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17yrs on Hydrocodone: OVER
  1. #1
    Lolojo is offline New Member
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    Default 17yrs on Hydrocodone: OVER

    Well, this is a first. Never posted on any forum anywhere online...read a lot, but not posted.

    17 yrs ago on a 3 week cross-country trip with 2 of our kids (14 & 8 back then), my husband of then 3 yrs, who had been taking 10/750 Hydrocodone pills 4x/day since a car accident in his late 20's left him with permanent nerve damage & chronic pain in his right shoulder (or so I was led to believe at the time), noticed that I was particularly irritable and described the sensation of taking one of these pills. This was in 2001, waaaaay before all the hoopla around opiate-based drugs had come to light. So, somewhere on the road, in the middle of the country, while driving, he suggested I try one. It was 2pm...interesting how the time stuck in my head..well, everyday, I began to ask for that "happy" pill at 2pm. We had been through 4 shocking deaths within the first year of our marriage (one of them leading to my raising his 7yr old son as my own). and needed relief, hence the trip....but clearly it wasn't enough for me. Suffice to say, it became more than once a day, and I discovered that my husband had a doctor who reviewed his X-rays and would send him enough pills for the both of us. I was taking 4/daily as well. I later discovered he was a complete addict and finally came off them by substituting suboxone through a doctor who specialized, while continuing to enable me by buying enough pills to satisfy my growing addiction. He had gotten up to 30 pills/daily...the most I ever took was 8. The laws changed and his doctor was suddenly out of business, so he went to his GP and got 3 months worth at a time....for me. The dosage was reduced from 10/750s to 10/325s. I got used to taking 6-8 daily, & then the hammer really fell over the past two years. He would have to go every month in person for a month's prescription (120 pills). When the hammer finally came down on the doc about 3 months ago, he was told to start weaning or he'd have to go to a pain care specialist to get off the pills. The writing was on the wall. I was an addict who had to stop taking what she was addicted to.
    I knew I would have to stop "eventually," and now there was no choice unless we found a black market source, & I had no interest in going down that path. My husband suggested I go on suboxone, which he refuses to come off, but to me, that was trading one addiction for another and also, through reading message boards like this, I discovered that the w/d from sub is even worse than hydros. So he got one last month of pills (120) on 12/2/17 & I had 25 pills of 5/325s from 2 surgeries I had in Nov & Dec. I used way more of both due to the unexpected level of pain I was in after the surgeries. Finished the 10/325s by 12/27 and used the 5/325s to taper. I got down to 3/day, then 2.5/day
    Then 2, then 1 then .5/325, then split them in half for a few days, then split the halves in half. I had 6 of those left at one piece per day...those teeny pieces, and took 1/day for the last 6 days, and the final piece today at 11am. Yes, the w/d has NOT been fun, but I was resigned to deal with all of it..sweats, RLS, wanting to jump out of my skin, watery eyes, yawns, runny nose, and insomnia.....all while working for 5 days on a major sitcom last week on which I have a recurring Guest Star role I was actually hired for another episode this week, which I dreaded having to do in my condition, but, luckily, my role was cut due to the length of the ep, so I've been home since 1/9/18 dealing with w/d.
    The remaining symptoms are some body aches, lethargy, depression, & insomnia which are just the pits. I've been using an OTC for leg cramps and something called "Calm Forte" to relax as well as Advil for headaches. Xanax when it got really bad. I know that tapering has helped the w/d, but I'm wondering how long these lingering symptoms will last and if things will get worse now that I won't even be putting a half of a half of a .5/325 in my body. I didn't even feel anything from that low of a dose, but psychologically, I think it was good to do it this way. I read about the dopamine deal, and wonder how to get my own dopamine production going again to hasten the end of the w/d and to start really feeling better. I know that exercise...just walking would be helpfuf, but I've only made it out of the house once this whole week for a 40 minute "stroll." Tips? Comments? Am I in for more dark days? After 17 yrs, am I in for months of this? Any advice/help/suggestions are welcome & requested! Thank you so much in advance!!
    Beefaroni7272 likes this.

  2. #2
    Maxheadrum is offline Member
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    Default

    LoloJo-

    Welcome to the forum!

    I can tell you this, given the length of time you have been on the meds, you are going to need a little time to get through the acute phase of withdrawal. There are so many people on this site that have laid down these crutches for good.

    I had my own daily struggle with them then had to deal with a suboxone issue for a year and a half. I d heard lots of different stories about struggles with painkillers and suboxone.

    One thing I know for sure is every withdrawal is personal and will come with your own feelings on how we hunker down. Although all different, we all seem to experience pain in different ways. But we all share in a positive determination to take our lives back and leave the poison opioids in the trash.
    I hope you go back and read some of these wonder threads of people who have been where you are and how they gradually got better!

    Hoping you have a great day and remember you CAN do this!
    Beefaroni7272 likes this.

  3. #3
    Lolojo is offline New Member
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    Default

    Thanks, Maxheadrum....in fact I had read so many of the stories, I was inspired to write my own. I will look for more specifically similar timelines (like my 17 yrs on these things)....that will help, AND being seen and acknowledged by others, such as yourself encourages me. Thank you so much. I don't feel the w/d is as "acute" as it was last week & weekend, so I have no idea what will happen as absolutely 0 opiates are added to my system beginning tomorrow, even though the amount for the last 6 days has been negligible. I'm also apprehensive about the psychological impact. We shall see what we shall see, I guess.
    Beefaroni7272 likes this.

  4. #4
    Beefaroni7272 is offline Advanced Member
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    Default

    Hey lolojo. Welcome to the forum. Like Max said this is an amazing place where you'll receive all the support and encouragement from an amazing bunch of addicts in different stages of their recovery. No judgements here. Congratulations on day 1 by the way!!! Have you seen the Thomas recipe for opiate withdrawal?? I can't drop a link on my phone, but you can Google it. Everything there will help you on your detox. I'd leave out the benzos unless taking them under a doctor's supervision.

    W/d are no fun for sure but it's a necessary evil to get clean. The physical aspect should last around a week or so with symptoms peaking around day 2-4 and gradually getting better after that. But the mental journey is quite formidable. You have to want this more than anything else in the world.And it sounds like you do. We certainly didn't get this way in a day. It's gonna take some time for us to heal. Just keep in mind that it's not set in stone. Everyone heals at different rates. Some slower, some faster. Just take it slow, one day at a time.

    Make sure you hydrate, and stay active. Keep moving and get those endorphins moving. Bananas help out for sure. Imodium will be a life saver, liquid form as directed. Sitting on the couch watching the clock will drive you insane. Get out there, I know it's gonna be tough, but it really helps.

    Like Max suggested, get on here and read, and post as much as you want or need to. It really helps. PopI read as Many stories I could find on here and with each one I found a new determination to see this through.

    Welcome again and congratulations!!
    I can tell you for certain that it is sooooo much better clean.
    Keep doing the next right thing
    Beef

  5. #5
    Maxheadrum is offline Member
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    Checking in on you today. Make sure you continue to post. It helps so much just to get the thoughts off your chest.

    We are all here for you!
    Beefaroni7272 likes this.

  6. #6
    paronirick is offline Junior Member
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    Hi lolojo:
    I'm sort of sailing in the same thunderstorm as you are. I stopped ice cold 8 days ago. There are some amazing people here such as Beef who enlighten you with their experience and wisdom. Honestly after 8 days of going clean, I too worry about my mental state >> physical. We all know the physical withdrawal is all the same.. Pain, Insomnia, headaches, restless legs... and some more. BUT... the mental withdrawal or the post pill depression is a whole different monster of its own. I'm going through the mental phase now, with the mind trying to trick you into ending the mental pain by relapsing. Well I say HECK NO....Obviously we have abused our brain, neurotransmitters and dopamine so this shoukd not come as a great surprise. The key is to except and own the mistake we have made. The forgive ourselves and give TIME TIME TIME. Take one day at a time. Do not expect recovery in a few days, weeks or even months if you have abused for years. It's just common sense but like I said our vulnerable brains can't process that right now. I'm sticking to my journey and I do not expect myself to be free at least for the coming year. Ofcourse I want to see progress in a few months but the battle has just begun. I will be victorious.... no doubt about it. And so will you if you use every ounce of your will power
    Beefaroni7272 likes this.

  7. #7
    RightTurn33 is offline Member
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    lolojo - congrats for having immense character and determination, and welcome to a bright future!

    I was on percoset and morphine plus gabapentin and xanaflex (muscle relaxant) for a decade, under care of pm doctor for surgical pain related to mesh implants. I tapered over the course of 6 weeks and then had to CT it at ~30 mg oxycodone. Today is my 17th day without meds. Total honesty - I am still having a very difficult time. I am making progress. As another mentioned, our brain neuro-chemicals shut down due to have been overstimulated with opioids (for a long period of time). We are in reboot mode. The great news - everyone reboots, our bodies are miraculous, self-healing vehicles that transport our spirit. What helps is activity (especially exercise) - force yourself if need be.

    It's amazing we all have the same symptoms - RLS, insomnia, anxiety depression, lethargy, sweats, etc. I keep on looking for a time frame for my symptoms to end and now realize it's a fools errand that creates anxiety.

    Take encouragement at how far you have come and what you accomplished and most importantly, keep very engaged with determination. What you've accomplished is exceptional.

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