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 Post subject: Getting prepared to stop
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:38 pm 
As many of you know, I'm preparing to take another stab at stopping Suboxone in the next 3-6 months. I've been on Sub for a little over 2 years now, with a few slips along the way, the last one being about 3 months ago. I know that doesn't sound like very long ago, but I feel I have made great progress since then. The individual therapy is helping immensely. It has allowed me to work on the shame and guilt I've been carrying for 3 years. For whatever reason, that has been my main problem with moving forward. I believe that has been the driving force behind my slip-ups and my cravings throughout my treatment with bupe. Anyway, the therapy seems to have been the missing piece for me.
So I've been down to ~2mg/day for at least a couple of weeks and have even managed to skip a days dose a couple of times without too much of a problem. Although I'm in no hurry to finish the taper and quit right away, it is definitely on my mind. I've had concerns about the fact that my doctor has always said that 'comfort meds' shouldn't be necessary if you taper low enough and slow enough. I've seen too many people do a good taper and still have a harsher 'landing' than I would like to have. I've also learned by hanging around here that there are a few meds that can help a lot at the end of the taper or when finished. So today I had my doctor's appointment and I just flat-out asked him if he'd consider writing me for some meds. I asked for Clonodine, a benzo, and a sleeping pill, along with a request for the 2mg Sub tabs to make it easier to taper. Low and behold......he said, "Sure, no problem, whatever you want to try!" What?!?!?! I was very pleasantly surprised. I've always liked my doctor a lot, but I wasn't counting on him changing his mind about the comfort meds. Apparently, now that he's been a prescriber for a few years, he's seeing that it isn't always so easy to get off the Sub. He also mentioned the fact that he's more comfortable with me having been an RN and familiar with the meds and that I have always been an honest and compliant patient for him. Whatever the reason.....I walked out with a Rx for Suboxone 2mg #30, Xanax 0.25mg #60, Clonidine 0.1mg #30 with 1 refill, and Ambien 10mg #30 with 1 refill.
This really is a comfort to me....knowing that when I am ready, I have my meds if needed to help me through. The only down side was that I had no idea that the 2mg Subs were so stinking small!! I thought they'd be bigger and I could break them into 8 pieces easily. Well, it's not going to be that easy!! Oh well, I'll make it work somehow. If I need to go to liquid, I guess I will.
Anyway, I'm just really excited and feeling really optimistic that I'll be able to do this with the help of my doctor, these meds and my therapist. I'm thinking my final quit will either be November, OR if I'm having any trouble with it at all, I will wait until right after the holidays and then quit.
I'm very ready to have my life back....all the way back. I have undoubtedly experienced the 'blunting' of emotion that some of our other members talk about, over my time on Suboxone. I have had several experiences now which confirm that for me. It's not an absence of emotion.....it's just a more subdued or blunted response/reaction when it comes to certain things. So I'm excited to have all that come back.
As I said to my therapist when she asked me how I felt about being on Suboxone......"I feel like Suboxone has been my life preserver and I have needed it very much in order to catch my breath and rest in the middle of the lake for a while. However, Suboxone is not going to get me to the shore, which is where I ultimately want to be." So now I feel like I'm gathering my strength, and getting myself ready (mind, body and soul) for that swim to the shore, so to speak. I'm excited about what lies ahead.
I wanted to give an update and also encourage anyone else who is getting close to coming off, to just come right out and ask your doctor for what you feel you'll need to help you when you quit. You never know.....they might just be willing to give it to you!
All prayers and good wishes are appreciated! Thanks guys!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:46 pm 
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Wow, aren't you glad you decided to ask your doctor for those comfort meds!!!

setmefree, I'm glad your therapy is working so nicely for you. That was music to my ears (eyes?? :D ) to hear how much progress you've made.

You said how excited and optimistic you were about coming off of Suboxone, that's EXACTLY how I felt as my quit date approached. I'm glad you're excited, I'm excited for you!! This is all just so exciting!! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:37 am 
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It's great to hear how well you are doing. I've been thinking of you and wondering where you were at. I'm happy for you that you are so close to your ultimate goal. I'm unexpectedly at about 2mg also, with some days a bit higher. Hopefully we can support each other as we go forward from this point.
Keep ip the good work!
Lilly


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:03 am 
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Wow...wish my doctor was like that...I jumped from 3mg last Friday (4pm being my last dose) and it took me 6 phone calls back and forth with a nurse, 2 with an "on call" doctor, a message left on my doctors personal cell phone, and i think a few smoke signals to actually get scripts for chlonidine, super tylenol (800mg maybe) and some anti-nausea med. Now all this took place between sunday and monday. Yesterday, i went to go pick up all three scripts (as i had one of those ten day chlonidine patches on, but it kept falling off, which is why i didn't pick them up sooner) and come to find out that none of the scripts were ever called in. By the way i still have not actually spoken or heard from my actual sub doctor. So i said fyck him, and tuesday got a new doctor. My new doc is a sub doc, and i chose him only to help me with what i was going through. i have ZERO intentions of going back on subs as the last week was needless to say, less than comfortable and i do not want to give up that time that i've put in. So be very happy and find strength in the fact that you have a doctor who treats you like a patient, make that a person, and not a doc like mine that treated my like a cow in a cattle car. I'm on day 7 without subs, and can tell you with some degree of certainty, i feel pretty f'ing normal, and it is nice. I too was on them for two years, well closer to three actually. It is doable...the wd's are not anything like coming off hard opiates. Although, something i read, i think by the sub doc here, is that the pain you are experiencing, is usually worse than any pain you can remember. Well, after being through both, opiate, and sub wd's i can tell they are not comparable (to me, sorry if i haven't put that in here enough, i know i'm supposed to talk about myself and my experience, always us "I", me" and all that). My wd's from OCs lasted closer to a month, and i didn't sleep, i mean no sleep, for 22 days. Coming off subs i slept on night 3 (it wasn't great, but i still slept some), using the exact same sleep aid (seroquel 25 mg) i was given in rehab back when get off OC's. Hell, even when i stopped my H habit three years ago and started taking suboxone a day later i think i felt worse over the five days it took my body to make the transition from H to subs than it did over the last 5 days. Sub wd's for me were like abbreviated opiate wd's. All the same symptoms, just for not nearly as long. Keep your head up, keep in touch with your doc, and good luck to you when you decide to take the plunge. See you on the shore.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:57 am 
Thanks for the support! Lillyval....That's great that you were able to come on down to ~2mg/day and of course, we can help each other and stay in close touch as we continue to go on down!!
Breal...Thanks for your post. I found it to be quite encouraging!! I'm sorry you've had such trouble getting help from your doctor's office. That is absolutely ridiculous!! Just burns me up!! What's happened to you (and others I've read about) is exactly the reason I went ahead and sort of prematurely asked my doctor for what I needed while I had him face to face at my regular appointment! I may well not need those meds for another several months, but by gosh, I want to have them when I need them!!
I am glad that you have found the w/d from Sub to be tolerable. I know it won't be fun, but I also don't expect it to be horrible either. I think you sort of referred to the comparison of the other w/ds you've been through. That's exactly what I do. I talked to my therapist about that very thing......how I don't believe that there is any way that w/d from a small dose of Sub can possibly be worse than what I've already survived (cold-turkey w/d from IV Fentanyl, Demerol and oral oxycodone, hydrocodone and Soma in fairly large doses.) That, my friend, was Hell on earth! And I survived it! That tells me that I can survive some w/d symptoms again. The thing that concerns me far more than any of that is the PAWS possibility. However, I am in a far different place than I was when I went through this before, and I believe that because of the tapering process with Sub that I will finish, I will not have PAWS to the severity that I did before. Like you, I mean no disrespect to those who have found such suffering with Sub w/d. I have no doubt that their experiences are real and terrible. We just all come into this with such different histories, physical make-ups, and so on, that it's hard to compare with one another. In any case, I appreciate your words of encouragement and I hope you continue to do well. And Yes, I will see you on the shore!! I can't wait!! (well, I can wait and I will until it's my turn to get there.....can't get in too big of a hurry at this point!)


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 Post subject: stopping suboxone
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Hi all I'm new to this forum and wanted to thank everyone for their experience and support as knowing that others are going through the same thing I am gives me hope I can get through to the other side aka the shore..I've been on suboxone for the last 3 years, going from 12 to 10 to 8mg during the first 2 1/2 years. Within the last 6 months or so I've slowly tapered down to 3mg and w/in the last week, 2mg. I met with my suboxone doctor about 3 weeks ago and we agreed (he's leaving the agency so I no longer have a doctor and the agency isn't too keen on me continuing subxone any longer) he was prescribing my last dosage, 3 week taper. I have to say I have wanted to get off subs for the last couple of years but the thought of w/d has scared the shit out of me. I'm not afraid to admit, I'm a wuss and hate discomfort. So I left his office extremely excited but also anxious as I've heard all the horror stories related to sub w/d. When I told my dr about my concerns about w/d he basically laughed and assured me that coming off 3mg using his 3 week taper would be painless physically. He cautioned me to be careful for the emotional withdrawals that may crop up but that will be a mind over matter type battle in his opinion. Well from reading the various information on sub w/d for the past couple of years, more intensely this last month or so, I can see that sub w/d is extremely real and theres no way I'm going to be able to get through this taper without some serious discomfort. I am fortunate that I have a great friend who has been on suboxone for many years and has no intention of getting off it and is willing to help me if and when I need some. I really appreciated diary of a quitters taper schedule and have decided that I am going to try a similar taper schedule. Anyway I'm so grateful to have this forum and to have others to chat with, encourage, motivate etc as I try to become drug free. Thanks very much!!


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