Hi! New here, looking for answers. So far have read some very helpful info.

I have a genetic connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos, which causes multiple daily joint dislocations and widespread pain not associated with the dislocations. Long story short, I have a very high pain threshold but was put on Fentanyl against my (and my doctor's) wishes due to insurance (insert loud BOOing and throwing tomatoes here). I know that I metabolize meds too slowly or too quickly or sometimes not at all (some years back, before I had ever taken ANY pain meds, I had 3 arteries to rupture with excruciating pain for months. I was on horse doses of IV Dilaudid around the clock that did NOTHING-completely coherent with ZERO effect or relief). Anyway, Fentanyl worked good for the all over body pain and knocked the edge off the dislocations without feeling "high" or other side effects.

After a year or so I became tolerant of the dose with poor pain control and withdrawals after 2 days. I didn't want to keep increasing the dose (I'm only 40) so I asked to get off it and switch to something else. I weaned over a month from 25 mcg every 2 days to 1/4 patch=6.25 mcg every 2 days then stopped. WOWZER! This is my first experience with withdrawals and it's NOT fun y'all! I'm 48 hours in and honestly expected it to not be this bad because I weaned to such a low dose. Every time I think I'm through the worst of it, a new symptom strikes. And what's up with the continuous sneezing? I thought I was getting a cold on top of it until I read that's a w/d symptom! Weird! I'm supposed to wait 4 days and start Belbuca (buprenorphine oral patch). Here's my questions:

1. I think the w/d must be so bad from my weird metabolism and maybe I'm not clearing the Fentanyl very quickly, but I was on such a low dose surely there can't be that much actually left in my system. How long can I expect w/d to continue?

2. Why do I have to wait 4 days before starting Belbuca? If they are both opioids, it would seem that when enough of the Fentanyl had cleared to not cause OD that starting Belbuca would alleviate w/d. What am I missing? Why can't I start it after 72 hours?

Thanks for your thoughts.