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5 Year Norco Addiction - Just Begun Detox Taper
  1. #1
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Default 5 Year Norco Addiction - Just Begun Detox Taper

    Hello, everyone.

    I'll get right to it. I'm a Vicodin addict, and after 5 years, I am QUITTING. Yay.

    Backstory...I was put on vicodins 7 years ago for menstrual cramps. For 2 years, I took them responsibly, meaning, only when I needed them for 3-4 days per month, if that, and 1-2 per day. They were even the 5/500's. I didn't think much about them, honestly. My Doc prescribed 20 a month, and I rarely refilled.

    Two years later, I had a relationship that ended suddenly and painfully. I started taking the Vicodins to cope, as they gave me an emotional lift and numbed me out. I look back now and can say this was the start of the addiction.

    Over the next few years, I started doctor shopping, to make sure I always had a steady supply. I even got caught by my (then) primary care doctor. Of course, I never went back, as I was completely ashamed. I will say, even at my highest usage, I rarely took more than 30mg per day. I think perhaps a handful of times over the last 5 years did I take 40mg. Most days were 1-3, depending on what was going on in my life.

    Two and a half years ago, I nursed my Dad through hospice, and his eventual passing. We were very close. Again, vic's were my coping mechanism. They blunted me emotionally, so after a long day in the hospital, I'd come home, turn off the phone, take a Vicodin, and escape.

    5 months ago, I had a serious back injury, so once again, Vicodin's abounded.

    I know I'm an addict, and I've know this for a long time. I once quit for a month, to see if I could. But otherwise, it's been a regular part of my life for years. I didn't WANT to quit. Vic's were my crutch, my friend, my companion and my solace.

    Now, I have met the man of my dreams, I have healed from my Dad's passing, work has never been better nor busier, and I'm tired of being a drug addict. I'm better than this. I'm stronger than this.

    Two nights ago, I counted out how many pills I would need for a 30-day taper. And I did something I NEVER thought I would do - I threw out 8 pills that were left over. Flushed right down the toilet. HUGE. And, when my BF got home (we live together), I told him I was addicted (he had NO idea), and was tapering towards full detox. It's been like I'm on auto-pilot...like this is coming from a very deep place within. I told him I loved him so much, and that he deserves to NOT marry a drug addict.

    So, I have since revised my schedule, and I plan to take my last pill on 12/31/14. I just want to be DONE. I've been toying with going CT, but I think that would likely ruin our holiday, as I could be feeling pretty lousy.

    The last few days, I've been taking 2 per day. Tomorrow, SUN, MON and TUE - 1.5. WED, THU, FRI and SAT - 1. And, then four days of half a pill, and done.

    I've quit before, but that was usually more a cold turkey thing, so I'm hoping the taper schedule will help with the withdrawals. I'm scared, thrilled, enthused, and frightened. I want to be on the other side. I can't tangibly remember what life is like sober, but I'm really anxious to find out.

    Wish me luck.
    Iwantoff2013 likes this.

  2. #2
    ntded is offline Junior Member
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    Hello LifeSaver77,
    Welcome aboard :-). I'm so glad you've become real with yourself and actively deciding to bring the use to an end. It takes a lot of courage to make that decision, put a plan in place,GET RID OF THE EXCESS, and be honest with your significant other.
    It takes some self realization and responsibility for what we put ourselves into.
    Sounds like you're Headstrong, as many of us addicts are. I'm an opiate user of 6 yrs and tapering long with subs.(my personal choice and works for me)

  3. #3
    ntded is offline Junior Member
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    Sorry,posted that accidentally with out mentioning but meant to ask if you've considered any supplements, or OTC meds to aide with comfort? Our minds tend to want relief during the stress of WD's on our bodies.
    Congrats on the future of your relationship! And starting out honest and clean! The best to you!!!

  4. #4
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Aw, thank you so much!

    Yes, I already take a lot of vitamins, and also plan to take motrin as needed for leg cramps and body aches.

    I woke up today, and felt miserable. Part of it is hormones (I'm 49), but that is where the Norco always helped - eased the depression of perimenopause. Or, so I thought.

    Anyway, today is my first day taking 1.5. Of course, since a good amount of drugs are still getting into my system, I'm not in physical pain yet...just sad and down. Been trying to occupy myself doing things around the house and what not. But, definitely feeling a few clicks off emotionally.

  5. #5
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Another milestone today, which I am super proud of.

    I decided two days ago to hasten my taper schedule, and cut off two weeks. In so doing, tonight I had to recount pills again, and this time, threw out another dozen or twenty or so. Could be more. I didn't count, I didn't care, but I know it was a lot. Flushed down the toilet, which is better place than in my body.

    To me, this shows me how committed I am. Sure, there was a niggling part of me that wanted to keep them around *just in case*, but we all know what that leads to. I figured if I set the schedule, then I'm sticking to it, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it becomes.
    Iwantoff2013 likes this.

  6. #6
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Sorry I've been MIA...was (luckily) very busy with the holiday. I hope everyone had a super Christmas.

    I am now down to 1 pill per day, which I'm cutting in half to even things out a bit. Tomorrow is my last day of taking a full pill, then down to 4 days of 1/2, and DONE. No more left in the house.

    How I am feeling...physically...had some trouble sleeping the first few nights of the taper, but I'm doing better now. I did forget how well opiates regulate my hormones in some strange way, as the night sweats have returned. Not fun. Otherwise, limited leg pain, no significant moodiness...I keep waiting to hit a wall of DT's or something. I mean, yes, I wasn't taking a huge amount, but I have been taking them very regularly for many years. I thought the sheer longevity would get me alone.

    Mentally...I miss using. Or, maybe I'm just USED to using. Not sure yet. I'm so used to waking up and thinking about how many I will use, and when I will start popping them. It's an adjustment of routine to NOT think about it, plan for it, manage around it...

    We went out to dinner on TUE, and I had my first glass of wine in about 4 years. Sometimes like a wine with dinner (never had an alcohol issue...pills were always my thing), but, I nursed one glass for 4 hours, and it felt very humanizing. I was always afraid to mix booze with the vic's, so I stopped drinking entirely. So, to order a glass like a non-addict, felt very normal.

    Otherwise, I KNOW I did the right thing in throwing out a ton of pills. Sometimes I miss them, and wonder if I've done the right thing. I even had a moment of bargaining yesterday with my BF ("Well, now that we KNOW I can cut to one without a problem, I should go back on at least two a day."). Luckily he saw through it, and called me out. No more bargaining.

    So for now, for today, I've stuck to my taper schedule, and am doing OK.
    Iwantoff2013 likes this.

  7. #7
    New Better is offline Member
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    LifeSaver,

    Stick to your plan, your doing great ! The speeding up of the taper, moving closer and closer to not using at all is a very good sign, your plan is working !

    -Chris

  8. #8
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Aw, thanks! Happy New Year to everyone.

    So, yesterday was my first day with ZERO pills. I fell asleep on the couch for two hours in the afternoon - unheard of for me. Partially because I'm not sleeping at night, and also withdrawal fatigue.

    Last night was miserable - kept tossing and turning. Also, leg cramps set in last night, so I was just restless. I ended up going to the guest room, as I was annoyed listening to everyone else (man and animals) sleeping soundly.

    Then, around 8AM, the first of (3) rounds of diarrhea set in. Fun stuff.

    Just felt pretty much blah - like people say - it's like you have some degree of the flu - body aches, fuzzy, upset tummy...

    I did some yoga, ate something (first attempt wasn't so successful, but tried again), and popped ibuprofen. Feeling better for sure.

    It's weird - I feel like a fried is missing. I miss my routine of using - walking up and thinking how I will use that day - how much and when, what I need to work around for commitments, etc. But at the same time, even though my body feels like it's been run over by a truck, my mind feels clearer than it's been in years.

    BF asked me this morning what he could do to help me, and I reflexively said, "get me a Vicodin". NOT because I physically wanted it, but because it's always been my crutch for any kind of emotional or physical upset disarray. But, because I flushed them all weeks ago (I even realized over the weekend that I miscalculated the taper pills again, and had 1/2 leftover. I bargained with myself if I should take it, but ended up flushing it), I have to learn how to cope on my own with stuff.

    I can't say I feel jubilant, because I miss dialing out and using. I wonder if I'll break one day, call my doc, and drive to her office to get a fresh script. I question how long I can stay quit. I want to know when I'll start to feel normal, whatever the heck that means to me anymore...

    But, overall, I'm proud I've made it this far, and I know I'm now in the ugly part, and just need to tough it out.

  9. #9
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Day three of NO vic's.

    Last night, legs were hurting quite a bit. BF massaged in some ben gay - holy moly - this stuff helped a LOT. Highly recommend it for leg muscle aches. The warming sensation was stronger than the body aches, so definitely distracted the pain. Popped ibuprofen all day - 800mg per dose - three times. Takes a tiny edge off.

    But, last night I had the BEST night's sleep I've had in weeks. Slept until 5AM, which is a big deal. Woke up and felt great. Not high, not low, not medium - just regular - like I did before drugs. Optimistic, enthusiastic, eager... We went for a long walk and had breakfast out. Was just lovely. I can't remember the last time I felt like this without being in a mind fog from vic's.

    Came home, did my yoga (it helps a lot, too, and after my back injury [legitimate], it feels wonderful to move my creaky and out-of-shape body).

    Diarrhea - still pretty regular- four times already today, and it's not even nightfall. SIGH. But, I don't feel crampy - just poopy. Annoying, and I don't feel like I should stray too far from home today.

    Legs hurt a tiny bit - haven't needed motrin yet, and trying to give the liver a rest. But, like all of us...I'm pain avoidant, so I won't try to tough out the aches.

    This is NOT the first time I've quit opiates, but so far - the easiest. I really think the taper helped considerably. All other times, I went CT - too much for my brain and body. Plus, I was just ready this time.

    Mentally, still miss dosing, I mean, it was routine. It's strange to wake up and not plan when and how much I can use. It's strange not making sure I have them with me wherever I go, just in case I'm late getting home, and need a pill. It's strange feeling connected to my body and like I belong in it.

  10. #10
    New Better is offline Member
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    Hey LifeSaver,

    Glad to hear that you have a good outlook, you should be going through the worst of it now, it will be over soon. If you continue to have problems in the bathroom, I found that Imodium helps for that, don't over do it...I never seemed to get it right, but I also feared leaving the house without it. I certainly know the strange feeling of not having Hydro's in my pocket, I'm 193 days clean and still carry 5 Ibuprofen pills in my left pocket where I always had 6 or 8 Hydro's before, some kind of security blanket or something, I often take them in the same fashion. Hang in there, it gets better.

    -Chris

  11. #11
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Thanks, Chris! I toyed with getting the immodium, but thought I would do better for my system without it.

    Update...yesterday was day four, and it was easily the WORST day I've had so far. Now I totally get why people relapse around that mark.

    I still had diarrhea, though it was getting better - mainly because I wasn't eating much. But, I felt like >>>> all day. Agitated, restless, like I was going to go insane. I didn't really have any physical pain - I just mentally felt horribly. One moment I felt cold, then hot, then edgy, then disconnected, then my stomach was grumbly and upset, then sad, then medium, then nauseated...it was a miserable day for sure, and though I had no physical cravings for drugs, I wanted one just to make the wonkiness subside.

    I finally got into bed at 9PM, hoping to sleep it off.

    Today is day five. I slept well for about 5 hours last night, then tossed and turned for another 4. So, I'm tired, but I don't feel horribly. But, I have noticed that I start the day feeling OK, and get progressively worse by the afternoon/early evening. So, I'm a bit worried about what the day will bring.

    I keep reading that by day 5, the worst is over, but I feel like I'm just NOW in the ugly thick of it. It's like every day I've had a new symptom appear, while ridding myself of an existing one. Replaced leg pain with the runs. Replaced fatigue with nausea.

    This morning, I had to apologize to my body out loud for what I've done to it. How stupid I've been...letting a little white pill destroy my health and well-being.

    I read something on here recently that said the biggest motivator to staying clean, is knowing you won't have to go though WD again. Amen to that! Because today, I'm wondering when I'll start feeling good. Again, addicts are very pain-avoidant - whether physical or emotional, and we use as our coping strategy. So, WD is particularly hard on us.

  12. #12
    Efil Pleh is offline Member
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    DO NOT get discouraged, disappointed is okay but discouraged is not an option and do not get upset of this feeling lasts longer than you may think, meaning 15-20 days. I can only provide feedback from my own experience and the bad feeling lasted almost 30 days. It got better after the 12th day but still felt pretty bad. The mantel part is trying and will pass as well, the best thing I did was to let go of the past and live for the day and think about the future.

    Take it until you make it!

    I'm none special so if did it so can you!

    Kind Regards,
    E

  13. #13
    New Better is offline Member
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    Hey Lifesaver,

    Yea, E's right, the physical will be over before you know it. Start thinking about what your going to do different to fight the mental battle. Hang in there.

    -Chris

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    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    E and New - thank you SO much for the encouragement. It truly helps to know others really get this.

    Yesterday was a pretty good day. Still had some tummy upset, but nothing like the first few days. I was able to leave the house without too much worry - lol.

    Still sleeping pretty poorly - tossing and turning most of the night...

    Appetite is slowing improving, but I find that I'm craving bread and simple white foods more.

    But, I'm cautiously optimistic I've turned the corner. Today is day 6.

    Mentally, what is weird and missing, is for years, I woke up, and planned when I would use. 8AM wake up, and I would tell myself, "OK, today you have xyz going on, so you can take your first pill at 1PM. Then you have time to get in two more before the day is over." Like, this was a super critical part of my day. I always planned my drug use. Now, it's strange to not obsess over it during the day. In a way, it's been a little liberating - like, one less thing to manage - lol.

    SUN I felt so badly, I did no exercise. Yesterday, I got my 30 minutes of yoga in (starting slowly, as I still have an existed disc injury I need to work around), and had a two hour massage. Both helped.

    Chris - I wanted to ask you...do you find yourself taking the motrin for the same triggers that made you take the hydro's?

  15. #15
    New Better is offline Member
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    Hey Life Saver,

    Yea...the clock on the wall was a trigger for me, everything was a trigger. I take very few of them now, mostly a anxiety/stress thing, but still carry them. I have a Wednesday night thing with the guys, I have a few beers there, and get a little anxiety some times. I know they don't do anything, but, I've done it for years, only they used to be Hydro's...a lot of them. But it to, is fading away. Hang in there Life saver, it gets better, Life Is Good, without them ! I'll check in later.

    -Chris

  16. #16
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Ya, same here. I took them as a reward, as a coping mechanism, if I was emotionally upset, if I was happy. Basically, I crafted reasons to use. And, like you - timing was everything. And, like you, I know that I'm going to have to start dealing with my emotions as they exist. That's honestly the scariest part.

    I went for a nail appointment today, and had a brief thought of, "oh, what time is it? I need to get home to take my dose." Then remembered, erm, not any longer!

    So, today was pretty good. No side effects, except a tiny bit of diarrhea. I've been focused and able to get a lot done. I didn't put off a business call because I was already on my afternoon bender, and thought I'd be an idiot or forget something important.

    It feels wonderful to not have to catch myself like that, and do things differently because I've used. Makes me realize how captive I was to vic's.

    Tomorrow will be one week. So excited. Beginning to feel like the rough physical part is in my rear view mirror. And, what will keep me clean, is knowing how honest I am, and how if I relapsed, I would have to tell my BF, and I could not bear the look of disappointment in his eyes. He's so proud of me, and though he's not an addict in the slightest, so doesn't fully get the struggle, I don't want to let him down. It's a strong motivator.

  17. #17
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Today is day 7 without opiates being fed into my system. Woot!

    I still have some diarrhea (seriously???), but otherwise, I feel OK. No real physical pain. Emotionally - I was really afraid of how well I would cope with things, but I oddly feel MORE centered. I always thought the vic's were what kept me sane...how wrong I was! I feel far more equipped sober, and I realize I was stronger emotionally than I thought. Dang. Super revelation.

    But, here is what I can share that worked/didn't for the major rough period. If anyone has read this thread, and it's helped them in their path, then I am happy to have shared.

    1 - You have to really want it. I've tried to quit before, but it was half-hearted. You, and only you, will know when you're ready.
    2 - I highly suggest a taper schedule you feel comfortable with. Although I felt lousy for a few days, I'm convinced it would have FAR worse if I went CT.
    3 - With a taper schedule set, count out your pills, and throw the rest out. I flushed about 40 10/325's. Unheard of a month ago! That was a good two weeks of zoning out for me (was taking 30mg a day for quite a while now. Understood not a HUGE habit, but, it was one of length). Still, I knew if I kept them around for "insurance", I would eat them in a second.
    4 - Be willing to endure a few days of physical and mental pain and discomfort, and prepare for it.
    5 - More importantly, be open to what's going to come up emotionally and/or physically for you. Personally, I continued to use for years not only because my brain was hooked, but also because I was used to avoiding emotional pain.
    6 - Bengay helped me a lot with leg cramps, and ibuprofen was essential the first few days. I also recommend eating what you want. This isn't the time to switch to healthy food if you haven't been eating that way already. I mean, isn't it enough to get clean? Yes!
    7 - Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Even if you sit on your living room floor and stretch or do a few sit-ups - your body will thank you.
    8 - Forgive yourself for the drug abuse. Make peace with it, let it be a moment in time in your life, and be able to move on from it.
    9 - Have a support system in place. If there isn't someone in your real life, then come here for the support.
    10 - Be kind to yourself during recovery. Baby yourself, and do what feels best (except USE!!!).

  18. #18
    mary1214 is offline New Member
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    Hi I too am trying to quit and cold turkey isn't helping can't sleep my legs are cramping at night can't stay still any OTC products to help taper from 6 a day to one a day now but still seems like hell any help would be appreciated

  19. #19
    Kit555 is offline New Member
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    I quit a habit similar to yours CT a few years back. Good job! I also had a small but long habit. I did it over Christmas 2010 so I could miss the least amount of days of work. I did work through some of it and it wasn't easy. Please please don't be like me and find yourself back in the same spot with a much larger habit in the future. I'm I'm a way worse situation now and even though that CT detox felt like hell >> take it over what I'm fighting now. Please remember always how awful detox feels. Good luck

  20. #20
    LifeSaver77 is offline Member
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    Hey, everyone! Been travelling, so want to update.

    Today is day 15. Dang!!

    Physically...the sneezing finally stopped, and the diarrhea is *almost* gone. Still lingers from time to time. Otherwise, no aches or pains.

    Mentally...wow. THANK YOU to the former addicts who posted you eventually will feel amazing. I used for so long, I entirely forgot what it would be like. Your words are what made me believe I would one day feel "right".


    This week, I had some emotional upsets, and, I handled them, and didn't fall apart. I didn't use, and I didn't even feel like I wanted to, either. I just moved through the emotions, felt them, came out the other side, and was entirely intact. I honestly think when I was using that I was blowing stuff out of proportion, and also holding on to it longer. So, trust that you ARE strong enough to withstand life sober.

    I overall feel fantastic. I have had maybe 2 minor cravings, but they lasted a very short time. It's SO amazing to not feel tethered to a drug, and a usage "schedule".

    I am very proud of myself.

    Mary - how are you doing? Are you still tapering, holding at one, or bumped up a bit?

    Thanks, Kit! I think I can live through detox again...I just can't live with letting my BF or myself down.
    iloerose likes this.

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