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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Hey crew! I know I haven't been posting much the last week or so, but I have a good reason.

[font=Comic Sans MS][marq=right]I finished my taper y'all! [/marq][/font]


One year, nine months, and eight days after I started Suboxone, I took my last dose of .2mgs on Monday, Aug 3rd.

Here are the highlights from the first few days:

Monday was fine, as I dosed that morning. Slept fine that night after taking 1mg clonazepam.

Tuesday I was a little tired. Got by with lots of rest, ibuprofin, reading...I also think I was beat from a long and busy week last week so I just needed some downtime.

Wednesday I was still waiting for the horrible withdrawals to kick in. Mostly I was feeling lazy, but restless. So I fought the laziness and cleaned my daughter's room. Physically I felt fine. Seriously.

Thursday (today) Woke up at 4:15am. Oh shit! I've been taking clonazepam before bed and it's been working fine. But I went to bed at about 11:30 Wed night and woke up at 4:15. I read for about an hour, then was having very mild discomfort in my lower legs. This could be w/d or could be my fibro, who knows. Took a hot bath. Figured I was awake, so I might as well do something. So I did housework (laundry & light cleaning) until it was time to get ready for work.

Went to work @ 10am and had an amazingly productive day. No physical discomfort and I wasn't tired. My mind felt really clear and I was in a good mood. I did sneeze about ten times, but that was it. Got off work at 3:30, by which time I was feeling tired but still in a good mood. Went home, ate a sandwich, and took a nap - fell asleep with no sleep aids.

Got up, played with my kid, did some more housework (did I mention that my house is a complete freaking mess?), had some dinner, played online - and I'm still fine.

Friday Went to work, sneezed like 5 or 8 times, felt pretty good. Had a mellow evening at home.

Saturday Worked all day - 9 hours - on my feet, was in a great mood, got a lot done. Sneezed a few times.

Sunday Still doing well. Sleep is a little iffy. Lots of dreams and somewhat restless. Took a walk, did some errands, listened to music, went out to dinner. Still in a good mood if a little more tired than usual. Having some mild aches, could be related to working all day Saturday, but I've been achy for about 5 years now anyway so Im used to it. Not having the ill bone-aches usually associated with withdrawal though.

Monday Sneezed about ten times when I woke up today. Feeling a little stiff and achy, but seems like my normal fibromyalgia crap. Hot bath, advil, Kombucha tea and I'm ready to go. Got a bunch of running around done, went out to dinner at Benihana for my partner's birthday, t'was AWESOME. However, I ate too much and had a hard time sleeping.

Tuesday (today) Felt pretty crap this morning from lack of sleep. Made very strongly caffienated tea, did what I could around the house, did some writing, went to yoga class. Feeling pretty relaxed and well at this point.

To sum up: the most pronounced withdrawal symptom I've had is difficulty falling and staying asleep; but even that has been mild enough that I haven't missed work or even really cut back much on my normal activities. Second most pronounced symptom is restlessness. As in, I feel tired but also restless. Kinda like when you've been sick, and you're getting better, but you're not all the way better, and you feel like you should be doing something but you don't really want to do anything. Like that. So I just ignore that feeling and stay busy at a comfortable level. Third thing is a mild headache that comes and goes, which may or may not be withdrawal-related. And the sneezing. What's up with the sneezing I truly don't know, but whatever. It lasts for like 10 seconds so I'm not gonna sweat it.

I'm still taking clonazepam to help me sleep if I need it. I figure I'll taper off of that in the next week or so. Advil is my friend as well. I'm going to try to get into pain management for my fibro soon. Other things that really seem to help are:

Hot baths. Exercise. Water. Rest. Kombucha. Distraction. Positive Attitude. Support of family/friends. Being grateful that I have this opportunity to do it right. Meditation.

So there you have it. So far, I would say that this taper method works. I could imagine that one could taper down even lower than I did and stop with basically no withdrawal - but I needed to get this done because I'm going back to school in September. Oh, did I mention that? Since I finished Sub, I managed to get myself down to school and register for the chemical dependency counselor program. Woot!

Thanks to everyone for your support through this. I hope I can return the favor for some of you!

Here's my original taper thread for those who are interested:

http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=296

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 Post subject: congratulations!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:45 pm 
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wow!! good for you diary of a quitter!! thank you for showing us all that it can be done, and it doesn't have to be awful.

congrats!!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:24 am 
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Thanks dirtysouth, I appreciate the kind words.

I'm still doing pretty well, though I've developed an annoying habit of waking up at 4:00 every morning. Happened again today, so I got up and took a bath and read for a while. I think I dozed off again for an hour before I had to get up at 8:30.

But I'm staying busy anyway. Been to yoga, went to dance class today and spent some time with my family at the beach.

My fibro is bothering me. I'm pretty sure it's not withdrawal pains - it's not that bone pain or restless legs. I'm familiar with this pain - it's why I started using in the first place. I'm going to therapy tomorrow and have acupuncture on Friday morning, so hopefully that will help.

I keep reminding myself something that my midwife told me when I was in labor with my daughter:

Sometimes, the only way out is through.

True enough, I just have to pass through this phase of my recovery. Once I'm more sorted I'll seek more aggressive treatment for my fibro. I'm not on any meds for it at all now, as the Suboxone really managed that pain, so all the treatment I'm doing is rest, exercise, heat, etc.

On the emotional side, I actually feel pretty happy. I feel accomplished and proud of myself, and grateful for what I have. And that's a beautiful thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:01 am 
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Diary,

Does this mean that you'll disappear into oblivion, or will you stick around and talk to us?! :(

Keep up the good work!

haha looks like you figured out the [sup]funky[/sup] text [sub]input[/sub]



Jim

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:06 am 
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You know for me...I am now 2 weeks into it, the main problems I have are lack of sleep and feeling kind of depressed. I don't know if it's just because of quitting sub, I have a very grueling job which I don't really find much personal satisfaction at all and I'm just so overworked and my clients are always so unappreciative despite how hard I may work for them. I guess I am fortunate though to have a good job and make good money at 24 in this economy. I feel like I should be much happier though because I quit suboxone and I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend and all that good stuff but I feel a little bit empty and I don't sleep so well. Maybe it's just a harder night tonite...I should really look at going to an NA meeting, maybe that would give me some extra support. I just don't like where my head is at and I feel like I may act a little bit irrationally with my girlfriend. I dunno it's worth it though and I guess it's like breaking up with a girl...a few months down the road I will look back and forget all of this for this too shall pass.

I think the liquid taper method is truly the best way and I was having alot of trouble seeing a light at the end of the tunnel before this. I think it takes a little bit of will on your part because you need to really stick to your program but as long as you are making progress..you are heading in the right direction.

Good luck to all of you, if you really want it--it's something you too can achieve. Just look at us and don't focus solely on the negative reports. It takes some work and patience and perserverance on your part, but you can do it.

Thanks for all the information, it's really nice to see a doctor is actually compassionate about this. I was roped in by my doctor who seemed so compassionate but then I found out he's very cold and dismissive. I truly don't understand how there has not yet been a class action lawsuit regarding the way patients are perhaps mis informed about suboxone and how doctor's fail to recognize the seriousness of the withdrawal and addiction to suboxone. I'm rambling, anyways I feel better. I should really try to find a new hobby to fill my time--I think work has just been dragging me down lately and I haven't been as able to deal with the extreme stress as normal. Maybe I will get back to writing more. My knee is still a little messed up from a recent injury so I can't play basketball or take my dog running unfortunately, that would make a big difference!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Happinessinsight, I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time right now. Remember that it is temporary, and that there are things within your control that you can change to make life better. Not sleeping well will really fuck with your well-being; if I were you I would talk to a doctor about it right away. I took a clonidine last night and slept through the night for the first time in over a week, and I can already tell it's helped.

If your job is really grueling and unsatisfying, you need to look for ways to change that situation. This is the only life you've got, and wasting most of it on unsatisfying work that makes you unhappy is...crazy. Everyone has situations like this in their lives, and therapy can be a good place to figure out how to navagate through them. It sounds like you already have some insight into your problems, maybe you just need a little guidance to figure out what you want to change.

If you can't do your regular exercise because of your knee, can you swim or bike or something? Getting a good workout in has really been a huge part of my success so far. I think it helps get those endorphins flowing again, relieves stress, and just basically gets you out of your head for a little while. If you've found NA meetings to be helpful, then that's good too.

Like pretty much everything worthwhile, this is not an easy process, but it's doable. There's definitely something to be learned from our uncomfortable feelings - we can get clues about where our life isn't right, where we need to make a boundary, where we need to adjust an attitude. Same with the physical discomfort - it can motivate us to take better care of ourselves. It's all about what we choose to do with it I guess.

I hope today finds you feeling a little better. Give yourself some recognition for the hard work you are doing and for the effort you are putting into making a better future for yourself. And let us know how you're doing.

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 Post subject: Today Was Hard
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Ugh. Today kinda sucked. I took a clonidine last night and it kicked my ass back into Tuesday. I've never liked taking sleep aids because the sleep just doesn't feel as refreshing, but I really needed it. I hadn't slept more than 4 hours a night for almost a week. I slept 8 hours with the clonidine, but good lord was I hungover today.

Still. I dragged my ass outta bed and went to therapy and then to work where I managed to accomplish stuff. I ate healthy food and just sat and rested when I needed to. I had smartly set aside some less-physical projects to accomplish should such a day as today arise, so that was good. I think perhaps someday I might actually be good at life. Who knows? Too early to predict, but I'm trying. :lol:

Then, as much as I wanted to just go home and die, I went to school to turn in some paperwork. Then I went home and took a nap - which I'm sure I will regret when I can't sleep tonight - but I just couldn't stay awake. I think tonight I'll just take half the clonidine and see how that goes.

Something I've noticed is that I've gotten mentally stronger in the 2 years since I started Sub. I'm better at telling myself that I can get through something, that even though I feel crappy I can still function. In the olden days, I would have just called into work and sat on the couch doing drugs all day. For sure, pushing through it and surviving feels better. Much better.

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 Post subject: congrats!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:45 am 
Diary, Congratulations on your taper and discontinuation of Sub! I enjoy reading your posts - they have been most helpful to me. I've been on Sub for 5-6 weeks now and feel I'm doing pretty well with it.
Reading your "story" has been encouraging, especially in terms of tapering and coming off Sub. I've read enough horror stories about coming off of it to put some fear in me about staying on it for a while. But hearing yours and other stories like yours makes me feel a bit better about it.

Sorry you had a rough day, though. Hope today is better for you. You mentioned some sleep problems. I am curious, although you may not recall - Did you have any problems with excessive sleepiness or feel you required more sleep during your first couple months on Sub?
I have noticed that I cannot stay awake past 9-10pm for the past couple weeks and wondered if it has anything to do with the Sub. I'm taking 8mg/am and sometimes that's it for the day, but sometimes I'll take another 4 - 8mg in the late afternoon also, if I'm feelings some cravings.
I guess I'm kind of coming off that "cloud" I was on the first 2 weeks! Miraculous! I still feel good, just not quite as fabulous! I think, based upon some of your previous posts, that you are a big believer in Suboxone as only a "part" of recovery and I agree. I'm working on all aspects of my life right now in hopes of a sustained healthy recovery from my addiction to opiates. If you've read any of my other posts, you know some of my background and that there's a lot of crap to work through!

Anyway - just wanted to say thanks and hope you have better days ahead! As far as your fibro - yeah, it does sound like you've gotten the run-around on your diagnosis and treatment. Fibro seems to be one of those catch-all diagnoses for when the docs don't really know what the problem is!
My mother suffers from chronic pain (failed back surgeries). She tried Lyrica and could not tolerate the side effects (primarily severe vertigo) even on a very low dose (25mg/day). However, I know for some Lyrica provides excellent relief. I don't think it has near the abuse potential as opiates, but I have heard of some. I think us "addicts" know pretty quick if a drug is gonna be problematic for us. Here's hoping it is helpful for you! It's just wrong to have to live with pain on a daily basis!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:19 am 
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diary of a quitter: can i just say that i find your posts to be so inspirational! you are very self-aware, you are wise, and you tell it like it is. there's no whining or complaining from you, even when it would be warranted. you come right out with acknowledging what it really is, and you just do it. (like needing to exercise when you might not feel like it) =) i just find your positive thinking and truth-telling to be inspirational! for example, that was me back in the day skipping work cuz i didn't feel well and spending the day plopped out on the couch getting fucked up.

i also wasn't clear about fibromyalgia, so i looked it up. sounds a lot like p.c.o.s. where it's more of a collection of symptoms rather than one clear diagnosis. it sounds pretty scary and hard to deal with, yet another reason i find you to be inspirational!

anyway, i hope you have a good friday. i have a couple more questions i'd like to ask you, do you mind if i send you a PM?

be well.
dirtydirty


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:01 am 
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Wow, setmefree and dirtysouth, your posts made me get all teary-eyed. Thank you so much for what you said. Sometimes I feel like I'm just blundering through, trying to find a little peace of mind and an honest life. Knowing that you've been inspired by my story - that feels really good. Thank you both.

dirtysouth - you can PM me anytime.

setmefree - I did have problems with excessive sleepiness on Suboxone. Sometimes I would sit down and just fall asleep. Like, bam, I was out on a nod. If I was up and about doing things, I was fine, but as soon as I sat down to read or whatever I was toast. I solved that by decreasing my dose and not taking my 2nd dose until right before bed. Also, I had to take my morning dose and then get busy doing something or I'd get sucked into the couch.

And, if either of you want to read more about my early days on Suboxone, the link to my blog is down under the bottom of my posts (next to the PM and Email buttons).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I went to accupuncture on Friday. It was amazing. The place is a community accupuncture practice, so it's hella cheap: $20-$40 per treatment on a sliding scale, honor system - and they'll even work with you if you can't afford $20. That's compared to $75-$150 regular rates. Anyway - I wanted treatment for pain and fatigue, talked to the accupunturist for about 30 minutes and then got stuck. It didn't hurt, in fact it was kinda relaxing.

When I was done about 45 minutes later, I felt better than I have in a long while. She did needles for my leg and neck pain, headaches and general energy. Since then, my neck muscles have been less tense, my legs are nearly pain-free, my energy has been better and my sleep has been better. I'm definitely going back. Yay for another tool to fight for my health.

Meanwhile, I'm taking less and less sleep-meds and waking up less frequently and falling back to sleep when I do wake up. I still sneeze a few times every day, but whatever, that's like the least serious withdrawal symptom. Something strange I've noticed is that my pupils are often really big. Hmmm...you'd think that would be over with by now. Or maybe my pupils have been artificially small for the last 2 years, though they never seemed all that pinned or anything.

Still working, still going to the gym, all those things that help. I can't say that I feel 100% yet, but I feel way, way better than I expected to during this process. Actually, I don't even know what 100% even would feel like, since I've been sick with different crap for so long. Well, there's a goal I guess!

One thing I've noticed is that when I push myself too hard and I get tired or hungry or both, my thoughts turn to painkillers. I just take it as a sign that something is wrong and try to pinpoint what it is. A nap or a meal or a walk or a talk on the phone has taken care of it every time. I hope one day my brain will no longer use "opiate" as it's go-to option for fixing me, till then I'll just have to translate for it: I want a percoset = I have a need that needs care. So simple...hopefully also easy someday.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:27 pm 
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I was just having a rough day earlier when I posted that but things really were and are getting better...I just have no luck.

I was assaulted for absolutely no reason saturday night, i was knocked completely unconcious and was unresponsive laying on the ground for 2-3 minutes. My girlfriend was so scared. When I woke up, I thought it was 2007 and I was living in my college town and I didn't make any sense. I can't remember any of it from the memory loss due to the concussion I had. 8 stitches to put my ear back together. I was blindsided and punched in the head because some guy was drunk and I was standing in the wrong place apparently or so I was told from my girlfriend and her friend (witnesses who saw it happen).

I'm like the nicest guy in the world, ugh I don't get it, but I am not really thinking about my sub problem now. I am just confused because of the concussion. I wish things wouldn't work out this way but I know this too shall pass. It's so hard to think straight and I really hurt but I am being strong and just taking tylenol even though I still am hurting. Gosh I haven't had this much bad luck in a long time but I'm so happy to be off suboxone even if I'm feeling really bad right now because of what happened =(

Good luck to you guys I really hope that all of you make it because I know you can! I know I'm not making all that much sense right now, I just can't think straight...I need to leave work and go lay down I shouldn't be here, it's not healthy.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:31 pm 
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happinessinsight wrote:
I was just having a rough day earlier when I posted that but things really were and are getting better...I just have no luck.

I was assaulted for absolutely no reason saturday night, i was knocked completely unconcious and was unresponsive laying on the ground for 2-3 minutes. My girlfriend was so scared. When I woke up, I thought it was 2007 and I was living in my college town and I didn't make any sense. I can't remember any of it from the memory loss due to the concussion I had. 8 stitches to put my ear back together. I was blindsided and punched in the head because some guy was drunk and I was standing in the wrong place apparently or so I was told from my girlfriend and her friend (witnesses who saw it happen).

I'm like the nicest guy in the world, ugh I don't get it, but I am not really thinking about my sub problem now. I am just confused because of the concussion. I wish things wouldn't work out this way but I know this too shall pass. It's so hard to think straight and I really hurt but I am being strong and just taking tylenol even though I still am hurting. Gosh I haven't had this much bad luck in a long time but I'm so happy to be off suboxone even if I'm feeling really bad right now because of what happened =(

Good luck to you guys I really hope that all of you make it because I know you can! I know I'm not making all that much sense right now, I just can't think straight...I need to leave work and go lay down I shouldn't be here, it's not healthy.


Woah, I'm sorry to hear that! Are you ok?!

Did they catch the jerk who did it?

Give it some time, your concussion will heal and you'll feel better soon.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:24 pm 
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Wow, that's rough. I'm sorry you're hurting and confused & I hope some time and rest will get you back to yourself soon.

You are strong to be only taking tylenol! It's good that you're making choices that you think are right for you & your recovery. I hope you feel better soon.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:00 am 
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Thanks for your insight Diary! My husband and I are both on Suboxone and have been for 2 1/2 years now. We both take about a quater to a small half of a 8mg. We've been doing this for months now. We have both talked about how much we want to come off of it. I was so happy to read your messages. I wrote a few things down so we can both try this liquid method. Im anxious to see if it works for us. I am scared of the withdrawals. What I went through 24hours before getting on suboxone was awful! We live in WA also. The thing with me is I will wait all day before I take a suboxone...its like I wait to feel I have to take it before I take it. I am so happy I found this website. Ive never been on anything like this or even responded to anyones blog. But I wanted to tell you I appreciate your information about this. This has given us hope of coming off suboxone. Hopefully my doctor will give me something to help me sleep while doing this. Thanks again!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:56 pm 
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SO how long from 2mg did it take you to quit. I read your thread and you sounded miserable the whole taper?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Congrats!!!!!!!!!!! At this point in treatment tapering sounds scary as hell. Suboxone = life, no suboxone = death or jail. But you give me hope that when i'm finally mentally strong enough to, I can and it won't be all bad.
Thanks!
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 Post subject: Awesome!
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DOAQ: I want to thank you for writing your diary. I have been stuck between 1mg-2mg for about 4 or 5 months. It's horribly miserable. I am definitely going to try the liquid taper method. I am so happy to hear that someone is able to get off of this stuff. I've been on it for 2 years and 2 months and I am ready for it to be over with already. I will keep you updated.

(I don't know what is up with the sneezing and yawning either - Bizarre!)


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