"S...Very Hungry Cats... ugly...no toilet paper.. ..very ugly... for those who needed it. I spent the morning running to the nearest store to buy these items so the day would run SMOOTHLY.  Hubbie got the coffee...cats got the  cat food..and I got the toliet paper..  Hoping everyone is healing....Hugs to all...




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by 12Stepper, Jun 15, 2009
Good evening Friends, It is a good evening, thanks to making it through another day without using Tram. Love to read your progress reports. Even if you're having a slip, horrible day etc., you come back and post, and that's the important thing. Life does get better, and I am grateful to know what great days are possible without needing Tram.

I'm having a great day (about 5 weeks Tram-free). Started out feeling a little purposeless (the Tram influence, probably), but my volunteer work got very busy and was soon happy that I could be helpful. Made dinner for a very understanding boyfriend, some cat-caretaking, went walking around the neighborhood--some pain but saw a lot of flowers, getting to read how you guys are fairing. The lingering darkness in my soul was very small today.

Clen, glad to hear of your report from the doc. No pills. That must have felt wonderful. There is sleep without sleeping pills. I finally did it again. I used Sleepytime Tea and an herbal supplement. I will not be refilling my scripts for Tram or Vicodin (used it off and on with Tram). I might kid myself that I can use once or twice a month, but reality is soon once or twice a day--then this nightmare to eventually stop. Never again!!

Amy and Grandmagirl, glad you are doing so well! Lilyval, there may be a "30 Questions" in NA you can take, and their literature, as well as that in the Big Book of AA, is very helpful about the nature of addiction. Unfortunately, doctors don't consider Tramadol addictive, so that's why we're all so lucky to have found this place. Thanks Em, Thanks everyone. There is hope. Blessings all, Linn

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by kevzx81, Jun 15, 2009
Lillyval+Madtram (((thanks))) so good to have some company in my love of worms. Its sunrise (5:20am) here with lots of cloud cover but no storm clouds.....humid and warm...the compost heap took some heavy showers yesterday so Im off to put the cover on it...should get good and hot in there!

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 16, 2009
Lilly, You asked, "For anyone who's ever been in recovery or 12 step programs tell me what this sounds like:  Part of me still believes that I can use sucessfully.  I don't want to be a miserable addict using daily like I was when I got here, but I want to be able to use "once in a while".  I know that's insane.  NA says that a prerequisite for recovery is complete abstinance from all drugs. Peroid."  

A couple of things...First, while I don't have much experience with NA, I would be surprised if they insisted on complete abstinance to come to their meetings.  But I think that "full recovery" does require complete abstinance with any drug of choice.  

Nobody faults you for what you did before.  Only...um...I don't think that going forward one of us could continue to take "just a few" of the trams again and expect a different outcome this time.  Again, drawing from my experience with AA, the insanity with a drug addiction is believing that we can do what we used to do, only THIS TIME, expecting different results (i.e., maybe we could take a few and not get sucked right back into full blown addiction.  I just don't believe for me, it would ever be possible to take just a few and to not get sucked right back to where I was with the trams.

Page 24 of the big book says, "We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago.  We are without defense against the first (drink) tram."..."There is a complete failure (in addicts) of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove."

Amy, nicely written girl.  NICELY and well written.  

Clen, what good news you received from your doctor.  

Kev, you said, "Yes, the journey,not the destination. In the arts this is expressed as ' the process, not the object'. In sport 'how well we play, not wether we win or lose'. Yet people in general ( within my limited observation) seem fixed on winning,owning and arriving... If I seem maudlin tonight its because I feel so out-numbered in the world...alone in my views,values and interests. When I do have plenty of positive energy I have no-one to share it with. So I take strawberries,peas,rhubarb etc instead. Everybody loves a free lunch. I worry that I may be turning invisible."   I'd submit that you will find people very much " fixed on winning,owning and arriving." here in the USA.  Are you kidding?  If you are really serious about moving, I rather like Michelle's suggestion to move down under.  Then again, wouldn't it be simplest to work with what you have, where you are.  Cause "where ever you are,  there you are."   May I please have a strawberry?

Onemoretry, You said it well, "here I am now addicted to the worst thing in the world and the most painful to get off of."  True enough. but you have made it through 3 of the hardest days of your life now, so if you can just make it through another few days, the monkey will be off your back.   Just think how free you will become, not worrying about counting pills and spending SO MUCH TIME, MONEY AND ENERGY worrying about not running out.  That alone to me, was worth the price of admission.

Flip,  You said, "I felt normal for about 75% of the day. I was walking around Home Depot yesterday crying, trying to hide my tears,  because I couldn't believe that I was feeling normal again. The energy was back, I was interested in doing things, etc.  Today was about 50 to 60% normal, but I know that this is not linear, just like everyone says. Still, today is great and nothing like a week ago.  I am soooo looking forward to the next week or two."    What great news.  Yes, isn't it wonderful to actually FEEL again?  You and I would have great fun, wandering around Home Depot together.  I actually go there sometimes, not needing anything and come home with new yard lights to add to my system, new fawcets, a couple of plants, and usually some "starters" for who knows what "future project" I might get a wild hair to begin.  It's the shopping channel for guys!  The next time you are crying at Home Depot, simply tell one of their helpful customer services reps that you can't locate the ________ and watch what sort of help you get!   You are doing great.

Jen,  welcome to our world.  I hope you continue posting so we know how your recovery is going, OK?

Courage, Strength and Love, fred


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by kevzx81, Jun 16, 2009
Fred- Yes, Australia sounds good does'nt it. I take your point about 'wouldn't it be simplest to work with what you have, where you are.  Cause "where ever you are,  there you are."  Ive lived in several locations, upmarket and down, but the area Im in now has grown very ' ghetto noir'. The third generation of 'Thatchers children' have arrived and prowl the alleyways in hope of finding someone weak or old to stomp to death for a mobile phone and some spare change......I kid you not...nor do I exaggerate.
I want to live where vampires dont rule the night. And yes you can can have a strawberry, clotted cream vanilla ice cream with that?

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 16, 2009
Thanks everyone for your concerns and things.
Yesterday was very difficult for me. 7 days have gone by since I took my last little crumb of tram, and of course, AGAIN…I thought things would be better, earlier, THIS TIME.

This is not the case and yesterday afternoon I crashed and burned, sitting here at my desk, minding my own business. It took 100% of my energy to make it home and get through the evening. I’m telling everyone at home that I have seasonal allergies, but truth be told I’m still, after 7 days in withdrawal.

Some things are better but this depressive cloud over my head and body is really difficult.

Please someone explain to me what the term “this is NOT LINEAR” means. Maybe that will be the things I need to know right now to help me…PLease


Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 16, 2009
Lillyvale:

I'm sorry you're having a rough time..it's rough..and we all know that...none of us here will ever judge you, as we are all here to provide support and encouragement...so understand that setbacks are part of attempts towards recovery...quickly forgive yourself and try again. Don't let others that don't understand your addiction make you depressed for your setbacks...it only weakens you in emotional ways...continue your efforts to move forward-REGARDLESS!  Remember: This is YOUR life, YOUR future and YOUR health...take ownership and keep it movin'!

Ok, here's my two cents in regards to the topic of trying to fit a few trams into your life and thinking that you're going to be successful:

I'm not an expert on addiction, but I think it's safe to say.....

In respect to Tramadol and the type of drug it is and how it turns on you, taking it occasionally would simply be impossible. Only because we all know about the building of tolerance..how it grabs a hold of you..which is why we're all here, isn't it?

When it comes to recovery, I believe that it's important to be mentally strong by being more concerned about quitting completely, rather than making justifications to fit it into your life somehow..that's how relapses and the continuation of taking a substance (not quitting) happens....that's just "how it is" in my perspective....

Thanks for the compliment, Fred! Nice to "see" you again.

As for my own progress report:

I mentioned yesterday that I'm feeling great...and I think the reason for that is because my w/d's are either dropping off or not as intense. The fog is gone. What's weird is that, I didn't even notice until today that I haven't experienced that feeling of "waking up" for about 5 days now...I look back and notice how much more I'm doing in regards to physical activity..my mood is a lot better and I'm feeling normal again. My energy level is comes and goes..but when I think about the big picture, I can say that my productivity has increased overall. More importantly, I feel good WHILE (not after, like it was at first) doing things...this isn't constant..but it's happening more often..and the lethargic feeling is being crowded out more and more by good energy...jeesh, it was just a few weeks ago that I couldn't lift a finger without feeling like it was sucking all the energy (if I had any) out of my body. The weird thing is, I'm so busy enjoying life, that I don't even keep "inventory" of the changes anymore...I think that's a sign within itself.

My point is, change is inevitable...and if you choose to fight the good fight, the change IS good. Remember this when you're going through the worst days...and even the days that follow that aren't the worst but test your hope. Hang in there, be patient with yourselves and know that you're doing the right thing and that when you're feeling the worst of the w/d's that you are approaching that door that is about to open for you...and Tram is fighting to keep you because it doesn't want to be abandoned....but this is the door to a better life...KNOW that when you're feeling as though you can't bare anymore of the suffering, that you're almost there...I can't even begin to explain how close you really are....all I can say is HOLD ON....IT"S WORTH IT.


...Hugs and Hope to all...

~Amy


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by Lillyval, Jun 16, 2009
Fred - as usual you hit the nail on the head:  "We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago.  We are without defense against the first (drink) tram."..."There is a complete failure (in addicts) of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove."

Also you were correct that abstinance is not a requirement to attend NA, the only requirement is a sincere desire to stop using.  "Total abstinance"  as you said is a a requirement to achieving recovery.  I knew the answer to my question before I even asked it.  I guess I was just trying to "come out" about the lies my addict mind keeps telling me on a daily basis.

In earlier threads we talked about how an extended taper might just prolong the agony of withdrawing - the period from using to being clean.  Now that I've read all of your responses about the "in between time" from when acute withdrawal ends to when we start feeling "normal" again - I can only conclude that taking a tramadol or any substitute (like codeine or vicodin) will prolong that period as well.  Like flippes said I took acute wd "like a champ".  I totally underestimated the pain, sadness, depression and lethargy of the next couple of weeks.

Not being numbed by drugs all the time has also given me the opportunity to look at what made me want to be in that fog in the first place.  I right there with you, Kev, "I feel so out-numbered in the world...alone in my views,values and interests".  Like you said and Fred seconded, people around me are obsessed with "winning, owning and arriving".  I just want to slow down, find peace, have genuine connections and appreciate the natural world around me.  I know it sounds idealistic and I guess it is.  They say a cynic is just an idealist who's been disappointed.  It must be my cynical, disappointed (and angry) self that I'm trying to run away from.

Thanks for your support everyone,
Lilly  



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by kevzx81, Jun 16, 2009
Onemoretry- 'NON LINEAR' (in respect to tram w/d) means that the symptoms of w/d will not fade away in a slow steady fashion but sometimes re-appear in strength before finally disappearing. This is what you are experiencing now with the depression, it will fade soon.  Dont be alarmed if other symptoms gain in strength before youre finished, its all part of Tramadols erratic (non linear) pattern.

Lillyval- you said it perfectly ' I just want to slow down, find peace, have genuine connections and appreciate the natural world around me.' Its a tough vision to make real maybe, perhaps idealistic,as you say. Though to be fair on us both, just wanting 5mins to think is idealistic by todays standards.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 16, 2009
Kev,  Sure, a strawberry, with clotted cream vanilla ice cream sounds fab.  Provided you grew the berry and made the ice cream (smiles).  The neighborhood you described DOES sound dreadful.  Here's a trick my dad taught me when I was young that may or may not have value where you are at.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  

It was a snowy Winter day.  I was riding with my dad in our car when I was about 10, and some young mischievious lads stood on the side of the road, packing something in their hands, waiting for us to pass, so they could pelt us with snow balls.  Instead of driving past, my dad stopped along side the boys, he smiled, and asked them how they were.  Needless to say, they were completely disarmed and they didn't throw their snowballs at us.  I have often used that "trick" to disarm people who appear to want to do me harm and it works.  


Lilly, you said, " I knew the answer to my question before I even asked it.  I guess I was just trying to "come out" about the lies my addict mind keeps telling me on a daily basis."  Brave!  I figured you "got that one".   I have an "addict" mind as well.  You will be fine.  You are SO right, about not being numbed by thisdrug, giving us the chance to really examine why we desired to be in such a state.  

And it is afte all, "such a state", huh"

Goodnight all,

fred



Avatar universal
by Bigman7778, Jun 17, 2009
Going throught the tram wd for the 3rd time(4th)day.Ran out of the other pain med(percocet)and had to get last script for tram filled.Now out of refills and will never get them again.Wd a little different every time.This time almost no physical stuff , foggy,crying jags  almost as bad as the  first time.Right now in a fair amount of pain.Saw specialist quack who was no good at all.Wrote a script for anti biotic 5th course not curing pain problem.Have about 40 trams left but really don't want to go back to it.Might have to call Dr. Feel good to get script for Percocet but really don'twant to do that.Been reading ever since I last posted and this site has helped a lot. Later, Big.

Avatar universal
by choose_life, Jun 17, 2009
Hi everyone!!

Its day 14 today for me and I am celebrating!! For the first time today for a few hours I felt the 'real me' return......!! I realised while I was playing with my son, and walking the dog, that I truely had a calm, peaceful happiness within....and not a happiness that was artificially forced by tramadol!!!  This has been the longest two weeks, and I NEVER want to return to a life of dependancy EVER.
I havent posted many comments, but I have been reading your posts often, and many of you are so very inspiring, I just hope you realise how many people your are helping, as I am sure there are many who just read and don't post. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart to all who are clean and keep posting on here to keep inspiring others.
Grandmagirl your kinds words to me were just what I needed the other day, I wish you strength and healing.

I have been taking nearly every mineral and vitamen supplement known to man, and I am sure that it has helped immensley. I have also been taking St.JohnsWort from the first day of C/T (double dose) and the depression I have experienced has been quite mild compared to some others I think. From tomorrow I will start to taper this down as well. I am hoping my energy levels will pick up soon, as I am back at work tomorrow - I took the 2 weeks off to come off tram.

To those who are fighting the fight in the early stages, please know that the end of the horrible feelings is in sight, and you can do it!!  
Strength, calm and happiness to all. xx

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 17, 2009
Not Linear. Oh yeah, now I remember why I tried 3 times to quit tramadol and always went back on. Tricky little situation, or BIG situation, depending who is involved.
I wonder sometimes whether those of us who kept the remainder of our pills , in my case about 60, hidden away suffer longer with the mental w/d’s. Any thoughts on that?
Why haven’t I gotten rid of them?. Well because my brother likes them and seems to have no problem with them and I’m saving those for him when he visits in the fall..
But if I thought for a minute that throwing them away would somehow send a message to my brain and these symptoms would go away I’d throw them out in a minute. I have zero cravings for my stash, just a craving to be done with this process called withdrawal.

Insidious little pill.
Mornings are fine until about 11:00am, then I feel this doom and gloom and it also feels like an elephant is stepping on my chest.
It’s all I can handle just to get through the rest of the day.
But the POSITIVE thing is that I finally sleep well again and when I initially wake up I don’t feel as depressed. But I do ponder the day for those few first minutes of waking and hope that the w/d symptoms will somehow be little better today, and I look forward to the day it won’t happen, just one day at a time.


803105 tn?1238330680
by bjb97, Jun 17, 2009
Michelle-  I just want to get off of as many drugs as possible.  Plus the patch costs $45/mo.  I am cutting them in half so they do last twice as long.  I'm doing this not only to save $$ but to have as low a dosage as possible and still be effective.  However, I WILL stay on it at any cost to avoid the horrible hot flashes.  Thanks for the input on GABA.

Fred, thanks for your comments regarding GABA as well.  Right now I am only taking 300 mg/day and hope to stay on that low dosage.  I'm sure all of the side effects, i.e. weight gain I read about are from people taking much higher dosages AND people that aren't nearly as health conscious and active and I am.

910168 tn?1262466069
by Lillyval, Jun 17, 2009
I've pretty much done nothing but read almost all of the old posts in this forum for the last two days.  I've been trying to re-commit to this battle.  My husband left on a trip today and I flushed his bottle of tramadol down the garbage disposal.  As much as I've come to hate this drug and want to get off of it, I still can't be trusted having it anywhere near me.  That little voice inside just keeps telling me that I'll feel better if I take one, which is a lie.
I know that even though I told my doctor that I'm withdrawing I could call and get a new prescription in a minute, because he just doesn't "get it".  But I'm hoping if I can just get more days between me and tramadol I won't exercize that option.

I want to feel what choose_life felt this morning :

"I felt the 'real me' return......!! I realised while I was playing with my son, and walking the dog, that I truely had a calm, peaceful happiness within....and not a happiness that was artificially forced by tramadol!!!  This has been the longest two weeks, and I NEVER want to return to a life of dependancy"

That is the outcome I'm looking for, and I hope this new forced ct will get me there.
Blessings everyone,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 17, 2009
The good news and the BAD.
Today I felt great, morning....now at 3:45pm the feeling of the elephant crushing my chest AGAIN. Flu-like, running nose AGAIN. It's been 11 days according to my tracker.I fel like my health is going down the tubes and that tramadol was masking the symptoms of something else that is wrong with me?
I've read thse journals 3 times and now I have to ask the question, Is this something more than w/d?
My blood pressure feels elevated.
I don't expect any responses since I am technically "on my way" but I'm writing to keep the sanity..OK?

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 17, 2009
Hello all:

Lillyval, it saddens me to hear of all the difficulties you are having in your battle with tramadol.  The fact that you are still posting here and "forcing a ct" is good news. You WILL be post tram soon and all of us here will let out a huge cheer.

Well that old saying rings true, "when it rains it pours".  I discovered that the migraine like headaches I was getting had nothing to do with tramadol WD.  It seems that the dentist I visited hit a nerve when she gave me a local anesthetic.  Yep, that's all I needed, more pain.  And the pain lasted 2 weeks.  But mercifully it's over and I am now 22 days tram free.  So on top of the "regular" WD symptoms (anxiety, sleeplessness, shakes, tummy aches, nausea and all sorts of phobias) we can also get these unexpected surprise pains.

So now more than ever I am in complete solidarity with all my friends here going through this awful tramadol withdrawal.  Pain is everywhere and sometimes it will come to you from unexpected sources. A simple visit to the dentist turns into a 2 week nightmare.  But it could be worse.  I could still be hooked on tramadol and gasping for air.

If you have made the decision to quit tramadol you have made the right decision.  No amount of incidental painful events should change that.  Walk through it.  Close your eyes if you have to.  We'll be waiting for you on the other side.

Blessings to all.......clen


Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 17, 2009
onemoretry48.

Our posts crossed.  You asked if your symptoms can be something more than w/d. I would venture to say that your symptoms are probably  99% tramadol withdrawal.  Tramadol does mask pain that would otherwise be a signal that something is wrong but your body has a other ways of signaling major health problems.  Blood pressure is one of those signals but you should have it checked. "Feeling" high blood pressure could be just anxiety.  Good luck in your effort.  Your posts show you are going through a real bad WD experience but I know you'll make it through....clen

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 17, 2009
Lillyval and onemoretry..I posted a note for both of you ..but it ened up on the bottom of page 9...Go figure...It's there for both of you to read...

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by kevzx81, Jun 17, 2009
Lillyval-The real you IS already returning. Only the real you could WISH for the return of the real you!!  Thats the passion and spirit thats needed in w/d and I think its a sign you will succeed. Flushing hubbys' stash is another good sign-you know your enemy and your own weakness. Stick to your guns and try to stay busy when you can..distraction helps time pass more easily. I found that having something to think about was key,otherwise the chemical thoughts and feelings can take over.
Courage to you in the fight ahead.

710395 tn?1249143251
by kevzx81, Jun 17, 2009
PS- my new pic is of my compost heaps and is titled 'king of the heap' , although the titles 'Lord Methane' and 'King of Bullsh*t' were also suggseted !

Onemoretry-Holding on to your stash sounds like avoiding the ending. Not to be the bearer of unwelcome news but would your brother really want you to have these pills so close to you if he knew what a danger they represented? It sounds more like the Tram talking. I dont know your brother of course, but I strongly suspect he would put your health above the convenience of having a nearby/fallback stash.
Heres an idea...flush a couple and see how it feels....my opinion is that by flushing our stash we send a strong message to ourselves ie 'I mean it'. It gives solidity to our intent.It means no turning back. It means accepting,as best we can, whatever follows. Many of us are beat up already when we arrive here and doubt our ability to cope. We feel afraid. I still remember that bit very well. Sometimes the stick is better than the carrot though...ie, every day on Tram is a day stolen from our lives, not feeling, drifting apart from loved ones, hurting many others around us....and every day the hooks go deeper and the dose just keeps rising. If I had to fight a person,knowing that I might lose, I would not wait around for them to grow a foot taller!!!!

Avatar universal
by Bigman7778, Jun 17, 2009
The thing that kills me a bout tram wd is how stangely it makes me think,today all day long I have obessing over a particular hollywood actress. I get obessive to the point of out and out irrationality.I know its irrational, tempory, and will clear away in a couple of days but feels so real right now.I am able to resist tram erasily right up to the minute I get get the real deep down emotional need or pain that just won't go away.This morning     Realized how bad I wanted to use and started to cry.5th day and it is just as bad as yesterday.No physical pain presently and that is good. Hoping to stay opiate free in my future.Hoping everyone out there isdoing ok.This site helps so much and am so grateful for it.Best to all.   Later ,Big.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 18, 2009
Bigman,  Yikes, three times withdrawing from this drug.  I won't "touch" the whys you went back, but I have got to hand it to you man.    Many lessor men would have simply given up and gone on never to be heard from again.   I admire your honesty and determination.

Kev,  I so enjoy reading each of your posts.  The wisdom you share, even the off hand comments,  has more impact on my sobriety and mental health than you will ever know.  Incidentally, I am liking your new photo standing on the compost pile.  Glad to see you are wearing gloves!  

You said, "distraction helps time pass more easily".   Or maybe distraction IS the ART of passing time easily?  Reading and posting on this site distracted me greatly that first week.    As I recall, in early December last year, there weren't that many people posting here yet and it was not uncommon for me to post questions and then answer them myself a few hours later.  :)

I have been making a religion out of walking every day before work.  And after dinner, since it's light late, I might go again for the fun of it.  And I am distracted by the energy I burn, the landscaped yards I see along my travels, and the people I encounter.  Nothing succeeds in fighting the laying around, thinking about the trams, like getting out and not thinking about the trams.  (I have a tremendous grasp of the obvious, huh?!)  

Onemoretry,  Of course you are welcome to do whatever you want to with your "stash".  THERE WON'T BE ANY TRAMADOL POLICE COMING BY YOUR DOOR. My belief is that if a person is confident that they are DONE with TRAMS, having them around shouldn't be any big deal.  But if that same person is "thinking" about them, I'd dump them pronto bean fast.  

This was my experience with "the stash".   When I jumped off, I  didn't have a lot left, but maybe a dozen pills and refills I suppose if I had wanted to reorder. That first month or so I think I saw the stash as a badge reminderof all I hated about this drug.  But one day, I was "talking" to Suzipen and she suggested I dump the remaining pills.  I did and low and behold, that next day, I had a craving for them.  I don't know whether I would have taken them or not that next day, but I surely couldn't take what I didn't have laying around.  

TRAMADOL kills.  If I had a brother who was visiting in September, I'd dump the pills and make him get his own damn pills.  It doesn't sound like a good reason to keep them around from where I sit.

And tramadol is certainly capable of masking other health concerns.  Reason 986 for not taking this crude.  I'm not a doctor, but I am not sure that you can "feel" high blood pressure.  But if you are feeling maybe stressed out and "like an elephant is stepping on (your) chest", isn't that a symptom of cardiovascular issues?  If you are worried about the cost and can't get in to a doctor right away, at least stop by your nearest fire station.  There should be paramedics on duty who could take your BP and check you out  The symptoms you describe aren't anything to fool around with.  Log off and go get checked out.

Lilly,  I really do relate to your old addict brain as well as your determination to quit.  Even for those who don't have an "addicts brain", the tramadol makes all users physically dependant on the drug, they build up tolerance, and they will REQUIRE more and more of the drug to feel LESS UNWELL.  Even "normies" will NOT be spared of the acute withdrawal symptoms.  

But our addict brains make recovery doubly hard.  Because in addition to the withdrawal symptoms, we have a side order of craving for the drug.  Here's the thing Lilly, relapse does NOT need to be part of your story going forward.  You can do this.  You will be OK, you'll see.

Some time ago someone (maybe you Lilly?) mentioned wanting to explore the reasons why they took/abused the drug.  

Most addicts abuse a drug because they want to numb themselves from their world of fears, uncertainty and resentments.  I am a big believer in identifying and trying to face those FEARS UNCERTAINIES AND RESENTMENTS.  Because what I find for myself, is that even if I am not using, NOT addressing my fears and resentments, causes me to be an unhappy boy.  So unhappy, that I feel like numbing myself.  Not a good state to be in.  

That's it from me tonight.  

fred

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 18, 2009
bjb, I didn't mean to ignore you.  I hope the GABA helps. If you are excercizing and eating healthy, you shouldn't experience weight gain. Naturally, I have no knowledge of whether it will help with menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, moodiness).  

(((Michelle)))  I am personally so grateful that you keep coming around these walls and that you are willing to share technical things I would have NO idea about.  And you are one of only a handful of people who was here for me in my beginning, who is still posting regularly now.  The impact you have had on my life is immeasurably.  Thank you.  

EM/KC, you are not out of my prayers and good wishes on your benzo recoveries.  This too shall pass.

Fred

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 18, 2009

Hi all!

ONEMORETRY48:
Fred is absolutely RIGHT. Please take his advice and get checked out, if you haven't already.

FRED:
The fire station suggestion was right on time. A lot of people don't realize that they can get checked for free there. Very much worth it when it comes to possible cardio issues. GOOD JOB!

TO FLUSH OR NOT TO FLUSH- That is the question!

Different people, use different methods to find their way to the other side. The important part is doing whatever it takes to get there. In general, it's simple (although easier said than done, of course): If you have craving or are tempted to take Tramadol-by all means, FLUSH "EM!

In my own personal experience, I did not flush and still haven't flushed and remain successful being tramadol free. Other than the feeling to escape the UNWELL feeling that comes with tramadol W/D, especially through the first few days, I did not have and still do not have any cravings. I have a full bottle of trams in my house that I don't even think about. I think that's the ONLY reason why they haven't been flushed yet...because I'm so busy living life and NOT thinking about Tramadol..that I don't even realize that they're there. I consider myself blessed.

I agree with FRED:
If another person's condition is justified, they will be able to get their own prescription. There are many harmful reasons why we should not share prescriptions with others. (Not to mention, enabling). Please take care of yourself and allow your brother to provide understanding for YOU, instead of the other way around.

MY TWO CENTS:
As for convincing yourself that you're "helping" someone if you keep the Trams to give to another person for whatever reason, I do not agree with that at all. Even if giving a prescription to someone else was legal, I would NEVER give someone Tramadol after knowing how it's affected ME. (i.e., how it turns on you, as well as all the emotional/physical pain that it causes). I'm certain that you love your brother and do not want to see him suffer. But if he continues to take your tramadols, he will end up suffering in more ways than one later. Having compassion for him and telling him to seek his own medical attention doesn't mean that you don't love him or care for him. Enabling him to become what we have with Tramadol, is not the answer. He will only end up here or somewhere else looking for help to GET OFF later. So why not help him get off of it or not start it now, rather than later?? Something to think about....

Keep up the good fight...Stay focused...you WILL make it if you want it bad enough..Hang in there and like CLEN said "close your eyes if you have to" - because I DID (literally) and I MADE IT!

KNOW THAT YOU CAN TOO!

*hugs*

Amy

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 18, 2009
Happy Thursday....Kev, Fred, Amy.... Thank you for all for the wonderful information..I have re read  It a few times this morning..This helps so much. Your saving us...By posting you know.. Kev. Loved the picture...so funny...

Big..hang in there. Your on your way and you can do this. Your very brave. Pleae keep posting and let us know how your doing.  

Happy early" Father's Day" to all the Dads...Hope your day is peaceful.....

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 18, 2009
Hi all..I made a correction to the last sentence of one of my paragraphs in an earlier post:

"Going through W/D daily WHILE TAKING tramadol is never ending, because your body builds a tolerance to the drug and you'll start feeling UNWELL until you take more of it...that is how Tramadol turns on you..Just remember (especially during those few days that are TOUGH....that suffering for a few days of Tramadol at it's worst HAS AN END....
(correction below)
"and THE W/D's THAT YOU GO THROUGH DURING dependency on Tramadol", DOES NOT.



Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 18, 2009
Thanks for the uplifting and encouraging comments.
Yes, I agree, saving the tramadols for my brother is not doing anyone involved any good. Even though he may need them due to his surgery he can ask his doctor for something other than this, I now am a firm believer that tramadol is the worst drug or substance I have even been involved with and I wouldn't wish that pain of withdrawal on anyone...well there is just one person, but I guess an eye for an eye shoudln't apply here.
Today I feel very good. It seems like I still get "the crud" every day but it's later in the day each day. yesterday it wasn't until evening and I had the strength to get up row for 30 minutes and jog for another 30 minutes. Thank goodness for ipods and This American Life~!
Every single day for 30 days i have returned to these pages and like many have said i would not have known about the hoirrible effects of getting off this drug if I had not. Thank you Emily for what you started and continue.
It scares me too to know how many are out these without a clue what this 180 count $125 drug is doing to them.

For energy i might say that Chia seeds have helped me. Google chia seeds and you can find out how the Omega 3 is off the charts. Green Tea is good too.

Jogging and any excersize helps too. Gardening is a blessing and I kinda like Kev's comments about mulch, I love that stuff too, it's just like gold.

The thing about excersize, if i might just note is that when I was tapering I started my excersize schedule. Since i figuered that I was going to only feel better by each passing moment with the taper it was really hard to see my stamina go down the tubes. When a person starts to excersize you figure it will only get easier each day..normally..right? But with the tapering and the non-linear w/d's from tramadol the excersizing gets HARDER. so easy to give up, many days I just couldn't do anything,a nd that's the worst.

I know I'm far from out of the woods but today...day 12, or 13, depending on the last crumb of crumby tramadol I ingested , today my friends is the first day that things feel like they might just be OK.

I had my blood pressure taken yesterday and it was normal...YEAH so it's not a heart attack waiting to happen, it's just the tramadol keeping it's grip on every part of my body it can and I expect this feeling will come back today at some point but I'm not afraid of it now, I will embrace it now.

Bless you all
Jules

Avatar universal
by Bigman7778, Jun 18, 2009
Thanks for the positive feedback Fred.When I ran out of Percocet  on the weekend and prostate hit in a major way I knew that I was going to have to go thru  wd one more time and winced inwardly but you gotta dowhat you gotta do.Today no pain and I feel so much better in every way except for lack of sleep (2hrs) . Hope everyone is doing well.Best to all. Latrer Big.

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 18, 2009
BIG:

Hang in there, buddy!!! ...I'm glad to hear that you know things will pass...it sounds like you're being patient with yourself, which is so important.

12STEPPER:
I was sneezing 20-30 times a day for the first few weeks and had a feeling as if my immune system was weak, but that only happened here and there..but those symptoms/feelings went away...

OneMoreTry48/Jules:

I'm glad to hear that your blood pressure isn't an issue. I can pretty much bet that it's just anxiety due to Tram w/d's...anxiety was the worst for me....during the peak of my acute w/d's, I drank "tension tamer tea" which helped me relax...and like you, I was able to accept that it was anxiety due to w/d and not a heart attack. Most of us know how anxiety can build upon itself, so that alone helped. I'm glad you're feeling better and embracing your w/d's...that is a great sign, Jules. :)

You're all doing great!!!  

Amy











Avatar universal
by Evangalina, Jun 18, 2009
I am in the "almost ready" phase of starting the tram taper.  In the last three weeks I have begun to get very sick on tram, having to take double pills at every dosing. This would equal out to 300-400 mg a day.  My doctor forgot to approve the refills last weekend, I had three pills, I took one a day and supplemented with muscle relaxers, flexeril.  I actually felt a little bit more clear on that Monday, I began to take only 50 mg 3x a day. This went fine for 2 more days, until I started to have wd symptoms, feeling like I was about to snap at any given moment. Sweating like crazy, heart pounding, hands shaking...the whole thing.  I have gone ct on alcohol 4 years ago, after being a SERIOUS alcoholic for 8-9 years.  I experienced the seizures, actually had many near death moments, until someone realized I needed medical attention to wean me off alcohol.  We didn't realize that alcohol wd can actually kill you, that was scary! I am freaked out right now, the thought of going through that kind of a wd, scared of having seizures.  I am the solitary caregiver for my two baby girls, 2 years old and 7 months old. I started taking Trams in Feb. (5 months ago) to try to stop taking vicodin.  The dr was more than happy to give me tons of Tram, saying it's non-narcotic. Well, I found out after about 1 month, that if I took 2 pills, I felt just a little bit better.  I didn't have any wd's from vicodin, didn't have any cravings for vicodin, this drug was GREAT! Now, I am feeling it. I feel like my blood sugar is low all the time, like I need to eat large amounts of food, but it makes me sick to think about eating.  I have lost 30 lbs in the last 5 months. I wear a size 2!!! I have always worn a size 8, people think I have an eating disorder. I eat a ton, all the time, I just can't keep weight on. Why? Tramadol.  I need to be healthy to care for my babies, I just cannot imagine going through wds while taking care of my babies and working full time! I already have a hard enough time when I get out of working a 9 hour day, feeding them, loving them, putting them to bed. I am scared.

910168 tn?1262466069
by Lillyval, Jun 18, 2009
(((Bigman))) I feel for you.  If you've been following this thread you know that I relapsed after only one week clean.  You would think that after the horror of early wd I'd be gun shy, but those pills just kept telling me I'd feel better if I took one (lies!).  I'm right here with you, starting over. - I too get the real deep down emotional need or pain that just won't go away.  I think that is what this battle is really all about for me (and probably others, too).

Kev - thanks for your kind words.  Logging on here and reading what you wrote has given me such a boost.

Fred - as always your insights are spot on.  You know how my addict mind works and can call me out when I need it

Clen and grandmagirl - thanks for your words of support

Jules - I actually woke up this morning and immediately went to see if I really flushed those pills.  Not because I wanted one, but because I just needed to know they were gone.  No matter how strong my resolve is, at some point pills in the house will be calling my name.  If you're like me don't let that happen to you. (P.S. I love This American Life)

Evangelina - I know how hard it is to care for babies.  Please, please get someone to help you (friend, neighbor, family member?).  If you don't want to tell them about the pills just say you have a medical problem (it's true).  You can get off 400mg a day of tramadol without putting your life in danger like with alcohol, but you're going to need to take extra good care of yourself.   Everyone here will be pulling for you.

Today was a crazy, crazy day (during which I almost started and accidental fire).  After running around all day I had to attend my son's elementary school graduation at 2:00.  Needless to say I was a complete wreck by then.  A family member took pity on me and gave me a percocet.  I know taking opiates is just wrong for me - but I felt I had to be able to be there for my son (my husband is out of state right now). I know it's just and excuse, but I have absolutely no access to other opiates at this point so I don't think it will lead to another problem.  I need to do whatever it takes to put days between me and my last tramadol, but God knows I don't need to get on any more drugs.

Right now I just feel like after all we've all been through, It's a miracle we've gotten this far.  I mean, I really feel beaten down.  I surrender.  I'm powerless over my addiction - only a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.
Blessings everyone,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 19, 2009
Heloooo Tramadol Wariors!

Jules  - congratulations on reaching 13 days free of this stuff.  I enjoy "This American Life" on NPR as well.  

Evangalina,  Wecome to the house of pain.  You said, "The dr was more than happy to give me tons of Tram, saying it's non-narcotic. Well, I found out after about 1 month, that if I took 2 pills, I felt just a little bit better.  I didn't have any wd's from vicodin, didn't have any cravings for vicodin, this drug was GREAT! Now, I am feeling it. I feel like my blood sugar is low all the time, like I need to eat large amounts of food, but it makes me sick to think about eating."

Yeah, don't you love the ignorance of doctors?  They are SO misinformed about the TERRORS involved with taking this drug.  As Emily once said, (paraphrasing to the best of my recollection here), doctors know that it is hard for them to get into trouble by prescribing tramadol, since it is not a scheduled drug in like 44 of our 50 states.  But this drug IS trouble.  

What are you eating (if you don't mind me asking?  It sounds to me like you aren't eating enough carbs?  I'd suggest that you google carbohydrates and start feasting on some of them.  It doesn't need to be raw sugar.  Ripe fruit ,breads, and cereal are all full of carbs to say nothing of the REALLY bad stuff (candy, ice cream, potato chips, etc.).  

Forgive me if I am being blunt here, but are you intending to quit now or are you just making it through until your next prescription arrives?  I get counting pills and looking under the car seat or in my pill drawer for the "one that got away."  What you have experienced this week (after your rx wasn't filled), is probably not much worse than what you would feel if you stopped completely.  .

But I know that timing is everything.  If this isn't your time, keep dropping back.  We'll be here to encourage and support you whatever you do.  

With young kids and work, you might want to PLAN a time when someone can be around to help with your kids.  
And maybe take some time off work.  Cause taht first 3-5 days, you won't be much good to anyone.  

Lilly, yup,I get the addict mind.  I am trying to think of ANY drug that I have taken that I haven't abused and I am drawing a blank.  There was never any "drinking like a gentleman" for me.  

Thank goodness, we found this place.  A place of love and understanding and of hope.  

Defeating the tramademons cannot be accomplished without putting on the mind of a warrior going into battle.  Nothing less than an all out declaration of WAR against this terrible drug will suffice.

Like Amy said, "suffering for a few days of Tramadol at it's worst HAS AN END....
(correction below)
"and THE W/D's THAT YOU GO THROUGH DURING dependency on Tramadol", DOES NOT.

Courage and Strength to you all!  

fred



Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 19, 2009
Good Morning.
I flushed approx 60+ tramadol tramadol tablets down the toilet last night around 6:30pm.
I did pause for a second and look at them, felt kinda guilty about the fact that I was entering them into the city water system....... but what a relief, they are gone and no one needs to suffer days 1-13 again. I am goign to warn my brother again about these things, even though I think he never abused them, he is related to me and addiction to all substances does run in our family, like whose family doesn't it?
Still have a some lingering depression and my legs feel like a ton of bricks but I'm really hoping to see improvement each and every day now. I've got to keep moving.
Thank you everyone for coming back here every day.
I hope that I can help someone else now that I can see clearly.

Evangelina, I also took tramadol to help with the cravings for the other opiates. I thought I had found the "magic pill". In my mind I figured the tramadol was definetely the lesser of two evils and I fancied tramadol as a sort of ANTABUSE to keep me from dabbling in more serious pills. Or sometimes I thought of my tramadol as a anti-depressant, or a diet pill, or just some sort of caffeine, NOTHING crossed my mind about the day it would turn on me.

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 19, 2009
Hello Everyone!

Fred: I really got a kick out of your saying,  "Welcome to the House of Pain" because it's nothing short of the truth. Well described, Fred...Well, described!!! :)

Speaking of PAIN... (outside of the pain that leads us to medication)

I have learned that when it comes to Tramadol..there are two different types of pain during dependency and the recovery process....

I don't have to tell you about the pain of Tramadol..because we're all already here, sharing our stories of pain..However, I would like to talk specifically about the differentiation between prolonging unnecessary pain and the pain while on tramadol, as it can make a difference in:

a) avoiding discouragement that will lead to a set back or quitting all together

Which is crucial to...

b) making it to the other side successfully


One thing that I've noticed after reading so many of the postings here is that most people are in a RUSH to get OFF tramadol ASAP which is pretty much a natural reaction when wanting to end a relationship of misery. However, it reminds me of someone that goes to the gym for the first time and over does it, then is sooo sore from the heavy work out, that they end up quitting because of the pain. Sorry, it's the best analogy that I could think of.....but my point is that if you decide to taper, please taper slowly. Especially, if you're starting with high daily doses. From what I've read, you're only supposed to taper 10% or 1/8 of the daily dose....You have to do some math while tapering because the doses changes as you taper. I've noticed that some or most of you cut down by 50%...no wonder your W/D's are so intense. They're bad enough when tapering at low doses...be patient and try not to be too hard on yourselves..listen to your body..know that you don't have to taper down a dose, daily...sometimes this does nothing but sabotage your efforts in the long run (i.e. relapse, set back)..this is what I think is the true meaning of "taking it one day at a time" ....if you're suffering at low dose tapering, hang at that dose for a day or two until you find enough relief to know that you're ready to make the next jump...at least until you arrive to that last 50mg pill..that's when I (and many others) have found that it's a good time to jump off completely. Otherwise, you'll be dragging out the w/d's longer than necessary. They don't get any worse than the 50mg w/d's...so why prolong the time it will take to get to the other side?

That's the best way I can explain TAPERING...

The key is to do what is comfortable but to NOT get too comfortable in the misery of Tram when you really don't have to...Don't let fear keep you from freeing yourselves from this drug. That is the way Tram tries to HOLD you in it's arms (tightly), because it doesn't want to let you go...It wants to KEEP you in it's realm of dependency/misery, only to convince you of the false need to continue of this awful relationship..and possibly higher doses. When you feel that need of taking that pill to relieve yourself of feeling UNWELL, there are one of two things going on that you need to understand:

a) you are going through withdrawals between your doses because you've built up a tolerance and your body simply wants MORE.. (and this will continue..even if you raise your dose)
b) you are going through withdrawals because you are giving your body less than what it demands (Tramadol tapering or CT)

There is NO ESCAPING the misery of this drug. You WILL SUFFER-

a) while you're taking it
b) while you're tapering/CT (and for about a month afterwards, although not as bad as the 3-4 days of acute w/d)

This is why it's IMPORTANT TO KNOW that

a) CT/tapering methods are painful emotionally/physically, but PROVIDES AN END.
b) the continuation of Tramadol are painful emotionally/physically and HAD NO END.


A person's desire to end the relationship with Tramadol, is a wonderful beginning in the recovery process. That's all that you need to enter a recovery program. For those of you that are ready to begin your FIGHT, the ones that are struggling, or trying again from a set back, I'm hoping that my words provide perspective to some of you, so that you can additional knowledge, patience, understanding, strength and strategy to reach your goal.

I know that my postings can be kind of dry sometimes...but I'm sincerely rooting for all of you...especially those of you that are struggling...KNOW that there IS a way OUT. KNOW that you CAN get there. KNOW that we're here to SUPPORT you in your journey.

*big hugs*

~Amy







Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 19, 2009
My update:

45 days Tram Free!

I actually have to check my tracker now to find out which day I'm on because I've stopped counting the days..which I believe is a good sign.

For those of you that are new here or simply wondering...I was on tramadol 100-200mg day for 5 years...Not too high of a dose in comparison to some of you...but when it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter if you've taken 500+mg day for 3 months or 100mg/day for 10 years...we're all HERE.

Those 5 years gave Tram enough time to sink the hooks and since I wanted to raise the dose but refused to...let me just say that like most of you, I was suffering for a long time with multiple daily withdrawals WHILE ON TRAMADOL...

Anyway, the GOOD news is: I'm embracing life again...and feeling great...  :)  

For those of you that are interested in what to expect at 45 days post tram:

The w/d's that seem to re-appear are infrequent and subtle now...I acknowledge that they're there..and wonder if they're due to other things going on in my life...(few and far between, but present: I experience slight anxiety and trouble sleeping through the night, sneezing could be stress and allergy related....)..but they're easily ignored and are constantly improving...no matter what the cause may be...it's a walk in the park. This turn over began around my 3rd week being Tram Free...and has improved over time...the beginning changes for the better are hard to notice daily...but they become more profound as time goes by...

All in all, I'm having some great days...no bad days...but maybe bad moments...I'm happy to report that my trama-pain has diminished....it's been a long time since I've felt good..like I have energy...clear head..happiness...emotions..and focus...

Know that you will see improvement when you think they're not ahead..and know that time is the only thing that will heal you after the 3-4 days of acute w/d's are over.

It's a waiting game that is worth the wait..

The way I see it......If you have the time to take tramadol..you have time to look forward to a brighter life...and IT WILL COME..

Amy



Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 19, 2009
TAPERING…My 2 cents

I think that the false illusion about tapering for me was that during the 4-5 years I was on Tramadol, I occasionally had a good day just taking one or two, even though I was taking on average 400-mg per day for all of those years.

Of course those days were not often but it set me up to believe that when I was ready to quit that it would be easy to just go down to 50mg per day and function., then drop off to an occasional pill once in awhile.
That is where I was WRONG.

Another misconception was that other things were causing my malaise …PMS, Swine Flu….whatever I could dream up that day and so while I was tapering on the 50mg per day I was still feeling miserable but not AWARE that Tramadol was the culprit.

Another lost cause is the breaking apart of the 50mg tablet. I learned from reading these postings that you just can’t break a tablet that isn’t “scored” into crumbs and expect it to have an exact dosage. You need to get a 25mg pill. And if you get your tramadol from an online source AKA “drug dealer”, then you really cannot expect an even dosage in any tablet …..I’m convinced of that now.

All said, I would recommend taking some time and try the Cold Turkey/


Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 19, 2009
I wanted to say something to the new members that are considering tapering or going cold turkey after a high dosage use. I  thought and thought and know I can say this: Read  Miss_Amy_2009 last 2 posts above over and over again.  Those are extremely good posts.  Great advice and no beating around the  bush.  No sugar coating the pain that will come your way.  That's the way it is.  You can taper off the high dosage to lessen somewhat the real adverse, health complicating effects, but once you hit that 50mg/day point that's it.  The wading is over and it's swim or sink time. Swimming is better.

Good luck to all in your tram-war.  24 days tram free with lingering migraine like headaches which I cannot yet pin point the cause.  I thought it was caused by nerve damage during recent dental work and now I have read that overuse of sleeping pill Ambien can cause lasting headaches.  Which is actually good news because I had been postponing quitting ambien.  It seems that I must always be reaching for one pill or another.  Can anyone say addict?  Well at least Ambien is the last pill on my list.

Onemoretry48 you sound better and better as the days go by, great for you!

Avangelina, fear is part of the process.  Just remember that you will be better able to take care of yourself and your family WITHOUT tramadol.

Lilyval, your sincerity is your strength, you will prevail.

Blessings to all,  clen....

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 19, 2009
CLEN:
Thanks for backing up my posts! :)

A few more things I'd like to share with the people that are considering tapering...


My tapering experience:
Even though I was tapering as fast as I could, while taking it as slow as I had to,(notice that combo) it took me 12 days to taper from just 100mg....

My strategy:
During my tapering process, I kept a small piece of paper with me...I kept track of the doses...I did the math to find out how much I was going to taper, prior to doing it, just to keep me focused. I spread out my doses to MORE doses per day but of LESS quantities...

Please see my tracker journals for tapering, dosages, and w/d symptoms. I copied/pasted my posts from my tapering experience, from this forum to the journal in the tracker...so you can read what I was going through during each day of my tapering process..


*****Everyone is different and Everything takes time*****


*hugs*

Amy



Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 19, 2009
Clen, Amy....
                     Very interesting reading and so helpful for everyone.

I called my pharmacist today ......to ask ..if anyone has mentioned the awful W/D's from Tram?  He said " no not so far."  I told him of my adventure of coming off of Tram. He was concerned as I have been a consumer at this pharmacy for many years and we have become pretty good friends. He did say he might go on-line and check it out..I think he will. Has anyone else talked with their pharmacist about how awful the W?D's are?  

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 20, 2009
My two cents -

Timing is everything - I would never suggest that anyone try to stop taking this rat poison on a whim or a bet.  I wouldn't even recommend waging WAR on this drug while attempting to maintain other obligations (children, work, etc.) .  My children are adults.  My cat(s) don't ask much of me.  And I didn't work that first week while coming off trams.  Others maintain these ongoing obligations while coming off trams, but I am not sure that I could have.  

AT the risk of sounding like I am promoting continued tramadol use, I think a person has a much better chance of beating this drug if you can PLAN your attack in advance, if you can make this your singular mission for a week.  Figure out a way to take the time to do this right.  Some have successfully beaten this drug while doing other things - and my hat goes off to them.  But for the majority of those who get off this tramagoround, it requires singleness of purpose for 3-5 days.  

If that means using a week of vacation, plan it.  If that means asking someone to help take care of your kids, get help.  If you have sick leave, use it.  My "tramadol vacation" was far more benefical to me than taking a week on a  luxury cruse ship.  Plan the attack.

I am so human you wouldn't believe it.  Here is my scarry near hit with the online drug pushers.  When I logged on here at the end of last November, i got here the same way everyone else did.  I googled "tramadol withdrawal" and not "wonderful life tramadol".  

And like so many others, I wasn't certain that I could beat this thing.  So while I was reading over the posts from Emily, madram, and emergee, my addict brain wanted to give myself "options".  And wouldn't you know it, my naive little brain discovered in my search, that I could buy trams online. ( I must be the slowest person on the planet)  

As i was gathering hope here, I placed my first online order for trams there (as a back up plan).
After thinking I had secured a back up plan, I resumed reading all of Emily's early journals.  And I felt a little sheepish for placing my first ever online order of trams  as I logged off MedHelp.  But to my relief, I had an email from "drugpusher.com" telling me that I had omited one tiny bit of important information on my order - my debit card number !!!

Grateful for my omission, I let them know I had "decided to go a different direction".  And that is when I experienced first hand the calls to my cell phone and multiple emails from "drugpusher.com"  They might as well been grabbing my arm as i passed them on a street corner.

***

Much has been said about the relative virtues of tapering vs. cold turkey.  But the route you take may be more a function of "who you are" rather than what the best scientific method for others may be.  

Anyone who takes less of this drug than their body is screaming for will experience withdrawal symptoms. I for one experienced withdrawal almost every rx cycle.  You see, I treated myself to more than my "alloted" dose during that first week of every cycle.  Which caused me to go into acute withdrawal at the end of each rx cycle.  I can't believe that I am the only one who did this.  When i got here, I knew I had no self control when it came to budgeting my tramadol.

Part of that "treat" each rx cycle, was because I have an addicts brain.  If 400 mg is good, 600 mg is better.  But part of the reason I "treated" myself during that first week of each rx cycle, is because I had built up tolerance over the six years I was on this drug, such that 400 mg was sending me into withdrawal symptoms.  I didn't realize it at the time.  i just knew I "ached" on 400 mg/day.  Am I the only one who did this?  

What I know about someone with an addictive personality is that THAT person will be utterly unable to taper.  Because if the tapering schedule says you should be down to 100 mg, that day, and you take 100 mg, you will know that 200 mg will make you feel that much better.  For such a person, sadly, the only way out is to stop cold turkey.  

But if a newcomer disagrees with me, try a simple test.  Do as Amy described and make yourself out a schedule.  As your scheduled dosage drops, see if you can stay on the taper schedule.  If you can and you are enjoying it, stick with it.  God bless you.  But if you find yourself saying, JUST FOR TODAY, I will UP my dose...well, I think that you will discover that tomorrow's never REDUCED dosage will NEVER come for you.  But no harm, no foul.  Give it a go and you will know fairly quickly whether a taper is working out for you.  If it is - marvelous, go for it.  (I still don't think it will be painless however.)

For me, with my addictive personality and my many failed attempts to stay on my "prescribed dose" REGULARLY, I knew right off that I stood as much chance of tapering successfully, as I  would have stood trying to taper my drinking.  Or as much success as most smokers have in tapering their cigs.  It's simply NOT going to happen.

C/T is a tough 3-5 days, but the rewards are so worth being free from this stuff.  

"Aftercare":  It has been 6 1/2 months since I took this stuff.  And I can't say that I have had a craving for it for a very long time.  Sticking around the newcomers here reminds me of what I never want to forget.  TRAM KILLS.  And I'll bet that you all thought this was about you, huh?  Service to others can and is helpful.  

I have mentioned involvement with a 12 step program before.  I attend AA meetings once a week as an insurance policy against taking that first drink again.  Maybe I don't need the meetings by this point( it will be 8 years on the 28th since my last drink), but it's pretty cheap insruance to attend an hour meeting once a week. Others may have another method of "aftercare" and I say whatever works is great.  Nobody here is selling seats to an AA meeting.  

But what saddens me is when someone reports cravings, a desire to resume tramadol use, and they are not willing to take steps to ensure their continued success.  

Someone who used to post here regularly once asked me about 12 step meetings.   After explaining that these meetings are full of people with similarily situated addicts/alcoholics as us, that there is no judgment, and that there is onlyLOVE and HELP at these meetings, THAT person told me that she would be too embarrased to go - because someone might recognize her.

Trust me, anyone going to 12 step meetings has ZERO interest in making a newcomer feel embarrased or unlovged.  It's EXACTLY  the opposite.  Ultimately, when the pain of "white knuckling one's sobriety" and when the risk of caving in again to our addictions becomes greater than the risk of being an EMBARRASED ZEBRA, we will get the help we need, to stay tram free.

But it's no big deal.

It's just a matter of life or death.

Courage Strength and LOVE to you all,

fred

Avatar universal
by Jenn2981, Jun 20, 2009
You all have no idea how helpful your posts are.  I always feel better after reading your success stories and tips on how to make life more enjoyable after Tramadol.  

I am coming up on two weeks of being Tram free.  My biggest problem is that I still feel down and have no energy.  I just don't want to do anything and projects/things to be done around the house just keep piling up.  Someone suggested that I try taking St. John's Wart which I did start yesterday.  Has anyone else had luck with this or what have you used to help lift your mood and want to become active??  I feel like I am over all other withdrawal symptoms and feel good that I have stopped taking Tramadol.  I really have no interest or desire to start taking it again.  Thank you for your help and any suggestions you can offer!

Jenn

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 20, 2009
Wonderful from the heart inforamation for all of us Fred.....Love to read your posts.... Jenn..If your feeling.....NO ENERGY...just rest and let the house stuff go for now. Your energy level will come back. Keep taking the vitimins, drink tons of water, eat and try to sleep when you can. St. John's worked for me and I think it was mentioned in past posts....If you have depression, crying,, panic ....it's pretty normal...read as many of the past posts as you havve the energy...keep posting when you can...Big how are you doing? You where there for me amd I'm sending good thoughts your way...

Happy Dads Day to all you guys out there...

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 20, 2009
Hi grandmagirl and Tramadal. WARRIORS.
You have been so kind to me during my struggle here...THANK YOU and the others who have given me encouragement, Kev, Fred, and Amy. clen (you're just spot on) and  especially Amy and her wonderful, insightful advice. I think if I had read her tapering schedule 14 days I would have had more strength for, so organized and detailed. Thanks Amy, you should be paid for the advice you've given, it's so caring and RIGHT ON THE MARK.

Ok, so I'm here at day 14 (I think), but it's still a struggle. The struggle isn't so much physical but mental.
For as many years as I can remember, with the exception of 9 month of a pregnancy I have taken something, anything for everything especially boredom. I always fancied a more interesting life for myself and I think my drug use was a way to pretend that I was living this interesting, unique and bohemia type life. the truth was that I was a no good, always in a foul mood.... bore.

When I found tramadol I thought I had finally found the magic pill, the substance for MY life, and i thought I was oh so clever, no one else had figured this out and how to obtain it so secretly and take it so discretely. I could elevate my mood forever. Never in my wildest dreams thought that I would ever have to stop taking them. What did it matter that I had to order it from THUGS online and take a day to wait for the FedEx truck, or look that delivery guy in the eyes when I knew that HE KNEW, or that it was costing $125 every month. Such a small price for this wonderful thing i discovered.
Like I've said it was so many things to me, an energy pill, a diet pill, a mood pill, and in the end POISON.
I never knew they would TURN ON ME. I was in control of everything and everyone around me and when the pain set in, especially when my son was rebelling as a teenager I just took more tramadol so that the pain would go away.

So my love affair with tramadol has been a long one. I think the first year was really the only one of the 5 that I felt the best
I reached for a pill, a little white one every morning and throught out the day for 5 years.
I've flushed my leftover 60+ pills and I apologize to the city for adding that to the water, maybe I SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT, BUT IT WAS IMPULSIVE AND IMPORTANT.

I flushed tham away on the first day that i didn't feel like I might not make it. I guess it was important that I save them and I used my brother as an excuse.

When we were teens our moto was "never throw away drugs", no matter what. PERIOD. It was an insult to even NOT FINISH A BEER, what kind of dork would not finish a beer?

PLEASE, someone help the poor souls who still suffer from this awful drug.
You can see them all over WEBMD, RXLIST, GOOGLE groups (not a nice place). Questioning, suffering and no one to help them, doctors who lied to them.
They are suffering and they haven't found the EmilyPost or MIss AMY.
SAD

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by Lillyval, Jun 21, 2009
Hi Everyone, I haven't had the energy to post the last couple of days, but I wanted to let you know that I'm still here and I'm still tram-free.

After I relapsed a week ago I was researching remedies for opiate withdrawals on the internet.  I really didn't want to start taking benzos )as the Thomas recipe suggests) because I know so many people who've posted here have had issues with them.  I read some earlier postings in this fourm as well as elswhere about an herb called kratom.  Although it's not an opiate it has "opiate-like" effects.  The comments I read stated that it was possible to get high from it, but if you were already an opiate addict it would merely ease withdrawal symptoms.  Like an idiot I went ahead and ordered some (on day one when I was feeling desperate) - it was inexpensive and legal.  I used it the last couple of days and it really does have "opiate-like" effects - to the point where I'm sorry I brought it into the house.  I've been able to avoid the worst of the tramadol withdrawals but now I'm in danger of starting with another drug that I use as a crutch, just like I used tramadol.

Which brings me to this: I was reading what Fred wrote about 12 step programs above.  I attended NA four a couple of years starting about 12 years ago, and I have been clean up until about 3-4 years ago when I started with the painkillers.  Throughout the last few weeks trying to get off of tram I've really been resisting the thought of going back.  My excuse is that I got my drugs from my doctor and I'm a respectable member of society..blah, blah, blah.  The thing now is that having honestly posted everything I've done over the last few weeks on this forum it's blatantly obvious that I'm a drug seeking addict who isn't anywhere close to true recovery.

.  
Miss_Amy thanks for your helpful comments.
Jenn - I started St. John's Wort 900 mg time release a few months ago when I went off anti-depressant and it helps
onemoretry - I identify with you 100% - it IS a mental struggle
Clen - hope you headaches are getting better
Bigman - I'm pulling for you
Fred- as always thanks for your helpful postings

Everyone who is trying to get off or stay off of tram - You all are in my thoughts and prayers
Lilly

Avatar universal
by Jenn2981, Jun 21, 2009
I just have a second because I'm dragging myself to the gym with my family.  I have to do something to get out of this down mood.  
onemoretry-I feel I could have written what you've written above because I have had the same stuggles, feelings about Tramadol.  I related to it SO much.
Miss Amy-I totally agree with everyone else, you have the best advice and it keeps me going.  Thank you for helping us.  You are an inspiration to us who are still coping.
grandmagirl-You have been so kind, welcoming and inspirational.  Thank you for making me feel a part of the group.
Lillyval-Good luck with everything.  I'll be thinking about you.  

Jenn



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by 12Stepper, Jun 21, 2009
Great to catch up with you all and love to see you are still here, still working towards a Tram-free life. It has been 5-6 weeks now since I stopped without realizing I'd soon be in w/d. I relate vividly to all the symptoms noted. For me, the depression, feeling like crying but unable to, the lack of motivation were the most horrifying--especially before reading these journals and realizing it was tramadol w/d. Then the bad feelings were so random, non-linear in their subsiding--that would make me question my sanity, my ability to enjoy life. About week 3, I began to wonder if these feelings would ever pass. I wondered if I'd ever be the same person my loving boyfriend fell in love with. That was my dark night of the soul in w/d. I had trouble having faith that the feelings were from tramadol w/d and that they would pass. I read your posts at least once a day, and that helped tremendously. About week 4 I got the "flu" or so it seemed, and I still wonder if that wasn't my body casting off the accumulated toxins. I also was tapering off Benedryl (same as tylanol PM ) to help the insomnia, so it could have been finishing that which caused a reaction.

I rejoice to say that although I still have a bad moment here and there, I really feel better! I want to do things again and don't feel afraid to face life's challenges. We'll be going on a little trip soon to visit relatives, and I'm really looking forward to it. (Normally, that would be the perfect excuse to stock up!)

I cope with life's challenges with healthy choices like meditation, exercise, inspirational reading, AA meetings, and taking time out everyday to do something I truly enjoy. Those problems that seemed overwhelming at week 3 are starting to work themselves out, become manageable. I've been using herbs to help sleep, and even though I wake up at least once in the middle of the night, I can piece together 6-8 hours every night. I realize that both the vicodin and tramadol didn't help me to live life fully, they prevented me from living life fully. I have no desire to go back there ever.

I'm so grateful you all are here. Keep up the good work, warriors. It does get better if you just hang in there day by day. Bless you for being here. Linn

Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jun 21, 2009
Hello, everyone.  I'm not new to this site but I am to this thread.  Everybody's posts have been so heartening and morale-boosting.  I am still "on 'em", unfortunately.  There are things coming up in the next two weeks that cannot be missed by me, including a short trip to visit my father in NY with ALL my family (husband, kids, grands).  I cannot risk being a puddle on the floor.  HOWEVER, my big day is July 9th, the day I have planned for my dive into the fire and coming out on the other side.  I have taken these damn trams for 1 1/2 years, after my md's script ran out and it was suggested I buy them off the Internet---how clever!  No~~~how freakin' stupid.  I was taking 6-8 50 mg. a day up until a month ago, then all of a sudden, it seems, I am taking 10-11 of the freakish things.  I've struggled with pain pill addiction nearly all my adult life.  This is it....this is the end.  I want my LIFE back!!!  I have so much to live for.  The thing that troubles me is....I have to have an endoscopic procedure done on 6/30, with results on 7/8.  Hopefully, I don't have to have surgery on my liver for stones after that.  I still want July 9th to be the start of my life, my new birth.  If I have to have surgery, can I go thru recovery with no opiates?  I don't know!  What'll I do??  I'm going to see my family MD this week to tell him all about my Tram addiction, so maybe he'll have some thoughts.  Believe me, I'll be laying it on the line regarding this crap.  

I'm so jealous of all of you who are now brushing off the last of the ashes from your "fire walk".  I've been through w/d and I know they're bad so WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF??  I'm going to my first NA meeting tomorrow night---I hope I'm allowed to go as I'm not yet off the tramadols.  Will this be OK with them?  Thanks to ALL of you for baring your souls to help everyone else.  Isn't this what Our Lord has always preached?  Helping others?  You're all doing that and then some.  God's blessings.

Avatar universal
by Jenn2981, Jun 21, 2009
Hi Jekorb,
I wish you all the luck in the world.  I am so glad I stopped taking Tramadol because I know it's the best thing for me not to take them.  I know it's going to be hard but you will feel SO much better when you can say that you aren't taking them anymore.  I'm curious what your doctor will suggest when you tell him about the tram.  I have never been able to come clean to my doctor.  I'm just too embarrassed that I had let myself fall into this trap.  I'm a mom with two kids and have a great husband.  I thought people like me didn't get hooked on drugs and that's why I'm too embarrassed to tell my doctor.  I have to say this website has helped me A LOT to get over the withdrawal symptoms.  Please let me know how your surgery goes.  I'll be thinking of you on July 9th.  Good luck with everything.  It's only been about 2 weeks for me and even though I still have some issues I'm working through, I am just so glad that I'm finally getting my life under control.  Take care and keep us posted!
Jenn

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 22, 2009
I just read all of the recent posts and all I can say is that there are certainly some intenlligent, well written, generous and loving folks here.

Jekorb, I recall you from when you fist posted here several months ago.  I want to wish you good results on the proceedure you are having on 6/30.  And you have a good plan for your atttack on these things.  Like I said in a recent post, I would rather someone pick a good date for THEM and succeed, than to be carried up in the moment and fail, because the timing isn't right.  But don't put it off too much longer, huh?  

You also asked, "WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF??  I'm going to my first NA meeting tomorrow night---I hope I'm allowed to go as I'm not yet off the tramadols.  Will this be OK with them?"   Certainly it will be OK with them.  If perfection was a requirement for admission to  these groups, there would be some pretty darned small meetings! You don't need to be clean to attend.  As long as you have a "desire" to be clean, you qualify.  

There won't be any tests.  There won't be any secret handshakes.  You will simply find other addicts TRYING to achieve 24 hours of sobriety.  I hope you come back and post after the meeting to tell us about it.

If you chose to share at the meeting, I am not sure that I would identify tramadol by name.  Maybe I am wrong and there may be LOTS of tramadol users at these groups, I can't say because i go to AA meetings.  But tramadol is a synthetic (made made) OPIATE.  So IF you decide to share, and you feel like talking about your drug of choice, you might just refer to it as an opiate.  There is so much misunderstanding about this drug.  Many "treatment facilities" don't even treat tramadol addiction because it isn't addictive (HA).  

Jenn, Your post are very encouraging to so many people, you know?  You said, "I thought people like me didn't get hooked on drugs and that's why I'm too embarrassed to tell my doctor.  I have to say this website has helped me A LOT to get over the withdrawal symptoms."  The total annoyninity is pretty great around here, huh?  As far as "what type of person" gets hooked on the tram-a-crap, I haven't figured that one out yet either.  Several months ago, we had lots of nurses arrive.  Haven't seen too many lately though.

This drug seems to be no respecter of persons.  It hooks single, married, upper and lower income folks.  It hooks people in countries all around the globe.  It hooks smart, high achieving people just as it hooks people with learning disabilities.  Young/old.  People from good families and those with no families at all.  ETC., ETC., ETC.  

Onemoretry,  Yeah, you probably have addicted a whole school of fishies by flushing those 60 pills.  (Just kidding!)  I suspect that the good you did for yourself outweighes any ecological harm done by flusing them.  (smiles)

Lilly, you said, "I'm a drug seeking addict who isn't anywhere close to true recovery."   Well, you aren't alone there Lilly.  You have continued to be brutally honest, which is a beautiful thing.  And a good place to be.  

Grandmagirl/12stepper, On a personal note, you were both so kind after my sweet cat, Kiggy died three weeks ago today.  I still get weepy when I don't keep myself busy.  And  will never be "over" her.  

The yard pet memorial is built now and I also built a picture frame with three 8 x 10 photos of my two cats and a dog who have passed away in the past 5 years.  As soon as I get the brass "name tags" I ordered to go at the bottom of the pictures, I will mount them on the back of the memorial and upload some photos of the project here, for anyone who cares to see it.  I think the brass name plates are still two weeks out.

Courage and Strength to you guys!

fred

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by Lillyval, Jun 22, 2009
jekorb - I too am planning to go to my "first" NA meeting tonite.  Having been there many years ago I can tell you it doesn't matter what or how much you used - the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.  People usually refer to "drugs" or "using" at the meetings, and discussing specific substances is not encouraged.  The idea is that people identify with each other in their common struggles and hope.  And there's all kinds of people there, educated, professional, homemakers, homeless, recently incarcerated - you name it.  Your posting really touched my heart.  You WILL get your life back!  I can sense your resolve.  I know it's soon but maybe you can find someone in the meeting (who's been clean for a while) who can help you through the medical/painkiller issue.  Maybe there's someone you can check in with every day after the procedure to let them know how much you're taking (if you need opiates) - to keep your use in check.  Unfortunately I wouldn't hold out much hope for the doctor.  If you read some of the older threads here you'll see that many have "come clean" to their doctors and had their concerns dismissed.  I went to my doctors office while I was in acute wd and told them what I was going through - and I still have a valid prescription for tramadol in the system.  Hopefully your doctor will be a notable exception.

The more I write about NA the more I remember how much it helped me.  So I don't know why I'm so hesitant to go.  I think it's because I was clean for so long and now going back feels like admitting failure.  But I guess, what's worse? failure or continuing to ruin my life with drugs on a daily basis?  Or maybe I just don't want to be accountable to anyone.  I am very grateful for this forum.  It has allowed me to be more honest than I have been with myself in a long time.

I wish everyone hope and strength,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 22, 2009
I spent many years going to NA and AA.
AA really helped me, but NA was not so good for me. I think I really benefited from the "old timers" in AA, the meetings were very inspirational. The area meeting that I went to really frowned on the younger member's intro "I'm a recovering addict/alcoholic". They felt that those folks did not need to add the addtional addict part because we all suffer fromt he same problem. Anyway, my problem with NA really was MY problem, because there was quite a bit of emphasis on the social clean outings (((FUN))), but it just really grated on my ex-husband at the time we were already having problems. There was a lot of horsing around going on with this particular group. The 13th steppers
I guess if I ever go back, I will go to the AA meetings and just say I'm a recovering person.

Avatar universal
by samajax, Jun 22, 2009
OK.

I'm finally going to post..This forum has been a great help, especially with the taper vs. cold turkey- or variations on that theme.

I have been on tram since last spring- with max dose at 400mg/day. I was put on them as an alternative to vicodan- or oxy- for neck pain. I have been undergoing prolotherapy- which I swear by as a way of healing my aging body damages. My history of pain meds comes from being in the pararescue for 20 years- and a variety of broken bones, dislocates, and pulls that goes along with that history. I don't want to tell long war stories, but I have been put on and come off of all the good pain meds. Always used them for the recovery period and then finished. I am no stranger to withdrawal. I am physically fit and for a man of over 50, still driven to push my body to it's ever changing limits.

So surprise, when the one pill they told me wouldn't cause those symptoms, started to show the body signs of w/d. I started to reduce my tram when the prolotherapy started to heal my pain and I didn't need them anymore. Same story told here before. The doctor's nurse told me I shouldn't have w/d, web search of just the medication vaguely listed it....but use the words tram withdrawal in the  search, and tons of info comes up- especially the link that brought me here...with all your stories..The crazy anti-depressive qualities of tram were something I hadn't expected. I have never been on any sort of anti depressant, but I am now a first hand witness to the sex drive suppressing qualities of tram. That general energy and mood elevation that the drug brings. I'm a generally up and active person, but even for me the energy rise was noticed

I have been tapering for about two weeks. The lovely symptom of waking up and feeling like crying. The generalized anxiety, the sneezing, the digestive out of sorts. I'm now down to 4 half pills a day, so around 100mg. Not bad for taking 2 of those things 4 times per day. I'll do that for one more day, then 3, then 2 then by the next weekend, the full on w/d. I've tried to save all  the major drops for the weekend, because my work is hectic and general inactivity is not acceptable. I work out daily and that has been a struggle...etc, etc. The same story as mine I have read before on this forum. Not really looking forward to that non-linear thing. At least with Vicodan every day is a bit better. Luckily, I have not had the super duper symptoms, but maybe that's due to still being on some level of the pill. I am hoping that the obsession will be moderately manageable if I just don't give in to the sit down and stew in it thing. I know I'm lucky in that the reason for my taking tram in the first place has subsided to a certain extent- that I am not still in great pain and yet still have to get off the drug.....

Thanks much for all the information, the caring and the directions I have found from all of you here. I am sitting in my office sweating, but really appreciate having found this place and the tools it has provided for my quit.

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 22, 2009
samajax, welcome.

This information you find in these journals is sooo valuable. It's like someone holding your hand and guiding you through this heck-of-a-ride, step by step. So much insight and it's dead on accurate.

Once you get off your taper schedule you should come back to EmilyPosts pages and these journals every moment you can.
It will have to be somewhat of an obsession for awhile but that's why this site is so valuable.

I exercise too and one of the hardest things for me was that aspect,. When I was taking my usual amount of Tramadol I was able to jog up to 3 miles a day. It took me years and years to get to that goal.

As I withdrew from Tramadol my goal was squashed, stomped on and I was reduced to running for ½ mile and having to quit, walk home with my shoulders hunched over.

It is getting better ever day, THERE IS HOPE, and it will get better, it just takes time


Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 22, 2009
Welcome samajax....
                              Your story is so very interesting and you like so many of us have found a place to post, vent and get help. I think everyone that reads your story and the way you are feeling will see themselves. We have all arrived here for the same reason. We are looking for support and help to get well again. Keep posting ....Your on the right track and you will feel much better as the weeks go by.

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 22, 2009
Hi everyone! Happy (belated) Fathers Day to all of the Dad's out there.

I just want to say that I've read all of your posts between my last post and now and it just warms my heart to know that my contribution to this journal has helped others. :)

Keep fighting the good fight..

HUGS

Amy




Avatar universal
by Evangalina, Jun 22, 2009
To answer some questions, I am kind of doing the pill-to-pill countdown, my 2 doc's (unaware of eachother, yes...doctor shopping) are still prescribing me Trams. They never mind when I ask for an early refill, never ask at visits.  Every visit I have had to the Dr in the last 3 months has shown me to have a high standing pulse rate. I never thought anything of this, thought it was because I was rushing (after sitting for 20 minutes?) or stressed out (anyone on Tram knows that NOTHING will stress you out-unless it is the thought or actuality of not having Trams). I went back up to the 400 mg a day, the wd's were making me so edgy, I was barely able to care for my girls. I appreciate the advice, getting someone to help me. I am very reticent to ask for help from anyone, so scared that people will judge me, scared that my family will assume that I am weak. That is my fear, weakness. The Tramadol made me feel like I was in control of everything. I am able to work 40+ hours a week, care for my 7 month old baby and 2 and a half year old daughter, no help, EVER. Just bought my own house, pay all my bills, etc. Everyone wonders how I do it. Well, the S#@& is about to hit the fan. I am supposed to be the strong one, left my husband a year and a half ago (while 1 month pregnant) because HE WAS ADDICTED TO PILLS!! That is the irony of this situation. He has been a prescription drug addict for 9 years, mehtadone, morphine etc. All meds prescribed to him, but in excess.  I couldn't handle the horrible mood swings, the angry behavior, the pill counting, the pill hoarding, dr visits being the only thing in this life that he lives for, no longer caring if his behavior hurt me or our baby. I have become just like him. I need to find a time to quit, life doesn't slow down or even stop, my babies do not stop, my work does not stop. I cannot afford this addiction any longer, physically, mentally, emotionally...My daugthers deserve better than the "mom" I am giving them.

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 22, 2009
Hello to all,  (samajax, Evangelina, and those visiting but not commenting).  Some of you have some really bad situations but if you are here it's not too late for setting the course straight.   It may be  frightening and you might think at times that you are not going to make it or that you think you're going crazy but remember this: It's the tramadol talking to you.

You are NOT going to go crazy and you will NOT be better off taking the pills.  At most all you can do is delay the inevitable.  You will eventually have to go off the trams; you wouldn't be here otherwise.  You KNOW you can't continue taking trams so no matter how rough  it gets (and it can get rough indeed).  You have made the wise decision.

We all arrive at the quitting decision under different circumstances, with different dosages, under different family situations or economics,  with varying health problems and use of other medications.  Length of use of tramadol, habituation, tolerance and many other variables make for different strategies when deciding to taper or go cold turkey.  Like I have said before we have to find out what works for us as individuals using the different experiences posted here as a guide.  As you can see some dive head first into cold turkey without a taper,  others go a a short taper and still others go on a long stretched out taper.  I did a pretty fast taper going from 100-200 mg/day to 25 mgs in ten days.  Then I went cold turkey and considered it over at day 10.  Days 4 and 5 of cold turkey were horrendous (and I should add that I am a 60 year old male Vietnam war veteran and day 4 had me crying like a baby) but today I am 27 days tram free.

At least for me  there has been no craving.

One thing I would like to add is that we must be careful what we take when the sleeplessness hits.  I thought I was OK with the benzo-like Ambien but I kept taking it even after I finished with the tramadol CT.  Now I believe the ambien is the cause of my  migraine headaches.  And guess what?  There is a forum just like this for those trying to get off  ambien! Luckily I wasn't on them long enough  to produce some of the horror stories you read on THAT forum. I guess some of us just cannot take any kind of mind altering drugs without getting hooked or going to great pains to get off of them.

Friends, find out where you stand,  work out your taper,  sit down and carefully review your plans.  Don't panic, don't get discouraged, and never go back to tramadol.  To dump or not to dump your remaining pills is an important decision. To refill or not to refill likewise.   Read over and over again what others have done and find out what works for you.

My blessings and prayers to all of you.  Regards to all the friends I have made here during this tramadol ordeal.  You have all been just great and have provided me and others with life saving info...thanks......clen



Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 23, 2009
I was going to address various folks in this post, but I think that I will just speak generally tonight.  

Congratulations on those who have had that moment of clarity, giving you the strength and purpose to move toward tramadol free lives.  

And to all of those who are still trying to decide whether it is possible for you to beat this addictive medically misunderstood terrible drug, you arrived at a good place.  Keep coming back.  Keep posting your concerns and fears here.  Writing itself has a way of clarifying our thoughts...our resolve.  There ARE many roads to the same freedom.  

I am an untreated people pleasure.  I FEAR that I will not please the people that matter most to me and I tend to TRY to arrange my life in order to please my wife, my employer, children, my friends...the list is endless.  In my mind, ALL of my best efforts fall short of PERFECTING what my brain tells me OUGHT to be done.  

Even though I am officially drug free now, I am constantly allowing my FEAR led life to get the best of me.  I need to pray and meditate on my fear based life, but I am loth to do so, preferring instead to press on in my perfectionist efforts.  But this is not a healthy way to live.  I used drugs and alcohol to numb  the frustration I constantly felt.  That was my way of blotting out my nearly constant "falling short" of what I expected of myself.  

Whether one breaks the addiction to drugs and/or alcohol or not, a person like me tends to operate based on FEARS and RESENTMENTS.  In the worst case, I will return to seeking ways to numb my shortcomings.  In the best case, I will continue to remain sober, but if I cannot figure out what to do with my fears and resentments, I am most miserable.  Cutting and running begins to sound good in this state.  

But I  try to identify what those fears and resentments are that are making me crazy...

What I begin to discover is that most, if not all of those fears, etc., that make me crazy, do so, because I really have no control of their outcomes.  I need to accept those things.  I need to give up those things I have no ability to change.  Because when I focus my time and attention on those things, I am unable to focus on doing those things that ARE within my control.

fred

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by kevzx81, Jun 23, 2009
Hey Fred- Glad to hear more of your 'type A' confessions; I think we all have them to some degree. I was thinking that this could link to a previous conversation about the 'process not the outcome'-'journey, not destination'. I can see that law is an intense fiels of study. I imagine that the 'process' of finishing cases, preparing briefs etc must give the opportunity for constant improvement, new approaches et al. Music is also like this.(not an obvious comparison perhaps...) My point is that its the sheer intensity of being in the work that is so addictive and fullfilling-an intense meditation! In writing its common to embrace this intensity of focus and work it hard,pushing how far an idea can go. Its the action of seeking excellence in this way that improves our skill, independant of any particular outcome in any particular song/case.
To seek perfection is not unhealthy per se I think. But to expect to achieve it...This year I have sought perfection in strawberries, peas and tomatoes. The strawberries are fabaroo but the peas are unhappy and the toms going slowly.
But the process is so utterly engaging.
I also suffer from the desire to please, but appropriately channelled it can be a poweful positive force. The effort you go to shows in your every post and I, like many here,place a high value on what you share here. But be glad to be imperfect, the perfect man tends to be depised for his lack of failings, making others feel inferior. Dear Fred...your flaws are more lovable than many peoples strengths!

A big bowl of strawbwrries and cream to you!!!




Avatar universal
by Jenn2981, Jun 23, 2009
Hi Everyone,
Everyday gets better for me.  For anyone who is going through withdrawal or worried about future withdrawal symptoms, please know that things really do get better.  I weaned myself from Tramadol for 2 weeks and have been off of them for two weeks.  When I was weaning myself down I went to my doctor and told him I was becoming depressed.  He didn't know that it was because I have been taking Tramadol for years, which made me feel great physically, emotionally, and gave me the energy to be super mom to my kids and to be able to do the amount of work 1-1/2 persons could accomplish at my place of employment.  He gave me a prescription for Wellbutrin, which I didn't fill right away because my heart was racing from NOT taking the Tramadol and I seriously was afraid to have a heart attack.  I tried taking St. John's Wort per someone’s suggestion.  I have Crohn's disease and unfortunately the St. John’s Wort was upsetting my whole digestive system.  So, I filled the prescription for Wellbutrin (which was a very low dose…1/2 of what a normal person would take).  I don't know if this is psychological or not but only after a few days I feel my mood is lifting and I'm coming out of the fog.  I actually have laughed out loud with my kids, went to the gym and had a catch with my son.  I don't know if this would help anyone else but so far I feel like I am returning to my former self.  The doctor told me that the Wellbutrin would give me a little energy (which it has...but not as much as the Tramadol) and help lift my spirits, which seems to be happening.  Things honestly don’t look as bleak as I once thought they were.  Just thought I’d share in case this would help anyone else.

Fred-I'm so sorry to hear about your cat.  
Evangelina-I can completely identify with your situation being a mom myself.  When you do decide to quit you’ll be happy that you did.
Kev-Thanks for welcoming me when I first posted.  The website has helped me with this addiction.
To anyone who is thinking of quitting-It’s totally worth quitting Tramadol.  You’ll be happier with yourself if you can just take that first step.  It will be hard at first but it really, really does get better.  

Jenn


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by Lillyval, Jun 23, 2009
Hi Everyone
I'm six days post-tram and I got rid of the kratom.  I continue to spend a lot of time reading the older threads in this forum which gives me a lot of inspiration and food for thought.  I find that a lot of the former and current posters are parents of small children like me.  When I look back on my tramadol using days one of the worst things was how irritable I was with my kids, snapping at them over nothing.  I don't want my kids to grow up with a mother like that.  This is what I need to remind myself when I get the urge to use.

Fred - I was just reading some posts from around March 4-5 that speak directly to what you just said.  It was about how most of us here are "Type A's" and how we set such high expectations for ourselves and how maybe we used drugs to ease the pain of the disappointment in ourselves that we set ourselves up for on a daily basis.  Kev talked about being kind to ourselves, taking care or ourselves, managing our moods and just doing the things we need to do to keep moving forward.  If you have time go back to those posts - they're so helpful  (They are under "part 3").  You've been an inspiration to everyone on this forum - I hate to see you down on yourself.

Jenn - I got off of the anti-depressant Celexa at the beginning of April - about 2 months before I first got off tram. In hindsight I should have done it the other way around since getting off of tram is so much harder.  As much as I want to be totally DRUG FREE I'm seriously considering going back on Celexa to get through this period because it has been so difficult for me.  I'm glad the Wellbutrin is helping you.

samajax - it sounds like you're on the right track - I know what you mean about the crying - but it gets better.

Evangelina - you're in a tough spot - if you want to get off tram keep coming to this site and posting, we'll all support you as best we can.

Take care everyone,
Lilly

946806 tn?1246069369
by Pat_, Jun 23, 2009
My plan is to taper this week with 50mg per day to relieve the nausea during work, and go c/t on Saturday.

Perhaps someone can point me in the right direction...I'm new here.

I've been taking tram since January in various amounts for sciatic pain that did not respond to PT, shots, etc. I have an appointment with a new spine and pain clinic on July 8. Is there something else that I can ask for to relieve the pain when I go off tram? Perhaps a forum where I should go to look for this answer?

Thanks, and thanks to Emily for posting these recovery room journals!






Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 23, 2009
Fred,

As Kev said "To seek perfection is not unhealthy per se I think. But to expect to achieve it..'

Know that a large amount of what we worry about is out of our control. Some people find that practicing "living in the present", helps to keep focused on the present.

Since, there are a lot of us are concerned with things that we cannot change (i.e., the past = regretful feelings) or control (i.e., the future = a perfectionist efforts to control things that are inevitable), there is something to keep in mind: You can only do what you can, when you can. Leave the rest to be forgiven, as we are all perfectly imperfect.

*hugs*

Amy




895630 tn?1273803653
by 12Stepper, Jun 23, 2009
I'm just checking in and enjoying all your recent posts--so full of hope, kindness, and understanding. I find encouragement and strength, knowing I'm on the right track, about 5 weeks Tram-free. Yes, we have to go off Tram some time, sooner or later. To use today would be to postpone the inevitable. I say, let's cry today and get it over with. This time will pass.

At times, I miss Tram's energy boost, the ability to do long hard physical work. Today, I have to settle for accomplishing less in more time--and I'm impatient. But I'm learning to settle for being less type-A, setting the day's goals a little lower, knowing that I'll be happier and healthier in the process, even if it takes longer to get the job done.

Tramadol also helped with fearful or unpleasant situations, putting me in a "coasting" state of mind. Now, I realize that I was just avoiding dealing with my negative perceptions. I was running and hiding frequently, and Tramadol made that very easy to do. I am reminded of the movie "Click" in which the magic "Univeral Remote Control" allowed its owner to fast forward through all unpleasantness in life. Eventually he wanted to destroy the remote since he was missing out on just about everything while his life was being fast-forwarded for him totally out of control. It's a dumb movie I do NOT recommend, but the comparison to being on Tramadol, I think, is worth mentioning--haha.

I might mention I slept again last night with just an herbal supplement. Still not perfect, natural sleep, but at least an improvement. Progress not perfection. Bless you all for being a source of hope and inspiration. Linn



Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jun 23, 2009
Hello, dear friends!  Went to my first NA meeting last night, and I wasn't at all thrilled about it, believe me.  The woman with whom I have been communicating about going showed up late, and she, I and four others were the only women with 25-30 men!  Nothing really wrong with that, but that atmosphere was dismal.  Part of it could have been that it was 85 degrees in that church room where the meeting was, and anyone who was feeling bad, felt worse!  There just was an automaton feeling in the room---everyone would recite parts of pledges and sayings, like robots, with no enthusiasm or feeling.  I know it's really difficult to struggle with recovery, but I can tell you, once I have gotten this Tram-sewage out of my system, I will be so thankful and happy; I don't think I'd be sitting there like a lump.  I am not trying to be flippant.  The room was full and that was great but there was no "oomph", if you know what I mean.  There would be long periods of silence when no one would talk!  I envisioned a group of caring, concerned and enthusiastic participants---guess I was just dreaming.  I intend to go to another NA meeting, one closer to my home that I found, but NOT until I am through the "fire".  I'm actually wishing the time would go faster, so that I can get myself prepared and go into it.  I'm not blind or fooling myself---it's gonna hurt like hell, but I have Bentyl for my colitis (don't worry---not a narcotic; it just relaxes the intestinal lining) and that will help a little.  I just intend to try somehow to focus on the passage of time, each minute and hour bringing me closer to The Sane Side.  I WILL GET THERE!!  I will DO IT and not back down.  It's almost as if I will deserve the beating I will get for being stupid enough to use Trams after going through this before!!  I'm learning a tough lesson but I WILL learn it and give my life over to God and being clean.....and attend my NA meetings.  Blessings to all of you and thanks so much for being there!

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 23, 2009
Welcome....Pat...  Just take a deep breath and start your taper. Read as many of the posts as you can. Many of us are new to this site and many of us have been here for a long time. As you read the posts you will start to feel the inspiration and hope.

samajax....hope your doing ok....get as much rest as you can and please let us know how your doing.

Fred...being a type A also ..I have played this mind game with myself for years. Bottom line....I have FINALLY... for myself ....come to realize that I can only take of ME.  Selfish yes....but freeing in so many ways.

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 23, 2009
Brain fog..again...correction...last post last sentence....I can only take CARE of ME.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 24, 2009
Kev, Lilly, Grandmagirl, Jenn and Amy:  You guys are the bet family a guy could hope for.   Thanks.  

Lilly, I am headed back to Part III after finishing up here.  

Jekorb,  We'll be here in three weeks for ya.  You might google "Thomas Recipe" and pick up supplies between now and then.

Pat_  Welcome.  If you haven't already done so, try to go back and read some of the older journal entries. I might suggest finding Emily's ICON at the top of this page and go to her profile page, where you will find a great many of her early posts.  Click on mine as well.  i tried to journal on my profile page for the first two weeks coming off this drug for myself and other folks to go back and read if they wanted to do so.

There is a great deal that the medical profession doesn't realize about tramadol.  Like believing what the drug reps tell them - that it is the safe alternative to real opiates.  But guess what?  Tramadol IS a real opiate.  When I first started taking this stuff as prescribed by my doctor, I was comforted by that word "synthetic" before the word "opiate".  but "synthetic" or not, the drug has all of the classic side affects of other opiates, TOLERANCE with time on the drug so that it takes more and more of the drug over time to give you less and less in return.  In the end, we all feel UNWELL in the end.  

And it has some of the worst withdrawal symptoms this side of the moon.  I don't personally have any experience with taking street drugs, but people have come on here and said that kicking trams was harder than kicking heroin.  Kicking this drug isn't for those who need to stop, or for those who "should" stop, but from what I have seen, only those who strongly WANT to stop can kick this.  But if you want to get off these, it is do able, as evidenced by the people who are posting here now.

Acute withdrawal will take 3-5 days, with day one BEGINNING 24 hours after you take your last pill.  I mention this because I fear that some feel that if they load up on trams and go 24 hours, they ought to be into day 2 by that time.  They wonder why they aren't aleady feeling better at that point.  If you want to use the weekend wisely, stop taking your tram Wednesday evening.  Thursday, you will feel OK, because you will still have some of the drug in you.  Friday you won't feel grand, but you can make it through work OK, since the inability to sleep won't have caught up with you yet.  If you do as i describe, personally, I would probably also take Monday off as a sick day.  By Tuesday, you will begin to start feeling well enough to work, depending on what sort of work you do.  

Pat, you didn't tell us a great deal about how many trams you are taking, what you were taking before, etc., and I have no recommendation on what other pain meds you should be taking.  It ain't tramadol though.

Good luck and I hope you will come back and post again to let us know how you are doing.

fred

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 24, 2009
Lilly, you certainly ARE a student of the game now aren't you?  I went back to Part III and found one of Kev's posts from 3/4/09 that I thought was worth re-posting tonight:  (I hope you don't mind Kev!)

MY LATEST CRACKPOT THEORY......

Most of us here were prescribed Tram for pain,yes?
It SEEMED to work for a while(possibly because of chemical moodlift leading to muscle relaxation,repressed emotions etc.. causing a TEMPORARY lessening of pain).
Once tolerance withdrawal is reached the pain comes back full on, coupled to increased anxiety/tension etc and GETS WORSE.(unless you increase your dose of course.)
If detox occurs the pain lessens!

Ive been concentrating on pain management a LOT lately;re my discs. Ive been working on my mood management, having recently cleared some 'stuck' feelings.(thanks to all who contributed;you know who you are!) some activities always cause pain; I wont be able to avoid pain. But MOOD I can work with,load up my day with things/people I like etc.
I also think that a mindset of " how will I live without the meds' is a recipe for disaster. To be honest I hadnt made a serious enough attempt till now.Only focusing on the physical element of my pain led me to believe that I 'needed' meds. But none of the meds free me from pain for long. My mood can though! Ive been doing a program on myself this last week by managing my mood BEFORE I go out and do stuff. Ive made some great discoveries....
1 I can go out in wind/cold and NOT be in pain.
2 I can 'reset' from pain by resting much faster than before.
3 I dont have to give up gardening!!!

During early w/d,worrying about pain in the future and how to even HAVE a life was more than I could even contemplate.Reading the recent posts I see that same frightened/desperate worry elsewhere too. Not knowing how to cope with pain,putting food on the table,nurturing children,staying alive on the freeway....the stories vary, but the feelings are very similar.
I think we've been conned into un-self-reliance by a lifelong conditioning to believe in experts and technology. Its obvious more folks are on their way;and in numbers, to this site. Most,if not all, will have pain issues. Most will have tried other meds already. Detoxing from Tram is not where it ends for many of us. I think our greatest resource is our own intelligence and self-reliance. Personally, I would rather contemplate a life of occasional mood management exercises and 'alternative' remedies to what else is on offer.(LMFAO...as in an 'alternative' to death drugs,hapless physicians and drug companies!?!)
I dont think there is a miracle cure for any of us, but I do seriously believe we could do better for ourselves than some doctors would do for us.

Ive noticed also a number of 'type As' among us, gotta get it done, has to be perfect, must try harder! Im tpye A myself and we dont suffer frustration well as a rule! I think we can make life so much harder sometimes just because we try to 'push" through. Im re-channeling my type A energy into making new patterns, giving more time to myself, starting my day in an uplifting way(Im not allowing myself out of the house until Im relaxed and ((relatively)) pain free and in an ok mood). And Im being more selfish in positive ways...what do I want today? Im going to treat myself differently. After all, Im not the only one who'll benefit.

Although I dont have kids of my own I have raised children 0-18yrs and I want to direct all parents here to the previous paragraph. i.e. I think that unless we take time to be selfish at least occasionally then it will so much harder to provide the kind of un-selfishness children need from us. My parenting days are over now (ive promised mysel) but reading posts written by parents has done a lot to keep my own misery in perspective in the darker times. Ive been thinking about the work that lies ahead as I/We rebuild from the Tram wreck and I think this needs strategies of its own. I cant think of a better or simpler one than being kind to ourselves;indulgent,hedonistic,joyful in ANY activity. Some of us will find the idea of selfishness challenging perhaps. After all, we're conditioned to de-prioritize ourselves all our lives,to think of selfishness as 'bad'. So if guilt strikes as you wallow in the bath with your reefer/wineglass/friend... try reminding yourself...ITS NOT ONLY ME WHO'LL BENEFIT!













544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jun 24, 2009
Hi Guys,

Not dead! Pissed off. But not dead.

Is Tramadol harder to quit than Heroin? Maybe. What about Benzos?

Considering how hard Klonopin, the long slow taper from H-E double toothpicks took, followed by ... whatever *this* is .. Maybe.

I lose the ability to write, which is profoundly disturbing. And it makes me a little angry, but then, what doesn't at the moment? It's the Klonopin talking ...

I can now tell I am not going to actually die. Mainly.

Kev your note about the beans made me smile. King 'O The Compost Heap!

Here's pictures of my Roses, fresh from the garden. You may or may not know how hard it is to grow yellow roses. They are much more rare and harder to care for. These are Golden Celebration. An English rose that took years to settle in.

http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/BlueDBlue/goldencelebration1.jpg
http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/BlueDBlue/goldencelebration2.jpg
http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/BlueDBlue/goldencelebration3.jpg
http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/BlueDBlue/Goldencelebration4.jpg
http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/BlueDBlue/goldencelebration5.jpg

Fred I'd love to believe that the medical community just doesn't know about Tramadol. But, yeah, I think they know and don't care.

As to living your life in a way that excludes Fear, or is less fear based. To me, the rebuilding of your life, or the continuation of your life rather, after an experience like Tramadol is tough. What we are doing here? It's tough. A huge number of people just stay on the drugs. They are aware that the pills are harming them, but for whatever reason, they cannot quit.

Building new coping mechanisms is very tedious and exhausting after you have had years of, 'take a Pill!' thinking. I mean, one reason for me, Tramadol hit me so hard was the LIE that it's not addictive and not dangerous and not an opiate. Such a huge lie.

I'm knowing now, like I know my own name, that the plan I have finally worked up to heal and regain my health and well being; i know that plan will work. What is it? Yoga, gardening, better food and TIME.

Realizing that you are not happy with how your life is going is actually, in my opinion, a good thing. It's happened to me again and again. And very time, beautiful results because I was blessed with an ability to rise from the ashes. I won't even pretend that most of the time I was the one who started the fire. Cause, I have. I did. I will again if I have to.

Coping mechanisms are where it's at Hep Cat Fred! It takes practice and time to reverse the "This pill will make it ok ... ok well this pill will make it less horrible and I'll fell less unwell ..." kinda thinking.

This last week, my business turned 10 years old. I wish I could tell you that I partied like it was 1999, but I didn't. Yet. Time for that when I am more than 60% better. Time time time ....

Love and Healing,
Emily

544292 tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Jun 24, 2009
Clen,

I keep meaning to tell you, I have a friend who told me that while she was taking Ambien, she'd get up out of bed and glue lettuce to the wall.

She told me this and I think I kinda, went into shock. The visual ... I mean; I have all kinds of questions here. What kind of lettuce? I mean Iceberg would be such a different story than loose organic mixed. And what kind of glue? A glue stick? Super glue? Elmer's?

She didn't really like my questions ... and now I feel like I need answers ...

Anyhow ... I'll invite you over for a salad ... ON THE WALL ...

Bwahahahaaaaaa

Anyhow, Clen I know you can do it! you have our support!

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 24, 2009
Hi, Emily,

Thanks for that amusing anecdote.  We can sure use some humor around here!  After reading your post I ran outside to see if my car was still there.  Whew, it was.  I guess I'm not into the sleep walking (or driving) stage....yet.

I tried an ambien free night last night but it didn't work.  At 2:00 am I was still awake so I took half a pill (5mgs).  Quitting ambien is different from quitting tramadol.  There is no tapering process here and I think the worse symptom is just the insomnia.  So it will take  a day or two of not sleeping to be over this.  I feel like saying a cuss word (something I NEVER do) because I successfully quit the tramadols only to be surprised by this nasty ambien.  However the cut from 2/5mgs a night to 1/5mgs has significantly reduced the migraine type headaches.  

Someone once mentioned Sleepy Time Herbal tea as a supplement.  I got a generic brand and it's pretty good.  I can't gauge the effect on sleep yet but it seems to have a nice calming effect and it tastes good so thanks for the tip. (I'd go back and find out who so I can thank you personally but I'm a little lazy this morning)

I forgot this is the tramadol forum not the ambien forum.  So I have to say this is day 29 tram free!  I still have more than 100 of those pills (actually capsules for me) and I have all but forgotten about them.  I still take OTC's for whatever pain I may get and I just push the stack of trams aside without even considering taking one.  I may just be one of the lucky ones with no craving after effect.  Mind you I may still experience some late tramadol WD effect but right now with the ambien problem it's hard to distinguish what is coming from where.  In any event compared to day 4 of CT these days are like a walk in the park.

Emily, as to your question about tramadol vs. klonopin,  I'll take klonopin any day.  To me the WD from tramadol   was about 10 times worse than klonopin.  I was in the klonopin forum for just a short time because I was surprised how quickly I weaned off them without going through a lot of the horrors that I read on that forum.  (I couldn't figure out why people were going through all that complicated process of water titration when a simple taper worked for me)  I guess we truly are unique.  Good luck in all your battles.

Regards to all.  Thank you all for your great posts and encouragement.  To those going through a taper or CT you are in my thoughts and prayers just hang in a little longer and suddenly, it's over!........clen



Avatar universal
by 2Sue, Jun 24, 2009
Hi i keep posting to give you all a bit hope.im nearly three months post tram.I was on for six months post operation and for chronic pain..
The first week is hell, the pain escalated,and the hellish withdrawal  effects kicked in, as you are experiencing..
This drug affects every system in the body, as i now realise. mentally  -    anxiety, concentration, focus, depression, renally (my routine changed.)      appetite,(was much less, hence the weight loss- but much to my delight,NOT, ive put the weight back on.)..       energy, i had none at all..but i did manage to look after my three young boys and work..they were brill,,and im the ,coolest mam now, ive just been told.bless.(ive spend more time doing things with them now.).

When i think about that first month mainly..how i got through it god knows.. this site and support thats what..i took one day at a time and shouted from the roof-tops --literally some days.lol. that i was withdrawing...i told work colleagues family, friends, strangers,,as it wasnt my fault....and i found that thats important to realise...i didnt do this to me and neither have you......
i must have been a site to see some days,,slow thinking, drowsy looking, slurring on some days, and hands shaked terrible on some days.
my hat is off to those that are saying they are unwell.i was unwell but i wanted everyone to see what the tram does,,and every day i had someone say that theyd experienced it or were on it...SHOCKING.  
The World Health Authority are keeping an eye on tram usage. I emailed them but have had no reply,,
week 3 - 4 the depression was bad, bad bad.   suicidal thoughts were the start of a turning point for me...I realised how weak my body was in all respects, and started to run..im entered in for the Great North Run and it has given me a focus, and gives me good endorphins..
eating protein, a fistful at each meal helps with seratonin levels and only having carbs at night.. as well as a healthy diet of fruit and veg...........recently i have stopped the vitamins i was on as i was feeling ratty and didnt know which was causing it..so my bod is in a natural state...well except for the chocolate and tea..which im working on.unsuccessfully..
im no way  perfect, still fighting mild depression and struggling with my weight....been running for four weeks almost daily and putting wt on...whats that about....
please keep up the daily fight,,IT IS REALLY WORTH IT. even though im not posting regular.im rooting for you all. JUST KEEP GOING. Sue

910168 tn?1262466069
by Lillyval, Jun 24, 2009
Fred - you copied the exact post I was referring to from Sage Kev - Thanks for your words of wisdom Kev!

Clen - glad to see you're doing well

jekorb - I'm glad you're not giving up on NA becuase of that less than inspiring meeting - you're doing great!

I was reading in some of the older posts that someone's doctor was going to file a report with the FDA about her adverse Tramadol experience.  I know many of our doctors wouldn't do this, but I'm wondering if we as patients could file a report?  I'll look into it and let you all know.  If everyone on this forum suddenly reported that this stuff is highly addictive I wonder if it would make a blip on the radar screen.  In the meantime I think I'm going to post a "review" on rxlist.com where people researching prescriptions look for info.  Maybe others could do that too.  I keep thinking of all of the usnsuspecting people that are just starting tramadol and think it's the greatest thing - like we all did before it turned on us.
Blessings everyone,
Lilly

Avatar universal
by 2Sue, Jun 24, 2009
Hi just wanted to say im a nurse of many years, and even reading the side effects in the pack never prepared me for what was to come,  and i ask lots of questions of my colleagues, but even though im cautious  i took them as its the drug of choice in england at present and was told it was a fine. Its probably why i didnt hide the fact i was withdrawing..and will let anyone know how awful it is to try to change their attitudes.
sue

Avatar universal
by samajax, Jun 24, 2009
To all, thanks for the kind words and advice.

Grandmagirl- thanks for the note, and yes I will keep posting.

Fred- great advice on the day to jump off. I'm doing 3 half pills today, and will switch to 2 halfs tomorrow and jump off Friday instead of Saturday as I had planned.

This weekend it scheduled to be in the 100's for my city, so I will be swimming and trying to keep my body as busy as possible- trying not to sit and indulge myself with my own thinking. I have mulch to put out and the final touches to put on my new Black bamboo trench- I have 12 varieties of bamboo in my garden. Last weekend, in the second week of taper, I dug an almost 90 linear feet trench around my black bamboo grove, removed turf, and applied 20 bags of mulch. So yes, type A and activity is the only way I know of avoiding the body crap I know will be there if I'm still. The couch seemed like a good place- but if I'm there, I get to experience all the symptoms- so I force myself not to be in that position. That is what is working for me.

Like I said before- I am lucky that my body pain has subsided. That the reason for the tram is not really there any more. That my years of injuries have not left me overtly full of pain. That the injuries have always healed- and even though I have aged, they have not clung on. When I read of folks quitting who still have true pain, it amazes me.

So I will check in this weekend- and thank you all once more for being here.

M.

Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jun 24, 2009
Everyone's posts are so encouraging and enlightening~~~I am now checking every single day to give myself a boost b/c I am so frightened of my upcoming withdrawal.  Nothing has budged me from my resolve to do this.  I am one of the lucky ones who can take as much time as I want to take care of ME and know the pets will be fed, laundry and housework will be done, bills will be paid and food made for my husband and youngest daughter still at home.  Not only that, I know that I myself will be provided food and the time to lean into my struggle.  The thought that I would have to try to find child-care, time off from work, making meals, taking care of any other business that goes on in one's busy life----that all just boggles my mine and makes me so thankful to realize how lucky I actually am.  I do not struggle alone, like many for whom I pray.  Anyone who has to go to a job and/or continue to care for family or has an unsupportive spouse (to my dismay, I found that this is not uncommon at all) has my utmost admiration and regard.  YOU are the heroes!

I have looked at the Thomas Recipe but will have to guage how these herbs/supplements will affect my colitis.  Also, I have a weak stomach and nausea/vomiting is pretty prevalent during my w/ds, so I don't think I could keep them down.  I intend to rely on my Bentyl, Sleepy Time tea, water and crackers for the most part.  This will be the biggest and LAST w/d I'll ever have, as I used to do the "on-withdraw-off for awhile", "on-withdraw-off for awhile" routine over and over through the years.  Now, I've been "on" for 1 1 /2 years with no stop.  I'm thoroughly shocked and amazed at my colossal stupidity at a time in my life when I should have sense and wisdom; I am an addict with an addict brain, but will fight for all I'm worth from now on.

Thanks so much, Emily, for starting the ball rolling.  I intend to go back and read your earlier entries. Three hundred seventy days clean----I'm so jealous and can't wait until I can say that for myself (and I will!).  Fred---I'm going to read your June 20th post every single day for my shot-in-the-arm, and Lillyval, tramaqueen and everyone else~~~thank you so very much for putting up with me!!!  Frankly, I don't know how you all do it; put up with me, I mean!  LOL!!  I'm so eager to get this done and get back on here in mid-July and say, "I did it!  I lived!  I am one of you now---clean!"  All I think about is July 9th, July 9th, July 9th.  I almost never think about this trip we're going on over the 4th weekend; I want to get back home and git 'er done!  Blessings and love to all of you.

946806 tn?1246069369
by Pat_, Jun 24, 2009
Fred, thanks for reposting Kev's post, it was helpful for me.

I was prescribed tram back in Jan for sciatic pain, possibly from grade one spondy with some foraminal stenosis (narrowing of the canal where the nerve exits the spine). The first time it was twenty 50 mg pills to last 60 days. In March it was 60 pills for sixty days, and then in June another sixty, with a refill this time. These were to be taken 'as needed' and I only realized that I have a problem when I took the pills for several days and then decided to take a break for a few days. I felt tingling in all extremities and went to the doctor, thinking I further damaged my spine. He gave some blood tests and sent me home, saying it would resolve in time. It was only when I Googled tingling and tramadol that it all fell into place.

This is day three of my taper, one 50 mg pill per day to get through work. One more tomorrow, then I will stop. Even taking one a day, I still feel quite nauseous and have some pins and needles.



946806 tn?1246069369
by Pat_, Jun 24, 2009
I wanted to add that I am also type A, and abused alcohol, meth, and opiates in the past. I am sober three years and clean for more than twenty.

None of the other w/ds were as bad as this...

Best wishes to all.

Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jun 24, 2009
Did anyone else besides me have the terminal yawns/sneezes along with withdrawal??  That's something I am SO not looking forward to.  I remember that yawning would drive me insane with anger and the sneezing, too.  Did anyone else have this phenomenon?  Also, for headache during w/d, how well does Extra-Strength Tylenol work?  A bit?  Not at all?  Works well?  I have trouble with NSAIDs so can't rely on them.  Just wondering.  Thank you!

Avatar universal
by Trees_and_Tablets, Jun 24, 2009
Hello to everyone,

Been away for a couple of weeks as I came down from 200 to 100 and put up with all the crap that entails. Rotten sleep, sickness, shakes, self loathing ad nauseum, etc etc.
Then the last 7 days tended to get a bit better - mor stable but with small wd symptoms every time I approached a new dose.
So 48 hours ago I thought that is it. I've had enough. And so I have been CT for the last 48 hrs and so far I have to say it is really just like the mild wd symptoms I have experienced for the past 11 years whenever I was late with a dose. The only difference being the severity. It's about 10 times worse. I can liken it to having a really stonkin hangover. I just want to keep moving and yet I want to be still aswell. I can't rest or feel at ease. My skin hurts. My head throbs. I can't stop going to the bathroom. And yet, as people on here have said many times, 48 hours ago was the time for me to do this. It felt right for me, and I can draw enormous strength from the fact that I am regaining control.
One thing I did in readiness for this was to print off a 10 page document of all the posts here that I found inspiring and I have dipped into those frequently. You know the ones that talk to you.

I'll keep posting if I can focus on the keyboard long enough, and maybe the time dif here and in the US will give me some instant responses when I'm up in the middle of the night.

Thanks again for all the support from all those on here - boy did it help me get where I am now.

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 24, 2009
Hello Trees_and_Tablets.
This site has really helped me and just the other day I thought the same thing , In hindsight I should have printed these pages and had them with me at all times. There is so much support here and ANSWERS.
It's a unique, but widespread problem, how to get off this substance, how long will I feel this way? Will it get worse or is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Will today be better? What about tomorrow?.
Having tapered or gone cold turkey with such things as Vicoden etc...this Tramadol situation is just so darn different, as many will attest, it's not the same and it takes a lot of willpower at first, then you will hate the stuff and be on your way to better days. I promise..
And the only answers and comfort I could ever get, or needed, I found here, in great detail.
So WELCOME and take care of yourself.

On another note I just today realised that I experinced a symptom I didn't see mentioned here, not RLS, but extreme cramping in the arches of my feet. I actually went to the podiatrist during my withdrawal time and they had no answers.
OF COURSE they had no answers, they are doctors and no one in the medical field knows anything about Tramadol withdrawal, nor do they CARE.

So, it's been two weeks or so for me. I'm not counting the days anymore.
Yesterday I experienced one of the non-linear couple of hours. It's been really hot but for about two hours I thought my anxiety was off the charts. I layed down for awhile and did some deep breathing but it really was uncomfortable and of course it came out of nowhere and left suddenly. Felt similar to a bad hangover. My hands were shking like an alcoholic who needs a drink.

That's the poison we're dealing with here, hiding in the recesses of our bodies for some time, sneaking out to kick some booty when it feels like it.

Jules


Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jun 24, 2009
Thank you for the post, Jules---by the end of July, I want to be like you~~~two weeks+ clean and on my way.  My prayers for your continued success and all who are helping others by writing here.  Blessings!

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by Lillyval, Jun 24, 2009
Hi everyone - I'm really struggling here.  I keep waiting for one day to get better than the next but every day I'm lethargic, down, can barely do basic tasks and as an added bonus my stomach issues are acting up again.  I've been keeping a calendar of what I've taken since first going off tramadol on June 2.  On most days I've taken something, an Ativan, a percocet, kratom (and as I confessed earlier - tram a few times).  I think by constantly trying to take something to ease the withdrawals I know I'm prolonging the agony and not allowing my brain chemicals to get back to normal.

I know a lot of people here have said it takes 3-4 weeks to feel close to "normal" again.  I guess I really didn't prepare myself for the long haul.  I feel like I already used up my "I'm sick" excuse to family & friends who wondered what was wrong the first week.  And my husband who is trying to be supportive is wondering when I'm going to get up and do something. I'm sitting here in sweat pants, I've done next to nothing all day, I'm nauseous, I and I guess I just feel like a weak person.

Sorry to be so negative but this is my reality in trama-withdrawal-land today.
Hope others are feeling better!
Lilly

Avatar universal
by Trees_and_Tablets, Jun 24, 2009
Dear Lillyval,

I am so in tune with your emotions. As I said a couple of posts up I am 48, nay 52, hours since my last dose, and like you I am lethargic, restless and feeling totally wrecked. I am taking Paracetamol (same as Tylenol), as my pain killer withdrawal strategy, mostly for the headaches and body pain. I keep reading the positive comments I printed off and they help massively. If you would like me to I can (somehow?) send you the word doc I pasted them all into to save you the bother of extracting them all.

Heck I'm no expert on this coming off Tramadol thing, more going on it, but somehow I think you need to find that inner 'I'm going to do this whatever the cost to me and those about me' and see it through. I'm trusting in the wise words of others that this won't take too long in the greater scheme of things. Heck, if you broke a leg you'd be no good to anyone for about 6 weeks so I'm sure the world can manage without any one of us for a few weeks.

Try and be selfish without intentionally hurting anyone around you, and keep focussed on a date in the future when you'll be fine.

Good luck,
Stephen

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 24, 2009
Lilyval:

I'm sorry to hear  about all the problems you are having but I must agree with what you said  "I know I'm prolonging the agony.."   I have to believe that is so.  Percocet is a narcotic pain killer (oxycodone) and it could be just the same as taking tramadol.  Ativan (lorazepam) is a Benzo,  bad news right there.  It would be easy for me to say just drop all the medications (drugs) and go cold turkey and be over with it.  But that would be terribly unfair since I don't know in what situation I myself  am going to be in  tomorrow.

So all I can venture to say is that as long as you keep taking all these basically mind altering medications you will never be "close to normal again".  Normal is being drug (medication) free.  I think we all know the pain of tramadol WD here and maybe if I had had a substitute I would have taken it too.  But I would have been just postponing the inevitable.  I wish there were another way around the horrors of withdrawal,  some secret pill that we could take and be done with it but, alas, there is no secret pill, no magic potion, no Chinese formula, nothing but time.  Time for your brain and body to cure itself.  Time for your body to rid itself of all those intoxicants we have so foolishly filled it with.

Give your brain and body the time they need to get you out of this crisis.  I remember  that during the worse part of my CT withdrawal I would lay on the floor and try to get my brain to find any hidden tramadol in my body.  I would try to get it to check my liver to see if there might be a few molecules of tramadol hiding there  that I might use to relieve even if for a few seconds some of those terrible symptoms.  Withdrawal is precisely that.  Your brain searching for the now needed drug and disregarding everything else causing disruption of most autonomic functions.

Give yourself that time.  Reread all the posts here over and over again.  I guess if you're like me you dread the loneliness of night when every one is peacefully sleeping and you are a nervous, nauseous wreck.  Just think that in a few days you too can be peacefully sleeping if you give yourself the time you need to recover fully.

My prayers are with you all the time,    clen.....

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jun 25, 2009
Emily,  thank you for your kind words of encouragement as I strive to figure out how to accept the "frustratred perfectionist" that I am.  I seem to generally take a step or two forward into this accepting my own limitations "thing" and then fall back into my old pattern of feeling like I can "get it right" if I only exert enough time and attention to the problem.  But I feel like I am carrying these truths like a full cup of coffee across the kitchen - trying to not spill a drop. SPLASH...

For me lately, my stress is mainly work related.  Yes, of course I am glad to be gainfully employed as a lawyer.  If I were in private practice, I would shut the door.  But working for a large coporation, my choices are to take the cases I am given or quit.  I am convinced that with the state of the economy, most coporations (and maybe small businesses too) feel (1) they can't afford to properly staff and (2) they know we will keep working our fool brains out because there are so few options.  And it's not just me, it's all the other lawyers at the moment are entirely overwelmed with the case loads.

Has anyone seen that flick (I believe it was called) the Office.  (not the TV show).  With Jennifer Anniston and all her "flare" she was required to wear.  The coprorate downsizers interviewing people.  If you saw thag flick, some days I feel like the bumbling Milt.  But (almost) enough about Fred.

Today it dawned on me that I could work 70-80 hours every week and still never be caught up.  So I am feeling my way into realizing that I too have limitations.  So I turned off the phones and computer today at 5 p.m. and took a 40 minute walk.  They say it's called balance.  I'm trying to find it.  Cause I know that I am worth nothing to nobody if I wake up dead from the stress.

But coming here keeps reminding me of what's important.  If I can add ONE once of help to the tramadol user who is still struggling, my day is complete.  

What impresses me about this place is all of the really GOOD people with really BAD tramadol problems.  

2Sue, glad to hear from you again you nurse you!  Keep preaching the gospel of tramadol where you are planted and maybe someone will listen.  We can always hope, huh?

Trees, I must have missed you the first time you stopped by, so welcome.  I think you have it right when you said, "'I'm going to do this whatever the cost to me and those about me."  For all of the support we get here, it is a singular effort that makes us free.  In those little moments of pain and insomnia, etc., it is only by our best singular efforts that we can do this thing.  And maybe by the help of a higher power if you believe in that.  I know that I do.

Jules nd Clen, you offer some powerful supportive insights.  Keep it coming.

Samajax,  You sound to be in a good groove.  Keep coming back and posting.  I bet that in my first week off this drug I posted a bazillon times.  Posting is  a great distractor if nothing else.

Pat_ thanks for sharing your story.  Sorry I couldn't give you any better advice on alternative pain meds,  TRAM isn't IT, as you have discovered.  Sounds like you have an objective spine problem.  Let's hope that someone can move your situation with something besides pills.  

Lilly (((hugs))).  "spousal support" during this extended withdrawal process is difficult for someone who has never experienced this withdrawal to keep up with.  I recall my loving wife was asking me, "how are you feeling" several times that first day of my declared war on this drug.  After a few days, it was, "how are you feeling now?" Like much had changed.  And the now became NOW?   I invited her to stand behind the monitor and read some of the posts that first week.  That lasted about a day and she had seen enough.  As kind and loving as our spouses may be, it's difficult for them to understand what hell withdrawal from this drug really is.  AND heck, if the doctors who are paid to support and care for us don't understand or don't care, what shall we expect from others?  

If anyone has the where with all to write to the FDA of any other site to share our exerience with TRAMS, I say go for it.  Sadly, I wrote to several of these agencies during my first month of recovery and I didn't get one response.  

This IS a hard thing you guys are doing.  The good news is that withdrawal won't last forever.  One day, you will be like 2Sue and come back here to share your own success story with others.  What makes this work is one person helping another.  And like Hillary Clinton once said, "it takes a village".  You guys ARE that village.  In big and small ways, this works by each person sharing their successes and failures with this drug with the next person.  

I am headed off to bed, sweet dreams to all.(I hope!).....fred


Avatar universal
by Trees_and_Tablets, Jun 25, 2009
Finally Fred,

Thanks for those thoughts, and god luck with your own dilemmas.
Last night for me was THE WORST I have ever felt in my life, and wow did it test my resolve not to take another dose. But here I am 9.40 am, up, showered and dressed and making some breakfast. I've had no sleep, I couldn't find any comfort anywhere with anything all night long and I know now what others have said about not sleeping for 3 days to be true.

When my wife showed me some support this morning I was a flood of emotion and tears - I haven't done that in living memory. Up down sideways, I'm all over the place. But I am hopefully still pointing in the right direction. For me it is to be clear and feeling ok for our trip to the USA at the end of August. That date gives me real determination. The thought of wasting a fabulous £4000 vacation kills me!

Thanks again and to all those here, both in it and beyond it.

Stephen

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by Lillyval, Jun 25, 2009
Thanks everyone for your kind words of support.  I'm feeling a little better at the moment.

Stephen - thanks for your offer of the posts.  I have printed out tons and tons of them myself - enough to use up almost two ink cartridges.  I read them every chance I get and they remind me that others have experienced what I am experiencing.

Clen - As usual you are dead right.  Especially "as long as you keep taking all these basically mind altering medications you will never be "close to normal again".  Normal is being drug (medication) free".  I never would have thougt of scanning my body for a few remaining molecules of the drug.  It reminded me of an older post where a woman was welcoming the pain of withdrawal as a sign that tramadol was leaving the body.

When I was taking tramadol on a daily basis I would put off my first dose as long as possible, usually until at least noon.  Now that I'm not taking it I seem to be ok in the morning and then as the day progesses I start to feel sicker and sicker like my body is begging for that dose that it thinks is coming.  So I'm starting a strategy to do what I can in the morning, and then make plans to get out of the house by early afternoon to distract myself.  If I just sit home, like yesterday, I start to dwell on how bad I feel and then I start to think of what I can take to feel better.  

I was reading in some older posts about dl-phenylalanine, which contains 2 forms of an amino acid used as precursors to neurotransmitters (the d form being a precursor to endorphins).   I'm not a big believer in amino acids in general beause we get tons of them when we eat protein, but I was thinking about trying this.  I'm thinking if I take vitamins, DLPA and maybe some ibuprofen I'll feel a little better and I'll satisfy the urge to "take something".  I know "taking something" isn't a healthy way to deal with life, but if that's what it takes to put more time between me and tramadol I'll do it.

Hope everyone is doing well
Lilly



Avatar universal
by samajax, Jun 25, 2009
Whoa...good morning folks. The Chief of the company will be here from Germany today..Whoopee. Everyone is zooming, last minute ideas, full of life. And I'm not doing that bad.

Yesterday was approximately 3 half tabs, so 75mg, down from 400mg a couple weeks ago. Per Fred's advice, tonight is my last dose- and I have not taken any today since rising at 5AM. I'm ready for the weekend. No tram, lots of diversions- and possibly allowing myself to sit and just feel.

Through the body snags, forced myself to go to the gym daily so far. Yesterday was a good bit of stretching, some heavy lifting, but most important, 20 minutes on the rowing machine and 20 on the elliptical machine, iPod zone. Forcing myself to do that was avoidance of the symptoms big time...both in head and body. When I read here of others who can't move, makes my heart sink. I can't imagine a body in active rebellion and nothing to dull those hurts.

Thanks for the support. My so far manageable symptoms seem like childs play compared to some of your experiences.

I have been using a half tab of ambien to sleep- along with two melatonin. That only gets me about 4-5 hours, Can't wait to have to stop the ambien...great, something else to cleanse from.

Have a good one folks. I will be seeing my doctor today that put my on the trams...Prolotherapy for the knee. He knows I am tapering off his drugs and we will be having quite some conversation. I might even refer him to this forum...:)

While I've mentioned it before, I would say to some of you that Prolotherapy might be an applicable treatment for some of your injuries. It is done by a licensed medical doctor. It is the injection of an irritant, usually sugar water, at the site of an injury and through the body reacting to this irritant,  the area is improved on a micro level...Just a bit of information put out there.

M.

    

Avatar universal
by clendenon, Jun 25, 2009
samajax:

You said, "great, something else to cleanse from" referring to ambien.  I am in the same boat.  Having used ambien to help me sleep during the tramadol WD I now have to battle to quit it.  Ambien is a strange pill but it will be easier to quit than tramadol. Why?  Because I FEAR it more.  There is no "hidden" pleasure in ambien and the side effects (especially the severe headaches) are really bad.

So last night was my first ambien free night and I had just as much sleep as I had taking the ambien.  This is one pill I'm not messing with.  No refills and dumping of the leftovers (something I didn't do with tramadol).

So with ambien gone I am now completely pill free.  Also I am celebrating my 30 days tram free!

Lillyval:

You said "it will satisfy the urge to take something"  Yes, that's the "placebo" effect.  I took a lot of  natural products just to satisfy that urge, 5htp. GABA, Vit. B-6, B-12,  Valerian root pills and teas.  Anything that I thought would help lessen the WD symptoms.  Maybe they worked, maybe they didn't, but they brought me a few hours of "relief".  As  long as it does no harm it isn't a problem to try something.  Continue in the battle, it'll get better.

Greetings to all.  To those in a taper or cold turkey I say, hang in there,  it's well worth the pain to get off an even greater pain giver, tramadol.....blessings.....clen....



Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jun 25, 2009
Hello, and blessings to everyone.   These posts are the ladder in the pool onto which I hang, waiting to go into the deep water.  When I swim hard and the water becomes shallower (5 days, give or take), I will again climb the ladder, this time triumphant.  The ladder will be my support, always.  I am going to another NA meeting tonight, as I was so unhappy about the one I attended on Mon.  I talked to a wonderful woman from the district NA office, who told me that she knew I'd be much happier with this meeting.  I wasn't going to go at ALL---just wait until after w/d, then go, but after talking to her, I am excited to attend tonight.  I'm getting more and more nervous as the days go by, towards the July "event"; I've picked at my face so much, I looked like a 14-year-old with severe acne.  My youngest daughter was horrified at what I'd done and she and my husband constantly holler at me if they find me doing my nervous pick.  Thank the Lord for make-up!  

My prayers for all of you.  Nobody answered my last question about yawning and sneezing~~~~no one had these side effects?  Has anybody taken sam-E?  Was it any good and was it worth the money?  Please let me know.

Blessings, all.
Joan

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 25, 2009
Yesterday I felt great, nothing to complain about. Today, not so good.
It's just so hard to pin point but after reading some of the PAWS (Post Accute Withdrawal Symtoms) information I realized that this is going to take awhile.

And why wouldn't it?. I put massive amounts, or at least some amount of Tramadol in my body for 5-6 years, I count the first of the six years becuase that was my Norco year, with Tramadol in between scripts. So I should really expect to feel like crap for awhile.

Those days like yesterday I should embrace more and just be fortunate that they are there at all.

Peace, Love and Happiness

Jules

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jun 25, 2009
Hello all....
      Yawning, sneezing, picking, crying, sobbing, depression, panic attacks, HOT feeling of the body, sweating, skin that hurts, leg and foot cramps, feeling like your the only one that is going nuts and the ever lasting BRAIN FOG. Yes...........It's tram...W/D....

I would not wish this W/D on anyone...But in moments of rage..I would like to lock up my doctor and few of his doctor friends...perhaps one from each nation and feed them Tram for a year or so..and then TAKE IT AWAY...and flim thier W/D. Caught on camera....for all to see...  

Prayers and hugs to all from California....

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 25, 2009
Joan, the yawning and sneezing does go away.

My first 48 hours off tramadol I experienced a super bad head cold type thing. I told everyone I had seasonal allergies but I thought I might just die.

It will go away but that aspect takes a few days.

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jun 25, 2009
JEKORB:

To answer your question about sneezing:

I went through the sneezing and yawning too..It was really bad the first few weeks. I was literally sneezing 30 times a day and was thinking that my co-workers were wondering if I was coming down with H1N1.

At 52days tram free..the sneezing has been gone for about 2 weeks now....It's hard to tell, because the amount of times I sneezed daily seemed to taper off, gradually..instead of stopping, suddenly.

Like some others, I've tried to search for the cause, but the only thing we found was that it was a w/d..no reasons found as to why.

Hope this helps.

Amy



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by 12Stepper, Jun 25, 2009
Greetings Friends, Just caught up with the recent posts and am reminded how very hard the experience of w/d has been. I am in awe of the courage found here, especially from those of you suffering with harsh physical w/d symptoms and pain. I found the psychological symptoms to be the hardest. It seemed like all the usual negative thoughts that I was able to ignore while taking Tram launched an major attack on my consciousness. I think the ability to ignore them again and replace them with positive, life-affirming, loving thoughts exists in what we are calling "normal" (Tram-free) consciousness, but I have to work towards it.

Sometimes, like yesterday afternoon, even after about 5 weeks, I started to feel down again. This time I just went with the flow, knowing it was just my body revolting to the lack of Tram.one more time. I remembered all of your posts and remembered how much worse it is for those who are still in the more acute phases of this. We can do it, doing whatever it takes to help us make it through the day.

One of the things I really missed during those first weeks was the capacity to experience joy. I just want to say that it does return after what seems like forever but is really only a few more days. But I still have to do all the things that help me along to make it happen: exercise daily (if I forget, I don't sleep), taking time to commune with what I'll simply call the great spirit of the universe, reading my AA and other 12 step literature, reading posts and posting, taking time to do something I enjoy like watching a sunset, using herbs to help sleep. Each thing is not that powerful by itself,  but combined with all the others, I am finding peace--and hope for the return of a happy, joyful drug-free life. The Benedryl/Tylanol PM taken on a taper helped with insomnia, though some people have a bad reaction to the active ingredient.

Joan, I do recall someone mentioning sneezing in previous posts. It's strange how we all have slightly different reactions, but I have no doubt it's the body's reaction to the lack of Tram.

Clen, so glad to hear you are sleeping without the Ambian. That is another bridge crossed. Congrats!

M., Glad you are finding relief in the exercise. It helps on so many levels--cleansing, relaxing, good to create sleep, a distraction, pumps seratonin into the brain. I hope the doctor visit went well. Many of us have gotten no understanding from the medical profession.

Lilyval, Glad you are having a better day. Distractions have helped me immensely, although planning them every day isn't easy. Ibprofin was very helpful with pain.

Trees and Tablets, Finding how to sleep "normally" is a major problem. I've found that after a bad night, I'll be able to sleep well the next night. It's good to know we will be able to sleep eventually!

Fred, I really liked the "full cup of coffee" image, always good to read your posts.

Onemoretry, Thank you for sharing that this is different from the Vicodin w/d. I didn't experience much when quitting Vicodin--just craving it when the going got rough. In fact, I used Tramadol as a substitute, thinking there wouldn't be a problem. But this . . . is really a long walk through a physical and mental minefield. We are bless to have this site to help us understand.

I'm going on a trip for the next few days but will try to check posts along the way. Thank you all for being here!

Linn

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jun 25, 2009
The main difference with the Vicoden vs. Tramadol w/d is that when I quit Vicoden, many times in fact.... I could split a tablet and use crumbs to help soften the fall. This DOES NOT WORK (for me at least) with Tramadol.

With Vicoden, things improved day by day. BUT I think with Vicoden I had more cravings for it after the withdrawal and now with Tramadol I don't have cravings in fact like many here I hate it, totally DESPISE the thought of it. If I found a tablet in my drawer tonight I would look at it, and pure hate would be my emotion, no desire to take it.

I just wish it would quit liking ME and leave my body NOW.

Jules



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by EmilyPost, Jun 25, 2009
http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/100973?personal_page_id=142

This thread is closed.

Please move to Part 11, Friends!

Avatar universal
by vin1382, Sep 28, 2009
hi

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